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Brief Summary

    Myrica gale: Brief Summary
    provided by wikipedia
    species of plant

    Myrica gale is a species of flowering plant in the genus Myrica, native to northern and western Europe and parts of northern North America. Common names include bog-myrtle and sweetgale. It is a deciduous shrub growing to 1–2 m tall. The leaves are spirally arranged, simple, 2–5 cm long, oblanceolate with a tapered base and broader tip, and a crinkled or finely toothed margin. The flowers are catkins, with male and female catkins on separate plants (dioecious). The fruit is a small drupe.

    It typically grows in acidic peat bogs, and to cope with these difficult nitrogen-poor growing conditions, the roots have nitrogen-fixing actinobacteria which enable the plants to grow.

    Brief Summary
    provided by Ecomare
    Bog myrtle is a sweet-smelling decorative bush. It makes a terrific insect repellent, well known by campers who use it to keep their tent free of irritating insects. During the Middle Ages, bog myrtle was used for flavoring beer, only loosing this function when hops became widely available. The plant has a whole list of useful applications, including a remedy for stomach aches and acne. Bog myrtle bushes are either male or female, which you can see by the different catkins. Males are long and females are compact. It's not unusual for a bush to switch to the other sex the following year.

Comprehensive Description

    Myrica gale
    provided by wikipedia
    species of plant

    Myrica gale is a species of flowering plant in the genus Myrica, native to northern and western Europe and parts of northern North America. Common names include bog-myrtle[1] and sweetgale.[2] It is a deciduous shrub growing to 1–2 m tall. The leaves are spirally arranged, simple, 2–5 cm long, oblanceolate with a tapered base and broader tip, and a crinkled or finely toothed margin. The flowers are catkins, with male and female catkins on separate plants (dioecious). The fruit is a small drupe.

    It typically grows in acidic peat bogs, and to cope with these difficult nitrogen-poor growing conditions, the roots have nitrogen-fixing actinobacteria which enable the plants to grow.

    Uses

    The foliage has a sweet resinous scent and is a traditional insect repellent, used by campers to keep biting insects out of tents. It is also a traditional component of Royal Wedding bouquets and is used variously in perfumery and as a condiment.

    In north-western Europe (Germany, Belgium and Great Britain), it was much used in a mixture called gruit as a flavouring for beer from the Middle Ages to the 16th century, but it fell into disuse after hops supplanted gruit herbs for political and economic reasons.[3] In modern times, some brewers have revisited this historic technique and in Denmark and Sweden the plant is commonly used to prepare home-flavoured schnaps.

    In some native cultures in Eastern Canada, the plant has been used as a traditional remedy for stomach aches, fever, bronchial ailments and liver problems. "The Creole Doctor", an 1886 article by Lafcadio Hearn, discusses the uses of the plant, known locally as "cirier batard," in Louisiana creole folk remedies.[4] In Scotland it has been traditionally used to ward off the Highland midge,[5] and it is marketed as an insect repellent and as an ingredient in some soaps.[6]

    In 2007 there were plans to increase production of the plant in Scotland for use as an essential oil for treating sensitive skin and acne.[5] The plant has been listed as an abortifacient and therefore should not be consumed by women who are, or might be, pregnant.[7]

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    Male plant with catkins.

    Sweetgale can grow in a narrow band in the intertidal zone, especially if logs have been washed into the estuary on which to establish itself. It is a favorite food of beavers, and low beaver dams can be found in the intertidal zone if sufficient sweetgale is present. The ponds thus formed are often completely submerged at high tide but retain enough water at low to provide refuge for fish. If too deep for predation by wading birds juvenile salmon may flourish.[8]

    References

    1. ^ "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17..mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:"""""'"'"}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
    2. ^ "Myrica gale". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
    3. ^ "Gale (Myrica gale L.)". Gernot Katzer's Spice Pages. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
    4. ^ Lafcadio Hearn, "The Creole Doctor: Some Curiosities of Medicine in Louisiana." New York Tribune, January 3, 1886.
    5. ^ a b Kelbie, Paul (12 February 2007). "Scotland's bog myrtle to fuel second oil boom". The Independent. Archived from the original on 22 May 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2014.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) Archived
    6. ^ Evans, Emyr (27 September 2012). "It's Not Just about Our Ospreys". Liverpool Daily Post. Retrieved 10 February 2014. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
    7. ^ "Myrica gale". Plants For A Future. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
    8. ^ Hood, W. Gregory (2012). "Beaver in tidal marshes: dam effects on low-tide channel pools and fish use of estuarine habitat" (PDF). Wetlands. 32 (3): 408. Retrieved 11 June 2016.

Distribution

    Distribution
    provided by eFloras
    St. Pierre and Miquelon; Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., Nfld., N.W.T., N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Sask., Yukon; Alaska, Conn., Maine, Mass., Mich., Minn., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Oreg., Pa., R.I., Vt., Wash., Wis.; Eurasia.

Morphology

    Comments
    provided by eFloras
    I have seen at least two specimens of Myrica gale from Seneca County, Ohio, although they could have been very old collections. They apparently do not represent the current situation in Ohio.

    The spongy bracteoles that surround the fruits aid in dispersal by acting as flotation devices in water. A. J. Davey and C. M. Gibson (1917), as well as others, have commented on the sexual distribution in this species. A. D. MacDonald and R. Sattler (1973) and A. D. MacDonald (1977) have used this species to investigate the nature of the flower/inflorescence in Myricaceae.

    The pounded branches of Myrica gale were utilized by the Bella Coola to prepare decoctions taken as a diuretic or as a treatment for gonorrhea (D. A. Moerman 1986).

    Description
    provided by eFloras
    Shrubs , deciduous, much branched, to 1.5(-2) m. Branchlets purple-black, gland-dotted, glands brownish yellow. Leaf blade oblanceolate to obovate, 1.5-6.5 × 0.5-1.5 cm, ± leathery, base cuneate, margins usually minutely serrate, with 1-4 pairs of teeth usually restricted to distal 1/3 of blade, occasionally entire throughout, apex rounded or obtuse; surfaces abaxially pale green, glabrous to densely pilose, adaxially dark green, glabrous to pilose, both surfaces variously gland-dotted; glands bright yellow to orange. Inflorescences: staminate ca. 1-1.5 cm; pistillate to 1.5 cm. Flowers unisexual, staminate and pistillate mostly on different plants, occasionally on same plants. Staminate flowers: bract of each flower longer than stamens, stamens mostly 3-5. Pistillate flowers: bracteoles 2, accrescent and adnate to base of fruit wall, laterally compressed, glabrous but gland-dotted; ovary glabrous. Fruits ovoid, flattened, 2.5-3 mm; fruit wall smooth (no protuberances), without waxy deposit, with glandular deposit, enclosed by spongy bracteoles. 2 n = ca. 96.

Diagnostic Description

    Synonym
    provided by eFloras
    Gale palustris (Lamarck) A. Chevalier; G . palustris var. denticulata A. Chevalier; G . palustris var. lusitanica A. Chevalier; G . palustris var. subglabra A. Chevalier; G . palustris var. tomentosa (C. de Candolle) A. Chevalier; Myrica gale var. subglabra (A. Chevalier) Fernald; M . gale var. tomentosa C. de Candolle; M . palustris Lamarck

Habitat

    Habitat
    provided by eFloras
    Coastal and inland swamps, bogs, borders of lakes, ponds, and streams; 0-670m.

Cyclicity

    Flowering/Fruiting
    provided by eFloras
    Flowering spring-early summer, fruiting in summer.