The columbine is a plant that is renewed every year and usually reaches three feet high. The leaves arise from strains and branch at the top of the plant. They have a very long tails, and each leaf is divided into three three segments each.
This plant grows in cool areas, mainly in forests, canyons and meadows.
We find in the north of the Iberian Peninsula. In the south find it more difficult but not impossible.
The flowering season of the columbine starts in April and covers the months of spring and summer. Its flowers are supported by an elongated steel bar; are blue, although its tone is very variable, and may even become white. They are composed of five petals that are shaped like a spur, and five sepals look like petals. The stamens are very abundant and free from each other.
The fruit is composed of five parts that open in the Zone when mature.
It is hard to find two columbines equal because of the wide variety of colors and sizes available.
From this plant are harvested flowers, leaves and seeds.
At first it was thought that it contained alkaloids, a fact not strange because the Ranunculaceae typically produce alkaloids as well as numerous other substances that act in a very violent on the human body. However, this theory was subsequently rejected. What do contain the flowers and leaves is glycoside nitrile in small quantities, which on decomposition produces hydrogen cyanide. This substance is also found in seeds, they also contain fat.
This plant have been ascribed since ancient times many virtues: it was used in medicine for its diuretic qualities, sudorific and desiccant, etc.; also used to ease childbirth. Children were administered when suffering from measles or smallpox. He was also widely accepted use of the hawk to avoid the dreaded croup.
In England, the hawk was used to heal the burning of mouth and throat. It is also frequently used as a syrup to cure fevers. Anyway, now practically not used only as an ornamental plant.
Several authors have located the plant, like many others of his family, into toxic species. Therefore, it is not advisable to use the hawk in folk medicine.
HABITAT: Forest edge
PART USED: Leaves, flowers and seeds
CASTILIAN: Guileña, pajarilla
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