Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dichroa febrifuga--Blue Sapphire

The deep blue flowers of this shrub at the UC Botanical Garden practically glow in the dark. But the color is dependent on soil ph, so it isn't necessarily so intense. According to the description, it is supposed to have metallic blue berries. I will have to come back and see those. The plant has some medicinal properties. It has been used to reduce fever. For centuries it has been used against malaria. It is one of the 50 fundamental herbs in tradition chinese medicine. The chinese name for this plant is Chang Shan, and it is available as a pill to treat scleroderma. This is because it acts as an anti-inflammatory. It is also toxic, and can cause nausea and vomiting.

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