Taro (Colcasia Esculenta) • 3 varieties present in Living Machine (Purple, Violet stemmed, Green) • Taro is the oldest cultivated crop in the world, having been grown in parts of tropical and subtropical Asia for more than 10,000 years. • The ancient irrigation systems for terraced rice paddies were originally constructed for taro. Rice may have first come to notice as a weed in the flooded taro patches. • Because of taro’s long history of cultivation its origin is hard to determine, it most likely originated in Eastern India. • According to the Food and Agricultural Organization, 6.57 million tons of taro are produced worldwide each year on 2.66 million acres (1square km of Taro can feed 5000 people for one year). • Taro also has medicinal value; the fresh leaves are used in Africa to soothe wounds, sores and boils. The juice from the stalks is used in Indonesia against snake bites. Taro has also been known to stop bleeding, even in the case of an arterial hemorrhage
Calla Lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica) • 2 varieties present in the Eco Machine (Calla Lily & Giant Calla Lily) • Native to South Africa, it is one of the most widely cultivated aroids because of its economic value as a cut flower. • The Calla lilies’ leaves are also used to soothe wounds, sores, boils and burns. • In South Africa green and yellow dyes are extracted from the arum lily (another name for the Calla lily, because it is a member of the Arum or Aroid family) for use as fabric dyes. • Giant Arrow Leaf(Alocasia Odora) • Alocasia Odora is an elephant ear Aroid and grows a treelike stem of 2 meters or more, and produces a sweet scent. • It is used in India as a local medicine to treat asthma and lung cancer. • The part used to cure asthma and lung cancer is the stem. It is cut into slices which are cooked together with pork fat. This soup is then taken 3 times a day.
Angel’s Trumpet (Brugmansia spp.) • Angel’s trumpet is in the solanceacea family which is closely related to the morning glory family • Brugmansia has been a source for steroid alkaloids in medicine and has also been used widely as a hallucinogen. • Water Hyacinth(Eichhornia crassipes) • Water hyacinth is often considered the world’s most serious aquatic weed, attempts to eradicate its floating mats from reservoir’s, lakes and irrigation canals has resulted in considerable annual expenditure for many nations. • Water hyacinth is used as fodder for animals • It is also used widely for treating polluted waters
Canna (Canna sp.) • Two varieties found in the Eco Machine (Canna ‘Ra’ & Canna ‘Indica’) • C. Indica is edible and originated as a crop more than 4,500 years ago in the Northern Andes. • The tubers are grown as a food crop in the pacific parts of Asia and Australia and go by the names, “purple arrowroot” and “Queensland arrowroot” • In Andean South America the tubers yield a fine starch used in baking. The shoots and leaves are used for their medicinal properties, the leaves are also used to wrap food for cooking. Giant Reed(Arundo Donax) • 2 varieties found in the Eco Machine ( Variegated and Un-variegated) • Giant reed is a large plant that might be found growing as a dense stand in water, topped by large feathery, plume-like inflorescences. • Giant reed is a source of reeds for musical instruments and industrial cellulose.
Umbrella Plant(Cyperus alternifolius) • C. Alternifolius, is a sedge sometimes grown as an ornamental, and has become naturalized in wet places within the United States. • Like some other Cyperus species, this one has relatively long narrow pointed spikelets that have 2 rows of tan overlapping scales. Egyptian Paper Reed/Papyrus(Cyperus papyrus) • C. Papyrus is native to the Nile Valley and Central Africa. • It was one of the first plants used in paper making. • The original ‘Earth Charter’ document was printed on papyrus harvested from the South Burlington Eco Machine (www.earthcharter.org).
Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) • Is a member of the zingiberaceae family which have ethereal oils in their cells and therefore include many important spice plants of the old world • E. Cadamomum yields the spice cardamom, which contains cineole, a chemical which is reputed to relieve laryngitis Butterfly Ginger (Hedychium spp.) • 2 species found in the Eco Machine (Yellow and white butterfly ginger) • Hedychium coronarium, also called the Butterfly Lily, can relieve aches and pains, and is used to fight against rheumatism and tumors. • It is commonly cultivated in the Amazon but originates from India, and has spread throughout the tropics.
Mosquito Fern(Azolla caroliniana) • Azolla is a tiny aquatic fern. • Azolla caroliniana ranges from the eastern U.S., through Central America and along Eastern South America. • Some species have been used for centuries in China and Vietnam as a green manure in flooded rice cultivation. Azolla harbor blue-green algae in a pouch in one of its fronds that live symbiotically with the fern, these algae fix atmospheric nitrogen in great quantities and make it available to the intercropped rice. • Azolla also plays an important role in many ecosystems as a source of food for insects,fish,waterfowl,tortoises, rodents and manatees.
Water Pennywort(Hydrocotyle verticillata) • Water pennyworts are a very common member of the Umbelliferae family. They have long creeping stems that often form dense mats and have Circular leaves typically about the size of a half-dollar. Water pennyworts occur in and near ponds, lakes, rivers, and marshes. • Pennywort is edible and is said to be effective at relieving the pain of arthritis, as well as having the ability to cure or alleviate other ailments ranging from varicose veins to leprosy and nervous disorders. Water Celery(Oenanthe javanica) • Water Celery also a member of the Umbelliferae family and has a dense root mass. One root can grow up to 30cm long in water. • The roots can be cooked and are considered a delicacy in Japan. • Young leaves and stems can also be eaten. The leaves are used as a seasoning in soups, etc. The flavor is reminiscent of carrots or parsley. • Water celery is a major vegetable in many parts of Asia, the leaves are a rich source of vitamins and minerals. The seed is also said to be edible
Yellow Flag Iris(Iris pseudacorus) • Iris pseudacorusis a wetland plant is used in sewage treatment, it can remove metals from wastewaters. • Iris : Greek goddess of the rainbow and messenger to the godsPseud : falseAcorus : sweet flag genus of plants • Iris pseudacorus was brought to Canada and the U.S. as an ornamental plant in the early 1900s • It is used as an erosion control plant, and also as a dye and fiber plant Common/Lesser Duckweed(Lemna minor) • Small duckweeds are floating plants. They are commonly found in still or sluggish waters. They often form large floating mats. • Each plant has two to several leaves joined at the base. A single root hangs beneath.
Common Watercress(Nasturtium officinale) • Watercress is a member of the mustard family and is believed to have originated in Ancient Greece and remains an integral part of Mediterranean diets. • “The American Indians used watercress for liver and kidney trouble. It is rich in iron and other valuable mineral elements and its blood purifying and system cleansing properties cause it to be used extensively as a blood purifier.” • It has also been used as a remedy against anemia, eczema, tuberculosis, boils, warts and tumors. • It is sold as a green for salads at many grocery stores Lizard’s Tail(Saururus cernuus) • Lizard's-tail is a common immersed plant. It grows into small colonies from underground runners. The erect plant typically grows to one to two feet tall, in ditches, swamps, marshes, and other wetlands. • Lizard's-tail has a bottlebrush spike of white flowers. It is typically six to eight inches long but can be longer. The flower spike arches above the leaves of the plant.
Fire Flag(Thalia geniculata) • Fire flag is a large immersed plant that grows from a thick rhizome. It grows in ponds, swamps, marshes, and along stream banks. • Large simple leaves on long stalks are among fire flag's most notable features. The leaves are broadly lance-shaped, with broadly rounded bases. Bald Cypress(Taxodium distichium) • Fast growing decidious tree, found in moist to wet soils and can grow in water. • The resin in its cones is used as an analgesic for wounds. • The wood is often used for pipes, vats and in other wet condition applications.
Purple Banana(Musa velutina) • Originates from North East India. • It will produce yellow flowers and small velvety pink bananas if given proper light and warmth. Swamp Rose Mallow(Hibiscus moscheutos) • The swamp rose mallow can be found throughout most of Southern N. America • (Massachusetts to Michigan, south to Alabama, Georgia and Florida). • The flowers are hermaphroditic (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by insects. • Hibiscus are often used in the treatment of dysentery, lung ailments and urinary ailments. An infusion of the dried stalks has been used in the treatment of inflammation of the bladder. • Although there are no reports of edibility for this species, most of the plants in this family have edible leaves and flowers.