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  Section: Edible Plant Species
 
 
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Edible Plant Species

 
     
 
Amaranthus blitum Linn. Amaranthaceae. AMARANTHUS. WILD BLITE.

Temperate and tropical zones.
The plant finds use as a pot-herb.


A. campestris Willd.
East Indies.
This species is one of the pot-herbs of the Hindus.


A. diacanthus Rafin.
North America.
Rafinesque says the leaves are good to eat as spinach.


A. gangeticus Linn. AMARANTHUS.
Tropical zone.
This amaranthus is cultivated by the natives in endless varieties and is in general use in Bengal. The plant is pulled up by the root and carried to market in that state. The leaves are used as a spinach. Roxburgh says there are four leading varieties cultivated as pot-herbs: Viridis, the common green sort, is most cultivated; Ruber, a beautiful, bright colored variety; Albus, much cultivated in Bengal; Giganteus, is five to eight feet high with a stem as thick as a man's wrist. The soft, succulent stem is sliced and eaten as a salad, or the tops are served as an asparagus. In China, the plant is eaten as a cheap, cooling, spring vegetable by all classes. It is much esteemed as a potherb by all ranks of natives. This species is cultivated about Macao and the neighboring part of China and is the most esteemed of all their summer vegetables.


A. paniculatus Linn. PRINCE'S FEATHER. RED AMARANTH.
North America and naturalized in the Orient.
This plant is extensively cultivated in India for its seed which is ground into flour. It is very productive. Roxburgh says it will bear half a pound of floury, nutritious seed on a square yard of ground. Titford says it forms an excellent pot- herb in Jamaica when boiled, exactly resembling spinach.


A. polygamus Linn. GOOSE-FOOT.
Tropical Africa and East Indies.
This plant is cultivated in India and is used as a pot-herb. It has mucilaginous leaves without taste. This amaranthus is a common weed everywhere in India and is much used by the natives as a pot-herb. Drury says it is considered very wholesome. This species is the goose-foot of Jamaica, where it is sometimes gathered and used as a green.


A. polystachyus Willd.
East Indies.
The species is cultivated in India as a pot-herb for its mucilaginous leaves but is tasteless.


A. retroflexus Linn. GREEN AMARANTH. PIGWEED.
North America.
This weed occurs around dwellings in manured soil in the United States whence it was introduced from tropical America. It is an interesting fact that it is cultivated by the Arizona Indians for its seeds.


A. spinosus Linn. PRICKLY CALALUE. THORNY AMARANTH.
Tropical regions.
This is a weed in cultivated land in Asia, Africa and America. It is cultivated sometimes as a spinach. In Jamaica, it is frequently used as a vegetable and is wholesome and agreeable. It seems to be the prickly calalue of Long.


A. viridis Linn.
Tropics.
This plant is stated by Titford to be an excellent pot-herb in Jamaica and is said to resemble spinach when boiled


Ambelania acida Aubl. Apocynaceae.
Guiana.
The fruit is edible.


Amelanchier ainifolia Nutt. Rosaceae. WESTERN SERVICE BERRY.
North America.
In Oregon and Washington, the berries are largely employed as a food by the Indians. The fruit is much larger than that of the eastern service berry; growing in favorable localities, each berry is full half an inch in diameter and very good to eat.


A. canadensis Medic. GRAPE-PEAR. JUNEBERRY. SERVICE BERRY. SHAD. SWEET PEAR.
North America and eastern Asia.
This bush or small tree, according to the variety, is a native of the northern portion of America and eastern Asia. Gray describes five forms. For many years a Mr. Smith, Cambridge, Massachusetts, has cultivated var. oblongifolia in his garden and in 1881 exhibited a plate of very palatable fruit at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society's show. The berries are eaten in large quantities, fresh or dried, by the Indians of the Northwest. The fruit is called by the French in Canada poires, in Maine sweet pear and from early times has been dried and eaten by the natives. It is called grape-pear in places, and its fruit is of a purplish color and an agreeable, sweet taste. The pea-sized fruit is said to be the finest fruit of the Saskatchewan country and to be used by the Cree Indians both fresh and dried.


A. vulgaris Moench. AMELANCHIER.
Mountains of Europe and adjoining portions of Asia.
This species has long been cultivated in England, where its fruit, though not highly palatable, is eatable. It is valued more for its flowers than its fruit.


Ammobroma sonorae Torr. Lennoaceae.
A leafless plant, native of New Mexico (Nope - MM).
Col. Grey, the original discoverer of this plant, found it in the country of the Papago Indians, a barren, sandy waste, where rain scarcely ever falls, but "where nature has provided for the sustenance of man one of the most nutritious and palatable of vegetables. The plant is roasted upon hot" coals and ground with mesquit beans and resembles in taste the sweet potato "but is far more delicate." It is very abundant in the hills; the whole plant, except the top, is buried in the sand.


Amomum. Scitamineae (Zingiberaceae), CARDAMOM.
The aromatic and stimulant seeds of many of the plants of the genus Amomum are known as cardamoms, as are those of Elettaria. The botanical history of the species producing the various kinds is in much confusion. One species at least is named as under cultivation.


A. angustifolium Sonner. GREAT CARDAMOM.
Madagascar.
This plant grows on marshy grounds in Madagascar and affords in its seeds the Madagascar, or great cardamoms of commerce. It is called there longouze.


A. aromaticum Roxb.
East Indies.
The fruit is used as a spice and medicine by the natives and is sold as cardamoms.


A. granum-paradisi Linn. GRAINS OF- PARADISE.
African tropics.
The seeds are made use of illegally in England to give a fictitious strength to spirits and beer, but they are not particularly injurious. The seeds resemble and equal camphor in warmth and pungency.


A. maximum Roxb. JAVA CARDAMOM
Java and other Malay islands.
This species is said to be cultivated in the mountains of Nepal.


A. melegueta Rose. MELEGUETA PEPPER.
African tropics.
The seeds are exported from Guiana where the plant, supposed to have been brought from Africa, is cultivated by the negroes. The hot and peppery seeds form a valued spice in many parts of India and Africa.


A. villosum Lour.
East Indies and China.
This plant is supposed to yield the hairy, round, China cardamoms.


A. xanthioides Wall. BASTARD CARDAMOM.
Burma.
In China, says Smith, the seeds are used as a preserve or condiment and are used in flavoring spirit.


Amorphophallus campanulatus Blume. Aroideae (Araceae). AMORPHOPHALLUS. TELINGA POTATO.
Tropical Asia.
This plant is much cultivated, especially in the northern Circars, where it is highly esteemed for the wholesomeness and nourishing quality of its roots. The telinga potato is cooked in the manner of the yam and is also used for pickling. When in flower, the odor exhaled is most overpowering, resembling that of carrion, and flies cover the club of the spadix with their eggs. The root is very acrid in a raw state; it is eaten either roasted or boiled. At the Society Islands the fruit is eaten as bread, when breadfruit is scarce and in the Fiji Islands is highly esteemed for its nutritive properties.


A. lyratus Kunth.
East Indies.
The roots are eaten by the natives and are thought to be very nutritious. They require, however, to be carefully boiled several times and to be dressed in a particular manner in order to divest them of a somewhat disagreeable taste.


Amphicarpaea edgeworthii Benth. Leguminosae. WILD BEAN.
Himalayas.
A wild, bean-like plant, the pods of which are gathered while green and used for food.


A. monoica Ell. HOG PEANUT.
North America.
A delicate vine growing in rich woodlands which bears two kinds of flowers, the lower ones subterranean and producing fruit. It is a native of eastern United States. Porcher says that in the South the subterranean pod is cultivated as a vegetable and is called hog peanut.
 
     
 
 
     



     
 
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