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  Section: Edible Plant Species
 
 
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Edible Plant Species

 
     
 
Elaeagnus angustifolia Linn. Elaeagnaceae. OLEASTER. WILD OLIVE.
Europe and northern Asia.
The wild olive is a tree mainly cultivated for its fruit, which, in general, is acid and eatable. In Greece, it is sweetishacid and mealy when ripe. The fruit is commonly sold in the markets of Constantinople. It abounds in a dry, mealy, saccharine substance which is sweet and pleasant. The fruit is eaten in Nepal; it is cultivated in Thibet; and in Persia appears as dessert under the name of zinzeyd. A spirit is distilled from the fruit in Yarkand.


E. argentea Pursh. SILVERBERRY.
North America.
About Hudson's Bay this shrub produces a dry, farinaceous, edible drupe about the size of a small cherry.


E. latifolia Linn. OLEASTER. WILD OLIVE.
Tropical Asia.
The fruit is olive-shaped and larger than an olive. It is Eaten in Nepal and the mountains of Hindustan and Siam. The oleaster, or wild olive, has a fruit the size and form of a damson, has a stone in the center and when ripe is of a pale red or cherry color. It is very acrid and though not generally considered an edible fruit in India, yet, when cooked and sweetened with sugar, makes a very agreeable compote. Brandis says the acid, somewhat astringent fruit is eaten. It is abundant on the Neil-gherries, says Wight, and the fruit is edible and also makes a good tart.


E. perrottetii Schlecht. PHILIPPINE OLEASTER.
Philippine Islands.
The fruit of the Philippine oleaster has the taste of the best cherries.


E. umbellata Thunb.
Japan.
The small, succulent fruit is eaten in India.


Elaeis guineensis Jacq. Palmae. MACAW-FAT. OIL PALM.
Tropical Africa and introduced to tropical America.
The bright yellow drupe with shiny, purple-black point, though nauseous to the taste, is Eaten in Africa. Mawezi, or palm oil, of the consistency of honey, is rudely extracted from this palm and despite its flavor, is universally used in cooking. This palm is also tapped for toddy. Palm chop, a dish prepared at Angola from the fresh nut, is pronounced most excellent by Montiero, who also describes the fresh wine as delicious. Lunan says the roasted nuts taste very much like the outside fat of roasted mutton, and that the negroes are fond of the oil which sometimes makes an ingredient in their foods. Hartt says this palm is the dendes of Brazil, the caiauke of the Amazons, and that the oil is much used for culinary purposes.


Elaeocarpus dentatus Vahl. Tiliaceae (Elaeocarpaceae).
New Zealand.
The pulp surrounding the stone of the fruit is eatable, and in India the fruits are either used in curries or pickled like olives.


E. floribundus Blume.
Tropical Asia.
The fruit is an article of food. In India, the fruit, called in Bengal julpai, of the size and shape of an olive, is pickled.


E. munroii Mast.
East Indies.
The olive-sized fruit is eaten by the natives.


Elaeodendron glaucum Pers. Celastraceae. CEYLON TEA.
Tropical Asia.
This plant has been introduced from Ceylon under the name of Ceylon tea.


E. orientale Jacq. OLIVE-WOOD.
Mauritius Islands, Madagascar and Burma, where it is called let-petben.
Its leaves are used by the natives for tea.


E. sphaerophyllum Presl.
South Africa.
The drupaceous fruits are edible.


Eleocharis tuberosa Schult. Cyperaceae. WATER-CHESTNUT.
East Indies.
This plant is grown in southern China for its roots, for which there is a great demand in all Chinese towns." Royle says it is the pi-tsi of the Chinese and that the round, turnip-shaped tubers are Eaten. Loudon calls it the water-chestnut and says it is grown in tanks by the Chinese for the tubers. Ainslie says the root is in high estimation Either for the pot or as a medicine. This rush can be subjected to regular cultivation in ponds, says Mueller, for the sake of its edible, wholesome tubers. It is largely cultivated all over China. The tuber is sweet and juicy with a chestnut flavor and is universally used as food. A kind of arrowroot is made from it.


Elettaria cardamomum Maton. Scitamineae (Zingiberaceae). CEYLON CARDAMOM.
East Indies.
From time immemorial, great numbers of the natives have derived a livelihood from the cultivation of this plant. The fruit is used as an aromatic in medicine throughout the East Indies and is largely consumed as a condiment. It furnishes the Ceylon cardamom and the large cardamom of Guibourt mentioned in his history of drugs. It is cultivated in Crete.


Eleusine aegyptiaca Desf. Gramineae. ELEUSINE.
Cosmopolitan tropics and subtropics.
This grass grows most abundantly on waste ground, also on the flat roofs of the Arab houses in Unganyembe. The natives gather the ears, dry them in the sun, beat out the grain on the rocks, grind and make a stir-about of it. Its grain is used in southern India. It has a small seed, covered in part with a bearded husk through which the shining seed is seen.


E. coracana Gaertn. ELEUSINE. NATCHNEE. RAGEE.
South America, East Indies and Egypt.
This grass is cultivated on a large scale in many tropical countries. It is the most productive of all the Indian cereals, says Elliott, and is the staple grain of the Mysore country. In Sikkim, says Hooker, the seeds are fermented to make a drink called murwa. On the Coromandel coast, writes Ainslie, it is a useful and most valuable grain, which is eaten and prized by the natives. The grain is of the size of a mustard seed and is dark in color; it is either made into cakes, or is eaten as a porridge; it is pleasant to the taste and in its nature aperient. It is enumerated by Thunberg among the edible plants of Japan. Grant found this grass cultivated everywhere along his route through central Africa. Its flour, if soaked for a night in water, makes a very fair unleavened bread. A coarse beer, tasting pleasantly bitter, is also made from this grain mixed with that of durra. Schweinfurth says it is called telaboon by the Arabians, by the Abyssinians tocusso and is grown only in the poorest soils. It has a disagreeable taste and makes only a wretched sort of pop. It has been grown in small quantities at the Michigan Agricultural College.


E. tocussa Fresen.
Abyssinia.
This plant furnishes a bread corn and is called dagussa. Parkyns, who ate of the bread in Abyssinia, says its taste is unpleasant as it leaves a gritty, sandy taste in the mouth and passes through the stomach with but little change. Its native country is given by Unger as the East Indies.


Elymus arenarius Linn. Gramineae. LYME GRASS. RANCHERIA GRASS.
Europe and western North America.
The seed of this grass is threshed out and eaten by the Digger Indians. It is indigenous to France and is used as an ornamental plant in gardens.
 
     
 
 
     



     
 
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