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  Section: Edible Plant Species
 
 
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Edible Plant Species

 
     
 
Galactites tomentosa Moench. Compositae.
A plant of the Mediterranean countries, described by Diodorus as an edible thistle and by Dioscorides as eaten, while young, cooked with oil and salt. The tender flower-stem is eaten in the region of the Dardanelles.


Galega officinalis Linn. Leguminosae. GOAT'S RUE.
Europe and western Asia.
This European herb is recommended by Gerarde as a spinach. It has recently received attention as a possible substitute for clover. In France, it is an inmate of the flower garden.


Galium aparine Linn. Rubiaceae. BEDSTRAW. BUR-WEED. CATCH-WEED. CLEAVERS. GOOSE GRASS.
Northern climates.
The seeds form one of the best of the substitutes for coffee, according to Johnson, and are so used in Sweden. The dried plant is sometimes used as a tea.


G. verum Linn. CHEESE RENNET. HUNDRED-FOLD. YELLOW BEDSTRAW.
Europe; naturalized in eastern North America.
Yellow bedstraw has been used in some parts of England to curdle milk. In Gerarde's time, this plant was used to color the best Cheshire cheese. According to Ray, the flowering tops, distilled with water, yield an acid liquor which forms a pleasant summer drink.


Garcinia cambogia Desr. Guttiferae.
East Indies.
In the East Indies, the fruit is eaten at meals as an appetizer. It is about two inches in diameter, with a thin, smooth, yellowish rind and a yellow, succulent, sweet pulp. The fruit is of an exceedingly sharp but pleasant acid and the aril, or pulp, is by far the most palatable part.


G. cochinchinensis Choisy.
China.
The fruit is about the size of a plum, of a reddish color when ripe and has a juicy, acid pulp. The leaves are used in Amboina as a condiment for fish.


G. cornea Linn.
East Indies.
The fruit resembles that of the mangosteen but is sometimes larger.


G. cowa Roxb. COWA. COWA-MANGOSTEEN
East Indies.
The fruit is eatable but not palatable. The cowa or cowamangosteen, bears a ribbed and russet apricot-colored fruit of the size of an orange and, were it not a trifling degree too acid, would be accounted most delicious. It makes, however, a remarkably fine preserve. In Burma, the fruit is eaten.


G. dulcis Kurz.
Moluccas.
The berry is the size of an apple, of a roundish-oval figure and bright yellow hue when ripe. The seeds are enveloped in edible pulp of a darker color than the skin and have a pleasant taste.


G. indica Choisy. COCUM. KOKUM.
East Indies.
This is a large tree of the coast region of western India known by the natives as the conca. The fruit is the size of a small apple and contains an acid, purple pulp. Garcia d'Orta, 1563, says that it has a pleasant, though sour, taste and that the fruit serves to make a vinegar. The oil from the seeds has been used to adulterate butter. About Bombay, it is called kokum, and the fruit is eaten, and oil is obtained from the seeds. It is called brindas by the Portuguese at Goa, where cocum oil is used for adulterating ghee or butter.


G. lanceaefolia Roxb.
Himalayas.
The plant yields an edible fruit in India.


G. livingstonei T. Anders. AFRICAN MONGOSTEEN.
Tropical Africa.
It is grown as a fruit tree in the Public Gardens cf Jamaica.


G. mangostana Linn. MONGOSTEEN.
A fruit of the equatorial portion of the Malayan Archipelago and considered by many the most delicious of all fruits. Capt. Cook, in 1770, found it at Batavia and says "it is about the size of a crab apple and of a deep red wine-color; on the top of it are the figures of five or six small triangles found in a circle and at the bottom several hollow, green leaves, which are remains of the blossom. When they are to be eaten, the skin, or rather flesh, must be taken off, under which are found six or seven white kernels placed in a circular order and the pulp with which these are enveloped is the fruit, than which nothing can be more delicious: it is a happy mixture of the tart and the sweet, which is no less wholesome than pleasant." Bayard Taylor says "beautiful to sight, smell and taste, it hangs among its glossy leaves, the prince of fruits. Cut through the shaded green and purple of the rind, and lift the upper half as if it were the cover of a dish, and the pulp of half-transparent, creamy whiteness stands in segments like an orange, but rimmed with darkest crimson where the rind was cut. It looks too beautiful to eat; but how the rarest, sweetest essence of the tropics seems to dwell in it as it melts to your delighted taste." The tree was fruited in English greenhouses in 1855. It is cultivated in the southern and eastern parts of India but does not there attain the same perfection as it does in the Malay Archipelago. Neither does it do well in the West Indies, but Morris says it is cultivated for its fruit in the Public Gardens of Jamaica. In Burma, it is called men-gu.


G. morella Desr. GAMBOGE.
East Indies and Malay; a small tree common in Siam and Cambodia.
The fruit is a pulpy drupe, about two inches in diameter, of a yellow color and is esteemed as a dessert fruit. The plant furnishes the gamboge, the orange-red gum-resin of commerce. It is called cochin goraka and is cultivated in the Public Gardens of Jamaica.


G. ovalifolia Oliver.
African tropics.
It yields edible fruit.


G. paniculata Roxb.
Himalayan region.
The fruit is edible. The fruit of this species raised in Calcutta is represented as about the size of a cherry, that of native specimens received from Silhet about twice as large.


G. pedunculata Roxb.
Himalayan region.
The fleshy part of the fruit which covers the seeds and their juicy envelope, ,or aril, is in large quantity, of a firm texture and of a very sharp, pleasant, acid taste. It is used by the natives in their curries and for acidulating water.


G. xanthochymus Hook. f.
East Indies and Malay.
The plant bears a round, smooth apple of medium size, which, when ripe, is of a beautiful, yellow color. The seeds are from one to four, large, oblong and immersed in pulp. The fruit is very handsome and in taste is little inferior to many of our apples. Firminger says the fruit is intolerably acid. Drury says that its orangelike fruit is eaten; Unger, that it is pleasant-tasted.


Gardenia brasiliensis Spreng. Rubiaceae.
Brazil.
This plant affords, according to J. Smith, an edible fruit about the size of an orange.


G. gummifera Linn. f.
East Indies.
The fruit is eaten. The fruit is eaten in the Circar Mountains of India.


G. jasminoides Ellis.
China.
The flowers are used for scenting tea.


Garuga pinnata Roxb. Burseraceae.
Malay and East Indies.
The fruit is eaten raw and pickled.


Gastrodia cunninghamii Hook. f. Orchideae. PERI-ROOT.
New Zealand.
The root of this orchid is eaten by the natives of New Zealand, who call it peri; it is about 18 inches long, as thick as the finger and full of starch.


Gaultheria myrsrinites Hook. Ericaceae.
Northern California and Oregon.
The fruit is scarlet, aromatic, and is said to be delicious.


G. procumbens Linn. CHECKER BERRY. TEA BERRY. WINTERGREEN.
Northeastern America.
The berries are often offered for sale in the markets of Boston; they are pleasantly aromatic and are relished by children. The oil is used for flavoring. The leaves are made into a tea by the Indians of Maine.


G. shallon Pursh. SALAL.
Northwest Pacific Coast.
The aromatic, acid berries are rather agreeable to the taste. The fruit is much esteemed by the Indians of the northwest coast and is dried and eaten in winter.


Gaylussacia frondosa Torr. & Gray. Vacciniaceae. BLUE TANGLE. DANGLEBERRY. DWARF HUCKLEBERRY.
North America.
The fruit is large, bluish, rather acid and is used for puddings. The fruit is sweet and edible according to Gray. In the southern states, the berries are eaten.


G. resinosa Torr. & Gray. BLACK HUCKLEBERRY.
North America.
This plant has several varieties and occurs in woodlands and swamps in northeast America. The berries are globular, of a shining black color, and Emerson says are more valued in market than those of other species.
 
     
 
 
     



     
 
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