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  Section: Edible Plant Species
 
 
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Edible Plant Species

 
     
 
Hedysarum mackenzii Richards. Leguminosae. LICORICE-ROOT.
North America.
Richardson says at Fort Good Hope, Mackenzie River, this plant furnishes long, flexible roots'which taste sweet like licorice and are much eaten in the spring by the natives but become woody and lose their juiciness and crispness as the season advances. This is the licorice-root of the trappers of the Northwest and is also used as a food by the Indians of Alaska.


Heldreichia kotschyi Boiss. Cruciferae.
Cilicia.
This plant has the same properties as the cresses.


Helianthus animus Linn. Compositae. SUNFLOWER.
North America.
This plant is said by Pickering to be a native of western America and is called in Mexico chimalati. Gray says it probably belongs to the warmer parts of North America. Other botanists ascribe its origin to Mexico and Peru. Brewer and Watson say in all probability the wild sunflower of the California plains is the original of the cultivated sunflower and that the seeds are now used by the Indians as food. Kalm, 1749, saw the common sunflower cultivated by the Indians at Loretto, Canada, in their maize fields; the seeds were mixed with thin sagamite or maize soup. In 1615, the sunflower was seen by Champlain among the Hurons. The seeds are said to be boiled and eaten in Tartary. In Russia, they are ground into a meal, the finer kinds being made into tea-cakes, and in some parts the whole seed is roasted and used as a substitute for coffee.

Gerarde, in, England, writes: "We have found by triall, that the buds before they be flowered, boiled and eaten with butter, vinegar and pepper, after the manner of artichokes, an exceeding pleasant meat, surpassing the artichoke far in procuring bodily lust. The same buds with the stalks neere unto the top (the hairness being taken away) broiled upon a gridiron and afterwards eaten with oile, vinegar, and pepper have the like property." In Russia, this plant yields about 50 bushels of seed per acre, from which about 50 gallons of oil are expressed and the oil-cake is said to be superior to that from linseed for the feeding of cattle. This oil is used for culinary purposes in many places in Russia. In Landeshut, Germany, the carefully dried leaf is much used locally for a tobacco. The seed-receptacles are made into blotting paper and the inner part of the stalk into a fine writing paper in the manufactories of the province. The stalk, when treated like flax, produces a silky fiber of excellent quality. The green leaves make excellent fodder, and Sir Alien Crockden, in England, is said to grow the plant at Sevenoaks, for the purpose of feeding his stock. The leaves, dried and burned to powder, are valuable, mixed with bran, for milch cows. The seeds are also said to be valuable as a food for sheep. The dried seeds are pounded into a cake and eaten by the Indians of the Northwest.


H. doronicoides Lam
North America.
This coarse species with showy heads, of river bottoms from Ohio to Illinois and southward, is most probably, says Gray, the original of the Jerusalem artichoke.


H. giganteus Linn. GIANT SUNFLOWER.
Eastern North America.
The Choctaws use the seeds ground to a flour and mixed with maize flour for making a very palatable bread.


H. tuberosus Linn. JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE.
North America.
The name, Jerusalem artichoke, is considered to be a corruption of the Italian Girasoli articocco, sunflower artichoke. Gray thinks that this esculent originated in the valley of the Mississippi from the species of sunflower, H. doronicoides, Lam. It was cultivated by the Huron Indians. In New England, Gookin found the natives mixing Jerusalem artichokes in their pottage. They were growing in Virginia, in 1648 and at Mobile, Alabama, in 1775. The sunflower reached Europe in the early part of the seventeenth century, as it is not mentioned in Bauhin's Phytopinax, 1596, and is mentioned in his Pinax, 1623, where, among other names, he calls it Crysanthemum e Canada quibusdam, Canada & Artichoki sub terra, aliis. It is figured by Columna, 1616, and also by Laurembergius, 1632; Ray, 1686, makes the first use found of the name Jerusalem artichoke, though Parkinson used the word in 1640, according to Gray. In 1727, Townsend says "it is a Root fit to be eat about Christmas when it is boiled." Mawe, 1778, says it is by many esteemed. Bryant, 1783, says, "not much cultivated." In 1806, McMahon speaks of it in American gardens and calls it "a wholesome, palatable food." In 1863, Burr describes varieties with white, purple, red and yellow-skinned tubers.

The history of the Jerusalem artichoke has been well treated by Gray and Trumbull in the American Journal of Science, May, 1877, and April, 1883. It was found in culture at the Lew Chew Islands about 1853.2 We offer a synonymy as below:
Flos Solis Farnesianus sive Aster Peruanus tubercosus. Col. 13. i6i6.
Helianthemum indicum tuberosum. Bauh. Pin. 277. 1623.
De Solis flore tuberoso, sen flore Farnesiano Fabii Columnae. Aldinus, 91. 1625.
Battatas de Canada. Park. Par. 1629.
Adenes Canadenses sen flos solis glandulosus. Lauremb. 132. 1632.
Flos Solis pyramidalis, parvo flore, tuberosa radice, Heliotropium indicum. Ger. 1633.
Peruanus solis flos ex Indiis tuberosus. Col. in Hern. 878, 881. 1651.
Potatoes of Canada. Coles. 1657.
Canada & Artischokki sub terra. H. R. P. 1665.
Chrysanthemum latifolium Brasilianum. Bauh. Prod. 70. 1671.
Chrysanthemum Canadense arumosum. Cat. H. L. B. 1672.
Helenium Canadense. Amman. 1676.
Chrysanthemum perenne majus fol, integris, americanum tuberum. MOT. 1630.
Jerusalem Artichoke. Ray 335. i686.
Corona solis parvo flore, tuberosa radice. Tourn. 489. 1719.
Helianthus radice tuberosa esculenta, Hierusalem Artichoke. Clayton. 1739.
Helianthus foliis ovato cordatis triplinervus. Gronov. Virg. 129. 1762.
Helianthus tuberosus. Linn. Sp. 1277. 1763.



Helichrysum serpyllifolium Less. Compositae. HOTTENTOT TEA.
South Africa.
This plant is used as a tea substitute under the name of Hottentot tea.


Heliconia bihai Linn. Scitamineae (Heliconiaceae). FALSE PLANTAIN.
South America.
In the West Indies, the young shoots are eaten by the natives.


H. psittacorum Linn. f. PARROT'S PLANTAIN.
South America.
In the West Indies, the shoots are eaten.


Helwingia rusciflora Willd. Araliaceae (Helwingiaceae).
Japan.
The young leaves, says Balfour, are used in Japan as an esculent.


Hemerocallis sp. Liliaceae. DAY LILY.
Northern Asia.
It is somewhat difficult, says Penhallow, to give testimony bearing upon the flavor and desirable qualities of flowers and buds from various species of Hemerocallis. In certain sections of the Island of Yezo, particularly on the pumice formation of the east coast, these plants are very abundant and, at the time of blossoming, the fields for miles along the road on either side are almost uniformly golden-yellow. At such times the Aino women may be seen busily engaged gathering the flowers which they take home to dry or pickle in salt. They are afterwards used in soups.


H. minor Mill.
Northern Asia.
In China, the young leaves are eaten and appear to intoxicate or stimulate to some extent. The flowers are eaten as a relish with meat. This species is said by Vilmorin to be a native of Siberia and to be grown in French flower gardens.


Henriettea succosa DC. Melastomaceae.
Guinea.
The plant furnishes a gooseberry-like fruit of little value.


Henriettella flavescens Triana. Melastomaceae.
Guiana.
This species furnishes a gooseberry-like fruit of little value.


Heracleum cordatum Presl. Umbelliferae. COW PARSNIP.
Sicily.
The root is black, sweet scented and is used as angelica by the Sicilians.


H. flavescens Baumg. YELLOW COW PARSNIP.
This plant is used as a food and, in Kamchatka, a spirit called raka is prepared from it.


H. lanatum Michx. AMERICAN COW PARSNIP.
Subarctic America.
The roots and young stems are eaten by some of the tribes along the Pacific and it is also used by the Crees of the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains as a potherb.


H. pubescens Bieb. DOWNY COW PARSNIP.
The young shoots are filled with a sweet, aromatic juice and are eaten raw by the natives of the Caucasus, where it is native. In France, it is grown in the flower garden.


H. sibiricum Linn.
In Prussia, this plant is sown in April and the next year yields an immense amount of foliage to be used as fodder. It is more especially grown for ewes than for any other kind of stock. In 1854, seed from Germany was distributed from the United States Patent Office. Captain Cook says this plant was formerly a principal ingredient in the cookery of most of the Kamchatka dishes but since the Russians got possession of the country it has been almost entirely appropriated to the purpose of distillation.


H. sphondylium Linn. COW PARSNIP.
Europe, northern Asia and western North America.
The people of Ploonia and Lithuania says Gerarde, "use to make drinks with the decoction of this herb and leven or some other thing made of meale, which is used instead of beere and other ordinaire drinks." The young succulent stems, after being stripped of their envelope, are occasionally eaten as a salad in the outer Hebrides. These stalks are much used, says Johnson, in some parts of Asiatic Russia. In Russia and Siberia, the leaf-stalks are dried in the sun and tied up in close bundles, until they acquire a yellow color, when a sweet substance resembling sugar forms upon them, which is eaten as a great delicacy. In Lithuania and Siberia, a spirit is distilled from the stalks, either alone or mixed with bilberries; fermented, they forma kind of beer. The young shoots and leaves may be boiled and eaten as a green vegetable and, when just sprouting from the ground, resemble asparagus in flavor.


H. tuberosum Molina.
Chile.
The bulbs are frequently six inches long and three broad; the color is yellow; the taste is pleasant. The plant grows naturally in sandy places near hedges and produces abundantly.


Herpestis (Bacopa) monnieria H. B. & K. Scrophulareaceae. WATER HYSSOP.
Cosmopolitan tropics.
The Indians eat this herb in their soups.


Hesperocallis undulata A. Gray. Liliaceae.
Mexico.
The bulb is eaten by the California Indians.
 
     
 
 
     



     
 
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