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  Section: Edible Plant Species
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Edible Plant Species

Oxalis acetosella Linn. Geraniaceae (Oxalidaceae). OXALIS. WOOD SORREL.
North temperate regions.
This plant has for a long period been one of the minor vegetables in gardens although it seems to have been but rarely cultivated even in localities where the pleasant acidity of the leaves is esteemed in salads. Quintyne, 1690, grew it in the Royal Gardens in France, and it is described among garden esculents by Vilmorin but as one not often grown. The leaves have been used in Iceland from time immemorial as a spring salad and are likewise thus used by the French peasantry, as well as elsewhere throughout Europe, but the references imply generally the use of the wild plant.

O. barrelieri Linn.
South America.
The acid leaves are eaten in America.

O. camosa Molina. OCA.
The tubercles are the oca of Peru.

O. cernua Thunb.
South Africa.
The leaves are eaten.

O. compressa Linn. f.
South Africa.
The acid leaves are eaten at the Cape of Good Hope.

O. corniculata Linn.
Borders of temperate and tropical regions.
In India, the leaves are used as a potherb.

O. crassicaulis Zucc.
Peru and Mexico.
This seems one of the best of the wood sorrels which yield an edible root. It has nutritious tubers and edible leaves.

O. crenata Jacq. ARRACACHA. OCA.
This species is cultivated in South America for its tuberous roots, which are about the size of hen's eggs, the skin being full of eyes like a potato. Herndon calls these tubers, when boiled or roasted, very agreeable to the taste. Carruthers says the plant is cultivated about Lima for its very acid leaf-stalks. It was introduced into England in 1829 but was found to be watery and insipid. There is a red and a yellow variety.

O. deppei Lodd.
South America and Mexico.
The plant produces fleshy, edible roots of moderate size. The roots are served boiled. The young leaves are dressed like sorrel, put in soups or used as greens, and the flowers are excellent in salad, alone or mixed with corn salad. It was introduced into cultivation in England in 1827 and is now also cultivated in Prance, the stalks and leaves being used.

O. enneaphilla Cav. SCURVY GRASS.
Falkland Islands.
The plant is eaten.

O. frutescens Ruiz & Pav.
The acid leaves are eaten in America.

O. plumieri Jacq.
South America and Antilles.
Its leaves are eaten.

O. tetraphylla Cav.
It yields edible roots of not high quality.

O. tuberosa Molina. OCA.
Oca is cultivated in the Andes from Chile to Mexico for its tubers, which vary from the size of peas to that of nuts and, says Unger, are of no very pleasant taste.

O. violacea Linn.
North America.
This species is edible.

Oxycoccus (Vaccinium) macrocarpus Pers. Vacciniaceae (Ericaceae). CRANBERRY.
Temperate regions.
The American cranberry grows in bogs from Virginia to Wisconsin and extends to the Pacific coast. It is mentioned by Roger Williams under the name sasemineash and was eaten by the Indians of New England. The fruit is boiled and eaten at the present day by the Indians of the Columbia River under the name soola-bich. The fruit is an article of commerce among the tribes of the Northwest. About 1820, a few vines were cared for at Dennis, Massachusetts, but not until about 1840 can the trials at cultivation be said to have commenced, and not until 1845 was the fact established that the cranberry could be utilized as a marketable commodity. Cranberries are now very extensively grown at Cape Cod and in New Jersey and Wisconsin. Under favorable conditions, the vines are exceedingly productive. In New Jersey, in 1879, a Mr. Bishop raised over 400 bushels on one acre and parts of acres have yielded at the rate of 700 to 1000 bushels per acre, but such prolificacy is exceptional. There are several recognized varieties.

O. (Vaccinium) palustris Pers. CRANBERRY. MOSSBERRY.
Northern climates.
This is the cranberry of Britain which is in Occasional cultivation. The fruit is considered of superior flavor to the American cranberry but is smaller. The latter is a plant of peat bogs in the northern United States and on uplands in the British territory. One authority says that on the Nipigan coast of Lake Superior "the surface is naming red with berries, more delicious than anything of the kind I have ever tasted."

Oxyria digyna Hill. Polygonaceae. MOUNTAIN SORREL.
Mountains of the north and arctic region, northern America as far as latitude 64 to 80 north. The leaves are chopped with scurvy grass or water cress and are fermented and eaten by the Alaska Indians, who are very partial to this dish.

Oxystelma esculentum R. Br. Aclepiadeae.
Royle says this plant is described as being edible.

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