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  Section: Edible Plant Species
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Edible Plant Species

Pueraria thunbergiana Benth. Leguminosae.
China and Japan.
The roots are fleshy and yield a starch of excellent quality. The wild plants are dug for their roots. The roots contain starch, while the leaves and shoots are used as food.

P. tuberosa DC.
Tropical India and Burma.
Brandis says the large, tuberous roots are eaten.

Pulicaria odora Reichb. Compositae.
South Europe.
In Yemen, this species is cultivated for its pleasant odor and edible leaves.

Pulmonaria officinalis Linn. Boragineae. JERUSALEM COWSLIP. LUNGWORT.
Gerarde 3 says the leaves are used among potherbs.

Punica granatum Linn. Lythracieae (Punicaceae). POMEGRANATE.
Asia Minor, Armenia, central Caucasus and the Himalayas.
The Pomegranate is of very ancient culture in Palestine, Persia, northern India and has been distributed eastward to northern China. On account of the profusion of its seeds, it was with the ancients a mystical fruit, typifying procreation, increase and abundance. Yet seedless fruits from Djillalabad are enumerated by Harlan as among the fruits in the market at Kabul. Sir A. Bames mentions a famous pomegranate without seeds grown in gardens near the Kabul River, and in 1860 cuttings from a seedless variety from Palestine were distributed as a much esteemed variety from the United Patent Office. Burnes, in his Travels in Bokhara, remarks on the pomegranate seeding in Mazenderan as a remarkable peculiarity. According to Athenaeus, Aphrodite first planted the pomegranate on Cyprus and in Greece. The fancy of the Greeks derived this fruit from the blood of Dionysius Zagreus. The pomegranate was known in Egypt and was cultivated even in the time of Moses. It was raised in the gardens about Carthage. Darius Hystaspes, according to Herodotus, ate of its fruit. Homer mentions the pomegranate as present in the gardens of Alcinous. The Romans brought it from Carthage to Italy, for which reason they call its fruits mala punica. Pliny enumerates nine different kinds and these at the present day have increased greatly. The pomegranate is now found growing wild in the southern Tyrol, southern Switzerland, as also in Spain, southern France and Greece. The pomegranate was observed by Wm. Bartram, about 1773, growing out of the ruins of Frederica, Georgia, and it now thrives everywhere on the Gulf coast of Florida. It was mentioned as found in California by Father Baegert, 1751-1768. There are many varieties, some with sour, others with subacid, others with sweet fruit. These are generally described as about the size of the fist, with a tough, leathery rind of a beautiful, deep golden color tinged with red and are crowned with the remains of the calyx lobes. The wild fruit is brought down to India from the Hill Regions for sale, but the best fruit, that having sweet juice and very small seeds, comes from Kabul. Burton describes in Arabia three kinds: Shami, red outside, and very sweet-than which he never saw a finer fruit in the East, except at Mecca - it was almost stoneless, deliciously perfumed and as large as an infant's head; Turki, large, and of a white color; Misri, with a greenish rind and a somewhat subacid and harsh flavor.

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