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  Section: Edible Plant Species
 
 
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Edible Plant Species

 
     
 
Rhamnus caroliniana Walt. Rhamneae. BUCKTHORN. INDIAN CHERRY.
Long Island, west along the Ohio to southern Illinois.
The edible fruit is sweet and agreeable.


R. crocea Nutt.
Western North America.
The berries are collected by the Apache Indians and used as food, mixed with whatever animal substances may be at hand. The berries impart a red color to the mixture, which is absorbed into the circulation and tinges the skin.


R. persica Boiss.
Persia and the Himalayan region.
In Persia, the fruit is sweet and edible but emetic.


R. purshiana DC. BEARBERRY.
North America.
The purple berries are much esteemed among the Indians.


R. staddo A. Rich.
Abyssinia.
This species forms part of a kind of beer in which its bitter bark supplies the place of hops.


Rhapidophyllum hystrix H. Wendl. & Drude. Palmae.
Georgia and Florida.
The plant bears a brown, edible berry of a sweet flavor.


Rhazya stricta Decne. Apocynaceae.
A shrubby plant of western Asia.
Its leaves, which are very bitter, are collected and sold in the bazaars in Scinde, the natives using them in the preparation of cool drinks in hot weather.


Rheedia edulis Planch. & Triana. Guttiferae.
Panama.
The edible fruit is the size of a hazelnut.


R. lateriflora Linn. WILD MAMMEE.
Tropical America.
The fruit, from one to four inches long, yellow when Ripe, has a pleasant, acid taste.


R. madruno Planch. & Triana.
New Granada.
The fruits are eaten.


Rheum compactum Linn. Polygonaceae. PIEPLANT. RHUBARB.
Tartary and China; first known in Europe in, 1758. In the Bon Jardinier, 1882, this is said to be the species principally grown in France as a vegetable, but Vilmorin refers his varieties to Rheum hybridum.


R. emodi Wall. PIEPLANT. RED-VEINED PIEPLANT. RHUBARB.
Himalayas.
This species was introduced into Britain about 1828. It is said by London to have an excellent flavor, somewhat resembling that of apples, and is excellent for a late crop, and the Bon Jardinier, 1882, says the petioles are longer and more esteemed than those of other species. On the contrary, Burr, 1863, says the leaf-stalks, although attaining an immense size, are unfit for use on account of their purgative properties, but the plant is sometimes cultivated for its leaves, often a yard in diameter, which are useful for covering baskets containing vegetables or fruit. The wild rhubarb about Kabul is blanched for use as a vegetable and, under the name of rewash, is brought to the market. Gravel is piled about the sprout as it breaks from the earth, and by continuing the process, the plant is forced to grow to the height of 18 or 20 inches. Another process is to cover the plant with an earthen jar, and the sprout then curls itself spirally within the jar and becomes white, crisp and free from fiber. It is eaten in its raw state with either salt or sugar and makes a favorite preserve.


R. hybridum Murr. PIEPLANT. RHUBARB.
Mongolia.
This is the species to which our largest and finest varieties are usually referred. Rhubarb was first noticed in England in 1773 or 1774 but it did not come into use as a culinary plant until about 1827. In 1829, a footstalk was noted as sixteen inches long. The Victoria Rhubarb of our gardens is referred to this species.


R. nobile Hook. f. & Thorns. SIKKIM RHUBARB.
Himalayas.
This is a handsome ornamental plant. The stems, called chuka by the people of Sikkim, are pleasantly acid and much eaten.


R. palmatum Linn. PIEPLANT. RHUBARB.
Mongolia.
This plant first reached Europe in 1763 or 1758. The footstalks are much smaller than those of other kinds, hence it is not in general cultivation. It is yet rare in France, although this species is superior in quality, as it is quite tender.


R. rhaponticum Linn. PIEPLANT. RHUBARB.
Southern Siberia and the region of the Volga.
This species, the commonest of the rhubarbs, was introduced into Europe about 1608. It was cultivated at Padua by Prosper Alpinus, and seeds from this source were planted by Parkinson in England about 1640 or before. There is no reference, however, to its use as a vegetable by Alpinus, 1627, nor by Ray,8 1686, although the latter refers to the acid stalks being more grateful than that of garden sorrel. In 1778, however, Mawe, says its young stalks in spring, being cut and peeled, are used for tarts. In 1806, McMahon, mentions rhubarb in American gardens and says the footstalks are very frequently used and are much esteemed for tarts and pies. In 1733, Bryant, describes the footstalks as two feet long and thicker than a man's finger at the base.

Thirty years ago, says J. Lowell in the Massachusetts Agricultural Repository, 1822, "we were strangers to rhubarb, now in general use and constantly in our markets, and we are indebted for its introduction to an amateur in the State of Maine." T. S. Gold " of Connecticut writes that his father purchased a small package of pieplant seeds in 1820 and raised the first plants then known in his vicinity. The seed was sold by Thorburn in 1828. The globular pouch of unopened flowers is said to form a dish of great delicacy. Stalks weighing two pounds, eleven and one-half ounces have been exhibited at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society.


R. ribes Linn. CURRANT-FRUITED RHUBARB.
Syria, Persia and Afghanistan.
This plant is considered to be the Ribes arabum of Rauwolf, who traveled in the Orient in 1573-5, and who found it in the region of the Lebanon. Its habitat is also given as eastern Persia. Decaisne and Naudin refer to it as grown in gardens in France but not as esteemed as the R. hybridzim, while the Bon Jardinier, 1882, says it is reported the best as an esculent and is greatly praised.


R. tataricum Linn. f. TARTARIAN RHUBARB.
Tartary.
The leaf-stalks and unexpanded flower-masses are edible.


R. undulatum Linn. BUCHARIAN RHUBARB. PIEPLANT.
Asia.
This species is said to have been introduced into Europe in 1734 from China. It yields some of the forms of garden rhubarb, especially those with red leaf-stalks. In 1810, a Mr. Myatts, Deptford, England, sent five bunches of garden rhubarb to the borough market and could sell but three. In the United States in 1828, the seed of this variety was sold by Thorburn. Decaisne and Naudin say this rhubarb is grown in gardens but is not as esteemed as is the Victoria rhubarb.


Rhizophora mucronata Lam. Rhizophoreae. MANGROVE.
Old World tropics.
The fruit is said to be edible. Masters says the fermented juice is made into a kind of light wine


Rhododendron arboreum Sm. Ericaceae. TREE RHODODENDRON.
East Indies, Himalayan region and Ceylon.
In India, the flowers are made into a pleasant, subacid jelly. They are at times intoxicating. Royle says the flowers are eaten by the Hill People and are used for jelly by European visitors.


R. lapponicum Wahlenb. LAPLAND ROSE-BAY.
Northern and arctic regions.
Richardson n says an infusion of the leaves and flowering tops was drunk by his party as a tea but it makes a less grateful beverage than Ledum palustre.


Rhodomyrtus tomentosa Wight. Myrtaceae. HILL GOOSEBERRY. HILL GUAVE.
Tropical eastern Asia and the Malayan Archipelago.
In India, this species is found amongst the jungles of the Neilgherries. Firminger says the fruit, a pale, dirty yellow berry, is used for jellies. In China, Pickering says the fruit is eaten and preserved.


Rhodymenia palmata Grev. Algae. DILLISK. DULSE.
This seaweed is the dulse of the Scotch and the dillisk of the Irish.
It is much eaten in both countries, as well as in most of the northern states of Europe, by the poor along the shores and is transmitted as an article of humble luxury over most parts of the country. It is generally eaten Raw, either fresh from the sea or after having been dried, but is sometimes cooked. It is exposed for sale in the markets of Irish towns and also in the Irish quarters of New York. In the Mediterranean, it forms a common ingredient in soups.


Rhopalostylis sapida H. Wendl. & Drude. Palmae. NIKA PALM.
New Zealand.
The natives eat the young inflorescence.


Rhus albida Schousb. Anacardiaceae.
Arabia, Syria and northern Africa.
The fruit is edible and is eaten as a condiment.


R. aromatica Ait. FRAGRANT SUMACH.
Northern United States.
According to Nuttall, the drupes are acid and edible.


R. copallina Linn. DWARF SUMACH. MOUNTAIN SUMACH.
North America.
Elliott5 says the berries are possessed of an agreeable, acid taste and, infused in water, form a pleasant beverage. Pursh 6 says the leaves are used as tobacco by the Indians of the Missouri and Mississippi.


R. coriaria Linn. ELM-LEAVED SUMACH. TANNER'S SUMACH.
Mediterranean region and Persia.
At Aleppo, the seeds are used as an appetizer at meals as mustard is in Britain. In India, Brandis says the acid fruit is eaten. Pallas says this is the sumagh or redoul of the Tartars and is employed by them as well as by the Turks in their meat broths, to which they impart a very agreeable acid.


R. cotinus Linn. SMOKE-PLANT.
Mediterranean region, the Orient, Himalayas and China.
The leaves were used in China in the fourteenth century.


R. glabra Linn. SCARLET SUMACH. VINEGAR TREE.
North America.
Emerson says the velvety, crimson berries of this sumach are of an agreeable, acid taste and are sometimes used as a substitute for lemon juice. Kalm says the boys of Philadelphia eat the berries but they are very sour.


R. integrifolia Benth. & Hook. f.
California.
The fresh, red berries are described by Palmer as coated with an icy-looking, white substance, which is pleasantly acid and is used by the Indians to make a cooling drink.


R. parviflora Roxb.
India.
Mixed with salt, the fruit is used like tamarind in the Benar Valley and Bhawar.


R. punjabensis J. L. Stew.
Himalayan region.
In India, the fruit is eaten.


R. semialata Murr. NUT-GALL TREE.
Eastern Asia.
The pulp of the fruit is acid and is eaten in Sikkim and Nepal and used medicinally.


R. typhina Linn. STAGHORN SUMACH. VIRGINIAN SUMACH.
North America.
The leaves can be used as ordinary sumach, as Mueller says.


Rhynchosia volubilis Lour. Leguminosae.
China and Japan.
The seeds of the wild plant are used for food in Japan.
 
     
 
 
     



     
 
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