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  Section: Edible Plant Species
 
 
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Edible Plant Species

 
     
 
Rubus arcticus Linn. Rosaceae. ARCTIC BRAMBLE. CRIMSON BRAMBLE.
Northern and arctic regions.
This species, says Loudon, has a highly flavored fruit. In Lapland, its fruit is valued and is extolled by Linnaeus. In northern Scandinavia, the fruit is delicious, having the aroma of the pineapple. It affords in Labrador, says Pursh, amber-colored, very delicious fruit. In Alaska, the berries are eaten. The western Eskimo, according to Seemann, use the berries of this species as a winter food. They are collected in autumn and frozen.


R. biflorus Buch.-Ham.
India and Himalayas up to 10,000 feet.
The fruit is either red or orange.


R. borbonicus Pers.
The fruit is like that of R. caesius Linn.


R. buergeri Miq.
Japan.
In Japan, this species furnishes edible fruit.


R. caesius Linn. DEWBERRY OF ENGLAND.
Europe, Orient and northern Asia.
The fruit is small, says Loudon, with few grains but these are large, juicy, black, with a fine, glaucous bloom and are very agreeably acid. By some it is preferred for cultivation on account of its fruit. Johnson says the berries are far superior in flavor to the ordinary bramble.


R. canadensis Linn. DEWBERRY. LOW BLACKBERRY. TRAILING BLACKBERRY.
Eastern North America.
This trailing plant often furnishes a fine fruit, which is generally preferred to that of other blackberries. The fruit varies from half an inch to an inch in diameter and is very sweet and juicy, high-flavored and excellent.


R. chamaemorus Linn. BAKEAPPLE. CLOUDBERRY. MOLKA. SALMONBERRY. YELLOW-BERRY.
Northern and arctic climates.
The fruit is large, yellow or amber-colored, sweet and juicy. Geo. Lawson says it is brought abundantly to the Halifax markets. This species furnishes winter food to the western Eskimos, who collect the berries in autumn and preserve them by freezing. The fruit is also preserved by the Indians of Alaska. The Swedes and Norwegians preserve great quantities of the fruit in the autumn to make tarts and other confections, and, in Sweden, vinegar is made by fermenting the berries. The Laplanders preserve the berries by burying them in the snow.


R. corchorifolius Linn. f.
Japan.
The fruit is edible, according to Kinch. The species furnishes an edible fruit.


R. crataegifolius Bunge.
China.
This species is said in Transon's Trade Catalogue of 1880-81 to have been introduced into France from Manchuria some years ago. In July it gives a great quantity of transparent, scarlet fruits, the taste of which is sugary and agreeable.


R. cuneifolius Pursh. SAND BLACKBERRY.
Long Island to Florida.
Pursh says the berries are hard and dry; Elliott, that they are juicy and eatable; Wood, that they are black, juicy and well-flavored; Gray calls them well-flavored; Fuller says the fruit is of medium size, good flavor, black and ripens late.


R. deliciosus Torr. ROCKY MOUNTAIN RASPBERRY.
Western North America.
The fruit is delicious, according to Torrey. In Colorado, it is a fine fruit of peculiar flavor.


R. fruticosus Linn. BRAMBLE. BUMBLEKITES. EUROPEAN BLACKBERRY. SCALDBERRY.
Europe, north and south Africa, middle and northern Asia.
The fruits in some parts of England are called bumblekites and in others scaldberries and have been eaten by children, says Loudon, in every country where they grow wild since the time of Pliny. The fruit, says Johnson, is wholesome and pleasant. The berries are sometimes fermented into a wine of very indifferent quality and, abroad, are sometimes used for coloring more generous liquor. The Red Muscat wine of Toulon owes its tint to the juice of blackberries. In China, the berries are gathered and eaten.


R. geoides Sm.
Magellan, Falkland Islands, Fuego,. Patagonia and Chiloe.
This species is a raspberry-like plant, with greenish-yellow fruits resembling the cloudberry and is of a very agreeable taste.


R. gunnianus Hook.
Tasmania.
The fruit is red and juicy but not always well-developed.


R. hawaiensis A. Gray.
Sandwich Islands.
The fruit is ovoid, half an inch in length and breadth, Red and edible.


R. hispidus Linn. RUNNING BLACKBERRY. SWAMP BLACKBERRY.
Northern America.
The fruit consists of a few large grains, red or purple, and sour. The fruit is quite good tasting but is not worth picking in the presence of better varieties.


R. idaeus Linn. EUROPEAN RASPBERRY. FRAMBOISE.
Europe, Orient and northern Asia and thrives as far north as 70 in Scandinavia.
This species furnishes the European varieties of the cultivated raspberry and those cultivated in American gardens prior to about 1866. This species is now occasionally found wild, as an escape, in Vermont and Connecticut. The fruit of the wild plant is crimson or amber-colored; this is the raspberry of European gardens. According to Unger, this species is mentioned by Palladius as a cultivated plant. Unger says further that "there are now varieties grown with red fruit, yellow fruit and white fruit and those which bear twice in the year." The fruit of this berry has been found in the debris of the lake villages of Switzerland. In 1867, Fuller describes 41 varieties known to American gardens and 23 which are from native American species. As types of this class of cultivated fruit, we may mention the Antwerp, brought to this country about 1820; the Franconia, introduced from France about 1850; Brinckle's Orange, originated in Pennsylvania in 1845, and Clarke, raised from seed at New Haven, Connecticut, in 1856.


R. imperialis Cham. et Schlecht.
Brazil.
The fruit is edible.


R. incisus Thunb.
China and Japan.
The fruit is small, bluish-black and of no great merit. Country people hold the berries in great esteem.


R. jamaicensis Linn.
Tropical America.
The berries are black and very agreeable. If pickled when red and unripe, they make an excellent tart.


R. laciniatus Willd. CUT-LEAVED BLACKBERRY. EVERGREEN BLACKBERRY. PARSLEY-LEAVED BLACKBERRY.
This species has been sparingly cultivated in Europe for many years and in this country since 1845. It is scarcely worth growing, says Fuller, except as a curiosity, but others say the fruit is large and juicy and that this plant is worthy a place in the garden.


R. lasiocarpus Sm. HILL RASPBERRY. MYSORE RASPBERRY.
India.
This species is cultivated in India for its fruits, which are of excellent flavor and are used in tarts, according to Pirminger. Brandis says the fruit is very good to eat, and Royle says that it is called kulanchoo and affords a grateful fruit.


R. leucodermis Dougl.
Northwest America.
The fruit is yellowish-red, rather large, with a white bloom and agreeable flavor and is dried and preserved by the natives. In Utah, the fruit surpasses the common black raspberry in flavor, size of berry and productiveness. In Oregon, the berry is large, borne in great abundance, of excellent flavor but rather soft for market purposes.


R. microphyllus Linn. f.
Japan.
The fruit is yellow, esculent and sapid.


R. morifolius Siebold.
Japan.
This species bears large black raspberries of excellent quality.


R. nessensis W. Hall.
Northern Europe.
Loudon says the fruit consists of a small number of dark red, or blood-colored, aggregate grains, said to be agreeably acid, with some flavor of the raspberry, whence it has been recommended by some as perhaps not unworthy of cultivation.


R. nutkanus (parviflorus) Moc. SALMONBERRY. THIMBLEBERRY.
Alaska and Oregon.
The fruit is red, large, hemispherical, sweet and pleasantly flavored. The fruit is dried and eaten by the Indians. The tender shoots are also eaten. In the season, canoe loads may be seen on their way to Indian villages. In Oregon, the berry is considered of excellent quality but is too small to pay for the trouble of gathering.


R. occidentalis Linn. BLACKCAP. BLACK RASPBERRY. THIMBLEBERRY.
Eastern North America.
Wood says the fruit is of a lively, agreeable taste. It is an inferior fruit, says Emerson, but has been improved by cultivation. Downing says this berry is frequently cultivated in gardens, where its fruit is much larger and finer than in the uncultivated state, and its rich, acid flavor renders it, perhaps, the finest sort for kitchen use. In its wild state, says Fuller, this species is most variable; he describes wild fruit in cultivation as pale or deep yellow, black, reddishpurple, light crimson or dark scarlet. He refers to this species, wild plants and seedlings, 12 varieties of blackcaps and 5 purple-canes. Downing describes a white variety.


R. odoratus Linn. FLOWERING RASPBERRY.
Eastern North America.
This species is found cultivated in ornamental shrubberies, but it seldom bears an edible fruit in New England. Emerson, however, says the fruit is flatfish, red, pleasant, though less agreeable than that of the true raspberry. Pursh says, in a wild state, the fruit is yellow and of a very fine flavor and of large size. It is not considered, however, by Downing or Fuller as a fruit-shrub. Specimens with white and pink flowers occur about Cayuga Lake, N. Y.


R. paniculatus Sm.
Himalayan region.
The fruit is eaten by the natives of Viti and is made into puddings and pies by the whites.


R. parvifolius Linn. AUSTRALIAN BRAMBLE.
Malay, Australia and China.
This species fruited in England in 1825. The fruit was small, of a clear and brilliant pink color, very juicy, with a subacid, extremely pleasant flavor, but the grains were few, large and pointed.


R. pedatus Sm.
Western North America.
The small, red berry has an excellent flavor and is eaten by the natives of Alaska.


R. phoenicolasius Maxim. WINEBERRY.
Japan.
The fruit is concealed by the sepals until ripe. At first white, the berry turns bright red and is of a sweet and delicious flavor, between that of the common red and the blackcap.


R. rosaefolius Sm. MAURITIUS RASPBERRY.
Tropical Asia.
In India, this shrub bears a fruit similar to the common Raspberry but the berry is filled with hard seeds and is of rather a poor taste. The fruit is red when ripe.


R. saxatilis Linn. ROEBUCK BERRY. STONE BRAMBLE.
North temperate and arctic regions.
The fruits, says Lightfoot, are very acid alone but eaten with sugar they make an agreeable dessert. The Russians ferment the fruit with sugar and extract a potent spirit. Johnson says the berries are more acid and agreeable to the taste than those of the European blackberry.


R. sellowii Cham. & Schlecht.
Argentina and Brazil.
The fruit is edible.


R. spectabilis Pursh. SALMONBERRY.
Northwest America.
The yellow fruits, says Loudon, are of an acid and somewhat astringent taste and make excellent tarts. The young shoots, as well as the berries, are eaten by the Indians, the former being tied in bundles and steamed over the fire. There are said to be two forms in Oregon: one rather soft, yellow, somewhat insipid, subacid, about one inch in diameter when expanded; the other with red berries of a firmer texture and more acid, a shy bearer.


R. strigosus Michx. RED RASPBERRY.
Northern America.
In 1607, the Frenchmen of L'Escarbot's expedition amused themselves with gathering raspberries. It is among the wild fruits of Massachusetts mentioned by Edward Winslow in 1621. Its fruits were greatly relished by the Indians wherever they were to be found. The fruits of the wild plants vary much in color from a dark red to a light, bright crimson. The fruits are large or small. In northern Iowa, a chance wilding, called the Elisdale, bears a very large, bright red berry, with light bloom and is very sweet and rich. Fuller, in 1867, mentions six varieties as under cultivation.


R. tagallus Cham. et Schlecht.
China and Island of Luzon.
The red fruit is eatable.


R. thunbergii Sieb. & Zucc.
Japan.
This species furnishes edible fruit.


R. tokkura Siebold.
Japan.
The fruit is small, red and consists of but few drupes. It is not of much value but is utilized as an article of food in Japan.


R. trifidus Thunb.
Japan.
The red fruit is of a grateful taste.


R. triflorus Richards. DWARF RASPBERRY.
New England to Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and northward.
The fruit is eaten in Colorado.


R. trivialis Michx. LOW-BUSH RASPBERRY.
Maryland to Florida.
Elliott says the berries are large, black and wellflavored.


R. ursinus Cham. & Schlecht. SALMONBERRY. WESTERN BLACKBERRY.
Northwest America.
This species has been introduced into cultivation in California. The berries, in Oregon, are of medium size, solid and highly flavored, ripening in July. In the season, large quantities are collected for market. The fruit varies considerably. Sometimes it is large and highly flavored, almost sweet; at other times it is large but sour or Rather insipid.


R. villosus Ait. BLACKBERRY. DEWBERRY.
Eastern North America.
This species varies much in its fruit and several of the cultivated varieties are chance seedlings taken from the field: such as the Kittatinny, found growing wild in New Jersey about 1845; New Rochelle, found in New York; Newman's Thornless, also in New York; and Wilson's Early, discovered in New Jersey about 1854. In 1867, Fuller describes 18 sorts in cultivation. There is a variety cultivated abroad, says Downing, with white fruits. The commencement of the cultivation of improved varieties seems to date from the appearance of the Dorchester, first exhibited at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society in 1841. The fruit is highly esteemed by the Indians of Missouri, Texas, California and Minnesota. Cabeza de Vaca, 1528-35, says the Indians of the Southwest eat blackberries during four months of the year. Eight varieties, in 1879, were cataloged by the American Pomological Society as worthy of cultivation.


Ruellia tuberosa Linn. Acanthaceae. MENOW-WEED. SNAPDRAGON.
Jamaica. Browne says the plant has oblong, fleshy roots, which are frequently used among the negroes. These, when fresh, have a little pungency, which soon wears upon the palate but when dry they are quite insipid.


Rumex abyssinicus Jacq. Polygonaceae.
Eastern equatorial Africa.
Grant says the people of Fipa are said to eat its leaves.


R. acetosa Linn. SORREL. SOUR DOCK.
Europe and northern Asia.
This plant was formerly cultivated in gardens for its leaves, which were used in Britain as spinach or in salads, and, in the time of Henry VIII, it was held in great repute. Sorrel is mentioned in nearly all of the earlier botanies as under culture in England; Gerarde, 1597, also figures the blistered variety. It is spoken of by nearly all the later writers on garden subjects and was in common use in 1807; but, in 1874, is said to have been for many years entirely discarded, the French sorrel having usurped its place. The common sorrel, says Mclntosh, has been cultivated from time immemorial as a spinach and salad plant. Johnson says it is still used to a great extent for salads in France. In Ireland, it is largely consumed by the peasantry. Sorrel seems to be particularly relished by the Hebrideans. The Laplanders boil a large quantity of the leaves in water and mix the juice, when cold, in the milk of their reindeer, which they esteem an agreeable and wholesome food. In Scandinavia, the plant has been used in times of scarcity to put into bread. It is mentioned as an inmate of American gardens by McMahon, 1806, and Bridgeman, 1832. It is mentioned by Dall among the edible and useful plants of Kotzebue Sound. In China it is eaten.


R. alpinus Linn. MOUNTAIN RHUBARB.
Europe and the Caucasus.
This species is sometimes grown in France but does not appear to have entered American culture. It was grown in England by Gerarde in 1597 for use in "physicke" and is described as cultivated there in Miller's Dictionary, 1807. It is eaten as an herb in China.


R. crispus Linn. CURLED DOCK.
Europe and now naturalized in northeastern America.
The leaves of this weed make a spinach highly esteemed by some.


R. hydrolapathum Huds. WILD RHUBARB.
Europe and Asia.
This sorrel is eaten in China.


R. hymenosepalus Torr. CANAIGRE.
Western North America.
The leaves are occasionally used as a potherb. In southern California, this species is extensively used as a substitute for cultivated rhubarb.


R. longifolius H. B. & K.
South America.
The acid leaves, immediately they appear above the ground and, indeed, throughout the summer, are eaten by the Eskimos of the West, by handfuls as an antiscorbutic.


R. luxurians Linn.
South Africa.
This species serves as a culinary sorrel.


R. montanus Desf. FRENCH SORREL.
Europe.
This species is cultivated in France and is much used as a salad. It is an important article of diet in the extreme north of Europe. The Norwegians eat the leaves with milk or mixed with meal and baked. In India, this sorrel is used in soups and for imparting a peculiarly fine flavor to omelets. This species occurs in French gardens under two types, the green-leaved and the crimped-leaved. In 1863, Burr describes French sorrel among American garden esculents. In India, it is said by Firminger to be an excellent ingredient of soups and imparts a peculiarly fine flavor to omelets.


R. patientia Linn. GARDEN PATIENCE. HERB PATIENCE. MONK'S RHUBARB. PATIENCE DOCK.
Southern Europe and the Orient and formerly common in gardens as a spinach plant. This plant was introduced into England in 1573. Gerarde says "it is an excellent, wholesome pot-herbe." The name monk's rhubarb or rhabarbarum monachorum of Tragus, 1552, indicates its presence in the gardens of the monasteries. It was called patientia by Parkinson, 1640, and is noted by Turner, 1538, as having in England the common name of patience. It was included among America esculents by McMahon, 1806, and by Bridgeman, 1832. Pallas says the young leaves are eaten with avidity by the Greeks of the Crimea. It was known to Pliny, who calls it


Rumex sativus. R. sanguineus Linn. BLOODWORT. BLOODYVEINED DOCK.
Europe and naturalized in eastern North America.
This weed of waste and cultivated grounds of America is mentioned, under the name bloodwort, by Josselyn, about the middle of the seventeenth century, as introduced into America. As Gerarde, 1630, says, it was sown in his time for a potherb in most gardens and as Ray,8 1686, also says, it was planted in gardens as a vegetable, we may believe that it was in former use in colonial gardens in Massachusetts. Its use is as a spinach, and for this purpose the leaves of the wild plant are occasionally collected at the present time.


R. scutatus Linn. GARDEN SORREL.
Europe and the Orient and said to have been introduced into England in 1596. This species is mentioned in England by Gerarde 9 in 1597, but he does not indicate its general cultivation; he calls it oxalis franca seu romana. It is more acid than the preceding species and has displaced it largely from English culture. This species is mentioned by many of the early botanists and is under extensive culture in continental Europe. It was formerly cultivated in English gardens as a spinach and is still grown extensively on the continent of Europe for this purpose. The leaves are also used as a salad. Garden sorrel was mentioned among American garden products by McMahon, 1806, and by Bridgeman, 1832. The seed is still offered by some of our seedsmen who recommend it under the name garden sorrel.


R. vesicarius Linn. BLADDER DOCK.
South Europe, middle Asia and north Africa.
This species is used as a sorrel.


Ruscus aculeatus Linn. Liliaceae (Ruscaceae). BOX HOLLY. BUTCHER'S BROOM. JEW'S MYRTLE.
Europe and the Orient.
The tender shoots are eaten in the spring by the poor in Europe as an asparagus.


Ruta graveolens Linn. Rutaceae. RUE. HERB-OF-GRACE.
Mediterranean countries and cultivated in gardens.
Formerly the English as well as the Germans and Dutch used the green leaves of rue in their ragouts. The leaves are also used as a pickle. The Italians are said to eat the leaves in salads. It was introduced into Britain before 1562. Rue is included among American garden medicinal plants by McMahon, 1806, and by succeeding writers on American gardening.
 
     
 
 
     



     
 
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