Anacardium humile St. Hil. Anacardiaceae. MONKEY-NUT.
The nuts are eaten and conserves are made of the fruit.
A. nanum St. Hil.
The nuts are eaten and conserves are made of the fruit.
A. occidentale Linn. CASHEW.
This tree is indigenous to the West Indies, Central America, Guiana,
Peru and Brazil in all of which countries it is cultivated.
transplanted it as early as the sixteenth century to the East Indies and
Indian archipelago. Its existence on the eastern coast of Africa is of still
more recent date, while neither China, Japan, or the islands of the
Pacific Ocean possess it. The shell of the fruit has thin layers, the
intermediate one possessing an acrid, caustic oil, called cardol, which is
destroyed by heat, hence the kernels are roasted before being eaten; the
younger state of the kernel, however, is pronounced wholesome and
delicious when fresh. Drury says the kernels are edible and wholesome,
abounding in sweet, milky juice and are used for imparting a flavor to
Madeira wine. Ground and mixed with cocoa, they make a good
chocolate. The juice of the fruit is expressed, and, when fermented,
yields a pleasant wine; distilled, a spirit is drawn from the wine making
a good punch. A variety of the tree is grown in Travancore, probably
elsewhere, the pericarp of the nuts of which has no oil but may be
chewed raw with impunity. An edible oil equal to olive oil or almond oil
is procured from the nuts but it is seldom prepared, the kernels being
used as a table fruit. A gum, similar to gum arable, called cadju gum, is
secreted from this tree. The thickened receptacle of the nut has an
agreeable, acid flavor and is edible.
A. rhinocarpus DC. WILD CASHEW.
This is a noble tree of Columbia and British Guiana,
where it is called wild cashew. It has pleasant, edible fruits like the
cashew. In Panama, according to Seemann, the tree is called espave, in
New Granada caracoli.
Anagallis arvensis Linn. Primulaceae. PIMPERNEL. POOR
MAN'S WEATHERGLASS. SHEPHERD'S CLOCK.
Europe and temperate Asia.
Pimpernel, according to Fraas, is eaten as
greens in the Levant. Johnson says it forms a part of salads in France
and Germany. The flowers close at the approach of bad weather, hence
the name, poor man's weatherglass.
Anamirta paniculate Colebr. Menispermaceae.
A strong, climbing shrub found in the eastern part of the
Indian Peninsula and Malay Islands. From this plant is produced a
deleterious drug illegally used in England to impart bitterness to beer.
Ananas sativus Schult. Bromeliaceae. PINEAPPLE.
In 1493, the companions of Columbus, at
Guadeloupe island, first saw the pineapple, the flavor and fragrance of
which astonished and delighted them, as Peter Martyr records. The first
accurate illustration and description appear to have been given by
Oviedo in 1535. Las Casas, who reached the New World in 1502,
mentions the finding by Columbus at Porto Bello of the delicious
pineapple. Oviedo, who went to America in 1513, mentions in his book
three kinds as being then known. Benzoni, whose History of the New
World was published in 1568 and who resided in Mexico from 1541 to
1555, says that no fruit on God's earth could be more agreeable, and
Andre Thevet, a monk, says that in his time, 1555-6, the nanas was
often preserved in sugar. De Soto, 1557, speaks of "great pineapples of
a very good smell and exceeding good taste" in the Antilles. Jean de
Lery, 1578, describes it in his Voyage to Brazil as being of such
excellence that the gods might luxuriate upon it and that it should only
be gathered by the hand of a Venus. Acosta, 1578, also describes this
fruit as of " an excellent smell, and is very pleasant and delightful in
taste, it is full of juice, and of a sweet and sharp taste." He calls the
plant ananas. Raleigh, 1595, speaks of the " great abundance of pinas,
the princesse of fruits, that grow under the Sun, especially those of
Acosta states that the ananas was carried from Santa Cruz in Brazil to
the West Indies, and thence to the East Indies and China, but he does
not pretend by this that pineapples were not to be found out of Brazil,
for he describes an idol in Mexico, Vitzili-putzli, as having "in his left
hand a white target with the figures of five pineapples, made of white
feathers, set in a crosse." Stephens, at Tuloom, on the coast of Yucatan,
found what seemed intended to represent a pineapple among the
stucco ornaments of a ruin. We do not know what to make of
Wilkinson's n statement of one instance of the pineapple in glazed
pottery being among the remains from ancient Egypt. It has probably
been cultivated in tropical America from time immemorial, as it now
rarely bears seeds. Humboldt mentions pineapples often containing
seeds as growing wild in the forests of the Orinoco, at Esmeralda; and
Schomburgk found the wild fruit, bearing seeds, in considerable
quantity throughout Guiana. Piso also mentions a pineapple having
many seeds growing wild in Brazil. Titford says this delicious fruit is
well known and very common in Jamaica, where there are several sorts.
Unger says, in 1592 it was carried to Bengal and probably from Peru
by way of the Pacific Ocean to China. Ainslie says that it was introduced
in the reign of the Emperor Akbar by the Portuguese who brought the
seed from Malacca; that it was naturalized in Java as early as 1599 and
was taken thence to Europe. In 1594, it was cultivated in China,
brought thither perhaps from America by way of the Philippines. An
anonymous writer states that it was quite common in India in 1549
and this is in accord with Acosta's statement.
The pineapple is now grown in abundance about Calcutta, and
Firminger describes ten varieties. It is now a common plant in Celebes
and the Philippine Islands. The Jesuit, Boymins, mentions it in his
Flora Sinensis of 1636. A white kind in the East Indies, says Unger,
which has run wild, still contains seed in its fruit. In 1777, Captain
Cook planted pineapples in various of the Pacific Isles, as at Tongatabu,
Friendly Islands, and Society Islands. Afzelius says pineapples grow
wild in Sierra Leone and are cultivated by the natives. Don states that
they are so abundant in the woods as to obstruct passage and that they
bear fruit abundantly. In Angola, wild pines are mentioned by
Montiero, and the pineapple is noticed in East Africa by Krapf. R.
Brown speaks of the pineapples as existing upon the west coast of
Africa but he admits its American origin. In Italy, the first attempts at
growing pineapples were made in 1616 but failed. At Leyden, a Dutch
gardener was successful in growing them in 1686. The fruit, as
imported, was known in England in the time of Cromwell and is again
noticed in 1661 and in 1688 from Barbados. The first plants
introduced into England came from Holland in 1690, but the first
success at culture dates from 1712.
Anaphalis margaritacea Benth. & Hook. Compositae. PEARLY
Josselyn, prior to 1670, remarks of this plant that "the
fishermen when they want tobacco, take this herb: being cut and
dryed." In France, it is an inmate of the flower garden.
Anchomanes hookeri Schott. Aroideae (Araceae).
Eastern equatorial Africa.
The large bulb is boiled and eaten.
Anchusa officinalis Linn. Boragineae. ANCHU. BUGLOSS.
Johnson says, in the south of France and in some parts of
Germany, where it is common, the young leaves are eaten as a green
Ancistrophyllum (Laccosperma) secundiflorum G. Mann & H.
The stems are cut into short lengths and are carried by
the natives upon long journeys, the soft central parts being eaten after
they have been properly roasted.
Andropogon schoenanthus Linn. Gramineae. CAMEL'S HAY.
GERANIUM GRASS. LEMON GRASS. OIL-PLANT.
Asia, African tropics and subtropics.
This species is commonly
cultivated for the fine fragrance of the leaves which are often used for
flavoring custard. When fresh and young, the leaves are used in many
parts of the country as a substitute for tea and the white center of the
succulent leaf-culms is used to impart a flavor to curries. The tea made
of this grass is considered a wholesome and refreshing beverage, says
Wallich, and her Royal Majesty was supplied with the plant from the
Royal Gardens, Kew, England.
Aneilema loureirii Hance. Commelinaceae.
The plant is cultivated and its tubers are eaten by the Chinese.
They are also eaten in India.
Angelica sylvestris Linn. Umbelliferae. GROUND ASH. HOLY
GHOST. WILD ANGELICA.
Europe and the adjoining portions of Asia.
On the lower Volga, the
young stems are eaten raw by the natives. Don says it is used as
archangelica, but the flavor is more bitter and less grateful.
Angiopteris erecta Hoffm. Filices (Angiopteridaceae).
A fern of India, the Asiastic and Polynesian Islands.
The caudex, as also
the thick part of the stipes, is of a mealy and mucilaginous nature and
is eaten by the natives in times of scarcity.
Angraecum fragrans Thou. Orchideae. BOURBON TEA. FAHAM
The leaves of this orchid are very fragrant and are used in Bourbon as
tea. It has been introduced into France.
Anisophyllea laurina R. Br. Rhizophoreae/Anisophylleaceae.
The fruit is sold in the markets of Sierra Leone in the
months of April and May; it is described by Don as being superior to
any other which is tasted in Africa. It is of the size and shape of a
pigeon's egg, red on the sunned side, yellow on the other, its flavor
being something between that of the nectarine and a plum.
Annesorhiza capensis Cham. et Schlecht. Umbelliferae.
Cape of Good Hope.
The root is eaten.
A. montana Eckl. & Zeyh.
The plant has an edible root.
Anona asiatica Linn. Anonaceae.
Ceylon and cultivated in Cochin China.
The oblong-conical fruit, red on
the outside, is filled with a whitish, .eatable pulp but is inferior in flavor
to that of A. squamosa.
A. cherimolia Mill. CHERIMALLA. CHERIMOYA. CHERIMOYER.
Originally from Peru, this species seems to be
naturalized only in the mountains of Port Royal in Jamaica. Venezuela,
New Granada and Brazil know it only as a plant of cultivation. It has
been carried to the Cape Verde Islands and to Guinea. The cherimoya is
not mentioned among the fruits of Florida by Atwood in 1867 but is
included in the American Pomological Society's list for 1879. In 1870,
specimens were growing at the United States Conservatory in
Washington. The fruit is esteemed by the Peruvians as not inferior to
any fruit of the world. Humboldt speaks of it in terms of praise.
Herndon says Huanuco is par excellence the country of the celebrated
cherimoya, and that he has seen it there quite twice as large as it is
generally seen in Lima and of the most delicious flavor. Masters says,
however, that Europeans do not confirm the claims of the cherimoya to
superiority among fruits, and the verdict is probably justified by the
scant mention by travellers and the limited diffusion.
A. cinerea Dunal. ANON. SUGAR APPLE. SWEETSOP.
This species is placed by Unger among edible fruit-bearing
A. muricata Linn. COROSSOL. PRICKLY CUSTARD APPLE.
This tree grows wild in Barbados and Jamaica but in
Surinam has only escaped from gardens. It is cultivated in the whole of
Brazil, Peru and Mexico. In Jamaica, the fruit is sought after only by
negroes. The plant has quite recently been carried to Sierra Leone. It is
not mentioned among the fruits of Florida by Atwood in 1867 but is
included in the American Pomological Society's list for 1879. The smell
and taste of the fruit, flowers and whole plant resemble much those of
the black currant. The pulp of the fruit, says Lunan, is soft, white and
of a sweetish taste, intermixed with oblong, dark colored seeds, and,
according to Sloane, the unripe fruit dressed like turnips tastes like
them. Morelet says the rind of the fruit is thin, covering a white,
unctuous pulp of a peculiar, but delicious, taste, which leaves on the
palate a flavor of perfumed cream. It has a peculiarly agreeable flavor
although coupled with a biting wild taste. Church says its leaves form
A. paludosa Aubl.
Guiana, growing upon marshy meadows.
The species bears elongated,
yellow berries, the size of a hen's egg, which have a juicy flesh.
A. palustris Linn. ALLIGATOR APPLE. CORK-WOOD. MONKEY
APPLE. POND APPLE.
American and African tropics.
The plant bears fruit the size of the fist.
The seeds, as large as a bean, lie in an orange-colored pulp of an
unsavory taste but which has something of the smell and relish of an
orange. The fruit is considered narcotic and even poisonous in Jamaica
but of the latter we have, says Lunan, no certain proof. The wood of the
tree is so soft and compressible that the people of Jamaica call it
corkwood and employ it for stoppers.
A. punctata Aubl.
The plant bears a brown, oval, smooth fruit about three inches
in diameter with little reticulations on its surface. The flesh is reddish,
gritty and filled with little seeds. It has a good flavor and is eaten with
pleasure. It is the pinaou of Guiana.
A. reticulata Linn. ANON. BULLOCK'S HEART. CORAZON.
COROSSOL. CUSTARD APPLE.
Cultivated in Peru, Brazil, in Malabar and the East
Indies. This delicious fruit is produced in Florida in excellent perfection
as far north as St. Augustine ; it is easily propagated from seed. Masters
says its yellowish pulp is not so much relished as that of the soursop or
cherimoyer. Lunan says, in Jamaica, the fruit is much esteemed by
some people. Unger says it is highly prized but he calls the fruit brown,
the size of the fist, while Lunan says brown, shining, of a yellow or
orange color, with a reddishness on one side when ripe.
A. senegalensis Pers.
African tropics and Guiana.
The fruit is not much larger than a pigeon's
egg but its flavor is said, by Savine, to be superior to most of the other
fruits of this genus.
A. squamosa Linn. ANON. SUGAR APPLE. SWEETSOP.
It is uncertain whether the native land of this tree is to be looked for in
Mexico, or on the plains along the mouth of the Amazon. Von Martius
found it forming forest groves in Para.
It is cultivated in tropical
America and the West Indies and was early transported to China,
Cochin China, the Philippines and India. The fruit is conical or pearshaped
with a greenish, imbricated, scaly shell. The flesh is white, full of
long, brown granules, very aromatic and of an agreeable strawberrylike,
piquant taste. Rhind says the pulp is delicious, having the odor of
rose water and tasting like clotted cream mixed with sugar. Masters
says the fruit is highly relished by the Creoles but is little esteemed by
Europeans. Lunan says it is much esteemed by those who are fond of
fruit in which sweet prevails. Drury says the fruit is delicious to the
taste and on occasions of famine in India has literally proved the staff of
life to the natives.
Anthemis nobilis Linn. Compositae. CAMOMILE.
Naturalized in Delaware. This plant is largely cultivated for
medicinal purposes in France, Germany and Italy. It has long been
cultivated in kitchen gardens, an infusion of its flowers serving as a
domestic remedy. The flowers are occasionally used in the manufacture
of bitter beer and, with wormwood, make to a certain extent a
substitute for hops. It has been an inmate of American gardens from an
early period. In France it is grown in flower-gardens.
Anthericum hispidum Linn. Liliaceae. ST. BERNARD'S LILY.
The sprouts are eaten as a substitute for asparagus. They
are by no means unpalatable, says Carmichael,9 though a certain
clamminess which they possess, that induces the sensation as of
pulling hairs from between one's lips, renders them at first unpleasant.
Anthistiria (Themeda) imberbis Retz. Gramineae.
This grass grows in great luxuriance in the Upper Nile region, 5�
5' south, and in famines furnishes the natives with a grain.
Anthocephalus morindaefolius Korth. Rubiaceae/Naucleaceae.
East Indies and Sumatra.
This large tree is cultivated in Bengal, North
India and elsewhere. The flowers are offered on Hindu shrines. The
yellow fruit, the size of a small orange, is eaten. The plant is a native of
the Siamese countries.
Anthriscus cerefolium Hoffm. Umbelliferae. CHERVIL.
Europe, Orient and north Asia.
This is an old fashioned pot-herb, an
annual, which appears in garden catalogs. Chervil is said to be a native
of Europe and was cultivated in England by Gerarde in 1597.
Parkinson says "it is sown in gardens to serve as salad herb." Pliny
mentions its use by the Syrians, who cultivated it as a food, and ate it
both boiled and raw. Booth says the French and Dutch have scarcely a
soup or a salad in which chervil does not form a part and as a seasoner
is by many preferred to parsley. It seems still to find occasional use in
England, Chervil was cultivated in Brazil in 1647 but there are no
references to its early use in America. The earlier writers on American
gardening mention it, however, from McMahon in 1806. The leaves,
when young, are the parts used to impart a warm, aromatic flavor to
soups, stews and salads. Gerarde speaks of the roots as being edible.
There are curled-leaved varieties
Antidesma bunius Spreng. Euphorbiaceae (Stilaginaceae).
A tree of Nepal, Amboina and Malabar.
Its shining, deep red, fruits are
subacid and palatable. In Java, the fruits are used, principally by
Europeans, for preserving.
A. diandrum Spreng.
The berries are eaten by the natives. The leaves are acid
and are made into preserve.
A. ghesaembilla Gaertn.
East Indies, Malay, Australia and African tropics.
The small drupes,
dark purple when ripe, with pulp agreeably acid, are eaten.