Boerhaavia repens Linn. Nyctagineae. HOG-WEED.
According to Ainslie, the leaves are eaten in
India, and Graham says in the Deccan it is sometimes eaten by the
natives as greens. It is a common and troublesome weed of India. The
young leaves are eaten by the natives as greens and made into curries.
Bomarea edulis Herb. Amaryllideae (Alstroemeriaceae). WHITE
The roots are round and succulent and when boiled
are said to be a light and delicate food. A farinaceous or mealy
substance is also made of them, from which cream is made, wholesome
and very agreeable to the taste. The roots are sold under the name of
white Jerusalem artichoke.
B. glaucescens Baker.
The fruit is sought after by children on account of a sweet,
gelatinous pulp, resembling that of the pomegranate, in which the
seeds are imbedded.
B. salsilla Mirb.
The tubers are available for human food.
Bombax ceiba Linn. Malvaceae (Bombacaceae). GOD-TREE. SILKCOTTON
The leaves and buds, when young and tender, are very
mucilaginous, like okra, and are boiled as greens by the negroes of
Jamaica. The fleshy petals of the flowers are sometimes prepared as
food by the Chinese. The tree is called god-tree in the West Indies,
where it is native.
B. malabaricum DC. COTTON TREE.
East Indies, Malay and China.
The calyx of the flower-bud is eaten as a
B. septenatum Jacq.
The plant furnishes a green vegetable.
Bongardia rauwolfii C. A. Mey. Berberideae (Leonticaceae).
Greece and the Orient.
This plant was noticed as early as 1573 by
Rauwolf, who spoke of it as the true chrysogomum of Dioscorides. The
Persians roast or boil the tubers and use them as food, while the leaves
are eaten as are those of sorrel.
Boottia (Ottelia) cordata Wall. Hydrocharitaceae.
A water plant of Burma.
All the green parts are eaten by the Burmese as
pot-herbs, for which purpose they are collected in great quantity and
carried to the market at Ava.
Boquila trifoliata Decne. Berberideae (Lardizabalaceae).
The berries, about the size of a pea, are eaten in Chile. It is
commonly called in Chile, baquil-blianca.
Borago officinalis Linn. Boragineae. BORAGE. COOL-TANKARD.
Europe, North Africa and Asia Minor.
This plant has been distributed
throughout the whole of southern and middle Europe even in the
humblest gardens and is now cultivated likewise in India, North
America and Chile. Its leaves and flowers were used by the ancient
Greeks and Romans for cool tankards. The Greeks called it
euphrosynon, for, when put in a cup of wine, it made those who drank
it merry. It has been used in England since the days of Parkinson. In
Queen Elizabeth's time, both the leaves and flowers were eaten in
salads. It is at present cultivated for use in cooling drinks and is used
by some as a- substitute for spinach. The leaves contain so much nitre
that when dry they bum like match paper. The leaves also serve as a
garnish and are likewise pickled. In India, it is cultivated by Europeans
for use in country beer to give it a pleasant flavor. Borage is enumerated
by Peter Martyr as among the plants cultivated at Isabela Island by the
companions of Columbus. It appears in the catalogs of our American
seedsmen and is mentioned by almost all of the earlier writers of
gardening. The flowering parts of borage are noted or figured by nearly
all of the ancient herbalists.
Borassus flabellifer Linn. Palmae. DOUB PALM. PALMYRA PALM.
TALA PALM. WINE PALM.
A common tree in a large part of Africa south of the Sahara and of
tropical eastern Asia.
The fruits, but still more the young seedlings,
which are raised on a large scale for that purpose, are important as an
article of food. Livingstone says the fibrous pulp around the large nuts
is of a sweet, fruity taste and is eaten. The natives bury the nuts until
the kernels begin to sprout; when dug up and broken, the inside
resembles coarse potatoes and is prized in times of scarcity as
nutritious food. During several months of the year, palm wine, or sura,
is obtained in large quantities and when fresh is a pleasant drink,
somewhat like champagne, and not at all intoxicating, though, after
standing a few hours, it becomes highly so. Grant says on the Upper
Nile the doub palm is called by the negroes m'voomo, and the boiled
roots are eaten in famines by the Wanyamwezi.
The Palmyra palm is cultivated in India. The pulp of the fruit is eaten
raw or roasted, and a preserve is made of it in Ceylon. The unripe seeds
and particularly the young plant two or three months old are an
important article of food. But the most valuable product of the tree is
the sweet sap which runs from the peduncles, cut before flowering, and
is collected in bamboo tubes or in earthern pots tied to the cut
peduncle. Nearly all of the sugar made in Burma and a large proportion
of that made in south India is the produce of this palm. The sap is also
fermented into toddy and distilled. Drury says the fruit and fusiform
roots are used as food by the poorer classes in the Northern Circars.
Firminger says the insipid, gelatinous, pellucid pulp of the fruit is eaten
by the natives but is not relished by Europeans. A good preserve may,
however, be made from it and is often used for pickling.
Borbonia (Aspalathus) cordata Linn. Leguminosae.
At the Cape of Good Hope, in 1772, Thunberg found the
country people making tea of the leaves.
Boscia senegalensis Lam. Capparideae.
The seeds are eaten by the negroes of the Senegal.
Boswellia frereana Birdw. Burseraceae.
Tropics of Africa.
Though growing wild, the trees are carefully watched
and even sometimes propagated. The resin is used in the East for
chewing as is that of the mastic tree.
B. serrata Roxb. FRANKINCENSE TREE.
In times of famine, the Khnoods and Woodias live on a soup
made from the fruit of this tree.
Botrychium virginianum Swartz. Ophioglossaceae.
This large, succulent fern is boiled and eaten in the Himalayas as well
as in New Zealand.
Boucerosia (Caralluma) incamata N. E. Br. Asclepiadeae.
The Hottentots eat it, says Thunberg, after peeling off the
edges and prickles.
Bouea burmanica Griff'. Anacardiaceae.
The fruit is eaten, that of one variety being intensely sour, of
another insipidly sweet.
Bourreria succulenta Jacq. Boragineae (Ehretiaceae). CURRANT
The berries are the size of a pea, shining, saffron or orangecolored,
pulpy, sweet, succulent and eatable.