Brabejum stellatifolium Linn. Proteaceae. WILD CHESTNUT.
Thunberg says the Hottentots eat the fruit of this shrub
and that it is sometimes used by the country people instead of coffee,
the outside rind being taken off and the fruit steeped in water to deprive
it of its bitterness; it is then boiled, roasted and ground like coffee;
Brachistus solanaceus Benth. & Hook. f. Solanaceae.
This perennial merits trial culture on account of its large,
Brachystegia appendiculata Benth. Leguminosae.
The seeds are eaten.
Brachystelma sp. Asclepiadeae.
This genus furnishes edible roots in South Africa and
those of some species are esteemed as a preserve by the Dutch
Brahea dulcis Mart. Palmae.
This Mexican palm, called palma dulce and soyale, has a fruit
which is a succulent drupe of a yellow color and cherry-size, sweet and
B. (Serenoa) serrulata H. Wendl. SAW PALMETTO.
Southern United States.
A fecula was formerly prepared from the pith
by the Florida Indians.
Brasenia schreberi J. F. Gmel. Nymphaeaceae. (Cabombaceae)
India, Japan, Australia, Tropical Africa and North America.
tuberous root-stocks are collected by the California Indians for food.
Brassica. Cruciferae. BORECOLE. BROCCOLI. BRUSSELS
SPROUTS. CABBAGE. CAULIFLOWER. CHARLOCK. CHINESE
CABBAGE. COLLARDS. KALE. KOHL-RABI. MUSTARD.
PORTUGAL CABBAGE. RAPE. RED CABBAGE. RUTABAGA.
SAVOY CABBAGE. TURNIPS.
This genus, in its cultivated species and varieties, assumes protean
forms. In the cabbage section we have the borecoles and kales, which
come nearest to the wild form; green and red cabbage with great, single
heads; the savoys with their blistered and wrinkled leaves; brussels
sprouts with numerous little heads; broccolis and the cauliflowers with
their flowers in an aborted condition and borne in a dense corymb; the
stalked cabbage of Jersey, which sometimes attains a height of 16 feet;
the Portuguese couve tronchuda with the ribs of its leaves greatly
thickened; and kohl-rabi. All of these vegetables are referred by Darwin
to B. oleracea Linn. The other cultivated forms of the genus are
descended, according to the view adopted by some, from two species, B.
napus Linn. and B. rapa Linn.; but, according to other botanists, from
three species; while others again strongly suspect that all these forms,
both wild and cultivated, ought to be ranked as a single species. The
genus, as established by Bentham, also includes the mustards.
B. alba Boiss. WHITE MUSTARD.
Europe and the adjoining portions of Asia.
The cultivated plant appears
to have been brought from central Asia to China, where the herbage is
pickled in winter or used in spring as a pot-herb. In 1542, Fuchsius, a
German writer, says it is planted everywhere in gardens. In 1597, in
England, Gerarde says it is not common but that he has distributed
the seed so that he thinks it is reasonably well known. It is mentioned
in American gardens in 1806. The young leaves, cut close to the
ground before the formation of the second series or rough leaves
appear, form an esteemed salad.
B. campestris Linn. TURNIP. RAPE. RUTABAGA. TURNIP.
The turnip, says Unger, is derived from a species growing wild at the
present day in Russia and Siberia as well as on the Scandinavian
From this, in course of cultivation, a race has been produced
as B. campestris Linn., and a second as B. rapa Linn., our white turnip,
with many varieties. The cultivation of this plant, indigenous in the
region between the Baltic Sea and the Caucasus, was probably first
attempted by the Celts and Germans when they were driven to make
use of nutritious roots. Buckman was inclined to the belief that B.
campestris and B. napus are but agrarian forms derived from B.
oleracea. Nowhere, he asserted, are the first two varieties truly wild but
both track cultivation throughout Europe, Asia and America. Lindley
says this plant, B. campestris, has been found apparently wild in
Lapland, Spain, the Crimea and Great Britain but it is difficult to say
whether or not it is truly wild. When little changed by cultivation, it is
the colsa, colza, or colsat, the chou oleifere of the French, an oil-reed
plant of great value. This is the colsa of Belgium, the east of France,
Germany and Switzerland but not of other districts, in which the name
is applied to rape. Unger states that this plant, growing wild from the
Baltic Sea to the Caucasus, is the B. campestris oleifera DC. or B. colza
Lam. and that its culture, first starting in Belgium, is now extensively
carried on in Holstein. De Candolle supposes the Swedish turnip is a
variety, analogous to the kohl-rabi among cabbages, but with the root
swollen instead of the stem. In its original wild condition, it is a flatfish,
globular root, with a very fine tail, a narrow neck and a hard, deep
yellow flesh. Buckman, by seeding rape and common turnips in mixed
rows, secured, through hybridization, a small percentage of malformed
swedes, which were greatly improved by careful cultivation. If Bentham
was correct in classing B. napus with B. campestris, the result of
Buckman's experiment does not carry the rutabaga outside of B.
campestris for its origin. Don classifies the rutabaga as B. campestris
Linn. var. oleifera, sub. var. rutabaga.
The turnip is of ancient culture. Columella, A. D. 42, says the napus
and the rapa are both grown for the use of man and beast, especially in
France; the former does not have a swollen but a slender root, and the
latter is the larger and greener. He also speaks of the Mursian gongylis,
which may be the round turnip, as being especially fine. The distinction
between the napus and the rapa was not always held, as Pliny uses the
word napus generically and says that there are five kinds, the
Corinthian, Cleonaeum, Liothasium, Boeoticum and the Green. The
Corinthian, the largest, with an almost bare root, grows on the surface
and not, as do the rest, under the soil. The Liothasium, also called
Thracium, is the hardest. The Boeoticum is sweet, of a notable
roundness and not very long as is the Cleonaeum. At Rome, the
Amitemian is in most esteem, next the Nursian, and third our own kind
(the green?). In another place, under rapa, he mentions the broadbottom
(flat?), the globular, and as the most esteemed, those of Nursia.
The napus of Amiternum, of a nature quite similar to the rapa,
succeeds best in a cool place. He mentions that the rapa sometimes
attains a weight of forty pounds. This weight has, however, been
exceeded in, modem times. Matthiolus, 1558, had heard of turnips that
weighed a hundred pounds and speaks of having seen long and purple
sorts that weighed thirty pounds. Amatus Lusitanus, 1524, speaks of
turnips, weighing fifty and sixty pounds. In England, in 1792, Martyn
says the greatest weight that he is acquainted with is thirty-six pounds.
In California, about 1830, a turnip is recorded of one hundred pounds
In the fifteenth century, Booth says the turnip had become known to
the Flemings and formed one of their principal crops. The first turnips
that were introduced into England, he says, are believed to have come
from Holland in 1550. In the time of Henry VIII (1509-1547) according
to Mclntosh, turnips were used baked or roasted in the ashes and the
young shoots were used as a salad and as a spinach. Gerarde describes
them in a number of varieties, but the first notice of their field culture is
by Weston in 1645. Worlidge, 1668, mentions the turnip fly as an
enemy of turnips and Houghton speaks of turnips as food for sheep in
1684. In 1686, Ray says they are sown everywhere in fields and
gardens. In 1681, Worlidge says they are chiefly grown in gardens but
are also grown to some extent in fields. The turnip was brought to
America at a very early period. In 1540, Cartier sowed turnip seed in
Canada, during his third voyage. They were also cultivated in Virginia
in 1609; are mentioned again in 1648; and by Jefferson in 1781. They
are said by Francis Higginson n to be in cultivation in Massachusetts in
1629 and are again mentioned by William Wood, 1629-33. They were
plentiful about Philadelphia in 1707. Jared Sparks planted them in
Connecticut in 1747. In 1775, Romans in his Natural History of Florida
mentions them. They are also mentioned in South Carolina in 1779. In
1779, General Sullivan destroyed the turnips in the Indian fields at the
present Geneva, New York, in the course of his invasion of the Indian
country. The common flat turnip was raised as a field crop in
Massachusetts and New York as early as 1817.
NAVET, OR FRENCH TURNIP.
(B. napus esculenta DC.)
This turnip differs from the Brassica rapa oblonga DC. by its smooth
and glaucous leaves. It surpasses other turnips by the sweetness of its
flavor and furnishes white, yellow and black varieties. It is known as the
Navet, or French turnip. This was apparently the napa of Columella.1
This turnip was certainly known to the early botanists, yet its
synonymy is difficult to be traced from the figures. However, the
following are correct:
Napus. Trag. 730. 1552; Matth. 240. 1664; Pin. 144. 1561; Cam. Epit.
222. 1586; Dod. 674. 1616; Fischer 1646.
Bunias sive napus. Lob. Icon. 1 :200. 1591.
Bunias silvestris lobelii. Ger. 181. 1597.
Napi. Dur. C. 304. 1617.
Bunias. Bodaeus 733. 1644.
Napus dulcis. Blackw. t. 410. 1765.
Navet petit de Berlin. Vilm. 360. 1883.
Teltow turnip. Vilm. 580. 1885.
The navets are mentioned as under cultivation in England by Worlidge,
1683; as the French turnip by Wheeler, 1763, and in Miller's
Dictionary, 1807. Gasparin says the navet de Berlin, which often
acquires a great size, is much grown in Alsace and in Germany. It is
grown in China, according to Bretschneider. This turnip was known in
the fifth century.
THE COMMON FLAT TURNIP.
(B. rapa depressa DC.)
This turnip has a large root expanding under the origin of the stem into
a think, round, fleshy tuber, flattened at the top and bottom. It has
white, yellow, black, red or purple and green varieties. It seems to have
been known from ancient times and is described and figured by the
earlier botanists. The synonymy is as follows:
A. Flattened both above and below.
Rapum. Matth. 240. 1554; Cam. Epit. 218. 1586.
Rapum sive rapa. Pin. 143. 1561.
Rapa. Dur. ?.386. 1617.
Navet turnip. Vilm. 583. 1883.
B. Flattened, but pointed below.
Orbiculatum seu turbinatum rapum. Lob. Icon. I :197. 1791
Rapum. Porta, Phytognom. 120. 1591.
Rapum vulgare. Dod. 673. 16i6.
Rave d'Auvergne tardive. Vilm.
Rapum. Trag. 728. 1552.
Rapa, La Rave. Toum. 113. 1719.
Navet jaune d'Hollande. Vilm. 370. 1883.
Yellow Dutch. Vilm. 588. 1885.
THE LONG TURNIP.
(B. rapa oblonga DC.)
This race of turnip differs from the preceding in having a long or oblong
tuber tapering to the radicle. It seems an ancient form, perhaps the
Cleonaeum of Pliny.
Vulgare rapum alterum. Trag. 729. 1532.
Rapum longum. Cam. Epit. 219. 1586.
Rapum tereti, rotunda, oblongaque radici. Lob. Icon. 1: 197. 1591.
Rapum oblongius. Dod. 673. 1616.
Rapum sativum rotundum et oblongum. Bauh. J. 2:838. 1651.
Rapa. La Rave. Tourn. 113. 1719.
Navet de Briollay. Vilm. 372. 1883.
This account by no means embraces all the turnips now known, as it
deals with form only and not with color and habits. In 1828, 13 kinds
were in Thorburn's American Seed Catalog and in 1887, 33 kinds. In
France, 12 kinds were named by Pirolle in 1824 and by Petit in 1826.
In 1887, Vilmorin's Wholesale Seed-list enumerates 31 kinds.
Bentham classes rape with B. campestris Linn. and others are disposed
to include it as an agrarian form of B. oleracea Linn. Darwin says B.
napus Linn., in which he places rape, "has given rise to two large
groups, namely Swedish turnips (by some believed to be of hybrid
origin) and colzas, the seeds of which yield oil." It can be believed quite
rationally that the Swedish turnip may have originated in its varieties
from B. campestris and from hybridization with B. napus. To this
species, Lindley refers some of the rapes, or coles, the navette, navette
d'hiver, or rabette of the French, and the repo, ruhen or winter reps of
the Germans, while the summer rapes he refers to B. praecox. Rape is
used as an oil plant but is inferior to colza. It is also used in a young
state as a salad plant. Of this species there is also a fleshy-rooted
variety, the Tetlow turnip, or navet de Berlin petit of the French, the
root long and spindle-shaped, somewhat resembling a carrot. Its
culture in England dates from 1790 but it was well known in 1671 and
is noticed by Caspar Bauhin in his Pinax. It is much more delicate in
flavor than our common turnip. In Prance and Germany, this Tetlow
turnip is extensively cultivated. To what extent our common turnips are
indebted to the rapes, seems impossible to say, for Metzger, by culture,
converted the biennial, or winter rape, into the annual, or summer rape,
varieties which Lindley believes to be specifically distinct. The Bon
Jardinier says, in general, the early turnips of round form and growing
above ground belong to B. napus and names the Yellow Malta, Yellow
Finland and Montmaquy of our catalogs.
Summer rape is referred by Lindley to B. praecox Waldst. & Kit. In the
east of France, it is called navette d'ete, or navette de mai and by the
Germans summer reps. Some botanists refer summer rape to B.
campestris Linn. and winter rape to B. napus Linn. Rape is also
referred to B. rapa Linn. The evidence is unusually clear, says Darwin,
that rape and the turnip belong to the same species, for the turnip has
been observed by Koch and Godron to lose its thick roots in
uncultivated soil and when rape and turnips are sown together they
cross to such a degree that scarcely a single plant comes true. Summer
rape seems to be grown to a far less extent than winter rape.
The rutabaga of the Swedes, the navel de Suede, or chou de Suede, or
chou rutabaga, or chou navel jaune, of the French was introduced into
England somewhere about the end of the eighteenth century. In the
Maine Farmer of May 15, 1835, a correspondent, John Burston, states
that the rutabaga, Swedish turnip, or Lapland turnip - for by all these
names was it known - was introduced to this country since the
commencement of the present century. Six or more varieties are named
in all seed catalogs and Burr describes 11 kinds.
The rutabagas of our gardens include two forms, one with white flesh,
the other with yellow. The French call these two classes chou-navets
and rutabagas respectively. The chou-navet, or Brassica napo-brassica
communis DC., has either purple or white roots; the rutabaga, or B.
napo-brassica Ruta-baga A. P. DC., has a more regular root, round or
oval, yellow both without and within. In English nomenclature, while
now the two forms are called by a common name, yet formerly the first
constituted the turnip-rooted cabbage. In 1806, the distinction was
retained in the United States, McMahon describing the turnip-rooted
cabbage and the Swedish turnip, or Rutabaga. As a matter of
convenience we shall describe these two classes separately.
The first description of the white-rooted form is by Bauhin in his
Prodromus, 1620, and it is named again in his Pinax, 1623, and is
called napo-brassica. In 1686, Ray apparently did not know it in
England, as he quotes Bauhin's name and description, which states
that it is cultivated in Bohemia and is eaten, but Morison, in 1669,
catalogs it among the plants in the royal gardens. In France, it is named
by Tournefort, in 1700, Brassica radice napiformi, or chou-navet. In
1778, this was called in England turnip-cabbage with the turnip
underground and in the United States, in 1806, turnip-rooted cabbage,
as noted above. There are three varieties described by Vilmorin under
the names chou-navet, chou turnip, and chou de Lapland, one of which
is purple at the collar; apparently these same varieties are named by
Noisette in 1829. The white and the red-collared were named by Pirolle,
in 1824. This class, as Don says in 1831, is little known in English
gardens, though not uncommon in French horticulture.
The rutabaga is said by Sinclair, in the account of the system of
husbandry in Scotland, to have been introduced into Scotland about
1781-2, and a quotation in the Gardeners' Chronicle says it was
introduced into England in 1790. It is mentioned in 1806 by McMahon
as in American gardens, and in 1817 there is a record of an acre of this
crop in Illinois. The vernacular names all indicate an origin in Sweden
or northern Europe. It is called Swedish turnip or Roota-baga by
McMahon, 1806, by Miller's Dictionary, 1807, by Cobbett, 1821, and
by other authors to the present time. De Candolle, 1821, calls it navet
jaune, navet de Suede, chou de Laponie, and chou de Suede; Pirolle,
in 1824, Ruta-baga or chou navet de Suede, as does Noisette in 1829.
In 1821 Thorbum calls it Ruta-baga, or Russian turnip, and a
newspaper writer in 1835 calls it Ruta-baga, Swedish turnip and
Lapland turnip. The foreign names given by Don in 1831 include many
of the above named and the Italian navone di Laponia. Vilmorin in his
Les Plantes Potageres, 1883, describes three varieties: one with a green
collar, one with a purple collar and a third which is early.
B. carinata A. Braun.
This plant is said by Unger to be found wild and cultivated in Abyssinia
although it furnishes a very poor cabbage, not to be compared with
B. chinensis Linn. CHINESE CABBAGE.
The pe-tsai of the Chinese is an annual, apparently intermediate
between cabbage and the turnip but with much thinner leaves than the
former. It is of much more rapid growth than any of the varieties of the
European cabbage, so much so, that when sown at midsummer it will
ripen seed the same season. Introduced from China in 1837, it has
been cultivated and used as greens by a few persons about Paris but it
does not appear likely to become a general favorite. It is allied to the
kales. Its seeds are ground into a mustard.
But little appears to be recorded concerning the varieties of this
cabbage of which the Pak-choi and the Pe-tsai only have reached
European culture. It has, however, been long under cultivation in
China, as it can be identified in Chinese works on agriculture of the
fifth, sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Loureiro, 1790,
says it is also cultivated in Cochin China and varieties are named with
white and yellow flowers. The Pak-choi has more resemblance to a
chard than to a cabbage, having oblong or oval, dark shining-green
leaves upon long, very white and swollen stalks. The Pe-tsai, however,
rather resembles a cos lettuce, forming an elongated head, rather full
and compact and the leaves are a little wrinkled and undulate at the
borders. Both varieties have, however, a common aspect and are
Considering that the round-headed cabbage is the only sort figured by
the herbalists, that the pointed-headed early cabbages appeared only at
a comparatively recent date, and certain resemblances between Pe-tsai
and the long-headed cabbages, it is not an impossible suggestion that
these cabbage-forms appeared as the effect of cross-fertilization with the
Chinese cabbage. But, until the cabbage family has received more
study in its varieties, and the results of hybridization are better
understood, no certain conclusion can be reached. It is, however,
certain that occasional rare sports, or variables, from the seed of our
early, long-headed cabbages show the heavy veining and the limb of the
leaf extending down the stalk, suggesting strongly the Chinese type. At
present, however, views as to the origin of various types of cabbage
must be considered as largely speculative.
B. cretica Lam.
The young shoots were formerly used in Greece.
B. juncea Coss. CHINESE MUSTARD. INDIAN MUSTARD.
The plant is extensively cultivated throughout India, central Africa and
generally in warm countries. It is largely grown in south Russia and in
the steppes northeast of the Caspian Sea. In 1871-72, British India
exported 1418 tons of seed. The oil is used in Russia in the place of
olive oil. The powdered seeds furnish a medicinal and culinary
B. nigra Koch. BLACK MUSTARD.
This is the mustard of the ancients and is cultivated in Alsace, Bohemia,
Italy, Holland and England. The plant is found wild in most parts of
Europe and has become naturalized in the United States. According to
the belief of the ancients, it was first introduced from Egypt and was
made known to mankind by Aesculapius, the god of medicine, and
Ceres the goddess of seeds. Mustard is mentioned by Pythagoras and
was employed in medicine by Hippocrates, 480 B. C. Pliny says the
plant grew in Italy without sowing. The ancients ate the young plants
as a spinach and used the seeds for supplying mustard.
Black mustard is described as a garden plant by Albertus Magnus in
the thirteenth century and is mentioned by the botanists of the
sixteenth century. It is, however, more grown as a field crop for its seed,
from which the mustard of commerce is derived, yet finds place also as
a salad plant. Two varieties are described, the Black Mustard of Sicily
and the Large-seeded Black. This mustard was in American gardens in
1806 or earlier. The young plants are now eaten as a salad, the same as
are those of B. alba and the seeds now furnish the greater portion of
B. oleracea acephala DC. BORECOLE. COLE. COLEWORT. KALE.
The chief characteristics of this species of Brassica are that the plants
are open, not heading like the cabbages, nor producing eatable flowers
like the cauliflowers and broccoli. The species has every appearance of
being one of the early removes from the original species and is
cultivated in many varieties known as kale, greens, sprouts, curlico,
with also some distinguishing prefixes as Buda kale, German greens.
Some are grown as ornamental plants, being variously curled,
laciniated and of beautiful colors. In 1661, Ray journeyed into Scotland
and says of the people that "they use much pottage made of coal-wort
which they call keal." It is probable that this was the form of cabbage
known to the ancients.
The kales represent an extremely variable class of vegetable and have
been under cultivation from a most remote period. What the varieties of
cabbage were that were known to the ancient Greeks it seems
impossible to determine in all cases, but we can hardly question but
that some of them belonged to the kales. Many varieties were known to
the Romans. Cato, who lived about 201 B. C., describes the Brassica as:
the levis, large broad-leaves, large-stalked; the crispa or apiacan; the
lenis, small-stalked, tender, but rather sharp-tasting. Pliny, in the first
century, describes the Cumana, with sessile leaf and open head; the
Aricinum, not excelled in height, the leaves numerous and thick; the
Pompeianum, tall, the stalk thin at the base, thickening along the
leaves; the brutiana, with very large leaves, thin stalk, sharp savored;
the sabellica, admired for its curled leaves, whose thickness exceeds
that of the stalk, of very sweet savor; the Lacuturres, very large headed,
innumerable leaves, the head round, the leaves fleshy; the Tritianom,
often a foot in diameter and late in going to seed. The first American
mention of coleworts is by Sprigley, 1669, for Virginia but this class of
the cabbage tribe is probably the one mentioned by Benzoni as growing
in Hayti in 1565. In 1806, McMahon recommends for American
gardens the green and the brown Aypres and mentions the Red and
Thick-leaved Curled, the Siberian, the Scotch and especially
recommends Jerusalem kale.
The form of kale known in France as the chevalier seems to have been
the longest known and we may surmise that its names of chou caulier
and caulet have reference to the period when the word caulis, a stalk,
had a generic meaning applying to the cabbage race in general. We may
hence surmise that this was the common form in ancient times, in like
manner as coles or coleworts in more modern times imply the
cultivation of kales. This word coles or caulis is used in the generic
sense, for illustration, by Cato, 200 years B. C.; by Columella the first
century A. D.; by Palladius in the third; by Vegetius in the fourth
century A. D.; and Albertus Magnus in the thirteenth. This race of
chevaliers may be quite reasonably supposed to be the levis of Cato,
sometimes called caulodes.
According to De Candolle, this race of chevaliers has five principal subraces,
of which the following is an incomplete synonymy:
I. Brassica laevis. Cam. Epit. 248. 1586; Matth. Op. 366. 1598.
Br. vulgaris sativa. Ger. 244. 1597.
Cavalier branchu. DeCand. Mem. 9. 1821.
Thousand-headed. Burr 236. 1863.
Chou branchu du Poitou. Vilm. 135. 1883.
Chou mille teles. Vilrn. 1. c.
Kol. Roeszl. 87. 1550. Brassica. Trag. 720. 1552.
Brassica alba vulgaris. Bauh. J. 2:829. 1651.
Chou vert commun. Decand. Mem. 9. 1821.
Cow Cabbage. Burr 232. 1863.
Chou cavalier. Vilm. 134. 1883.
Brassica vulgaris alba. Chabr. 290. 1677.
Brassica primum genus. Fuch. 413. 1542.
Br. rubra prima species. Dalechamp 523. 1587.
Br. rubra. Ger. 244. 1597.
Br. rubra vulgaris. Bauh. J. 2:831. 1651; Chabr. 270. 1877.
Red cavalier. De Cand. Mem. 9. 1821.
Flanders kale. Burr 233. 1863.
Caulet de Flander. Vilrn. 134. 1883.
III. Brassica vulgaris sativa. Lob. Obs. 122. 1576; Icon. 1:243. 1591; D
Br. alba vulgaris. Dalechamp 520. 1587.
Brassica. Dur. C. 76. 1817.
Chou a feuilles de Chene. De Cand. Mem. 10. 1821.
Buda kale. Vilm. 141. 1885.
IVa. Brassica secundum genus. Fuch. 414. 1542.
Br. fimbriata. Lob. Obs. 124. 1576; Icon. 247. 1591.
Br. sativa crispa. Ger. 244. 1597.
Br. crispa. Dod. 622. i6i6.
Br. crispa lacinosa. Bauh. J. 2:832. 1651.
Chou vert frise. De Cand. Mem. 10. 1821.
Tall Green Curled. Burr 236. 1863.
Chou frise vert grand. Vilm. 131. 1883.
IVb. Brassica crispa, seu apiana. Trag. 721. 1552.
Br. crispa Tragi. Dalechamp 524. 1587.
Br. tenuifolia laciniata. Lob. Icon. 1:246. 1591.
Br. selenoides. Dod. 622. i6i6.
Br. tenuissima laciniata. Bauh. J. 2:832. 1651.
Br. selenoides. Ger. 248. 1597.
Chou plume ou Chou aigrette. De Cand. Mem. n. 1821. Ornamental
kales of our gardens.
V. Brassica tophosa. Ger. 246. 1547; Bauh. J. 2:830. 1651.
Br. tophosa Tabernemontano. Chabr. 270. 1677.
Chou palmier. De Cand. Mem. n. 1821; Vilm. 133. 1883.
These forms occur in many varieties, differing in degree only, and of
various colors, even variegated. In addition to the above we may
mention the proliferous kales, which also occur in several varieties. The
following synonyms refer to proliferation only, as the plants in other
respects are not similar:-
Brassica asparagoides Dalechampii. Dalechamp 522. 1587.
Brassica prolifera. Ger. 245. 1597.
Brassica prolifera crispa. Ger. 245. 1597.
Cockscomb kale. Burr 232. 1863.
Chou frise prolifere. Vilm. 133. 1883.
THE DWARF KALES.
De Candolle does not bring these into his classification as offering true
types, and in this perhaps he is right. Yet, olericulturally considered,
they are quite distinct. There are but few varieties. The best marked is
the Dwarf Curled, the leaves falling over in a graceful curve and
reaching to the ground. This kale can be traced through variations and
varieties to our first class, and hence it has probably been derived in
recent times through a process of selection, or through the preservation
of a natural variation. There is an intermediate type between the Dwarf
Curled and the Tall Curled forms in the intermediate Moss Curled.
THE PORTUGAL KALES.
Two kales have the extensive rib system and the general aspect of the
Portugal cabbage. These are the chou brocoli and the chou frise de
mosbach of Vilmorin. These bear the same relation to Portugal cabbage
that common kale bears to the heading cabbages.
B. oleracea botrytis cymosa DC. BROCCOLI.
The differences between the most highly improved varieties of the
broccoli and the cauliflower are very slight; in the less changed forms
they become great. Hence two races can be defined, the sprouting
broccolis and the cauliflower broccolis. The growth of the broccoli is far
more prolonged than that of the cauliflower, and in the European
countries it bears its heads the year following that in which it is sown. It
is this circumstance that leads us to suspect that the Romans knew the
plant and described it under the name cyma-"Cyma a prima sectione
praestat proximo vere." "Ex omnibus brassicae generibus suavissima
est cyma," says Pliny. He also uses the word cyma for the seed stalk
which rises from the heading cabbage. These excerpts indicate the
sprouting broccoli, and the addition of the word cyma then, as exists in
Italy now, with the word broccoli is used for a secondary meaning, for
the tender shoots which at the close of winter are emitted by various
kinds of cabbages and turnips preparing to flower.
It is certainly very curious that the early botanists did not describe or
figure broccoli. The omission is only explainable under the supposition
that it was confounded with the cauliflower, just as Linnaeus brought
the cauliflower and the broccoli into one botanical variety. The first
notice of broccoli is quoted from Miller's Dictionary, edition of 1724, in
which he says it was a stranger in England until within these five years
and was called "sprout colli-flower," or Italian asparagus. In 1729,
Switzer says there are several kinds that he has had growing in his
garden near London these two years: "that with small, whitish-yellow
flowers like the cauliflower; others like the common sprouts and flowers
of a colewort; a third with purple flowers; all of which come mixed
together, none of them being as yet (at least that I know of) ever sav'd
separate." In 1778, Mawe, names the Early Purple, Late Purple, White
or Cauliflower-broccoli and the Black. In 1806, McMahon mentions the
Roman or Purple, the Neapolitan or White, the Green and the Black. In
1821, Thorbum names the Cape, the White and the Purple, and, in
1828, in his seed list, mentions the Early White, Early Purple, the Large
Purple Cape and the White Cape or Cauliflower-broccoli.
The first and third kind of Switzer, 1729, are doubtless the heading
broccoli, while the second is probably the sprouting form. These came
from Italy and as the seed came mixed, we may assume that varietal
distinctions had not as yet become recognized, and that hence all the
types of the broccoli now grown have originated from Italy. It is
interesting to note, however, that at the Cirencester Agricultural College,
about 1860, sorts of broccoli were produced, with other variables, from
the seed of wild cabbage.
Vilmorin says: "The sprouting or asparagus broccoli, represents the
first form exhibited by the new vegetable when it ceased to be the
earliest cabbage and was grown with an especial view to its shoots; after
this, by continued selection and successive improvements, varieties
were obtained which produced a compact, white head, and some of
these varieties were still further improved into kinds which are
sufficiently early to commence and complete their entire growth in the
course of the same year; these last named kinds are now known as
B. oleracea bullata gemmifera DC. BRUSSELS SPROUTS.
This vegetable, in this country, grown only in the gardens of amateurs,
yet deserving more esteem, has for a type-form a cabbage with an
elongated stalk, bearing groups of leaf-buds in the axils of the leaves.
Sometimes occurring as a monstrosity, branches instead of heads are
developed. Quite frequently an early cabbage, after the true head is
removed, will develop small cabbages in the leaf-axils, and thus is
formed the Brassica capitata polycephalos of Dalechamp, 1587, which
he himself describes as a certain unused and rare kind.
Authors have stated that brussels sprouts have been grown from time
immemorial about Brussels, in Belgium; but, if this be so, it is strange
that they escaped the notice of the early botanists, who would have
certainly noticed a common plant of such striking appearance and have
given a figure. Bauhin, indeed, 1623, gives the name Brassica ex
capitibus pluribus conglobata, and adds that some plants bear 50
heads the size of an egg, but his reference to Dalechamp would lead us
to infer that the plant known to him was of the same character as that
figured by Dalechamp above noted. Lobel, 1655, refers to a cabbage
like a Brassica polycephalos, but, as he had not seen it, he says he will
affirm nothing. Ray, 1686, refers to a like cabbage.
A. P. De Candolle, 1821, describes brussels sprouts as commonly
cultivated in Belgium and implies its general use in French gardens,
but Booth says it is only since about 1854 that it has been generally
known in England. A correspondent of the Gardeners' Chronicle, 1850,
however, refers to the tall sorts as generally preferred to the dwarf by
the market gardeners about London. In American gardens, it is
mentioned in 1806 and this implies its general use in Europe.
But two classes are known, the tall and the dwarf, and but a few minor
variations in these classes. The tall is quite distinct in habit and leaf
from the dwarf, the former having less crowded sprouts and a more
open character of plant, with leaves scarcely blistered or puckered. As,
however, there is considerable variation to be noted in seedlings,
furnishing connecting links, the two forms may legitimately be
considered as one, the difference being no greater than would be
explained by the observed power of selection and of the influence for
modification which might arise from the influence of cabbage pollen.
This fact of their being of but one type, even if with several variables,
would seem to indicate a probability that the origin is to be sought for
in a sport, and that our present forms have been derived from a
suddenly observed variable of the Savoy cabbage type and, as the lack
of early mention and the recent nature of modern mention presupposes,
at some time scarcely preceding the last century.
Allied to this class is the Tree cabbage, or Jersey cabbage, which attains
an extreme height of 16 feet, bearing a comparatively small, open
cabbage on the summit, the Thousand-headed cabbage, the Poiton
cabbage, and the Marrow cabbage, the stems of which last are
succulent enough to be boiled for food. In 1806, McMahon describes
brussels sprouts, but he does not include them in his list of American
garden esculents so they were not at that time in very general use.
Fessenden, 1828, mentions the Thousand-headed cabbage but it does
not seem to have been known to him personally. Thorbum, in his
catalog for 1828, offers its seed for sale, but one variety only, and in
1881, two varieties.
B. oleracea bullata major DC. SAVOY CABBAGE.
This race of cabbage is distinguished by the blistered surface of its
leaves and by the formation of a loose or little compacted head.
Probably the heading cabbages of the ancient Romans belong to this
class, as, in their descriptions, there are no indications of a firm head,
and at a later period this form is named as if distinctly Roman. Thus,
Ruellius, 1536, describes under the name romanos a loose-heading
sort of cabbage but does not describe it particularly as a Savoy. This
sort probably is the Brassica italica tenerrima glomerosa flore albo
figured by J. Bauhin, 1651, its origin, judging from the name, being
ascribed to Italy; it is also figured by Chabraeus, 1677, under the same
name and with the additional names of Chou d'ltalie and Chou de
Savoys. In the Adversaria and elsewhere, this kind is described as
tender and as not extending to northern climates. This form, so
carefully pictured as existing under culture, has doubtless been
superseded by better varieties. It has been cultivated in English
gardens for three centuries. In 1806, McMahon mentions three savoys
for American gardens. In 1828, Thorbum offers in his catalog seeds of
five varieties and in 1881 offers seed of but three.
B. oleracea capita DC. CABBAGE.
Few plants exhibit so many forms in its variations from the original type
as cabbage. No kitchen garden in Europe or America is without it and it
is distributed over the greater part of Asia and, in fact, over most of the
world. The original plant occurs wild at the present day on the steep,
chalk rocks of the sea province of England, on the coast of Denmark
and northwestern France and, Lindley says, from Greece to Great
Britain in numerous localities. At Dover, England, wild cabbage varies
considerably in its foliage and general appearance and in its wild state
is used as a culinary vegetable and is of excellent flavor. This wild
cabbage is undoubtedly the original of our cultivated varieties, as
experiments at the garden of the Royal Agricultural College and at
Cirencester resulted in the production of sorts of broccoli, cabbages and
greens from wild plants gathered from rocks overhanging the sea in
Wales. Lindley groups the leading variations as follows: If the race is
vigorous, long jointed and has little tendency to turn its leaves inwards,
it forms what are called open cabbages (the kales); if the growth is
stunted, the joints short and the leaves inclined to turn inwards, it
becomes the heart cabbages; if both these tendencies give way to a
preternatural formation of flowers, the cauliflowers are the result. If the
stems swell out into a globular form, we have the turnip-rooted
cabbages. Other species of Brassica, very nearly allied to B. oleracea
Linn., such as B. balearica Richl., B. insularis Moris, and B. cretica
Lam., belong to the Mediterranean flora and some botanists suggest
that some of these species, likewise introduced into the gardens and
established as cultivated plants, may have mixed with each other and
thus have assisted in, giving rise to some of the many races cultivated at
the present day.
The ancient Greeks held cabbage in high esteem and their fables
deduce its origin from the father of their gods; for, they inform us that
Jupiter, laboring to explain two oracles which contradicted each other,
perspired and from this divine perspiration the colewort sprung.
Dioscorides mentions two kinds of coleworts, the cultivated and the
wild. Theophrastus names the curled cole, the swath cole and the wild
cole. The Egyptians are said to have worshipped cabbage, and the
Greeks and Romans ascribed to it the happy quality of preserving from
drunkenness. Pliny mentions it. Cato describes one kind as smooth,
great, broadleaved, with a big stalk, the second ruffed, the third with
little stalks, tender and very much biting. Regnier says cabbages were
cultivated by the ancient Celts.
Cabbage is one of the most generally cultivated of the vegetables of
temperate climates. It grows in Sweden as far north as 67� to 68�. The
introduction of cabbage into European gardens is usually ascribed to
the Romans, but Olivier de Serres says the art of making them head
was unknown in France in the ninth century. Disraeli says that Sir
Anthony Ashley of Dorsetshire first planted cabbages in England, and a
cabbage at his feet appears on his monument; before his time they were
brought from Holland. Cabbage is said to have been scarcely known in
Scotland until the time of the Commonwealth, 1649, when it was
carried there by some of Cromwell's soldiers. Cabbage was introduced
into America at an early period. In 1540, Cartier in his third voyage to
Canada, sowed cabbages. Cabbages are mentioned by Benzoni as
growing in Hayti in 1556; by Shrigley, in Virginia in 1669; but are not
mentioned especially by Jefferson in 1781. Romans found them in
Florida in 1775 and even cultivated by the Choctaw Indians. They were
seen by Nieuhoff in Brazil in 1647. In 1779, cabbages are mentioned
among the Indian crops about Geneva, New York, destroyed by Gen.
Sullivan in his expedition of reprisal. In 1806, McMahon mentions for
American gardens seven early and six late sorts. In 1828, Thorbum
offered 18 varieties in his seed catalog and in 1881, 19. In 1869,
Gregory tested 60 named varieties in his experimental garden and in
1875 Landreth tested 51.
The headed cabbage in its perfection of growth and its multitude of
varieties, bears every evidence of being of ancient origin. It does not
appear, however, to have been known to Dioscorides, or to
Theophrastus or Cato, but a few centuries later the presence of cabbage
is indicated by Columella and Pliny, who, of his variety, speaks of the
head being sometimes a foot in diameter and going to seed the latest of
all the sorts known to him. The descriptions are, however, obscure, and
we may well believe that if the hard-headed varieties now known had
been seen in Rome at this time they would have received mention.
Olivier de Serres says: "White cabbages came from the north, and the
art of making them head was unknown in the time of Charlemagne."
Albertus Magnus, who lived in the twelfth century, seems to refer to a
headed cabbage in his Caputium, but there is no description. The first
unmistakable reference to cabbage is by Ruellius, 1536, who calls them
capucos coles, or cabutos and describes the head as globular and often
very large, even a foot and a half in diameter. Yet the word cabaches
and caboches, used in England in the fourteenth century, indicates
cabbage was then known and was distinguished from coles. Ruellius,
also, describes a loose-headed form called romanos, and this name and
description, when we consider the difficulty of heading cabbages in a
warm climate, would lead us to believe that the Roman varieties were
not our present solid-heading type but loose-headed and perhaps of
the savoy class.
Our present cabbages are divided by De Candolle into five types or
races: the flat-headed, the round-headed, the egg-shaped, the elliptic
and the conical. Within each class are many sub-varieties. In Vilmorin's
Les Plantes Potageres, 1883, 57 kinds are described, and others are
mentioned by name. In the Report of the New York Agricultural
Experiment Station for 1886, 70 varieties are described, excluding
synonyms. In both cases the savoys are treated as a separate class and
are not included. The histories of De Candolle's forms are as follows:
Type, Quintal. The first appearance of this form is in Pancovius
Herbarium, 1673, No. 612. A Common Flatwinter, probably this form,
is mentioned by Wheeler, 1763; the Flat-topped is described by Mawe,
1778. The varieties that are now esteemed are remarkably flat and
Type, Early Dutch Drumhead. This appears to be the earliest
form, as it is the only kind figured in early botanies and was hence
presumably the only, or, perhaps, the principal sort known during
several centuries. The following synonymy is taken from drawings only
and hence there can be no mistake in regard to the type:
Brassicae quartum genus. Fuch. 416. 1542.
Kappiskraut. Roeszl. 87. 1550.
Caulis capitulatis. Trag. 717. 1552.
Brassica capitata. Matth. 247. 1558; Pin. 163. 1561; Cam. Epit. 250.
Kol oder Kabiskraut. Pict. 90. 1581.
Brassica alba sessilis glomerata, ant capitata Lactucae habitu. Lobel
Icon. 1:243. 1591.
Brassica capitata albida. Dalechamp 1:521. 1587; Dod. Pempt. 623.
Brassica capuccia. Dur. C. 78. 1617.
Brassica capitata alba. Bod. 777. 1644; Bauh. J. 1:826. 1651; Chabr.
The descriptive synonymy includes the losed cabbage, a great round
cabbage of Lyte's Dodoens, 1586; the White Cabbage Cole of Gerarde,
1597; the White Cabbage of Ray, 1686; the chou pomme blanc of
Toumefort, 1719; the English of Townsend, 1726; the Common White
of Wheeler, 1763; the English or Late, of Stevenson, 1765; the Common
Round White of Mawe, 1778.
Type, the Sugar-loaf. Vilmorin remarks of this variety, the Sugar-loaf,
that, although a very old variety and well known in every country in
Europe, it does not appear to be extensively grown anywhere. It is
called chou chicon in France and bundee kobee in India. It is
mentioned by name by Townsend, 1726; by Wheeler, 1763; by
Stevenson, 1765; and by Mawe, 1778. Perhaps the Large-sided
cabbage of Worlidge and the Long-sided cabbage of Quintyne belong to
Type, Early York. This is first mentioned by Stevenson, 1765, and he
refers to it as a well-known sort. According to Burr, it came originally
from Flanders. There are now many varieties of this class.
Type, Filderkraut. This race is described by Lamarck, 1783, and, if
there is any constancy between the name and the variety during long
periods, is found in the Battersea, named by Townsend in 1726 and by
a whole line of succeeding writers.
It is certainly very singular that but one of these races of cabbage
received the notice of the older botanists (excepting the one flat-topped
given by Chabraeus, 1677), as their characteristics are extremely well
marked and form extreme contrasts between the conical, or pointed,
and the spherical-headed. We must, hence, believe that they either
originated or came into use in a recent period. How they came and
whence they came, must be decided from a special study, in which the
effect of hybridization may become a feature. From the study of sports
that occasionally appear in the garden, the suggestion may be offered
that at least some of these races have been derived from crossings with
some form of the Chinese cabbage, whereby form has become
transferred while the other characteristics of the Chinese species have
disappeared. On the other hand. the savoy class, believed to have origin
from the same source as the cabbage, has oval or oblong heads, which
have been noted by the herbalists.
It is very remarkable, says Unger, that the European and Asiatic names
used for different species of cabbage may all be referred to four roots.
The names kopf kohl (German), cabus (French), cabbage (English),
kappes, kraut, kapost, kaposta, kapsta (Tartar), kopee (Beng.), kopi
(Hindu), have a manifest relation to the Celto-Slavic root cap or kap,
which in Celtic means head. Brassica of Pliny is derived from the Celtic,
bresic cabbage. The Celto-Germanico-Greek root caul may be detected
in the word kaol, the Grecian kaulion of Theophrastus, the Latin caulis;
also in the words caulx, cavolo, coan, kohl, kale, kaal (Norwegian), kohl
(Swedish), col (Spanish), kelum (Persian); finally, the Greco-Germanic
root cramb, krambe, passes into krumb, karumb of the Arabians. The
want of a Sanscrit name shows that the cabbage tribe first found its
way at a later period to India and China. This tribe is not mentioned as
in Japan by Thunberg, 1775.
B. oleracea capitata mbra DC. RED CABBAGE.
This is a very distinct and probably a very ancient kind of a peculiar
purple color and solid heading. It is cultivated in a number of varieties
and in 1854 the seed of Red Savoy was distributed from the United
States Patent Office. One variety is mentioned for American gardens by
McMahon, 1806, and one variety only by Thorbum, 1828 and 1881,
but several distinct sorts can now be obtained from seedsmen. Burr,
1863, describes three reds and one so deeply colored as to be called
The first certain mention of this cabbage is in 1570, in Pena and Lobel's
Adversarial and figures are given by Gerarde, 1597, Matthiolus, 1598,
Dodonaeus, 1616, and J. Bauhin, 1651. These figures are all of the
spherical-headed type. In 1638, Ray notices the variability in the colors
upon which a number of our seedsmen's varieties are founded. The
oblong or the pointed-headed types which now occur cannot be traced.
The solidity of the head and the perfectness of the form in this class of
cabbage indicate long culture and a remote origin. In England, they
have never attained much standing for general use, and, as in this
country, are principally grown for pickling.
COLLARDS OR COLEWORT.
As grown in the United States, collards, or colewort, are sowings of an
early variety of cabbage in rows about one foot apart to be cut for use
as a spinach when about six or eight inches high. Other directions for
culture are to sow seeds as for cabbage in June, July and August for
succession, transplant when one month old in rows a foot apart each
way, and hoe frequently. The collard plants are kept for sale by
seedsmen, rather than the cabbage seed under this name. In the
Southern States, collards are extensively grown and used for greens
and after frost the flavor is esteemed delicious.
B. oleracea caulo-rapa communis DC. KOHL-RABI.
This is a dwarf-growing plant with the stem swelled out so as to
resemble a turnip above ground. There is no certain identification of
this race in ancient writings. The bunidia of Pliny seems rather to be the
rutabaga, as he says it is between a radish and a rape. The gorgylis of
Theophrastus and Galen seems also to be the rutabaga, for Galen says
the root contained within the earth is hard unless cooked. In 1554,
Matthiolus speaks of the kohl-rabi as having lately come into Italy.
Between 1573 and 1575, Rauwolf saw it in the gardens of Tripoli and
Aleppo. Lobel, 1570, Camerarius, 1586, Dalechamp, 1587, and other
of the older botanists figure or describe it as under European culture.
Kohl-rabi, in the view of some writers, is a cross between cabbage and
rape, and many of the names applied to it convey this idea. This view is
probably a mistaken one, as the plant in its sportings under culture
tends to the form of the Marrow cabbage, from which it is probably a
derivation. In 1884, two kohl-rabi plants were growing in pots in the
greenhouse at the New York Agricultural Experiment Station; one of
these extended itself until it became a Marrow cabbage and when
planted out in the spring attained its growth as a Marrow cabbage. This
idea of its origin finds countenance in the figures of the older botanists;
thus, Camerarius, 1586, figures a plant as a kohl-rabi which in all
essential points resembles a Marrow cabbage, tapering from a small
stem into a long kohl-rabi, with a flat top like the Marrow cabbage. The
figures given by Lobel, 1591, Dodonaeus, 1616, and Bodaeus, 1644,
when compared with Camerarius' figure, suggest the Marrow cabbage.
A long, highly improved form, not now under culture, is figured by
Gerarde, 1597, J. Bauhin, 1651, and Chabraeus, 1677, and the
modern form is given by Gerarde and by Matthiolus, 1598. A very
unimproved form, out of harmony with the other figures, is given by
Dalechamp, 1587, and Castor Durante, 1617. The synonymy can be
tabulated as below:
I. Caulorapum. Cap. Epit. 251. 1586.
II. Rapa Br. peregrine, caule rapum gerens. Lob. Icon. 246. 1591.
Br. caule rapum gerens. Dod. Pempt. 625. 1616.
Rapa brassica. Bodaus 777. 1644.
III. Caulo rapum longum. Ger. 250. 1597.
Br. caulorapa. Bauh. J. 2:830. 1651.
Br. caulorapa sive Rapo caulis. Chabr. 270. 1677.
IV. Caulorapum rotundum. Ger. 250. 1597.
Brassica gongylodes. Matth. Opera 367. 1598.
V. Brassica raposa. Dalechamp 522. 1587.
Bradica raposa. Dur. C. 1617. app.
Matthiolus, as we have stated, says the plant came into Germany from
Italy; Pena and Lobel say it came from Greece; Gerarde, that it grows in
Italy, Spain and Germany, whence he received seeds. This plant was an
inmate of the Old Physic Garden in Edinburgh before 1683. In 1734, it
was first brought into field culture in Ireland; in Scotland in 1805; and
in England in 1837. In the United States, it was mentioned by
McMahon, 1806. Fessenden, 1828, names two varieties, one the aboveground
and the other the below-ground tumip-rooted. Darwin speaks
of the recently formed new race, already including nine subvarieties, in
which the enlarged part lies beneath the ground like a turnip. Two
varieties are used in France in ornamental gardening, the leaves being
cut and frizzled, and the artichoke-leaved variety is greatly prized for
decoration by confectioners. These excerpts indicate a southern origin,
for this vegetable and the Marrow cabbage are very sensitive to cold.
The more highly improved forms, as figured in our synonymy, are in
authors of northern or central Europe, while the unimproved forms are
given by more southern writers. This indicates that the present kohlrabi
received its development in northern countries. The varieties now
grown are the White and Purple, in early and late forms, the Curledleaf,
or Neapolitan, and the Artichoke-leaved.
B. olearacea costata oblonga DC. PORTUGAL CABBAGE.
This cabbage is easily recognizable through the great expansion of the
midribs and veins of the leaf, in some cases forming quite half of the
leaf, the midrib losing its identity in the multitude of radiating,
branching veins. In some plants the petioles are winged clear to the
base. Nearly all the names applied to this form indicate its distribution,
at least in late years, from Portugal, whence it reached English gardens
about 1821 and American gardens, under the name of Portugal
Cabbage, about 1850. It should be remarked, however, that a chou a la
grosse cote was in French gardens in 1612 and in three varieties in
This cabbage varies in a direction parallel to that of the common
cabbage, or has forms which can be classed with the kales and the
heading cabbages of at least two types.
The peculiarity of the ribs or veins occasionally appears among the
variables from the seed of the common cabbage, hence atavism as the
result of a cross can be reasonably inferred. As to the origin of this form,
opinion, at the present stage of studies, must be largely speculative but
we may reasonably believe that it originated from a different form or a
different set of hybridizations than did the common cabbage. The
synonymy appears to be:
Choux a la grosse cote. Jard. Solit. 1612.
Chou blond aux grosses cotes. Bosc. Diet. 4, 43. 1789.
Brassica oleracea aceppala costata. DC. Syst. 2:584. 1821.
B. oleracea costata. DC. Trans. Hort. Soc. Lond. M. 5:12. 1824.
Chou aux grosses cotes. Vilm. 1883.
B. sinapistrum Boiss. CHARLOCK. FIELD MUSTARD.
This is an European plant now occurring as a weed in cultivated fields
In seasons of scarcity, in the Hebrides, the soft stems and
leaves are boiled in milk and eaten. It is so employed in Sweden and
Ireland. Its seeds form a good substitute for mustard.
Bridelia retusa Spreng. Euphorbiaceae.
A tree of eastern Asia. The fruit is sweetish and eatable.
Brodiaea grandiflora Sm. Liliaceae. CALIFORNIAN HYACINTH.
Its fruit is eaten by the Indians. In France, it is
grown in the flower garden.
Bromelia Sp. Bromeliaceae.
In the Malay Archipelago, Wallacel left two men for a month, by
accident, on an island near Oeram, who "subsisted on the roots and
tender flower-stalks of a species of Bromelia, on shell fish and on a few
Brosimum alicastrum Sw. Urticaceae (Moraceae). ALICASTRUM
The fruit, boiled with salt-fish, pork, beef or pickle,
has frequently been the support of the negro and poorer sorts of white
people in times of scarcity and has proved a wholesome and not
B. galactodendron D. Don. COW-TREE. MILK-TREE.
Guiana; the polo de vaca, arbol de lecke, or cow-tree of Venezuela.
Humboldt says "On the barren flank of a rock grows a tree with
coriaceous and dry leaves. Its large, woody roots can scarcely penetrate
into the stone. For several months of the year not a single shower
moistens its foliage. Its branches appear dead and dried; but when the
trunk is pierced there flows from it a sweet and nourishing milk. It is at
the rising of the sun that this vegetable fountain is most abundant. The
negroes and natives are then seen hastening from all quarters,
furnished with large bowls to receive the milk which grows yellow and
thickens at its surface. Some empty their bowls under the tree itself,
others carry the juice home to their children." This tree seems to have
been noticed first by Laet in 1633, in the province of Camana. The
plant, according to Desvaux, is one of the polo de vaca or cow-trees of
South America. From incisions in the bark, milky sap is procured,
which is drunk by the inhabitants as a milk. Its use is accompanied by
a sensation of astringency in the lips and palate. This cow-tree is grown
in Ceylon and India, for Brandis says it yields large quantities of thick,
gluey milk without any acridity, that it is drunk extensively, and that it
is very wholesome and nourishing.
Broussonetia papyrifera Vent. Urticaceae (Moraceae). PAPER
MULBERRY. TAPA-CLOTH TREE.
A tree of the islands of the Pacific, China and Japan. It is cultivated for
the inner bark which is used for making a paper as well as textile
fabrics. The fleshy part of the compound fruit is saccharine and edible.
Bruguiera gymnorrhiza Lam. Rhizophoreae.
Muddy tropical shores from Hindustan to the Samoan Islands. Its fruit,
leaves and bark are eaten by the natives in the Malayan Archipelago.8\
Bryonia alba Linn. Cucurbitaceae. WHITE BRYONY.
West Mediterranean countries.
Loudon says the young shoots are
B. dioica Jacq. RED BRYONY. WILD HOP.
Europe and adjoining Asia.
Loudon says the young shoots of red
bryony are edible. Masters says that the plant has a fetid odor and
possesses acrid, emetic and pungent properties.