Cicer arietinum Linn. Leguminosae. CHICK-PEA. EGYPTIAN PEA.
Europe, Orient and the East Indies.
This plant is represented as
growing wild in the Caucasus, in Greece and elsewhere; it is also found
escaped from cultivation in the fields of middle Europe. The Jews,
Greeks and Egyptians cultivated it in ancient times. It is extensively
cultivated at the present time in the south of Europe, in the Levant, in
Egypt as far as Abyssinia and in India. The seeds vary in size and color
in the different varieties. In Paris, they are much used for soups. In
India, they are ground into a meal and either eaten in puddings or
made into cakes. They are also toasted or parched and made into a sort
of comfit. In India, says Wight: "The leaves of the plant secrete an acid
which the natives collect by spreading a cloth over night on the plant
and wringing out the dew in the morning. They then use it as vinegar or
for forming a cooling drink." In 1854, the seed was distributed from the
United States Patent Office.
The shape of the unripe seed, which singularly resembles a ram's head,
may account for its being regarded as unclean by the Egyptians of the
time of Herodotus. It was in common use in ancient Rome and varieties
are mentioned by Columella and Pliny, the latter naming the white and
black, the Dove of Venus pea, and many kinds differing from each other
in size. Albertus Magnus, in the thirteenth century, mentions the red,
the white and the black sorts, and this mention of colors is continued
by the herbalists of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth
centuries. The white chick-pea is the sort now generally grown in
France, where the dried seeds find large use in soups. The red variety is
now extensively grown in eastern countries, and the black sort is
described as more curious than useful.
Cichorium endivia Linn. Compositae. ENDIVE.
Europe and the Orient.
This is a widely distributed plant, probably of
East Indian origin, where certainly, says Unger, "The same plant is met
with wild about Patna and Kamaon, as well as in Nepal." Others deem it
a native plant of Sicily. It was used as an esculent from a very early
period by the Egyptians and was known to the Greeks Ovid mentions it
in his tale of Philemon and Bauds, Columella also refers to it as
common in his day, and Pliny states it was eaten in his time as a salad
and as a potherb. It was in cultivation in England as early as 1548. It is
not known when the endive was first used in the United States, but
McMahon, 1806, mentions the Green Curled, White Curled and the
Broad-leaved in cultivation. In 1828 and 1881, Thorbum offers the
seed of these varieties only.
There are two distinct forms of endive, the curled and the broad-leaved.
The first does not seem to have been known to the ancients, although
Dioscorides and Pliny name two kinds. In the thirteenth century,
Albertus Magnus names also two kinds, the one with narrower leaves
than the other; and in 1542 Fuchsius figures two kinds of like
description, and like forms are noted in nearly all the earlier botanies. A
curled, broad-leaved form is figured by Camerarius, 1586; Dalechamp,
1587; and Gerarde, 1597. Endive is described in the Adversarial 1570.
The authors named furnish what may reasonably be considered as the
types of the four kinds of broad-leaved endives described by Vilmorin.
The origin of the curled endives, of which Vilmorin describes twelve, is
difficult to trace. The peculiar truncate appearance of the seed-stalks is
very conspicuous, and this feature would lead one to suspect that the
type is to be seen in the Seris sativa of Lobel, but the resemblances are
quite remote. This is the Cichorium latioris folii of Dodonaeus, 1616.
The endives were in English gardens as well-known plants in 1778 and
were named among seedsmen's supplies in 1726. They were in the
United States prior to 1806.
C. intybus Linn. BARBE DE CAPUCHIN.. CHICORY. SUCCORY.
Europe and the Orient.
Wild chicory has been used from time
immemorial as a salad-plant and, forced in darkness, affords the
highly-esteemed vegetable in France known as barbe de capuchin. It
has also large-rooted varieties and these, when treated in like manner,
form the vegetable known in Belgium as witloof.
Whether chicory was cultivated by the ancients there is reason to
doubt, although they knew the wild plant and its uses as a vegetable. It
is not mentioned in the descriptive list of garden vegetables in use in the
thirteenth century, as given by Albertus Magnus. Ruellis, 1535,
mentions two kinds but does not imply cultivation; nor does Fuschius
1542, who likewise names two kinds, one of which is our dandelion. It
is treated of by Tragus, 1552; Matthiolus, 1558; the Adversarial 1570;
Lobel, 1576; Camerarius, 1586; Dalechamp, 1587; Gerarde, 1597; but
with no mention of cultivation. Although not mentioned in Lyte's
translation of Dodonaeus, 1586, as cultivated, yet, in Dodonaeus'
Pemptades, 1616, it is said not only to occur wild throughout all
Germany but to be cultivated in gardens. This is the first mention of
culture noted. In 1686, Ray says "it is sown in gardens and occurs wild
in England." The seed occurs among seedsmen's supplies in 1726.
At the present time, chicory is grown for the use of its leaves in salads
and for its root to be used as an adulterant for coffee. The smooth,
tapering root, which seems such an improved form in our modern
varieties, is beautifully figured by Camerarius in 1586. The common
chicory grown for salads is but the wild plant little changed and with
the divided leaves as figured by the herbalists. The entire-leaved form
with a tendency to a red midrib also occurs in nature and may be
considered as the near prototype of the Magdeburg large-rooted and of
the red Italian sorts. The variegated chicory, the curled-leaved and the
broad-leaved may have their prototypes in nature if sought for but at
present must remain unexplained. The common, the spotted-leaved
and the large-rooted were in French culture in 1826.
Cinnamomum cassia Blume. Lauraceae. CASSIA. CINNAMON.
China, Sumatra, Ceylorf and other parts of eastern Asia.
yields a cinnamon of commerce. Cinnamon seems to have been known
to the ancient natives inhabitating the countries bordering on the
Levant. It is the kinnamomon of Herodotus, a name which he states the
Greeks learned from the Phoenicians. It is spoken of in Exodus, is
referred to by Hippocrates, Dioscorides, Pliny and others of the ancient
writers. The inner bark of the shoots is the portion used. Nearly every
species of the genus yields its bark to commerce, including not less
than six species on the Malabar coast and in Ceylon, and nearly twice
as many more in the eastern part of Asia and in the islands of the
Eastern Archipelago. Cassia bark resembles the true cinnamon but is
thicker, coarser and not as delicately flavored. Both are used for
flavoring confectionery and in cooking.
C. culilawan Blume.
Malays, China, Moluccas and Cochin China.
The bark of this species is
said to have the flavor of cloves and is used as a condiment.
C. iners Reinw.
Burma, Malays, tropical Hindustan and Siam.
In India, the natives use
the bark as a condiment in their curries. In southern India, the more
mature fruits are collected for use but are very inferior to the Chinese
cassia buds. Among the Ghauts, the bark is put in curries as a spice.
C. loureirii Nees.
Cochin China and Japan.
From the bark of this plant is made a
cinnamon of which the finest kind is superior to that of Ceylon.
C. nitidum Blume.
Java, Ceylon and India.
This plant furnishes a spice.
C. sintok Blume.
Malays and Java.
The plant possesses an aromatic bark.
C. tamala T. Nees & Eberm.
This plant furnishes leaves that are essential
ingredients in Indian cookery.
C. zeylanicum Nees. CINNAMON.
East Indies and Malays.
This plant is largely cultivated in Ceylon for its
bark. Its cultivation is said to have commenced about 1770, but the
plant was known in a wild state long before. Herodotus says: "the bark
was the lining taken from birds' nests built with clay against the face of
precipitous mountains in those countries where Bacchus was
nurtured." It has been cultivated for some time in Mauritius, the West
Indies, Brazil and other tropical countries.
Cistus ladaniferus Linn. Cistaceae. LAUDANUM.
Western Mediterranean regions.
This species, which furnishes the
laudanum of Spain and Portugal, is often to be met with in gardens.
Loudonl says the gum which exudes from it is eaten by the common
C. villosus Linn. SHAGGY ROCK-ROSE.
This plant is used in Greece in preparing infusions similar to tea.
It is the cistus mas of the ancients.
Citriobatus sp.? Pittosporeae. NATIVE ORANGE. ORANGE THORN.
A species of this genera is the native orange and orange thorn
of the Australian colonists. The fruit is an orange berry with a leathery
skin, subglobular, about one and one-half inches through and is eaten
by the natives.
Citrullus colocynthis Schrad. Cucurbitaceae. BITTER GOURD.
This creeping plant grows abundantly in the Sahara, in
Arabia, on the Coromandel coast and in some of the islands of the
Aegean. The fruit, which is about as large as an orange, contains an
extremely bitter and drastic pulp, from which the drug colocynth is
obtained. Thunberg says this gourd is rendered so perfectly mild at the
Cape of Good Hope, by being properly pickled, that it is eaten by the
natives and by the colonists. The gourds are also made into preserves
with sugar, having been previously pierced all over with knives and
then boiled in six or seven waters until all the bitterness disappears.
Gypsies eat the kernel of the seed freed from the seed-skin by a slight
roasting. Fluckiger says the seed kernels are used as a food in the
African desert, after being carefully deprived of their coatings. Stille says
they are reported to be mild, oleaginous and nutritious. Captain Lyon
speaks also of their use in northern Africa. In India, according to
Vaupell, there is a sweet variety which is edible and cultivated.
C. vulgaris (lanatus) Schrad. WATERMELON.
The watermelon has succeeded especially well under
American culture, the varieties being many in number and
continuously increasing, either through importation or through the
process of selection. The size has also become enormous selected
specimens sometimes weighing 96 pounds or even more. The varieties
vary in shape from round to oblong and in color from a light green to
almost a black, self-colored or striped with paler green or marbled. The
flesh may be white, cream-color, honey-color, pale red, red or scarlet.
The seeds are white, white with two black spots, cream-colored tipped
with brown and a brown stripe around the edge, yellow with a black
stripe round the margin and with black spots, dark brown, reddishbrown,
russet-brown, black, sculptured or as if engraved with
ornamental characters, and pink or red.
The watermelon is mentioned by the early botanists and described as of
large size, but it must be considered that this fruit even now is not as
successfully grown in Europe as in more southern countries. That none
or few types have originated under modern culture is indicated by an
examination into the early records.
Size.-Cardanus, 1556, writes that the size is sometimes so great that a
man can scarcely embrace the fruit with his expanded arms.
Marcgravius, 1648, describes those of Brazil as being as large as a
man's head, sometimes larger, sometimes smaller. In 1686, Ray says
the size is such as to be scarcely grasped with the two hands; this is
what J. Bauhin wrote many years earlier for he died in 1613. The
figures in the earlier botanies, of which there are many, all indicate a
smalll-sized fruit, although the description is usually of a "large" or
very large fruit.
Shape.-Round fruits are mentioned by Fuchsius, 1542; by Cardanus,
1556; Garcia ab Horto, 1567; Marcgravius, 1648; Piso, 1658; and Ray,
1686. Subround or roundish, by Camerarius, 1586; and Gerarde,
1597. Oblong by Garcia ab Horto, 1567; Lourerio, 1790. Oval, by
Garcia ab Horto, 1567. Elliptical, by Marcgravius, 1648; and Ray,
Color.-Grass-green, by Fuchsius, 1542. Green, by Albertus Magnus,
thirteenth century; Bauhin, 1596; Gerarde, 1597. Grass-green and
spotted, by Matthiolus, 1570; Camerarius, 1596; Dalechamp, 1587.
Green and spotted, by Bauhin, 1596. Blackish, by Gerarde, 1597.
Flesh.-Red, by Bauhin, 1596; 1623, Marcgravius, 1648. White, by
Bauhin, 1596, 1623, Chabraeus, 1677. Scarlet, by Marcgravius, 1648.
Pale red, by Piso, 1658; Loureiro, 1790. Yellow, by Bryant, 1783.
Flesh-color, by Josselyn, 1663.
Seed.-Chestnut-brown, by Fuchsius, 1542. Purple-red, by Tragus,
1552. Black, by Matthiolus, 1570; Camerarius, 1596; Dalechamp,
1587; Bauhin, 1596; J. Bauhin, 1651. Red, by Matthiolus, 1570;
Bauhin, 1596; Sloane, 1696; Bryant, 1783. Reddish, by Camerarius,
1586. Brown, by Bauhin, 1596; Marcgravius, 1648. Raven-black, by
Marcgravius, 1648. White, by J. Bauhin, 1651. Sculptured, by Forskal,
It is interesting to note that the older writers described some varieties as
sweet, others as insipid and acid. Livingstone describes the wild
watermelons of South Africa as some sweet and wholesome, others
bitter and deleterious. The bitter or acid forms do not now appear in
The most surprising plant of the South African desert, writes
Livingstone, is the kengwe or keme, the watermelon. In years when
more than the usual quantity of rain falls, vast tracts of the country are
literally covered with these melons. Some are sweet, and others so bitter
that they are named by the Boers the "bitter watermelon." The bitter
ones are deleterious, but the sweet are quite wholesome. As this
missionary observer was not a botanist, it is possible that this species
may have been the colocynth, Citrullus colocynthis, or a hybrid of the
colocynth and the watermelon.
Rauwolf, 1574, found the watermelon growing in abundance in the
gardens of Tripoli, Rama and Aleppo under the name bathieca, the root
of which word, says R. Thompson, is from the Hebrew abattichim, one
of the fruits of Egypt which the Jews regretted in the wilderness. The
watermelon still forms the chief food and drink of the inhabitants of
Egypt for several months in the year. In Bagdad, also, it is a staple
summer food. Pallas says in southern Russia the people make a beer
from their abundant crops of watermelons, with the addition of hops.
They also make a conserve or marmalade from the fruit, which is an
excellent substitute for syrup or molasses. In 1662, Nieuhoff found the
watermelon called batiek by the Indians of Batavia, some being white,
others red and the seeds black. This melon is said to have been
introduced into Britain in 1597. By European colonists, says Pickering,
it was carried to Brazil and the West Indies, to eastern North America, to
the islands of the Pacific, to New Zealand and Australia.
Watermelons are mentioned by Master Graves as abounding in
Massachusetts in 1629, and shortly after Josselyn speaks of it as a fruit
"proper to the countrie. The flesh of it is of a flesh-colour...and excellent
against the stone. ""A large fruit, but nothing near so big as a pompion;"
colour smoother, and of a sad grass-green, rounder, or, more rightly,
sap-green; with some yellowness admixt when ripe. The seeds are
black; the flesh, or puipe, exceeding juicy." Before 1664, according to
Hilton, watermelons were cultivated by the Florida Indians. In 1673,
Father Marquette, who descended the Wisconsin and Mississippi
Rivers, speaks of melons, "which are excellent, especially those with a
red seed." In 1822, Woods says of the Illinois region: "Watermelons are
also in great plenty, of vast size; some I suppose weigh 20 pounds.
They are more like pumpkins in outward appearance than melons.
They are round or oblong, generally green, or a green and whitish color
on the outside, and white or pale on the inside, with many black seeds
in them, very juicy, in flavor like rich water, and sweet and mawkish,
but cool and pleasant." In 1747, Jared Eliot mentions watermelons in
Connecticut, the seed of which came originally from Archangel in
Russia. In 1799, watermelons were raised by the tribes on the Colorado
River. In 1806, McMahon describes four kinds. They are now cultivated
throughout the warm regions of the globe.
Citrus. Rutaceae. BERGAMOT. CITRON. GRAPE FRUIT. LEMON.
LIME. ORANGE. POMELO SHADDOCK.
The determination of the species of this genus seems to be in confusion,
as might be expected from the great variability of this favorite fruit so
long under cultivation. Linnaeus established two species, Citrus
aurantium, comprising the sweet and bitter orange and the shaddock;
and Citrus medica, comprising the lime, lemon and citron. Risso and
Poiteau recognized eight species, C. bergamia, the bergamot, C. limetta,
the sweet lime with white flowers, C. decumana, the shaddock, C.
lumia, the sweet lemon, C. limonum, the lemon, and C. medica, the
citron. In 1818, Risso describes 169 varieties and figures 105. The
mass of evidence collected by Professor Targioni-Tozzetti seems to show
that oranges were first brought from India into Arabia in the ninth
century, that they were unknown in Europe, or at any rate in Italy, in
the eleventh, but were shortly afterwards carried westward by the
Moors. They were in cultivation at Seville towards the end of the twelfth
century, and at Palermo in the thirteenth and probably also in Italy, for
it is said that St. Domine planted an orange for the convent of S. Sabina
in Rome in the year 1200. In the course of the same century, the
crusaders found citrons, oranges and lemons very abundant in
Palestine, and in the fourteenth century both oranges and lemons
became common in several parts of Italy.
They must have been early introduced to America, for Humboldt says
"it would seem as if the whole island of Cuba had been originally a
forest of palm, lemon and wild orange trees, and he thinks the oranges,"
which bear a small fruit, are probably anterior to the arrival of
Europeans, who transported thither the agrumi of the gardens. Caldlouch
says the Brazilians affirm that the small, bitter orange, which
bears the name of loranjo do terra and is found wild far from the
habitations of man, is of American origin, De Soto, 1557, mentions
oranges in the Antilles as bearing fruit all the year, and, in 1587.
Cavendish found an orchard with lemons and oranges at Puna, South
America, and off San Bias lemons and oranges were brought to the
ships. In 1693-94, Phillips speaks of the wild orange as apparently
indigenous in Mexico, Porto Rico, Barbados and the Bermudas, as well
as in Brazil and the Cape Verde Islands.
The citron appears to have been the only one of this genus known in
ancient Rome and is probably the melea persike of Theophrastus and
the persika mala of Dioscorides. Lindley says those who have bestowed
the most pains in the investigation of Indian botany, and in whose
judgment we should place the most confidence, have come to the
conclusion that the citron, orange, lemon, lime and their numerous
varieties now in circulation, are all derived from one botanical species.
C. aurantium Linn. BERGAMONT. BITTER ORANGE. SEVILLE
ORANGE. SWEET ORANGE.
Tropical eastern Asia.
The sweet orange began to be cultivated in
Europe about the middle of the fifteenth century. Phillips says it was
introduced at Lisbon in 1548 by Juan de Castro, a celebrated
Portuguese warrior, and from this one tree all the European orange
trees of this sort were propagated. This tree was said to have been alive
at Lisbon in 1823. One of the first importations of oranges into England
occurred A. D. 1290, in which year a Spanish ship laden with this fruit
arrived at Portsmouth; of this cargo the Queen of Edward I bought
seven. Gallesio says the sweet orange reached Europe through Persia to
Syria, and thence to the shores of Italy and the south of France, being
carried by the Arabs. It was seen by Friar Jordanus in India about
1330. In the year 1500, says Loudon, there was only one orange-tree in
France, which had been planted in 1421 at Pempeluna in Navarre, and
this tree is still living. In 1791, Bartram refers to the orange as growing
abundantly in Florida, as is apparent from the context, and in 1871 Dr.
Baldwin writes, "you may eat oranges from morning to night at every
plantation along the shore (of the St. Johns), while the wild trees,
bending with their golden fruit over the water, present an enchanting
appearance." Oranges are also found in Louisiana and in California
(they were seen by FatherBaegert in 1751) and are now quite
extensively grown for market in the extreme soutliern states. They are
imported to our Atlantic ports from the Mediterranean, the Azores and
also from the West Indies. At San Francisco, large quantities are
received from Tahiti and Mexico and a few from Hawaii. There are
numerous varieties grown, some of which are so distinct as to be
described as botanical species.
The bergamot first appeared in the latter part of the seventeenth
century. It is not mentioned in the grand work on orange trees by
Ferrari, 1676, nor by Lanzani, 1690, nor Quintinye, 1692. It seems to
be first mentioned in a little book called La Parfumeur Francois,
published at Lyons in 1693. There are several varieties.
BIGARADE ORANGE. SOUR ORANGE. BITTER ORANGE. SEVILLE
The sour orange is extensively cultivated in the warmer parts of the
Mediterranean region, especially in Spain, and exists under many
varieties. It was probably the first orange cultivated in Europe. The sour
orange was not mentioned by Nearchus among the productions of the
country which is watered by the Indus, but the Arabs, pushing farther
into the interior than Alexander the Great, found the orange, and
brought it into Arabia in the ninth century. It reached Italy in the
eleventh century and was in cultivation about Seville at the close of the
twelfth and at Palermo in the thirteenth century. Gallesio states that it
was introduced from Arabia and the north of Africa into Spain.
Pickering, states that the bitter orange was cultivated in Sicily in A. D.
1002. The sour orange had become naturalized in the forests of
Essequibo, about Vera Cruz and near Mexico City, in 1568; in Brazil in
1587; in Porto Rico, Barbados and the Bermudas, Cape Verde islands
and in Florida at early dates. There are many varieties and the fruit of a
curious one consists of an orange within an orange.
This fruit is rare in China but abundant in Cochin China. The fruit is
round, a little compressed, red inside as well as out. It is the most
agreeable of all oranges. Loudon says the thin rind is loose, so much so
that when ripe the pulp may be shaken about as a kernel in some nuts.
The flesh, of a deep orange color, possesses a superior flavor. Williams
says it is the most delicious of the oranges of China.
C. decumana Murr. GRAPE FRUIT. POMELO. PUMMELO.
The shaddock was first carried from China to the West
Indies early in the eighteenth century. It occurs in several varieties and
both the red and white kinds are considered by Wilkes indigenous to
the Fiji Islands. In 1777, they were somewhat distributed by Capt.
Cook in his voyage of discovery.
C. japonica Thunb. KUMQUAT.
Japan and China.
The fruit is about the size of a cherry or gooseberry.
It is cultivated in China and Japan and is found near Canton in China.
The small, oblong, reddish-yellow fruit contains but five sections under
a very thin skin; the pulp is sweet and agreeable.
C. javanica Blume. JAVA LEMON.
This cultivated species bears small, roundish, slightly acid fruits.
C. limonia Osbeck. LEMON.
De Candolle says the lemon was unknown to the ancient
Romans and Greeks, and that its culture extended into the West only
with the conquests of the Arabs. It is mentioned in the Book of
Nabathae on Agriculture which is supposed to date from the third or
fourth century of our era. The Arabs brought the lemon in the tenth
century from the gardens of Omar into Palestine and Egypt. Jacques de
Vitry, writing in the thirteenth century, very well describes the lemon,
which he had seen in Palestine. About 1330, Friar Jordanus, saw in
India "other lemons sour like ours" which would indicate its existence
in India before that date. It was cultivated in Genoa, about the middle of
the fifteenth century and as early as 1494 in the Azores. From the north
of India, the lemon appears to have passed eastward into Cochin China
and China and westward into Europe; it has become naturalized in the
West Indies and various parts of America. There are numerous
varieties. Some are cultivated in Florida to a limited extent. They are
mentioned in California in 1751-68 by Father Baegert.
In Jamaica, the lime is quite naturalized. The fruit is nearly globose,
small, yellow when ripe, with a thin skin and an abundance of pure,
acid juice. This fruit is largely imported into the United States, in its
natural form, pickled and in the form of lime juice. About 1755, Henry
Laurens imported limes into South Carolina.
The fruit has the rind and the flesh of a lemon but the pulp is sweet.
There are many varieties in Italy.
C. medica Linn. CITRON.
indigenous to and still found wild in the mountains of
east India. The citron is the only member of the orange tribe, the fruit of
which was known in ancient Rome. The tree appears to have been
cultivated in Palestine in the time of Josephus and was introduced into
Italy about the third century. In 1003, it was much grown near Naples.
Hogg thinks this is the melea medike of Theophrastus, 322 B. C., and
mela medika e kedromela of Dioscorides. Rhind says it was first
cultivated in Italy by Palladius in the second century. Royle found it
growing wild in the forests of northern India. In Media and Persia, the
citron is found only in the cultivated state. It is now distributed
throughout the whole of southern Europe, also in Brazil and in the
Congo. Fruits are used chiefly in a candied form.