Crambe cordifolia Stev. Cruciferae. COLEWORT.
Persia and the Caucasus to Thibet and the Himalayas.
The root and
foliage afford an esculent.
C. maritima Linn. SEA KALE. SCURVY GRASS.
This plant is found growing upon the sandy shores of the North Sea,
the Atlantic Ocean and of the Mediterranean Sea. It appears to have
been known to the Romans, who gathered it in a wild state and
preserved it in barrels for use during long voyages. Although Crambe is
recorded by Pena and Lobel, Dalechamp, Gerarde, and Ray as wild on
the coast of Britain and as fit for food, yet it was brought into English
culture from Italy, a few years preceding 1765, and the seed sold at a
high price as a rarity. In 1778, it is said to "be now cultivated in many
gardens as a choice esculent;" in 1795, it was advertised in the London
market. According to Heuze, it was first cultivated in France by
Quintyne, gardener to Louis XIV, but it is not mentioned in Quintyne of
1693; it, however, is mentioned by the French works on gardening of
1824 and onward. Parkinson notices it in England in 1629 and Bryant
does also, about 1783, but Philip Miller first wrote upon it as an
esculent in 1731, saying the people of Sussex gather the wild plants in
It is recorded that bundles of it were exposed for sale in the
Chichester markets in 1753 but it was not known about London until
1767. In 1789, Lightfoot speaks of "the young leaves covered up with
sand and blanched while growing," constituting when boiled a great
delicacy. Sea kale is now very popular in English markets and is largely
used in France, the blanched stems and leaf-stalks being the parts
used. It is mentioned by McMahon, 1609, in his list of American
esculents. In 1809, John Lowell, Roxbury, Massachusetts, cultivated it
and in 1814 introduced it to the notice of the public. In 1828,
Thorbum, in his seed catalog of that year, says it "is very little known in
the United States, though a most excellent garden vegetable and highly
deserving of cultivation." The same might be said now, although its
seeds are advertised for sale in all leading seed lists.
C. orientalis Linn.
Asia Minor and Persia.
Pallas says the Russians use it. Its roots
resemble those of horseradish, but they are often thicker than the
human arm. The root is dug for the use of the table as a substitute for
horseradish, and the younger stalks may be dressed in the same
manner as broccoli.
C. tatarica Jacq. TARTAR BREAD-PLANT.
Eastern Europe and northern Asia.
This is a plant of the steppes region
along the Lower Danube, Dneiper and the Don. The root is fleshy, sweet
and the thickness of a man's arm. It is eaten raw as a salad in Hungary,
as well as cooked, as is the case with the young shoots of the stem. In
times of famine, it has been used as bread in Hungary and, says Unger,
it is probable that it was the chara caesaris which the soldiers of Julius
Caesar used as bread.
Craniolaria annua Linn. Pedalineae (Martyniaceae).
The fleshy and sweet root is preserved in sugar by the
Creoles as a delicacy.
Crataegus aestivalis Torr & Gray. Rosaceae. CRATAEGUS.
The tree bears a juicy, pleasant-flavored fruit which is
much used. The fruit is said by Elliott to be large, red, acid and used
for tarts and preserves.
C. azarolus Linn. AZAROLE.
Asia Minor and Persia.
Azarole is much cultivated for its fruits, which
are the size of a cherry, red, with sometimes a tinge of yellow, and are
said to have a very agreeable flavor. The fruit is eaten in Sicily, in Italy
and the Levant, being sometimes served as dessert, and is much used
for preserves. It is common about Jerusalem, where its fruit is collected
for preserves. It is, according to Stackhouse, the mespile anthedon of
C. coccinea Linn.
Eastern United States.
Gray says the fruit is scarcely eatable. Elliott
says the fruit is red, large and eatable. The fruit is eaten fresh or
mingled with choke cherries and service berries and is pressed into
cakes and dried for winter use by the western Indians. The small,
purplish fruits are edible.
C. douglasii Lindl.
Michigan and the Northwest.
This species bears a small, sweet, black
fruit ripening in August. It is largely collected by the Indians.
C. flava. SUMMER HAW. YELLOW-FRUITED THORN.
The fruit is said by Elliott to be oval, red and well
C. orientalis Bieb. EASTERN THORN.
Greece and Asia Minor.
In the Crimea, this species bears little apples,
sometimes of a bright yellow and at other times of a lively red color, an
agreeable fruit, much improved by grafting.
C. oxyacantha Linn. HAWTHORN. QUICK. QUICK-SET THORN.
Europe and temperate Asia.
The fruit is said by Don to be mealy,
insipid, dark red and occasionally yellow. Johnson says it is seldom
eaten in England except by children. Lightfoot says that when
thoroughly ripe it is eaten by the Highlanders. In Kamchatka, the
natives eat the fruits and make a kind of wine by fermenting them with
water. In India, says Brandis, the tree is cultivated for its fruit.
C. parvifolia Ait. DWARF THORN.
The greenish-yellow fruit is eatable.
C. pentagyna Waldst. & Kit.
Europe and Asia.
The plant grows wild in the hills west of Pekin. The
red fruit is much larger than the ordinary crataegus; it is collected and
an excellent sweetmeat is prepared therefrom.
C. pubescens Steud.
A jelly is made from the fruit, resembling that of the quince.
C. sanguinea Pall.
Russia and Siberia.
In Germany, this species yields edible fruits.
C. subvillosa Schrad.
Eastern Asia and North America.
The large, red fruit, often downy, is
edible and of an agreeable flavor.
C. tanacetifolia Pers.
The fruit resembles a small apple, about an inch in diameter,
and is eaten in Armenia. The Armenians relish the fruits, which
resemble small apples, with five roundings like the ribs of a melon, a
little hairy, pale green inclining to yellow, with a raised navel of five
C. tomentosa Linn. BLACK THORN. PEAR THORN.
Eastern United States.
This species is said, in the Michigan Pomological
Society's catalog of 1879, to bear an edible fruit, often of pleasant flavor
but which varies much in quality. Probably, this is the "hawes of white
thorn neere as good as our cherries in England," noted by Rev. Francis
Higginson. Wood says: "The white thorn affords hawes as big as an
English cherrie which is esteemed above a cherrie for his goodneese and
pleasantnesse to the taste." Josselyn says of it: " Hawthorn: the berries
being as big as services and very good to eat and not so stringent as the
hawes in England." The fruit is somewhat hard and tough but is
eatable and rather agreeable to the taste.
Crateva magna DC. Capparideae.
The roundish, ash-colored fruits are eatable.
C. obovata Vahl.
The fruit is eatable.
C.religiosa Forst. f.
Old World tropics.
In equatorial Africa, the fresh shoots are made into
spinach and the young branches into tooth-scrubbers. In India, this
plant furnishes food for man.
C. tapia Linn. GARLIC PEAR.
The fruit is edible but not very good. It is the size of a
small orange, eatable but not pleasant. In Jamaica, the fruit is
spherical, orange-sized, with a hard, brown shell, a mealy pulp like that
of a pear, sweetish, smelling like garlic, and near the center there are
many kidney-shaped seeds. It is edible but not very pleasant.
Crescentia cujete Linn. Bignoniaceae. CALABASH TREE.
The fruit of this tree resembles a gourd. The plant is
found wild or cultivated in various parts of tropical America and in the
West Indies. The hard, woody shell of the fruit is made to serve many
useful domestic purposes in the household economy of the people of
these countries, such as basins, cups, spoons, water-bottles and pails.
Wafer, apparently, speaks of this tree and of C. cucurbitina during his
visit to the Isthmus, 1679-86: "There are two sorts of these trees but the
difference is chiefly in the fruit; that of the one being sweet, the other
bitter. The substance of both is spongy and juicy. That of the sweeter
sort does not incline to a tart, sourish taste. The Indians, however, eat
them frequently on a march, tho they are not very delightful. They only
suck out the juice and spit out the rest. The bitter sort is not eatable."
Henfrey says the subacid pulp of the fruit is eaten; Seemann, that it
affords food to the negroes. Nuttall says the plant is found at Key West,
Florida, and that the fruit is eaten by the Indians in time of scarcity
while the unripe fruit is candied with sugar.
Crithmum maritimum Linn. Umbelliferae. SAMPHIRE. SEA
This is a seaside plant, found on rocky shores from the Crimea
to Land's End, England, and extends even to the Caucasus. The whole
plant is "of a spicie taste with a certaine saltnesse" on which account it
has been long held in great repute as an ingredient in salads. It was
declared by Gerarde to be "the pleasantest sauce." Samphire is
cultivated in English gardens for its seed pods, which make a warm,
aromatic pickle, and for its leaves, which are used in salads, but it is
oftener collected from the shores. In Jamaica, as Titford declares, it
forms an agreeable and wholesome pickle. In France, it is cultivated for
its leaves which, pickled with vinegar, enter into salads and seasonings.
The first mention of its culture is by Quintyne, in France, 1690; it is
again mentioned by Stevenson, in England, 1765; and its use as a
potherb by the poor, as well as a pickle, is noticed by Bryant8 1783. It
is noticed in American gardens in 1821.
Crocus cancellatus Herb. Irideae.
This plant is said by Linger to be brought to market in
Damascus, when the bulb is about sprouting, and is much prized as a
C. sativus Linn. SAFFRON.
Greece and Asia Minor.
This plant was formerly cultivated in England
and is now spontaneous. It is cultivated in Austria, France and Spain
for the deep, orange-colored stigmas of the flowers, which are used for
coloring. It was not cultivated in France before the Crusades, the bulbs
from Avignon being introduced about the end of the fourteenth century.
Loudon says saffron is used in sauces and for coloring by the
Spaniards and Poles. In England and France, it enters into creams,
biscuits, preserves and liquors and is used for coloring butter and
cheese. The Mongols use it in cooking. Under the Hebrew name,
carcom, the plant is alluded to by Solomon; and as krokos, by Homer,
Hippocrates, Theophrastus and Theocritus. Virgil and Columella
mention it and Cilicia and Sicily are both alluded to by Dioscorides and
Pliny as localities celebrated for this drug. Throughout the middle ages,
frequent notices are found of its occurrence in commerce and in
Crotalaria glauca Willd. Leguminosae.
The people of Madi eat its flowers, pods and leaves as
C. laburnifolia Linn.
This is an upright, perennial plant, bearing short, black
and light brown beans the size of soy beans. It is sometimes cultivated.
Croton corymbulosus Rothr. Euphorbiaceae. CHAPARRAL TEA.
An infusion of the flowering tops makes a very palatable
drink, one much used by the Mexicans and Indians as well as by
colored (U. S.) soldiers who prefer it to coffee.
Cryptocarya moschata Nees & Mart. Lauraceae. BRAZILIAN
This tree produces the spice known as Brazilian nutmegs.
C. peumus Nees.
The fruit is edible.
Cryptotaenia canadensis DC. Umbelliferae. HONEWORT.
This species is very generally cultivated in Japan. The
tips are used as greens and to flavor soups; the blanched stems are
used as a salad and a potherb; the root also is utilized.