Cucumeropsis edulis Cogn. Cucurbitaceae.
This is a cucumber-like plant which bears edible fruits
of one foot in length and three inches in diameter.
Cucumis anguriaLinn. Cucurbitaceae. BUR CUCUMBER. GHERKIN.
GOAREBERRY GOURD. WEST INDIAN GHERKIN. WILD
This is the wild cucumber of Hughes. It is a native of the
West Indies, and the green fruit is eaten there but it is far inferior to the
common cucumber. Sloane says the fruit is of a pale green color, oval,
as big as a walnut, having many short, blunt, thick tubercles, sharper
than those of other cucumbers, and that within the pulp are a great
many small seeds like those of other cucumbers. It is cultivated in
Jamaica, but oftener the fruits are collected from the wild plants. In
France, it is called Concoinbre arada and is sometimes grown in
gardens, the fruit being called sweet and excellent when grown under
good circumstances of soil. This vegetable is described by Marcgravius
in Brazil 1648, the name Cucumis sylvestris Brazileae indicating an
uncultivated plant. Ten years later, Piso also described it as a wild plant
of Brazil under the name guarervaoba or cucumer asinius and gives a
figure. It has also been found in the Antilles and. in continental tropical
and subtropical America, New Granada and South Florida.
It is not
mentioned as cultivated in Jamaica by Sloane, 1696. Its fruit is
mentioned as being used in soups and pickles, apparently gathered
from the wild plant, by Long, 1774, Titford, 1812, and Lunan, 1814. It
is, however, cultivated in French Guiana and Antiqua. Although
described by Ray, 1686 and 1704, and grown by Miller in his botanic
garden in 1755, it yet does not appear to be in the vegetable gardens of
England in 1807, although it was known in the gardens of the United
States in 1806. In France, it was under cultivation in 1824 and 1829
but apparently was abandoned and was reintroduced by Vilmorin in
C. longipes Hook. f.
The fruit tastes like a cucumber.
C. melo Linn. CANTALOUPE. MELON. MUSKMELON.
Old World tropics. Naudin divides the varieties of melon into ten
sections, which differ not only in their fruits but also in their leaves and
their entire habit or mode of growth. Some melons are no larger than
small plums, others weigh as much as 66 pounds; one variety has a
scarlet fruit; another is only one inch in diameter but three feet long and
is coiled in a serpentine manner in all directions. The fruit of one variety
can scarcely be distinguished from cucumbers; one Algerian variety
suddenly splits up into sections when ripe. The melons of our gardens
may be divided into two sections: those with green flesh, as the citron
and nutmeg; those with yellow flesh, as the Christiana, cantaloupe and
Persian melons, with very thin skins and melting honey-like flesh of
delicious flavor. In England, melons with red, green, and white flesh are
By the earlier and unscientific travellers, the term melon has been used
to signify watermelons, the Macock gourd of Virginia, and it has even
been applied to pumpkins by our early horticulturists. The names used
by the ancient writers and translated by some to mean melon, seem
also in doubt. Thus, according to Fraas, the sikua of Theophrastus was
the melon. In Liddell and Scott's Lexicon, the definition is given "a fruit
like the melon or gourd but eaten ripe." Fraas says the melon is the
pepon of Dioscorides. The Lexicon says "sikuos pepon, or more
frequently o pepon, a kind of gourd or melon not eaten till quite ripe."
Fraas says " he melon is the melopepon of Galen and the melo of Pliny."
Andrews' Latin Lexicon gives under melopepo "an apple-shaped melon,
cucumber melon, not eaten till fully ripe." Pliny, on the other hand, says
in Greece in his day it was named peponia. In Italy, in 1539, the names
of pepone, melone and mellone were applied to it. In Sardinia, where it
is remarked by De Candolle that Roman traditions are well preserved, it
is called meloni. As a summary, we may believe that although "a kind of
gourd not eaten until fully ripe " may have been cultivated in ancient
Greece and Rome, or even by the Jews under their Kings, as Unger
asserts, yet the admiration of the authors of the sixteenth century for
the perfume and exquisite taste of the melon, as contrasted with the
silence of the Romans, who were not less epicurean, is assuredly a proof
that the melon had not at that time, even if known, attained its present
luscious and perfumed properties, and it is an indication, as De
Candolle observes, "of the novelty of the fruit in Europe." When we
consider, moreover, the rapidity of its diffusion through the savage
tribes of America to remote regions, we cannot believe that a fruit so
easily transported through its seed could have remained secluded
during such a long period of history.
Albertus Magnus, in the thirteenth century, says, melons, which some
call pepones, have the seed and the flower very nearly like those of the
cucumber and also says, in speaking of the cucumber, that the seeds
are like those of the pepo. Under the head of watermelon, citrullus, he
calls the melon pepo, and says it has a smooth, green skin, but the
pepo is commonly yellow and of an uneven surface and as if round,
semi-circular sections were orderly arranged together. In 1536,
Ruellius describes our melon as the pepo; in 1542, Fuchsius describes
the melon, but figures it under the name of pepo. In 1550, Roeszlin
figures the melon under the name of pepo, and in 1558 Matthiolus
figures it under the name of melon. The Greek name of pepon, and the
Italian, German, Spanish and French of melon, variously spelled, are
given among synonyms by various authors of the sixteenth century;
melones sive pepones are used by Pinaeus, 1561; melone and pepone
by Castor Durante, 1617, and by Gerarde in England, 1597. Melons
and pompions are used synonymously, and the melon is called muskemelon
Whether the ancients knew the melon is a matter of doubt. Dioscorides,
in the first century, says the flesh or pulp (cara) of the pepo used in
food is diuretic. Pliny, about the same period, says a new form of
cucumber has lately appeared in Campania called melopepo, which
grows on the ground in a round form, and he adds, as a remarkable
circumstance, in addition to their color and odor, that when ripe,
although not suspended, yet the fruit separates from the stem at
maturity. Galen, in the second century, treating of medicinal properties,
says the autumn fruits (i. e., ripe) do not excite vomiting as do the
unripe, and further says mankind abstains from the inner flesh of the
pepo, where the seed is borne but eats it in the melopepo. A halfcentury
later, Palladius gives directions for planting melones and
speaks of them as being sweet and odorous. Apicius, a writer on
cookery, about 230 A. D., directs that pepones and melones be served
with various spices corresponding in part to present customs, and
Nonnius, an author of the sixth century, speaks of cucumbers which
are odoriferous. In the seventh century, Paulus Agineta, a medical
writer, mentions the medicinal properties of the melopepo as being of
the same character but less than that of the pepo, and separates these
from the cucurbita and cucumis, not differing from Galen, already
From these remarks concerning odor and sweetness, which particularly
apply to our melon, and the mention of the spontaneous falling of the
ripe fruit, a characteristic of no other garden vegetable, we are inclined
to believe that these references are to the melon, and more especially so
as the authors of the sixteenth and following centuries make mention of
many varieties, as Amatus Lusitanus, 1554, who says, quorum
varietas ingens est, and proceeds to mention some as thin skinned,
others as thicker skinned, some red fleshed, others white.
In 1259, Tch'ang Te, according to Bretschneider, found melons, grapes
and pomegranates of excellent quality in Turkestan. This Chinese
traveller may have brought seeds to China, where Loureiro states the
melons are of poor quality and whence they did not spread, for
Rumphius asserts that melons were carried into the islands of the
Asiatic Archipelago by the Portuguese. Smith, however, in his Materia
Medica of China, says Chang K'ien, the noted legate of the Han
dynasty, seems to have brought this "foreign cucumber" from central
Asia to China, where it is now largely cultivated and eaten both raw and
in a pickle. According to Pasquier, melons were unknown in central or
northern Europe until the reign of Charles VIII, 1483-1498, King of
France, who brought them from Italy. We find a statement by J. Smith
that they were supposed to have been first introduced from Egypt into
Rome. They were perhaps known commonly in Spain before 1493, for
Columbus on his second voyage found melons "already grown, fit to
eat, tho' it was not above two months since the seed was put into the
ground." In 1507, Martin Baumgarten, travelling in Palestine, mentions
melons as brought to him by the inhabitants. In 1513, Herrera, a
Spanish writer, says, "if the melon is good, it is the best fruit that exists,
and none other is preferable to it. If it is bad, it is a bad thing, we are
wont to say that the good are like good women, and the bad like bad
women." In the time of Matthiolus, 1570, many excellent varieties were
cultivated. The melon has been cultivated in England, says Don, since
1570, but the precise date of its introduction is unknown, though
originally brought from Jamaica.
The culture of the melon is not very ancient, says De Candolle, and the
plant has never been found wild in the Mediterranean region, in Africa,
in India or the Indian Archipelago. It is now extensively cultivated in
Armenia, Ispahan, Bokhara and elsewhere in Asia; in Greece, South
Russia, Italy and the shores of the Mediterranean. About 1519, the
Emperor Baber is said to have shed tears over a melon of Turkestan
which he cut up in India after his conquest, its flavor bringing his native
country to his recollection. In China, it is cultivated but, as Loureiro
says, is of poor quality. In Japan, Thunberg, 1776, says the melon is
much cultivated, but the more recent writers on Japan are very sparing
of epithets conveying ideas of qualities. Capt. Cook apparently
distributed the melon in suitable climates along his course around the
world, as he has left record of so doing at many places; as, the Lefooga
Islands, May 1777, at Hiraheime, October, 1777.
Columbus is recorded as finding melons at Isabela Island in 1494 on
his return from his second voyage, and the first grown in the New World
are to be dated March 29, 1494. The rapidity and extent of their
diffusion may be gathered from the following mentions. In 1516,
melons different from those here were seen by Pascual de Andagoya
in Central America. In Sept. 1535, Jacques Cartier mentions the
Indians at Hochelega, now Montreal, as having "musk mellons." In
1881, muskmelons from Montreal appeared in the Boston market. In
1749, Kalm found at Quebec melons abounding and always eaten with
sugar. In 1540, Lopez de Gomara, in the expedition to New Mexico,
makes several mentions of melons. In 1542, the army of the Viceroy of
Mexico sent to Cibolo found the melon already there. In 1583, Antonis
de Espejo found melons cultivated by the Choctaw Indians. In 1744,
the melon is mentioned as cultivated by the Coco Maricopas Indians by
Father Sedelmayer, and melons are mentioned on the Colorado River by
Vinegas, 1758. In 1565, melons are reported by Benzoni as abounding
in Hayti, but melon seeds appear not to have been planted in the
Bermudas until 1609.
Muskmelons are said to have been grown in Virginia in 1609 and are
again mentioned in 1848. In 1609, melons are mentioned by Hudson
as found on the Hudson River. Muskmelons are mentioned by Master
Graves in his letter of 1629 as abounding in New England and again by
Wm. Woods, 1629-33. According to Hilton's Relation, musk-melons
were cultivated by the Florida Indians prior to 1664. In 1673 the melon
is said to have been cultivated by the Indians of Illinois, and Father
Marquette n pronounced them excellent, especially those with a red
seed. In 1822, Woods says: ''There are many sorts of sweet melons, and
much difference in size in the various kinds. I have only noticed musk,
of a large size, and nutmeg, a smaller one; and a small, pale colored
melon of a rich taste, but there are other sorts with which I am
unacquainted." In 1683, some melon seeds were sown by the
Spaniards on the Island of California. The Indians about Philadelphia
grew melons preceding 1748, according to Kalm. In Brazil, melons are
mentioned by Nieuhoff, 1647, and by Father Angelo, 1666.
In various parts of Africa, as in Senegal and Abeokuta, and in China,
the seeds are collected and an oil expressed which is used for food and
other purposes and is also exported. In 1860, the production in
Senegal was 62,266 kilos., and a considerable amount was shipped
from Chefoo, China, in 1875. During the Civil War many farmers in the
southern states made molasses and sugar from muskmelons and
cantaloupes. In Kentucky, an occasional experiment has been made in
converting a surplusage of melons into syrups with considerable
NOTES ON CLASSIFICATION.
1. Early and late melons, as also winter melons, are described by
Amatus, 1554; summer and winter, by Bauhin, 1623.
2. White- and red-fleshed are described by Amatus, 1554; yellowfleshed
by Dodonaeus, 1616; green-fleshed by Marcgravius 1648;
green, golden, pale yellow and ashen by Bauhin, 1623.
3. Sugar melons are named sucrinos by Ruellius, 1536; succrades
rouges and succrades blanches by Chabraeus, 1677; and succris and
succredes by Dalechamp, 1587.
4. Netted melons are named by Camerarius, 1586, as also the ribbed.
The warted are mentioned in the Adversaria 1570; rough, warted and
smooth, by Bauhin, 1623.
5. The round, long, oval and pear-form are mentioned by Gerarde,
1597; the quince form, by Dalechamp, 1587; the oblong, by
Dodonaeus, 1616; the round, oblong, depressed, or flat, by Bauhin,
C. melo dudaim Naud. DUDAIM MELON. POMEGRANATE MELON.
QUEEN ANNE'S-POCKET MELON.
The fruit is globose-ovate, as large as a lemon, and
noi edible but is cultivated for its strong and pleasant odor. It has a
very fragrant, musky smell and a whitish, flaccid, insipid pulp.14
C. melo flexuosus Naud. SNAKE CUCUMBER. SNAKE MELON.
This melon is cultivated in Japan and is called by the
Dutch banket melon.
C. prophetarum Linn. GLOBE CUCUMBER.
Arabia and tropical Africa.
The flesh of this cucumber is scanty and too
bitter to be edible, says Vilmorin, who includes it among the plants of
the kitchen garden. Burr says the fruit is sometimes eaten boiled, but is
generally pickled in its green state like the common cucumber and
adds that it is not worthy of cultivation.
C. sativus Linn. CUCUMBER.
The origin of the cucumber is usually ascribed to Asia and
Egypt. Dr. Hooker believes the wild plants inhabit the Himalayas from
Kumaun to Sikkim. It has been a plant of cultivation from the most
remote times, but De Candolle finds no support for the common belief
of its presence in ancient Egypt at the time of the Israelite migration into
the wilderness, although its culture in western Asia is indicated from
philological data as more than 3000 years old. The cucumber is said to
have been brought into China from the west, 140-86 B. C.; it can be
identified in a Chinese work on agriculture of the fifth century and is
described by Chinese authors of 1590 and 1640. Cucumbers were
known to the ancient Greeks and to the Romans, and Pliny even
mentions their forced culture. They find mention in the Middle Ages
and in the botanies from Ruellius, 1536, onward. The cucumber is
believed to be the sikus hemeros of Dioscorides, and the sikuos of
Theophrastus. Pliny says cucumbers were much grown in Africa as
well as in Italy in his time, and that the Emperor Tiberius had
cucumbers at his table every day in the year. We find reference to them
in France in the ninth century, for Charlemagne ordered cucumbers to
be planted on his estate. In Gough's British Topography, cucumbers
are stated to have been common in England in the time of Edward III,
1327, but during the wars of the houses of York and Lancaster, their
cultivation was neglected, the plant was lost, and they were
reintroduced only in 1573. In 1629, Parkinson says "in many countries
they use to eate coccumbers as wee doe apples or Peares," and they are
thus eaten and relished at the present day in southern Russia and in
Cucumbers were grown by Columbus at Hayti in 1494. In 1535,
Cartier mentions "very great cucumbers" cultivated by the Indians
about Hochelaga, now Montreal. In 1539, De Soto found in Florida
atApalache "cucumbers better than those of Spain" and also at other
villages, and, in 1562, Ribault mentions them as cultivated by the
Florida Indians. According to Capt. John Smith, Captains Amidos and
Barlow mention cucumbers in Virginia in 1584 and they are mentioned
as being cultivated there in 1609. Cucumbers were among the Indian
vegetables destroyed by General Sullivan in 1779 in the Indian fields
about Kashong, near the present Geneva, N. Y. At the Bermudas,
cowcumbers were planted in 1609. In Massachusetts, they are
mentioned in 1629 by Rev. Francis Higginson; William Wood mentions
them in his New England's Prospects, 1629-33. In Brazil, cucumbers
were seen by Nieuhoff in 1647 and by Father Angelo in 1666.
There are a great number of varieties varying from the small gherkin to
the mammoth English varieties which attain a length of twenty inches
or more. The cultivated gherkin is a variety used exclusively for pickling
and was in American gardens in 1806. At Unyanyembe, Central Africa,
and other places where the cucumber grows almost wild, says Burton,
the Arabs derive from its seed an admirable salad oil, which in flavor
equals and perhaps surpasses the finest produce of the olive. Vilmorin
in Les Plantes Potageres, 1883, describes 30 varieties. Most, if not all, of
these as well as others including 59 different names have been grown
on the grounds of the New York Agricultural Experiment Station. While
some of the varieties grown differ but little, yet there are many kinds
which are extraordinarily distinct.
TYPES OF CUCUMBERS.
The types of our common cucumbers are fairly well figured in the
ancient botanies, but the fruit is far inferior in appearance to those we
grow today, being apparently more rugged and less symmetrical. The
following synonymy is established from figures and descriptions:
I. Cucumis sativus vulgaris. Fuch. 697. 1542.
Cucumis sativus. Roeszl. 116. 1550; Cam. Epit. 294. 1586.
Cucumis. Trag. 831. 1552; Fischer 1646.
Cucumis vulgaris. Ger. 762, 1597; Chabr. 134. 1677.
Concombre. Toum. t. 32. 1719.
?Short Green. Park. Par. 1629.
?Short Green Prickly. Mawe 1778; Mill. Diet. 1807.
Early Green Cluster. Mill. Diet. 1807.
Green Cluster. Thorb. 1828.
Early Cluster of American seedsmen.
II. A second form, very near to the above, but longer, less rounding and
more prickly has a synonymy as below:
Cucumeres. Matth. 282. 1558.
Cucumis sativus. Dalechamp 1:620. 1587.
Cucumeres sativi and esculenti Lob. Icon. 1:638. 1591.
Cucumis vulgaris Dod. 662. i6i6.
Cedruolo. Dur. C. 103. 1617.
Cucumis vulgaris, viridis, and albis. Bauh. J. 2; 2 46. 1651.
Long Green Prickly. Mill. Diet. 1807.
Early Frame. Thorb. Cat. 1828 and 1886.
III. The third form is the smooth and medium-long cucumbers, which,
while they have a diversity of size, yet have a common shape and
smoothness. Such are:
? Cucumer sativus. Pin. 192. 1561.
Concombre. Tourn. t. 32. 1719.
? Large Smooth Green Roman. Mawe, 1778; Mill. Diet. 1807.
Long Smooth Green Turkey. Mawe 1778; Mill. Diet. 1807.
Long Green Turkey. Thorb. Cat. 1828.
Turkey Long Green or Long Green. Landreth. 1885.
Greek, or Athenian. Vilm. 1885.
IV. The fourth form includes those known as English, which are distinct in
their excessive length, smoothness and freedom from seeds, although in
a botanical classification they would be united with the preceding, from
which, doubtless, they have originated. The synonymy for these would
scarcely be justified had it not been observed that the tendency of the
fruit is to curve under conditions of ordinary culture:
Cucumis longus. Cam. Epit. 295. 1586.
Cucumis longus eidem. Baugh. J. 2:2 48. 1651.
Green Turkey Cucumber. Bryant 267. 1783.
Long Green English varieties. Vilm. 163. 1883.
V. The Bonneuil Large White Cucumber, grown largely about Paris for the
use of perfumes, is quite distinct from all other varieties, the fruit being
ovoid, perceptibly flattened from end to end in three or four places, thus
producing an angular appearance. We may suspect that Gerarde
figured this type in his cucumber, which came from Spain into
Germany, as his figure bears a striking resemblance in the form of the
fruit and in the leaf:
Cucumis ex Hispanico semine natus. Ger. 764. 1597.
Cucumis sativus major. Bauh. Pin. 310. 1623. (excl. Fuch.)
Bonneuil Large White. Vilm. 222. 1885.
White Dutch. A. Blanc. No. 6133.
VI. Another type of cucumbers is made up of those which have lately
appeared under the name of Russian. Nothing is known of their history.
They are very distinct and resemble a melon more than a cucumber, at
least in external appearance:
1. The Early Russian, small, oval and smooth.
2. The Russian Gherkin, obovate and ribbed like a melon.
3. The Russian Netted, oval and densely covered with a fine net-work.
The appearance of new types indicates that we have by no means
exhausted the possibilities of this species. The Turkie cucumber of
Gerarde is not now to be recognized under culture; nor are the
Cucumer minor pyriformis of Gerarde and of J. Bauhin and the
Cucumis pyriformis of C. Bauhin, Phytopinax, 1596.
If the synonymy be closely examined, it will be noted that some of the
figures represent cucumbers as highly improved as at the present day.
The Cucumis longus of J. Bauhin is figured as if equalling our longest
and best English forms; the concombre of Tournefort is also a highly
improved form, as is also the cucumeres of Matthiolus, 1558.
Cucurbita maxima Duchesne. Cucurbitaceae. TURBAN SQUASH.
The Turban squash is easily recognized by its
form, to which it is indebted for its name. This is possibly the Chilean
mamillary Indian gourd of Molina, described as with spheroidal fruit
with a large nipple at the end, the pulp sweet and tasting like the sweet
potato. In 1856, Naudin describes le turban rouge and le turban
nouveau du Bresil, the latter of recent introduction from South
America. Its description accords with the Cucurbita clypeiformis
tuberoso and verrucoso, seen by J. Bauhin in 1607. The Zapilliot, from
Brazil, advertised by Gregory in 1880, and said by Vilmorin to have
reached France from South America about 1860, resembles the Turban
squash in shape. This evidence, such as it is, points to South America
as the starting point of this form.
The squashes of our markets, par excellence, are the marrows and the
Hubbard, with other varieties of the succulent-stemmed. These found
representation in our seed catalog in 1828, in the variety called Corn.
Porter's Valparaiso, which was brought from Chile shortly after the war
of 1812. In the New England Farmer, September 11, 1824, notice is
made of a kind of melon-squash or pumpkin from Chile, which is
possibly the Valparaiso. The Hubbard squash is said by Gregory, its
introducer in 1857, to be of unknown origin but to resemble a kind
which was brought by a sea captain from the West Indies. The
Marblehead, also introduced by Gregory and distributed in 1867, is
said to have come directly from the West Indies. The Autumnal Marrow
or Ohio, was introduced in 1832 and was exhibited at the rooms of the
Massachusetts Horticultural Society.
The Turban squash does not appear in any of the figures or
descriptions of the herbalists, except as hereinafter noted for Lobel.
C. moschata Duchesne. CANADA CROOKNECK. CUSHAW. WINTER
The Winter Crookneck squash seems to have
been first recorded by Ray, who received the seeds from Sir Hans Sloane
and planted them in his garden. This is the variety now known as the
Striped. It has apparently been grown in New England from the earliest
times and often attains a large size. Josselyn refers to a cucurbit that
may be this, the fruit " longish like a gourd," the very comparison made
by Ray. Kalm mentions a winter squash in New Jersey called "crooked
neck," and Carver, 1776, speaks of "crane-necks" being preserved in the
West for winter supply.
A sub variety, the Puritan, answers to Beverley's description of a form
which he calls Cushaw, an Indian name recognizable in the Ecushaw
of Hariot, 1586. This form was grown at the New York Agricultural
Experiment Station in 1884 from seed obtained from the Seminoles of
Florida and appears synonymous with the Neapolitan, to which
Vilmorin applies the French synonym, courge de la Florida.
C. pepo Linn. GOURD. PUMPKIN. SQUASH.
The word " squash " seems to have been derived
from the American aborigines and in particular from those tribes
occupying the northeastern Atlantic coast. It seems to have been
originally applied to the summer squash. Roger Williams writes the
word "askutasquash,"-"their vine apples,-which the English from
them call squashes; about the bigness of apples, of several colors."
Josselyn gives another form to the word, writing, "squashes," "but more
truly 'squoutersquashes,' a kind of mellon or rather gourd, for they
sometimes degenerate into gourds. Some of these are green, some
yellow, some longish, like a gourd; others round, like an apple; all of
them pleasant food boyled and buttered, and seasoned with spice. But
the yellow squash - called an apple squash (because like an apple),
and about the bigness of a pome water-is the best kind." This apple
squash, by name at least, as also by the description so far as
applicable, is even now known to culture but is rarely grown on
account of its small size.
Van der Donck, after speaking of the pumpkins of New Netherlands,
1642-53, adds: "The natives have another species of this vegetable
peculiar to themselves, called by our people quaasiens, a name derived
from the aborignes, as the plant was not known to us before our
intercourse with them. It is a delightful fruit, as well to the eye on
account of its fine variety of colors, as to the mouth for its agreeable
taste. ... It is gathered in summer, and when it is planted in the middle
of April, the fruit is fit for eating by the first of June. They do not wait for
it to ripen before making use of the fruit, but only until it has attained a
certain size. They gather the squashes, and immediately place them on
the fire without any further trouble." In 1683, Worlidge uses the word
squash, saying: "There are lesser sorts of them (pompeons) that are
lately brought into request that are called 'squashes,' the edible fruit
whereof, boyled and serv'd up with powdered beef is esteemed a good
sawce." Kalm, in his Travels, says distinctly: "The squashes of the
Indians, which now are cultivated by Europeans, belong to those kind
of gourds which ripen before any other." These squashes of New
England were apparently called "sitroules " by Champlain, 1605, who
describes them "as big as the fist." Lahontan, 1703, calls the squashes
of southern Canada citrouilles " and compares them with the melon,
which indicates a round form.
These "squashes," now nearly abandoned in culture, would seem to be
synonymous, in some of their varieties at least, with the Maycock of
Virginia and the Virginian watermelon described in Gerarde's Herball
as early as 1621.
The Perfect Gem squash, introduced in 1881, seems to belong to this
class and is very correctly figured by Tragus, 1552, who says they are
called Mala indica, or, in German, Indianisch apffel, and occur in four
colors; saffron-yellow, creamy-white, orange, and black. He also gives
the name Sommer apffel, which indicates an early squash, and the
names zucco de Syria and zucco de Peru, which indicate a foreign
origin. To identify this squash, with its claim of recent introduction, as
synonymous with Tragus' Cucumis, seu zucco marinus, may seem un
justifiable. The Perfect Gem and Tragus plants have the following points
in common: fruit of like form and size; so also the leaf, if the proportions
between leaf and fruit as figured may be trusted; seed sweet in both;
color alike, "Quae Candida foris and quae ex pallido lutea swit poma."
The plants are runners in both. Compared also with the description of
the Maycock, it appears to be the same in all but color. A curious
instance of survival seems to be here noted, or else the regaining of a
lost form through atavism. A careful comparison with the figures and
the description given would seem to bring together as synonyms:
Cucumis marinus. Fuch. 699. 1542. Roeszl. 116. 1550.
Cucumis vel zucco marinus. Trag. 835. 1552.
Cucurbita indica rotunda. Dalechamp l:n6. 1587.
Pepo rotundis minor. Dod. 666. i6i6.
Pepo minor rotundis. Bodaeus 783. 1644.
Cucurbitae folio aspero, sive zucckae. Icon. IV., Chabr. 130. 1673.
The Maycock. Ger. 919. 1633.
The Perfect Gem. 1881.
The distinctions between the various forms of cucurbits seem to have
been kept in mind by the vernacular writers, who did not use the words
pompion and gourd, as synonyms. Thus, in 1535, Cartier mentions as
found among the Indians of Hochelega, now Montreal, "pompions,
gourds." In 1586, Hariot mentions in Virginia "pompions, melons, and
gourds;" Captain John Smith "pumpions and macocks;" Strachey, who
was in Virginia in 1610, mentions "macocks and pumpions" as
differing. "Pumpions and gourds" are named by Smith for New England
in 1614. In 1648, at the mouth of the Susquehanna, mention is made
of " symnels and maycocks."
The word "squash," in its early use, we may conclude, applied to those
varieties of cucurbits which furnish a summer vegetable and was
carefully distinguished from the pumpkin. Kalm, in the eighteenth
century, distinguishes between pumpkins, gourds and squashes. The
latter are the early sorts; the gourd includes the late sorts useful for
winter supplies; and under the term pompion, or melon, the latter name
and contemporary use gives the impression of roundness and size, are
included sorts grown for stock. Jonathan Carver, soon after Kalm, gives
indication of the confusion now existing in the definition of what
constitutes a pumpkin and a squash when he says "the melon or
pumpkin, which by some are called squashes," and he names among
other forms the same variety, the crookneck or craneneck, as he calls it,
which Kalm classed among gourds.
At the present time, the word squash is used only in America, gourds,
pumpkins, and marrows being the equivalent English names, and the
American use of the word is so confusing that it can only be defined as
applying to those varieties of cucurbits which are grown in gardens for
table use; the word pumpkin applies to those varieties grown in fields
for stock purposes; and the word gourd to those ornamental forms with
a woody rind and bitter flesh, or to the Lagenaria.
The form of cucurbit now so generally known as Bush or Summer
Squash is correctly figured in 1673 by Pancovius, under the name of
Melopepo clypeatus Tab. What may be the fruit, was figured by Lobel,
1591; by Dodonaeus, 1616; and similar fruit with the vine and leaf, by
Dalechamp, 1587; Gerarde, 1597; Dodonaeus, 1616; and by J.
Bauhin, 1651. By Ray, 1686, it is called in the vernacular "the
Buckler," or "Simnel-Gourd." This word cymling or cymbling, used at
the present day in the southern states for the Scalloped Bush Squash in
particular, was used in 1648 in A Description of New Albion but
spelled "Symnels." Jefferson wrote the word "cymling." In 1675,
Thomson, in a poem entitled New England's Crisis, uses the word
cimnel, and distinguishes it from the pumpkin. There is no clue as to
the origin of the word, but it was very possibly of aboriginal origin, as
its use has not been transferred to Europe. In England this squash is
called Crown Gourd and Custard Marrow; in the United States
generally, it is the Scalloped Squash, from its shape, though locally,
Cymling or Patty-pan, the latter name derived from the resemblance to
a crimped pan used in the kitchen for baking cakes. It was first noticed
in Europe in the sixteenth century and has the following synonymy:
Cucurbita laciniata. Dalechamp 1:618. 1587.
Melopepo latior clypeiformis'. Lob. Icon. 1:642. 1591.
Pepo maximum clypeatus. Ger. 774. 1597.
Pepo latus. Dod. 666. i6i6.
Pepo latiorus fructus. Dod. 667. i6i6.
Cucurbita clypeiformis sive Siciliana melopepon latus a nonnulis
vocata. Bauh. J. 2:224. 1651. (First known to him in 1561.)
Melopepo clypeatus. Pancov. n. 920. 1653.
The Bucklet, or Simnel-Gourd. Ray Hist. 1:6481. 1686.
The Bush Crookneck is also called a squash. Notwithstanding its
peculiar shape and usually warted condition, it does not seem to have
received much mention by the early colonists and seems to have
escaped the attention of the pre-Linnean botanists, who were so apt to
figure new forms. The most we know is that the varietal name Summer
Crookneck appeared in our garden catalogs in 1828, and it is perhaps
referred to by Champlain in 1605. It is now recommended in France
rather as an ornamental plant than for kitchen use.
The Pineapple squash, in its perfect form, is of a remarkably distinctive
character on account of its acorn shape and regular projection. As
grown, however, the fruit is quite variable and can be closely identified
with the Pepo indicus angulosus of Gerarde and is very well described
by Ray, 1686. This variety was introduced in 1884 by Land-reth from
seed which came originally from Chile. It is a winter squash, creamy
white when harvested, of a deep yellow at a later period.
The word "pumpkin" is derived from the Greek pepon, Latin pepo. In the
ancient Greek, it was used by Galen as a compound to indicate ripe
fruit as sikuopepona, ripe cucumber; as, also, by Theophrastus
peponeas and Hippocrates sikuon peponia. The word pepo was
transferred in Latin to large fruit, for Pliny says distinctly that
cucumeres, when of excessive size, are called pepones. By the
commentators, the word pepo is often applied to the melon. Fuchsius,
1542, figures the melon under the Latin name pepo, German, pfeben;
and Scaliger, 1566, Dalechamp, 1587, and Castor Durante, 1617,
apply this term pepo or pepon likewise to the melon. The derivatives
from the word pepo appear in the various European languages as
Belgian: pepoenem, Lob. Obs. 1576; pompeon, Marcg. 1648, Vilm.
English: pepon, Lyte 1586; pompon, Lyte 1586; pompion, Ger. 1597;
pumpion, J. Smith 1606; pumpkin, Townsend 1726.
French: pompons, Ruel. 1536; pepon, Dod. Gal. 1559.
Italian: popone, Don. 1834.
Swedish: pumpa, Tengborg 1764; pompa, Webst. Diet.
In English, the words "melon" and "million" were early applied to the
pumpkin, as by Lyte 1586, Gerarde 1597 and 1633, and by a number
of the early narrators of voy ages of discovery. Pumpkins were called
gourds by Lobel, 1586, and by Gerarde, 1597, and the word gourd is
at present in use in England to embrace the whole class and is
equivalent to the French courge. In France, the word courge is given by
Matthiolus, 1558, and Pinaeus, 1561, and seems to have been used as
applicable to the pumpkin by early navigators, as by Cartier, 1535. The
word courge was also applicable to the lagenarias 1536, 1561, 1586,
1587, 1597, 1598, 1617, 1651, 1673 and 1772, and was shared with
the pumpkin and squash in 1883.
Our earliest travelers and historians often recognized in the pumpkin a
different fruit from the courge, the gourd, or the melon. Cartier, on the
St. Lawrence, 1584, discriminates by using the words "gros melons,
concombres and courges" or in a translation ''pompions, gourds,
cucumbers." In 1586, a French name for what appears to be the
summer squash is given by Lyte as concombre marin. With this class,
we may interpret Cartier's names into gros melons, pumpkins,
concombres, summer squashes, and courge, winter crooknecks, as the
shape and hard shell of this variety would suggest the gourd or
lagenaria. In 1586, Hariot, in Virginia, says: "Macoks were, according to
their several forms, called by us pompions, melons and gourds,
because they are of the like forms as those kinds in England. In
Virginia, such of several forms are of one taste, and very good, and so
also spring from one seed. They are of two sorts: one is ripe in the space
of a month, and the other in two months." Hariot, apparently, confuses
all the forms with the macock, which, as we have shown in our notes on
squashes, appears identical with the type of the Perfect Gem squash, or
the Cucumis marinus of Fuchsius. The larger sorts may be his
pompions, the round ones his melons, and the cushaw type his gourds;
for, as we shall observe, the use of the word pompion seems to include
size, and that of gourd, a hard rind. Acosta, indeed, speaks of the
Indian pompions in treating of the large-sized fruits. Capt. John Smith,
in his Virginia, separates his pumpions and macocks, both planted by
the Indians amongst their corn and in his description of New England,
1614, speaks of "pumpions and gourds." This would seem to indicate
that he had a distinction in mind, and we may infer that the word
pompion was used for the like productions of the two localities and that
the word gourd in New England referred to the hard-rind or winter
squashes; for, Master Graves refers to Indian pompions, Rev. Francis
Higginson to pompions, and Wood to pompions and isquoutersquashes
in New England soon after its colonization. Josselyn, about
the same period, names also gourds, as quoted in our notes on the
squash. Kalm, about the middle of the eighteenth century, traveling in
New Jersey, names "squashes of the Indians," which are a summer fruit,
gourds, meaning the winter crookneck, and "melons," which we may
conclude are pumpkins; Jonathan Carver, 1776, speaks of the melon
or pumpkin, called by some squashes, and says the smaller sorts are
for summer use, the crane-neck for winter use and names the Large
Oblong. In 1822, Woods speaks of pompons, or pumpions, in Illinois,
as often weighing from 40 to 60 pounds.
The common field pumpkin of America is in New England carried back
traditionally to the early settlement and occurs under several forms,
which have received names that are usually quite local. Such formvarieties
may be tabulated alphabetically, as below, from Burr:
Canada. Form oblate. 14 in. diam., 10 in. deep. Deep orange-yellow.
Cheese. Flattened. 16 in. diam., 10 in. deep. Deep reddish-orange.
Common Yellow. Rounded. 12 in. diam., 14 in. deep. Clear orangeyellow.
Long Yellow. Oval. 10 in. diam., 20 in. deep. Bright orange-yellow.
Nantucket. Various. 18 in. diam., 10 in. deep. Deep green.
I. THE CANADA PUMPKIN.
The Canada pumpkin is of an oblate form inclining to conic, and is
deeply and regularly ribbed and, when well grown, of comparatively
large size. It is somewhat variable in size and shape, however, as
usually seen. The following synonymy is justified:
Cucurbitae indianae and perefrinae. Pin. 191. 1561.
Cucurbita indica, rotunda. Dalechamp 1:616. 1587.
Pepo rotundus compressus melonis effigie. Lob. Obs. 365. 1576; Icon.
(?) Pepo indicum minor rotundus. Ger. 774. 1597.
Pepo silvestris. Dod. 668. i6i6.
Melopepo. Tourn. t. 34. 1719.
Canada Pumpkin. Vermont Pumpkin.
II. CHEESE PUMPKIN.
The fruit is much flattened, deeply and rather regularly ribbed, broadly
dishing about cavity and basin. It varies somewhat widely in the
proportional breadth and diameter.
Melopepo compressus alter. Lob. Icon. 1:643. 1591.
Pepo maximus compressus. Ger. 774. 1597.
Cucurbita genus, sive Melopepo compressus alter, Lobelia. Bauh. J.
Large Cheese. Fessenden 1828; Bridgeman 1832,
This variety, says Burr, was extensively disseminated in the United
States at the time of the American Revolution and was introduced into
New England by returning soldiers.
III. COMMON YELLOW FIELD.
The fruit is rounded, a little deeper than broad, flattened at the ends,
and rather regularly and more or less prominently ribbed.
Cucurbita indica. Cam. Epit. 293. 1586.
Melopepo teres. Lob. Icon. 1:643. 1591.
Pepo maximus rotundus.- Ger. 773. 1597.
Cucurbita aspera Icon. I. Bauh. J. 2:218. 1651.
Cucurbita folio aspero, zucha. Chabr. 130. 1673.
Common Yellow Field Pumpkin.
IV. LONG YELLOW.
The fruit is oval, much elongated, the length nearly, or often twice, the
diameter, of large size, somewhat ribbed, but with markings less
distinct than those of the Common Yellow.
Cucumis Tzircicus. Fuch. 698. 1542.
Melopepo. Roeszl. 116. 1550.
Pepo. Trag. 831. 1552.
Cucurbita indica longa. Dalechamp 1:617. 1587.
Pepo maximus oblongus. Ger. 773. 1597.
Pepo major oblongus. Dod. 635. 1616; Bodaeus 782. 1644.
Cucurbita folio aspero, zucha. Chabr. 130. 1673.
Long Yellow Field Pumpkin.
The Jurumu Lusitanus Bobora of Marcgravius and Piso would seem to
belong here except for the leaves, but the figure is a poor one.
These forms just mentioned, all have that something in their common
appearance that at once expresses a close relationship and to the
casual observer does not express differences.
We now pass to some other forms, also known as pumpkins, but to
which the term squash is sometimes applied.
The Nantucket pumpkin occurs in various forms under this name, but
the form referred to, specimens of which have been examined, belongs
to Cucurbita pepo Cogn., and is of an oblong form, swollen in the
middle and indistinctly ribbed. It is covered more or less completely
with warty protuberances and is of a greenish-black color when ripe,
becoming mellowed toward orange in spots by keeping. It seems closely
allied to the courge sucriere du Bresil of Vilmorin. It is not the
Cucurbita verrucosa of Dalechamp, 1587, nor of J. Bauhin, 1651, as in
these figures the leaves are represented as entire and the fruit as melonformed
In 1884, there appeared in our seedmen's catalogs, under the name of
Tennessee Sweet Potato pumpkin, a variety very distinct, of medium
size, pear-shape, little ribbed, creamy-white, striped with green, and the
stem swollen and fleshy. Of its history nothing has been ascertained,
but it bears a strong likeness in shape to a tracing of a piece of
pumpkin pottery exhumed from the western mounds. In Lobel's
history, 1576, and in his plates, 1591, appear figures of a plant which
in both leaf and fruit represents fairly well our variety. These figures are
of interest as being the only ones yet found in the ancient botanies
which represent a fruit with a swollen, herbaceous stem. The following
is the synonymy:
Pepo oblongus vulgatissimus. Lob. Obs. 365. 1576.
Pepo oblongus. Lobel Icon. i: 641. 1591.
Tennessee Sweet Potato Pumpkin.
Numerous series of pumpkins are listed in the catalogs of our
seedsmen and some of a form quite distinct from those here noticed but
not as yet sufficiently studied to be classified. However, much may yet
be learned through the examination of complete sets of varieties within
each of the three described species of cucurbita which furnish fruits for
consumption. Notwithstanding the ready crossings which are so apt to
occur within the ascribed species, there yet seems to exist a
permanency of types which is simply marvellous, and which would
seem to lend countenance to the belief that there is need of revision of
the species and a closer study of the various groups or types which
appear to have remained constant during centuries of cultivation.
If we consider the stability of types and the record of variations that
appear in cultivated plants, and the additional fact that, so far as
determined, the originals of cultivated types have their prototype in
nature and are not the products of culture, it seems reasonable to
suppose that the record of the appearance of types will throw light
upon the country of their origin. From this standpoint, we may, hence,
conclude that, as the present types have all been recorded in the Old
World since the fifteenth century and were not recorded before the
fourteenth, there must be a connection between the time of the
discovery of America and the time of the appearance of pumpkins and
squashes in Europe.
The word, gourd, is believed to be derived from the Latin cucurbita, but
it takes on various forms in the various European languages. It is
spelled " gowrde " by Turner, S; "gourde" by Lobel, 1576; and "gourd"
by Lyte, 1586. In France, it is given as courgen and cohurden by
Ruellius, 1536, but appears in its present form, courge, in Pinaeus,
1561. Dalechamp used coucourde, 1587, a name which now appears
as cougourde in Vilmorin. The Belgian name appears as cauwoord in
Lyte, 1586; and the Spanish name, calabassa, with a slight change of
spelling, has remained constant from 1561 to 1864, as has the zucca of
the Italians and the kurbs of the Germans.
The gourd belonging to Lagenaria vulgaris is but rarely cultivated in
the United States except as an ornamental plant and as such shares a
place with the small, hard-shelled cucurbita which are known as fancy
gourds. In some localities, however, under the name of Sugar Trough
gourd, a lagenaria is grown for the use of the shell of the fruit as a pail.
What is worthy of note is the fact that this type of fruit does not appear
in the drawings of the botanists of the early period, nor in the seed
catalogs of Europe at the present time. In the Tupi Dictionary of Father
Ruiz de Montaga, 1639, among the gourd names are "iacvi-gourd, like
a great dish or bowl," which may mean this form. When we examine
descriptions, this gourd may perhaps be recognized in Columella's
account, "Sive globosi cor ports, atque utero minumum quae vasta
tumescit," and used for storing pitch or honey; yet a reference to his
prose description rather contradicts the conjecture and leads us to
believe that he describes only the necked form, and this form seems to
have been known only to Palladius. Pliny describes two kinds, the one
climbing, the other trailing. Walafridus Strabo, in the ninth century,
seems to describe the plebeia of Pliny as a cucurbita and the cameraria
as a pepo. The former, apparently, was a necked form and the latter,
one in which the neck has mostly disappeared leaving an oval fruit.
Albertus Magnus, in the thirteenth century, describes the cucurbita as
bearing its seed "in vase magno," which implies the necked form. The
following types are illustrated by the various herbalists:
TYPES OF GOURDS.
I. Cucurbita oblonga. Fuch. 370. 1542.
Cucurbita plebeia. Roeszl. 115. 1550.
Cucurbita. Trag. 824. 1552.
Curcubita longa. Cardan. 222. 1556.
Cucurbita. Matth. 261. 1558; Pinaeus 190. 1561; Cam. Epit. 292.
Cucurbita sive zuccha, omnium maxima anguina. Lob. Obs. 366.
1576; Icon. 1:644. 1591.
Cucurbita camerararia longa. Dalechamp 1:615. 1587.
Cucurbita anguina. Ger. 777. 1597.
Cucurbita oblonga. Matth. 392. 1598.
Cucurbita longior. Dod. 1616. Zucca. Dur., C. 488. 1617.
Cucurbita anguina longa. Bodaeus 784. 1644.
Cucurbita longa, folio molli, flore albo. Bauh., J. 2:214. 1651; Chabr.
Courge massue tres longue. Vilm. 190. 1883.
II. - Ruellius frontispiece 1536.
Cucurbita minor. Fuch. 369. 1542.
Cucurbita. Trag. 824. 1552; Matth. 261. 1558; Cam. Epit. 292. 1586.
Cucurbita marina. Cardan. 222. 1556.
Cucurbita cameraria. Dalechamp 1:615. 1587.
Cucurbita lagenaria sylvestris. Ger. 779. 1597.
Cucurbita prior. Dod. 668. i6i6.
Zucca. Dur., C. 488. 1617.
Courge pelerine. Vilm. 191. 1883.
III. Cucurbita calebasse. Tourn. 7.36. 1719.
Courge siphon. Vilm. 190. 1883.
IV. Cucurbita major. Fuch. 368. 1542.
Cucurbita earner aria. Roeszl. 115. 1550.
Cucurbita. Trag. 824. 1552; Matth. 261. 1558.
Cucurbita cameraria major. Dalechamp 1:616. 1587.
Cucurbita lagenaria. Ger. 777. 1597.
Cucurbita major sessilis. Matth. 393. 1598.
Cucurbita lagenaria rotunda. Bodaeus 784. 1644.
Cucurbita latior, folio molli, flore albo. Bauh. J. 1:215. 1651; Chabr.
Sugar Trough Gourd.
V. Cucurbita. Matth. 261. 1558; Dalechamp 1:615. 1587.
Courge plate de corse. Vilm. 191. 1883.
This classification, it is to be remarked, is not intended for exact
synonymy but to represent the like types of fruit-form. Within these
classes there is a wide variation in size and proportion.
Whether the lagenaria gourds existed in the New World before the
discovery by Columbus, as great an investigator as Grayl considers
worthy of examination, and quoted Oviedo for the period about 1526 as
noting the long and round or banded and all the other shapes they
usually have in Spain, as being much used in the West Indies and the
mainland for carrying water. He indicates that there are varieties of
spontaneous growth as well as those under cultivation. The occurrence,
however, of the so-called fancy gourds of Cucurbita pepo, of hard rind,
of gourd shape, and often of gourd bitterness, render difficult the
identification of species through the uses. The Relation of the Voyage
of Amerigo Vespucci 1489, mentions the Indians of Trinidad and of the
coast of Paris as carrying about their necks small, dried gourds filled
with the plant they are accustomed to chew, or with a certain whitish
flour; but this record could as well have been made from the Cucurbita
pepo gourds as from the lagenaria gourds. The further mention that
each woman carried a cucurbita containing water might seem to refer to
Acosta speaks of the Indians of Peru making floats of gourds, for
swimming, and says, "there are a thousand kinds of Calebasses; some
are so deformed in their bigness that of the rind cut in the midst and
cleansed, they make as it were, baskets to put in all their meat, for their
dinner; of the lesser, they make vessels to eat and drink in." Bodaeus'
quotation in Latin, reads differently in a free translation: "They grow in
the province of Chile to a wonderful size, and are called capallas. They
are of an indefinite number of kinds; some are monstrous in their
immense size, and when cut open and cleaned, furnish various vessels.
Of the smaller they most ingeniously make cups and saucers." In 1624,
Bodaeus received from the West Indies some seed which bore fruit
Quae kumanum crassitudinem et longitudinem superaret, which
fully justifies Acosta's idea of size. The Anonymous Portugal of Brasil
says: "Some pompions so big that they can use them for vessels to carry
water, and they hold two pecks or more." Baro, 1647, also speaks of
"Courges et calebasses si grandes et profondes qu'elles servent
comme de maga-zin, and Laet mentions ""Pepones tarn vastae, ut"
Indigenae Us utantur pro 'oasis quibus aquam aggerunt." These largesized
gourds were not, however, confined to America. Bodaeus, as we
have noted, grew fruits deformed in their bigness, to use Acosta's term,
from West Indian seed, and Cardanus says he has seen gourds (he
gives a figure which is a gourd) weighing 80 and 122 pounds. Bauhin
records the club gourd as sometimes three feet long; Ray,6 as five or six
feet long; and Forskal, the bottle gourd as 18 inches in diameter. These
records of size are all, however, of a date following the discovery of
America, and the seed of these large varieties might have come from
American sources, as is recorded in one case by Bodaeus.
The lagenaria gourd is of Old World origin, for water-flasks of the
lagenaria have been found in Egyptian tombs of the twelfth dynasty, or
2200 or 2400 years B. C., and they are described by the ancient
writers. That the gourd reached America at an eaily period, perhaps
preceding the discovery, we cannot doubt for Marcgravius notes a
cucurbit with a white flower and of lagenarian form, in Brazil in 1648;
but there is not sufficient evidence to establish its appearance in
America before brought by the colonists. What the "calabazas" were
which served for water-vessels, and were apparently of considerable
size, cannot at present be surmised. It is possible that there are varieties
of Cucurbita pepo not yet introduced to notice that would answer the
conditions. It is also less possible that gourd-shaped clay vessels might
have been used and were recorded by not over-careful narrators as
gourds. In 1595, Mendana, on his voyage to the Solomon Islands, said
Spanish pumpkins at the islands of Dominica and Santa Cruz, or
according to another translation, "pumpkins of Castile." It would seem
by this reference that, whether the "calabaza" of the original Spanish
referred to gourds or pumpkins, it did not take many years for this
noticeable class of fruits to receive a wide distribution, and it might
further imply that Mendana, setting forth from the western coast of
America, discriminated between the American pumpkin, or pumpkin
proper, and the Spanish pumpkin or gourd.
Cudrania javanensis Tree. Urticaceae (Moraceae).
Tropical Asia, Africa and Australia.
The fruit is a compound,
irregularly-shaped berry as large as a small custard apple, formed of
the enlarged fleshy perianths and receptacle, each perianth enclosing a
one-seeded nut. The fruit is edible and of a pleasant taste.
Cuminum cyminum Linn. Umbelliferae. CUMIN.
This is a small, annual plant indigenous to the
upper regions of the Nile but was carried at an early period by
cultivation to Arabia, India and China, as well as to the countries
bordering on the Mediterranean. It is referred to by the prophet Isaiah
and is mentioned in Matthew. Pliny calls it the best appetizer of all the
condiments and says the Ethiopian and the African are of superior
quality but that some prefer the Egyptian. During the Middle Ages,
cumin was one of the species in most common use and is mentioned in
Normandy in 716, in England between 1264 and 1400 and is
enumerated in 1419 among the merchandise taxed in the city of
London. It is mentioned in many of the herbals of the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries and is recorded as under cultivation in England
in 1594. In India, the seeds form an ingredient of curry powders and
pickles 8 and in France find use in cookery. In Holland, cheeses are
sometimes flavored with cumin. The seed is occasionally advertised in
American seed catalogs but is probably very rarely grown.
Cupania americana Linn. Sapindaceae.
The sweet, chestnut-like seeds are used in the West Indies as a
food." The seeds have the flavor of chestnut or sweet acoms and are
used on the banks of the Orinoco to make a fermented liquor.
Curculigo orchioides Gaertn. Amaryllideae (Hypoxidaceae).
In the Mariana Islands, the roots are eaten.
Curcuma amada Roxb. Scitamineae (Zingiberaceae). AMADA.
East Indies. T
he fresh root possesses the smell of a green mango and is
used in India as a vegetable and condiment.
C. angustifolia Roxb. ARROWROOT.
The root had long been an article of food amongst
the natives of India before it was particularly noticed by Europeans. It
furnishes an arrowroot of a yellow tinge which does not thicken in
boiling water. This East Indian arrowroot is exported from Travancore.
It forms a good substitute for the West Indian arrowroot and is sold in
C. leucorhiza Roxb.
The tubers yield a starch which forms an excellent
arrowroot that is sold in the bazaars.
C. longa Linn. TURMERIC.
This plant is extensively cultivated in India for its tubers
which are an essential ingredient of native curry powders, according to
Dutt. The substance called turmeric is made from the old tubers of this
and perhaps other species. The young, colorless tubers furnish a sort of
C. rubescens Roxb.
This plant furnishes an excellent arrowroot from its tubers,
which is eaten by the natives and sold in the bazaars.
C. zedoaria Rose. ZEDOARY.
This plant yields a product used as turmeric.