Lecanora affinis Linn. Lichenes. CRAB'S EYE.
This lichen is found in Armenia and Algeria, blown about and heaped
up by the winds. It is ground with corn in times of scarcity to eke out
the scanty supply.
L. esculenta Linn. CUP MOSS.
This lichen was found by Ledebour in the Kirghiz Steppe and in middle
Asia, frequently on a barren soil or in clefts of rocks, whence it is often
washed down after sudden and violent falls of rain, so as to be collected
in considerable quantity and easily gathered for food. The same species
was found by Paviot, who procured it in his journey to Ararat, where it
is eaten by the natives. In some districts of Persia, in 1828, it covered
the ground to a depth of five or six inches in so short a period of time
that the people thought it had been rained down from heaven. This
lichen is supposed by some to have been the manna of the children of
Lecythis grandiflora Aubl. Myrtaceae (Lecithidaceae).
The seeds are palatable.
L. minor Jacq.
The fruit is two inches in diameter. The seeds are of an
L. ollaria Linn. POT TREE.
The fruit is the size of a child's head and is prized for
its chestnut-like fruit.
L. zabucajo Aubl.
The nuts of this species are rather more than two inches long
and one wide, covered with a longitudinally-furrowed, corky shell and
grow in large, hard, woody fruits, shaped like urns, measuring about
six inches in diameter and having close-fitting lids at the top.
Ledum latifolium Jacq. Ericaceae. LABRADOR TEA.
The leaves are said to have been used as a substitute
for tea during the Revolutionary War. Lindley says the leaves are used
to render beer heady.
L. palustre Linn. MARSH ROSEMARY.
Northern and arctic regions.
This plant furnished a tea to Richardson in
his arctic journey,
Lens esculenta Moench. Leguminosae. LENTIL.
This was probably one of the first plants brought under
cultivation by mankind for food. Lentils were known to the ancient
Greeks, Jews and Egyptians. The cultivation of the lentil is very ancient,
as it has been found in the Egyptian tombs of the twelfth dynasty, or
2200 to 2400 B. C. It has been found in the lacustrine debris of
Switzerland dating from the age of bronze. Lentils are now cultivated
extensively throughout most parts of the East, including Egypt, Nubia,
Syria and India; likewise in most of the countries of central and
southern Europe. Wilkinson states that in ancient Egypt much
attention was bestowed on the culture of this useful pulse, and certain
varieties became remarkable for their excellence, the lentils of Pelusium
being esteemed both in Egypt and in foreign countries. In Egypt and
Syria, the seeds are parched and sold in the shops. In France and
Spain, there are three varieties cultivated; the small brown or red sort is
preferred for haricots and soups, and the yellow lentil is readily
convertible into flour and serves as the base of certain adulterated
preparations. In England, lentils are but little cultivated, yet two
varieties are named: the French, of an ash-gray color; the Egyptian,
with a dark skin and of an orange-red color inside. In 1834, seeds of
the lentil were distributed from the United States Patent Office.
Leonia glycycarpa Ruiz & Pav. Violaceae.
A tree of Peru, the fruit of which is called achocon. The fruits are the
size of a peach, with a rough, netted skin and sweet pulp, which is
eaten by the Peruvians and is much relished.
Leopoldinia major Wallace. Palmae. JARA PALM.
The Indians of the Rio Negro collect the fruit in large quantities
and, by burning and washing, extract a floury substance which they
use as a substitute for salt.
Lepidium diffusum DC. Cruciferae. DITTANDER.
The plant is eatable as a water cress.
L. draba Linn. HOARY CRESS.
East Mediterranean countries.
The plant is cooked and eaten in
Cappadocia, and the seeds are substituted for pepper in seasoning.
L. latifolium Linn. DITTANDER. POOR MAN'S PEPPER.
A cress of Europe, north Africa, middle and north Asia. In Britain, this
cress was much used as a pungent condiment before the various
substances now employed for such purposes became cheap and hence
the common name, poor man's pepper. It was sometimes called
dittander, and under that name was cultivated in cottage gardens but
is now almost entirely discarded as a culinary vegetable. Loudon says it
has roots resembling horseradish, for which it may be used as a
substitute, and the leaves are excellent as greens and for salads.
Lightfoot mentions the use of the pungent leaves for salads, and Mueller
says it is much used for some select sauces.
L. oleraceum Forst. f. NEW ZEALAND CRESS.
This plant is found growing abundantly on the seashores.
It is a good antiscorbutic and was eagerly sought after by early
voyagers as a remedy for scurvy. The natives call it eketera. It is now
cultivated in Britain as a potherb.
L. piscidium Forst. f. FISH POISON.
This is an extremely pungent cress eaten by seamen as
a relish and antiscorbutic.
L. sativum Linn. CRESS. NASTURTIUM.
De Candolle believes this plant to be a native of Persia, whence it
may have spread into the gardens of India, Syria, Greece, Egypt and
even as far as Abyssinia. It is said by Xenophon, about 400 B. C., to
have been eaten by the Persians before they became acquainted with
bread. Pliny, in the first century, speaks of the nasturtium as growing
in Arabia, of a remarkable size. Cress finds frequent mention in the
Greek and Latin authors. This plant has been cultivated in England
since 1548 and is mentioned by Gerarde who says, "Galen saith that
the Cresses may be eaten with bread Velutiobsonium and so the
Ancient Spartans usually did; and the low-countrie men many times
doe, who commonly use to feed of Cresses with bread and butter. It is
eaten with other sallade herbes, as Tarragon and Rocket; and for this
cause it is chiefly sown." In 1806, McMahon mentions three varieties for
American gardens. The leaves while young have a warm, pungent taste
and are now eaten as a salad, either separately or mixed with lettuce or
other salad plants. The curled varieties are used for garnishing. Burr
describes five varieties, and four types are now under culture; the
common, the curled, the broad-leaved and the golden. The synonomy of
these various types is as below, it being premised that the modern
varieties vary somewhat in degree only:
I. COMMON CRESS.
Nasturtium hortense. Fuch. 362. 1542; Trag. 82. 1552; Pin. 221.
1561; Ger. 194. 1597; Dod. 711. 1616.
Gartenkress. Roezl. 188. 1550.
Nasturtium. Matth. 280. 1558; Lob. Obs. 107. 1576; Cam. Epit. 355.
1586; Matth. Op. 425. 1598; Chabr. 289. 1677.
Nasturtio. Pictorius Ed. Macer 75. 1581.
Nasturtium hortense commune. Bauh. Phytopin. 161. 1596.
Nasturtium hortense vulgatum. Baugh. Pin. 102. 1623.
Nasturtium vulgare. Baugh. J. 2:912. 1651.
Common Garden Cress. Ray 825. 1686; Vilm. 207. 1885.
Garden Cress. Townsend 1726.
Lepidium saticum. Linn. Sp. 899. 1763.
Common Cress. Stevenson 1785; Bryant 103. 1783; Miller's Diet. 1807
Common Small-Leaved. Mawe 1778.
Cresson alenois commun. Vilm. 194. 1883.
II. CURLED CRESS.
Nasturtium hortense crispum. Bauh. Phytopin. 161. 1596; Pin. 104. 1623
Nasturtium hortense. Linn. Ger. 194. 1597.
Nasturtium crispum augustifolium. Matth. Op. 426. 1598.
Nasturtium crispum. Bauhin, Joh. Bauh., J. 2:913. 1651.
Nasturtium hortense crispum latifolium. Bauh.Prod.44. 1671.
Nasturtium hortense crispum angustifolium. Bauh. 43. 1671.
Nasturtium crispum. Chabr. 289. 1677.
Curled Cress. Ray 825. 1686; Townsend 1726; Stevenson 34. 1765;
Bryant 103. 1783; McMahon 1806; Mill. Diet. 1807.
Lepidium sativum crispum. Linn. Sp. 899. 1763.
Cresson frise. L'Hort. Franc. 1824; Petit Diet. 1826.
Cresson alenois frise. Vilm. 195. 1883.
Curled, or Normandy, and Extra-Curled Dwarf. Vilm. 207. 1885.
III. BROAD-LEAVED CRESS.
Nasturtium. Cam. Epit. 335. 1586.
Nasturtium hortense latifolium. Bauh. Phytopin 160. 1596; Pin. 103. 1623
Nasturtium latifolium dioscorideum. Bauh., J. 2:913. 1651.
Nasturtium latifolium. Chabr. 289. 1677.
Broad-Leaved Garden Cress. Ray 825. 1686; Vilm. 207. 1885.
Broad-Leaved. Townsend 1726; Stevenson 34. 1765; Mawe 1778;
McMahon 1806; Mill. Diet. 1807.
Lepidium latifolium. Linn. Sp. 899. 1763.
Cresson a larges feuilles. L'Hort. Franc. 1824; Petit 1826.
Cresson alenois a large feuitte. Vilm. 195. 1893.
IV. GOLDEN CRESS.
Cresson dore. Petit 1826; Noisette 1829.
Golden. Hort. Trans. 6:583. 1826; Burr 343. 1863; Vilm. 208. 1885.
Cresson alenois dore. Vilm. 195. 1883.
It appears as if the types of the modern varieties have not changed
through culture, as three are quite ancient, and the fourth is but an
ordinary variation of a pale yellowish-green color. Curled cress seems to
have been first observed by J. Bauhin, who furnished his brother, C.
Bauhin, with seed preceding 1596.
Leptadenia lancifolia Decne. Asclepiadeae.
The natives of the Upper Nile make spinach of its
flowers and tender shoots.
Leptospermum pubescens Lam. Myrtaceae. TEA TREE.
Tasmania and southeastern Australia.
The leaves were used by the
early settlers as a tea substitute.
L. scoparium Forst. TEA TREE.
The leaves were used by Captain Cook in his second voyage
as a tea and are reported as furnishing a beverage of a very agreeable,
bitter flavor, when the leaves were fresh.
Leucaena esculenta Benth. Leguminosae.
According to Don, this is the guaxe of Mexico, the legumes of
which are eaten by the Mexicans.
Leucopogon fraseri A. Cunn. Epacridaceae. OTAGO HEATH.
A plant whose sweetish, orange-like drupe is edible.
L. richei R. Br. AUSTRALIAN CURRANTS.
The berries are said to have supported the French naturalist
Riche, who was lost for three days on the south coast of New Holland.
Levisticum officinale Koch. Umbelliferae. LOVAGE.
Lovage grows wild in the south of Europe and is cultivated in
gardens. McMahon, 1806, includes it in his list of kitchen garden,
aromatic, pot and sweet herbs, and in 1832 Bridgeman includes it
among garden medicinal herbs. It is now used in eclectic medicine. At
the present day, says Vilmorin, lovage is almost exclusively used in the
manufacture of confectionery. Formerly the leafstalks and bottoms of
the stems were eaten, blanched like celery. The whole plant has a
strong, sweetish, aromatic odor and a warm, pungent taste and is
probably grown now in America, as in 1806, rather as a medicinal than
as a culinary herb. Lovage appears to have been known to Ruellius,
1536, who calls it Levisticum officinarum, and was seen in gardens by
Lewisia rediviva Pursh. Portulaceae. BUTTER-ROOT. SPATLUM.
Unwooded portions of the interior of Oregon and northern California.
The root is boiled and eaten by Indian tribes. The Indians of California
call it spatlum. The root is large and fusiform, the outer portion of a
dingy color, the inner white and farinaceous. It is considered highly