Lucuma bifera Molina. Sapotaceae. SAPOTA.
This tree is cultivated in Chile. It bears twice a year, early in
summer and in autumn, but the autumnal fruit alone produces
kernels; these are two and have the appearance of chestnuts. The fruit
is round and a little sloped. By keeping the fruits some time in straw,
they become ameliorated and acquire that pleasant taste which renders
them so much esteemed.
L. caimito Roem.
The tree is cultivated in Peru. This fruit is about three inches long
with a soft and agreeable pulp.
L. mammosa Gaertn. f. MAMMEE. MARMALADE TREE. SAPOTA.
West Indies and South America.
In the West Indies, this tree is
cultivated for its fruit. The fruit is four or five inches in diameter and is
covered with a rough, russet-colored bark; the pulp is dark yellowish,
soft, sweet, tasting not unlike a very ripe pear. It makes an excellent
marmalade but, eaten raw, has an aperient quality.
L. obovata H. B. & K. LUCUMA.
The fruit is solid in consistence and so richly flavored
that a small quantity suffices. It is sold in the markets at Lima.
Garcilasso de la Vega says, "another fruit is called by the Indians of
Peru, rucma; by the Spaniards, lucuma. It is a tolerable fruit, not
delicate nor pleasant, though sweet rather than sour, and not known to
be unwholesome, but it is coarse food. It is about the size and shape of
an orange and has a kernel in the center very like a chestnut in color
and size but not good to eat, being bitter."
L. serpentaria H. B. & K.
This is a doubtful species found in Cuba; the fruit is edible.
L. turbinata Molina.
This species is cultivated in Chile. The fruit has the form of a
whipping-top. By keeping in straw, it ripens into a much-esteemed
Luffa acutangula Roxb. Cucurbitaceae.
Old World tropics.
This plant is cultivated in India for food purposes
and is said by Drury to be one of the best of the native vegetables and to
be much used in curries. Roxburgh says that, when the fruit is boiled
and dressed with butter, pepper and salt, it is little inferior to green
peas. This club-shaped gourd, about 10 or 12 inches long, is eaten
boiled or pickled, but the taste is insipid, says Don. This is the
papengaye of the negroes of Africa, says Oliver, and presents bitter and
poisonous, as well as edible varieties.
L. aegyptiaca Mill. BONNET GOURD. DISH-CLOTH GOURD. LOOP.
Old World tropics.
This species is cultivated for its fruit throughout
tropical Africa. It is the sooly-qua of the Chinese, a club-shaped,
wrinkled gourd, said to be eaten. It is cultivated for food purposes in
India, where it is called ghia. It is considered by the natives of Burma a
delicious vegetable. The interior, netted fibers, under the name loof, are
used in Turkish baths for fleshrubbers. The plant is grown as a
curiosity in American gardens.
Lunaria annua Linn. Cruciferae. BOLBONAC. HONESTY. PENNY FLOWER.
"The seed of the bolbonac is a temperature hot and dry and
sharpe of taste and is like in taste and force to the seed of treacle
mustard, the roots likewise are somewhat of a biting quality but not
much: they are eaten with sallads as certain other roots are."
Lupinus albus Linn. Leguminosae. FIELD LUPINE. WOLF-BEAN.
This plant has been cultivated since the days of
the ancient Egyptians. It was cultivated by the Romans as a legume but
does not seem to have entered the Rhine regions until the sixteenth
century. Theophrastus speaks of lupine in his History of Plants and it
is also mentioned by Cato, Columella and Pliny. It is now extensively
cultivated in Sicily, Italy and some other countries as a plant for green
manuring and for the seeds, which, when boiled to remove their
bitterness, are still an article of food in some regions. In 1854, seeds
were distributed from the United States Patent Office.
L. hirsutus Linn. BLUE LUPINE.
This plant was cultivated by the Greeks under
the name thermos and serves now as food for the poorer classes of
people, as it did the Cynics. The Mainots, at the present day, bake
bread from the seeds. It now grows wild throughout the whole of the
Mediterranean region from Portugal and Algiers to the Greek islands
L. littoralis Dougl.
The tough, branching roots are used by the
Columbia River Indians as winter food, being dried. When eaten they
are roasted and become farinaceous. Tytler says these are the licorice
spoken of by Lewis and Clarke. The native name is comnuchtan.
L. luteus Linn. YELLOW LUPINE.
The seeds of this plant constitute a nutritious
article of food for man. It is cultivated in Italy.
L. perennis Linn. WILD LUPINE.
Eastern North America.
linger says its bitter seeds are eaten from
Canada to Florida.
L. tennis Forsk.
East Mediterranean countries.
This plant is cultivated in Italy and in
Egypt for its seeds, which are cooked in salt water and shelled. The
peduncles, after being pickled, are eaten without cooking.
Lycium europaeum Linn. Solanaceae. BOX THORN.
Mediterranean regions and the Orient. This thorny shrub is used as a
hedge plant in Tuscany and Spain, and the young shoots are employed
as a vegetable. The globose berry, yellow or red and one-sixth of an inch
in diameter, is sweet and without flavor but is eaten in India.
L. ruthenicum Murr. RUSSIAN BOX THORN.
The small, sweet and flavorless berry is eaten in India.