Myrica cordifolia Linn. Myricaceae. MYRICA.
The farmers use the wax from the berries for candles, but
the Hottentots eat this wax either with or without meat.
M. faya Ait. CANDLEBERRY MYRTLE.
Madeira, Azores and Canary Islands.
This is a small tree whose
drupaceous fruits are used for preserves.
M. gale Linn. SWEET GALE.
Of northern climates.
The French in Canada call it laurier and put the
leaves into broth to give it a pleasant taste. In England, the leaves are
sometimes used to flavor beer as an agreeable substitute for hops. The
berries are employed in France as a spice.
M. nagi Thunb.
Tropical Asia and subtropics.
This is the yang-mae of China, the
yamomomoki of Japan and is commonly cultivated in these countries,
being held in esteem for its subacid fruits, which are eaten both raw
and cooked. They are round, one-seeded drupes of deep red color, with
a tuberculated or granulated surface resembling that of the fruit of the
strawberry tree. Fortune refers to a species, probably this, called yangmae
in China. The wild variety san, is a fine Chinese fruit tree usually
grafted upon M. sapida. It is called sophee in Silhet, where the fruit is
eaten both raw and cooked. It has an agreeably-flavored fruit, though
with too large a stone in proportion to the fleshy part; but this, says
Royle, might probably be remedied by cultivation. This fruit tree would
probably repay the trouble of culture. The fruit is eaten in India, says
Brandis, and is sold in the bazaars of the hills.
Myristica acuminata Lam. Myristicaceae. NUTMEG.
This species yields nutmegs in Brazil, in the Philippine
Islands and in Madagascar.
M. fragrans Houtt. NUTMEG.
The nutmeg tree is found wild in Giolo, Ceram, Amboina,
Booro, the western peninsula of New Guinea and in many of the
adjacent islands. It has been introduced into Benkoelen on the west
coast of Sumatra, Malacca, Bengal, Singapore, Penang, Brazil and the
West Indies, but it is only in a very few localities that its cultivation has
been attended with success. Nutmegs and mace are now brought into
the market almost entirely from the Banda Islands, the entire group
occupying no more than 17.6 geographical miles. The earliest accounts
of the nutmeg are in the writings of the Arabian physicians. They are
known to have been at first imported overland into Europe and are
Mentioned under the name of karua aromatika in the addition to
Aetius, also by Symeon Sethus. The fruit is much like a peach, having
a longitudinal groove on one side, and bursts into two pieces when the
enclosed seed, covered by the false aril or arillode, which constitutes the
substance known as mace, is exposed. The seed itself has a thick, hard,
outer shell, which may be removed when dry and which encloses the
nucleus of the seed, the nutmeg of commerce.
Myrrhis odorata Scop. Umbelliferae. ANISE. MYRRH. SWEET
CHERVIL. SWEET CICELY.
South Europe and Asia Minor.
This plant was formerly much cultivated
in England as a potherb but is now fallen into disuse. The leaves were
eaten either boiled in soups or stews, or used as a salad in a fresh state.
The leaves and roots are still eaten in Germany and the seed is used
occasionally for flavoring. In Silesia, according to Bryant, the roots are
eaten boiled and the green seeds are chopped up and mixed with
salads to give them an aromatic flavor. This aromatic herb can scarcely
be considered as an inmate of American gardens, although so recorded
by Burr, 1863. In 1597, Gerarde, says the leaves are "exceeding good,
holsom, and pleasant among other sallade herbes, giving the taste of
Ainse unto the rest." In 1778, Mawe records that it is used rarely in
England. Pliny seems to refer to its use in ancient Rome under the
name anthriscus. It finds notice in most of the early botanies.
Myrsine capitellata Wall. Myrsineae.
The small, round drupe is eaten, according to Brandis.
M. semiserrata Wall.
The pea-sized drupe, with a soft, fleshy exocarp, is
Myrtus arayan H. B. & K. Myrtaceae.
This species is cultivated for ornament and fruit. The fruit is of a
rich, spicy, subacid flavor.
M. communis Linn. MYRTLE.
Southern Europe and the Orient.
In Greece, myrtle was sacred to Venus
and was a coronary plant. Its fruit is eaten by the modern, as it was by
the ancient, Athenians. The dried fruit and flower-buds, says Lindley,
were formerly used as a spice and are said still to be so used in
M. molinae Barn.
Chile, where it is called temo.
Its seeds, Molina says, may be used for
M. nummularia Poir. CRANBERRY-MYRTLE.
Chile to Fuego and the Falkland Islands.
Hooker describes the berries
as fleshy, sweet and of agreeable flavor.
M. ugni Molina. CHILEAN GUAVA.
Don says the fruit is red and musky. The natives express the
juice and mix it with water to form a refreshing drink. Mufeller says it
bears small but pleasantly aromatic berries. The fruit is said to be
agreeably flavored and aromatic It fruits abundantly in the
greenhouses of England, but its flavor does not recommend it as a table