Nicotiana andicola H. B. & K. Solanaceae. TOBACCO.
This plant grows on the back of the Andes and is similar to
N. chinensis Fisch. TOBACCO.
This species is only known in a cultivated state. It is everywhere
cultivated in Cochin China and China. This is the species which Le
Conte thinks probably existed in China before the discovery of America,
and he furthermore says that from this the best Cuban tobacco is
N. Clevelandi A. Gray. TOBACCO.
Professor Rothrock is of the opinion that the early natives of
California smoked the leaves. This tobacco is excessively strong and
was found in association with the shell-heaps which occur so
abundantly on the coasts of southern and central California.
N. glutinosa Linn. TOBACCO.
According to Humboldt, this species is cultivated in
N. loxensis H. B. & K. TOBACCO.
This species is said by Humboldt to be similar to cultivated
N. paniculata Linn. TOBACCO.
This species yields the tobacco of Russia. The young
leaves are removed, dried in the shade and buried beneath hay ricks,
when they become of a brownish-yellow color.
N. quadrivalvis Pursh. TOBACCO.
Western North America.
This tobacco is cultivated by the Arikara and
Mandan Indians. The tobacco prepared from it is excellent and the
most delicate is formed of the dried flowers. The calyx is very fetid and is
preferred to any other part.
N. repanda Willd. TOBACCO.
This species is used, according to Masters, in the manufacture
of some of the most highly esteemed cigars.
N. rustica Linn. TOBACCO.
This species is found in old fields from New York westward and
southward, a relic of cultivation by the Indians. It is cultivated in all
parts of the globe and have even become wild in Africa. It is supposed to
be the kind originally introduced into Europe. It furnishes the East
Indian tobacco, also that of the Philippines, and the kinds called
Latakia and Turkish, according to Masters. It is the yetl cultivated by
the ancient Mexicans.
N. tabacum Linn. TOBACCO.
This is the principal species of cultivated tobaccos, a
Native of America and known to the outer world only after the discovery.
It was first seen by Europeans in 1492 when Columbus saw the natives
of Cuba having in their mouths a roll of leaves of which they were
inhaling the smoke. Yet it has been maintained by some, as Don Ullva,
a Spanish writer, 1787, that the custom of smoking tobacco is of much
greater antiquity than the date of the discovery of America, and Le
Conte, 1859, deems this probably true. Yet the absence of the mention
of a custom so peculiar as smoking by all the earlier writers and
travelers seems conclusive evidence against such assertions.
The word tobacco, says Humboldt, belongs to the ancient language of
Hayti and Santo Domingo. It did not properly denote the herb but the
tube through which the smoke was inhaled. The name of the tobacco
pipe in the Delaware language was haboca, and tobacco in some form
or other was used by almost all the tribes of the American continent
from the northwest coast to Patagonia. It was observed in use among
the New England tribes; among the Indians of the whole eastern coast
by the early colonists; among the Eskimos of the northwest, "who
swallow the smoke and revel in a temporary elysium;" among the
Konigas for chewing and snuffing; among the Ingaliks of the Yukon,
who smoke and snuff; and among the Columbians. The Snake Indians
cultivated, it and the California Indians also planted it in gardens as
early as 1775. In general, the medicine-pipe is a sacred pledge of
friendship among all the northwestern tribes. The Aztecs smoked
tobacco in pipes after meals, inhaling the smoke, and also took the
dried leaf in the pulverized form of snuff.
Among the Nahua natives, says Bancroft, three kinds of tobacco were
used, the yetl, signifying tobacco in general, the picycti and the
quauyetl. Columbus found it in use in Yucatan. Humboldt says
tobacco has been cultivated from time immemorial by all the native
people of the Orinoco, and, at the period of the conquest, the habit of
smoking was found to be spread alike over both North and South
America. The Indians of Peru, according to De la Vega, did not smoke it
but used it in the form of snuff for medicinal purposes.
Cortez seems to be the first European who saw the plant, in 1519, at
Tobaco, a province of Yucatan, and it is asserted by some that he sent
several plants to Spain this year and from this circumstance the plant
derived its name. It seems certain that if the plant was then introduced,
it did not became an object of commerce and seems not to have been
communicated to any other nation, for it was certainly from Portugal,
where it was brought from America, about 1559, that its general
diffusion over Europe and the East commenced. In 1560, it was
introduced into France by John Nicot, ambassador of France at the
Court of Portugal, who, at Lisbon, was presented with a specimen of
this plant recently brought from Florida - Humboldt says from
Yucatan. So late as the reign of Henry IV, tobacco was raised only in
gardens and was used only for medicinal purposes. In the reign of
Louis XIII, it began to come into request as a luxury and to be taken in
the form of snuff. About this date, it was introduced by St. Croix into
Italy and, about the beginning of the seventeenth century, Pope Urban
VIII issued a bill prohibiting the using of snuff in churches during
divine service. It was about the beginning of the seventeenth century -
that the tobacco plant was introduced into Russia, either from Portugal
or from Italy by the way of Astrakhan, but the notices of it at this date
are obscure. About the middle of the sixteenth century, it spread from
Italy over Germany and Holland. Tobacco reached India in 1605 and
about 1625 or 1626 Amurath IV, Sultan of Turkey, passed a law
prohibiting its use on pain of death, and a similar law about this time
was passed in Persia. According to some, it reached Hindustan and
China between 1560 and 1565. Lobel asserts that tobacco was
cultivated in England as early as the year 1570. Phillips says it was
brought to England by Drake in 1570, who that year made his first
expedition against the Spainards, but Drake did not return until 1573.
Its introduction is, however, usually ascribed to Raleigh in 1586, at
which time, says Humboldt, whole fields of it were already being
cultivated in Portugal.
In 1586, tobacco was in cultivation in Virginia by Raleigh's colonists. In
1611, it was first cultivated by the use of a spade and in 1616 it was
cultivated to such an extent that it occupied even the streets of
Jamestown. It was cultivated in New Netherlands as early as 1646 and
was introduced into Louisiana in 1718. In 1640, tobacco culture in
Connecticut was stimulated by legislation which required the colonists
to use tobacco of Connecticut growth.
Gesner, who died in 1564, is said to have been the first botanist who
mentions tobacco, and he used it for chewing and smoking.
Nigella arvensis Linn. Ranunculaceae. WILD FENNEL.
Europe, Mediterranean region and the Orient.
The seeds are used as
those of N. sativa as are also the leaves.
N. damascena Linn. WILD FENNEL.
This species is grown in Turkey for its seeds,
which are used as a condiment.
N. sativa Linn. BLACK CUMIN. FENNEL FLOWER. NIGELLA.
NUTMEG FLOWER. ROMAN CORIANDER.
East Mediterranean and Taurus-Caspian countries and cultivated in
various parts of the world. The seeds are employed in some parts of
Germany, France and Asia as a condiment. In eastern countries they
are commonly used for seasoning curries and other dishes, and the
Egyptians spread them on bread and put them on cakes like comfits.
The seeds, on account of their aromatic nature, are employed as a spice
in cooking, particularly in Italy and southern France. This plant is
supposed to be the gith of Columella and Pliny, in the first century; of
Palladius, in the third and of Charlemagne, in the ninth. The
melanthion of Columella, in the first century, seems a descriptive name
for his gith. Black cumin finds mention as cultivated in most of the
botanies of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; is recorded by
Vilmorin among plants of the garden, as also by Burr in 1863; and is
Now found in the lists of some of our seedsmen.
Nipa fruticans Thunb. Palmae. NIPA.
Eastern portion of the Malayan Archipelago.
The spathe is convertible
into syrup, sugar, vinegar, yeast and strong spirit. The pulpy kernels
are used for making sweetmeats.
Nitraria schoberi Linn. Zygophyllaceae. NITRE-BUSH.
Russia, north Asia and Australia.
The plant produces a fruit of the size
of an olive, of a red color and agreeable flavor, much relished by the
Natives. The berries, though saltish and insipid, are eaten in the
N. tridentata Desf. LOTUS TREE.
Syria, north Africa and the tropics.
This has been supposed, says
Masters, to be the true lotus tree of the ancients.