Ochrocarpos (Mammea) africana Oliver. Guttiferae.
The fruit is twice the size of a man's fist; the rind is
brown and thick, and the pulp is yellow and excellent.
O. longifolius Benth. & Hook. f.
The fruit is similar to an acom in size and appearance.
Between the stone and the rind is a soft, pulpy juice of rosewater flavor,
considered very agreeable by some. Its fruit is delicious to the taste.
Ocimum basilicum Linn. Labiatae. SWEET BASIL.
Western and tropical Asia.
A fragrant and aromatic plant of tropical
Asia, which, as a culinary plant, has been celebrated from a very early
period. Mclntosh says it was condemned by Chrysippus more than 200
years before Christ as an enemy to the sight and a robber of the wits.
Diodorus and Hollerus entertained equally superstitious notions
regarding it. Philistis, Plistonicus and others extolled its virtues and
recommended it as strongly as it had been formerly condemned. Pliny
says the Romans sowed the seeds of this plant with maledictions and ill
words, believing the more it was cursed the better it would prosper; and
when they wished for a crop, they trod it down with their feet and
prayed to the gods that it might not vegetate. It seems to have been first
cultivated in Britain in 1548 and is now valued for the leaves and leafy
tops, which are much employed for seasoning soups, stews, sauces and
various other dishes. It reached America before 1806 as it is then
mentioned by McMahon as a well-known plant. Sweet basil seeds,
according to Miss Bird, are eaten in Japan.
O. gratissimum Linn.
This species is recorded as indigenous in India, the South
Sea Islands and Brazil. According to Loureiro, it occurs in the kitchen
gardens of Cochin China. It was cultivated in England in 1752 by a Mr.
Miller. Forskal gives as the Arabic name, hobokbok. In French gardens,
this plant is called basilic en arbre. Vilmorin thinks, however, that the
French form may be the O. suave Willd., but of this he is not certain.
Ocotea pretiosa Benth. & Hook. f. Lauraceae.
A Brazilian tree which yields a bark whose properties are similar to
those of cinnamon.