Orchis coriophora Linn. Orchideae. BUG ORCHIS.
Europe and adjoining Asia.
In the Levant, its dried root is cooked and eaten and is also used to furnish salep.
O. longicruris Link.
Mediterranean region. This orchid furnishes a portion of the salep of commerce.
O. mascula Linn. SPOTTED ORCHIS.
Europe and Asia Minor.
The spotted orchis yields part of the inferior English salep. In the Peloponnesus, its dried root is cooked and eaten.
O. militaris Linn.
North Asia and Europe.
This orchid produces a starchy, mucilaginous substance known as salep, obtained by macerating the pulp in water.
O. mono Linn. GANDERGOOSE. SALEP ORCHIS.
Europe and adjoining Asia.
In the Levant, the dried root is cooked and eaten. This is one of the species which furnishes salep to commerce.
O. pyramidalis Linn.
Europe and north Africa.
This is one of the species used to furnish salep to commerce.
O. ustulata Linn.
This is one of the species which furnish salep to commerce. Large quantities of salep are prepared in, Macedonia and Greece, but the finest comes from Turkey. In the Himalayas and Kashmir regions, many species of bulbous-rooted orchids yield salep, which is largely used as food by the natives.
Oreodoxa oleracea Mart. Palmae. CABBAGE PALM.
This is the cabbage palm of tropical America. The terminal bud, of a white color internally and of delicate flavor, serves as a vegetable. Seemann says the heart is made into pickles or, when boiled, is served at table. The pith makes a sort of sago.
Origanum heracleoticum Linn. Labiatae. WINTER SWEET MARJORAM.
This species has been identified with the Cunila gallinacea of Pliny. It is mentioned in the early botanies, is said to have reached England in 1640 and is recorded in American gardens in 1806. It finds mention by Burr in 1863 but seems now to have disappeared from our seed-lists. It is frequently mentioned by early garden writers under the name winter sweet marjoram and has a variegated variety. It is an aromatic of sweet flavor and is much used for soups, broths and stuffings.
O. majorana Linn. SWEET MARJORAM.
Sweet marjoram was introduced into British gardens in 1573. This is the species usually present in the herb garden. It is supposed to be the amaracus of Pliny, who speaks of it as cultivated. It is also the marjorana of Albertus Magnus in the thirteenth century and is mentioned as cultivated in the early botanies. Its modern culture is quite extended, and at Bombay it is considered sacred to Siva and Vishnu. It is said to have reached Britain in 1573 and was a wellknown inmate in American gardens in 1806. This biennial, always treated as an annual, is highly aromatic and is much used, both in the green state and when dried, for flavoring broths, soups and stuffings.
O. onites Linn. POT MARJORAM.
Southeast Europe, Asia Minor and Syria.
Pot marjoram is a perennial species from Sicily. Pliny 10 speaks of this species as called onitin, or prasion, in the first century. Its introduction into Britain is said to have taken place in i759.11 It was in American gardens in i8o6 12 but does not appear to have been much cultivated, although recorded by Burr in 1863. Its name does not now occur in our seed-lists as it is inferior to the preceding variety.
O. vulgare Linn. ORGANY. WILD MARJORAM.
North Africa, Europe and adjoining Asia.
This species has become sparingly naturalized in eastern America. Don says it is used in cookery Only in default of one of the other majorams. McIntosh says that the leaves and tender tops are in constant demand and that the leaves are used in many places as a substitute for tea. Lightfoot says in some parts of Sweden the peasantry put the leaves into their ale to give it an intoxicating quality and to prevent its turning sour. It is included among garden herbs by Burr.
Ornithogalum pilosum Linn. f. Liliaceae.
The roots, according to Pallas, are eaten by the Greeks of the Crimea.
O. pyrenaicum Linn. PRUSSIAN ASPARAGUS. STAR-OFBETHLEHEM.
Europe and adjoining Asia.
In England, the young shoots of this plant are used as asparagus.
O. umbellatum Linn. DOVE'S DUNG. STAR-OF-BETHLEHEM.
Northern Africa, Asia Minor and Europe.
The bulbs, says Johnson, are very nutritious and form a palatable and wholesome food when boiled. In the East they are often eaten and were probably the dove's dung mentioned in the Bible.
Orontium aquaticum Linn. Araceae. GOLDEN CLUB.
The seeds of this species were gathered and dried by the Indians. Repeated boilings were necessary to fit them for use, the product resembling peas. The root is acrid but is rendered edible by roasting.
Orthanthera viminea Wight Asclepiadeae.
In India, the flower-buds, raw or cooked, according to Brandis, are eaten as a vegetable.
Orthosiphon rubicundus Benth. Labiatae.
East Indies and Burma.
The tubers are said to be eaten in Madagascar.
Oryza sativa Linn. Gramineae. RICE.
This important grain, which supplies food for a greater number of human beings than are fed on the produce of any other known plant, is supposed to be of Asiatic origin. Unger says it is indigenous to further India and the Isle of Sunda. Barth says it grows wild in central Africa, and recent travelers mention the plant as growing wild in South America. Rice had been introduced into China 3000 years before Christ. Even in the time of Strabo, rice was cultivated in Babylon, Khuzistan and Syria. The Arabians brought it to Sicily. It was found by Alexander's expedition under cultivation in Hindustan but the account of Theophrastus seems to imply that the living plant continued unknown in the Mediterranean countries. Rice was known, however, to Celsus, Pliny, Dioscorides and Galen. According to some, rice was known in Lombardy in the tenth century but Targioni-Tozzetti says that in the year 1400 it was still known in Italy only as an article of import from the East. Its cultivation was introduced into Piedmont and Lombardy in the end of the fifteenth, or commencement of the sixteenth, century, either directly from India by the Portuguese or through Spain and Naples by the Spaniards. It was not cultivated in fields in Lombardy until 1522.
Rice was introduced into Virginia by Sir William Berkeley in 1647, who caused half a bushel of seed to be sown, and the yield was fifteen bushels of excellent rice. This grain is stated to have been first brought into Charleston, South Carolina, by a Dutch brig from Madagascar in 1694, the captain of which left about a peck of paddy with Governor Smith, who distributed it among his friends for cultivation. Another account is that Ashby sent a bag of seed rice, 100 pounds, from which in 1698 sixty tons were shipped to England. The culture of rice was introduced into Louisiana by the Company of the West in 1718. Upland, or mountain rice, was introduced into Charleston, South Carolina, from Canton, in 1772. Father Baegert, 1751-68, speaks of rice as nourishing in California.
The varieties of rice are almost endless. At the Madras exhibition of 1857, one exhibitor sent 190 varieties from Tanjore; another sent 65 from Travancore; 50 were received from Chingleput; 50 from Paghot; and from these 107 varieties of paddy were selected as distinct. In Moon's Catalogue of Ceylon Plants, no less than 161 varieties are enumerated as growing in Ceylon, and Carey describes 40 varieties in Coromandel, all well known to native farming. The most general divisions are into upland rice, valley rice, summer rice and spring rice. The finest rice in the world is that raised in North and South Carolina. Rice in the husk is called paddy.
Oryzopsis asperifolia Michx. Gramineae. MOUNTAIN RICE.
The grain is large and affords a fine and abundant farina, deserving the attention of agriculturists.
O. cuspidata Benth.
Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.
This grass produces a small, black, nutritious seed, which is ground into flour and made into bread by the Zuni Indians, who, when their crops fail, become wandering hunters after these seeds.
© 2018 Biocyclopedia | All rights reserved.