Pachira (Bombax) aquatica Aubl. Malvaceae (Bombacaceae).
The mealy seeds of this tree, when roasted, taste like
chestnuts. The young leaves and flowers are used as a vegetable. There
is nothing better than this chestnut cooked with a little salt.
P. grandiflora Tussac.
The seeds are eaten as chestnuts are.
P. insignis Savign.
Mexico and Guiana.
The seeds, young leaves and flowers serve as food.
Pachyrhizus angulatus Rich. Leguminosae.
Tropical Asia, Central America, the East and West Indies, Mauritius
and Fiji Islands.
The root, a single turnip-formed tuber, when young, is
eaten, both raw and boiled, by the inhabitants of India and the
Mauritius. Its coarse roots furnish food to the poor in China, when
boiled, or when dried, and pounded into a flour. In the Malay
Archipelago, the plant produces a large, edible, tuberous root. The Fiji
Islanders, who call the plant yaka or wayaka, obtain a tough fiber from
the stems, with which they make fishing nets. In China and Cochin
China, where it is cultivated, the tubers, which are cylindrical and
about two feet long, are eaten boiled as yams are, Smith says the tubers
are eaten but are deleterious if not thoroughly cooked. A kind of
arrowroot is made from the root in some places. The roots are eaten in
Viti. Seemann says they are of a dirty white color when cooked and
have a slightly starchy, insipid flavor.
P. tuberosus Spreng. POTATO BEAN.
The plant has large, tuberous roots, which, as well as the
seeds, serve as food. It is called yalai by the people of New Caledonia,
and the roots are roasted and eaten.
Paederia foetida Linn. Rubiaceae.
East Indies, Malay and Hindustan.
This is a long, cylindrical plant,
which gives off a most offensive odor when bruised. The leaves, boiled
and made into soup, are considered wholesome and suitable for the
sick and convalescent, as Dutt writes.
Paeonia albiflora Pall. Ranunculaceae. PAEONY.
This species is to be seen in ornamental gardens. The
roots are used as food in Mongolia, being boiled and eaten by the
Tartars, who also powder the seeds to mix with their tea.
Panax fruticosum Linn. Araliaceae. PANAX.
Tropical Asia, Malay and Polynesia.
This aromatic plant is much
cultivated in the Island of Ternate by the natives for food and for
medicine. The boiled leaves are eaten as greens.
Pancratium maritimum Linn. Amaryllidaceae. SEA DAFFODIL.
This plant is said to have properties resembling those of the
squill. The bulbs were shown among food specimens at the
International Exhibition of 1862.
Pandanus leram Jones. Pandanaceae.
In the Nicobar Islands, the immense fruit cones consist
of several single, wedge-shaped fruits, which, when raw, are uneatable,
but, boiled in water and subjected to pressure, they give out a sort of
mealy mass. This is the melori of the Portuguese and the larohm of the
natives. It is also occasionally used with the fleshy interior of the ripe
fruit and forms the daily bread of the islanders. The flavor of the mass
thus prepared strongly resembles that of apple marmalade and is by no
means unpalatable to Europeans.
P. odoratissimus Linn. f. BREADFRUIT. PANDANG. SCREW PINE.
The terminal bud is eaten under the name of cabbage; the tender white
base of the leaves is also eaten raw or boiled, during famines. Kotzebur
says it constitutes the chief food of the people of Radack. It is chewed
raw for the aromatic juice and is also baked in pits.
P. pedunculatus R. Br. BREADFRUIT. SCREW PINE.
Australia and New Holland.
Fraser says this plant is called breadfruit
and is eagerly eaten by the natives.
P. sp. SCREW PINE.
Under the name of kapupu, a staple article of food is prepared in the.
islands of the Gilbert group from the soft, central portion of the fruit
heads of species of pandanus. Adams says, among the Meia-co-shimah
Islands, he first had the curiosity to taste the fruit of the screw pine and
found it refreshing and juicy but very insipid. When perfectly mature,
he continues, they certainly look very tempting and resemble large,
rich-colored pineapples. The stones, though very hard, contain a
Pangium edule Reinw. Bixineae (Flacourtiaceae).
The bark is used for poisoning fish, and the nuts, when
macerated in water, are rendered partially wholesome but are used only
as a condiment.
Panicum colonum Linn. Gramineae. MILLET.
This millet grows wild in parts of India in sufficient plenty to be
collected in times of scarcity to be employed as food.
P. decompositum R. Br. AUSTRALIAN MILLET.
East Indies and Australia.
The aborigines convert the small, millet-like
grains into cakes.
P. miliaceum Linn. MILLET.
This species was cultivated in southern Europe in the time of
Hippocrates and Theophrastus and was known to the Romans in the
time of Julius Caesar. It is the kegchros of Strabo, who states that it
thrives excellently in Gaul and is the best protection against famine. It is
described by Pliny as constituting the principal food of the Sarmatians,
who say that the Ethiopians know of no other grain but millet and
barley. It is also mentioned by Hesiod and is referred to as cultivated in
Italy by Columella and Virgil. In the embassy of Theodosius to Attila,
448-9 A. D., beyond the Danube, millet was brought the party as
Provisions, and Johann Schultberger, 1396-1427, speaks of millet as
the only grain crop of Siberia and at Zepun on the Black Sea. In France,
this millet is cultivated at the present time almost exclusively for forage;
in Germany for the grain and also for fodder; in England it is unknown
as an agricultural crop. It is cultivated largely in southern and western
Asia, in northeastern Africa and to some extent in Italy and in Spain. It
appears to be but little known as an agricultural crop in America. Jared
Elliot, 1747, speaks of seed being sent him under the name of East
India wheat, but he says it was a millet, with small grain, the bigness of
a turnip or cabbage seed and of a yellowish color. In 1822 and 1823,
there are records of large crops of seed and hay grown in this country
under the name of millet, but these may have been of other species than
this. There are many varieties grown. Some 30 kinds are given for
Ceylon. At the Madras exhibition of 1857, seven kinds were shown.
P. pilosum Sw.
This grain is cultivated in India as a bread corn, under
the name bhadlee.
P. sanguinale Linn. CRAB GRASS. FINGER GRASS.
This grain grows in abundance in Poland where it is
sometimes cultivated for its seed and is in cultivation in waste ground
in America, naturalized from Europe. In Europe, the small-hulled fruit
furnishes a wholesome and palatable nourishment called manna grit.
This is the common crab grass, or finger grass, of America.
Papaver nudicaule Linn. Papaveraceae. ARCTIC POPPY.
This poppy was found by Kane at all the stations on his two voyages to
the Arctic seas and it extends probably, he says, to the furthest limit of
vegetation. The leaves, and especially the seeds, which are very
oleaginous, are a great resort in scorbutic affections and very agreeable
to the taste. Pursh gives its habitat as Labrador.
P. orientale Linn. ORIENTAL POPPY.
Asia Minor and Persia.
This species was observed in the fields about
Erzerum, Armenia. This is a very fine species of poppy which the Turks
and Armenians call aphion as they do the common opium. They do not
extract the opium from this kind but eat the heads as a delicacy when
they are green, though very acrid and of a hot taste.
P. rhoeas Linn. CORN POPPY. FIELD POPPY.
Europe, the Orient and north Africa.
On the continent of Europe, this
Poppy is cultivated as an oil plant, the oil being esteemed next to that of
the olive. The plant is in French flower gardens.
P. somniferum Linn. OPIUM POPPY.
Greece and the Orient.
There are several varieties of the opium poppy, of
which the two most prominent are called white and black from the color
of their seeds. The opium poppy is a native of the Mediterranean region
but is at present cultivated in India, Persia, Asiatic Turkey and
occasionally, by way of experiment, in the United States, for the
purpose of procuring opium. It is grown in northern France and the
south of Germany for its seeds. This poppy is supposed to have been
cultivated by the ancient Greeks and is mentioned by Homer as a
garden plant. Galen speaks of the seeds as good to season bread and
says the white are better than the black. The Persians sprinkle the
seeds of poppies over their rice, and the seeds are used in India as a
food and a sweetmeat. The seeds are also eaten, says Masters, in
Greece, Poland and elsewhere. In France, the seeds are made to yield by
expression a bland oil, which is used as a substitute for olive oil. In
Sikkim, Edgeworth remarks, the seeds afford oil as well as an agreeable
food, remarkably refreshing during fatigue and abstinence. Carpenter
says the peasants of Languedoc employ young poppies as food. The
Chinese drink, smoke or chew opium to produce intoxication, and this
depraved use has extended more or less to other countries.
Pappea capensis Eckl. & Zeyh. Sapindaceae. WILD PLUM.
The fruit is edible. A vinous beverage and a vinegar are
Prepared from it, and an edible, though slightly purgative, oil is
expressed from its seeds. Mueller says the fruit is the size of a cherry,
savory and edible.
Parietaria officinalis Linn. Urticaceae. PELLITORY.
Southern Europe and the Orient.
This plant is mentioned by
Theophrastus as cooked and eaten.
Parinarium (Parinari) campestre Aubl. Rosaceae
The drupe is small, oval, yellow. The single seed is
P. excelsum Sabine. ROUGH-SKINNED OR GRAY PLUM.
The fruit is greatly esteemed by the negroes and is
plentifully supplied in the markets. It is produced in the greatest
abundance and is about the size and shape of an Imperatrice plum,
with a coarse skin of a grayish color. The pulp is dry, farinaceous, small
in quantity and of an insipid taste.
P. macrophyllum Sabine. GINGERBREAD PLUM.
The fruit is oblong in form, twice the size of that of P.
excelsum but otherwise resembling it in flavor and appearance.
P. montanum Aubl.
The drupe is large, ovate, smootn and fibrous, has a
thick, acrid rind, and the nut, or kernel, is sweet and edible.
P. nonda F. Muell. NONDA.
This species bears edible, mealy, plum-like fruit.
Paris polyphylla Sm. Liliaceae/Trilliaceae.
Himalayan region and China.
The seeds are eaten by the Lepchas of the
Himalayas. They are sweet but mawkish.
Parkia africana R. Br. Leguminosae. AFRICAN LOCUST.
Tropical western Africa.
The natives of Sudan, who call the tree dours,
roast the seeds and then bruise and allow them to ferment in water
until they become putrid, when they are carefully washed, pounded
into powder and made into cakes, which are excellent sauce for all
kinds of food but have an unpleasant smell. An agreeable beverage is
Prepared from the sweet, farinaceous pulp surrounding the seeds.
Sweetmeats are also made of it. The pods contain a yellow, farinaceous
substance enveloping the seeds, of which the negroes of Sierra Leone
are fond, its flavor being similar to that of the monkey-bread. This is the
fruit mentioned by Park as a mimosa called by the negroes nitta, which
furnishes a nutritive and agreeable food from its seed-pods.
P. biglandulosa Wight & Am.
The seeds are eaten by the Malays, who relish them as well as
the mealy matter which surrounds them. The former tasce like garlic.
Parmentiera edulis DC. Bignoniaceae.
The fruit resembles a cucumber in shape, with a rough surface
and is eaten. The tree is middle-sized.
Paropsia edulis Thou. Passifloreae (Flacourtiaceae).
The aril of the seeds is edible.
Paspalum ciliatum H. B. & K. Gramineae.
This is a perennial and a lauded cereal grass of tropical South
P. exile Kippist
This is a food grass called fundunjii in west Africa.
P. scorbiculatum Linn. KODA MILLET.
Old World tropics.
This grain is grown to some extent in most parts of
India. The seed is an article of diet with the Hindus, particularly with
those who inhabit the hill regions and the most barren parts of the
country, for it is in such districts it is chiefly cultivated, being an
unprofitable crop and not sown where others more beneficial will thrive.
It is used only by the poorest classes, says Elliott and is not reckoned
very wholesome. Graham says this millet is very common and cheap
about Bombay but unwholesome. It is the agrion krithon, furnishing
good bread and gruel but which, at first, killed the horses of the Greeks
until by degrees they became accustomed to it, as related by
Passiflora alata Ait. Passifloraceae. PASSION FLOWERS.
A plant of climbing habit, grown in greenhouses for its flowers.
The fruit is edible.
P. boumapartea Baxt.
This species is cultivated in greenhouses for its
beautiful red, white and blue flowers. The fruit is edible.
P. caerulea Linn. BLUE PASSION FLOWER.
The fruit is egg-shaped, the size of a Mogul plum and yellow
when ripe. It is cultivated in the gardens of Egypt.
P. coccinea Aubl.
The aril of the fruit is edible.
P. edulis Sims.
Brazil and the West Indies.
The pulp of the fruit is orange-colored, the
taste acid and the flavor somewhat like that of an orange. The fruit in
India is the size of an egg, green at first but, when ripe, is of a beautiful
PLUM color and of an agreeable and and cooling taste.
P. filamentosa Cav.
It has edible fruit.
P. foetida Linn. LOVE-IN-A-MIST. WILD WATER LEMON.
Brazil and Jamaica.
The fruit is yellow, enclosed in a netted calyx and
has a pleasant smell; though all the other parts of the plant have a
disagreeable odor when touched.
The fruit is about the size of a Golden Pippin apple, white within,
membranous and contains numerous seeds involved in an agreeable,
P. herbertiana Bot. Reg.
According to Fraser, in New Holland the oval fruit is
produced in great quantities and affords a grateful flavor.
P. incarnata Linn. MAYPOPS.
Subtropical America from Virginia to Kentucky and southward.
been cultivated by the Indians from early times. This is the maracock
observed by Strachey on the James River, "of the bigness of a green
apple, and hath manie azurine or blew kernells, like as a pomegranat, a
good sommer cooling fruit."
P. laurifolia Linn. WATER LEMON.
In Jamaica, the fruit is much esteemed, says Lunan,
being very delicate. It is the size of an egg and full of a very agreeable,
gelatinous pulp in which the seeds are lodged. Titford says the fruit is
P. ligularis A. Juss.
The fruit is edible.
P. lutea Linn.
The plant bears edible fruit.
P. macrocarpa Mast. PASSION FLOWER.
Rio Negro region of South America and cultivated in greenhouses for its
large flowers. The fruits are very large, sometimes weighing as much as
eight pounds. The fleshy aril attached to the seeds or the juicy pulp is
the part eaten.
P. maliformis Linn. CONCH APPLE. CONCH NUT. SWEET
CALABASH. WATER LEMON.
West Indies. The fruit is round, smooth, about two inches in diameter,
of a dingy color when ripe. It has a pale yellow, agreeable, gelatinous
pulp, which is eaten with wine and sugar.
P. quadrangularis Linn. GRANADILLA.
The fruit is of an oval shape and of various sizes from
that of a goose egg to a middling-sized muskmelon; it is of a greenishyellow
color, having a spongy rind about a finger in thickness, which
becomes soft as the fruit ripens, contains a succulent pulp of a water
color and sweet smell, is of a very agreeable, pleasant, sweet-acid taste
and contains a multitude of black seeds, which are eaten with the pulp.
Titford says it is delicious. The granadilla is cultivated in tropical
America and in India and is grown in conservatories for its flowers. If
fruit be wanted, the flowers must be artifically fertilized.
P. serrata Linn.
It has edible fruit.
Paullinia cupana H. B. & K. Sapindaceae.
The seeds are mingled with cassava and water and allowed to
ferment, forming the favorite drink of the Orinoco Indians. The pounded
seeds form guarana bread. This bread is made by the Indians and is
highly esteemed in Brazil. About 16000 pounds are exported from
Santarem. The bread is grated into sugar and water and forms a diet
drink. Its active principle is a substance called guaranine, which is
identical in composition with the thein of tea.
P. subrotunda Pers.
Royle says this plant has an edible aril.
Henfrey says the seeds are
Pavetta indica Linn. Rubiaceae.
Asia and tropical Australia.
The fruit, which is of a green color, is eaten
by the natives but is oftener made into a pickle.