Phaseolus aconitifolius Jacq. Leguminosae. MOTH BEAN.
This bean is cultivated in India and is called, in Hindustan,
moot. It is a variety that does not twine and is used principally for
feeding domestic animals but also serves as a food for man.
P. adenanthus G. P. W. Mey.
This bean is cultivated for its seeds. A variety with edible
roots occurs, and its use in India by the natives is mentioned by
P. asellus Molina.
This species was in cultivation by the natives of Chile before the
conquest. The bean is spherical and pulpy.
P. calcaratus Roxb. RICE BEAN.
East Indies and Malay.
This bean is generally cultivated in India for its
Pulse. The plant is a twining one.
P. caracalla Linn. CARACOL. CORKSCREW-FLOWER. SNAILFLOWER.
Under the name of caracol, this species is often grown in the
gardens of South America, North America, southern Europe and
sometimes in India for its large, showy and sweet-scented flowers. It
seems doubtful if the pod or pulse is eaten.
P. derasus Schrank.
The beans are used as a vegetable.
P. lunatus Linn. CIVET BEAN. LIMA BEAN. SIEVA BEAN.
The lima bean is unquestionably of American origin, and De
Candolle assigns its original habitat to Brazil, where the variety
macrocarpus Benth. has been found growing wild. Seeds have been
found in the mummy graves of Peru by Squier, at Pachacamac, and by
Reiss and Stubel at Ancon. In southern Florida, the lima bean - the
seeds white, blotched or speckled with red - is found growing
spontaneously in abandoned Indian plantations, and various forms are
recorded by authors under specific names as found in America and
other countries; as P. bipunctatus Jacq., P. inamoenus Linn., P.
puberulus H. B. & K., P. saccharatus Macfad., P. derasus Schrank
(Martens), P. rufus Jacq. In the mentions of beans by voyagers, this
form is not discriminated from the kidney bean, and hence we cannot
offer precise statement of its occurrence from such authorities.
The lima bean is now widely distributed. It has not been found wild in
Asia nor has it any modern Indian or Sanscrit name. Ainslie says it was
brought to India from the Mauritius and that it is the Vellore, or Duffin,
bean of the southern provinces. Wight says it is much cultivated and is
seldom if ever found in a wild state, and the large-podded sort is said to
have been brought by Dr. Duffin from the Mauritius. This bean is not
mentioned by the early Chinese writers, but Luoreiro mentions it in
Cochin China in 1790. A dark red form came to Martens from Batavia
and an orange-red from farther India. Martens received it also from
Sierra Leone; the form bipunctatus came from the Cape of Good Hope to
Vienna; and Martens received it from Reunion under the name pois du
cap. Jaquin, 1770, fixed its appearance in Austria, but it first reached
England in 1779. The form inamoenus was considered by Linnaeus to
belong to Africa, but he advances, as De Candolle remarks, no evidence
of this habitat, and we may remark that the slave trade may well be
responsible for the transmission very quickly of South American species
of food plants of convenient characters for ship use to the African coast.
P. derasus Schrank, considered by Sprengel a variety of P. inamoenus,
was found at Rio Janeiro.
The lima bean is the scimitar-podded kidney bean and sugar bean of
Barbados; it was mentioned in Jamaica by Lunan; it may have been the
bushel bean, "very flat, white and mottled with a purple figure," of the
Carolinas in 1700-08, as this description applies very closely to the
lima beans now spontaneous in Florida. Two types, the Carolina, or
sieva, and the lima, were grown in American gardens in 1806. Eight
varieties, some scarcely differing, are now offered for sale by our
seedsmen; Vilmorin enumerates four for France; the speckled form
occurs in Brazil and in Florida; a black form (P. derasus) in Brazil; the
blood-red in Texas; the dark red with light or orange-ruddy spots in the
Bourbon Island; the black, white-streaked in Cochin China; and the
large white, the small white or sieva, the red, the white sort striped and
speckled with dark red and the green are found in our gardens. In
central Africa, but two seeds are ever found in a pod; in our most
improved varieties there are five or even six. The synonymy is as follows:
Phaseoli magni late albi. Lob. Icon. 2:60. 1591.
B. peregrini I. genus alterrun. Clus. Hist. 2:223. 160. (Seen in 1576.) Fig.
Phaseolus, lato, striata, sive radiato semine. Bauh. J. 2:267. 1651. Fig.
P. novi, orbis, latis, totus candidus similaci hortensis affinis. Bauh. J.
2:268. 1651. Fig. Chabr. 137. 1673. Fig.
Phaseolus lunatus. Linn. Sp. 1016. 1763.
P. inamoenus. Linn. Sp. 1016. 1763.
P. bipunctatus. Jacq. Hort. I, t. 100, ex. Mill. Diet.
P. rufus. Jacq. Hort. I, 13, t. 34, ex. Mitt. Diet.
P. saccharatus. Macfad. 282. 1837.
P. puberulus. Kunth. Syn. 6:106. 1825.
Bushel or Sugar Bean. A Treat, on Gard. (1818?).
Sugar Bean. Maycock Barb. 293. 1830.
Lima Bean. McMahon 1806.
This bean requires a warm season and hence is not grown so much in
northern and central Europe as in this country. Vilmorin describes
three varieties and names two others. Martens, however, describes six
TYPES OF LIMA BEANS.
P. multiflorus Willd. DUTCH CASEKNIPE BEAN. SCARLET
- The large, white lima is among those figured by Lobel and by J.
Bauhin, and this places its appearance in Europe in 1591. According to
Martens this is the Phaseolus inamoenus Linn. This type was in
American gardens in 1828 and probably before.
- The Potato lima is a white bean, much thickened and rounded
as compared with the first. This type seems to be fairly figured by Lobel,
1591, and seems to be the Phaseolus limensis Macfad., justly esteemed
- The small, white lima, or sieve, saba, Carolina, Carolina sewee
and West Indian, is esteemed on account of its greater hardiness over
the other types. It is also well figured by Lobel, 1591, under the name
Phaseoli parvi pallico-aibi ex America delati. On account of the names
and the hardiness of the plant and from the fact that it probably was
cultivated by the Indians, this may be the bushel or sugar bean, which
was esteemed very delicate, appeared in various colors, as white,
marbled, and green and was grown in Virginian gardens before 1818.
Lawson, 1700-08, says: "The Bushel bean, a spontaneous growth, very
flat, white, and mottled with a purple figure, was trained on poles" in
the Carolinas. The sieva, if a synonym of the bushel bean, is the white
form and was in American gardens before 1806. Vilmorin mentions a
variety of the sieva spotted with red.
- The speckled lima has white seeds striped and spotted with a
deep, dark red. The figures of Lobel, 1591, under Phaseoli rubri, very
well represent the cultivated variety, as also a sort said to be growing
spontaneously in Florida in abandoned Indian fields.
- The large red cannot be traced; it may be the blood-red bean
Martens received from Texas, Sierra Leone and Batavia. It differs from
the next but in size.
- The small red answers well to the description given of
Phaseolus rufus Jacq. by Martens, who put its appearance at 1770.
These six beans, with their synonyms, include all the lima beans now
known, but there are a number of other types described which sooner
or later will appear and will be claimed as originations. A careful
reflection will convince that our varieties are all of ancient occurrence
and that there have been no originations under culture within modern
times. A black, white-streaked form is recorded in Cochin China by
Loureiro; a white, black-streaked form is figured by Clusius in 1601; a
black, as Phaseolus derasus Schrank, is reported in Brazil. The P.
bipunctatus Jacq. has not as yet reached our seedsmen, although
grown at Reunion under the name of pois du cap. Martens describes
several others with a yellow band about the eye and variously colored;
and one with an orange ground and black markings occurs among the
beans from the Peruvian graves at Ancon at the National Museum.
This species has tuberous, poisonous roots. It has annual,
twining stems and is grown in the garden. The young pods are tender
and well flavored. In Britain, the green pods alone are used; in Europe,
the ripened seeds, though in Holland they are grown for both the pod
and seed. In India, it is mentioned by Firminger as grown. Burr
describes three varieties. In 1806, McMahon says this bean was
cultivated exclusively for ornament. In 1828, Fessenden mentions it
among garden beans. The culture of the Scarlet Runner is very modern.
In Johnson's edition of Gerarde, 1630, it is said to have been procured
by Tradescant; in Ray's time, 1686, it was grown for ornament; Miller,
about 1750, was the first to bring it into repute in England as a
P. mungo Linn. MUNG BEAN.
Elliott says this is one of the most useful and largely
cultivated of the Indian pulses, the green variety being more esteemed
than the black. It is cultivated, according to Delile, by the modern
Egyptians, and Schweinfurth says it is eaten by the Bongo tribe of
P. pallar Molina.
This species was cultivated by the natives before the Conquest.
The beans are half an inch long.
P. retusus Benth. PRAIRIE BEAN.
Western North America and common on the prairies west of the Pecos.
The seeds are about the size of peas; when still green, they make an
acceptable dish after thorough cooking.
P. triolobus Ait.
Asia and tropical Africa.
This bean is cultivated in several varieties for
its seeds, which are eaten by the poorer classes.
P. tuberosus Lour.
This bean has edible, tuberous roots.
P. vulgaris Linn. COMMON BEAN. HARICOT. KIDNEY BEAN.
When the bean was first known, it was an
American plant, and its culture extended over nearly the whole of the
New World. It finds mention by nearly all the early voyagers and
explorers, and, while the records were not kept sufficiently accurately to
justify identification in all cases with varieties now known, the mass of
the testimony is such that we cannot but believe that beans, as at
present grown, were included. The evidence for the antiquity of the bean
in America is both circumstantial and direct. The number of names
given in the northern parts of America, alone, indicate an antiquity of
culture: as, sake or sahu on the St. Lawrence (Cartier); ogaressa by the
Hurons (Sagard); tuppuhguam-ash, "twiners," by the northern
Algonquins (Elliott); a'teba'kwe by the Abenaki of the Kennebec (Rasle);
mushaquissedes by the Pequods (Stiles); malachxil by the Delawares
(Zeisberger); and okindgier on the Roanoke. Moreover, in these few
cases, for illustration, we find no common root. The number of varieties
that were grown by the Indians is another indication of antiquity of
culture, but this fact of varieties will receive illustration in quotations
from early voyagers.
John Verazanno, in a letter written in July, 1524, says of the Indians of
Norum-Bega: "Their ordinairie food is of pulse, whereof they have great
store, differing in colour and taste from ours, of good and pleasant
taste." Evidently this first visitor to the New England coast had not seen
kidney beans previously. In 1605, Champlain, writing of the Indians of
the Kennebec region, says: "With this corn they put in each hill three or
four Brazilian beans (Febues du Bresil), which are of different colors.
When they grow up they interlace with the corn, which reaches to the
height of from five to six feet; and they keep the ground very free from
weeds." In 1614, Capt. John Smith mentions beans among the New
England Indians, and when the Pilgrims first landed, November 19,
1620, Miles Standish unearthed from a pit not only corn but "a bag of
beans." Wood also mentions "Indian's beans" as among the foods of the
Massachusetts Indians, 1629-33. Lescarbot says that the Indians of
Maine, 1608, like those of Virginia and Florida, plant their corn in hills,
"and between the kernels of corn they plant beans marked with various
colors, which are very delicate: these, because they are not so high as
the corn, grow very well among it. The most complete enumeration of"
varieties is, however, given in Josselyn, before 1670: "French beans: or
rather, American beans. The herbalists call them kidney-beans from
their shape and effects: for they strengthen the kidneys. They are
variegated much, some being bigger, a great deal, than others; some
white, black, red, yellow, blue, spotted: besides your Bonivis and
Calavances, and the kidney-bean that is proper to Roanoke. But these
are brought into the country; the others are natural to the climate." In
1535, Cartier, at the mouth of the St. Lawrence, found beans of every
color, yet differing from ours.
In 1609, Hudson, exploring the river which now bears his name, found,
within the limits of what is now Rensselaer County, New York, "beans of
the last year's growth." In 1653, Von der Donck, in his Description of
the Netherlands, says: "Before the arrival of the Netherlanders (1614)
the Indians raised beans of various kinds and colors but generally too
coarse to be eaten green, or to be pickled, except the blue sort, which
are abundant." In 1633, DeVries "proceeded in the yacht up the
(Delaware) river, to procure beans from the Indians."
Beans were seen by Newport, 1607, in ascending the James River, but
Heriot, 1586, describes the okindgier of Virginia, "called by us beans,
because in greatness and partly in shape they are like to the beans in
England, saving that they are flatter, of more divers colours, and some
Pied. The leaf also of the stem is much different." In 1700-08, Lawson
says: "The kidney-beans were here before the English came, being very
plentiful in Indian corn-fields. The bushel-bean, a spontaneous growth,
very flat, white and mottled with a purple figure, was trained on poles.
(This is undoubtedly the lima, as it answers to the description given by
a very creditible person who secured for me samples from a
spontaneous plant in Florida: the trunk as large as a man's thigh, and
the plant known for the past twenty-five years, some years yielding as
much as fifty bushels of pods,' and the seeds smaller than the
cultivated lima, very flat, white and mottled with purple.) Indian
rounceval or miraculous pulse, so called from their large pods and
great increase; they are very good, and so are the bonavis, calavances,
nanticokes and abundance of other pulse, too tedious to mention,
which we find the Indians possessed of when first we settled in
America." Bonavis is perhaps Bona vista, a variety of bean sold by
Thorburn, a New York seedsman, in 1828. The bonavista bean (Long) of
Jamaica, is said to be Lablab vulgaris; calavances is the Barbados
name for Dolichos sinensis Linn., as used by Long, a red bean; and
galavangher pea is the Barbados name for D. barbadensis Mayc. In A
True Declaration of Virginia, London, 1610, p. 12, "the two beans
(planted with the corn) runne upon the stalks of the wheat, as our
garden pease upon stickes."
In 1528, Narvaes found beans in great plenty in Florida and westward,
and de Vaca found beans in New Mexico or Sonora in 1535. De Soto,
1539, also found beans in abundance and mentions that "the granaries
were full of maes and small beans," but we have no clue to the species.
Beans are also mentioned in Ribault's Voyage, 1562, as cultivated by
the Florida Indians.
The mention of beans in Mexico is frequent. The Olmecs raised beans
before the time of the Toltecs; beans were a product of the Nahua tillage;
they are mentioned by Acosta in 1590; Alarcon speaks of their culture
by the Indians of the Colorado River in 1758. The native Mexican name
was ayacotle, according to Humboldt, and Bancroft says that they were
the etl of the Aztecs; when boiled in the pod exotl.
In November, 1492, Columbus, in Cuba, found "a sort of bean" or
"fields planted with faxones and habas very different from those of
Spain; and red and white beans were afterwards seen by him in"
Honduras, according to Pickering. Gray and Trumbull quote Oviedo as
saying that on the island and on the main many bushels are produced
yearly of these and of Jesoles of other sorts and different colors.
The Indians of Peru, according to de la Vega, had three or four kinds of
beans called purutu. Squier found lima beans in the mummy covering
of a woman from the huaca at Pachacamac, Peru; Wittmack, who
studied the beans brought from Peruvian tombs by Reiss and Strobel,
identified the lima beans and also three kidney beans with P. vulgaris
purpurens Martens, P. vulgaris ellipticus praecox Alefield, and P.
vulgaris ellipticus atrofuscus Alefield.
In Chile, Molina says that before the country was conquered by the
Spaniards, 13 or 14 kinds of the bean, varying but little from the
common European bean, were cultivated by the natives. One of these
has a straight stalk, the other 13 are climbers.
Commentators have quite generally considered P. vulgaris as among
the plants cultivated by the ancients, and De Candolle, who has given
the subject much thought, thinks the best argument is in the use of the
modem names derived from the Greek fasiolos and the Roman
faseolus and phasiolus. In 1542, Fuchsius used the German word
Faselen for the bean; in 1550, Roeszlin used the same word for the pea,
as did also Tragus in 1552. Fuchsius gives also an alternative name,
welsch Bonen and Roeszlin, welsch Bonen and welsch Phaselen for
the bean; the same word, welsch Bonen, is given for the bean by
Tragus, 1552, and Kyber, 1553. This epithet, welsch or foreign, would
seem to apply to a kind not heretofore known. Albertus Magnus, who
lived in the thirteenth century, used the wordfaselus as denoting a
specific plant; as "faba et faseolus et pisa et alia genera eguminis,"
"cicer, fava, faseolus." He also says, "Et sunt faseoli multorum
colorum, sed quodlibet granorum habet maculam nigram in loco
cotyledonis." Now Dolichos unguiculatus Linn. is a plant which
produces beans with a black eye (the black eye appears in many
varieties of cowpea of the southern states) and is stated by Vilmorin to
be grown in Italy in many varieties. Of 219 bottles of true beans, each
with a distinct name, many, however, synonyms, not one has a black
eye. The seeds of Dolichos unguiculatus, as well as 12 named varieties
of cowpea all have a circle of black about the white eye, also one variety
of cowpea which is all black has a white eye, and one red-speckled form
does not have the black. It seems, therefore, reasonable to conclude that
the faselus of Albertus Magnus was a Dolichos. In the list of vegetables
Charlemagne ordained to be planted on his estates the word fasiolum
occurs without explanation.
Passing now to the Roman writers, Columella speaks of longa fasellus,
an epithet which well applies to the pods of the Dolichos; he gives
directions for field culture, not for garden culture, and recommends
Planting in October. Pliny says the pods are eaten with the seed, and
the planting is in October and November. Palladius recommends the
Planting of faselus in September and October, in a fertile and well-tilled
soil, four modii per jugerum. Virgil's epithet, vilemque phaselum, also
indicates field culture, as to be cheap implies abundance.
Among the Greek writers, Aetius, in the fourth century, says the
Dolichos and the Phaseolus of the ancients were now called by all lobos,
and by some melax kepea. This word lobos of Aetius is recognizable in
the Arabic loubia, applied to Dolichos lubia Forsk., a bean with low
stalks, the seed ovoid, white, with a black point at the eye.
From these and other clues to be gleaned here and there from the Greek
authors, one is disposed to think that the low bean of the ancients was
a Dolichos, and that the word phaselus referred to this bean whenever
used throughout the Middle Ages in speaking of a field crop.
The Roman references to Phaseolus all refer to a low-growing bean
fitted for field culture and so used. There is no clear indication to be
found of garden culture. Aetius seems the first among the Greeks to
refer to a garden sort, for he says the lobos are the only kind in which
the pod is eaten with the bean; and, he says, this lobos is called by
some melax kepea (Smilax hortensis), the Dolichos and Phaseolus of
his predecessors. Galen's use of the word lobos, or the pod plant, would
hence imply garden culture in Greece in the second century.
The word loubion is applied by the modem Greeks to Phaseolus
vulgaris, as is also the word loba in Hindustani. The word lubia is used
by the Berbers, and in Spain the form alubia, for Phaseolus vulgaris.
The words fagiuolo in Italian, phaseole in French, are also used for this
species. It is so easy for a name used in a specific sense to remain while
the forms change, as is illustrated by the word squash in America, that
we may interpret these names to refer to the common form of their time,
to a Dolichos (even, now in some of its varieties called a bean) in ancient
times and to a Phaseolus now.
Theophrastus says the dolichos is a climber, bears seeds and is not a
desirable vegetable. The word dolichos seems to be used in a generic
sense. There is no other mention of a climber by the ancient authors.
The dolichos of Galen is the faselus of the Latins for he says that some
friends of his had seen the dolichos (a name not then introduced in
Rome) growing in fields about Caria, in Italy. We may, therefore, be
reasonably certain that the pole beans which were so common in, the
sixteenth century were not then cultivated.
The English name, kidney beans, is derived, evidently, from the shape
of the seed. Turner, 1551, uses the name first, but these beans were not
generally grown in England until quite recent times. Parkinson, 1629,
speaks of them as oftener on rich men's tables; and Worlidge, 1683,
says that within the memory of man they were a great rarity, although
now a common, delicate food. The French word haricot, applied to this
plant, occurs in Quintyne, 1693, who calls them aricos in one place,
and haricauts in another. The word does not occur in Le Jardinier
Solitaire, 1612, and Champlain, 1605, uses the term febues du Bresil,
indicating he knew no vernacular name of closer application. De Candolle
says the word araco is Italian and was originally used for
Lathyrus ochrus; it is apparently thus used by Oribasius and Galen.
The two species of Linnaeus, Phaseolus vulgaris and P. nanus,
correspond to the popular grouping into pole and dwarf beans. But
there is this to be remarked, that Linnaeus's synonyms for P. nanus
apply to a Dolichos and not to a Phaseolus, for the descriptions of
Phaseolus vulgaris italicus humilis s. minor, albus cum orbita
nigricante of Bauhin's' History answer well to the cowpea, as does also
C. Bauhin's Smilax silique swsum rigente s. Phaseolus parvus
italicus, and do not apply to the bush bean. The figures given by
Camerarius, 1586, by Matthiolus, 1598, and by Bauhin, 1651, are all
cowpeas, although the names given are those used for the true bean,
thus indicating the same confusion between the species and the names
which kept pace with the introduction of new varieties of the bean from
America, for Pena and Lobel, 1570, say that many sorts of fabas
Pheseolosve were received from sailors coming from the New World.
(P. nanus Linn.)
The first figure of the bush bean is by Fuchsius, 1542, and his drawing
resembles very closely varieties that may be found today - not the true
bush, but slightly twining. In 1550, Roeszlin figures a bush bean, as
does Matthiolus, 1558, Pinaeus, 1561, and Dalechamp, 1587.
Matthiolus says the species is common in Italy in gardens and
oftentimes in fields, the seed of various colors, as white, red, citron and
spotted. Dalechamp figures the white bean. The dwarf bean is not
mentioned by Dodonaeus, 1566 nor in 1616. A list of varieties
cultivated in Jamaica is given by Macfadyen, 1837, which includes the
one-colored black, yellow and red; the streaked, in which the seeds are
marked with broad, linear, curved spots; the variegated, the seeds
marked with rubiginose, leaden, more or less rounded spots; and the
saponaceous, with the back of the seeds white, the sides and concavity
marked with spots so as to resemble a common soap-ball.
Gerarde, 1597, does not mention this bean in England but it is
mentioned by Miller, 1724, in varieties which can be identified with
those grown at the present time, five in all. In 1765, Stevenson names 7
varieties; in 1778, Mawe names 11; in 1883, Vilmorin describes 69
varieties and names others.
(P. vulgaris Linn.)
Pole beans are figured by Tragus, 1552, who speaks of them as having
lately come into Germany from Italy and calls them welsch, or foreign
and enumerates the various colors as red, purplish-white, variegated,
white, black and yellowish. Dodonaeus, 1566 and 1616, figures the
Pole bean; as does Lobel, 1576 and 1591; Clusius, 1601; and Castor
Durante, 1617. In 1597, Gerarde figures four varieties in England: the
white, black, red and yellow. Barnaby Googe speaks of French beans,
1572, indicating by the name the source from which they came. In
1683, Worlidge names two sorts as grown in English gardens, and the
same varieties are given by Mortimer, 1708. In France, 1829, 19 sorts
are enumerated by Noisette; and in 1883, Vilmorin describes 38
varieties and names others.
Phalaris canariensis Linn. Gramineae. CANARY GRASS.
Europe, north Africa and now naturalized in America.
Canary grass is
cultivated for its seeds, which are fed to canary birds. In Italy, the seeds
are ground into meal and made into cakes and puddings, and, in the
Canary Islands, they are used in the same manner and also made into
groats for porridge. The common yield is from 30 to 34 bushels of seed
Per acre in England, but occasionally the yield is as much as 50
bushels. The chaff is superior for horse food and the straw is very
nutritious. Canary grass is sparingly grown in some parts of the United
States as a cultivated plant.
Phillyrea latifolia Linn. Oleaceae.
This species is cultivated in Sicily, Italy and
Spain for its olive-like fruit.
Phlomis tuberosa Linn. Labiatae.
Southern Europe, east and north Asia.
Its roots are eaten cooked by the
Kalmucks, who call the plant bodmon sok.
Phoenix acaulis Buch. Ham. Palmae.
East Indies and Burma.
The astringent fruits are eaten by the Lepchas,
who call the tree schap.
P. dactylifera Linn. DATE PALM.
Northern Africa and Arabia.
In the East, the date tree has ever been the
benefactor of mankind. The life of the wandering tribes in the desert
circles around the date tree, and the Arabian poets ascribed such high
importance to it that they maintain that the noble tree was not formed
with other plants but from the clods which remained after the creation
of Adam. The native land of the date palm seems to have been originally
the region along the east side of the Persian Gulf, whence it has been
distributed in the earliest periods of commerce to Arabia, Persia,
Hindustan and westward over the whole of north Africa. Hartt mentions
a few date palms which bore fruit at Macei, Brazil, and the tree is in
gardens in Florida, whence they were probably received from the United
States Patent Office about 1860. In 1867, Atwood says numerous,
large and beautiful specimens may be seen in the gardens of St.
Augustine. Redmond, 1875, says the date is cultivated to a limited
extent in south Florida. In the oasis of Siwah, St. John found four kinds
cultivated: the Sultani with long, blue fruit; the Farayah, white ones of
a kind said not to be grown in Egypt; the Saidi, or common date; and
the Weddee, good only for camels and donkeys. Some yellow dates, he
says, were much less elongated than others he had seen, with more
flesh in comparison to the size of the stone and very luscious. The
female flowers of the date are fertilized artificially. In Sind, in Arabia and
elsewhere, this is done before the flower-sheaths open; a hole is made in
the sheath of the female flower and a few bits of the male panicle are
inserted. At Multan, India, Mr. Edgeworth states that there is a date tree
which bears a stoneless fruit and that in former times it was considered
a royal tree, and the fruits were reserved for royal use. The fruit
furnishes, fresh or dried, the staple food of large regions. The large,
succulent head cut from among the mass of leaves is also eaten. The
sap is sweetish and may be used as a drink or distilled into a kind of
P. farinifera Roxb.
A dwarf palm common in the country between the Ganges and Cape
Comorin. Its exterior, or woody part, consists of white fibers matted
together; these envelope a large quantity of farinaceous substance,
which the natives use for food in times of scarcity.
P. humilis Royle.
East Indies, Burma and China.
The fruit, of a purple-black color, is
sweet and is eaten in India.
P. pusilla Gaertn.
East Indies and south China.
The shining, black berry has a sweet,
P. reclinata Jacq.
Tropical and south Africa.
The seeds are frequently drawn into use as a
substitute for coffee. This species is said by Williams to yield in western
Africa a wine; the fruits are said to be much relished by the negro
P. sylvestris Roxb. WILD DATE.
In India, the juice is fermented or boiled down into sugar
and molasses. A large portion of the sugar made in Bengal, on the
Coromandel coast and in Guzerat comes from this source. The fruit is of
a very inferior character. The sap is drunk in India, either fresh or
fermented, and is called tari.
Phragmites communis Trin. Gramineae. BENNELS. REED.
In 1751-68, Father Baegert says he saw the natives of
the Californian peninsula "eat the roots of the common reed, just as
they were taken out of the water." Durand and Hilgard state that this is
the grass from which the Indians of Tejon Valley extract their sugar,
and it is elsewhere stated that the gum which exudes from the stalks is
collected by the Indians and gathered into balls to be eaten at pleasure.
The gum is a sweet, manna-like substance.
Phrynium capitatum Willd. Scitamineae (Marantaceae).
Tropical eastern Asia.
Loureiro observed this plant in Annam and
tropical China, its leaves wrapped around articles of food previous to
boiling to impart color and grateful flavor.
Phyllanthus acidissimus Muell. Euphorbiaceae.
Philippine Islands, Cochin China and China.
The plant furnishes an
P. distichus Muell. OTAHEITE GOOSEBERRY.
East Indies, tropical Asia and Madagascar.
The fruits, in size like those
of a gooseberry, are green, three or four-furrowed and somewhat acid
and cooling. Firminger says it is of a sour, sorrel-like flavor, unfit to be
eaten raw but making a delicious stew. It is commonly used by the
natives for pickling and is sold in the bazaars.
P. emblica Linn. EMBLIC.
This tree is found wild and cultivated in various parts of
India and the Indian Archipelago. The fruits are eaten by the natives in
the Konkan and Deccan. In India, a preserve of the ripe fruit made with
sugar is considered a wholesome article of diet; the fruit is also pickled
and eaten. The fruits are exceedingly acid in a raw state. Dried, this
fruit forms the emblic myrobalan, used as a medicine and for dyeing
Phyllarthron bojeranum DC. Bignoniaceae.
The fruit is edible.
P. comorense DC.
In the Maritius Islands, the fruit is used for jellies.
Phyllocactus (Epiphyllum) biformis Labour. Cacteae.
The fruit is of a shining, deep crimson color, shaped like a
florence flask, and contains numerous seeds imbedded in a soft,
Pinkish pulp of a sweetish, subacid taste.
Physalis alkekengi Linn. Solanaceae. STRAWBERRY TOMATO.
Europe and Japan.
This species has long been grown for its red,
smooth, round, berry-like fruits enclosed in bladder-like leaves. It was
described by Dioscorides. In Arabia and even in Germany and Spain,
the fruits, which have a slightly acid taste, are eaten for dessert. It was
called strucknon halikakabon or phusalis by Dioscorides and is named
by the modern Boeotians keravoulia.
P. .angulata Linn. GROUND CHERRY.
The fruit is sweetish and subacid and is commonly eaten with
safety if perfectly ripe. The leaves are used as a vegetable in central
Africa. This species is found widely dispersed over tropical regions,
extending to the southern portion of the United States and to Japan. It
is first described by Camararius, 1588, as a plant hitherto unknown
and an excellent figure is given. It was seen in a garden by C. Bauhin
before 1596 and is figured in the Hortus Eystettensis, 1613. J. Bauhin
speaks of its presence in certain gardens in Europe. Linnaeus describes
a variety with entire leaves, and both his species and variety are figured
by Dillenius, who obtained the variety from Holland in 1732. When, it
first appeared in our vegetable gardens is not recorded. Its synonymy
seems to be as below:
Halicacabum sive Solanum Indicum. Cam. Hort. 70. 1588. cum. ic.
Solanum vesicarium Indicum. Bauh. Phytopin. 297. 1596; Pin. 166.
1623; Ray Hist. 681. 1686.
Halicacabum sen Solanum Indicum. Camer. Hortus. Eystet. 1613.
Solanum sive Halicabum Indicum. Bauh. J. 3:609. 1651. cum. ic.
Alkekengi Indicum majus. Toum. Inst. 151. 1719.
Pops. Hughes Barb. 161. 1750.
Physalis angulata Linn. Gray Syn. Fl. 2: pt. I, 234.
P. lanceolata Michx. STRAWBERRY TOMATO.
Western North America.
This species was among the strawberry
tomatoes grown at the New York Agricultural Experiment Station in
1886 and occurred in two varieties; the ordinary sort and another with
broader leaves and more robust growth. Its habitat is given by Gray as
from Lake Winnipeg to Florida and Texas, Colorado, Utah and New
P. obscura Michx. GROUND CHERRY.
Eastern United States.
It produces an edible ground cherry.
P. peruviana Linn. ALKEKENGI. BARBADOS GOOSEBERRY.
CHERRY TOMATO. GROUND CHERRY. WINTER CHERRY.
This species is sometimes grown in gardens for its fruit. It is a
hardy, annual plant, which bears a roundish fruit half an inch in
diameter, yellow, semitransparent at maturity and enclosed in an
inflated, membranaceous calyx. The fruit has a juicy pulp and, when
first tasted, a pleasant, strawberry-like flavor, but the after taste is not
so agreeable. This South American species seems to have become fairly
well distributed through cultivation. Birdwood records it as cultivated
widely in India and gives native names in the various dialects, and
Speede mentions it also. In France, it is classed among garden
vegetables by Vilmorin. Descourtilz gives a Carib name,
sousourouscurou. Drummond, who introduced the plant into
Australia, after ten years, reports it as completely naturalized in. his
region. This species differs but slightly from P. pubescens. Gray, 1878,
says it was introduced into cultivation several years ago but has now
P. philadelphica Lam. PURPLE GROUND CHERRY. PURPLE
STRAWBERRY TOMATO. PURPLE WINTER CHERRY.
The fruit is edible. Although the habitat of this species is
given by Gray as in fertile soil, Pennsylvania to Illinois and Texas, yet it
seems to be the miltomatl figured by Hemandez in his Mexican history,
published in 1651. It is described by Burr under the names given
above. The petite tomato du Mexique, as received from Vilmorin, in
1883, can be assigned to this species, as can also a strawberry tomato
grown in 1885 at the New York Agricultural Experiment Station.
P. pubescens Linn. GROUND CHERRY. HUSK TOMATO.
This is the camaru. It is also found wild in the United
States. The fruit is edible. This species has a wide range, extending from
New York to Iowa, Florida and westward from Texas to the borders of
California and southward to tropical America. It is described by
Marcgrav and Piso in Brazil about the middle of the seventeenth
century, and Feuille, 1725, mentions it as cultivated and wild in Peru.
It has been introduced into many regions. Loureiro records it in Cochin
China; Bojer, as cultivated in the Mauritius and in all the tropical
countries; and it also occurs in the descriptions of garden vegetables in
France and America. It was cultivated by Miller in England in 1739 and
was described by Parkinson in 1640. It had not reached the kitchen
garden in 1807 but had before 1863. Its synonymy seems as given
Camaru. Marcg. 12. 1648; Piso 223. 1658.
Halicacabum sive Alkekengi Virginense. Ray 681. 1686.
Alkekengi Virginianum, fructu luteo. Tourn. 151. 1719.
Alkekengi Virginianum, fructu luteo, vulgo Capuli. Feuille 3:5. 1725.
Alkekengi Barbadense nanum, Alliariae folio. Dill. Eith. 10. f. 9. t. 9.
Physalis pubescens. Linn. Sp. 262. 1762.
P. virginiana Mill. STRAWBERRY TOMATO.
This species has also been grown from seedsmen's
strawberry tomato. It is a low, spreading plant.
P. viscosa Linn.
Eastern United States.
The berry is edible.
Phytelephas macrocarpa Ruiz et Pav. Palmae. IVORY PALM.
The seed at first contains a clear, insipid fluid, with
which travelers allay their thirst, afterwards this liquor becomes milky
and sweet; at last the fruit is almost as hard as ivory. This hard
albumen furnishes a vegetable ivory of commerce.
Phyteuma spicatum Linn. Campanulaceae. SPIKED RAMPION.
The roots, which are thick and fleshy, were formerly eaten,
either boiled or in salad, but the plant is no longer used in England,
though still in favor in some parts of continental Europe.
Phytocrene gigantea Wall. Olacineae (Icacinaceae). FOUNTAIN
A watery and drinkable sap flows from sections of the porous
P. palmata Wall.
A watery and drinkable sap flows from sections of the porous
Phytolacca acinosa Roxb. Phytolaccaceae. INDIAN POKE.
Himalayas and China.
This plant is cultivated in Jaunsar and Kamaon,
India, where its leaves are eaten boiled as a vegetable. In 1852, it was
cultivated in Germany as a spinach. This species has been
recommended in France as a culinary vegetable but it does not appear
to have met with much success. Its leaves cooked as spinach and its
young shoots as asparagus were both said to possess an excellent
P. decandra (americana) Linn. GARGET. POCAN. SCOKE.
Originally from North America, this species has been distributed
throughout Mexico Brazil, the Sandwich Islands and the region of the
Mediterranean, even to Switzerland. It is occasionally used as a
vegetable, and Barton says the young shoots are brought in great
abundance to the Philadelphia market as a table vegetable. In
Louisiana, says Rafinesque, it is called chou-gras and the leaves are
eaten boiled in soup.
P. octandra Linn. CALALU.
Guiana and Jamaica.
From this species comes a palatable, wholesome
green. It is cultivated in most kitchen gardens in Jamaica. In Mexico, it
is called verbachina. In China, it is an edible plant.