Picea excelsa Link. Coniferae (Pinaceae). NORWAY SPRUCE.
Norway, Russia and the mountainous parts of Europe.
The spray is
used in making beer.
P. nigra Link. BLACK SPRUCE. DOUBLE SPRUCE.
Great quantities of spruce beer are made from the new
Picraena excelsa Lindl. Simarubaceae. BITTER ASH. QUASSIA.
This tree yields the bitter wood known as Jamaica quassia.
Brewers are said to use the chips as a substitute for hops.
Picridium (Reichardia) vulgare Desf. Compositae. FRENCH
Europe and the Mediterranean region.
This salad plant is cultivated in
Italian gardens, where it is much esteemed. It is also used somewhat in
France and was introduced into England in 1882. It is also of recent
introduction into French culture. In the United States, the species is
noted by Burr, 1863. The young leaves and the roots are eaten.
Picris echioides Linn. Compositae. OX-TONGUE.
Europe and north Africa.
Johnson says this plant has been used as a
potherb when in the young state.
P. hieracioides Linn.
Temperate Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
The plant is used
as a potherb.
Pimenta officinalis Lindl. Myrtaceae. ALLSPICE. PIMENTO.
The allspice tree is cultivated in the West Indies, where it is
common. The allspice, or pimento, berries of commerce are of the size of
a small pea and in order are supposed to resemble a combination of
cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. This tree. is also cultivated now in the
East Indies. The seeds are used as a condiment.
Pimpinella anisum Linn. Umbelliferae. ANISE.
Greece and Egypt.
Anison was known to the ancient Greeks.
Dioscorides says the best came from Crete, the next best from Egypt. It
is also mentioned by Theophrastus. Pliny, in the first century, says
anesum, green or dry, is desirable in all seasonings or sauces. The
seeds, he says, are sprinkled in the under crust of bread and are used
for flavoring wine. He quotes Pythagoras as praising it whether raw or
cooked. Palladius, in the beginning of the third century, gives directions
for its sowing. Charlemagne, in the ninth century, commanded that
anise should be sown on the imperial farms in Germany. Anise is
mentioned also by Albertus Magnus in the thirteenth century. It seems
to have been grown in England as a potherb prior to 1542, as Boore, in
his Dyetary of Helth, printed in that year, says of it and fennel, "These
herbes be seldom used but theyr seedes be greatly occupyde." Ruellius
records anise in France in 1536 and gives the common name as Roman
fennel, the name Albertus Magnus used in the thirteenth century. It is
classed among culinary herbs by McMahon, 1806.
In the seventeenth century, Quintyne records the use of the leaves in
salads. The seeds now serve to flavor various liquors; in Italy, they
appear in diverse pastries; in Germany they are put into bread; in
England, in special bread, in rye bread and even in cheese. In Malta,
localities in Spain, France, southern Italy, Germany and Russia the
plant is grown on a large scale for the seed, which also enters commerce
in northern India and Chile. The plant is indigenous to Asia Minor, the
Greek islands and Egypt but is nowhere to be found undoubtedly
growing wild. There is no indication of its having formed varieties under
cultivation, except that Bauhin records one sort having rounder and
smaller seeds than the common variety.
Pinanga dicksonii Blume. Palmae.
This is a wild species, the nuts of which are utilized by the
Poorer classes as a substitute for the betel-nut.
Pinus cembra Linn. Coniferae (Pinaceae). RUSSIAN CEDAR, swiss
Southern Europe and northern Asia.
According to Gmelin, the seeds
form about the sole winter food of the peasantry in Siberia. Nuttall says
an oil is extracted from them.
P. cembroides Zucc.
Western United States.
The seeds are as large as large peas, says
Newberry, the flavor agreeable, and the Indians eat them whenever they
can be obtained. The edible nuts are collected, says Parry, by the
Indians along the Mexican boundary, and Torrey says, when fresh or
slightly roasted, they are very palatable.
P. contorta Dougl.
Western United States.
In times of scarcity, says R. Brown, the Indians
will eat the liber. Along both sides of the trail in the passes of the Galton
and Rocky Mountains, many of the young trees of this species are
stripped of their bark for a foot or so above the ground to a height of six
or seven feet. The Indians of Alaska, says Dall, in the spring are in the
habit of stripping off the outer bark and scraping the newly formed
cambium from the trunk, and this is eaten fresh or dried. When fresh it
is not unpleasant but as the season advances it tastes strongly of
P. coulteri D. Don.
The seeds, says Nuttall, are of the size of an almond and are
P. edulis Engelm. NUT PINE. PINON PINE.
Southwestern United States.
The nut is sweet and edible, about the size
of a hazelnut. It is used as an article of trade by the New Mexicans of
the upper Rio Grande, with those below and about El Paso. The fruit
has a slightly terebinthine taste but the New Mexicans are very fond of
P. excelsa Wall. BHOTAN PINE.
The tree is called cheel. In Kamaon, a kind of
manna, which is eaten, is collected from this tree in a dry winter.
P. flexilis James.
Western United States.
The large seeds are used as food by the Indians.
P. gerardiana Wall. NEPAL NUT PINE.
The cones are plucked before they open and are heated to
make the scales expand and to get the seeds out. Large quantities of the
seeds are stored for winter use, and they form a staple food of the
inhabitants of Kunawar. They are eaten ground and mixed with flour. It
is a common saying in Kunawar, says Brandis, "one tree a man's life in
winter." They are oily, with a slight but not unpleasant turpentiny flavor
and are called neozar.
P. koraiensis Sieb. & Zucc. KOREAN PINE.
Korea, Kamchatka, China and Japan.
The tree produces edible nuts.
P. lambertiana Dougl. GIANT PINE. SUGAR PINE.
Northwest coast of America.
The resin which exudes from partially
burned trees for the most part loses its terebinthine taste and smell and
acquires a sweetness nearly equal to that of sugar and is sometimes
used for sweetening food. It has, however, decided cathartic properties
and is oftener used by the frontiersmen as a medicine than a
condiment. The seeds have a sweet and pleasant-tasting kernel and are
eaten roasted or pounded into coarse cakes by the Indians.
P. longifolia Roxb. EMODI PINE.
The seeds, says Brandis, are eaten in India and
are of some importance as food in times of scarcity.
P. monophylla Torr. & Frem. NUT PINE. STONE PINE.
Western North America.
The seeds are of an almond-like flavor and are
consumed in quantity by the natives.
P. parryana Engelm.
The seeds are eaten by the Indians.
P. pinea Linn. STONE PINE.
Southern Europe and the Levant.
This pine is said by Grigor to be
cultivated for its fruit about Naples. It was known to the ancients, and
with the Greeks was a tree sacred to Neptune. The seeds are commonly
called pignons by the French and pinocchi by the Italians. They are
eaten as dessert, made into sweetmeats or used in puddings and cakes.
They are very commonly used in Aleppo and in Turkey.
P. sabiniana Dougl. DIGGER PINE.
This is one of the nut pines of California and furnishes a
most important food to the Indians, says Brewer. The seeds are as large
as large beans, are very palatable, having, however, a slightly
terebinthine taste. Thousands of beings, red-skinned but human, look
to this pine tree for their winter store of food.
P. sylvestris Linn. SCOTCH PINE.
Northern Europe and Asia.
In Norway, the inner bark furnishes a barkbread.
In Sweden, in times of scarcity, much bark is collected from the
forests for food, being kiln-dried, ground into flour, mixed with a small
portion of oatmeal and made into thin cakes. The inner part of the bark,
says Morlot, properly prepared, furnishes when boiled a very edible
broth; the Laplanders are quite fond of it. When they prepare a meal of
it, they bark the tree all around up to a certain height. The tree then
dies and thus the routes of migration in Lapland are marked by a track
of dead pines which is continually widening.
P. torreyana Parry.
This pine bears large and edible seeds.
Piper amalago Linn. Piperaceae.
Brownel says the seeds may replace pepper for seasoning.
P. betle Linn. BETLE PEPPER.
East Indies and Malay.
The leaves are chewed with betel-nut by the
Malays and other Indian races.
P. capense Linn. f. STAART PEPPER.
The pepper is used by the country people in Kaffraria as a
P. chaba Hunter.
The long pepper which is imported by the Dutch
is the fruit-spike, collected and dried before it reaches maturity.
P. clusii C. DC.
This spice was imported as early as 1364 to Rouen and
Dieppe from Liberia under the name pepper. In tropical western Africa,
it is used as a condiment.
P. cubeba Linn. f. CUBEB PEPPER.
Malay, Java and Penang.
Pereira states that as early as 1305 the
Product of this tree was used as a condiment in London, although now
it is considered a medicine.
P. longum Linn. LONG PEPPER.
A shrub indigenous to Malabar, Ceylon, eastern Bengal, Timor and the
Philippines and cultivated along the eastern and western coasts of
India. Its fruits consist of very small, one-sided berries or grains
embedded in a pulpy matter, green when immature, and becoming red
as it ripens. The fruit is gathered in the green state to form pepper, as it
is then hotter than when perfectly ripe. This is the long pepper of
P. methysticum Forst. f.
Sandwich Islands and the Fiji Islands.
The root of this plant is used to
form an intoxicating drink under the name of ava, kava or kawa. The
root is chewed, thrown into a bowl and water is poured on. It is then
strained through cocoa-nut husks, when it is ready for use.
P. nigrum Linn. PEPPER TREE.
Indigenous to the forests of Travancore and Malabar, whence it has
been introduced into Sumatra, Java, Borneo, the Malay peninsula,
Siam, the Philippines and the West Indies. This tree furnishes the black
Pepper of commerce which is the berries gathered before they are
Perfectly ripe and dried. The white pepper is formed from the
decorticated fruits. It is frequently mentioned by Roman writers of the
Augustan age and, in the fifth century, Attila demanded 3000 pounds
of pepper as a part of the ransom of the city of Rome. An account of the
growing of pepper in India is given by Mandeville, who traveled there in
P. sarmentosum Roxb. LONG PEPPER.
East Indies and Malay.
The fruit, according to Wight, is gathered and
sold as long pepper.
P. sylvaticum Roxb. MOUNTAIN LONG PEPPER.
East Indies and Burma.
The spikes, both green and ripe, are used in
Bengal as long pepper.
P. umbellatum Linn.
The leaves may be boiled and eaten.
Piptadenia peregrina Benth. Leguminosae. BLACK PARICA.
Brazil and British Guiana.
The native tribes intoxicate themselves with
the fumes of the burning seeds.
Pipturus velutmus Wedd. Urticaceae.
This species bears a sweet but rather insipid fruit.
Pisonia alba Span. Nyctagineae. TREE LETTUCE.
East Indies, Malay and common in the gardens about Madras.
the leaves somewhat resemble lettuce, but Wight says, to his taste, it is
but an indifferent substitute.
Pistacia atlantica Desf. Anacardiaceae. MASTIC TREE.
The Moors eat the fruits and bruise them to mix
with their dates.
P. lentiscus Linn. MASTIC TREE.
Southern Europe, northern Africa and western Asia; introduced into
the United States by the Patent Office in 1855 for trial in southern
California and the Gulf States. Mastic is the resin obtained from
incisions in the bark of this tree and is produced principally in the
Island of Scio and in Asiatic Turkey. Mastic is consumed in large
quantities by the Turks for chewing to sweeten the breath and to
strengthen the gums. The tree is cultivated in Italy and Portugal but is
said to produce no resin in these climates. From the kernel of the fruit,
an oil may be obtained, which is fine for table use.
P. mexicana H. B. & K.
This is a small tree with edible nuts found by Bigelow near the
mouth of the Pecos.
P. terebinthus Linn. CYPRUS TURPENTINE. TEREBINTH.
Southern Europe and Mediterranean region.
This is the cultivated form
of P. vera, grown in Palestine and Syria. The plant is a large and stout
tree of the Mediterranean flora and furnishes Cyprus turpentine. The
nuts are shaped like the filbert, long and pointed, the kernel pale,
greenish, sweet and more oily than the almond. It is the terebinthus of
Theophrastus, and the senawber or snowber of the Arabs. The species
was introduced into the United States for trial culture in 1859.
P. vera Linn. PISTACIA NUT.
Mediterranean and the Orient.
The tree is indigenous to Persia, Bactria
and Syria but is cultivated in the Mediterranean regions. Seeds of the
nut were distributed from the United States Patent Office in 1854. The
fruit is oval, about the size of an olive and contains a kernel, oily and
mild to the taste. The nuts are used in ices, creams, conserves and all
kinds of confectionery. The nut is eaten raw like almonds and is much
esteemed by the Turks, Greeks and Italians. There are several varieties,
of which the Aleppo is considered the best for its fruits. In Kabul,
Pistacia trees are said by Harlan to yield a crop of fruit one year,
followed always by a crop of blighted fruit destitute of a kernel the next.
Pisum arvense Linn. Leguminosae. FIELD PEA. GREY PEA.
This is the pea most commonly cultivated in Egypt and it is
also grown in India. In China, this pea is eaten and seems to have been
introduced from the country of the Vigurs, during the T'ang time. This
species is considered by Lindley as the original of all our cultivated
Peas. In Scotland and England, some or more varieties of the field pea
are grown. A variety allied to this species has been found in the ancient
lacustrine deposits of Switzerland.
P. jomardi Schrank. EGYPTIAN PEA.
This species is edible and is perhaps cultivated.
P. sativum Linn. PEA.
Europe and northern Asia.
The pea in India goes back to a remote
period as is shown by its Sanscrit name. The discovery of its seed in a
tomb at Thebes proves it to have been an ancient Egyptian plant. It was
seen in Japan by Thunberg, 1776. Its culture among the Romans is
evident from its mention by Columella, Pliny and Palladius. There is
every reason to believe, from the paucity of description, that peas were
not then in their present esteem as a vegetable and were considered
inferior to other plants of the leguminous order. The first distinct
mention of the garden peas is by Ruellius in 1536, who says there are
two kinds of peas, one the field pea and trailing, the other a climbing
Pea, whose fresh pods with their peas were eaten. Green peas, however,
were not a common vegetable at the close of the seventeenth century.
The author of a life of Colbert, 1695, says: "It is frightful to see persons
sensual enough to purchase green peas at the price of 50 crowns per
litron." This kind of pompous expenditure prevailed much at the
French Court, as will be seen by a letter of Madame de Maintenon,
dated May 10, 1696. "This subject of peas continues to absorb all
others," says she, "the anxiety to eat them, the pleasure of having eaten
them and the desire to eat them again, are the three great matters which
have been discussed by our princes for four days past. Some ladies,
even after having supped at the Royal table and well supped too,
returning to their own homes, at the risk of suffering from indigestion,
will again eat peas before going to bed. It is both a fashion and a
In England, it is not until after the Norman Conquest and the
establishment of monastic communities that we read of green peas
being used. In Fosbrook's British Monasticon, it is stated that at
Barking Nunnery the annual store of provisions consisted among other
things of green peas for Lent, and, in Archaeologia in Order and
Government of a Nobleman's House, they are again mentioned. In
1299, the English forces, while besieging a castle in Lothian, were
compelled to feed on the peas and beans of the surrounding fields. At
the present time, in varieties, they are grown as far north as Hammertest
Peas were early introduced to the American Continent, but, in notices of
this plant, the word Reason refers sometimes, it is probable, to beans.
In 1493, Reason are mentioned by Peter Martyr as grown at Isabela
Island by Columbus; in 1535, Reason are mentioned by Cartier as
grown by the Indians of Hochelaga, now Montreal; and in 1613, peas
were obtained from the French traders grown by the Indians of the
Ottawa River; in 1540, peas are mentioned in New Mexico by Alarcon
and "small, white peas" by Coronado; in 1562, Reason were cultivated
by the Florida Indians, as related by Ribault. In 1602, peas were sown
by Gosnold on the Elizabeth Islands off the coast of Massachusetts,
according to Smith; in 1629, in Massachusetts, there was a "store of
green peas," "as good as ever I eat in England," growing in the
governor's garden, according to Rev. Francis Higginson. In 1614, peas
were mentioned by Smith as grown by the New England Indians. In
1690, Bancroft says Spanish peas were grown by the Indians of Mexico,
and, in 1775, Romans says green peas were obtained the year round at
Mobile, Alabama. In 1779, Gen. Sullivan's expedition against the
Indians of western New York destroyed the growing peas of the Indians
who occupied the territory near Geneva.
If we trace the antiquity of the various forms which include varieties, we
find the varieties noted are innumerable and occur with white and
green seed, with smooth and with wrinkled seed, with seed blackspotted
at the hilum, with large and small seed, as well as with plants of
large and small aspects, dwarf, trailing, and tall plants, and those with
White and Green Peas.- Lyte, in his edition of Dodonaeus, 1586,
mentions the trailing pea, or what Vilmorin classifies as the half-dwarf,
as having round seed, of color sometimes white, sometimes green.
Smooth Seeded.-Dodonaeus, in his Frumentorum, 1566, describes
this form under Pisum minus, a tall pea, called in Germany erweyssen;
in Brabant, erwiten; in France, pois; by the Greeks, ochron; the pods
containing eight to ten round peas of a yellow color at first, then green.
This pea was called in England, Middle Peason, in 1591.
Wrinkled Seed.-The first certain mention of wrinkled seed is by Tragus
in 1552, under Phaseolus. These are also recorded in Belgian and
German gardens by Dodonaeus in his Frumentorum, 1566, under
Pisum majus, the dry seed being angular, uneven, of a white color in
some varieties and of a sordid color in others. He calls them roomsche
erwiten, groote erwiten, stock erwiten, and the plant he says does not
differ from his Pisum minus and indeed he uses the same figure for the
two. Pena and Lobel, 1570, describe the same pea as in Belgian and
English gardens, under the name Pisum angulosum hortorum
quadratum Plinii, with seed of a ferruginous and reddish color. Lobel,
1591, figures the seed, using the name Pisum quadratum, and it seems
to be the Great Peason, Garden Peason, or Branch Peason of Lyte in
1586, as he gives Dodonaeus' common names as synonyms. In 1686,
Ray describes this class under the name Rouncival and refers to
Gerarde's picture of Pisum majus, or Rowncivall Pease, in 1597, as
being the same. This word Rouncival, in white and green varieties, was
used by McMahon in 1806, and Rouncivals by Gardiner and Hepburn
in 1818 and Thorburn in 1828. The first good description of the seed
is, however, in 1708, when Lisle calls it honey-combed or pitted. Knight,
a nurseryman of Bedfordshire, before 1726, did much for the
improvement of the pea and sent out several wrinkled varieties. Up to
Knight's time the wrinkled peas do not seem to have been in general
esteem. The Knight pea, the seed rough, uneven, and shrivelled, the
plant tall, was in American gardens in 1821, and a number of Knight's
peas are under cultivation at present.
Black-eyed Peas.-These are mentioned as an old sort by Townsend in
1726 and are now grown under the name of Black-eyed Marrowfat.
Dwarf Peas.-These are mentioned by Tournefort in 1700 and are
referred by him to 1665. There is no earlier distinct reference.
Half-Dwarfs.- These are the ordinary trailing peas as mentioned by
the earlier botanies, as, for instance, the Pisum minus of Camerarius,
Tall Peas.- These are the forms described by the early botanies as
requiring sticking, as the Pisum majus of Camerarius, 1596, the Pisum
of Fuchsius, 1542, and Phasioli or faselen of Tragus, 1552.
Edible-Podded or Sugar Peas.-The pods and peas of the large,
climbing pea, as also the green pods of the trailing form, are recorded as
eaten by Ruellius in 1536, and this manner of eating is recorded by
later authors. We now have two forms, those with straight and those
with contorted pods. The first of these is figured by Gerarde, 1597; is
described by Ray in 1686 and Tournefort in 1700. The second form is
mentioned by Worlidge in 1683 as the Sugar pease with crooked pods,
by Ray as Sickle pease. In the Jardinier Fran�ais, 1651, Bonnefonds
describes them as the Dutch pea and adds that until lately they were
very rare. Roquefort says they were introduced into France by the
French ambassador in Holland about 1600. In 1806, McMahon
includes three kinds among American esculents.
Number of Varieties.- About 1683, Meager names 9 kinds in English
culture; in 1765 Stevenson, 34 kinds; in 1783, Bryant names 14; in
1806, McMahon has 22 varieties; Thorburn's Calendar, 1821, contains
n sorts, and this seed catalog of 1828 has 24 sorts; in 1883, Vilmorin
describes 149; in the report of the New York Agricultural Experiment
Station for 1884, 93 varieties are described in full.
Pithecelobium bigeminum Mart. Leguminosae. SOAP-BARK
East Indies and Malay.
The tree has long, twisted fruit, sweet to the
taste but inducing dysentery and it, therefore, was prohibited by
Alexander. It is called ta nyen in Burma, where the natives are
extravagantly fond of the seeds as a condiment to preserve fish,
notwithstanding sometimes disastrous consequences.
P. dulce Benth.
The sweet pulp of the pod is wholesome. The plant is
extensively cultivated in India as a hedge plant. In Mexico, it is called
guamuckil, and the fruit is boiled and eaten. In Manila, the species is
grown for its fruit, which is eaten. The sweet, firm pulp in the curiously
twisted pods is eaten.
P. lobatum Benth.
A large tree of Burma.
The seeds are eaten as a condiment.
P. saman Benth. RAIN TREE. SAMAN. ZAMANG.
This is a Mexican tree yielding edible pods.
P. unguis-cati Benth. CAT'S CLAW.
Mexico and the West Indies.
The pulp about the seed is eaten by the
natives. In the West Indies it is eaten by the negroes.