Prangos pabularia Lindl. Umbelliferae. PRANGOS.
Burnes says this plant is greedily cropped by sheep
and is eaten even by his fellow travelers, a statement confirmed by
Premna integrifolia Linn. Verbenaceae. HEADACHE TREE.
East Indies and Malay.
Ainslie says the leaves are eaten by the
inhabitants of the Coromandel coast.
P. latifolia Roxb.
The leaves have a strong but not disagreeable odor and are
eaten by the natives in their curries.
Primula officinalis Jacq. Primulaceae. PRIMROSE.
Europe and Asia Minor.
The leaves are eaten in salads.
P. vulgaris Huds. COWSLIP. PRIMROSE.
Europe and adjoining Asia.
The flowers are picked when first open and
fermented with water and sugar. The liquor, when, well prepared, is
pleasant in flavor and very intoxicating, resembling in taste some of the
sweet wines of the south of France. In many parts of England, primrose
flowers are collected in large quantities for this purpose. The leaves also
are wholesome and may be eaten as a salad or boiled as a green
Pringlea antiscorbutica R. Br. Cruciferae. KERGUELEN'S LAND
This plant was first discovered by Captain Cook and was
subsequently observed by Hooker on Kerguelen's Land, a cold, humid,
barren, volcanic rock of the southern ocean. Its rootstocks are from
three to four feet long and lie close to the ground, bearing at their
extremities large heads of leaves closely resembling cabbages. Ross says
the root tastes like horseradish, and the young leaves or hearts
resemble in flavor coarse mustard and cress. For 130 days his crews
required no fresh vegetables but this.
Prinsepia utilis Royle. Rosaceae.
In India, an oil is expressed from the seeds, which is
used as food and for burning.
Printzia aromatica Less. Compositae.
Henfrey says the leaves are used as a tea at the Cape of
Prionium palmita E. Mey. Juncaceae. PALMITE RUSH.
The plant grows in the beds of rivers and the heart is
Prioria copaifera Griseb. Leguminosae.
Jamaica and Panama.
The enormous seeds have edible embryos. They
are sold in Panama under the name cativa.
Pritchardia filifera Linden. Palmae.
Southwestern North America.
This species is found in rocky canons
near San Felipe, Cal., attaining a height of 50 feet. The fruit is small,
black and pulpy and is used as food by the Indians.
Priva laevis Juss. Verbenaceae.
Chile and the Argentine Republic.
The small tubers can be used for
Prosopis algarobilla Griseb. Leguminosae.
The seeds are sweet and nutritious.
P. dulcis Kunth. ALGAROBA. CASHAU.
The legumes of this tree, gathered a little before they
are ripe, are used in South America to fatten cattle. Later, its seeds,
ground to powder, constitute the principal food of many of the
inhabitants of Brazil, who call it algaroba. To this species is referred the
fruit mentioned by de la Vega as called paccay by the Indians of Peru
and guava by the Spaniards, of which he says: "It consists of a pod
about a quarta long, more or less, and two fingers in width. On opening
it one finds some white stuff exactly like cotton. It is so like, that
Spaniards, who did not know the fruit, have been known to scold the
Indians who gave it to them to eat, thinking they were offering cotton by
way of joke. They are very sweet and after being exposed to the sun, will
keep very long. Within the white pulp there is a black pip, like a bean,
which is not good to eat." Don says the pulp contained in the pods is
very sweet and is eaten in Brazil. Pickering says it is called pacai in
Peru, and that its pods are sold in the markets of Lima.
P. juliflora DC. ALGAROBA. HONEY MESQUITE. MESQUITE.
Cieza de Leon says the pods of this algaroba are
"somewhat long and narrow and not so thick as the pods of beans. In
some parts they make bread of these algarobas. Markham says the"
tree is called guaranga. Don says the natives of the coast of Peru and
Chile eat the pulp contained in the pods. The abundant fruit is eaten by
the Indians and often by the whites. E. L. Greene says the mesquitemeal,
which the Indians and Mexicans manufacture by drying and
grinding these pods and their contents, is perhaps the most nutritious
breadstuff in use among any people. The pods, from seven to nine
inches long, of a buff color, are chewed by both Indians and whites as
they journey, as a preventive of thirst. The pods in their fresh state are
Prepared and eaten by the Indians and are among the luxuries of the
Apaches, Pimas, Maricopas, Tumas and other tribes of New Mexico,
Utah, Nevada and southern California. A gum exudes from the tree
which closely resembles gum arabic.
P. pubescens Benth. SCREW BEAN OR SCREW-POD MESQUITE.
Texas, Mexico and California.
The pods are pounded into meal and are
used as food by the Indians. Whipple says it forms a favorite article of
food with the Indians of the Gila and Colorado rivers. Greene says it
has the same nutritious properties as P. juliflora.
P. spicigera Linn.
Persia and East Indies.
The mealy, sweetish substance which
surrounds the seeds is an article of food in the Punjab, Gujarat and the
Deccan. The pods are collected before they are quite ripe, and the mealy
pulp is eaten raw, or boiled with vegetables, salt and butter.
Protea mellifera Thunb. Proteaceae. HONEY-FLOWER. SUGARBUSH.
In the Cape Colony, a saccharine fluid is obtained from
the flowers called bush-syrup.
Prunus americana Marsh. Rosaceae. AMERICAN PLUM. AUGUST
PLUM. GOOSE PLUM. HOG PLUM. RED PLUM. SLOE. YELLOW
Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
This plum is cultivated for its fruit and
has a number of varieties. It was, says Pickering, from early times
Planted by the New England Indians. During the ripening of the fruit,
the western Indians live sumptuously and collect quantities for drying.
P. amygdalus Stokes. ALMOND.
North Africa and the Orient.
The chief distinction between the almond
and the peach lies in the fruit, which, in the almond, consists of little
more than a stone covered with a thick, dry, wooly skin, while the peach
has in addition a rich and luscious flesh. The almond has long been
known to cultivation. Those with sweet and bitter kernels were known
to the Hebrews and were carried by the Phoenicians to the Hesperian
peninsula. The almond was sacred to Cybele, in Greece, where even at
that time there were ten kinds, with sweet and with bitter nuts, Phyllis
hung herself on an almond tree and was transfigured into it. Cato called
it nux Graica and Pliny mentions it. Charlemagne caused
amandalarios to be planted on his estate.
Unger deems the tree indigenous to western Asia and north Africa.
Pickering ascribes its origin to the Tauro-Caspian countries and others
to Barbary, Morocco, Persia and China. Brandis says it is indigenous
about Lebanon, Kurdistan and in Turkestan. At the present time, it is
distributed over the whole of southern Europe, the Levant, Persia,
Arabia, China, Java, Madeira, the Azores and the Canary Islands. As a
garden plant, it has existed in England since 1548 certainly. In the
United States, certain varieties are deemed hardy in the latitude of New
There are many varieties and as many as seven are described by
Downing 10 as recommended for culture in America. The more
common classification is into sweet and bitter almonds, but De
Candolle establishes five groups: the bitter almond, the sweet almond,
the sweet almond with a tender shell, the sweet almond with large fruit
and the peach almond.
The kernels of the sweet variety are eaten as dessert and are largely
used in confectionery and in cooking; those of the bitter almond are
used in the preparation of noyau and for flavoring confectionery. Both
varieties yield by pressure an odorless, fixed oil which is of an innocent
nature. The bitter almond contains a crystalizable substance called
amygdalin, which, by the action of the nitrogenous emulsion present,
when in contact with water, is converted into a fragrant volatile oil, the
essential oil of bitter almonds and prussic acid. The sweet almond
contains the emulsion but no amygdalin, hence is not harmful as food.
When a tree is raised frcm either variety both bitter and sweet almonds
are frequently found borne by the same tree.
P. armeniaca Linn. APRICOT.
The native country of the apricot is usually said to be
Armenia, Arabia and the higher regions of central Asia. Harlan says the
species grows spontaneously in the mountains about Kabul, bearing a
yellow, acid and inferior fruit. Erman mentions it as wild in Siberia;
Pallas saw it in the Caucasus; Grossier in the mountains to the west of
Pekin, China; and Regnier and Sickler assign it to a parallel extending
between the Niger and the Atlas. Unger says that Alexander the Great
brought the apricot from Armenia to Greece and Epirus, from which
countries it reached Italy. It seems not to have been known to the
Greeks in the time of Theophrastus but was the mela armeniaca of
later authors, as Dioscorides. The apricot was referred to under the
name Armeniaca by Columella and Pliny. It is said to have been
brought to England from Italy in 1524, but others give its date of
introduction 1548. Disraeli says, however, the elder Tradescant in
1620, entered himself on board of a privateer armed against Morocco
solely with a view of finding an opportunity of stealing apricots into
Britain and it appears that he succeeded.
In the United States, there is no mention of this fruit earlier than 1720,
when they were said to be growing abundantly in Virginia. In 1835,
there were 17 varieties in Britain. Downing names 26 in his edition of
American Fruits of 1866 and the American Pomological Society in
1879. In Ladakh, according to Moorcroft, 10 varieties are cultivated, all
raised from seed but one, which is propagated by budding. In Kabul,
sorts are grown, according to Harlan. The apricot is cultivated
throughout the entire East even to Cashmere and northern India, in
China and Japan, northern Africa and southern Europe. About
Damascus, it is cultivated extensively and a marmalade is made from
the fruit for sale. In the oases of Upper Egypt, the fruit of a variety called
musch-musch is dried in large quantities for the purpose of commerce.
The fruit in general is roundish, orange or brownish-orange, with a
more or less deep orange-colored flesh; the kernel in some sorts is
bitter, in others as sweet as a nut. Erdman describes the "wild peach"
of Nerchinsk, Siberia, as a true apricot, containing a very agreeable
kernel in a fleshless envelope. Harlan describes a variety of Kabul as so
especially lucious as to require careful manipulation in gathering, so
delicate that if one should fall to the ground, the shape would be
P. aspera Thunb.
The blue drupe is eaten.
P. avium Linn. BIRD CHERRY. GEAN. MAZZARD. SWEET
CHERRY. WILD CHERRY.
Europe and the Caucasus.
This is the species from which sweet cherries
have sprung, The wild species is small and of little value for eating. The
fruits are employed in Switzerland and Germany in the distillation of a
spirit known as kirschwasser. Of the cultivated fruits of this species,
more than 75 varieties are described. The fruit is well esteemed, but
Hasselquist says the gum may also be eaten and that a hundred men
during a siege were kept alive for two months on the gum of the cherry
alone. Cherry stones were among the seeds mentioned in 1629 to be
sent the Massachusetts Company; they were also planted at Yonkers, N.
Y., about 1650, as well as in Rhode Island, and, in 1669. Shrigley says
they were cultivated in Virginia and Maryland.
P. brigantiaca Vill. ALPINE PLUM. BRIANCON PLUM.
MARMOTTES. OIL PLANT.
The fruit is borne in clusters, is round, yellow and plum-like but
is scarcely eatable. In France and Piedmont, the kernels are used to
Procure the huille des mar-mottes, an oil considered superior to olive
P. buergeriana Miq.
A large tree of Japan.
The fruit is small and inferior but is sometimes
gathered and pickled in salt, when it is eaten as a condiment or
P. capollin Zucc.
The cherries are of a pleasant taste.
P. cerasifera Ehrh. CHERRY PLUM.
Turkey and nearby countries.
The fruit is round, about an inch in
diameter, of a lively red, with little bloom. The flesh is greenish, melting,
soft, very juicy, with a pleasant, lively subacid flavor.
P. cerasus Linn. CHERRY. PIE CHERRY. SOUR CHERRY.
Europe and Orient.
More than 50 varieties of this cherry are under
cultivation. About Lake Como, Italy, a variety grows abundantly which
is a sort of Morello. In Asia Minor, Walsh describes two delicious
varieties as growing wild and cultivated in gardens. This cherry is
mentioned by Theophrastus, about 300 B. C., and Pliny states that it
was brought to Italy by Lucullus after his victory over Mithridates, and
he also states that, in less than 120 years after, other lands had cherries
even as far as Britain beyond the ocean. Disraeli remarks that "to our
shame it must be told that these cherries from the King of Pontus' city
of Cerasuntis are not the cherries we are now eating; for the whole race
of cherry-trees was lost in the Saxon period and was only restored by
the gardener of Henry VIII who brought them from Flanders." Loudon
says the Romans had kinds and, in England in 1640, there were 24
sorts. The Red Kentish, referred to this class, was the cherry grown by
the Massachusetts colonists.
P. chamaecerasus Jacq.
Southern Europe and northern Asia.
This cherry is mentioned by Pliny
as growing in Macedonia and the fruit is said to be dried and to yield
profit to the farm. According to Jacquin, this cherry grows on the
Austrian Alps; according to Persoon, it is cultivated.
P. chicasa (angustifolia) Michx. CHICKASAW PLUM. INDIAN
CHERRY. MOUNTAIN CHERRY.
Southeastern United States.
This plum was seen by De Soto's
expedition at or near. New Madrid, where it furnished the natives with
food. The tree usually grows from 12 to 20 feet high but Marcy, on the
Red River of the South, found it forming small bushes from two to six
feet high and bearing very large and sweet fruit varying in color from a
light pink to a deep crimson. The fruit varies much and several varieties
are in cultivation.
P. cocomilia Tenore. COCOMILLA PLUM.
The fruit is yellow, bitter or sour.
P. dasycarpa Ehrh. BLACK APRICOT.
This apricot with dark purple, velvety fruit is cultivated in
Kashmir, Afghanistan, Baluchistan and in Europe.
P. divaricata Ledeb.
The fruits are red, yellow and black and of the size, form
and taste of the Mirabelle plum. According to Capus, the natives collect
and dry the fruit but do not cultivate the tree.
P. domestica Linn. EUROPEAN PLUM. PLUM.
Europe and the Caucasus.
The common plum came originally, says
Unger, from the Caucasus and is cultivated extensively in Syria, where
it has passed into numerous varieties. It is now naturalized in Greece
and in other regions of temperate Europe. Cultivated varieties,
according to Pliny, were brought from Syria into Greece and thence into
Italy. Faulken says the plum was introduced from Asia into Europe
during the crusades. Gough says the Perdrigon plum was brought into
England in the time of Henry VII. Plum stones were among the seeds
mentioned in the Memorandum of Mar. 16, 1629, to be sent to the
Massachusetts Company. The fruit of the plum ranges through many
colors, from black to white, and is covered with a rich, glaucous bloom
About 150 varieties appear in the catalogs of American nurserymen.
The plum is not only delicious eating, in its best varieties, but the fruit
of some is largely used for prunes, and, in Hungary, an excellent
brandy is distilled from the fermented juice of the fruit.
P. emarginata Walp. OREGON CHERRY.
Western North America.
The fruit is eaten by the Indians.
P. fasciculata A. Gray. WILD ALMOND. WILD PEACH.
Western North America.
Although this fruit is almost devoid of the
delicious interior of the cultivated peach, yet it has exactly the
appearance and Gray says is its nearest North American relative.
P. gracilis Engelm. & Gray. PRAIRIE CHERRY.
Texas and Indian Territory.
This species is cultivated by the pioneers.
P. ilicifolia Walp. EVERGREEN CHERRY. ISLAY. MOUNTAIN
HOLLY. WILD CHERRY.
An evergreen of southern California.
The fruit of this Prunus is
yellowish-pink when ripe, with a pulpy external portion scarcely
exceeding a line in thickness. Though the fruit has a pleasant taste,
Parry says it would scarcely be considered worth eating in a country
which was less destitute of wild fruits.
P. incisa Thunb.
The fruits are eaten.
P. insititia Linn. BULLACE. DAMSON.
Europe, Asia Minor and Himalayas.
This plum is found wild in the
Caucasus and throughout Europe. The fruit is globular, black or white,
of an acid taste but not unpleasant, especially when mellowed by frost;
it makes a good conserve. A variety with yellow fruit is sold in the
London markets under the name of the White Damson, according to
Thompson. From this species has come the cultivated damson plums.
The damson plum, says Targioni-Tozzetti, was introduced from the
East since the day of Cato, who was born 232 B, C. The damson plum
was brought into Europe, according to Michaud, by the Duke of Anjou,
in the fifth crusade, 1198-1204, from a visit to Jerusalem.
P. japonica Thunb. JAPANESE PLUM.
Japan and China.
This plum is much grown in Japan for ornament and
for fruit. The plum has a sweet and agreeable flavor.
P. jenkinsii Hook. f.
This Prunus thrives and bears fruit at Gowhatty, India. The
fruit is only eatable in tarts or preserved in brandy.
P. laurocerasus Linn. Rosaceae. CHERRY LAUREL.
The cherry laurel is mentioned by Gerarde in 1597 as a choice
garden shrub in England. The water distilled from the leaves has been
used extensively for flavoring puddings and creams. Sweetmeats and
custards flavored with leaves of this plant have occasionally proved fatal
on account of the prussic acid, yet they seem to be sometimes used.
P. maritima Wangenh. BEACH PLUM.
Eastern North America.
The beach plum forms a low bush or small tree
on the sea-coast extending from Maine to the Gulf; it seldom ripens its
fruit in the interior. This is probably one of the plums mentioned by
Edward Winslow, 1621, and by Rev. Francis Higginson, 1629. The fruit
is from a half-inch to an inch in diameter, varies from crimson to purple
and is agreeable to eat. It is preserved in considerable quantities in
Massachusetts. Downing says the plum is red or purple, covered with
a bloom, pleasant but somewhat astringent.
P. mume Sieb. & Zucc. JAPANESE APRICOT.
The fruit is hard and sour and as a rule is eaten salted or dried.
It is also made into vinegar. This species is cultivated chiefly on account
of its blossoms. In China, the blossoms are used for scenting tea.
P. padus Linn. BIRD CHERRY. HAGBERRY.
Europe and northern Asia.
The fruit is sour, with a slight mawkish,
astringent flavor but is much eaten by the Hill People of India. In
Sweden and Lapland and some parts of Russia, the bruised fruit is
fermented and a spirit is distilled from it. Lightfoot says the black fruit,
of the size of grapes, of a nauseous taste, is eaten in Sweden and
Kamchatka and is used in brandy in Scotland. The hagberry of
Scotland is said by Macgillivray to be small, round, black, harsh and
nauseous. De Candolle says a variety occurs with yellow fruit.
P. paniculata Thunb.
This is the Yung-fo of China but cultivated there only for
ornament at Canton, where it rarely fruits. This species was introduced
into England in 1819. The cherries are said by Knight to be middlesized,
reddish-amber in color, very sweet, juicy and excellent. Smith
says, in China, its fruit is preserved as a sweetmeat with honey.
P. pennsylvanica Linn. f. BIRD CHERRY. PIN CHERRY. WILD
Eastern North America.
Vasey n says the fruit is sour and unpleasant;
Pursh, that it is agreeable to eat; Wood, that it is red and acid.
P. persica Stokes. PEACH.
The peach was known to Theophrastus, 322 B. C., who speaks
of it as a fruit of Persia, but Xenophon, 401 B. C., makes no mention of
the peach. The Hebrew books are also without mention and there
seems to be no Sanscrit name. The peach seems to have reached
Europe at about the commencement of the Christian era. Dioscorides,
who flourished about 60 A. D., speaks of the peach, and Pliny, A. D. 79,
expressly states that it was imported by the Romans from Persia not
long before. He also adds that this tree was brought from Egypt to the
Isle of Rhodes, where it could never be made to produce fruit, and
thence to Italy. He says it was not then a common fruit in Greece. At
this time, from two to five varieties alone were known and the nectarine
was unknown. No mention is made of the peach by Cato, 201 B. C., and
Columella, 42 A. D., speaks of it as being cultivated in France. In China,
De Candolle says its culture dates to a remote antiquity and the
Chinese have a multitude of superstitious ideas and legends about the
Properties of the different varieties, whose number is very large. He also
says the peach is mentioned in the books of Confucius, fifth century
before Christ, and it is represented in sculpture and on porcelain.
Brandis says the cultivation of the peach in China has been traced back
to the tenth century, B. C.
The peach is raised with such facility from the stone that its diffusion
along routes of communication must necessarily have been very rapid.
If its origin is to be ascribed to China, the stones may have been carried
with the caravans into Kashmir or Bokhara and Persia between the time
of the Sanscrit emigration and the intercourse of the Persians with the
Greeks. It is quite possible that the long delay in its diffusion was
caused by the inferior quality of the peach in its first deviation over that
which it possesses at present. The peach was introduced from China
into Cochin China and Japan. Mclntosh says it reached England about
the middle of the sixteenth century, probably from France. Peach stones
were among the seeds ordered by the Governor and Company for the
Massachusetts Bay Colony in New England in 1629. About 1683,
Stacy, writing from New Jersey, said "we have peaches by cart loads." A
Description of New Albion, 1648, records, "Peaches better than
apricocks by some doe feed Hogs, one man hath ten thousand trees."
Hilton says of Florida, 1664, "The country abounds with Grapes, large
Figs, and Peaches." William Penn, in a letter dated Aug. 16, 1683, says
of Philadelphia, "There are also very good peaches, and in great
quantities; not an Indian plantation without them . . . not inferior to any
peach you have in England, except the Newington." Beverly mentions
the peach as growing abundantly in Virginia in 1720. Colden mentions
the peach trees killed by frost in New York in 1737. At Easton,
Maryland, Peach Blossom Plantation was established about 1735.
So abundantly distributed had peaches become in the middle of the
eighteenth century, that Bartram looked upon them as an original
American fruit and as growing wild in the greater part of America. Du
Pratz, 1758, says: "The natives had doubtless got the peach trees and
fig trees from the English colony of Carolina, before the French
established themselves in Louisiana. The peaches are of the kind we call
Alberges, are of the size of the fist, adhere to the stone and are very
juicy." In 1799, the peach trees of the Mogul Indians of New Mexico and
Sonora yielded abundantly. In 1649, Norwood, in his Voyage to
Virginia, found peach trees in fruit at Fayal. The peach is also
abundantly distributed in South America. Darwin writes that the
islands near the mouth of the Parana are thickly clothed with peach
and orange trees, springing from seeds carried there by the waters of
The nectarine is a peach having a smooth skin. Darwin gives a number
of instances where peach trees have produced nectarines and even
nectarines and peaches on the same tree. A still more curious case is
also given where a nectarine tree produced a fruit half peach, half
nectarine and subsequently perfect peaches. Nectarines usually
reproduce themselves from seed and always possess their own peculiar
flavor and are smooth and small. The varieties run in parallel lines with
the peach. The nectarine was unknown at the commencement of the
Christian era. The first mention is by Cieza de Leon, who, in 1532-50,
described the Caymito of Peru as "large as a nectarine." The nectarine is
now found in gardens in Europe and America in numerous varieties. It
is mentioned by Beverley n as growing abundantly in Virginia in 1720.
Downing describes 19 varieties and mentions others. According to
Brandis, the nectarine is found in gardens in northern India, where it is
called skuftaloo and moondia aroo, smooth peach, probably
introduced from Kabul.
P. prostrata Labill.
Mediterranean regions and the Orient.
The fruit is eaten.
P. puddum Roxb.
The fruit is acid and astringent, not much eaten or
valued. Royle says it is not edible but is employed for making a wellflavored
P. pumila Linn. DWARF CHERRY. SAND CHERRY.
Northern United States.
The fruit is small, dark red and eatable. In the
Indian Territory, every Indian goes to the plum ground in the season to
collect the fruit, which is dried and preserved. From Lake Superior to
Elk River on the 57th parallel, Richardson found what he took to be
this species with very sweet fruit.
P. rivularis Scheele. CREEK PLUM.
This is a small shrub, not uncommon on the Colorado and its
tributaries, bearing excellent, red plums in August and September.
P. serotina Ehrh. RUM CHERRY. WILD BLACK CHERRY.
In Mexico, this cherry is called capuli. Burbridge says
the succulent fruit resembles apricots and is sold in Mexican markets
under the name of capulinos.
P. sibirica Linn.
The fruit is small, sour or acid, and contains a bitter kernel.
P. simonii Carr. APRICOT PLUM. SIMON PLUM.
This plum was introduced into America from France. The fruit,
though large, handsome and of firm flesh, has little merit.
P. sphaerocarpa Sw.
From the seeds, cherry, plum and damson wine is
P. spinosa Linn. BLACKTHORN. SLOE.
Europe, north Africa, the Orient and now naturalized in the United
States. The fruit is like a small plum, nearly glabrous, black, covered
with a bluish bloom and has a very austere taste. The fruit is eaten in
some districts of northern Europe and with sugar makes a very good
conserve. The leaves are used to adulterate tea. The juice of the ripe
fruit is said to enter largely into the manufacture of the cheaper kinds of
Port wine. In France, the unripe fruit is pickled, as a substitute for
olives, and, in Germany and Russia, the fruit is crushed, fermented with
water and a spirit is distilled from it.
P. subcordata Benth. PACIFIC PLUM.
The fruit is large, pleasantly acid and excellent; it is gathered
in considerable quantities by both Indians and Whites.
P. tomentosa Thunb.
This species is a bush or very small tree. The fruit ripens
early in the summer, is of cherry size and of good quality. The unripe
fruit is also pickled or boiled in honey and is served as a delicacy.
P. triflora Roxb. JAPANESE PLUM. TRIFLORA PLUM.
Burma, China and Japan.
This plant is now common in the gardens of
India. It is cultivated in China, Japan and now in Europe and America.
P. umbellata Ell. SLOE OF THE SOUTH.
A small tree from Georgia to Florida.
The fruit is pleasantly acid and is
employed in preserves.
P. ursina Kotschy. BEAR PLUM.
This plum bears sweet, pleasant fruit, the size of a damson and
serves as food.
P. virginiana Linn. CHOKE CHERRY.
A tall shrub of North America, seldom a tree, the fruit of which is very
austere and astringent until perfectly ripe. The fruit differs much on
different plants, being sometimes very austere, sometimes very juicy
and pleasant with little astringency. Wood, in his New England's
Prospects, mentions choke cherries and says they are very austere and
as yet "as wilde as the Indians." Tytler says the fruit is not very edible
but forms a desirable addition to pemmican when dried and bruised.
The fruit is now much used by the Indians of the West, and the bark is
made into a tea and drunk by some of them. The purplish-black or red
fruit is sweet and edible but is somewhat astringent.