Ptelea trifoliata Linn. Rutaceae. HOP TREE. SHRUBBY TREFOIL.
Eastern United States.
The fruit, a winged seed, is bitter and has been
used as a substitute for hops.
Pteris aquilina Linn. Polypodiaceae (Pteridaceae). BRACKEN.
The rhizomes, says Lindley, have been used as a
substitute for hops and furnish a wretched bread. Pickering says it is
enumerated by Epicharnus as edible. Lightfoot says the people of
Normandy have sometimes been compelled to subsist on bread made of
brake roots. In 1683, says Lacombe, such was the destitution in some
districts of France that the Abbe Grandel writes "some of the
inhabitants are living upon bread made of ferns;" and in 1745 the Duke
of Orleans, giving Louis XV a piece of bread made of fern, said, "Sire,
this is what your subjects live upon." In Siberia, says Johnson, the
rhizomes are employed with about two-thirds their weight of malt for
brewing a kind of beer. The brake is enumerated by Thunberg among
the edible plants of Japan, and Bohmer says the young shoots are
much prized by the Japanese. The fronds are gathered when still
undeveloped and used in soups. The roots serve the inhabitants of
Palma and Gomera for food, as Humboldt states; they grind them to
Powder, mix with barley meal and this composition, when boiled, is
called gofio. In 1405, Betancon found the people of the Canaries in
Ferro living on fern roots, " as for grain they had none; their bread was
made of fern roots;" it was the only edible root of Palma when
Europeans first visited the island. Professor Brewer says that the
young, tender shoots are boiled by the California miners and eaten like
asparagus, being found mucilaginous and palatable. The fronds of the
brake are used as a potherb in New England. Everywhere in Vancouver
Island and the neighboring country, says R. Brown, the Indians gather
the roots and boil and eat them as food and they look upon them as a
P. esculenta. TARA FERN.
The root is universally eaten by the Maoris of New Zealand. To these
roots, the natives of New South Wales have resource whenever their
sweet potatoes or maize crops fail. In the Voyage of the Novara, these
roots are said to have formed the chief subsistence of the Maoris before
the introduction of the potato and to have been called raoras.
Pterocarya caucasica C. A. Mey. Juglandaceae.
The plant produces an edible nut.