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. BRAKE.
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 great luxury.
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.
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