Thapsia moniza Masf. Umbelliferae. CARROT TREE.
This plant can be gathered, says Black, only by expert
cragsmen let down the cliffs by ropes. The roots are eaten raw or boiled,
when raw tasting like earth-nuts, and stringy and insipid when boiled.
It is called the carrot tree, says Mueller, but the root is inferior to a
Theligonum cynocrambe Linn. Urticaceae (Theligoniaceae).
Orient, East Indies and Mediterranean countries.
This plant, says
Syme, is sub-acid and slightly purgative but is sometimes used as a
Theobroma bicolor Humb. & Bonpl. Sterculiaceae. CACAO.
This species replaces the cacao in part in the West Indies
and South America and the seeds are brought into commerce.
T. cacao Linn. CACAO. COCOA.
This is the best-known species of the genus and the
bulk of the cacao, or cocoa, of commerce is produced by it. It is largely
cultivated in Guayaquil, Venezuela, Trinidad, Grenada, Jamaica and
elsewhere in tropical America. Cacao is also grown as an introduced
plant in the Mauritius and Bourbon. The fruit is an oblong-ovate
capsule or berry, six or eight inches in length, with a thick, coriaceous
and somewhat ligneous rind, enclosing a whitish pulp in which
numerous seeds are embedded. These are ovate, somewhat
compressed, about the size of an almond and consist of an interior thin
shell and a brown, oily kernel. Separated from the matter in which they
are enveloped, they constitute the cacao of commerce. Chocolate and
cocoa are variously prepared from the nuts.
When Cortez was entertained at the court of the Aztec Emperor,
Montezuma, he was treated to a sweet preparation of the cocoa, called
chocollatl, flavored with vanilla, and other aromatic spices. Cacao was
carried to Spain from Mexico, and the Spaniards kept the cacao secret
for many years, selling it very profitably as chocolate to the wealthy and
luxurious classes of Europe. Chocolate reached France, however, only
in 1661 and did not reach Britain until a few years later. It is now more
largely consumed in Spain than elsewhere in Europe. The European
consumption of chocolate is estimated at quite 40,000,000 pounds. In
the United States, the imports in 1880 were 7,411,045 pounds. Cacao
was cultivated by the nations of Central America before the arrival of
Europeans. The Nahua nations used the nibs, or grains, as circulating
medium instead of money. Stephens states that the nuts are still used
in Yucatan as currency, as of old, by the Indians. After maize, says
Landa, cacao was perhaps the crop to which the most attention was
paid. It was called cacaguat in Nicaragua and several species which
grew wild were also much used. In the month of Muan, the cacao
planters even held a festival in honor of their patron deities Ekohuah,
Chac and Hobnil. Humboldt states that he met with no tribe on the
Orinoco that prepared a beverage with the seeds of the cacao, but the
savages sucked the pulp of the pod and threw away the seeds. Hartt
says the cacao tree is quite extensively cultivated at Bahia but is not
often cultivated south of the Amazon. In Jamaica, Lunan rates the
average produce of cacao per acre at 1000 pounds, allowing for bad
years. It is called in Mexican cacautl.
T. guyanensis Voigt.
This species furnishes a portion of the cacao of the West Indies
and South America.
T. speciosa Willd.
In the West Indies, this species replaces cacao and its seeds enter
Theophrasta jussieui Lindl. Myrsineae (Theophrastaceae).
South America and Santo Domingo.
The fruit is succulent, and bread is
made from the seeds.
Thladiantha dubia Naud. Cucurbitaceae.
The fruit is oblong, very succulent and is eaten by the natives of
Thiaspi arvense Linn. Cruciferae. PENNY CRESS.
Europe and northern Asia.
This plant is classed as an edible cress by
Loudon. It is a cultivated vegetable.
Thrinax argentea Lodd. Palmae. BROOM PALM. SILVER
A palm of the West Indies and Panama.
The undeveloped leaves, or
cabbage, form an excellent vegetable.
Thuja gigantea (plicata) Nutt. Coniferae (Cupressaceae).
Western North America.
Nuttall says the cambium is used as food by
the Indians of Oregon.
T. occidentalis Linn. AMERICAN ARBOR VITAE. WHITE
North America and Siberia.
Thoreau, In the Maine Woods, says, "This
night we had a dish of arbor-vitae, or cedar tea, which the lumberman
sometimes uses when other herbs fail." He did not find it very palatable.
Thymus capitatus Hoffmgg. & Link. Labiatae. HEADED
The Levant; introduced into Britain in 1596.
This plant is used as
savory for seasoning. This species is omitted from our most modem
books on gardening, although recorded in American gardens as late as
1863. It is mentioned as under culture in many of the early works on
botany and gardening.
T. serpyllum Linn. LEMON THYME. WILD THYME.
Europe and sparingly naturalized in some localities in northeastern
America. In 1726, Townsend speaks of it in English gardens but not as
a potherb. It is placed among American potherbs by McMahon, 1806.
At the present time, lemon thyme is occasionally used for seasoning in
England. In Iceland, it is used to give an agreeable flavor to sour milk.
The odor of the leaves is quite agreeable, and they are thought to be a
desirable seasoning for veal. Don says the flavor of the leaves is milder
and more grateful than those of T. vulgaris.
T. vulgaris Linn. THYME.
Southern countries of Europe but long cultivated in more northern
countries. In English culture, thyme is recorded about 1548 and is
mentioned by Gerarde, 1597, and succeeding authors. It succeeds as
an annual even in Iceland and is recorded as grown in the tropical
gardens of the Mauritius. Three varieties are known: the narrow-leaved,
Thymus vulgaris, tenuiore folio of Bauhin, 1596; the broad-leaved,
Thymus vulgaris, latiore folio of Bahuin, 1596; and the variegated,
Thymus varie goto folio of Tournefort and also mentioned by Bauhin,
1623. Thyme was known in American gardens in 1806 or earlier. The
broad-leaved kind is the one now principally grown in the herb garden
for use in seasonings.