Trachycarpus fortune! H. Wendl. Palmae.
The clusters of young flower-buds are eaten in China in much
the same way as bamboo sprouts.
T. martianus H. Wendl.
The fruit is eaten, though the pulp is scanty and
Tragopogon crocifolius Linn. Compositae.
This species is enumerated by Pliny among
the esculent plants of Egypt, and Sprengel says the root is edible.
T. porrifolius Linn. OYSTER PLANT. SALSIFY. VEGETABLE
The roots are long, white and fleshy, tapering
like the parsnip but never attaining the same diameter. The roots are
used, boiled or fried, and the flavor is mild and sweetish and reminds
one of the oyster, whence its name oyster plant. Mclntosh says that,
when dressed as asparagus, there is some resemblance in taste and
that the flower-stalks, if cut in the spring of the second year before they
become hard, and dressed like asparagus, make an excellent dish. The
roots, says Burr, thinly sliced, are sometimes used as a salad.
In the thirteenth century, Albertus Magnus describes a wild plant,
Oculus porce or flos campi, which commentators identify with the
salsify, as having a delectable root, which is eaten, but he makes no
mention of cultivation. Salsify is described, but apparently not under
kitchen-garden culture, by Matthiolus in 1570 and 1598 9 but it is not
mentioned by him in 1558, when he refers to the yellow-flowered
species; there is no mention of salsify culture by Camerarius 1586, but,
in 1587, Dalechamp says it is planted in gardens. In 1597, Gerarde
describes it but apparently as an inmate of the flower garden. In 1612,
Le Jardinier Solitaire speaks of salsify as under kitchen-garden culture
in France; and Dodonaeus, 1616, J. Bauhin, 1651, and Ray, 1686,
refer to it as apparently cultivated. After this period its culture seems to
have been quite general as it is referred to in the works on gardening
beginning with Quintyne, 1693. McMahon, 1806, includes salsify
among American garden esculents, and, in 1822, John Lowell says,
"though it has been in our gardens for ten years, it has never been
extensively cultivated for the market."
T. pratensis Linn. GOAT'S BEARD.
Northwest India, Europe and the adjoining portions of Asia.
this species was cultivated in gardens in England, as mentioned by
Parkinson. Evelyn, in his Acetaria, mentions its cultivation, but this
vegetable has now given way to salsify. Light-foot mentions the use of
the roots, boiled, and of the spring shoots as greens.
Trapa bispinosa Roxb. Onagrarieae (Trapaceae). SINHARA
Old World tropics.
This species grows abundantly in the lakes about
Cashmere and at Wurler lake and is said to yield annually ten million
pounds of nuts. These are scooped up from the bottom of the lake in
small nets and constitute almost the only food of at least 30,000
persons for five months in the year. When extracted from the shell, they
are eaten raw, boiled, roasted, fried, or dressed in various ways after
being reduced to flour6 They are also eaten in Lahore.
T. cochinchinensis Lour.
The seeds are eaten as are those of the ling.
T. incisa Sieb. & Zucc.
This species is grown in Yezo and is largely used by the Ainus
and to some extent by the Japanese for food.
T. natans Linn. JESUIT NUT. LING. SALIGOT. TRAPA NUT.
WATER CALTROPS. WATER CHESTNUT.
Europe and eastern Asia.
The Thraceans, according to Pliny, baked
bread from the flour of the seeds, and the seeds are thus used even now
in some parts of southern Europe and, at Venice, are sold under the
name of Jesuit nuts. Grant found trapa nuts on the Victoria Nyanza in
Africa, and the Waganda use the four-pronged nuts for food. It is
enumerated by Thunberg among the edible plants of Japan.
Introduced into America, trapa is said to have become naturalized in
the waters of the Concord River, Massachusetts. This water plant is
extensively cultivated in China and furnishes, in its strangely-shaped
fruits, a staple article of nutriment. It has run into several varieties.
Williams says its cultivation is in running water and the nuts are
collected in autumn by people in punts or tubs, who look for the ripe
ones as they pull themselves through the vines over the surface of the
patch. The dried nuts are often ground into a sort of arrowroot flour.
The taste of the fresh boiled nuts is like that of new cheese.
Treculia africana Decne. Urticaceae (Moraceae). BREADFRUIT
A tropical African tree called okwa.
The nuts contain an edible embryo
and are collected by the negroes and ground into meal.
Trianthema portulacastrum Linn. Ficoideae (Aizoaceae).
Royle says this plant is used as a potherb in India. Wight
says the leaves are sometimes employed as a potherb. Ainslie says it is
eaten by the natives; Stewart, that it is a common weed eaten in the
Punjab in times of dearth but is apt to produce diarrhea and paralysis.
Tribulus terrestris Linn. Zygophylleae. LAND CALTROPS.
The unexpanded capsules, reduced to powder and formed into cakes,
served as food during a famine in Rajputana, India.
Trichosanthes anguina Linn. Cucurbitaceae. CLUB GOURD.
SERPENT CUCUMBER. SNAKE GOURD. VIPER'S GOURD.
The fruit of this plant is a large, greenish-white, club-shaped
gourd of the length of a man's arm and about four inches thick. The
fruit is eaten sliced and dressed in the manner of French beans. The
gourd is commonly cultivated about Bombay and is in very general
demand for vegetable curries in Burma. The seed appears in some of
the Prussian seed catalogs under the name of melonengurkin. In
Central America, it is called serpent cucumber or viper's gourd from the
remarkable, snake-like appearance of its fruits, which are frequently six
or more feet long, at first striped with different shades of green but
ultimately a bright, orange color.
T. cucumerina Linn.
Its seed appears for sale in the Erfurt seed catalogs. The
unripe fruit is very bitter but is eaten by the natives of India in their
T. dioica Roxb.
Firminger says this plant produces a small, oblong,
green gourd about four inches long and two broad; boiled, it affords
rather an insipid dish, yet it is found very acceptable from the season in
which it occurs. Dutt says it is extensively cultivated in Bengal, and that
the unripe fruit is much used by the natives as a vegetable and is the
most palatable one of the country. The tender tops are also used as a
Trifolium fucatum Lindl. Leguminosae.
Western North America.
Professor W. H. Brewer writes that this clover is
eaten by the Digger Indians of California.
T. involucratum Ortega. TREFOIL.
Western North America.
This clover is eaten by the Digger tribes.
T. pratense Linn. RED CLOVER.
Europe and temperate Asia.
Clover is among the most generally
cultivated fodder plants, but its use as a human food plant is unknown
to Europeans. Some of the clovers are eaten cooked or raw by the
Digger Indians of California and by the Apaches of Arizona. The former
tribe cooks it by placing layers of clover, well moistened, between hot
stones; it is consumed in large rations. The Apaches boil clover, young
grass, dandelions and pigweed together. Where clover is found growing
wild, the Indians practice a sort of semicultivation by irrigating it and
harvesting. Clover was introduced into America from Europe at an early
period as Bartram saw it before the American Revolution. In 1797,
Samuel Deane speaks of it as a plant highly valued in New England. In
Ireland, says Lightfoot, when food is scarce, the powdered flowers are
mixed with bread and eaten. As an agricultural plant, clover first
secured attention in England in 1635.
T. repens Linn. WHITE CLOVER.
Everywhere common in Europe and America.
Johnson says the flowers
and pods in time of famine in Ireland and Scotland have been ground
into powder and used as a food.
Trigonella caerulea Ser. Leguminosae.
Eastern Europe and Caucasian region.
In Switzerland, this plant is
called kraut curd-herb and is used to give odor and flavor to
schabzieger, or sapsago, cheese. The dried flowers are reduced to
powder and worked into a paste with the curd.
T. corniculata Linn.
South Europe and Asia Minor.
In Bengal, this plant serves as a
T. foenum-graecum Linn. FENUGREEK. HELBEH.
Europe and the Orient.
Fenugreek is cultivated in Morocco, in the
south of France near Montpelier, in Alsace, in a few places in
Switzerland, in, some provinces of the German and Austrian Empires,
as Thuringia and Moravia, and on a large scale in Egypt, where it is
known as helbeh. In Egypt, fenugreek is eaten crude and its sprouting
seeds are often mixed in a ragout with honey. Helbeh conserve, says
Pickering, was once an article of export, even to Britain, and to the
present day is employed by Arabs along the east African coast for childstealing.
At Rosetta, the seeds are used as a coffee. Fenugreek is a
favorite article of diet with the Parsees of India, says Pickering, It is
extensively cultivated in India, says Dutt, the seeds to be used as a
condiment and the aromatic leaves as a potherb. In 1859, seeds of
helbeh were introduced into the United States through the Patent Office
from Palestine, and they are now offered in our seed catalogs.
T. radiata Boiss.
Asia Minor and Persia.
In China the curved legumes were formerly
T. suavissima Lindl.
This species is mentioned by Mueller as a food plant of
Trilisa odoratissima Cass. Compositae. CAROLINA VANILLA.
Virginia and southward.
The leaves exhale the odor of vanilla when
bruised, and, in Florida, the plant has become in some degree an article
of commerce, being used by tobacconists for flavoring smoking tobacco.
Triosteum perfoliatum Linn. Caprifoliaceae. FEVER ROOT. WILD
Eastern North America.
Barton reports that Muhlenburg told him that
the dried and toasted berries were considered by some of the Germans
of Pennsylvania an excellent substitute for coffee.
Triphasia aurantiola Lour. Rutaceae. LIME BERRY.
A shrub of tropical Asia.
Loureiro says the berry is red, ovate, half the
size of a coffee bean, covered with a thin pellicle and contains a sweet,
clammy, inodorous, edible pulp. The berry, like an orange in miniature,
says Mason, is often found in Chinese preserves. Firminger says, in
India, the fruit is of the size of a large currant. It has a stone
surrounded by a small quantity of pulp, juicy and of an agreeable,
aniseed-like flavor. The plant is cultivated in the East and West Indies.
The fruits, says A. Smith, are about as large as hazelnuts and have a
red skin. When ripe they have an agreeable taste but, if gathered green,
they have a strong flavor of turpentine and the pulp is very sticky. They
are sometimes preserved whole in syrup and are occasionally sent to
Tripsacum dactyloides Linn. Gramineae. BUFFALO GRASS.
Central and North America.
Mueller says the seeds are available for
Triticum bicorne Forsk. Gramineae. SPELT.
Egypt and Syria.
The name spelt is given generally to all wheats in
which the grain adheres to the chaff. Spelt is little cultivated except in
the warmer districts of southeastern Europe and the African and Asiatic
shores of the Mediterranean. This appears to be botanically the same
species as the T. bicorne of Forskahl's Egyptian Flora.
T. dicoccum Schrank. EMMER. GERMAN WHEAT. TWO-GRAINED
Europe; of ancient cultivation and, according to Unger, the zeia
dipokpos of Dioscorides. Emmer is grown in southern Europe more
than in central Europe.
T. monococcum Linn. KUSSEMETH. LESSER SPELT. ONEGRAINED
Greece and Asia Minor.
This is the kussemeth of the Scriptures From it
the Syrians and Arabians make their bread. Its cultivation has not
extended to India, Egypt or Greece. In its wild state, says Bentham this
species has been described under the name of Crithodium aegilopoides.
The produce of lesser spelt is too small to be of any importance except
in very poor soils.
T. polonicum Linn. POLISH WHEAT.
Polish wheat is cultivated in the warmer regions of Europe.
T. spelta Linn. SPELT.
Some think this to be the grain called olura or zeia or zea by the
ancient Greeks. Spelt is at present cultivated to a small extent in
Europe. It was seen by Alexander the Great as a cultivated plant in his
campaign in Pontus. Its origin in Mesopotamia and Hamadam, in
Persia, is doubtful; especially as its cultivation in these countries
cannot be carried back to any very remote antiquity.
This is the species which includes all the true wheats, excepting the
spelts. It is said to have been found wild in various parts of Asia where
it is not likely to have escaped from cultivation. According to Grecian
fable, it was originally native on the plains of Enna and in Sicily, but it
is much more probable that it is a native of the plains about the
Isis was supposed to have introduced wheat into Egypt; Demeter, into
Greece; and the Emperor Chin-nong, into China about 3000 B. C.
Standing crops of bearded wheat are figured in Egypt under the Fourth
Dynasty, about 2440 B. C., at Gizeh, but nowhere on these nor on
subsequent monuments with the minute accuracy required for
distinguishing species. In Greece, Theophrastus mentioned eight
varieties and among the carbonized seeds exhumed by Dr. Schliemann
in Greece is a very hard, fine-grained, sharp wheat, very flat on the
furrowed side, which is said to differ from any wheat hitherto known. In
Europe, wheat was cultivated before the period of written history as
samples have been removed from the debris of the lacustrine
habitations in Switzerland which do not differ in size and form from our
varieties. Wheat is mentioned by Diodorus as growing wild in Sicily,
and ears of bearded wheat appear on most of the ancient Sicilian coins.
On two Leontine brass coins are figures of Ceres in addition to the
usual ears of corn.
In France, wheat was the most valued cereal in the eighth century as
shown by the maximum price fixed by an edict of Charlemagne wherein
oats were to be sold at one denier, barley at two deniers, rye at three
deniers and wheat at four deniers a bushel. It is probable, says C. W.
Johnson, that wheat was not cultivated by the early Britons for the
climate, owing to the immense preponderance of woods and undrained
soil, was so severe and wet that, in winter, they could attempt no
agricultural employments, and even when Bede wrote, early in the
eighth century, the Anglo-Saxons sowed their wheat in spring. Wheat
remained an article of comparative luxury until nearly the seventeenth
century. That the cultivation of wheat in England was unimportant in
the reign of Elizabeth, is attested by Tussar. Yet wheat was cultivated
by the Romans and is mentioned by Columella, Pliny, Cicero, Caesar
and many others.
In India, wheat seems not to be native but introduced, if we can trust to
the Sanscrit name, which, translated, is food of the Barbarians, but this
may mean that the center and south of India, too hot for wheatgrowing,
received their grain from the Hill Tribes of the north, where the
climate suited it. In the Bhavaprakasa, two types are mentioned, the
large-grained and small-grained, or beardless. The first variety is said
to come from the west, the second to be indigenous to middle India.
About 1330, in the wonders described by Friar Jordanus, it is said,
"wheaten bread is there not eaten by the natives, although wheat they
have in plenty. In China, according to Stanislas Julien, wheat was"
cultivated in the year 2822 B. C.
The first wheat raised in the New World was sown by Spaniards on the
Island of Isabela. The foundation of the wheat harvests of Mexico is said
to have been three or four grains, carefully preserved by a negro slave of
Cortez in 1530, which were found in some rice brought from Spain for
the use of the troops. In Quito, says Humboldt, the first wheat was
raised by a Franciscan monk in front of his convent. The first wheat
introduced into Peru was by a Spanish woman who took great pains to
disseminate it among the colonists, says Prescott, but no dates are
given. Garcilasso de la Vega affirms that, up to 1547, no wheaten bread
had been sold at Cusco, Peru. In 1542, John Alphonse, chief pilot to
Roberval, in speaking of the region about the present Montreal, says, "I
have told in one ear of corn 120 grains, like the corn of France and you
need not to sow your wheat until March and it will be ripe in the midst
of August." The first wheat grown in New England was that sown by
Gosnold, on the Elizabeth Islands, off the coast of Massachusetts,
which sprang up eight or nine inches in fourteen days. In 1604, on
the Island of St. Croix, near Calais, Maine, the French had some wheat
sown, which flourished freely, and, in 1606, wheat was sown by
L'Escarbot near the port of Port Royal, Annapolis Basin, Nova Scotia. In
1610, wheat was among the plants in Champlain's garden at Quebec.
In Virginia, the first wheat appears to have been sown in 1611; in 1626,
samples of wheat grown in the Dutch colony of New Netherlands were
taken to Holland for exhibit. In 1629, wheat was ordered by the
Plymouth Colony, from England, for seed. In 1718, wheat was
introduced into the Valley of the Mississippi by the Western Company.
In California, wheat is spoken of by Father Baegert, as flourishing,
1751-1768; and it was cultivated by the Pimas Indians of the Gila River
The northern, limit to the growing of wheat is 57� north in Britain, 64�
in, Norway, 60� in Russia and lower in Siberia. In North America, wheat
is raised with profit at Fort Liard, 60� north. The fine harvests of Egypt
and of Algiers, says Humboldt, as well as those of the valleys of Aragua
and Cuba, prove that the augmentation of heat is not prejudicial to the
harvests of wheat, unless it be attended with an excess of drought or
moisture. In the moist region on the slopes of the mountains of Mexico
and Xalapa, the luxuriance of the vegetation is such that wheat does
not form ears.
The varieties of wheat are almost endless, and their characteristics vary
widely under the influence of cultivation and climate. There are 180
distinct sorts in the museum of Cornell University; Darwin says Dalbret
cultivated during 30 years from 150 to 160 kinds; Colonel Le Conteur
possessed upwards of 150; and Philippar, 322 varieties. The summer
and winter kinds were classed by Linnaeus as distinct species but it
has been proved that the one can be converted into the other by
cultivation. Godron describes five species of wheat and De Candolle
four. Reports come from little-known regions of distinct kinds; in Japan
there is said to be a variety which cannot be forced to grow higher than
20 or 24 inches, though the length of the heads may increase. In
general, wheat is the most esteemed of the cereal productions but, so
far does habit govern, that in Abyssinia, according to Parkyns, the flour
of teff, or dagussa, scarcely palatable to Europeans, is preferred by the
natives to that of any other grain.
Tropaeolum edule Paxt. Geraniaceae (Tropaeolaceae).
Mr. Bridges, writing in the Journal of Botany, 1842, says the
roots are eaten in times of scarcity in Peru.
T. majus Linn. INDIAN CRESS. TALL NASTURTIUM.
The plant is grown more for ornament than for food purposes,
but the flowers and young leaves are frequently used to mix in salads,
and the seeds, gathered while young and green, are used for pickling
and as an excellent substitute for capers. "The seeds of this rare and
faire plant came first from the Indies into Spaine and those hot regions,
and from thence into France and Flanders, from whence I have received
seeds that hath borne with me both flowers and seeds," says Gerarde,
1597. We cannot agree with those authors who consider this the dwarf
form, as the figure given comes nearer to the tall, as it was figured by J.
Bauhin, in his works printed in 1651, with the name scandens, 33
years before its introduction by Linnaeus. Ray, 1686, speaks of its use
as a vegetable, and this use is also spoken of by Townsend, 1726. In
American gardens, this nasturtium was noticed by McMahon, 1806,
and by all the early garden writers as being the predominant kind in
culture. The synonymy is as follows:
Nasturtium Indicum. Cam.7cow-t.3i. 1588.
Nasturtium Indicum. Indiancresses.Ger.i96. 1597.
Nasturtium indicum folio peltato scandens. Bauh, J. 2:75. 1651.
Cardamindum ampliore folio and majore flore. Peuille, Peru. 3: t. 8.
T. minus Linn. DWARF NASTURTIUM.
The Dwarf nasturtium was first brought into Europe from Peru,
where it is a native. It reached England in 1596 and is described by
Gerarde as coming from the Indies into Spain and thence into France
and Flanders, whence he received seeds. The plant, like the tall
nasturtium, is grown principally as an ornament, but the flowers and
leaves and green fruit may be used in salads or for pickling. This
species seems to have been first known in Europe about 1574; was
described by Monardes; is figured by Lobel, 1576; and is generally
spoken of about this period as a new and rare plant. It was in the
vegetable garden in England in 1726, probably before, and is
mentioned in American gardens in 1806.
T. pentaphyllum Lam. FIVE-LEAVED NASTURTIUM.
Brazil and Chile.
This species furnishes an edible cress. It bears a threelobed,
sweet, fleshy, edible berry, black, juicy and not unlike in
appearance and flavor to the Zante, or currant, grape.
T. sessilifolium Poepp. & Endl.
Philippi says this is one of the most eligible of the species of this
genus for its tubers, which can be eaten even in a raw state.
T. tuberosum Ruiz & Pav. PERUVIAN NASTURTIUM.
Bolivia and Peru; long cultivated on the Peruvian Andes for its tuberous
roots. The tubers are called ysano, are yellow and red and about the
size of small pears. They are cooked and then frozen before being eaten;
the women of La Paz are very fond of this frozen dish.
Trophis americana Linn. Urticaceae (Moraceae). RAMOON
The berries, which are about the size of large grapes, have
a very pleasant flavor.