Bridelia (Sturtevant, 1919)

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Sturtevant, Edible plants of the world, 1919
Bridelia (Sturtevant, 1919)

Bridelia retusa Spreng. Euphorbiaceae.

A tree of eastern Asia. The fruit is sweetish and eatable.

Brodiaea grandiflora Sm. Liliaceae. CALIFORNIAN HYACINTH.

Northwestern America. Its fruit is eaten by the Indians. In France, it is grown in the flower garden.

Bromelia Sp. Bromeliaceae.

In the Malay Archipelago, Wallacel left two men for a month, by accident, on an island near Oeram, who "subsisted on the roots and tender flower-stalks of a species of Bromelia, on shell fish and on a few turtle's eggs."

Brosimum alicastrum Sw. Urticaceae. ALICASTRUM SNAKEWOOD. BREADNUT.

American tropics. The fruit, boiled with salt-fish, pork, beef or pickle, has frequently been the support of the negro and poorer sorts of white people in times of scarcity and has proved a wholesome and not unpleasant food.

Brosimum galactodendron D. Don. COW-TREE. MILK-TREE.

Guiana; the polo de vaca, arbol de lecke, or cow-tree of Venezuela. Humboldt says "On the barren flank of a rock grows a tree with coriaceous and dry leaves. Its large, woody roots can scarcely penetrate into the stone. For several months of the year not a single shower moistens its foliage. Its branches appear dead and dried; but when the trunk is pierced there flows from it a sweet and nourishing milk. It is at the rising of the sun that this vegetable fountain is most abundant. The negroes and natives are then seen hastening from all quarters, furnished with large bowls to receive the milk which grows yellow and thickens at its surface. Some empty their bowls under the tree itself, others carry the juice home to their children." This tree seems to have been noticed first by Laet in 1633, in the province of Camana. The plant, according to Desvaux, is one of the polo de vaca or cow-trees of South America. From incisions in the bark, milky sap is procured, which is drunk by the inhabitants as a milk. Its use is accompanied by a sensation of astringency in the lips and palate. This cow-tree is grown in Ceylon and India, for Brandis says it yields large quantities of thick, gluey milk without any acridity, that it is drunk extensively, and that it is very wholesome and nourishing.

Broussonetia papyrifera Vent. Urticaceae. PAPER MULBERRY. TAPA-CLOTH TREE.

A tree of the islands of the Pacific, China and Japan. It is cultivated for the inner bark which is used for making a paper as well as textile fabrics. The fleshy part of the compound fruit is saccharine and edible.

Bruguiera gymnorrhiza Lam. Rhizophoreae.

Muddy tropical shores from Hindustan to the Samoan Islands. Its fruit, leaves and bark are eaten by the natives in the Malayan Archipelago.8\

Bryonia alba Linn. Cucurbitaceae. WHITE BRYONY.

West Mediterranean countries. Loudon says the young shoots are edible.

Bryonia dioica Jacq. RED BRYONY. WILD HOP.

Europe and adjoining Asia. Loudon says the young shoots of red bryony are edible. Masters says that the plant has a fetid odor and possesses acrid, emetic and pungent properties.

Buchanania lancifolia Roxb. Anacardiaceae. CHEEROJEE-OIL PLANT.

East Indies and Burma. The tender, unripe fruit is eaten by the natives in their curries.

Buchanania latifolia Roxb. Tropical India and Burma. The fruit, says Brandis, has a pleasant, sweetish, sub-acid flavor and is an important article of food of the hill tribes of central India. The kernel of the seed tastes somewhat like the pistachio nut and is used largely in native sweetmeats. Drury says these kernels are a general substitute for almonds among the natives and are much esteemed in confectionery or are roasted and eaten with milk.

Bumelia lanuginosa Pers. Sapotaceae. FALSE BUCKTHORN.

North America. This is a low bush of southern United States which, according to Nuttall, bears an edible fruit as large as a small date.

Bumelia reclinata Vent. WESTERN BUCKTHORN.

Southwestern United States. In California, Torrey says the fruit is sweet and edible and nearly three-quarters of an inch long.

Bunias erucago Linn. Cruciferae.

Mediterranean countries. In Italy, Unger says this species serves as a salad for the poor.

Bunias orientalis Linn. HILL MUSTARD. TURKISH ROCKET.

Eastern Europe and Asia Minor. This plant is called dikaia retka on the Lower Volga. Its stems are eaten raw. This rocket was cultivated in 1739 by Philip Miller in the Botanic Garden of Chelsea and was first introduced into field culture in England as a forage plant, by Arthur Young. The young leaves are recommended by Vilmorin either as a salad or boiled.

Bupleurum falcatum Linn. Umbelliferae. HARE'S EAR.

Europe, Orient, Northern Asia and Himalayan region. The leaves are used for food in China and Japan.

Bupleurum octoradiatum Bunge.

Northern China. In China, the tender shoots of this apparently foreign plant are edible.

Bupleurum rotundifolium Linn.


Europe, Caucasus region and Persia. “Hippocrates hath commended it in meats for salads and potherbs."

Burasaia madagascariensis DC.


Madagascar. This plant has edible fruit.

Bursera gummifera Linn.


American tropics. An infusion of the leaves is occasionally used as a domestic substitute for tea.

Bursera icicariba Baill.

Brazil. The tree is said to have edible, aromatic fruit. It yields the elemi of Brazil.

Bursera javanica Baill.

Java. This plant is the tingulong of the Javanese, who eat the leaves and fruit.

Butomus umbellatus Linn.


Europe and adjoining Asia. Unger says, in Norway, the rhizomes serve as material for a bread. Johns says, in the north of Asia, the root is roasted and eaten. Lindley says the rhizomes are acrid and bitter, as well as the seeds but are eaten among the savages. In France, it is grown in flower gardens as an aquatic.

Butyrospermum parkii Kotschy.


Tropical west Africa. Shea, or galam, butter is obtained from the kernel of the fruit and serves the natives as a substitute for butter. This butter is highly commended by Park. The tree is called meepampa in equatorial Africa.

Buxus sempervirens Linn.

Euphorbiaceae. BOX.

Europe, Orient and temperate Asia. In France and some other parts of the continent, the leaves of the box have been. used as a substitute for hops in beer, but Johnson says they cannot be wholesome and would probably prove very injurious.

Byrsonima crassifolia H. B. & K.


A small tree of New Granada and Panama. The small, acid berries are eaten.

Byrsonima spicata Rich.


Tropical America. The yellow, acid berries are good eating but astringent.