Luffa-Lycium (Sturtevant, 1919)

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Sturtevant, Edible plants of the world, 1919
Luffa-Lycium (Sturtevant, 1919)

Luffa acutangula Roxb.

Cucurbitaceae. STRAINER VINE.

Old World tropics. This plant is cultivated in India for food purposes and is said by Drury to be one of the best of the native vegetables and to be much used in curries. Roxburgh says that, when the fruit is boiled and dressed with butter, pepper and salt, it is little inferior to green peas. This club-shaped gourd, about 10 or 12 inches long, is eaten boiled or pickled, but the taste is insipid, says Don. This is the papengaye of the negroes of Africa, says Oliver, and presents bitter and poisonous, as well as edible varieties.

Luffa aegyptiaca Mill.


Old World tropics. This species is cultivated for its fruit throughout tropical Africa. It is the sooly-qua of the Chinese, a club-shaped, wrinkled gourd, said to be eaten. It is cultivated for food purposes in India, where it is called ghia. It is considered by the natives of Burma a delicious vegetable. The interior, netted fibers, under the name loof, are used in Turkish baths for fleshrubbers. The plant is grown as a curiosity in American gardens.

Lunaria annua Linn.


Europe. "The seed of the bolbonac is a temperature hot and dry and sharpe of taste and is like in taste and force to the seed of treacle mustard, the roots likewise are somewhat of a biting quality but not much: they are eaten with sallads as certain other roots are."

Lupinus albus Linn.


Mediterranean region. This plant has been cultivated since the days of the ancient Egyptians. It was cultivated by the Romans as a legume but does not seem to have entered the Rhine regions until the sixteenth century. Theophrastus speaks of lupine in his History of Plants and it is also mentioned by Cato, Columella and Pliny. It is now extensively cultivated in Sicily, Italy and some other countries as a plant for green manuring and for the seeds, which, when boiled to remove their bitterness, are still an article of food in some regions. In 1854, seeds were distributed from the United States Patent Office.

Lupinus hirsutus Linn.


Mediterranean regions. This plant was cultivated by the Greeks under the name thermos and serves now as food for the poorer classes of people, as it did the Cynics. The Mainots, at the present day, bake bread from the seeds. It now grows wild throughout the whole of the Mediterranean region from Portugal and Algiers to the Greek islands and Constantinople.

Lupinus littoralis Dougl.

Northwest America. The tough, branching roots are used by the Columbia River Indians as winter food, being dried. When eaten they are roasted and become farinaceous. Tytler says these are the licorice spoken of by Lewis and Clarke. The native name is comnuchtan.

Lupinus luteus Linn.


Mediterranean region. The seeds of this plant constitute a nutritious article of food for man. It is cultivated in Italy.

Lupinus perennis Linn.


Eastern North America. linger says its bitter seeds are eaten from Canada to Florida.

Lupinus termis Forsk.

East Mediterranean countries. This plant is cultivated in Italy and in Egypt for its seeds, which are cooked in salt water and shelled. The peduncles, after being pickled, are eaten without cooking.

Lycium europaeum Linn.

Solanaceae. BOX THORN.

Mediterranean regions and the Orient. This thorny shrub is used as a hedge plant in Tuscany and Spain, and the young shoots are employed as a vegetable. The globose berry, yellow or red and one-sixth of an inch in diameter, is sweet and without flavor but is eaten in India.

Lycium ruthenicum Murr.


Orient. The small, sweet and flavorless berry is eaten in India.