Malva-Mammillaria (Sturtevant, 1919)

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Sturtevant, Notes on edible plants, 1919
Malva-Mammillaria (Sturtevant, 1919)

Malva rotundifolia Linn.

Malvaceae. MALLOW.

Europe and neighboring Asia. In Egypt, especially upon the banks of the Nile, the mallow is extensively cultivated and is used as a potherb by the natives. This plant reached northeast America before 1669 and it is mentioned by Josselyn. It is now naturalized in waste places and in cultivated grounds. The mallow was formerly among the culinary herbs but is used now only in infusion or decoction in medicine on account of its mucilaginous properties. Unger says Pythagoras thought much of this plant as a spinach and among the Greeks, as well as among the Romans, it was at one time much esteemed. Mallow and Asphodell were raised at Delos for the temple of Apollo, as a symbol of the first nourishment of man. It was known to Camerarius, 1588, and was known only to Dodonaeus, 1616, as a cultivated plant. At the present day, the young shoots are used as a salad in southern France and Italy.

Malva sylvestris Linn.


Europe and temperate Asia. This mallow is sometimes cultivated in our gardens and, on account of its mucilaginous properties, finds use as a demulcent in medicine. It is a native of Europe and has become naturalized in this country. Johnson says the foliage, when boiled, forms a very wholesome vegetable, and the flat seeds are eaten by country people.

Malva verticillata Linn.


Europe, Asia and northern Africa. This plant is used in China as a vegetable.

Mammea americana Linn.


American tropics. This fine tree of the Antilles is cultivated for its fruit there, as well as in some parts of tropical Africa and Asia. The fruit often attains the size of a child's head and is of a yellow color. The outer rind and the pulp which immediately surrounds the seeds are very bitter, but the intermediate flesh is sweet and aromatic and is eaten, cut into slices and steeped in wine or made into preserves of various kinds.

Mammillaria fissurata Engelm.

Cactaceae. DRY WHISKEY.

Mexico. This plant is sometimes called dry whiskey from the fact that when chewed it produces more or less intoxication.

Mammillaria meiacantha Engelm.

Texas. The oblong, scarlet berries are very good to eat.

Mammillaria simplex Haw.

Tropical America. linger says its berries are edible. This species yields a milky juice that is sweet and wholesome.

Mammillaria vivipara Haw.

Upper Louisiana. The flowers are large and red; the fruit is the size of a grape, green and edible.