Pangium-Parietaria (Sturtevant, 1919)

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Sturtevant, Notes on edible plants, 1919
Pangium-Parietaria (Sturtevant, 1919)

Pangium edule Reinw.


Java. The bark is used for poisoning fish, and the nuts, when macerated in water, are rendered partially wholesome but are used only as a condiment.

Panicum colonum Linn.

Gramineae. MILLET.

Tropics. This millet grows wild in parts of India in sufficient plenty to be collected in times of scarcity to be employed as food.

Panicum decompositum R. Br.


East Indies and Australia. The aborigines convert the small, millet-like grains into cakes.

Panicum miliaceum Linn.


Tropics. This species was cultivated in southern Europe in the time of Hippocrates and Theophrastus and was known to the Romans in the time of Julius Caesar. It is the kegchros of Strabo, who states that it thrives excellently in Gaul and is the best protection against famine. It is described by Pliny as constituting the principal food of the Sarmatians, who say that the Ethiopians know of no other grain but millet and barley. It is also mentioned by Hesiod and is referred to as cultivated in Italy by Columella and Virgil. In the embassy of Theodosius to Attila, 448-9 A. D., beyond the Danube, millet was brought the party as provisions, and Johann Schultberger, 1396-1427, speaks of millet as the only grain crop of Siberia and at Zepun on the Black Sea. In France, this millet is cultivated at the present time almost exclusively for forage; in Germany for the grain and also for fodder; in England it is unknown as an agricultural crop. It is cultivated largely in southern and western Asia, in northeastern Africa and to some extent in Italy and in Spain. It appears to be but little known as an agricultural crop in America. Jared Elliot, 1747, speaks of seed being sent him under the name of East India wheat, but he says it was a millet, with small grain, the bigness of a turnip or cabbage seed and of a yellowish color. In 1822 and 1823, there are records of large crops of seed and hay grown in this country under the name of millet, but these may have been of other species than this. There are many varieties grown. Some 30 kinds are given for Ceylon. At the Madras exhibition of 1857, seven kinds were shown.

Panicum pilosum Sw.

South America. This grain is cultivated in India as a bread corn, under the name bhadlee.

Panicum sanguinale Linn.


Cosmopolitan. This grain grows in abundance in Poland where it is sometimes cultivated for its seed and is in cultivation in waste ground in America, naturalized from Europe. In Europe, the small-hulled fruit furnishes a wholesome and palatable nourishment called manna grit. This is the common crab grass, or finger grass, of America.

Papaver nudicaule Linn.

Papaveraceae. ARCTIC POPPY.

This poppy was found by Kane at all the stations on his two voyages to the Arctic seas and it extends probably, he says, to the furthest limit of vegetation. The leaves, and especially the seeds, which are very oleaginous, are a great resort in scorbutic affections and very agreeable to the taste. Pursh gives its habitat as Labrador.

Papaver orientale Linn.


Asia Minor and Persia. This species was observed in the fields about Erzerum, Armenia. This is a very fine species of poppy which the Turks and Armenians call aphion as they do the common opium. They do not extract the opium from this kind but eat the heads as a delicacy when they are green, though very acrid and of a hot taste.

Papaver rhoeas Linn.


Europe, the Orient and north Africa. On the continent of Europe, this poppy is cultivated as an oil plant, the oil being esteemed next to that of the olive. The plant is in French flower gardens.

Papaver somniferum Linn.


Greece and the Orient. There are several varieties of the opium poppy, of which the two most prominent are called white and black from the color of their seeds. The opium poppy is a native of the Mediterranean region but is at present cultivated in India, Persia, Asiatic Turkey and occasionally, by way of experiment, in the United States, for the purpose of procuring opium. It is grown in northern France and the south of Germany for its seeds. This poppy is supposed to have been cultivated by the ancient Greeks and is mentioned by Homer as a garden plant. Galen speaks of the seeds as good to season bread and says the white are better than the black. The Persians sprinkle the seeds of poppies over their rice, and the seeds are used in India as a food and a sweetmeat. The seeds are also eaten, says Masters, in Greece, Poland and elsewhere. In France, the seeds are made to yield by expression a bland oil, which is used as a substitute for olive oil. In Sikkim, Edgeworth remarks, the seeds afford oil as well as an agreeable food, remarkably refreshing during fatigue and abstinence. Carpenter says the peasants of Languedoc employ young poppies as food. The Chinese drink, smoke or chew opium to produce intoxication, and this depraved use has extended more or less to other countries.

Pappea capensis Eckl. & Zeyh.

Sapindaceae. WILD PLUM.

South Africa. The fruit is edible. A vinous beverage and a vinegar are prepared from it, and an edible, though slightly purgative, oil is expressed from its seeds. Mueller says the fruit is the size of a cherry, savory and edible.

Parietaria officinalis Linn.

Urticaceae. PELLITORY.

Southern Europe and the Orient. This plant is mentioned by Theophrastus as cooked and eaten.