Testudinaria-Thlaspi (Sturtevant, 1919)

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Sturtevant, Notes on edible plants, 1919
Testudinaria-Thlaspi (Sturtevant, 1919)

Testudinaria elephantipes Salisb.


South Africa. This plant bears a bulb entirely above ground, which grows to an enormous size, frequently three feet in height and diameter. It is closely studded with angular, ligneous protuberances, which give it some resemblance to the shell of a tortoise. The inside is a fleshy substance, which may be compared to a turnip, both in substance and color. The taste is thought to resemble that of the yam of the East Indies.

Tetracera ainifolia Willd.

Dilleniaceae. WATER TREE.

Tropical Africa. The climbing stems of this tree yield a good supply of clear water when cut across.

Tetragonia expansa Murr.


New Zealand and Australia. This plant was first found by Sir Joseph Banks, in 1770, at Queen Charlotte Sound, New Zealand, and its merits were discovered by the sailors of Captain Cook's expedition around the world. It reached Kew Gardens in 1772. This spinach also occurs in Australia, both on the coast and in the desert interior, in New Caledonia, China, Japan and Chile. Don says three varieties are found in Chile: one with smooth leaves, one with leaves hoary beneath and a third small and glabrous. The plant was cultivated as a spinach plant in England in 1821 or earlier. It was in use in France in 1824 or earlier. In the United States, its seed was distributed among members of the New York Horticultural Society in 1827 and in 1828 it appeared in seed catalogs. St. Hilaire records its use as a spinach in south Brazil, and Bojer records it in the Mauritius. The plant is used as a spinach in Tongatabu but not in New Zealand.

Tetragonia implexicoma Hook. f.


Extra-tropic Australia, New Zealand and Chatham Island. As a spinach plant, this species is as valuable as T. expansa.

Tetramicra bicolor Rolfe.


Brazil. The fragrant fruit of this orchid has the odor of the Tonquin bean. It is sweeter than vanilla and is less penetrating.

Teucrium scorodonia Linn.


Europe. This is an extremely bitter plant with the smell and taste of hops and is said to be substituted for hops in ale in the Island of Jersey.

Thapsia moniza Masf.

Umbelliferae. CARROT TREE.

Canary Islands. This plant can be gathered, says Black, only by expert cragsmen let down the cliffs by ropes. The roots are eaten raw or boiled, when raw tasting like earth-nuts, and stringy and insipid when boiled. It is called the carrot tree, says Mueller, but the root is inferior to a carrot.

Theligonum cynocrambe Linn.

Urticaceae. DOG'S CABBAGE.

Orient, East Indies and Mediterranean countries. This plant, says Syme, is sub-acid and slightly purgative but is sometimes used as a potherb.

Theobroma bicolor Humb. & Bonpl.

Sterculiaceae. CACAO.

New Granada. This species replaces the cacao in part in the West Indies and South America and the seeds are brought into commerce.

Theobroma cacao Linn.


Tropical America. This is the best-known species of the genus and the bulk of the cacao, or cocoa, of commerce is produced by it. It is largely cultivated in Guayaquil, Venezuela, Trinidad, Grenada, Jamaica and elsewhere in tropical America. Cacao is also grown as an introduced plant in the Mauritius and Bourbon. The fruit is an oblong-ovate capsule or berry, six or eight inches in length, with a thick, coriaceous and somewhat ligneous rind, enclosing a whitish pulp in which numerous seeds are embedded. These are ovate, somewhat compressed, about the size of an almond and consist of an interior thin shell and a brown, oily kernel. Separated from the matter in which they are enveloped, they constitute the cacao of commerce. Chocolate and cocoa are variously prepared from the nuts.

When Cortez was entertained at the court of the Aztec Emperor, Montezuma, he was treated to a sweet preparation of the cocoa, called chocollatl, flavored with vanilla, and other aromatic spices. Cacao was carried to Spain from Mexico, and the Spaniards kept the cacao secret for many years, selling it very profitably as chocolate to the wealthy and luxurious classes of Europe. Chocolate reached France, however, only in 1661 and did not reach Britain until a few years later. It is now more largely consumed in Spain than elsewhere in Europe. The European consumption of chocolate is estimated at quite 40,000,000 pounds. In the United States, the imports in 1880 were 7,411,045 pounds. Cacao was cultivated by the nations of Central America before the arrival of Europeans. The Nahua nations used the nibs, or grains, as circulating medium instead of money. Stephens states that the nuts are still used in Yucatan as currency, as of old, by the Indians. After maize, says Landa, cacao was perhaps the crop to which the most attention was paid. It was called cacaguat in Nicaragua and several species which grew wild were also much used. In the month of Muan, the cacao planters even held a festival in honor of their patron deities Ekohuah, Chac and Hobnil. Humboldt states that he met with no tribe on the Orinoco that prepared a beverage with the seeds of the cacao, but the savages sucked the pulp of the pod and threw away the seeds. Hartt says the cacao tree is quite extensively cultivated at Bahia but is not often cultivated south of the Amazon. In Jamaica, Lunan rates the average produce of cacao per acre at 1000 pounds, allowing for bad years. It is called in Mexican cacautl.

Theobroma guyanensis Voigt.

Guiana. This species furnishes a portion of the cacao of the West Indies and South America.

Theobroma speciosa Willd.

Brazil. In the West Indies, this species replaces cacao and its seeds enter into commerce.

Theophrasta jussieui Lindl.


South America and Santo Domingo. The fruit is succulent, and bread is made from the seeds.

Thladiantha dubia Naud.


China. The fruit is oblong, very succulent and is eaten by the natives of the Himalayas.

Thlaspi arvense Linn.

Cruciferae. PENNY CRESS.

Europe and northern Asia. This plant is classed as an edible cress by Loudon. It is a cultivated vegetable.