Cadaba-Camelina (Sturtevant, 1919)

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Sturtevant, Notes on edible plants, 1919
Cadaba-Camelina (Sturtevant, 1919)

Cadaba farinosa Forsk.


A shrub of tropical Africa and Arabia. Spinach is made from the leaves.[1]

  1. Speke, J. H. Journ. Disc. Source Nile 561. 1864.

Caesalpinia pulcherrima Sw.


Cosmopolitan tropics. The green seeds are eaten raw and have the taste of peas.[1]

  1. Proc. Amer. Acad. Art. Sci. 425. 1886.

Cajanus indicus Spreng.


East Indies. The pigeon pea is a perennial shrub, though treated generally as an annual when in cultivation. It is now naturalized in the West Indies, in tropical America and in Africa. The variety Bicolor grows from three to six feet high and is called the Congo pea in Jamaica. The variety Flavus grows from five to ten feet high and is called in Jamaica no-eye pea, pigeon pea and Angola pea.[1] Dr. MacFayden[2] says there are few tropical plants so valuable. Lunan[3] says the pea when young and properly cooked is very little inferior as a green vegetable to English peas and when old is an excellent ingredient in soups. Berlanger[4] says at Martinique there are several varieties greatly used, and that the seeds both fresh and dried are delicious. In Egypt, on the richest soil, says Mueller,[5] 4000 pounds of peas have been produced to the acre, and the plant lasts for three years, growing 15 feet tall. This variety is said by Pickering[6] to be native of equatorial Africa. In India, the seeds of the two varieties are much esteemed, ranking, with the natives, third amongst their leguminous seeds.[7] Elliott[8] says the pulse when split is in great and general esteem and forms the most generally used article of diet among all classes in India. At Zanzibar, the seeds are a principal article of diet. It is both cultivated and wild all over India as well as in all parts of tropical Africa. It certainly is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world, a fact attested by its presence in ancient tombs. Schweinfurth states that it is found in Egyptian tombs of the twelfth dynasty (2200- 2400 B. C.)[9]

  1. Smith, A. Treas. Bot. I:189. 1870.
  2. Macfayden Jam. 1:296. 1837.
  3. Lunan, J. Hort. Jam. 2:64. 1814.
  4. Berlanger Trans. N. Y. Agr. Soc. 568. 1858.
  5. Mueller, F. Sel.Pls. 82. 1891.
  6. Pickering, C. Chron. Hist. Pls. 443. 1879. (C. flavus)
  7. Drury, H. Useful Pls. Ind. 95, 1858.
  8. Elliott, W. Bot. Soc. Edinb. 7:294. 1863.
  9. Nature 19:315. 1884.

Cakile maritima Scop.

Cruciferae. SEA ROCKET.

Europe, northern Africa and North America. Kalm[1] says the sea rocket furnishes a root in Canada which is pounded, mixed with flour and eaten, when there is a scarcity of bread.

  1. Kalm, P. Trav. No. Amer. 2:345. 1772. (Bunias cakile)

Caladium bicolor Vent.

Aroideae (Araceae).

South America. The corms are eaten roasted or boiled.[1] The leaves are eaten, boiled as a vegetable, in the West Indies.[2]

  1. Henfrey, A. Bot. 371. 1870.
  2. Masters, M. T. Treas. Bot. I:190. 1870. (C. sagittaefolium)

Calamus rotang Linn.


East Indies. Thunberg[1] saw the fruit of the rattan exposed for sale in Batavia. When ripe this fruit is roundish, as large as a hazelnut and is covered with small, shining scales, laid like shingles, one upon the other. The natives generally suck out the subacid pulp which surrounds the kernel by way of quenching their thirst. Sometimes the fruit is pickled with salt and eaten at tea-time. This palm furnishes rattan canes.

  1. Thunberg, C. P. Trav. 2:277. 1796.

Calathea allouia Lindl.

Scitamineae (Marantaceae).

Guiana. This species is cultivated in the West Indies and, according to Lindley,[1] furnishes one of the arrowroots of commerce.

  1. Lindley, J. Veg. King. 169. 1846. (Maranta allouia)

Calendula officinalis Linn.


Southern Europe. This marigold was cultivated in England prior to 1573. The petals of the flowers are occasionally used in broths and soups in Britain and Holland and are also used for coloring butter.[1] In 1806, it was included in McMahon's[2] list of aromatic, pot and sweet herbs of American gardens. There are a number of ornamental varieties, and the species is to be found in many of our country gardens. The plant is described in nearly all of the early herbals and is mentioned by Albertus Magnus in the thirteenth century.

  1. Loudon, J. C. Enc. Pls. 741. 1855.
  2. McMahon, B. Amer. Gard. Cal. 583. 1806.

Calla palustris Linn.

Aroideae (Araceae). WATER ARUM. WATER DRAGON.

Europe, Northern Asia and North America. The rootstocks of this plant yield eatable starch, prepared by drying and grinding them and then heating the powder until the acrid properties are dissipated.[1]

  1. Masters, M. T. Treas. Bot. I:194. 1870.

Callicarpa lanata Linn.


East Indies. The bark has a peculiar, subaromatic and slightly bitter taste and is chewed by the Cinghalese when they cannot obtain betel leaves.[1]

  1. Ainslie, W. Mat. Ind. 2:180. 1826.

Calligonum pallasia L'Herit.


Caspian region, Russia and Siberia. The roots when pounded are said to furnish a mucilaginous, edible substance resembling gum tragacanth.[1]

  1. Syme, J. T. Treas. Bot. 2:937. 1870. (Pterococcus aphyllus)

Calligonum polygonoides Linn.

Armenia, Persia and northwestern India. The abortive flowers, which fall in great numbers, are, in the south Punjab and sometimes in Sind, swept up, made into bread, or cooked with ghee and eaten.[1]

  1. Brandis, D. Forest. Fl. 372. 1874.

Callirhoe involucrata A. Gray.

Malvaceae. POPPY MALLOW.

Northwestern America. The large, tapering root of this plant is said to be edible.[1] It is an inmate of the flower garden in France.[2]

  1. Stansbury, H. Rpt. Gt. Salt Lake 384. 1853.
  2. Vilmorin Fl. Pl. Ter. 199. 1870. 3rd Ed.

Callirhoe pedata A. Gray.


Northwestern America. The roots of this species resemble those of a parsnip and are used as food by the Indians of Nebraska and Idaho.[1] In France it is grown in flower gardens.[2]

  1. U.S.D.A. Rpt. 406. 1870.
  2. Vilmorin Fl. Pl. Ter. 199. 1870. 3rd Ed.

Calluna vulgaris Salisb.

Ericaceae. HEATH.

Europe and North America. The Celtic tribes had a method of preparing an intoxicating drink from a decoction of heath. This beverage, mixed with wild honey, was their common drink at feasts.[1] In the Hebrides, says Johnson,[2] a kind of beer is formed by fermenting a mixture of two parts of heath tops and one of malt. The Picts had a mode of preparing beer or wine from the flowers of the heath.

  1. Hogg, W. Journ. Agr. 6:43. 1836.
  2. Johnson, C. P. Useful Pls. Gt. Brit. 167. 1862. (Erica vulgaris)

Calochortus elegans Pursh.

Liliaceae. STAR TULIP.

Pacific northwest of America. The root of this plant is eaten by the Indians.[1]

  1. Pickering, C. Chron. Hist. Pls. 582. 1879.

Calochortus luteus Dougl.


Western United States. This plant has a small, bulbous root about the size of a walnut, very palatable and nutritious and much used by the Indian tribes of Utah as an article of food.[1] The Mormons during their first years in Utah consumed the root in large quantities.

  1. Stansbury, H. Rpt. Salt Lake 160, 208, 397. 1853.

Calophyllum inophyllum Linn.


Old world tropics. The fruit when ripe is red and sweet and is eaten by the natives. An oil is expressed from it and is used in lamps.[1]

  1. Drury, H. Useful Pls. Ind. 1858. (C. spurium)

Calotropis gigantea Ait.

Asclepiadeae. BOW-STRING HEMP.

East India. According to Twemlow,[1] an intoxicating liquor called bar is obtained from the plant by the Hill People about Mahableshwur. According to Royle,[2] it yields a kind of manna.

  1. Pickering, C. Chron. Hist. Pls. 596. 1879. (Asclepias gigantea)
  2. Ibid.

Caltha palustris Linn.


Of northern climates. This well-known plant, says Gray,[1] is used as a potherb in spring when coming into flower, under the name of cowslip. In the Southern States, the flower-buds are pickled for use as a substitute for capers.[2]

  1. Gray, A. Man. Bot. 404. 1908.
  2. Porcher, F. P. Res. So. Fields, Forests 17. 1869.

Calycanthus floridus Linn.

Calycanthaceae. CAROLINA ALLSPICE.

North America. The aromatic bark is said to be used as a substitute for cinnamon.[1]

  1. Black, A. A. Treas. Bot. I:203. 1870.

Calyptranthes aromatica St. Hil.


South Brazil. Mueller[1] says the flower-buds can be used as cloves; the berries, as allspice.

  1. Mueller, F. Sel. Pls. 85. 1891.

Calyptranthes obscura DC.

Brazil. The fruit is sold in Rio Janeiro as an aromatic and astringent.

Calyptranthes paniculata Ruiz & Pav.

Peru. The fruit is used as a substitute for cloves.

Calyptranthes schiediana Berg.

Mexico. In Mexico, the fruit is used as cloves.

Calystegia sepium R. Br.

Convolvulaceae. BINDWEED.

Temperate climates. It has edible stalks[1] which are eaten by the Hindus.[2] The roots are said to be boiled and eaten by the Chinese, who manage, says Smith,[3] to cook and digest almost every root or tuber in spite of the warnings of botanists and chemists.

  1. Royle, J. F. Illustr. Bot. Himal. I:3o8. 1839.
  2. Ainslie, W. Mat. Ind. 2:220. 1826.
  3. Smith, F. P. Contrib. Mat. Med. China 47. 1871.

Calystegia soldanella R. Br.


Temperate climates. The tender stalks of the sea bindweed are pickled.[1] The young shoots, says Johnson,[2] were gathered formerly by the people on the southern coasts of England and pickled as a substitute for samphire.

  1. Don, G. Hist. Dichl. Pls. 4:297. 1838.
  2. Johnson, C. P. Useful Pls. Gt. Brit. 181. 1862. (Convolvulus soldanella)

Camassia esculenta Lindl.


Northwestern America. The root forms the greater part of the vegetable food of the Indians on the northwest coast of America and Vancouver Island and is called kamosh or quamash. This bulbous root is said to be of delicious flavor and highly nutritious, but Lewis[1] says it causes bowel complaints if eaten in quantity. This plant covers many plains and is dug by the women and stored for eating, roasted or boiled. The bulbs, when boiled in water, yield a very good molasses, which is much prized and is used on festival occasions by various tribes of Indians. In France, it is an inmate of the flower garden.[2]

  1. Pursh, F. Fl. Amer. Septent. I:226, 227. 1814. (Phalangium bulbosum)
  2. Vilmorin Fl. Pl. Ter. 204. 1870. 3rd Ed.

Camelina sativa Crantz.


Europe and temperate Asia. This plant occurs in northeastern America as a noxious weed in flax fields, having been introduced from Europe. It was regularly cultivated in the mediaeval ages in Germany and Russia[1] and is now cultivated in Flanders. The stem yields a fiber, but the stalks seem to be used only in broom making. The seeds yield an oil which is used for culinary and other purposes.[2] In 1854, the seeds of this plant were distributed from the United States Patent Office. It was called in Britain gold-of-pleasure even in the time of Gerarde. The seeds are sometimes imported into England under the name dodder seed, but they have no relation to the true dodder which is a far different plant.

  1. Pickering, C. Chron. Hist. Pls. 353. 1879.
  2. Don, G. Hist. Dichl. Pls. I:214. 1831.