Mitchella-Moraea (Sturtevant, 1919)

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Sturtevant, Notes on edible plants, 1919
Mitchella-Moraea (Sturtevant, 1919)

Mitchella repens Linn.


North America and Japan. The insipid, red fruits are eaten by children.

Mollugo hirta Thunb.


Tropical and subtropical regions. This plant is a common potherb in upper India.

Momordica balsamina Linn.

Cucurbitaceae. BALSAM APPLE.

Borders of the tropics. The balsam apple has purgative qualities but is eaten by the Chinese after careful washing in warm water and subsequent cooking.

Momordica charantia Linn.

Borders of the tropics. This vine is very commonly cultivated about Bombay. In the wet season, the fruit is 12 or 15 inches long, notched and ridged like a crocodile's back and requires to be steeped in salt water before being cooked. Firminger says the fruit is about the size and form of a hen's egg, pointed at the ends, and covered with little blunt tubercles, of intensely bitter taste, but is much consumed by the natives and is agreeable also to Europeans as an ingredient to flavor their curries by way of variety. In Patna, there are two varieties: jetkwya, a plant growing in the heat of spring and dying with the first rains, and bara masiya, which lasts throughout the year. In France, it is grown in the flower garden.

Momordica dioica Roxb.

East Indies. This species is under cultivation in India for food purposes; the root is edible. There are several varieties, says Drury. The young, green fruits and tuberous roots of the female plant are eaten by the natives, and, in Burma, according to Mason, the small, muricated fruit is occasionally eaten. At Bombay, this plant is cultivated for the fruit, which is the size of a pigeon's egg and knobbed, says Graham.

Monarda didyma Linn.


From New England to Wisconsin northward, and southward in the Alleghanies. It is mentioned by McMahon, 1806, in his list of aromatic pot and sweet herbs. It is called Oswego tea from the use sometimes made of its leaves. In France, it is grown in the flower gardens.

Moneses grandiflora S. F. Gray.


North and Arctic regions. The fruit is used as food by the Indians of Alaska. The yield of berries is scant, however.

Monochoria vaginalis Presl.


Asia and African tropics. This species is esteemed as a medical plant in Japan, Java and on the Coromandel Coast. Its young shoots are edible.

Monodora myristica Dun.


This tree of Jamaica is supposed to have been introduced from South America, but is with more reason believed to have been taken by the negroes from the west coast of Africa. It is cultivated in Jamaica for its fruits, which furnish Jamaica nutmeg. The seeds contain a quantity of aromatic oil which imparts to them the odor and flavor of nutmegs.

Monstera deliciosa Liebm.

Araceae. CERIMAN.

American tropics. This fine plant has been somewhat cultivated in England for its fruit and may now be seen in greenhouses in this country. The leaves are broad, perforated and dark, shining green. The fruit consists of the spadix, the eatable portion of which is of fine texture and very rich, juicy and fragrant, with a flavor somewhat like that of the pineapple and banana combined. The fruit is filled with a sort of spicule, which, unless the fruit be thoroughly ripe, interferes with the pleasure of its eating. In 1874, specimens of the fruit were exhibited before the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and again in 1881. Dobrizhoffer, in his Account of the Abipones of Paraguay, 1784, refers to a fruit called guembe which is "the more remarkable for its being so little known, even by many who have grown old in Paraguay, for the northern woods of that country only are its native soil. It is about a span long, almost cylindrical in shape, being thicker than a man's fist in the middle but smaller at both extremities, and resembles a pigeon stripped of its feathers, sometimes weighing as much as two pounds. It is entirely covered with a soft, yellowish skin, marked with little knobs and a dark spot in the middle. Its liquid pulp has a very sweet taste but is full of tender thorns, perceivable by the palate only, not by the eye, on which account it must be slowly chewed but quickly swallowed. . . . The stalk which occupies the middle, has something of wood in it and must be thrown away. You cannot imagine how agreeable and wholesome this fruit is. ... This ponderous fruit grows on a flexible shrub resembling a rope, which entwines itself around high trees." If this description applies to our species, it is certainly remarkable that this ancient missionary did not refer to the open spaces in the leaves.

Moraea edulis Ker-Gawl.


South Africa. The bulbous root is eaten by the Hottentots. When cooked, it has the taste of potatoes. Thunberg says, in Kaffraria, the roots were eaten roasted, boiled, or stewed with milk and appeared to him to be both palatable and nourishing, tasting much like potatoes.