Pithecelobium-Plukenetia (Sturtevant, 1919)

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Sturtevant, Notes on edible plants, 1919
Pithecelobium-Plukenetia (Sturtevant, 1919)

Pithecelobium bigeminum Mart.

Leguminosae. SOAP-BARK TREE.

East Indies and Malay. The tree has long, twisted fruit, sweet to the taste but inducing dysentery and it, therefore, was prohibited by Alexander. It is called ta nyen in Burma, where the natives are extravagantly fond of the seeds as a condiment to preserve fish, notwithstanding sometimes disastrous consequences.

Pithecelobium dulce Benth.

American tropics. The sweet pulp of the pod is wholesome. The plant is extensively cultivated in India as a hedge plant. In Mexico, it is called guamuckil, and the fruit is boiled and eaten. In Manila, the species is grown for its fruit, which is eaten. The sweet, firm pulp in the curiously twisted pods is eaten.

Pithecelobium lobatum Benth.

A large tree of Burma. The seeds are eaten as a condiment.

Pithecelobium saman Benth.


Tropical America. This is a Mexican tree yielding edible pods.

Pithecelobium unguis-cati Benth.


Mexico and the West Indies. The pulp about the seed is eaten by the natives. In the West Indies it is eaten by the negroes.

Plantago coronopus Linn.


Mediterranean countries and Middle Europe. The leaves are used in France as a salad. This species is mentioned as grown in gardens by Camerarius, 1586, and by many of the other botanists of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; it is described by Ray in 1686 as cultivated in England and as not differing from the wild plant except in size and in the other accidents of culture. Townsend, 1726, says the seed is, now "in all the Seedsmen's Bills, tho' it is seldom in the Gardens." It is described and figured by Vilmorin among French vegetables. During the three hundred years in which we find it pictured, we see no evidence of any essential changes produced by cultivation.

Plantago major Linn.


Europe, Asia and North America. In China, this plant was formerly eaten as a potherb.

Plantago maritima Linn.


Shores of Europe and of the United States from New Jersey northward. Kalm says the French boil its leaves in a broth on their sea voyages, or eat them as a salad. It may likewise be pickled like samphire.

Platonia insignis Mart.


Brazil. The fruit, called pacoury-uva in Brazil, is said to be very sweet and delicious, whilst the seeds have the flavor of almonds.

Platycrater arguta Sieb. & Zucc.

Saxifrageae. TEA-OF-HEAVEN.

Japan. In Japan, the leaves are used as a tea substitute.

Plectranthus tematus Sims.


Comoro Islands and Madagascar. This perennial plant was carried to the Mauritius and is there cultivated as a potherb. It is called in Madagascar omime.

Plectronia parvifolia Benth. & Hook. f.


Burma and Malay. The leaves of this thorny shrub are largely consumed by the natives in their curries. The pulp enclosing the seeds is eaten by the natives but, to the European taste, is not very palatable. In India, says Ainslie, the fruit is eaten by the natives, and the leaves are also used as food, being put in curries as seasoners.

Plegerina odorata Arruda.

Brazil. This plant produces an oval or oblong drupe, very little smaller than an egg, yellow at ripening, the kernel of which is covered with a sweet, aromatic and nutritious pulp.

Plegerina rufa Arruda.

Brazil. The fruit is an irregular drupe, of which the kernel is covered with a sweet fecula, somewhat aromatic, pleasant and nutritive. It is large enough to satisfy one person. It is sold in the markets of Brazil and by some inhabitants it is now cultivated.

Plegerina umbrosissima Arruda.

Brazil. The sweet fruit is sold in the markets of Pemambuco.

Plukenetia corniculata Sm.


East Indies and Malay. The leaves are said to be eaten as a vegetable.