Trifolium-Tripsacum (Sturtevant, 1919)

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Sturtevant, Notes on edible plants, 1919
Trifolium-Tripsacum (Sturtevant, 1919)

Trifolium fucatum Lindl.


Western North America. Professor W. H. Brewer writes that this clover is eaten by the Digger Indians of California.

Trifolium involucratum Ortega.


Western North America. This clover is eaten by the Digger tribes.

Trifolium pratense Linn.


Europe and temperate Asia. Clover is among the most generally cultivated fodder plants, but its use as a human food plant is unknown to Europeans. Some of the clovers are eaten cooked or raw by the Digger Indians of California and by the Apaches of Arizona. The former tribe cooks it by placing layers of clover, well moistened, between hot stones; it is consumed in large rations. The Apaches boil clover, young grass, dandelions and pigweed together. Where clover is found growing wild, the Indians practice a sort of semicultivation by irrigating it and harvesting. Clover was introduced into America from Europe at an early period as Bartram saw it before the American Revolution. In 1797, Samuel Deane speaks of it as a plant highly valued in New England. In Ireland, says Lightfoot, when food is scarce, the powdered flowers are mixed with bread and eaten. As an agricultural plant, clover first secured attention in England in 1635.

Trifolium repens Linn.


Everywhere common in Europe and America. Johnson says the flowers and pods in time of famine in Ireland and Scotland have been ground into powder and used as a food.

Trigonella caerulea Ser.


Eastern Europe and Caucasian region. In Switzerland, this plant is called kraut curd-herb and is used to give odor and flavor to schabzieger, or sapsago, cheese. The dried flowers are reduced to powder and worked into a paste with the curd.

Trigonella corniculata Linn.

South Europe and Asia Minor. In Bengal, this plant serves as a vegetable food.

Trigonella foenum-graecum Linn.


Europe and the Orient. Fenugreek is cultivated in Morocco, in the south of France near Montpelier, in Alsace, in a few places in Switzerland, in, some provinces of the German and Austrian Empires, as Thuringia and Moravia, and on a large scale in Egypt, where it is known as helbeh. In Egypt, fenugreek is eaten crude and its sprouting seeds are often mixed in a ragout with honey. Helbeh conserve, says Pickering, was once an article of export, even to Britain, and to the present day is employed by Arabs along the east African coast for childstealing. At Rosetta, the seeds are used as a coffee. Fenugreek is a favorite article of diet with the Parsees of India, says Pickering, It is extensively cultivated in India, says Dutt, the seeds to be used as a condiment and the aromatic leaves as a potherb. In 1859, seeds of helbeh were introduced into the United States through the Patent Office from Palestine, and they are now offered in our seed catalogs.

Trigonella radiata Boiss.

Asia Minor and Persia. In China the curved legumes were formerly eaten.

Trigonella suavissima Lindl.

Australia. This species is mentioned by Mueller as a food plant of Australia.

Trilisa odoratissima Cass.


Virginia and southward. The leaves exhale the odor of vanilla when bruised, and, in Florida, the plant has become in some degree an article of commerce, being used by tobacconists for flavoring smoking tobacco.

Triosteum perfoliatum Linn.

Caprifoliaceae. FEVER ROOT. WILD COFFEE.

Eastern North America. Barton reports that Muhlenburg told him that the dried and toasted berries were considered by some of the Germans of Pennsylvania an excellent substitute for coffee.

Triphasia aurantiola Lour.

Rutaceae. LIME BERRY.

A shrub of tropical Asia. Loureiro says the berry is red, ovate, half the size of a coffee bean, covered with a thin pellicle and contains a sweet, clammy, inodorous, edible pulp. The berry, like an orange in miniature, says Mason, is often found in Chinese preserves. Firminger says, in India, the fruit is of the size of a large currant. It has a stone surrounded by a small quantity of pulp, juicy and of an agreeable, aniseed-like flavor. The plant is cultivated in the East and West Indies. The fruits, says A. Smith, are about as large as hazelnuts and have a red skin. When ripe they have an agreeable taste but, if gathered green, they have a strong flavor of turpentine and the pulp is very sticky. They are sometimes preserved whole in syrup and are occasionally sent to England.

Tripsacum dactyloides Linn.


Central and North America. Mueller says the seeds are available for food.