Ullucus-Unona (Sturtevant, 1919)

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Sturtevant, Notes on edible plants, 1919
Ullucus-Unona (Sturtevant, 1919)

Ullucus tuberosus Caldas.

Chenopodiaceae. MELLOCO. ULLUCO.

Andes of Bolivia, Peru and New Granada. The ulluco, or melloco, is a juicy plant with a creeping stem, the sprouts of which swell at the tips into tubers from the size of a hazelnut to that of a pigeon's egg, like the sweet potato. In Peru, it is called oca quina and Hemdon says is more glutinous than the oca and not as pleasant to the taste. The plant is extensively cultivated and, from the tubers by alternately freezing and steeping, a starchy substance is obtained, which is called by the Indians chuna and is relished. When the failure of the potato crop was dreaded in England, this plant was one of the substitutes proposed, but the tubers were not considered sufficiently agreeable to the British palate. Ulluco was introduced into France in 1848, but trial showed its unfitness for that climate.

Ulmus campestris Linn.

Urticaceae. ENGLISH ELM.

Europe and the Orient. The English elm was early introduced into Boston and is now grown here and there as a shade tree. In Norway, the inhabitants kiln-dry the bark and in time of scarcity grind it into a meal to be mixed with flour for bread. The fruit, in a green state, according to Browne, is sometimes eaten as a salad. Some years ago, in England, says Johnson, an immense quantity of dried elm leaves were used for adulterating tea and for manufacturing a substance intended to be used as a substitute for it. In Russia, the leaves of a variety are used as tea. In times of great scarcity, the ground bark, the leaves and the membranous fruit are all eaten as food in China.

Ulmus fulva Michx.


New England to Wisconsin and Kentucky. Flour prepared from the bark by drying and grinding, mixed with milk, like arrowroot, is said by Emerson to be a wholesome and nutritious food for infants and invalids.

Umbellularia californica Nutt.


Northwestern America. The foliage, when bruised, gives out a camphor-like scent. Hunters often, according to Douglas, make use of a decoction of the leaves, which stimulates the system and produces a glow of warmth. The Spanish-Americans use the leaves as a condiment.

Uncaria gambier Roxb.

Rubiaceae. GAMBIR.

Malacca, Sumatra, Cochin China and other parts of eastern Asia; largely cultivated in the Islands of Bintang, Singapore and Prince of Wales. Gambir is prepared by boiling the leaves and evaporating the decoction until it acquires the consistence of clay. This gambir is used for tanning leather, also by dyers and curers, forming an article of export. Among the Malays, the chief use is as a masticatory, in combination with the areca-nut and the betel-leaf.

Unona concolor Willd.


Guiana. This plant has an acrid and aromatic fruit, used as a pepper by the negroes in Guiana.

Unona discolor Vahl.

Tropical Asia. The fruit is used in the same way as is that of the species above.

Unona discreta Linn. f.

Guiana. The purple, aromatic, berries are of a very good taste.

Unona dumetorum Dun.

Cochin China. The pulp of the fruit is sparing but is of a grateful taste.

Unona undulata Dun.

Tropical Africa. The plant has an aromatic fruit, which is used as a condiment at Wari in Guinea.