Brosimum (Sturtevant, 1919)
Brosimum alicastrum Sw.
Urticaceae. ALICASTRUM SNAKEWOOD. BREADNUT.
American tropics. The fruit, boiled with salt-fish, pork, beef or pickle, has frequently been the support of the negro and poorer sorts of white people in times of scarcity and has proved a wholesome and not unpleasant food.
Brosimum galactodendron D. Don.
Guiana; the polo de vaca, arbol de lecke, or cow-tree of Venezuela. Humboldt says "On the barren flank of a rock grows a tree with coriaceous and dry leaves. Its large, woody roots can scarcely penetrate into the stone. For several months of the year not a single shower moistens its foliage. Its branches appear dead and dried; but when the trunk is pierced there flows from it a sweet and nourishing milk. It is at the rising of the sun that this vegetable fountain is most abundant. The negroes and natives are then seen hastening from all quarters, furnished with large bowls to receive the milk which grows yellow and thickens at its surface. Some empty their bowls under the tree itself, others carry the juice home to their children." This tree seems to have been noticed first by Laet in 1633, in the province of Camana. The plant, according to Desvaux, is one of the polo de vaca or cow-trees of South America. From incisions in the bark, milky sap is procured, which is drunk by the inhabitants as a milk. Its use is accompanied by a sensation of astringency in the lips and palate. This cow-tree is grown in Ceylon and India, for Brandis says it yields large quantities of thick, gluey milk without any acridity, that it is drunk extensively, and that it is very wholesome and nourishing.