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Flacourtia-Foeniculum (Sturtevant, 1919)

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Sturtevant, Notes on edible plants, 1919
Flacourtia-Foeniculum (Sturtevant, 1919)

Flacourtia cataphracta Roxb. Bixineae (Flacourtiaceae). PUNEALA PLUM.

East Indies. The puneala plum is a fruit of India, better in flavor than a sloe but inferior to a poor plum. It makes an excellent stew.

Flacourtia inermis Roxb. LOOY-LOOY.

Moluccas. This species is cultivated in the Moluccas for its pleasant, edible fruit. It is a little tree bearing a berry of reddish-purple color, the size of a small cherry and has five angles. The reddish-purple berries are of a pleasant, acid taste; they are called tomi-tomi in India. The fruit, called by the Malays koorkup, though rather too acid to be eaten raw, is esteemed for tarts and pies. In Ceylon, it is called by the natives lowi lowi; by the English looy-looy. The fruit makes an excellent jelly, resembling and as good as currant jelly, and is also used for tarts.

Flacourtia montana J. Grah.

East Indies. It is called attuck ka jhar. The fruit, the size of a crab apple, is eaten by the natives.

Flacourtia ramontchi L'Herit. BATOKO PLUM. MADAGASCAR PLUM.

East Indies, Malay and Madagascar. The fruit is of the size of a plum, of a sharp but sweetish taste. It is common in the jungles of India. The fruit, when fully ripe, is of a pleasant acid taste and very refreshing. At Bombay, the fruit is eaten but is by no means good. The fruit is eaten.

Flacourtia sepiaria Roxb.

East Indies and Malay. In Coromandel, the berries are sold in the market. The fruit has a pleasant, acid taste and is very refreshing. At Bombay, its berries are eaten.

Flagellaria indica Linn.


Tropical shores from Africa to the Samoan Islands. In Fiji, the ears of this plant are eaten.

Flemingia tuberosa Dalzell.


East Indies. The tubers are said to be edible.

Flemingia vestita Benth.


Himalayari region. This prostrate plant is cultivated in many parts of northwest India for the sake of its edible, tuberous roots, which are nearly elliptical and about an inch long.

Flueggea leucopyrus Willd.


East Indies. The small, round, whitish-colored fruit is a little bitter to the taste but is eaten in India by the poor.

Flueggea microcarpa Blume.

Old World tropics. The fruit, a white, globose, dehiscent berry, one-sixth inch in diameter, is eaten. The berries are eaten by the natives of eastern tropical Africa.

Foeniculum vulgare Mill.

Umbelliferae. FENNEL. FINOCHIO.

Europe. Fennel was cultivated by the Romans as a garden herb and was so much used in the kitchen that there were few meats seasoned, or vinegar sauces served without it. It was used as a condiment by our English forefathers. The plant is a native of temperate Europe and Asia. It is now largely cultivated in central Europe, Saxony, Franconia and Wurtemburg, in the south of France, in Italy, in India and in China. Fennel was included among American garden herbs by McMahon, 1806. Darwin found it growing wild in the neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Monti video and other towns. The leaves are used in sauces, the stalks eaten in salads, and the seeds are employed in confectionery and for flavoring liquors. Fennel is constantly mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon medical recipes which date as early, at least, as the eleventh century. The diffusion of the plant in central Europe was stimulated by Charlemagne, who enjoined its cultivation on the imperial farms. Fennel shoots, fennel water and fennel seed are all mentioned in an ancient record of Spanish agriculture of 961 A. D. There are three different forms recognized, all believed to belong to the common species.


In 1863, Burr describes a common and a dark-leaved form; in 1586, Lyte's Dodoens' Herball describes in like manner two varieties. This is the common wild sort, hardy and often spontaneous as an escape from gardens. Bitter fennel is the Anethum foeniculum Linn., 1763, and the Foeniculum of Camerarius, 1586. Sometimes, but rarely, the leaves are used for seasoning but the plant is grown chiefly for its seeds which are largely used in flavoring liquors. Bitter fennel appears to be the common fennel or finckle of Ray, 1686, and the foennel and fyncle of Turner, 1538.


This form is cultivated more frequently as a garden plant than the preceding, and its seeds are also an object of commerce. As the plant grows old, the fruits of each succeeding season gradually change in shape and diminish in size, until, at the end of four or five years, they are hardly to be distinguished from those of the bitter fennel. This curious fact was noted by Tabernaemontanus, 1588, and was systematically proved by Guibort, 1869. This kind has, however, remained distinct from an early date. It is described by Albertus Magnus in the thirteenth century and by Charlemagne in the ninth. It is mentioned throughout Europe, in Asia, and in America as an aromatic, garden herb. The famous carosella, so extensively used in Naples, scarcely known in any other place, is referred by authors to F. piperitum DC. The plant is used while in the state of running to bloom; the stems, fresh and tender, are broken and served raw, still enclosed in the expanded leaf-stalks. This use is, perhaps, referred to by Amatus Lusitanus, 1554, when, in speaking of finocchio, he says the swollen stalk is collected and said to be eaten.


This form is very distinct in its broad leaf-stalks, which, overlapping each other at the base of the stem, form a bulbous enlargement, firm, white and sweet inside. This seems to be the finochi, or Italian fennel, stated by Switzer, 1729, to have but recently been introduced to English culture and yet rare in 1765. The first distinct mention is by Mawe, 1778, under the name of Azorian Dwarf or finocchio. It is again described in a very perfect form by Bryant, 1783, under the name of Sweet Azorian fennel. According to Miller's Dictionary, 1807, it is the F. azoricum Miller, 1737. Ray, 1686, uses the name Foeniculum dulce azoricum, but his description is hardly sufficient. Finocchio is described for American gardens in 1806. It does not seem to have entered general culture except in Italy. The type of this fennel seems to be figured by J. Bauhin, 1651, and by Chabraeus, 1677, under the name Foeniculum rotundum flore albo.