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Marrubium-Medeola (Sturtevant, 1919)

Sturtevant, Notes on edible plants, 1919
Marrubium-Medeola (Sturtevant, 1919)

Marrubium vulgare Linn.

Labiatae. HOREHOUND.

Europe, Asia and north Africa. This plant affords a popular domestic remedy and seems in this country to be an inmate of the medicinal herb-garden only. In Europe, the leaves are sometimes employed as a condiment. Although a plant of the Old World, it is now naturalized in the New World from Canada to Buenos Aires and Chile, excepting within the tropics. It is figured by Clusius, 1601, and finds mention by many of the botanists of that period. Pliny refers to Marrubium as among medicinal plants in high esteem, and it finds mention by Columella. Albertus Magnus, in the thirteenth century, also refers to its valuable remedial properties in coughs. We may hence believe that, as an herb of domestic medicine, horehound has accompanied emigrants into all the cooler portions of the globe.

Marsilea nardu A. B.

Marsileaceae. NARDOO. NARDU.

Australia. The spores and spore cases of this plant are used by the aborigines for food, pounded up and baked into bread and also made into a porridge. These preparations furnish a nutritious food, by no means unwholesome, and one free from unpleasant taste but affording sorry fare for civilized man.

Martynia fragrans Lindl.


Mexico. The Apache Indians gather the half-mature seed-pods of this plant and cook them. The pods when, ripe are armed with two sharp, horn-like projections and, being softened and split open, are used on braided work to ornament willow baskets.

Martynia lutea Lindl.

Brazil. This species, originally from Brazil, has yellow flowers.1 It does not appear to be in American gardens nor is its seed advertised by our seedsmen. It reached Europe in 1824.2 It is described by Vilmorin as under kitchen-garden culture.

Martynia proboscidea Glox.


Southwestern North America and now naturalized in northeastern America. Martynia is in cultivation in our gardens for its seed-pods, which when young are used for pickling. These seed-pods are green, very downy or hairy, fleshy, oval, an inch and a half in their greatest diameters and taper to a long, slender, incurved horn or beak. It is mentioned under American cultivation in 1841. Martynia was known in England as a plant of ornament in 1738 but has, even yet, scarcely entered the kitchen-garden.

Marumia muscosa Blume.


Java. Refreshing drinks are prepared from the berries.

Marumia stellulata Blume

Sumatra and Java. Refreshing drinks are prepared from the berries.

Matisia cordata Humb. & Bonpl.


A tree of New Granada. The oval fruit, about five inches long and three inches broad, in taste has been compared to an apricot or to a mango. It is sold in the markets of New Granada and Peru.

Matthiola incana R. Br.

Cruciferae. STOCK.

Mediterranean region. This plant is eaten in time of famine.

Matthiola livida DC.

Egypt and Arabia. This plant is eaten in time of famine.

Mauritia flexuosa Linn. f.


Tropical South America. The tree-of-life of the missionaries, says Humboldt, not only affords the Guaraons a safe dwelling during the risings of the Orinoco, but its fruit, its farinaceous pith, its juice, abounding in saccharine matter, and the fibers of its petioles furnish them with food, wine and thread. The fruit has somewhat the taste of an apple and when ripe is yellow within and red without. The sago of the pith is made into a bread. The flour is called yuruma and is very agreeable to the taste, resembling cassava bread rather than the sago of India. From the juice, a slightly acid and extremely refreshing liquor is fermented. The ripe fruit contains first a rich, pulpy nut and last a hard core, Bates says the fruit is a common article of food, although the pulp is sour and unpalatable, at least to European tastes. It is boiled and then eaten with farina. This is the miriti or ita, palm of Brazil; the sagolike flour is called ipuruma.

Mauritia vinifera Mart.


Brazil. This palm, says Gardner, produces a great number of nuts about the size of an egg, covered with rhomboidal scales arranged in a spiral. Between these scales and the albuminous substance of the nut, there exists an oily pulp of a reddish color, which the inhabitants of Crato boil with sugar and make into a sweetmeat. In Piauhy, they prepare from this pulp an emulsion, which, when sweetened with sugar, forms a very palatable beverage, but if much used is said to tinge the skin a yellowish color. The juice of the stem also forms a very agreeable drink.

Maximiliana regia Mart.


Brazil. This is the inaja palm of the Rio Negro and the cucurite palm of Guiana. The terminal leaf-bud furnishes a most delicious cabbage, says Seemann, and the fruit is eaten by the Indians. Brown says the nuts are covered with a yellow, juicy pulp, which is sweet and pleasant to the taste. The outer husk of the fruit, says A. Smith, yields a kind of saline flour used by the natives for seasoning their food.

Medeola virginica Linn.


Northeast America. The roots are eaten by the Indians, according to Pursh. Cutler says the roots are esculent and of an agreeable taste. Gray says the tuberous, white rootstock has a taste like the cucumber.