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Sabal-Salicornia (Sturtevant, 1919)

Sturtevant, Notes on edible plants, 1919
Sabal-Salicornia (Sturtevant, 1919)

Sabal adansoni Guems.


Southern United States. The soft interior of the stem is edible.

Sabal palmetto Lodd.


Coast of North Carolina and southward. In Florida, the cabbage, is eaten and is excellent. The drupes are said to afford nourishing food to the Indians and hunters but are not palatable to whites until they become accustomed to them. In Plaine Description of Barmudas, 1613, it is said: "there is a tree called a Palmito tree, which hath a very sweet berry, upon which the hogs doe most feede; but our men, finding the sweetnesse of them, did willingly share with the hogs for them, they being very pleasant and wholesome, which made them carelesse almost of any bread with their meate." "The head of the Palmito tree is verie good meate either raw or sodden." "Of necessitie, I must needs mention a Palme-tree once againe, I have found it so good; take a hatchet and cut him, or an augur and bore him, and it yields a very pleasant liquor, much like unto your sweete wines."

Saccharum officinarum Linn.

Gramineae. SUGAR CANE.

Tropics. From the elaborate investigation of Ritter, it appears that this species was originally a native of Bengal and of the Indo-Chinese countries, as well as of Borneo, Java, Ball, Celebes and other islands of the Malay Archipelago. There is no evidence that it is now found anywhere in a wild state. The first historical allusion to sugar seems to be by Theophrastus (others say by Strabo), who lived 321 B. C. He speaks of a sort of honey procured from canes or reeds. Varro, 68 B. C., mentions the exceeding sweetness of the Indian reed, but says the juice is derived from the root of the plant. Lucan says of the Indians near the Ganges "they drink the sweet juices of the tender reed." Dioscorides says there is a sort of concreted honey which is called sugar and is found upon canes in India and Arabia Felix and it is as hard as salt and is brittle under the teeth. Pliny adds to this description by saying it comes in fragments as large as a filbert and is used only in medicine. Paulus Aegineta quotes Archigenes as saying, "The Indian salt is like common salt in color and consistence but resembles honey in taste." Sugar is mentioned, however, in the Institutes of Menu, and the Sama Veda.

The Venetians imported sugar cane from India by the Red Sea, prior to 1148, and it is supposed to have been introduced into the islands of Sicily, Crete, Rhodes and Cypress by the Saracens, as an abundance of sugar was made in those islands previous to the discovery of the West Indies. Cane was cultivated afterwards in Spain, in Valentia, Granada and Murcia by the Moors, and sugar is still made in these provinces. Other authorities believe that, in the ninth century, the Arabians obtained sugar from the sugar cane which at that time was cultivated in Susiana. Sugar was brought from Alexandria to Venice in the year 996. In 1087, 10,000 pounds of sugar are said to have been used at the wedding of the Caliph Mostadi Bemvillah. In 1420, Don Henri transported sugar cane from Sicily to Madeira, whence it was carried to the Canary Isles in 1503. Thence it was introduced into Brazil in the beginning of the sixteenth century. Columbus carried sugar canes from Spain to the West Indies before 1494, for at this time he says "the small quantity that we have planted has succeeded very well. Sugar cane was carried to Santo Domingo about 1520. In 1610, the Dutch began to make sugar in the Island of St. Thomas, and, from the cane introduced in 1660, sugar was made in Jamaica in 1664. Sugar cane reached Guadeloupe about 1644 and Martinique about 1650. It was carried to Bourbon at the formation of the colony. In 1646, the Barbados began to export sugar. Plants appear to have been carried to Cuba by Velasquez about 1518 and to Mexico by Cortez about 1524, and, before 1530, we find mention of sugar mills on the estates of Cortez. The plant seems to have been cultivated on the banks of the Mississippi for the first time about 1751, and the first sugar mill was erected in 1758. In 1770, sugar had become one of the staple products of the colony about New Orleans. The first variety cultivated was the Creole. The Ribbon cane, originally from Java, was introduced about 1820 to 1825. The Otaheite cane, brought to the West Indies by Bougainville and Bligh, was introduced far later.

According to Hallam, Gesner, who died in 1564, was the first botanist who mentions sugar cane. Sugar cane, according to various observers, never bears seed in the West Indies, Malaga, India, Cochin China, or the Malay Archipelago, but Lunan speaks of the seed in Jamaica as being oblong, pointed and ripening in the valve of the flower.

The use of sugar is well known. In South America a cane-wine called guarapo is in common use, prepared from the juice of the stalk allowed to run into fermentation. The natives of Easter Island, who suffer great distress from want of fresh water, drink the juice. In southern China, the stalks, cut into six- or ten-inch lengths, raw and boiled, are continually hawked around the streets for eating. The elephant cane of Cochin China is grown for the stalks, which are chewed. The epidermis of the stalk is so brittle, that, instead of crushing in the mills, the stalks break into small fragments. In central Africa, a red-stalked variety is the most frequent and the negroes make no further use of it than eating the cane, and the Uganda may often be seen passing, chewing the end of a long cane that trails behind them. This cane also appears in the markets of Paraguay, where it is eaten. This species is, undoubtedly, says Unger, a plant peculiar to China, and has been cultivated there independently and perhaps still earlier than the Indian sugar cane. This is also the sugar cane of the Malays, according to Ainslie. De Candolle says it was introduced into the gardens of Calcutta in 1796.

Saccharum sara Roxb.


East Indies, Afghanistan and India. In the southern part of the Punjab, the delicate part of the pith in the upper part of the stem is eaten by the poor.

Sageretia brandrethiana Aitch.


Orient and northwestern India. The fruit is sweet and is a great favorite with the Afghans.

Sageretia oppositifolia Brongn.

East Indies and Malay. The sweetish fruit is eaten in India.

Sageretia theezans Brongn.

Northwestern India, Burma and China. The poor in China use the leaves as a tea. The fruit is also eaten in China and the Himalayas. It is globular, the size of a small pea, dark brown when ripe, and is called tia by the Chinese.

Sagittaria chinensis Sims.

Alismaceae. ARROW-HEAD.

China. The Chinese arrow-head is sold in the markets of China and Japan as food, the corns being full of starch. It is extensively cultivated about San Francisco, California, to supply the Chinese markets, and the tubers are commonly to be found on sale.

Sagittaria sagittifolia Linn.


Europe, Asia and North America. The bulbs, which dig themselves into the solid earth below the mud, constitute an article of food with the Chinese, and, on that account, the plant is extensively cultivated. This species is enumerated by Thunberg as among the edible plants of Japan. In eastern America, the Indians boil or roast this root which they called katniss. It is called by the Oregon Indians wapstoo and constitutes an important article of diet.

Salacia dulcis Benth.


A shrub of Brazil. The fruit is the size of a crab apple, yellow, sweet, and juicy and is much eaten by the Indians on the Rio Negro, who call it waiatuma.

Salacia pyriformis Steud.

Tropical Africa. This plant produces a sweet-tasted fruit the size of a Bergamot pear. Wight says the fruit is eatable and is said to be of a rich and sweet flavor.

Salacia roxburghii Wall.

East Indies. The plant bears a dull red fruit the size of a crab apple, of which the white pulp is eaten.

Salacia scabra DC.

Guiana. The berries are edible.

Salicornia brachiata Roxb.


East Indies. The shoots are pickled by the natives of India.

Salicornia fruticosa Linn

Europe and Africa. The plant is of a brackish taste but is eaten as a salad by the soldiers and some few others at the Cape of Good Hope.

Salicornia herbacea Linn.


Seashores of the Mediterranean and north Atlantic and interior salines throughout North America and Asia. The tender shoots of this plant in England are used as a pickle and are sometimes boiled for the table. This species is found about the salt springs in Syracuse, New York, and is much used for pickling.