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Zea-Zizania (Sturtevant, 1919)

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Sturtevant, Notes on edible plants, 1919
Zea-Zizania (Sturtevant, 1919)

Zea mays Linn.

Gramineae. CORN. MAIZE.

Tropical America. The earliest record of maize is in the Popol Vuh, the sacred book of the Quicke Indians of western Guatemala, whose records extend back to the eighth century. In the Popol Vuh the legend runs: "In Paxil, or Cayala (land of divided and stagnant waters) as it is called, were the ears of yellow maize and of white. These are the. names of the barbarians who went to seek food the Fox, the Jackal, the Paroquet and the Crow — four barbarians who made known to them the ears of the white maize and of the yellow, who came to Paxil and guided them thither. There it was they obtained at last the food that was to enter into the flesh of man, of man created and formed; this it was that was his blood, that became the blood of man — this maize that entered into him by the provision of him who creates, of him who gives being. And they rejoiced that they had at last arrived in this most excellent land, so full of good things, where the white and yellow maize did abound, also the cacao, where were sapotes and many fruits and honey; all was overflowing with the best of food in this country of Paxil, or Cayala. There was food of every kind; there were large and small plants, to which the barbarians had guided them. Then they began to grind the yellow and white maize and of them did Xmucane make nine drinks, which nourishment was the beginning of strength, giving unto man flesh and stature. Such were the deeds of the begetter and giver of being, Tepeuh, Gucumatz. Thereupon they began to speak of creating our first mother and our first father. Only yellow maize and white maize entered into their flesh and these alone formed the legs and arms of man; and these were our first fathers, the four men who were formed, into whose flesh this food entered."

This Paxil, or Cayala, is suggested by Bancroft to have been the region of the Usumacinta River, in what is now the Mexican province of Tabasco. In a Nahua record, written in Aztec with Spanish letters by an anonymous native author, referring to the Pre-Toltec period, it is said: "At that time Azcati, the ant, going to Tonacatepetl, mount of our subsistence, for maize, was met by Quetzalcoati, who said 'where hast thou been to obtain that thing? Tell me.' At first the ant would not tell but the Plumed Serpent insisted and repeated, 'whither shall I go?' They went there together, Quetzalcoati metamorphosing himself into a black ant. Tiattlauhqui Azcati, the yellow ant, accompanied Quetzalocoati respectfully, as they went to seek maize and brought it to Tamoanchan. Then the gods began to eat and put some of the maize in our mouths that we might become strong."

Another tradition of the Pre-Toltec period is also given by Bancroft in which an old man and old woman pulled out the broken teeth of precious stones from the jaw of Vucub Cakix, in which he took great pride, and substituted grains of maize. In the golden age of Mexico, during the reign of Quetzalocoati, tradition says, maize was abundant, and a head of it was as much as a man could carry clasped in his arms. During the reign of Nopaltzin, King of the Chichimecs, which Humboldt ascribes to 1250 A. D., the culture of maize and the art of making bread, long neglected and in danger of being lost, was revived by a Toltec named Xinhtlato. In Mexico, Centeoti was goddess of maize and had various appellations, such as Tonacajohua, "she who sustains us," Tzinteoti, "original goddess," and during her festival a sort of porridge made of maize, called mazamorra, was given to the youths, who walked through the maize fields, carrying stalks of maize and other herbs called mecoati with which they afterwards strewed the image of the god of cereals that every one had in his house.

At harvest time in Quegolani, the priests of the maize god, ceremonially visited the corn fields, sought the fairest and best-filled ear, which, after worshipping, they wrapped in cloth and at next seedtime, with processions and solemn rites, buried, wrapped in a deer skin, in a hole lined with stems in the midst of the fields. When another harvest came, if it were a fruitful one, the earth was dug up and the decayed remains distributed in small parcels to the happy populace as talismans against all kinds of evil. The Mexican god Tialoc is represented with a stalk of maize in the one hand and in the other an instrument with which he is digging the ground. This sanguinary deity seems to have required the sacrifice of a boy in April, whose dead body was put in the granaries or the fields. In the great temple at Mexico, there was a chapel dedicated to the god Cinteuti, called Cinteupan, the god of maize and of bread. In 1880, Charnay found a statue in Mexico upon whose base, among other things, are sculptured representations of ears of corn.

Maize was seen first by Europeans on the mainland, in 1498, on the shore of the Gulf of Paria, where the natives brought to the ships maize and a beverage made therefrom. In 1503, Diego Bartholomew "saw above six leagues of ground full of maize and cultivated." As for liquor, he says, "they have plenty of a very palatable kind of beer made of maez." Vasco Nunez, 1513, speaks of maize at Darien. In 1520, the Spaniards in their battle with the Tepeacans were embarrassed by the tall maize that covered part of the plain. Cortez also found corn in Honduras in plantations and everywhere throughout Yucatan, where it had previously been seen by Columbus in 1502. In this region, Morelet, more than three centuries later found the plains covered with maize often seven to eight metres in height. Among the varieties cultivated in Mexico, Humboldt mentions one in which the ear ripens in two months after planting; Oviedo mentions one in Nicaragua which is reaped in between 30 and 40 days from planting.

The first corn seen by Europeans was by Columbus, in November, 1492, in Cuba, "a kind of grain called maiz, of which was made a very well-tasted flour." Peter Martyr, in his First Decade, said by Robertson to have been written in 1493, says, "the panicum of this country is longer by a spanne, somewhat sharpe towards the ende and as bygge as a man's arme in ye brawne: the grains whereof are set in a marvellous manner and are in fonne somewhat lyke a Pease. Whyle they be soure and unripe, they are whyte but when they are ripe, they be very blacke, and when they be broken, they be whiter then snowe: this kynde of grayne they call maizim." In his Third Decade he adds, "bearing also more than a thousand graynes." Acosta, strangely enough, says that this grain occurred on the mainland but that he did " not find that in old time, on the islands of Barloventa, as Cuba, S. Dominique, Jamaigue, and S. Jean, that they used mayo." Gomara, however, asserts that the islanders were acquainted with maize and Oviedo describes maize without any intimation of its being a plant that was not natural to Hispaniola. In 1564, Hawkins found maize at Margarita Island "in bigness of a pease, the eare whereof is much like to a teasell but a span in length, having thereon a number of grains." In South America, in 1498, maize was brought to Columbus off the coast of Venezuela. In 1541, Benzoni speaks of the wine of maize, made in the region of the Gulf of Paria. Hans Stade, about 1550, during his captivity in eastern Brazil, speaks of maize under the names abaty, abatij, abashi, ubatim, and milhe de Guine. In 1520, Magellan found maize at Rio Janeiro, and, in 1647, Nienhoff says it was called maiz by the Indians. In 1596, Masham says that in Guiana there "is great store of Guiny-wheat (whereof they make passing good drinke) which after it is once sowed, if you cut off the eare, in the same staike groweth another." Dobrizhoffer, 1749-67, speaks of several kinds grown in Paraguay: the best known, the abati hata, composed of very hard grains; the dbati moroti, which consists of very soft and white ones; the dbati miri, which ripens in one month and has very small, dwarfish grains; and bisingallo, the most famous of all, the grains of which are angular and pointed. On the western coast, maize was found by Cavendish in 1587 at the Isle of Mocha and on the coast of Chile. In 1649, Alonzo de Ovalle says the ordinary diet of the people of Chile is boiled maize. Molina, 1787, says eight or nine varieties are cultivated, one called cwagua having smaller grains than the other varieties. This seems to have been a pop corn, as under Zea curagua, the Valparaiso corn, Loudon says a distinct variety, to which a sort of religious reputation is attached, on account of the grains which, when roasted, split regularly in the form of a cross.

In Peru, Squier found in an ancient burial place ears of maize, thick, short and variegated, and a very good carving in a variegated talc of an ear of maize three inches long and of just proportions, besides one jar filled with maize. Tschudi describes two kinds which were taken from tombs, apparently dating back to the dynasty of the Incas. Darwin found on the coast, at 85 feet elevation, embedded amidst shells, a head of Indian corn, apparently identical with those taken from the old Peruvian tombs. Garcilasso de la. Vega says there are two kinds of sara, the Inca name for maize, the one hard and called muruchu, the other tender and called capia. De la Vega says the Peruvians made a beverage from the stalks before they were ripe.

So much was this grain esteemed that the palace gardens of the Incas were decorated with maize in gold and silver, with all the grains, stalks, spikes, leaves, and, in one instance, in "the gardens of gold and silver" there was an entire corn field of some size, representing the maize in its natural shape. De la Vega notices the curious workmanship with which the golden ear was half-disclosed amidst the broad leaves of silver and the light tassel of the same material that floated gracefully from its top. At Titiaca, the sacred temple was surrounded with broad fields of maize, which imbibed a portion of its sanctity, and the yearly produce was distributed among the different public magazines, in small quantities to each, as something that would sanctify the remainder of the store. Acosta says they take a certain portion of the most fruitful of the maize that grows on their farms, "the which they put in a certain grenier which they do call Pirua, with certain ceremonies, watching them nights: they put this Mays in the richest garment they have, and being thus wrapped and dressed, they worship this Pirua and hold it in great veneration, saying it is the mother of the Mays of their inheritance, and that by this means the mays augments and is preserved." Rivers and Tschudi say, "the corn-stalks with many ears or with double ears were considered as sacred things but not as Deities: they were called by the Indians Hirantazara, or Aryherazara, because they danced with the dance Arihuay, when the corn was suspended by branches of willow; in the same way did they worship the ears, the grains of wliich were of various colors, or were arranged in rows, united in the shape of a cone." In 1532-50, Cieza de Leon found maize abundant in fields, requiring four months for its growth. Gibbon, 1851, describes the corn at Tarma as being small-grained and of four colors: red, white, yellow and blue. Herndon says, on the Montana, three crops are made in a year. On the Island of Titraca, says Squier, the stalks of the maize are scarcely three feet high, and the ears, not longer than one's finger, are closely covered with compact, vitreous grains. On the coast of Peru, says de la Vega, the sowing is done by the ancient Peruvians, "by making holes with thick stakes, into which they put the heads of fish together with two or three grains of maize." This seems to be the same method now in vogue among the Indians in some parts of Mexico and as described in part by Bancroft, for the ancient Aztecs.

The first mention of corn in the present territory of the United States and Canada, seems to have been in the Icelandic Sagas. At Hop, supposed by Prof. Rafn to be in the vicinity of Taunton River, Massachusetts, Karlsefne, in 1006, "found there upon the land self sown fields of wheat, there where the ground was low but vines there where it rose somewhat." Karlsefne is said to have sent out two Scotch people to explore and when they returned they brought back "a bunch of grapes and a new sowen ear of wheat." Again, in 1002, Thorwald, on an island far to the westward of Vinland, "met with a wooden Komhjalmr" (corn shed?), but saw no other signs of inhabitants, nor of wild beasts.

The first mention in more modern time is in Florida and westward, where it was found by Narvaez in 1528. During De Soto's invasion, 1540, woes was found everywhere along his route, from Florida, Alabama, to the upper part of Mississippi, probably on the western bank of the Yazoo, in fields or stored in granaries. Ribault, 1562, says the Florida Indians sow their fields with Mahiz. When Cartier visited Hochelaga, now Montreal, in 1535, that town was situated in the midst of extensive corn fields, the grain "even as the millet of Brazil, as great and somewhat bigger than small peason." The Indians called the grain carracony and stored it in granaries situated on the top of their habitations. In 1613, Champlain mentions corn growing in fields "feebly scratched with hoes of wood or bone" at Lake Coulonge, on the Ottawa River. In 1540, Colonado, in marching from Mexico to Quivira — supposed by Bancroft to be within the present territory of Kansas — found corn everywhere in abundance, wherever arable soil, apparently, could be found. He mentions that the Zuni Indians practiced irrigation. Alarcon, in 1540, found the Indians of the Colorado River growing abundance of corn as did Espijo in 1583.

The Navajo Indians have this tradition: "All the wise men being one day assembled, a turkey hen came flying from the direction of the morning star and shook from her feather an ear of blue corn into the midst of the company." At the present time, blue, yellow, white, red and even black corn is cultivated in New Mexico, the blue being predominant and most esteemed. In Virginia, in 1585, Sir Richard Grenville is recorded as having destroyed the standing corn of the natives. Heriot 1586, mentions a kind of grain called mayze in the West Indies. Corn is mentioned by Strachey under the name of poketawes. In A True Declaration of Virginia, 1610, the corn is said to grow to a height of twelve or fourteen feet, "yielding some four, five, or six eares, on every staike and in every eare some five hundred, some seaven hundred comes." Corn cultivated after the Indian method was grown in 1608, the first successful attempt by Englishmen on record.

In New England, corn was mentioned in 1605 by Champlain, who saw it in cultivation by the Indians at the mouth of the Kennebec. At Cape Cod, a little later, he saw fields of corn and also fields lying fallow. He mentions the method used for storing to be in pits dug in sand on the slopes of the hills, into which the large grass sacks of corn are stored and then buried. In 1620, Miles Standish, exploring for the Pilgrims, found the fields in stubble for it was November and finally under the heap of sand "newly done: we might see how they paddled it with their hands," "a fine, great, new basket, full of very faire corn, of this year, with some six and thirty goodly ears of corn, some yellow and some red and others mixt with blue." In 1629, Higginson says, "There is not such greate and plentiful eares of corne, I suppose, any where else to be found but in this country: because, also, of varietie of colours — as red, blew, and yellow, etc.: and of one corne there springeth four or five hundred." Josselyn says, "Indian wheat, of which there is three sorts,— yellow, red and blew. The blew is commonly ripe before the other, a month."

In August, 1636, when the English made their attack on the Indians at Block Island, "two hundred acres of corn were under cultivation and the maize, already partly harvested, was piled in heaps to be stored away for winter use." The Indians have a tradition, says Roger Williams, that "the crow brought them at first an Indian Grain of Corn in one Eare, and an Indian, or French, Beane is another, from the great God Kautantouwits' field in the Southwest, from whence they hold came all their corne and beanes." Indian corn was found as a common food when Europeans first landed at New York in 1609, extensive fields being cultivated and the grain preserved.8 In 1653, when Le Moine navigated Lake Ontario and landed among the Senecas, they gave him "bread made from Indian corn, of a kind to be roasted at the fire." In 1687, in an invasion into the country of the Senecas by Marquis de Nouville, the quantity' of corn destroyed was estimated at 1,200,000 bushels. In 1696, the French army under Frontenac invaded the country of the Onondagas and spent three days in destroying the growing crops in the fields which extended a league and a half from the fort. In 1633, De Vries obtained from the Indians on the Delaware River Indian corn and peas. In 1696, the Rev. John Campanius, in his Delaware and Swedish translation of the Catechism, accommodates the Lord's Prayer to the circumstances of the Indians: thus, instead of "give us our daily bread," he has it, "a plentiful supply of venison and corn." The Indians on the Delaware were very fond of hasty pudding, which they called sappaun, and Campanius relates that the sachems and other Indians were feasted upon it in 1654. In 1680, Hennepin found corn everywhere in his journey from Niagara to the Mississippi River. Marquette, 1673, Allouez, 1676, and Membre, 1679, all mention the cultivation of corn by the Illinois Indians. The Mandan Indians, according to Catlin, cultivate a variety whose ears are not longer than a man's thumb. The Tuscarora corn is thought to be the variety cultivated by the North Carolina Indians upon the settlement of their country and was introduced into the State of New York in 1712, when the Tuscarora Indians migrated thither. The corn raised by the Yakima Indians of Washington is an eight-rowed variety, small and attenuated, the ears not over five inches long.

We thus see that the culture of corn was general in the New World at the time of the discovery; that it reigned from Brazil to Canada, from Chile to California; that it was grown extensively in fields; and that it had produced many varieties — always an indication of antiquity of culture. It furnished food in its grain, and, from its stalks, sugar to the Peruvians, honey to the Mexicans and a kind of wine or beer to all the natives of the tropics.

In Europe, maize is said by Benzoni, who wrote in 1572, to have been brought with Columbus on his return from America to Spain, along with parrots and other new Indian articles. Descourlitz, 1829, asserts that maize was introduced by the Spaniards from Peru. There is a statement that it came to the northern provinces of Spain, across the Isthmus of Panama, brought by Basques who accompanied Pizarro to Peru. But Oviedo states in his work, printed in 1525, says Boussingault, that he had seen corn growing in Andalusia and the neighborhood of Madrid, and the Spaniards under Pizarro landed at Tumbez, for the conquest, only in 1532. Yet it could not have been generally known in Spain, for Hemandez, who returned to Europe from Mexico in 1571 or 1593 (the authorities differ), in a long chapter on maize, expresses indignation that the Spaniards had not yet introduced into their country so useful a plant. The Haitian name of mahiz and the Peruvian name of sara, both used in Spain, without indicating a date, perhaps indicate its introduction from both countries. Gerarde, 1597, writes that maize was brought to Spain out of America and the islands adjoining, as out of Florida and Virginia, but the old herbalist need not be expected to be very accurate in his histories.

In Germany, corn is mentioned by Bock, or Tragus as he is often called, who is one of the earliest writers on German plants and published in 1539. But Bonafous, 1532, asserts the plant came from Arabia. In Kyber's Botany, 1552, an edition of Tragus, corn is called Turkish Korn, but in those days everything foreign was likely to be called "Turkish;" but he also calls it welschkorn and says (page 650) that everything strange and hitherto unknown receives this name. Fuchsius, 1542, also declares that corn came from Asia to Greece, thence to Germany. We may, therefore, assert with considerable certainty that maize became known in Germany early in the sixteenth century. Ruellius, a native of France, 1536, asserts that maize came from Arabia and calls it Turcicum frumentum. This seems to indicate that he knew the grain in France. The variety of names used for this grain in various parts of France, such as: “wheat of Turkey," "wheat of Rome," "wheat of Barbary," "wheat of Guiana" and "wheat of Spain," indicate that in the course of cultivation the seed had been received from diverse sources. It was not until after the year 1610, says Targioni-Tozzetti, that maize found its way through Spain and Sicily. Cardan, 1553, and Matthiolus, 1570, both Italians, mentioned the plant in their writings, but the former does not affirm that it was known in Italy, nor does the latter in his edition of 1645, and, indeed, says that it should be called "Indian wheat " and not "Turkish wheat," because it came from the West Indies and not from Asia nor from Turkey. In 1685, George de Turre says that the maize, or Turkish wheat, was imported into Italy "since a few years." Ramusio, who died in 1557, is quoted by Pickering as stating that the plant was first seen in Italy in his time.

In Asia, we have record of the early introduction of corn to Java by the Portuguese in 1496, according to Rumphius. In 1521, maize was found by Magellan n at the island of Limasava. In 1665, white and red varieties are mentioned by Nieuhoff at Batavia. Adams, 1484, says of Borneo, that the magnificent maize springs up often in large and vivid patches. Corn reached China in 1516, according to Malte-Brun. Bretschneider says Li-shi-chen was the first Chinese author who mentioned corn, the date being the close of the sixteenth century. He states that maize came to China from central Asia. Corn is enumerated by Thunberg, 1775, as among the edible plants of Japan. At Lew Chew, no maize was found or was believed to exist at the time of the visit of the Perry expedition, although it is mentioned as being there by Hall, 1818, and by Belcher, 1848. Roxburgh says corn is cultivated in different parts of India in gardens but nowhere on a large scale. Firminger says corn has now become thoroughly naturalized in all parts of India but seems to be much degenerated as compared with that raised from seed annually brought from America,. Dutt says corn has no Sanscrit name but is largely cultivated in Bihar and upper India. Ebn Barthon, an Arab physician of the thirteenth century, who traveled extensively in Asia, makes no mention of any plant which appears to be maize. Friar Odorri, who traveled in 1316-1330 to China, makes no mention of maize, nor does Monticorvino, 1292-1338. Batuta, who traveled from 1325 to 1355, mentions in China almost every cultivated product but not maize. Varthema, who in 1503-8 visited Egypt, Arabia, Persia, India and Ethiopia, mentions many fruits and vegetables but makes no reference to maize. Forskal, in 1774, found maize cultivated in the mountains of Yemen but the mention of corn as coming from Arabia is made by Bock, 1532, Ruellius, 1536 and Fuchsius, 1542, as has been mentioned before.

Barbot in his Description of the Coast of Guinea says the Portuguese first enriched these African countries with the Indian wheat, or maize, bringing the seed from the Island of St. Thomas in the bight of Guinea, to the Gold Coast. He says there are two sorts, the red and the white. In the early part of the sixteenth century, a Portuguese writing, translated into Italian and inserted in Ramusio's collections (Ramusio died in 1557, and the publication of his collection began in 1550), states that at St. Jago, Cape de Verde Islands, "they sow a grain called Zaburso, the same that grows in the West Indies under the name of maize. This grain is as common on the coast of Africa as in these islands and is the chief sustenance of both these countries. They gather their crop in forty days." About 1550, Hans Stade uses the words zaburso and milho deGuine, and, in 1586, Heriot speaks of "Guinea wheat," a striking commentary on the extent of its distribution in that portion of Africa. In 1593, Hawkins found at the Canary Islands "mayes, which wee call Guynnewheate." Maize is mentioned in the Congo by Father Angelo in 1667 and by Father Merolla in 1682. In Barbot's Description of the Coasts of East Africa and Malabar in the beginning of the sixteenth century, there is ample mention of almost every kind of vegetable which might be looked for in this region but not of maize, except in a misprint (page 14, Hakluyt Society Edition) for yams. Prosper Alpinus, who wrote of the agriculture of Egypt in 1592, makes no mention of maize. In 1775, Forskal found corn little cultivated and it then had not a name distinct from Sorgho. Delile's account of the Egyptian name and tradition indicates that the plant was received from the North by way of Syria and Turkey. Earth mentions finding maize in northern Africa and Parkyns, in Abyssinia.

In Polynesia, corn does not seem to be much grown. In 1595, Mendana 8 " sowed maize before the Indians " in the Marquesas group. In 1792, "a little tolerably good maize" was found by Vancouver at Tahiti. In the Fiji Islands, corn is grown by the white settlers but not as yet (1865) by the natives. There is but one kind, a small, yellow-grained one, and it is called sila ni papalagi, foreign sila, by the natives. At Tongatabu, in 1840, a little corn was growing.

At the French exposition of 1852, specimens of maize were exhibited from Algeria, Canada, Australia, Portugal, Hungary and Syria. At the London Exhibition of 1862, 200 varieties, collected by Professor Brignoli of the Modena Royal Botanical Gardens, were shown. In 1880, the writer hastily collected from northern America and exhibited before the Massachusetts Board of Agriculture, 307 varieties. Although these are but a tithe of the various kinds that could be gathered together from the various regions of the globe, yet they all belong to one botanical species, Zea mays Linn., although Steudel in his synopsis of plants catalogs six others, namely: Zea hirta Bonaf., the hairy maize, from California; Z. rostrata Bonaf., of Peru; Z. macrosperma Klotz., of Peru; Z. curagua Molina, of Chile; Z. cryptosperma Bonaf., of Buenos Aires; Z. erythrolepis Bonaf., or red-husked corn. In popular language, we have hard corns and soft corns; flints, dents, pop corns and sweets; yellow, red, white, black and variegated and many other colors and shades. The rows vary in varieties from 8 to 32 and in individual specimens from 4 to 48; the length of ear, in varieties from 2 inches to 12, in specimens from i inch to 16. Some ears are cylindrical, others tapering, others forming a cone, and some small pop corns are globular eggshaped. The variation in the form of kernel is also as marked, from large to small, wrinkled and smooth, dented, rounded, flat, pointed and tipped with a spine. There is no genus of plant more variable unless it be Brassica.

The history of the appearance of sweet corn in gardens shows it to be quite modern. In the New England Farmer, Aug. 3, 1822, it is said, "a writer in the Plymouth paper asserts that sweet corn was not known in New England until a gentleman of that place, who was in Gen. Sullivan's expedition against the Indians in 1779, brought a few ears to Plymouth, which he found among the Indians on the border of the Susquehannah." A writer the following September adds that this sweet corn was brought by Lieut. Richard Bagnal from Gen. Sullivan's expedition against the Six Nations in 1779 and was called papoon corn. "That was the first of the species ever seen here and has since that time been more and more diffused; and, I believe within a few years only, has been generally and extensively cultivated for culinary purposes. The species has undergone some change since it was first introduced — then the core was a bright crimson, and after being boiled and the corn taken off, if the corn was laid in contact with any linen, it communicated an indelible stain. This inconvenience has disappeared. This species, also, like what is distinguished by the appellation of southern, or flat, corn, by repeated plantings here, assimilates it to our local corn." Sweet corn is not referred to by Jefferson in his Notes on Virginia, 1781; nor by McMahon, 1806; nor by Gardiner and Hepbum, 1818; nor by Thorbum, 1817; nor by Randolph, 1818; nor by Fessenden, 1828. In 1801, Bordley mentions the '"sweet corn, having a white, shrivelled grain when ripe" as yielding richer juice in the stalks than common corn. In 1832, "sweet or sugar" corn is mentioned among garden vegetables by Bridgeman. In 1851, Buist mentions two varieties. In 1853, Bement says of the "Early Sweet corn, the variety introduced by Cape Bagnoll of Plymouth, that one kind has a white cob, the other a red cob." In 1854, Schenck mentions the Extra Early, the Eight-rowed Sweet, and Stowells Sugar, which has been brought into notice within a few months. In 1858, Klippart mentions in addition the Mammoth Sugar and says the yellow, blue and red sugars are all mere sports from the New England and are not desirable. In 1866, Burr describes 12 varieties. The seed catalog of Thorburn, 1828, offers one variety, the Sugar, or Sweet; in 1881, 16 varieties.

Zephyranthes atamasco Herb. App.

Amaryllideae. ATAMASCO LILY.

Southern states of North America. The bulbous roots were eaten by the Creek Indians in times of scarcity. In France, this species is cultivated in the flower gardens.

Zilla myagroides Forsk.


Egypt and Arabia. The leaves are boiled and eaten by the Arabs.

Zingiber mioga Rose.

Scitamineae. WILD GINGER.

Japan. This is a kind of wild ginger of Japan where the root is said to be utilized.

Zingiber officinale Rose.


Tropics. The rhizomes of this species furnish the well-known ginger. The plant is largely cultivated both in the East and West Indies, as well as in Africa and China. It is supposed that there are two varieties, one producing darker-colored rhizomes than the other, this difference in color being independent of the mode of preparation. The young rhizomes, preserved in syrup, are imported for the delicious conserve known as preserved ginger — that imported from the West Indies being preferred to the Chinese kind.

Zingiber zerumbet Rose.


Tropical Asia and the Malayan Archipelago. The leaves and shoots are used as greens in Bengal.

Zizania aquatica Linn.


North America and eastern Asia. Wild rice is found on the swampy borders of streams and in shallow water, common in the United States, especially northwestward. Gould has found it nine feet tall at the foot of Lake Champlain and in places on the Hudson and Delaware Rivers, where the tibe ebbs and flows, over twelve feet high. The seeds have furnished food from early times to the Indians and the plant has been considered worthy of cultivation. In 1791, seeds from Canada were sent to England and attempts were made at its culture. Father Hennepin, in 1680, in his voyage on the upper Mississippi, ate the grain and pronounced it better and more wholesome than rice. In 1784, Jonathan Carver speaks of wild rice as being the most valuable of all the spontaneous productions of the Northwest. Jefferys, 1760, says the people of Louisiana gather the seeds and make them into a bread. Flint says, but for this grain the Canadian traders and hunters could hardly exist. Pinkerton says, "this plant seems to be designed by nature to become the bread corn of the north." Almost every observer who has mentioned it has used terms of praise. Gould says the plant seems especially adapted for the soiling of cattle and that its use increases the yield and the richness of milk. In Louisiana, its use is recommended for hay, and in Savannah, Georgia, says Elliott, under the name of wild oats, it is used almost exclusively during the summer as green fodder for cows and horses. The one objection to its culture seems to come from the seed dropping so readily when ripe. The northern Indians, of the lakes and rivers between the Mississippi and Lake Superior, gather the seed by pushing the canoe amongst the stems' and shaking the heads over the boat. An acre of wild rice is supposed to be equal to an acre of wheat in the nutriment afforded. The seeds are black, smooth, narrow, cylindrical, about half an inch long, white and farinaceous when cooked and are very palatable.

This is the kaw-sun of China and is found in the lakes of Anam, Manchuria, China and Japan. From Dr. Hance, we know that the solid base of the stem forms a very choice vegetable largely used in China, where it is cultivated.