Mangifera-Marlierea (Sturtevant, 1919)

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Sturtevant, Notes on edible plants, 1919
Mangifera-Marlierea (Sturtevant, 1919)

Mangifera foetida Lour.

Anacardiaceae. HORSE MANGO.

A tree of the Malayan Archipelago. The horse mango is cultivated by the Burmese, who esteem the fleshy, strong-scented fruit. Don says it is unwholesome but is eaten by the Malays.

Mangifera indica Linn.


Tropical eastern Asia. The mango grows abundantly in India, where many varieties are cultivated, and the fruit of some is esteemed as most delicious. In north and central India, says Brandis, the fruit of ungrafted trees is generally stringy with a strong, turpentine flavor. It, nevertheless, forms an important article of food for large classes of the population. The fruit of good grafts is excellent, soft, juicy and with a delicious, aromatic flavor. In Burma, the mango is not generally grafted, for seeds of a good kind, as a rule produce good fruit of a similar description. This seems to be the fruit seen by Friar Jordanus, about 1300, who calls it aniba. The mango was introduced to Jamaica in 1782. In 1880, 21 fruitful and superior varieties were growing at the Botanical Gardens in Trinidad. At Cayenne, it did not exist before the beginning of the present century. Its introduction into Brazil was more ancient as the seeds came thence to Barbados in the middle of the eighteenth century. In Martinique, by grafting, a dozen very distinct varieties have been established, the quality of which, says Berlanger, in respect to the abundance and flavor of the flesh, places them in the first rank of tropical fruits. In the Mauritius, they cultivate a number of varieties. This tree has been introduced into Florida and is now grown there to a limited extent. In Jamaica, starch is made of the unripe fruit. In India, the unripe fruit is much used in conserves, tarts and pickles, and the kernels of the seeds are boiled and eaten in times of scarcity.

Mangifera sylvatica Roxb.

Himalayan region. The yellow fruit is eaten by the natives, although inferior to the worst kinds of the common mango.

Manihot palmata Muell.

Euphorbiaceae. SWEET CASSAVA.

Brazil. This is the sweet cassava of eastern equatorial America, where it has been cultivated from early times. The roots of this variety are sweet and may be eaten raw but it is less cultivated than the bitter variety. It is cultivated in Queensland, according to Simmonds, for the production of arrowroot.

Manihot utilissima Pohl.


Brazil. The manioc, or bitter cassava, of eastern equatorial South America was cultivated by the Indians of Brazil, Guiana and the warm parts of Mexico before the arrival of Europeans and is now grown in many tropical countries. The root is bitter and a most virulent poison when raw but, when grated to a pulp and the poisonous juice expelled by pressure, it becomes edible after being cooked. The coarse meal forms cassava. The expressed juice, allowed to settle, deposits a large quantity of starch which is known as Brazilian arrowroot, or tapioca. The boiled juice furnishes cassareep, a condimental sauce, and from the cakes an intoxicating beverage called piwarrie is brewed by the Brazilians. The plant is extremely productive. In Brazil, some 46 different kinds are found. Manioc was naturalized in the Antilles as early as the sixteenth century, says Unger, although its journey around the world by way of the Isle of Bourbon and the East Indies took place at a comparatively late period. It reached the west coast of Africa earlier, and the erroneous opinion has been entertained that it was transplanted from Africa to America. In Africa, at Angola, Livingstone says the Portuguese subsist chiefly on manioc. It is prepared in many ways. The root is roasted or boiled as it comes from the ground; the sweet variety is eaten raw; the root may be fermented in water and then roasted or dried after fermentation; baked, or rasped into meal and cooked as farina; or made into confectionery with butter and sugar; and the green leaves are boiled as a spinach. Grant says it is the staple food of the Zanzibar people, where some kinds can be eaten raw, boiled, fried, roasted or in flour. In India, it is eaten as a staple food. In Burma, the root is boiled and eaten. In the Philippines, manioc is cultivated in many varieties. In 1847, a few dozen plants were introduced to this country and distributed from New York City, and in 1870 some were growing in conservatories in Washington. The first mention of cassava is by Peter Martyr who says "iucca is a roote, whereof the best and most delicate bread is made, both in the firme land of these regions and also in Ilandes." In 1497, Americus Vespucius, speaking of the Indians of South America, says, " their most common food is a certain root which they grind into a kind of flour of no unpalatable taste and this root is by some of them called jucha, by others chambi, and by others igname."

Maranta arundinacea Linn.

Scitamineae. ARROWROOT.

South America. This is the true arrowroot plant of the West Indies, Florida, Mexico and Brazil. It furnishes Cape Colony and Natal arrowroot and Queensland arrowroot in part. It is also cultivated in India, where it was introduced about 1840. In 1849, arrowroot was grown on an experimental scale in Mississippi, and in 1858 it was grown as a staple crop at St. Marys, Georgia. The plant is stated to have been carried from the island of Dominica to Barbados and thence to Jamaica. The starch made from the root is mentioned by Hughes, 1751, and the mode of preparing it is described by Browne, 1789. The Bermuda arrowroot is now most esteemed but it is cultivated in the East Indies, Sierra Leone and South Africa as well. Wilkes found the natives of Fiji making use of arrowroot from the wild plant.

Marathrum foeniculaceum Humb. & Bonpl.


Mexico and New Granada. This plant resembles seaweed and grows in the rivers of Veraguas. Its young leaf-stalks, when boiled, have a delicate flavor not unlike that of French beans.

Marattia alata Sw.


The fleshy caudex of this fern is used in the Sandwich Islands as food, when better food is scarce.

Marattia attenuata Lab.

In the Fiji Islands, the fronds are used as a potherb; they are very tender and taste not unlike spinach. In New Zealand, the soft part of the stem is eaten.

Margyricarpus setosus Ruiz et Pav.

Rosaceae. PEARL BERRY.

A native of Brazil, says Loudon, on arid hills. It bears pearl-like fruit, resembling that of the mistletoe but differing from it in having a grateful and acid taste.

Mariscus dregeanus Kunth.


Africa, Asia and Australia. The roots are boiled and eaten by the natives of India, who say they are as good as yams.

Marlea vitiensis Benth.


Australia and islands of the Pacific. This tree in New South Wales and Queensland bears edible fruits.

Marlierea glomerata Berg.

Myrtaceae. CAMBUCA.

Subtropical Brazil. The fruits attain the size of apricots and are much used for food.

Marlierea tomentosa Cambess.


Brazil. The sweet berries of this tall shrub are of the size of cherries.