Poa-Polygonatum (Sturtevant, 1919)

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Sturtevant, Notes on edible plants, 1919
Poa-Polygonatum (Sturtevant, 1919)

Poa abyssinica Jacq.

Gramineae. TEFF.

A mountain plant of Abyssinia, cultivated everywhere there, at a height of from 2500 to 8000 feet where gentle heat and rain favor its development. Its seeds furnish the favorite bread of the Abyssinians in the form of thin, highly leavened and spongy cakes. Pour varieties of this grain are cultivated. Parkyns writes that teff is considered by the Abyssinians wholesome and digestible, but so far from being satisfied of this, he is doubtful of its containing much nutritive property and as for its taste, he says, "fancy yourself chewing a piece of sour sponge and you will have a good idea of what is considered the best bread in Abyssinia."

Poa flabellata Hook. f.

Fuego and the Falkland Islands. Ross says the lower part of the culm in the tussock is so fleshy and juicy that when a tuft of leaves is drawn out from a tussock-bog, an inch of the base, about the thickness of a finger, affords a very sweet morsel, with flavor like nuts. Two men subsisted almost entirely upon this substance for 14 months.

Podocarpus andina Poepp.

Coniferae. PLUM FIR.

Chile. This species forms a stately tree bearing at fruiting season clusters of edible, cherry-like fruits.

Podocarpus dacrydioides A. Rich.


New Zealand. The white, sweet fruit is eaten by the natives. The drupe is also eaten.

Podocarpus spicata R. Br.


New Zealand. Its young shoots are made into a beverage like spruce beer. It has sweet, edible drupes.

Podocarpus totara G. Benn.


New Zealand. The fruit is eaten.

Podococcus barteri Mann & H. Wendl.


Western tropical Africa. The fruit is edible.

Podophyllum emodi Wall.


India. The berry is edible but the roots and leaves are poisonous.

Podophyllum peltatum Linn.


Northeast America. "Certaine ground apples, a pleasant fruite" were seen by Newport on James River. Porcher says the fruit is relished by many persons. It is extremely delicious to most persons but to many is an aperient. In France, it is grown in the flower gardens.

Polyalthia cerasoides Benth. & Hook. f.


East Indies. The fruits, cherry-shaped and dark red, are eaten by the natives but are astringent. The plant has black berries, fleshy, smooth and of an acid-sweet taste.

Polygala siberica Linn.


Temperate and tropical Asia. The roots and tender leaves were eaten in China in the fourteenth century.

Polygala theezans Linn.

Java and Japan. The Japanese and Javanese use the leaves as tea.

Polygala vulgaris Linn.


Europe and Asia Minor. This plant is said to be used in adulterating green tea.

Polygonatum japonicum C. Morr. & Decne.


Japan. It is called amatokoro by the Japanese and the root is used.

Polygonatum multiflorum All.


Northern regions. The root, says Johnson, macerated for some time in water, yields a substance capable of being used as food and consisting principally of starch. The young shoots form an excellent vegetable when boiled and eaten like asparagus and are largely consumed in Turkey. The European form of the species, mentioned by Titford, is well known to the negroes in Jamaica, who eat it boiled, and the Indians in North America also feed upon the root. Parkman states that the roots of Solomon's Seal were used as food by starving Frenchmen.

Polygonatum officinale All.


Europe and Siberia. The roots have been used, says Withering, made into bread in times of scarcity but they require boiling or baking before use.