Ricinus-Roupellia (Sturtevant, 1919)

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Sturtevant, Notes on edible plants, 1919
Ricinus-Roupellia (Sturtevant, 1919)

Ricinus communis Linn.

Euphorbiaceae. CASTOR OIL PLANT.

Tropics. In China, S. Wells Williams says castor oil is used in cooking. Smith says in his Materia Medica of China that a species or variety of Ricinus is said to have smooth fruit and to be innocuous.

Robinia flava Lour.


North China. The taste of the root is sweetish and mucilaginous and would seem to justify, says Smith, its consumption as a food in times of scarcity, as mentioned for China in the Pen Ts'au.

Robinia pseud-acacia Linn.


South Pennsylvania, southward along the mountains and naturalized in some other places. Yellow locust is commonly cultivated as an ornamental tree. The seeds, upon pressure, yield a large quantity of oil. They are quite acid but lose this quality upon boiling; they furnish a pleasant, nutritious article of food, much esteemed by the aborigines.

Rollinia sieberi A. DC.

Anonaceae. SUGAR APPLE.

Mexico. This is one of the fruit trees cultivated in the Public Gardens of Jamaica. It is also cultivated in the Moluccas. The flesh of the fruit is very soft and of an unpleasant taste.

Rollinia sylvatica Warm.


The plant is called araticu do mato and its fruit is good to eat.

Rosa acicularis Lindl.


Northern Asia and North America. In the Amur country, a much larger and better fruit than that of R. canina is afforded by this species.

Rosa canina Linn.


Europe and temperate Asia. The fruits of this wild rose have a scanty, orange, acid, edible pulp and were collected in ancient times in Europe when garden fruits were few and scarce. Galen mentions them as gathered by country people in his day, as they still are in Europe. Gerarde remarks that "the fruit when it is ripe makes most pleasant meats and banqueting dishes, as tarts and such like." Lightfoot says the pulp of the fruit separated from the seeds and mixed with wine and sugar, makes a jelly much esteemed in some countries. Johnson says the leaves have been used as a tea substitute.

Rosa centifolia Linn.


In China, the blossoms are used for scenting tea.

Rosa cinnamomea Linn.


North temperate zone. The berries, or seed capsules, are eaten, says Dall, by the Alaska Indians. They are sweet and juicy. The fruit is eaten by the Kamchatkians.

Rosa fraxinellaefolia Andr.


Western Oregon. The haws are eaten by the Indians of the Cascade Mountains and by the Nez Perces. R. Brown says the tender shoots in the spring are eaten by the Indians.

Rosa macrophylla Lindl.

Himalayan region and China. In, India, Brandis says the fruit is eaten.

Rosa nutkana Presl.

Northern Pacific coast to the Rocky Mountains. The fruit is juicy, pleasantly acidulous and is an excellent antiscorbutic for the Alaska Indians.

Rosa rubiginosa Linn.


Europe and Caucasus. Berries of this species are collected and sold in Norway.

Rosa rugosa Thunb.


Eastern Asia. This rose is called mau, or in Japanese humanasi, and the fruit is generally eaten by the Ainos.

Rosa semperflorens Curt.


China. The Chinese serve the flowers of this rose dressed whole, as a ragout.

Rosa spinosissima Linn.


Europe and Asia Minor. The deep purple fruit of this rose, so abundant on sandy shores in Britain, is very sweet and pleasant to the taste.

Rosa villosa Linn.

Europe and Asia. The fruit has a pleasant, acid pulp, which is sometimes served at dessert in the form of conserves or sweetmeats.

Rosmarinus officinalis Linn.

Labiatae. ROSEMARY.

West Mediterranean countries and grown in gardens for its use in flavoring meats and soups. This aromatic herb had many virtues ascribed to it by Pliny and is also mentioned by Dioscorides and Galen. Rosemary was also familiar to the Arab physicians of Spain in the thirteenth century and is mentioned in an Anglo-Saxon herbal of the eleventh century. The first notice of its use as a condiment is by Lignamine, 1475, who describes rosemary as the usual condiment with salted meats. In 1783, rosemary is described by Bryant as so common in gardens as to be known to every one. It finds mention in nearly all the earlier botanies. In 1778, Mawe names four varieties: Common Narrow-leaved, Broad-leaved, the Silver-striped and Gold-stripedleaved. It was in American gardens in 1806 or earlier.

Roupellia grata Wall. & Hook.

Apocynaceae. CREAM-FRUIT.

Tropical Africa. In Sierra Leone, this plant affords a delicious fruit, according to Henfrey.