Friday, April 15, 2016

1887 - Aracacha to Asparagus Bean - Part 2 - Sturtevant's HISTORY OF GARDEN VEGETABLES.

(Continued from page 59.) 
Find the original installment with its footnotes at
Aracacha. Aracacha esculenta De C. THIS South American plant is yet included among garden vegetables by Vilmorin. It was introduced to notice in Europe in 1829 and again in 1846, but trials in England, France, and Switzerland were unsuccessful in obtaining eatable roots.
It was grown near New York in 1825, and at Baltimore in 1828 or 1829, but was found to be worthless. Lately introduced to India, it is now fairly established there, and Mr. Morris considers it a most valuable plant-food, becoming more palatable and desirable the longer it is used.

It is generally cultivated  in Venezuela, New Granada, and Ecuador, and in the temperate regions of these countries it is preferred to the potato. The first account which reached 
Europe concerning this plant was published in the "Annals of Botany," vol. i., about 1805. It was, however, mentioned in a few words by Alcedo in his " Diccionario Geographico de las Indias Occidentales  America," 1789.

(Let me put in my findings here as well.  I looked it up of course as I had never heard the is called the Peruvian Carrot.  Several places mention it is good for distilling! A more thorough page is here.  Briefly, though, -
ARRACACHA ESCULENTA. 26204. From H. F. Schultz, Panama.
The Arracacha does not like a hot climate, but as the root needs about nine or ten months for full development, thet emperature must be rather equable all this time - say 60 to 68º. The root contains a large amount of starch and a sweet, yellowish sap from which a fermented liquor is sometimes prepared. But generally the root is boiled and eaten like potatoes, being superior to the best,variety of the latter. (Ernst.)
The synonymy has been given as below : 
  • Aracacha xanthoriza. Banc. Koen. Ann., i. 400.
  • Conium aracacha. Hook, Exot. Fl. Bot, 152.
  • Aracacha esculenta. De C, Prod., iv. 244.
Artichoke. Cynara scolymus Lin. 

The artichoke, Cynara scolymus L., is supposed by authors to have originated from the cardoon, Cynara cardunculus L., and 
the cardoon is indigenous at Madeira, the Canaries, Morocco, the Iberian Peninsula, the south of France, Italy, Greece, and the 
islands of the Mediterranean. It has become naturalized on a vast scale in Buenos Ayres and Chili. 

It is now grown on a large scale in France and other portions of Europe for the flower-heads, the scales and buttons of which make a very palatable vegetable, and in America in private gardens.
The number of varieties of artichoke is extremely large, as through the cross-fertilization of the flowers the plants do not come true from seed, and hence desirable selections are propagated by dividing the stools, or from suckers. 
Cynara cardunculus L

Vilmorin  describes thirteen varieties as sufficiently prominent for notice. 

Whether the artichoke was cultivated by the ancients is in dispute among commentators, and Targioni-Tozzetti,  a most competent authority, says it was only known to the Romans in the shape of the cardoon, and that the first record of the artichoke cultivated for the sake of the receptacle of the flowers was at Naples in the beginning or the middle of the fifteenth century ; 
it was thence carried to Florence in 1466, and at Vienna, Ermolao Barbara, who died as late as 1493, only knew of a single plant grown as a novelty in a private (Venetian) garden, although it soon after became a staple article of food over a great part of the peninsula. 

It seems quite certain that no descriptions I can find 
in Dioscorides and Theophrastus among the Greeks, nor in Columella, Palladius, and Pliny among the Romans, but that can, with better grace, be referred to the cardoon than to the artichoke. 
To the writers of the sixteenth century the artichoke and its uses were well known. " Le Jardinier Solitaire," an anonymous work published in 161 2, recommends three varieties for the garden. 

The most prominent distinction between the plants, as grown in the garden, is the presence or absence of spines. Although J. Bauhin,  in 1651, says that seed from the same plant may produce both sorts, and I have verified the observation, yet I cannot but believe that this comes from the cross-fertilization between the kinds, and that this absence or presence of spines is a true distinction. 

Tragus describes both forms in 1552, as do the majority of succeeding writers. 

The form of the heads form a second division, the conical-headed and the globe. 

I. The Conical-headed

Of the varieties sufficiently described by Vilmorin, four belong to this class, and they are all spiny. This form seems to constitute the French artichoke of English writers. 

The following synonymy seems justifiable : 
Vilmorin-Andrieux et cie.Les Plantes Potageres.
  • Cinara sylvestris. Ger., 1597, 291, fig.
  • Scolymus. Trag., 1552, 866, cum ic.
  • Carduus, vulgo Carciofi. I. Matth., 1558, 322.
  • Carduus aculeatus. Cam. Epit, 1586, 438, cum ic; Matth., ed. of 1598, 496, cum ic.
  • Thistle, or Prickly Artichoke. Lyte's Dod., 1586, 603.
  • Carduus sive Scolymus sativus, spinosus. J. Bauhin, 165 1, iii. 48, cum ic.
  • Artichokes, Violet. Quintyne, 1693, 187; 1704, 178.
  • Conical-headed Green French. Mawe, 1778.
  • French Artichoke. Mill. Diet., 1807; Am. Gard. Books, 1806, 819, 1828, 1832, etc.
  • "Philip Miller’s Gardener's Dictionary was one of the most popular gardening books of the 18th century. Miller was an expert botanist and gardener, and the book was published in many different forms and editions: the first edition appeared in 1724, and the last edition in 1807. A contemporary of White’s wrote in 1753 that it was: "the best of all, and that when one has it, no book is afterwards required." 
  • Vert de Provence. Vilm., 1883, 16. 
  • De Roscoff. Vilm., 1. c.
  • De Saint Laud oblong. Vilm., 1. c.
  • Sucre de Genes. Vilm., 1. c. Etc.
  • J. Bauhin, Hist., 1651, iii. 48.
II. The Globular-headed

To this form belong two of Vilmorin's varieties, and various other varieties as described by 
other parties. 

The synonymy which seems to apply is : 
  • Scolymus. Fuch., 1542, 792, cum ic.
  • Cardui alterum genus. Tragus, 1552, 866.
  • Carduus, vulgo Cariciofi. II. Matth., 1558, 322.
  • Carduus non aculeatus. Cam. Epit, 1586, 437, cum ic. ; Matth., 1598, 497, cum ic.
  • Right Artichoke. Lyte's Dod., 1586,603.
  • Cinara maxima ex Anglia delata. Lob. ic., 1591, ii. 3,
  • Cinara maxima alba. Gerarde, 1597, 991, fig.
  • Cinara maxima anglica. Gerarde, 1. c.
  • Green or White. Quintyne, 1593, 187; 1704, 178.
  • Red. Quintyne, 1. c.
  • Globular-headed Red Dutch. Mawe, 1778.
  • Globe Artichoke. Mill. Diet., 1807; Am. Gard. Books, 1806, 1819, 1828, etc.
  • Gros vert de Laon. Vilm. 1883.
  • Violet de Provence. Vilm., 1. c. Etc.
In growing five of Vilmorin's varieties from seed, variability was such that we had nearly as many varieties as plants, and among other sorts had one which in its head was precisely the Cinara major Boloniensis of the " Hortus Eystettensis," 1613 ; and another, which was the Cinara seu Artischoche vulgatiss of the same. The color of the heads also found mention in the early writers. 

In our first division, the Frenchthe green is mentioned by 
  • Tragus in 1552, 
  • by Mawe in 1778, 
  • and by "Miller's Dictionary" in 1807;
the purple 

In the Globe class the white is named 
  • by Gerarde in 1597, and 
  • by Quintyne in 1693 ; 
and the Red 
  • by Gerarde in 1597, 
  • by Quintyne in 1693, 
  • and by Mawe in 1778 ; 
  • and Parkinson, in 1629, names the red and the white.

The so-called wild plants of the herbalists seem to offer like variations to those we have noted in the cultivated forms, but the difficulty of identification renders it inexpedient to state a fixed conclusion.   

The heads are certainly no larger now than they were two hundred and fifty years ago, for the "Hortus Eystettensis" figures one fifteen inches in diameter. The long period during 
which the larger part of the present varieties have been known seems to justify the belief that modern origination has not been frequent. 

"Le Jardinier Solitaire," 1612, describes early varieties, — le Blanc, le Rouge, and le Violet; Worlidge, in 1683, says there are several kinds, and he names the tender and the hardy 
sort. McMahan names the French and two varieties of the Globe in America in 1806; "L'Hort. Francais," 1824, names the Blanc, Rouge, Violet, and the Gros vert de Laon ; Petit, "Nouv. Diet, du Jard.," 1826, adds Sucre de Genes to the list; Noisette, in 1829, adds the Camus of Brittany. 

The name given by Ruellius  to the artichoke in France, in 1536, is articols, from the Italian articoclos. He says it comes from arcocum of the Ligurians, cocali signifying the cone of the 
pine. The Romans call it carchiophos, and the plant and the name came to France from Italy. 

The names I have seen assigned are in alphabetical order : 
  • Arabs, kharchiof, hirshuf raxos, harxos ;  
  • Berber, taga; 
  • Egypt, charsjuf;
  • Flanders, artisjok;
  • France, carciophe, artichaut ; 
  • Germany, strobildorn, artischoke ;
  • Hindustanee, kunjir ;
  • Holland, artisjok ;
  • India, kunjeer, ateechuk ;
  • Italy, carciofo, articiocca, archichiocco ;
  • Persia, kunjir ;
  • Portugal, alcachofra ;
  • Spain, alcachofa, cardo de cornier.

Asparagus officinalis L. 

The cultivated asparagus seems to have been unknown to the Greeks of the time of Theophrastus and Dioscorides, and the 
word asparagos seems to have been used for the wild plant of another species. 

The Romans of the time of Cato, about 200 B.C., knew it well, and Cato's directions for culture would answer fairly well for the gardeners of to-day, except that he recommends starting with the seed of the wild plant, and this seems good evidence that the wild and the cultivated forms were then of the same type as they are to-day. 

Columella, in the first century, recommends transplanting the young roots from a seed-bed, 
and devotes quite a space to their after-treatment, and he offers choice of cultivated seed or that from the wild plant, without indicating preference.   Pliny, who wrote also in the first century of our era, says that asparagus, of all the plants of the garden, receives the most praiseworthy care, and also praises the good quality of the kind that grows wild in the island of Nesidis, near the coast of Campania.    In his praise of gardens  he says, " Silvestres fecerat natura corrudas, ut quisque demeteret passim ; ecce altiles spectantur asparagi ; et Ravenna ternos libris rependit." (Nature has made the asparagus wild, so that any one may gather as found. Behold, the highly-manured asparagus may be seen at Ravenna weighing three pounds.) 
Asparagus albus L. (as Corduba tertia)  Clusius, C., Rariorum plantarum historia

This evidences the likeness remarked between the wild and the cultivated form, and 
the recognition of the change produced by. culture. Palladius, an author of the third century, rather praises the sweetness of the wild form found growing among the rocks, and recommends the transplanting to such places otherwise worthless for agriculture, but he also gives full directions for garden culture with as much care as did Cato. 
Gesner quotes Pomponius, who lived in the second century, as saying that there are two kinds, the garden and the wild asparagus, and the wild asparagus the more pleasant to eat. 

The word Asparagus, as used by the Romans, meant the cultivated form, the word Corruda the wild plant. 
The original meaning seems to have been a succulent shoot, for in this sense it was frequently used by the Greek writers. 

In the European languages we have the continuance of the word under various forms, as
  • Sperage by Turner, 1538; 
  • Asparagus by Gerarde, 1597 and to date, as also Sparrowgrass. 
  • In Denmark, Asparges ; 
  • in France, Asperge or Esparge in 1586; 
  • in Germany, Epargen in 1586, Epargel in 1807, and Spar gel at the present time ; 
  • in Greece, Asparaggia; 
  • in Holland, Aspergie in 1807, Aspersie now; 
  • in Italy, Asparagus in 1586, and Sparagio at present; 
  • in Portugal, Espargo ; 
  • in Russia, Sparsa or Sparsch; 
  • in Spain, Asparrago and Esparrago ; and 
  • in Sweden, Sparis or Spargel
In extra-European languages the following names appear : 
  • in Arabic, yeramya, marchoobeh ;
  • By the Moors, halion or helium,
  • in India, marchooba, nagdoon, or asfuraj ';*
  • Hindustanee, hilyoon, nagdoun ;
  • in Persian, margeesh ;
  • in Japan, kikak kosi ;
  • in the Mauritius, asperge
The expression of Parkinson, 1629, "a delectable sallet herbe," implies the consideration 
in which for many centuries it has been held. Its culture in Italy was, as we have seen, 
quite general in ancient times. We have no records of its first appearance in the various 
countries of Europe, but it is mentioned in England by Turner in 1538, and as under 
cultivation by Gerarde in 1597. 
In France it was well known in 1529. In America "Sparagus" is mentioned in Virginia in 
1648,and in Alabama in 1775, and in 1785 Cutter mentions asparagus as if it was then 
a well-known vegetable in Massachusetts. 

New Improvements of Planting and GardeningBoth Philosophical and Practical; Explaining the Motion of the Sapp and Generation of Plants  Richard Bradley 1718

The wild plant is indigenous to Europe ; as an escape from gardens it is often noted in America, not only in waste places on the coast, as Gray states, but also inland. There are no essential points of difference between the wild and cultivated forms ; such as are noted between the escapes and the garden plants are only such as come from protected culture and rich soil ; the figures in the ancient botanies do not indicate other variation than this, and the few varieties, so called, of our gardens have no especial importance, the differences being but in minor points, and but indicative of a careful selection and high culture, the ordinary variability of a variety furnishing plants which are propagated by division. The point I wish to make regarding this vegetable is this, that although under high cultivation now for over two thousand years, under diverse climates and treatment, yet it has remained constant to type. 
The directions given by the Roman writers to plant the seed of the wild plant might be followed to-day with our escapes without detriment. It has given no variety types that have been recorded from the time of Cato up to this present year of grace. Where, then, is this boasted power of man by which he is supposed to modify our wild plants into improved 
types? It probably does not exist. The types of our cultivated plants have been apparently taken from nature, as produced by the slow process of natural selection, and the influence of selection and diverse cultivations has been but to secure variation within the type limits, and such variations are usually of the character which may be described as expansion under culture, or its opposite ; as smoothness and regularity of form ; as enhanced quality.  (Huh?)

Asparagus Bean. Dolichos sesqiiipedalis L. 

This bean was described by Linnaeus in 1763, and I find no record of an earlier notice. It reached England in 1781. Linnaeus gives its habitat as America, and Jacquin received it from the West Indies. Martens considers it as a synonyme of Dolichos sinensis L. Loureiro's description of D. sinensis certainly applies well to the asparagus bean, and Loureiro (pdf download) observes that he thinks the D. sesquipedalis of Linnaeus the same. He refers to Rumphius's "Amboina" 1. 9, c. 22, tab. 134, as representing his plant, and this work, published in 1750, antedates the description of Linnaeus.  

I think this is probably an East Indian plant, introduced to the West Indies, but I am unable from my notes to present the varieties and the forms which have been included under D. chinensis. 
Les plantes potagères. Description et culture  des principaux légumes des climats empérés Vilmorin-Andrieux & Cie à Paris en 1883.
The name of Asparagus bean comes from the use of the green pods as a vegetable, served as a string-bean, and a tender asparagus-like dish it is. The name at Naples of Fagiolo e maccarone conveys the same idea. The pods grow very long, oftentimes are two feet in length, and hence the name of Yard-long often used.
The Asparagus or Yard-long bean is mentioned for American gardens in 1828, and probably was introduced earlier. It is mentioned for French gardens under the name of Haricot asperge in 1829. There are no varieties known to our seedsmen, but Vilmorin offers one, the Dolique de Cuba. (illus. on right)
The names under which it is known are : 
  • in France, dolique asperge, haricot asperge ; 
  • in Germany, Americanische riesen-spargel Bohne ; 
  • in Holland, Indianische boon ; 
  • in Italy, fagiuolo sparagio, or fasoi longhi, fagiolo e maccarone ; 
  • at Cayenne, pots rubran ;
  • at Barbadoes, Halifax pea;
  • at Jamaica, asparagus bean;
  • in Cochin China, dau dau and tau co.
(To be continued.)


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

1887 - African Valerian to Anise - Part 1 - Sturtevant's HISTORY OF GARDEN VEGETABLES

This is the first installment of this wonderful series of articles by E. Lewis Sturtevant. 

First published in January, 1887 in the American Naturalist, Sturtevant's HISTORY OF GARDEN VEGETABLES continued in installments for four more years, with the last being 1891. 

Originally published without any illustrations, I have added what caught my eye. Tracking down online sources for the books referenced by Sturtevant in the footnotes (which I eliminated) was interesting, and I linked what I could. I also occasionally did Google translations. I find it is quite the rat hole of tangents that I scurry down while working on this, so don't expect the next installment to be posted quickly!

Remember, if you want to read the original, the link is given at the top of each section.
I hope you enjoy this work as much as I do, 

HISTORY OF GARDEN VEGETABLES. BY E. LEWIS STURTEVANT, A.M., M.D. (See biography.) THIS series of articles, which should be rather entitled notes on than history of cultivated vegetables, is intended as a portion of a study into the extent of variation that has been produced in plants through cultivation. The author has had the great advantage of opportunity of studying the growing specimens in nearly all the species named, and in nearly all the varieties now known to our seed trade; and this study has given him confidence in the establishing of synonymy, as oftentimes the variables within types have furnished clues of importance. The treatment, as a matter of convenience, is arranged alphabetically, and includes the species recognized by Vilmorin-Andrieux in their standard work "Les Plantes Potageres," 1883, and the English edition " The Vegetable Garden," 1885, with the exception of the Pineapple and Strawberry, species which by American gardeners are included among fruits. In the matter of references the citations are all taken directly from the sources indicated, quoted references being in all cases so acknowledged in the notes. In a work of this character, where the conclusions can oftentimes seem questionable, it is important that facilities for corroboration should be freely offered, - hence I have made my references to editions and pages.

African Valerian. Valeriana cornucopia L. The African valerian is a recent introduction to gardens, and furnishes in its leaves salad of excellent quality. The plant is native to the Mediterranean region, in grain-fields in waste places.
Gaspard BauhinC. Bauhin
C. Bauhin, in 1596, speaks of it as if of recent introduction to botanical gardens in his time, and Clusius, in 1601, J. Bauhin, in 1651, and Ray, in 1686, all describe it. It is not spoken of as under cultivation in Miller's Dictionary, 1807, nor does Don in his "Gardeners' Dictionary," 1834, speak of any use, although he is usually very ready with such information. 

In 1841 the "Bon Jardinier" in France refers to it as being a good salad plant. As neither Noisette, 1830, nor Petit, 1826, nor Pirolle, 1824, mention it, we may assume that it had not entered the vegetable garden at these dates. 
In 1863, Burr describes it among American garden vegetables, as does Vilmorin in France in 1883, and in England in 1885. No varieties are described, although a purple and a white flowered form are mentioned by Bauhin as occurring in the wild plant. The one sort now described has pink or rose colored flowers.
Vilmorin's  The Vegetable Garden - 1885

The vernacular names, as given by Vilmorin, are :
  • English, African Valerian;
  • French, Valeriane d' Alger, Corne d'abondance ;
  • German, Algerischer Baldrian;
  • Flemish, Speenkruid;
  • Dutch, Speerkruid.

(By the way, did you notice who signed the title page of Vilmorin's book linked to above!?? )
The synonymy is as below :
  • Valeriana peregrina purpurea. Bauh., Phytopin., 1596, 293.
  • Valeriana indica. Clus., Hist, 1601, 2, 54, cum ic.
  • Valeriana peregrina purpurea albave. Bauh., Pin., 1623, 164; Prod., 1 67 1, 87,
  • Valeriana peregrina, seu Indica. J. Bauh., Hist., 165 1, iii. pt. 2, 212, cum ic.
  • Valeriana mexicana. Ray, Hist., 1686, i. 394.
  • Valerianella cornucopioides, flore galeato. Tourn., Inst., 17 19, 133-
  • Valeriana cornucopia. Linn., Sp., 1762, 44.
  • Fedia cornucopia. Gaertn., Fruct, 1788, ii. 37.
Alexanders. Smyrnium olusatrum L.

John Ray
The name said to be a corruption of Olusatrum (Webster's Dict.), but Ray ("Hist. Plant," 437) says called so either because it came from the Egyptian city of that name, or it was so believed.  (Ray's work is actually called "Historia Plantarum". Finding out that made it easier to locate!  )
The Italian name macerone is believed by Ray to
have been corruptly derived from Macedonia, but a more probable origin is from maceria, the Italian for wall, as Columella (lib. xi. c. 3) says, "Pastinato loco semine debet conseri maxime juxta maceriam." (Trans.: Trenched the seeds should be sown especially near the wall.)

  • English, Alexanders, Alisanders, Allisanders, Horse parsley, Macedonicum, Parsley macedonian.
  • Arabic, Seniruion.
  • Belgian, Petersilie van Alexandria, P. van Macedonien, Groot petersilie.
  • French, Alexandre, Ache large, Grand ache, Maceron.
  • German, Alexandrinum, Brust-wurzel, Engel-wurzel, Herba alexandriana, Gross Epffich, Peterlin, Liebstockel.
  • Greece, Agrioselinon, Mauroselinon, Skuloselinon.
  • Greek, Hipposelinon, Smyrnion.
  • Italian, Alessandrion, Herba Alexandrina, Macerone, Smirnio.
  • Latin, Hipposelinon, Olisatum, Olusatrum, Smyrnion.
  • Portuguese, Cardo do coalho.
  • Spanish, Apio macedonica, Perexil macedonico.
In this Umbellifer, as De Candolle remarks, we can follow the plant from the
beginning to the end of its culture. Theophrastus, who flourished about 322 B.C., speaks of it as an officinal plant, under the name of Hipposelinon.  

Dioscorides, who lived in the first century after Christ, speaks of the edible properties of the roots and leaves, while Columella and Pliny, authors of the same century, speak of its cultivation; Galen, in the second century, classes it among edibles, and Apicius, in the third century, gives a receipt for its preparation or the table. Charlemagne, who died a.d. 814, included this vegetable among those ordered to be planted on his estates. Ruellius's edition of Dioscorides, 1529, does not speak of its culture, nor does Leonicenus, 1529 (not necessitated by the text); but Fuchsius, 1542, says planted in gardens. Tragus, 1552, received seed from a friend, so it was apparently not generally grown in his part of Germany at this date. Matthiolus, in his "Commentaries," 1558, refers to its edible qualities. Pena and Lobel, 1570, say in England it occurs abundantly in gardens, — "in hortis copiosissimum, ubi radix illi crassior, magis succosa, vesca et tenerior, quam suapte sponte nato," and the cultivated form far better than in the wild plant. (Trans.: "in the gardens, large quantities, where the root of thicker, more succulent, we do eat, and the tender, which was spontaneously born") Camerarius, "Epitome," 1586, says, "in hortis seritur." (Trans.: "in gardens planted") Gerarde, in 1597, does not speak of its culture, but says, " groweth in most places of England," but in his edition of 1630 says, "the root hereof is also in our age served to the table raw for a sallade herbe." Dodonseus, 1616, refers to its culture in the gardens of Belgium., and Bodseus a Stapel, in his edition of "Theophrastus," 1644, says is much approved in salads, and is cultivated as a vegetable, — "Contra maceronis esui idonea, palato non ingrata; quo nomine a Gallis, Anglio, Germanis avidissime in acetariis expetitur ac ab olitoribus sedulo colitur;" yet, in 1612, "Le Jardinier Solitaire" mentions the culture of celery, but not of Alexanders, in French gardens.  (The link from "Dodonseus, 1616" above, is to a fantastic scan of a fantastic book! Enjoy!!)
(Trans.: On the other hand, Macerones is suitable food, the taste is not unpleasant; named by the French, English, Germans and eagerly sought in a salad carefully cultivated by a kitchen gardener.)
Quintyne, in the English edition of his " Complete Gard'ner," 1704, says " it is one of the furnitures of our winter-sallads, which must be whitened like our wild Endive or Succory." In 1726, Townsend, in his "Complete Seedsman," refers to the manner of use, but adds, " 'tis but in few gardens." Mawe's " Gardener," 1778, refers to this vegetable, but it is apparently in minor use at this time ; yet Varlo, in his "Husbandry," 1785, gives directions for continuous sowing of the seed in order to secure a more continuous supply. McMahon, in his "American Gardeners' Kalendar," 1806, includes this vegetable in his descriptions, but not in his general list of kitchen garden esculents, and it is likewise enumerated by later American writers, and is included by Burr, 1863, among garden vegetables, — a survival of mention apparently not indicating use; and Vilmorin, in his " Les Plantes Potageres," 1883, gives a heading and a few lines to maceron, but I do not now find its seed advertised in our catalogues, and I never remember to have seen the plant or heard of its being in use in my time.

Smyrnium perfoliatum L.  
Sibthrop, J., Smith, J.E., Flora Graeca (drawings), vol. 3: t. 89 (1819)

This species is perhaps confounded with S. olusatrum in some of the references already given. 

Loudon says it was formerly cultivated, and Mcintosh says it is thought by many superior to S. olusatrum, — a remark which Burr (" Field and Garden Vegetables") includes in his description. 

Although the species is separated by a number of the older botanists, yet Ruellius, 1529, is the only one I find who refers to its edible qualities.  
This plant, which De Candolle says has been under common culture for fifteen centuries (" a ete une des plus communes dans les jardins pendant environ quinze siecles," " Orig. des PI. Cult.," 72), has shown, so far as my researches indicate, no change of type under culture. 

The figures which occur in so many of the herbals all show the same type of plant, irrespective of the source from which the illustration may have been taken, unless perhaps the root is drawn rather more enlarged in some cases than in others. Alkekengi. Physalis sp. The alkekengi, usually known in our seed catalogues by the name of Strawberry Tomato, is classed with the Tomatoes, and it is worthy of note that Hernandez, in his work on Mexican plants, published in 1651, did the same. 

There are a number of species which occur under the general name, and the plant is frequently found in gardens, as some people are fond of the fruit, whether raw or preserved. The plant most often, however, occupies waste places, springing up spontaneously after being once introduced, and its products are of very minor importance among vegetables.  

Among the species that have been identified from the seeds of the " Strawberry Tomato," obtained from commercial sources, are the following :
I. Physalis angulata L. This species is found widely dispersed over tropical regions, extending to the southern portion of the United States and to Japan. 
Joachim Camerarius, 1588
It is first described by Camerarius, in 1588, as a plant hitherto unknown, and an excellent figure is given. It was seen in a garden by C. Bauhin before 1596, and is figured in the " Hortus Eystettensis," 1613. J. Bauhin speaks of its presence in certain gardens in Europe. Linnaeus makes a variety with entire leaves, and both his species and variety are 
figured by Dillenius, who obtained the variety from Holland in 1732. When it first appeared in our vegetable gardens I do not find recorded.  
Flora de Filipinas - Physalis angulata

Its synonymy seems to be as below :
  • Halicacabum sive Solarium Indicum. Cam., Hort., 1588, 70 cum ic.
  • Solatium vesicarium Indicum. Bauh., Phytopin., 1596, 297; Pin., 1623, 166; Ray, Hist, 1686, 681.
  • Halicacabum seu Solanum Indicum. Camer., Hort. Eyst., 1613, cum ic.
  • Solanum sive Halicabum Indicum. J. Bauh., 165 1, iii. 609, cum ic.
  • Alkekengi Indicum majus. Tourn. Inst., 1719, 151.
  • Pops. Hughes, Barb., 1750, 161.
  • Physalis angulata L. Gray, Syn. Fl., ii. pt. i. p. 234.
2. Physalis barbadensis Jacq. This species is said by Vilmorin to be sometimes cultivated in France. According to Maycock 4 it is the Pop-vine of Hughes. 3 I have not seen it growing.
3. Physalis lanceolata Michx. This species was among the "Strawberry Tomatoes" grown in 1886, and occurred in two varieties, — a, the ordinary sort, and b, with broader leaves and more robust growth. Its habitat is given by Gray as from Lake Winnipeg to Florida and Texas, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico.
4. Physalis peruviana L.
This South American species seems to have become fairly well distributed through 
cultivation. Birdwood records it as cultivated widely in India, and gives native names in the various dialects, and Speede mentions it also.

In France it is classed among garden vegetables by Vilmorin. Descourtliz gives a Carib name, " sousburou-scurou." Drummond, who introduced the plant into Australia, after ten years reports it as completely naturalized in his region. 
This species differs but slightly from P. pubescens. Gray, in 1878, says it was introduced into cultivation several years ago, but has now mainly disappeared.

Wildflowers and landscapes of Ecuador
  • In English called Cape Gooseberry 11 or Cherry Tomato;
  • in Carib, " sousotirou-scurou ;
  • in Tagalo, " potocan ;"
  • in India, Winter Cherry, Turparee ;
  • in Bengali, Tapureea, Tapeeriya, and Tophlee;
  • in Hindustani, Macao;
  • in Telinga, Budda-busara, Pambudda}
5. Physalis philadelphica Lam. (Nice line drawings of all the Physalis here...) Although the habitat of this species is given by Gray as in fertile soil, Pennsylvania to Illinois and Texas, yet it seems to be the Miltomatl figured by Hernandez in his Mexican history, published in 1651. 
It is described by Burr under the name Purple Ground Cherry, Purple Strawberry Tomato, Purple Winter Cherry. The "petite tomate du Mexique" as received from Vilmorin, in 1883, can be assigned to this species, as can also a "Strawberry Tomato" grown in 1885. 

6. Physalis pubescens L.  
This species has a wide range, extending from New York to Iowa, Florida, and westward,
from Texas to the borders of Caliornia, and southward to tropical America. It is described by Marcgrav and Piso in Brazil about the middle of the seventeenth century, and Feuille, 1725, mentions it as cultivated and wild in Peru. It has been introduced into many regions. 

Loureiro records it in Cochinchina; Bojer, as cultivated in the Mauritius and in all the tropical countries, and it also occurs in the descriptions of garden vegetables in France and America. 
It was cultivated by Miller in England in 1739, but was described by Parkinson in 1640. 

It had not reached the kitchen garden in 1807, but had before 1863.
Its synonymy seems as below given :
  • Camaru. Marcg., 1648, 12; Piso, 1658, 223.
  • Halicacabum sive Alkakengi Virginense. .Ray, 1686,681.
  • Alkekengi Virginianum, fructu luteo. Tourn., 17 19, 151.
  • Alkekengi Virginianum, fructu luteo, vulgo Capuli. Feuille, 1725, iii. 5.
  • Alkekengi Barbadense nanum, Alliance folio. Dill. Elth., p. 10, f. 9, t. 9, 1774.
  • Physalis pubescens. Lin., Sp., 1762, 262.
7. Physalis virginiana Mill. This species has also been grown from the seedsmen's " Strawberry Tomato." It is low spreading. Its habitat is given by Gray as Upper Canada to Florida and Texas. The number of species which are included in the common name Strawberry Tomato is indicative of the wide source of seed-supply tributary to our seed-houses, as well as to the little importance of the plant for the vegetable garden.

It is quite evident that in nature many of these species are quite variable, furnishing numerous botanical varieties. Whether any varieties have originated under culture it. is scarcely worth the while to consider, as the common nomenclature is so obscuring, and as there is no indication of the plants receiving enough consideration to justify us in supposing attempts for improving through selection or careful cultivation.
American Cress. Barbarea praecox R. Br. The vernacular name is a misnomer, as this species, although introduced into America, is not native, but an inhabitant of the  Old World. The first mention we find is that of Ray, who notices it in his description of the similar species Barbarea vulgaris.
He is so droll!

It is cultivated in the Mauritius, in gardens of England as a cress in 1855, and stated by Don, in 1831, to be generally liked as a winter cress in Germany and England. In France it is included among garden vegetables by Vilmorin in 1883, but not by Noisette in 1829. It is recorded for American gardens by Burr in 1863, and Gray, in 1880, says it is cultivated from Pennsylvania southward as a winter cress.
It is known
  • in the Southern States under the name of Early Winter Cress, or Scurvy-grass;
  • in English generally Winter Cress, American Winter Cress, and Belle Isle Cress, or American Cress;
  • in France as Cresson de terre, Cresson de jazdin, Cresson vivace, Cresson des vignes, Cressonette de jardin, Roquette, and Sisymbrium ;
  • in German, Amerikanische Winterkresse ;
  • in Flanders, Wilde kers ;
  • in Denmark, Winter karse.
Angelica. Angelica archangelica L.
 (Here's a beautiful close up look at making an Angelica pie.  MMMM...candied angelica!)
This species is occasionally cultivated among aromatic or medicinal herbs. Its young, tender stalk in May, cut into small pieces, makes an admirable sweetmeat, and in the north of Europe the Laplanders consume its green shoots as a salad. The medicinal properties of the root were highly prized in the Middle Ages. In Pomet
Blackwell, E., Herbarium Blackwellianum, vol. 5: t. 496 (1765) NICE!!
we read that the seed is much used to
make angelica comfits, as well as the root for medicine. Bryant deems it the best aromatic that Europe produces.  
This plant must be a native of Northern Europe, for I find no references to it in the ancient authors of Greece and Rome, nor is it mentioned by Albertus Magnus in the thirteenth century. By Fuchsius, 1542, and succeeding authors it receives proper attention, and is recorded as cultivated in gardens.

The German name Heilige Geist Wurz (Holy Spirit Wurz) implies the estimation in which it was held, and offers clue to the origin of the word Angelica, or angel plant, which occurs in so many languages, as in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian, becoming Angelique and Archangelique in French, and Angelickwicrz in German.  

Other names, of like import, are the modern Engelwurz in Germany, Engelkruid in Flanders, and Engelwortel in Holland. 
The various figures given by herbalists show the same type of plant, the principal differences to be noted being in the size of the root. Pena and Lobel, in 1570, note a smaller variety as cultivated in England, Belgium, and France, and Gesner is quoted by Camerarius as having seen roots of three pounds' weight. Bauhin, 1623, says the roots vary, the Swiss-grown being thick, those of Bohemia smaller and blacker.
Anise. Pimpinella anisum L.
illustration by James Sowerby -1793
Anison was known to the ancient Greeks, and Dioscorides says the best came from Crete, the next best from Egypt ; and it is mentioned by Theophrastus. Pliny, in the first century, says " anesum, green or dry, is desirable in all seasonings or sauces," and the seeds are even sprinkled in the under crust of bread, and used for flavoring wine. 
He quotes Pythagoras as praising it whether raw or cooked. Palladius, in the beginning of the third century, gives directions for its sowing. 

Charlemagne, in the ninth century (a.d. 812), commanded that anise should be sown on the imperial farms in Germany. It is mentioned also by Albertus Magnus in the thirteenth century. It seems to have been grown in England as a pot-herb prior to 1542, as Boorde, in his "Dyetary of Helth," printed in that year, says of it and fennel, " These herbes be seldom used, but theyr seedes be greatly occupyde."

Ruellius records it in France in 1536, and gives the common name as Roman fennel, the same as Albertus Magnus used in the thirteenth century. It is classed among culinary herbs by Laurembergius in 1632, and in America by McMahon in 1806.

  • In the seventeenth century Quintyne 3 records the use of the leaves in salads. 
  • The seeds now serve to flavor various liqueurs ;  
  • in Italy they appear in diverse pastries ; 
  • in Germany they are put into bread ; 
  • in England, in special bread, in rye bread, and even in cheese. 4 
  • In Malta, localities in Spain, France, Southern Italy, Germany, and Russia the plant is grown on a large scale for the seed, which enters commerce for use in flavoring medicines, etc.  
It is also grown in Northern India and Chili.  
The plant is indigenous to Asia Minor, the Greek islands, and Egypt, but is nowhere to be met with undoubtedly growing wild ; and I have found no indication of its having formed varieties under cultivation, except that Bauhin records one sort having rounder and smaller seeds than the common.  

(To be continued.)