Tuesday, June 28, 2016

1887 - Egg-Plant to Evening Primrose - Part 9 - Sturtevant's HISTORY OF GARDEN VEGETABLES
















 (Continued from page 912.)


(With a few additions from Sturtevant's Notes on Edible Plants posted in brown typeface.)



Want to see the footnotes that have been removed? 

Go to this link for "History...".
and this one for "Notes...".

 Egg-Plant. Solanum melongena L.



























This outstanding illustration is from http://digital.bibliothek.uni-halle.de/hd/content/titleinfo/242564 in the 1708 book with a very long title! 

Translation: Nürnbergische Hesperides, Or Thorough Description The noble Citron, Lemon, and Pomerantzen fruits, as such, at that and adjacent area, rather like are used, maintained, preserved and taken away, velvet a detailed narration of most varieties, which partly würcklich to Nuremberg been grown, partly brought from different strange places there, engraved on the accurateste in Kupffer, eingetheilet in fourths and Expound with useful Anmerckungen. Beneben of Flora, or Curiosen idea Various rare flowers, velvet tear open easily have one addition of several other plants, and a detailed report on how to create a properly-sufficient solar clock in the garden field of Bux, and gardens after Perspectiv, As a report from those standing in the author's garden, Colvmnis Milliaribvs 


The egg-plant seems not to have been known in Europe in the time of the ancients.
The Arab physician, Ebn Baithar, who wrote in the thirteenth century, speaks of it, and cites Rhases, who lived in the ninth century.  Albertus Magnus.s who lived in Europe in the thirteenth century, mentions it, — "Et sic invenitur tres sapores in melangena, amarus acutus et stypticus."  (And then there are three flavors in melangena, bitter, sharp and astringent.)
Ibn-al-awan, a Moorish Spaniard of the twelfth century, describes four species, and the Nabatheenne agriculture six.

According to Jessen, Avicenna, who flourished about a.d. 595, knew it, and called it badingan. This latter word, variously spelled, is the present name in Hindustanee, Arabic, Persian, and Sumatran, and the closely corresponding English  name in India is Brinjal, and Begoon;  in Spain, Berengena; or at San Domingo, Beringene.  

 Bretschneider  says the egg-plant can be identified in the Ts'i min yao shu, a Chinese work on agriculture of the fifth century, and is described in later writings of 1590, 1640, and 1742.
JIN NONG (1687-1763)
Acosta  mentions, as among the vegetables carried from Spain to America, the barengenes, or apples of Love,  and Piso,  in 1658, figures the egg-plant among Brazilian plants, under the name of belingela.

 The various European names are given as below :

  •  in Belgian, veramgenes, eierplant ;
  •  in English, apples of love, madde apples, egg-plant ;
  •  in France, albergine, aubergine, beringene, brehheme, bringele, magrinan, mayenne, melanzane , merangene , meringeane, verinjeane, viadase ;
  • in Germany, Eierpflanze ;
  • in Italy, petonciano, melanzacca, maringiani ;
    Photo: Phoebe Ayers
  •  in Portugal, bringela ;
  • in Spain, berengena.

These names are largely derived from the Arabic melongena as given by Rauwolf.

 The egg-plants first known in Europe appear to belong to the class we now grow for ornament, and the fruit resembling an egg. They were of various colors.


  • Fuchsius (1542) mentions the purple and the yellow; 
  • Tragus (1552), who says they have recently reached Germany from Naples, names the same colors ; Lyte's "Dodoens" (1586) reads two kinds, — one purple and the other pale or whitish. 
  • In 1587, Dalechamp figures three kinds, — the one long, another obscurely pear-shaped, and the third rounded, — and mentions the colors purple, yellow, and ash- colored;  
  • Gerarde (1597) says white, yellow, or brown; 
  • Dodonaeus (1616) mentions the oblong and round, white and purple; 
  • Marcgravius , in 1648, describes a round and yellow fruit;
  • J. Bauhin (1651) names various sorts, the long, the deep, and the round, yellow, purple, and whitish.  
  • Bontius, in 1658, describes the wild plant of Java as oblong and round, or spherical, the color yellow; the cultivated sorts purple or white, etc.
  • Rauwolf, who particularly described these plants at Aleppo in 1574, as ash- colored, yellow, and purple. 
 At present the purple egg-plant is almost the only color grown in our kitchen-gardens, but there are many sorts grown in other regions. The purple and the white ornamental are named for American gardens in 1806, as also in England in 1807, in France in 1824, etc.

In the Mauritius, Bojer  names  three varieties, and the purple and white colors. 
In India, Carey  says, there are several varieties in constant cultivation by the natives, such as green, white, purple, yellow, etc. Firminger  describes purple-, black-, and white-fruited forms ; and Speede  names the purple and white in six varieties. 
In Cochin China, Loureiro describes five sorts, purple, white, and variegated.

 There are two sorts of plants to be recognized, — (a) the one with the stems, leaves, and calyxes unarmed, or nearly so; (b) the other with the stems, leaves, and calyxes more or less aculeate.
 a. The first sort is figured by Fuchsius (1542), and by succeeding authors up to the present date.
 b. The second sort is first noticed, so far as I can ascertain, by Camerarius in 1588, and has continued to the present time.

 The varieties now grown in American gardens can be divided very readily into four types, — the oval, the round, the long, and the oblong or pear-shape, — and the following synonymy can be established :

Basket with aubergines, Totoya Hokkei, c. 1890 - c. 1900, from Rijksstudio


 I. The Oval. This, at present, includes but ornamental sorts, and our present forms show a marked improvement in evenness and regularity over the older forms.


 a. Calyx not Spiny. 
  • Mala insana. Fuch., 1542, 513; Roszlin, 1550, 117; Tragus, 1552, 894; Pinseus, 1561, 514; Ger., 1597, 274; Swertius, 1612, t. 20, p. I ; Dod., 1616, 458. 
  • Melongena sive mala insana vel melanzana. Lob. Obs., 1576, 138; ic, 1591, i. 268. 
  • Melongena, seu mala insana. Cam., Epit, 1586, 820. 
  • Melongena Matth., Opera., 1598, 760. 
  • Melanzane. Cast. Dur., 1617, 279. 
  • Solanum pomiferum fructu rotundo. J. Bauh., 165 1, iii. 618. 
  • Melongena arabum. Chabr., 1673, 524. 
  • Aubergine blanche. Vilm., 1883, 27 

 b. Calyx Spiny. 
  •  Melanzana fructu pallido. Hort. Eyst, 1713; Aut. Ord., i. p. 3 ; also ib., 1613. 
  •  White Egg-Plant. N. Y. Sta., 1886.
Luis Egidio Meléndez -Still Life with Tomatoes a Bowl of Aubergines and Onions,  - 1780

 II. The Round. 
 a. Calyx not Spiny.
  •  Belingela. Marcg., 1648, 24; Piso, 1658, 210. 
  •  Aubergine ronde de Chine. Decaisne & Naudin, Man., iv. 288.
  •  Black Pekin. Ferry, 1883 ; Hovey, 1866.
 b. Calyx Spiny.
  •  Black Pekin. Greg., 1886; Thorb., 1886
from Vietnam

 III. The Long.

This varies much in size and proportion, — if the Chinese variety described by Kizo Tamari  as recently introduced into Japan belongs to this class. He says it is about one inch in diameter by one foot and a half long. This form may be either straight or curved.


 a. Calyx not Spiny.
  •  Melantzana arabum melongena. Lugd., 1587, ii., app., 23. 
  •  Solanum pomiferum fructu incurvo. J. Bauhin, 165 1, iii. 619; Chabr., 1673, 524; Pluk., Phyt, 1691, t. 226, p. 2. 
  •  Aubergine violette longue. Decaisne & Naudin, Man., iv. 287. 
 b. Calyx Spiny.
  •  Aubergine violette longue. Vilm., 1883, 24. 

 IV. The Oblong, or Pear-Shaped. This form is a swollen fruit with an elongation towards the summit, in some of its varieties shaped like the powder-horn gourd.


 a. Calyx not Spiny.
  •  Melantzana nigra. Lugd., 1587, ii., app., 23. 
  • Aubergine violette nain tres hative. Vilm., 1883, 26.
  •  Early Round Violet. Damman, 1884.
 b. Calyx Spiny.
  •  Solanum pomiferum magnus fructu, etc. Pluk., Phyt., 1691, t. 226, p. 3. 
  •  Melongena. Tourn., 1719, t. 65. 
  •  American Large Purple. Burr, 1863, 609. 
We may note that the Arabic words melongena and Bedengiam were applied by Rauwolf to the long-fruited form, the calyx not spiny, while the word Batleschaim, or Melanzana Batleschaim, was applied to the spiny-calyx form of the pear-shaped, — if Gronovius's  synonymy is to be trusted.

 Every type, in the varieties that I have seen under cultivation can be, with certainty, referred to one of the four forms above named. The oval-form type is figured in 1542, as we have shown; the round type in 1648, in Brazil; the long type, by Dalechamp, in 1587; and the pear-shaped type also in 1587. All the colors now noted, and more, receive notice in the ancient writers. As we have confined our synonymy to those authors who have given figures, and have omitted those who but described, however certainly the descriptions would apply, we can claim accuracy as to our facts.

 We, hence, have no evidence that types have originated through cultivation in recent years, and we have strong evidence that types have continued unchanged through long-continued cultivation under diverse climates. It is but as we examine variation within types that we see the influences of cultivation. It is not altogether in size. The oval-fruited is described by Dodonseus (1616) as of the form and size of an egg, but he says that in Egypt, where the plant is wild, it attains double or three times this size, which it has in France and Germany. 

 Ray in 1686, compares the size of the long-fruited to that of an egg, or of a cucumber, — a comparison that would answer for to-day, as cucumber size covers a wide range; but he adds that the curved form is like a long gourd. The figures of the pear- shaped in 1719 indicate a fruit which compares well with the usual sizes grown at the present time. It is in regularity of form, and in the large size of selected strains, that we see the influence arising from careful selection and protected growth.

 What other influence has climate exercised ? We do not know. 
 This sketch illustrates the point I have already made in my study of the dandelion, celery, and other vegetables, — that types of varieties have great fixity, are not produced through human selection and cultivation, and, I wish I could add in this case, originated from wild prototypes ; but, unfortunately, I find no particular records of the variation observed in feral, or spontaneous plants.

S. montanum Linn.,  
Peru. The Peruvian Indians are stated to use the roots in soups.1
S. muricatum Ait. Pepino.  
 Chile and Peru. This is a shrubby species with egg-shaped, edible berries, which are white, with purple spots, and attain a length of six inches.2 
S. nigrum Linn,  Black Nightshade, Common Nightshade. 
Cosmopolitan. This plant, says Vilmorin, is not as yet used in France as a vegetable, but, in warm countries, the leaves are sometimes eaten as spinach.  It is mentioned by Galen  among aliments in the second century but was not cultivated in Germany in Fuchsius'  time, 1542, although it retained its name, Solanum hortense, perhaps from its former cultivation. 
It is a plant of wide distribution, occurring in the northern hemisphere from Sweden and the northeast of America from Hudson Bay, even to the equatorial regions; as, for example, at Timor, the Galapagos, the Antilles, Abyssinia, the Mascarene Isles, Mauritius, Van Diemen's Land and Chile.
 It is found as a potherb in the markets of Mauritius  and is used as a spinach in central Africa. In China, the young shoots are eaten, as also its black berries, and, in the Mississippi Valley, the little black berries are made into pies and other pastry.
S. quitoense Lam.,
 Peru. The berries resemble in size, color and taste small oranges and are of a peculiar fragrance.11 The Peruvians eat this fruit.
 S. repandum Forst. f. 
Pacific Isles. In Viti, the fruit is eaten by the natives, either in soups or with yams.
 S sessiliflorum Dun., 
Brazil. The berries are eaten in Para, where they are called cubios, and the leaves are also eaten in Brazil.
S. topiro Humb. & Bonpl. Turkey Berry. 
 Banks of the Orinoco. The berry is edible. 
S. torvum Sw.
Cosmopolitan tropics. West Indies to Peru. This species is shrubby with yellow, spherical berries of good size which seem wholesome.

 Elecampane. Inula helenium L.

 The use of this plant is now nearly abandoned, although it was once highly regarded as an aromatic tonic. 

Columella, Pliny, and Palladius mention its culture by the Romans of the first and third centuries.  Vegetius Renatus, about the beginning of the fifth century, calls it Inula campana, and St. Isidore, in the beginning of the seventh, names it Inula, adding "quam Alam rustici vocant."  ("country folk call the Alam"  or something like that.)

It is frequently mentioned in Anglo- Saxon writings on medicine before the Norman conquest, and was the " marchalan" of the Welsh physicians of the thirteenth century, and was generally well known during the middle ages.


This handsome drawing is from Sibthrop, J., Smith, J.E., Flora Graeca (drawings), vol. 9: t. 73 (1837)

 The root is the valuable part, and it was used for candying into a sweetmeat; as well as for a medicine, and is sometimes even now used in distilling absinthe in order to give a flavor. It was in American gardens in 1806,  and its seed is yet advertised in some of our seed catalogues.

 The Elecampane is called,

  • in France, aulnée, aromate germanique, aunée, oeil-de-cheval ;
  • in Germany, alant;
  •  in Anglo- Saxon, hors-helene ;
  • in Italy, elenio or enula campana.


 The plant, now naturalized in places in the United States, is native to Southern and Central Europe, extending eastward to the Caucasus, Southern Siberia, and in the Himalayas. It also occurs in Southern England and Ireland, Norway, and Finland.


 Endive. Cichorium endivia L.

Herbarium of Felix Platters, late 1500s

 There are two distinct forms of endive, — the one the curled, the other the broad-leaved. The first does not seem to have been known to the ancients, although Dioscorides  and Pliny  name two kinds.
Weinmann, J.W., Phytanthoza iconographia,  (1739)
This is a lovely page, isn't it?

 In the thirteenth century Albertus Magnus  names also two kinds, the one with narrower leaves than the other; and in 1542, Fuchsius  figures two kinds of like description, and like forms are noted in nearly all the earlier botanies. 

 A curled broad-leaved form is figured by Camerarius  in 1586; Dalechampius,  1587; Gerarde,  1597, etc. It is, however, described in the "Adversaria,"  1570. These authors named all furnish what may reasonably be considered as the types of the four kinds of broad-leaved endives now described by Vilmorin.  

The origin of the curled endives, of which Vilmorin describes twelve, I find difficult to trace. The peculiar truncate appearance of the seed-stalks is very conspicuous, and this feature would lead me to suspect that the type is to be seen in the Sens sativa of Lobel  (1576), but the resemblances, I must confess, are quite remote. This is the Cichorium latioris fohi of Dodonseus  (1616). They were in English gardens as a well-known sort in 1778,  and were named among seedsmen's supplies in 1726 ;  in the United States prior to 1806. 

 The endive is called,
  • in France, chicoree endive ;
  • in Germany, endivien, winter-endivien ;
  • in Flanders and Holland, andijvie ;
  •  in Denmark, endivien;
  • in Italy, indivia, endivia ;
  • in Spain, endivia, escarola ;
  • in Portugal, endivia
The curled forms are called,
  • in France, chicories ; the broad-leaved form, Scaroles ;
  • in English, Batavian ;
  • in Arabic, Sjikuri;
  • by Turks, hiddiba ;
  • in Egypt, hendibe ;
  • in Egyptian, saris, serin ;
  • in India, kasnee ;
  • in Japan, fanna tsisa;
  • Hindustani, kasni ;
  • Tamil, koschi
 In 1885, a curled endive, at the New York Agricultural Experiment Station, was crossed by lettuce-pollen. The crop of 1886 showed a plant resembling the lettuce in leaf, but with the flower of the endive. We may explain this result as being a case of atavism, the stimulus of the foreign pollen bringing out one of the lettuce-like broad-leaved forms, which had shared in the parentages from which the curled was evolved.


 English Bean. Vicia faba L. ; Faba vulgaris Moench.

 The culture of the English or broad-bean precedes the period of written history, as the seeds have been found not only in the Egyptian tombs of the twelfth dynasty, or from two thousand two hundred to two thousand four hundred years before Christ,  and have been excavated from the ruins of Troy, but appear among the debris of the bronze age of the lake-dwellers of ancient Switzerland,  and the variety found continued to the times of the Romans. 

 Beans were also found at Teneriffe  at the period of the discovery; and Bretschneider  records that, about 140-86 B.C., during the reign of the Emperor Wu-ti, the celebrated general Chang-kien brought the bean from Western Asia ; but these were probably only better varieties than those then grown in China.


Fuchs, L., New Kreüterbuch,  (1543)
The bean was grown by the ancient Romans and Greeks, and finds frequent mention in their writings, and in Egypt was subject to many superstitious beliefs and prejudices.  This bean is now more or less cultivated in all quarters of the globe.

 It reached the British North American Colonies early in the seventeenth century, having been planted by Gosnold in the Elizabeth Islands, near the coast of Massachusetts, in 1602.



 Beans were under cultivation also in Newfoundland as early as 1622, in New Netherlands in 1644, and in Virginia prior to 1648.  At the present time Vilmorin' describes twelve garden and four field varieties as worthy of culture in France. In England this bean is very extensively grown. Dr. Alefield  had separated forty varieties in 1862. In America they are but little grown, and our best seed-catalogues enumerate no more than four varieties.
Passe, C. van de, Hortus floridus, fasicle pars altera, (1614)
 Linnaeus forms this bean into two botanical varieties, as does also Moench, who names the one kortensis, or the garden bean ; the other equina, or the horse-bean.  These are both figured or mentioned by the early botanists : the hortensis or garden bean by Fuchsius (1542), Tragus (1552), etc.; the equina is described by Pena and Lobel in their "Adversaria" (1570), and by Lyte in his "Dodoens" (1586), as well as by Dodonaeus in 1566.
Gourdon, J., Naudin, P., Nouvelle iconographie fourragère, Atlas,  (1865-1871)

 I am too unfamiliar with the English bean to attempt a synonymy.  R. Thompson, in 1850, describes ten varieties, giving synonymes, and these include all sufficiently known to him. Let us follow up his synonymy, in order to see whether varieties of modern origination appear. This synonymy, we must caution, is founded upon identity of names in the most instances, and applies to the garden bean only, yet collateral evidence would seem to indicate a substantial correctness :

 1. Early mazagan.
  •  Thompson., 1850. Brought from a settlement of the Portuguese on the coast of Africa, just without the Straits of Gibraltar. Mill. Diet., 1807. 
  •  Early mazagan. Mawe, 1778; Bryant, 1783; McMahon, 1806; Thorb. Cat, 1828; Thorb.
       Cat, 1884., 
  •  Fève naine hative. Noisette, 1829; Vilm., 1882.
 2. Marshall's Early Dwarf Prolific. R. T., 1850.

 3. Long-pod. R. T., 1850. 
  •  Long-pod. McMahon, 1806. 
  •  Early long-pod. Mawe, 1778; Bridgeman, 1832; Loudon, i860. 
  •  Early Portugal ox Lisbon. Mawe, 1778; Mill. Diet, 1807. 
  •  Early Lisbon. McMahon, 1806; Bridgeman, 1832. 
  •  Turkey long-pod. Mawe, 1778; McMahon, 1806; Bridgeman, 1832. 
  •  Tall long-pod. Mawe, 1778. Sandwich. J. W., Gent, 1683; Townsend, 1726; Stevenson,
        1765; Mawe, 1778; Bryant, 1783; Bridgeman, 1832. 
  •  Sword long-pod. Thorb. Cat., 1828; Fessenden, 1828; Bridgeman, 1832; Thorb. Cat,
        1884. Hang-down long-pod. Vil., 1883. 
  •  Fève a longue cosses. Noisette, 1829; Vil., 1883.
4. Green long-pod. R. T., 1850. 
  •  Green Genoa. McMahon, 1806; Bridgeman, 1832. 
  •  Green Nonpareil. McMahon, 1 806 ; Thorb., Gard. Kal., 1821 ; . Fessenden, 1828;
       Bridgeman, 1832; Thorb. Cat, 1884.

5. Dutch long-pod. R. T, 1850; Loudon, i860.

6. Windsor. R. T, 1850.    (illus. from 1885 -Vilmorin-Andrieux)
  • Broad Windsor. Mill. Diet, 1807; Fessenden, 1828; Loudon, 1860; Thorb., 1884. 
  • Kentish Windsor. Bridgeman, 1832. R. T., Gard. Chron., 1850, 84. 
  • Taylor's Windsor. Bridgeman, 1832. Mumford. Mawe, 1778; Bryant, 1783 ; McMahon,   1806; Bridgeman, 1832. 
  • Small Spanish. Mawe, 1778; Bryant, 1783. 
  • Windsor. Stevenson, 1765 ; 'Mawe, 1778; 
  • Bryant, 1783. 
  • Large Windsor. Van der Donck, 1653; in present New York.
7. Green Windsor. R. T., 1850. Toker. Stevenson, 1765; Mawe, 1778; Bryant, 1783;
    Bridgeman, 1832. 
  •  Fève de Windsor verte. Vil., 1883.
 8. Green China. R. T., 1850.

 9. Dwarf Crimson-seeded. R. T., 1850. 
  •  Fève tres naine rouge. Vil., 1883.
10. Dwarf Fan. R. T., 1850.
  •  Dwarf Fan or Cluster. Mawe, 1778. 
  •  Dwarf Cluster. McMahon, 1806; Bridgeman, 1832. 
  •  Fève naine hative a chassiz. Vil., 1883
 11. Red-blossomed. Mawe, 1778; McMahon, 1806; Bridgeman, 1832; R. T., 1850.

 12. White-blossomed. Mawe, 1778; McMahon, 1806; Bridge- man, 1832; R. T., 1850.

 The only two other varieties I have seen advertised lately are Beck's Dwarf Green Gem and Seville long-pod. There is certainly no indication here that types have appeared in modern culture. The crowd of new names which appear during a decade gradually become reduced to a synonymy, and we find at last that the variation gained has been within types only.

 The European names of the broad-bean, or English bean, are :


  • Denmark, valske bonner ; 
  • in Flanders, platte boon; 
  • in France, fève, gorgane, gourgane ; 
  • in Germany, Garten bohnen, sau bohnen, puff bohnen ; 
  • in Holland, tuin boonen, roomsche boonen ; 
  • in Italy, fava ; 
  • in Portugal, fava ; 
  • in Spain, haba 
Other generic names are :
  • Arabic, ful or foul ; 
  • Hebrew, phul or pol ;
  • Celtic, fa, fas, fav; 
  • Slav, bob or bobu ; 
  • Berber, ibiou ; 
  • Basque, baba . 
The horse-bean is called,
  • in France, feverole ;
  • in Germany, pferde oder feld bohne ;
  • in Italy, fava cavallina




Evening Primrose.  Oenothera biennis L


The roots may be used as Scorsonera, but it is cultivated in France only as a curiosity.  

It is said by Loudon  to be cultivated in Germany, and in Carniola the roots are eaten in salad.

It was once under English culture. 

A native of Northern America, it first reached Europe in 1614.

It is given by Burr  for American gardens in 1863, under the name German Rampion.

It is called,
  • in France, Oenothere bisannuelle , onagre, herbe anx anes, jambon, jambon des jardiniers, jambon de St. Antoine, lysimachie jaune, lysimachie jaune cornu, mache rouge ; 
  • in Germany, rapuntica ; 
  • in Flanders, ezelskruid ; 
  • in Italy, rapontica, rapunzia;
  • in Norway, natlys. 


 (To be continued.)