Monday, July 4, 2016

1887 - Fennel to Hyssop - Part 10 - Sturtevant's HISTORY OF GARDEN VEGETABLES

 (Continued from page 985, Vol. XXI.) 
 Original: https://archive.org/details/jstor-2451204

 FENNEL was used by the ancient Romans, as well for its aromatic fruits as for its edible succulent shoots. It was also employed in Northern Europe at a remote period, as it is constantly mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon medical receipts which date as early at least as the eleventh century. 

The diffusion of the plant in Central Europe was stimulated by Charlemagne, who enjoined its cultivation on the imperial farms. Fennel shoots, fennel water, and fennel seed, are all mentioned in an ancient record of Spanish agriculture of 961 A.D. 

 There are three different forms recognized, all believed to belong to a common species, Foeniculum vulgare Gaertn., but which have received specific names by various botanists. 




Bitter Fennel. F. vulgare Gsertn. 

In 1863, Burr describes a common and a dark-leaved form; in 1586, Lyte's Dodoens describes in like manner two varieties. This is the common wild sort, hardy, and often spontaneous as an escape from gardens. It is the Anethum fceniculum L., 1763, and the Fceniculum of Camerarius, 1586. 
Sometimes, but rarely, the leaves are used for seasoning, and the plant is chiefly grown for its seeds which are largely used in the flavoring of liqueurs.
The common or bitter fennel is called in France Fenouil amer., Fenouil commun.
It appears to be the common fennel or finchle of Ray, 1886, the fcenell andfyncle of Turner, 1538.

Sweet Fennel. F. officinale All. 
This form is cultivated more frequently as a garden plant than the preceding, and its seeds are also an object of commerce. As the plants grow old, the fruits of each succeeding season gradually change in shape and diminish in size, till at the end of four or five years they are hardly to be distinguished from those of the bitter fennel. This curious fact was noted by Tabernsemontanus in 1588, and was systematically proven by Guibort, 1869. This kind has, however, remained distinct from an early date. 
It is described by Albertus Magnus in the thirteenth century, and by Charlemagne in the ninth. It is mentioned as a plant of the garden in nearly all the earlier botanies.
 It is cultivated throughout Europe, in Asia and in America as an aromatic garden herb. The famous "carosella," so extensively used in Naples, and scarcely known in any other place, is referred by authors to F. piperitum D C, a species very near to F. officinale. The plant is used while in the act of running to bloom ; the stems, fresh and tender, and broken and served up raw, still enclosed in the expanded leaf stalks. 
 It is, perhaps, referred to by Amatus Lusitanus in 1554, when, in speaking of the jinoechio (It.) he says the swollen stalk is collected and said to be eaten, "quod caule turgescente colligitur et esui dicatur." ("...and stem the swelling is collected and used for food." - Google Translate)
The common or sweet fennel or Roman fennel is called in France fenouil doux, fenouil de Florence, fenouil de Malta, anis de France, anis de Paris; in Italy, carosella.
These names also seem to apply in part to the next kind. In Turkestan, shabit. 

Finocchio. F. dulce D C. 
This form is very distinct in its broad leaf-stalks, which, overlapping each other at the base of the stem, form a bulbous enlargement, firm, white and sweet inside. It seems to be the Finochi or Italian Fennel, stated by Switzer, in 1729, to have but recently been introduced to English culture, and yet rare in 1765 ; but the first distinct mention I find is by Mawe, in 1778, under the name of Azorian Dwarf or Finocchio.  It is again described in a very perfect form by Bryant, in 1783, under the name of Sweet Azorian fennel.

According to Miller's Dictionary, 1807, it is the F. azoricum of Miller, 1737.   Ray, in 1686, uses the name Faeniculum dulce azoricum, but his description is hardly sufficient.    It is described for American gardens in 1806. It does not seem to have entered general culture except in Italy. The type of this fennel seems to be figured by J. Bauhin in 1651,  and Chabrseus, in 1677, under the name Foenieulum rotundum flore albo.  
The Finocchio or Azorean Fennel is called 
  • in France fenouil de Florence, fenouil sucre, fenouil de Bologna, fenouil d'ltalie ; 
  • in Germany, grosser susser florentiner Fenchel, grosser bologneser Fenchel, florentlner Anis; 
  • in Holland, groote zode Bologneser grosser venkel; 
  • in Denmark, dvergfennihel ;
  • in Italy, finocchio dulce.  
The general name for the Fennels is 
  • in France fenouil; 
  • in Germany, fenchel; 
  • in Flanders and Holland, venkel; 
  • in Denmark, fennikel; 
  • in Italy, finocchio; 
  • in Spain, hinojo; 
  • in Arabic, raisniji; 
  • in Egyptian, savin or tshamar hoout; i
  • n Greece, marathron; 
  • in Hindustani, owa; 
  • in India, souf or so, ooa; 
  • in Japan, sen rio, hure no vomo;
  • in Yemen, sehamar. 


Fennel-flower. Nigella sativa L.

The seeds, on account of their aromatic nature, are employed as a spice in cooking, particularly in Italy and Southern France. It is supposed to be the gift of Columella and Pliny, in the first century; of Palladius, in the third, and of Charlemagne, in the ninth.  The melanthion of Columella, in the first century, seems a descriptive name for his git. It finds mention as cultivated in most of the botanies of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries ; is recorded by Vilmorin among plants of the garden, as also by Bryant. Burr in 1863, and is now found in the lists of some of our seedsmen.

Nigella sativa L. [as Melanthium sativum flore simplici] 
Bessler, Basilius - Hortus Eystettensis, vol. 2: Secundus ordo collectarum plantarum aestivalium, (1620) drawing: B. Besler
Basilius Bessler  created an amazing work, the Hortus Eystettensis

The Fennel-flower, or Roman Coriander, was called,


  • in 1586, by the Moors, xamin, sunis or sunici;
  • in Italy, melanthio or niella;
  • in Germany, schwartz Kummel or schwartz Koriander;
  • in Spain, neguilla or alipurie
  • in France, barbue poyurette or nielle. 


The modern names are : 
  • in France, nigelle aromatique, cumin noire, epicerie, gith, graine noire, nielle, quatre-epices, senonge, toute- epice;
  • in Germany, Schwartz-hummel, kohm;
  • in Flanders and Holland, narduszaad; 
  • in Spain, nigela aromaiica, neguilla;
  • in Italy, nigella, cominella, melansio domestico; 
  • in Greece, maurokoukatheis maurokoukki. 
  • In Arab, shoonez,  habbah sondeh (i.e., black seed), kammoun asouad (i.e., black cumin); 
  • in Bengali, mugrela
  • in Burma, sa-mungnet
  • in Ceylon, kaloodooroo;
  • in Egypt, hub-sindee
  • in Hindustani, kalajira
  • in Persia, siahdaneh
  • in Sanscrit, krishna-jiraka-musavi;  etc. 

French Szorzonera. Picridium vulgare Desf.

This salad plant is cultivated in Italian gardens, where it is much esteemed.  It is also used somewhat in France,and was introduced into England in 1822.   It is also of recent introduction into French culture.  In the United States it is noted by Burr in 1863.

The young leaves are the parts used. 

It is called in France picridie cultivee, cousteline, terra crepie; in Italy, cacoialepre, terra crepolo.

The garlic is believed to be the skorodon hemeron of Dioscorides, the skorodon of Theophrastus and Aristoteles among the Greeks;  the allium of Pliny and Palladius among the Romans. Among the Egyptians it was ranked among the gods in taking an oath.   On account of its objectionable odor it was avoided in Rome,  but it was probably eaten by the common people as now in southern Europe.

It is mentioned in the earlier European herbals as in cultivation, and in England, in 1551, by Turner, and in 1548 by Tusser.  In Peru, Acosta says, in 1604, that "the Indians esteem garlike above all the rootes of Europe," and in Mexico, even earlier, Peter Martyn, in 1577, noted its presence. 

It was in the garden of the Choctaw Indians, in North America, before 1775.   It is said to have been introduced to China 140-86 B.C.,  and to be found noticed in various Chinese treatises of the fifth, sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.  Louriero found it under cultivation in Cochin, China. Two varieties are described by Vilmorin  in 1883, the common and the pink; and both were in American gardens in 1863. 


https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/rijksstudio
 The garlic is called 

The garlic is called
  • in France ail ordinaire, theriaque des paysans;
  •  in Germany, gewohnlicher knoblauch; 
  • in Flanders, look
  • in Holland, knoflook
  • in Denmark, huidlog
  • in Italy, aglio;
  •  in Spain, ajo vulgar
  • in Portugal, alho;
  • in Russia, tschesnok;
  • in Greece, aglithia, gelgithia, shorton, scordon.  
  • In Arabic, toum, teriacrowstyan; 
  • in Bengali, loshoon, lushoona, rushoon; 
  • in Ceylon, soodooloonoo ;
  •  in China, svon; in Cochinchina, cay toi
  • in Egypt, tom
  • in India, luhsun or bulbros;
  • in Malaya, buvung-pootie
  • in Persia, seer; 
  • in Sanscrit, mahooshooda ;
  •  in Hebrew, schoum, schumin









 Gherkin. Ououmis anguria L.

 This vegetable is described by Marcgrav,  in Brazil, in 1648, the name Cucumis syhestru Brasilece indicating an uncultivated plant. Ten years later Piso  described it also as a wild plant of Brazil under the name guarerva-oba or Cucumer asinius, and gives a figure. It has also been found in the Antilles and continental tropical and sub-tropical America, New Granada and South Florida. It is not mentioned as cultivated in Jamaica, by Sloane,  in 1696. Its fruit is mentioned as being used in soups and pickles, apparently gathered from the wild plant, by Long,  in 1774, Tit- ford,  in 1812, and Lunan,  in 1814. It is, however, cultivated in French Guiana and Antiqua. 8 Although described by Ray, 9in 1686 and 1794, and grown by Miller in his botanic garden in 1755, it yet does not appear as if in the vegetable gardens of England in 1807, although it was known in the gardens of the United States  in 1806. In France it was under cultivation in 1824 and 1829, 12 but apparently was abandoned, and was reintroduced by Vilmorin in 1858.  The small girkin, round prickly gherkin,  West India gherkin, or prickly fruited gherkin is called in France concombre des antilles, angurie, concombre a spines, C. d'Amerique, C. marron, G. comichon des Antilles, G. arada (erroneously); in Germany, west-indische Gurke. u I do not find mention of any varieties. 

Globe Cucumber. Gucumis prophetarum, L. 

The flesh of this cucumber is scanty and too bitter to be edible,  says Vilmorin, who includes it among the plants of the kitchen garden. Burr  says the plant is sometimes eaten boiled, but it is generally pickled in its green state, like the common cucumber, and adds that it is not worthy of cultivation.


Good King Henry. Chenopodium Bonus-Henrieus L.  What a nice common name!




The leaves are eaten as a spinage. The plant is now but rarely cultivated. 

Gerarde speaks of it in 1597 as a wild plant only, while Ray in 1686 refers to it as frequently among vegetables, and Bryant in 1783 says formerly cultivated in English gardens, but of late neglected, although certainly of sufficient merit. 

In 1807 Miller's Dictionary says it is generally in gardens about Boston, in Lincolnshire, and is there preferred to spinage. It cannot have ever received very general culture, as it is only indicated as a wayside plant by Tragus, 1552; Lobel, 1570 and 1576; Camerarius, 1586; Dalechampius, 1587; Matthiolus, 1598 ; Chabraeus, 1677, etc. 

Its value as an antiscorbutic finds recognition in its names, Bonus-Henricus and tota bona

It is called 

  • in English, Good King Henry, Fat-hen,  English mercury, All Good, Wild or perennial spinage,  goose foot; 
  • in France, anserine bon-henri, bon-henry, epinard sauvage, patte d'oie triangulaire, sarron, serron
  • in Germany, gemeiner Gansefuss
  • in Flanders and Holland, ganzevoet
  • in Italy, bono enries.  


It is recorded for American culture by Burr in 1863, and has now become naturalized about dwellings in a few localities. I have never observed it growing. 

I really enjoy any plate from Fuchs.  Here is Good King Henry.  Other weeds must be jealous of that name.


Gourd. Lagenaria vulgaris Ser. See under Squash. 

It is generally supposed that the Gourd is uneatable. This is true of some varieties, but not of others. Duchesne,  in France, speaks of the trompette gourd as edible. In ancient Rome recipes for cooking are given by Apicius,  and Pliny' speaks of their being eaten, as does also Albertus Magnus, in the thirteenth century. Cardanus, in 1556, says the oblong gourd is edible, and J. Bauhin,  in 1651, says the same for two varieties.

 In India the gourd is said to be eaten, by Drury,  Firminger  and others; in China, by Smith;  in Cochinchina, by Loureiro;  in Egypt, by Forskal ; in Turkey, by Walsh,  etc. 

A variety is in edible use in Japan, as I am informed by Mr. Tamari, and of which I have seen the drawings. In Mexico, a variety, as I am informed by Dr. Edward Palmer, is used to form a preserve known by the name of " angels' hairs," from the fibrous nature of the interior portion which is used. 

I couldn't resist Audubon's illustration!!


Great-headed Garlic. Allium ampeloprasum L.

 A mild plant, common in the countries bordering on the Mediterranean, especially in Algeria, and believed to be the native form of the cultivated Leek.

In 1568 Camerarius  speaks of it as cultivated in gardens, but this is not confirmed as a common course by the references in the Adversaria, 1570; in Lobel's observations, 1576;  by Dalechamp, in l587; by Clusius, 1601;  by Dodonseus, 1616; these authors referring to it only as a wild plant of the vineyards.

In 1882, the Bon Jardinier says the country people of Southern Europe eat it raw, and this is the only known use.  It is, however, included among garden esculents by Burr,  in 1863, and by Vilmorin,  in 1883.

 The description which has come down to us of the ulpicum of the Romans seems to indicate this plant. Columella  and Pliny  both say it is larger than the garlic; Columella, that the bulb is composed of many cloves, and that it is particularly loud-smelling. Vegetius  calls it the Betioum ulpicum or Andulasian ulpicum.  (I like the "loud-smelling"!!!)

 Cato  speaks of its use in veterinary practice; Palladius  gives minute directions for its culture. If, however, cultivated in Italy, it seems not to have extended its area, but to have disappeared in later times, perhaps superseded by the leek.

 The great-headed garlic is called 
  • in France ail de orient, ail a cheval, pourrat, pourriole ;
  • in Germany, pferde-knoblauch; (horse garlic)
  • in Italy, porrandello.

Chabraus, 1677,  gives for names: 
  • German, aberlauch, ackerknoblauch; (farmland garlic)
  • in France, ail pourreau;
  • in Italy, aglioporro. 

The synonymy in part is as follows : — 
  • Scorodoprasum sive alliporrum. Adv., 1570, 58. 
  • Scorodoprasum. Lob. obs., 1576, 79. Chabr., 1677, 201. 
  • Scorodoprasum alteram. Lugd., 1587, 1549.
  •  Porrum Indum. Cam. hort., 1588, 131. 
  • Scorodoprason I. Clus. hist., 1601, 190. 
  • Ampeloprasum primum. Dod., 1616, 690.
  •  Scorodoprasum dictum J. B. Ray, 1688, 1121. 
  • Allium ampeloprasum. Lin. sp., 1763. 
  • Great round-headed garlic. Mill, diet., 1807. 
  • Great-headed garlic. 

Ground-nut. Apios tuberosa Mcench. 

This plant, a native of North America, and common in moist thickets, is included by Vilmorin among the plants of the kitchen garden, and worthy of trial. It is hence liable to appear at any time into American culture. The edible portions are the tuberous enlargements borne on the roots, and of the size of an egg or larger ; these tubers are starchy, often of an agreeable flavor, and may be eaten like the potato.


I grow ground-nut and this illustration shows it well...

although mine flops all over other plants.

Apios americana 
Cornut, J.P., Canadensium plantarum aliarumque
nondum editarum historia, p. 201 (1635)
 In the colonial period the tubers of the wild plant were a resource against starvation. Thus Parkman records that Biencourt and his followers at Port Royal, in 1613, were scattered about the woods and shores digging ground-nuts ; and the Pilgrims during their first winter were enforced to live on them.  This plant was described and figured by Cornutus  in 1635, and is described by Clayton in 1739. Although probably grown by Cornutus at Paris prior to 1635, yet it received no further attention until again grown in 1849,  and should it gain a foothold, its introduction would be scored to this latter date.

J. Hammond Trumbull thinks the openauh of Hariot,  found in Virginia in 1584, to be this plant, "a kind of root of round form, some of the bigness of walnuts, some far greater, which are found in moist and marsh grounds, growing many together one by another in ropes, or as though they were fastened with a string. Being boiled or sodden, they are very good meate."
This is another of Helen Sharp's watercolors; She created portfolios of paintings. 1888-1910

Brereton,  in his account of Gosnold's voyage to New England in 1602, notes the " great store of ground-nuts " found on all the Elizabeth Islands. They grow " forty together on a string, some of them as big as a hen's egg." Champlain, 1605-6, observed that the Indians about Nauset harbor probably had " force des racines qu'els cultivent, lorsquelles ont le gout d'artichaut," and it is to these roots that Lescarbot  alludes, west and south of Maine, "grosses comme naveux, tres excellentes a manger, ayans un gout retirant aux cardes, mais plus agreable, lesquelles plantus multiplient en telle facon que c'est merveille."

Kalm,  at a later period, 1749, states that it grows in the meadows along the Delaware, and the roots eaten by the Indians. He adds that the Swedish colonists eat them for want of bread, and that some of the English still eat them instead of potatoes.

The Indian and other names that have been applied to this plant are as follows:


  • English,  Ground-nuts, Winslow, Wild Bean; 
  • French of the western prairies, pomme de terre
  • Carolina Indians, scherzo;  
  • New Jersey Indians, hopmiss or hopniss;
  • Osage Indians, taux
  • Sioux Indians, modo;  
  • Virginia Indians, openauh



Hedgehog. Onobryehis cristagalli Lamk.


 This singular plant is grown in vegetable gardens as a curiosity, on account of the peculiar shape of the seed pods. It has no utility. 

Its seed appears in some of our seedsmen's lists. The hedgehog or cockscomb sanfoin is called in France herrisson; in Germany, igel.


 illus. from Vilmorin
from Flora Graeca


Hop. Humulus lupulus L.
Humulus lupulus L.
Sharp, Helen, Water-color sketches of
American plants, especially New England, (1888-1910)


As a garden plant the hop is nearly unknown in this country. In Belgium, however, the young shoots of the plant, just as they emerge from the ground, are used as an asparagus, and the plant is enumerated by Vilmorin among kitchen vegetables.  The plant is found in a wild state throughout all Europe, and extends also to the Caucasus, the south Caspian region, and through central and southern Siberia to the Altai mountains, and has been introduced into North America, Brazil and Australia.  As a plant for producing hops to be used in the brewing of beer it has long been in use. Hop gardens are mentioned as existing in France and Germany in the eighth and ninth centuries. In America they are noted in Virginia in 1649, and were among the articles sent the Massachusetts company in 1629.


Humulus lupulus L. 
Fuchs, L., New Kreüterbuch, t. 92 (1543)
 The first allusion that I find to the hop as a kitchen herb is by Cobbett,  in 1821, but the use of the young shoots is mentioned by Pliny  in the first century  &s collected from the wild plant, rather as a luxury than as a food. 

 Dodonseus, in 1616, refers to the use of the young shoots as collected apparently from the hop yard, as does also Camerarius,  in 1586, and others.

The hop is called


  • in France houblon; 
  • in Germany, Hop/en; 
  • in Flanders, hop; 
  • in Italy, luppolo; 
  • in Spain, lupulo, hombrecillos; 
  • in Tartar, kwnalak; 
  • in Hungarian, eomlo; 
  • in Sweden, humle; in Denmark, homle














Horehound. Marrubium vulgare L.


This plant affords a popular domestic remedy, and seems in this country to be an inmate of the medicinal herb garden only. 

In Europe the leaves are sometimes employed as a condiment. Although a plant of the old world, it has now secured naturalization in the New World from Canada to Buenos Ayres and Chili, excepting within the tropics.

It is figured by Clusius, in 1601, and finds mention by many of the botanists of that period.

Horehound is called

  • in France marrube blane;
  • in Germany, andorn;
  • in Italy, marrubio.


Pliny refers to the Marrubiwm, among medicinal plants in high esteem, and it finds mention by Columella.  Albertus Magnus, in the thirteenth century, also refers to its valuable remedial properties in coughs. We may hence believe that as a herb of domestic medicine it has accompanied emigrants into all the cooler portions of the globe.

That is a fly which imitates a bee, if my insect knowledge is sound.  See the tiny fly antennae? 
LATER: Yes, I found the original plate in British entomology being illustrations and descriptions of the genera of insects found in Great Britain and Ireland: containing coloured figures from nature of the most rare and beautiful species, and in many instances of the plantsupon which they are found /London :Printed for the author,1823-40. http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/bibliography/104739  and it is a Syrfus lucorum.(now Syrphus lucorum) a hoverfly.  LINK: A nice page of photos of hoverfly from Scotland.



Horseradish. Cochlearia armoraoia L.
Kops et al., J., Flora Batava,  (1822)


This plant cannot be identified with certainty with the Armoraoia of the Romans.  If it be the armoraoia of Palladius,  which is a wild plant transferred to the garden, it is very curious that its use  is not mentioned by Apicius,  in his work on cookery, of the same century. 

  Zanonius deems the horseradish to be the draba of Dioscorides. It seems to be the raphanus of Albertus Magnus,  who lived in the thirteenth century, and he speaks of the plant as wild and domesticated, but its culture then was probably for medicinal purposes alone, as indicated by him. 

Its culture in Italy in 1536 is implied by Ruellius  under the name armoraoia, but Castor Durante,  in 1617, does not describe it. In Germany its culture as a condimental plant is stated by Fuchsius,  in 1542, and by later writers.

In 1587 Dalechamp  states its culture in Germany, but does not mention it in France. 
Lyte,  in 1586, mentions the wild plant, and its uses as a condiment in England, but does not imply culture; but in 1597 Gerarde  states that it is in gardens. 

It was observed in the gardens of Aleppo by Eauwolf  in 1573-5. 

It was in American gardens previous to 1806,  and is now a plant of market garden culture.

Horseradish is a plant of many names. It is called


  • in France raifort sauvage, cran de Bretagne, etc., etc.; 
  • in Germany, Meerretig 
  • in Flanders, kapucienen mostaard;
  • in Holland, peperwortel; 
  • in Denmark, peberrod; 
  • in Italy, rafano : 
  • in Spain, taramago, vagisco; 
  • in Portugal, rabao de cavalho;
  • in the north of England, in 1568,. red cole. 


 Hyssop. Hyssopus officinalis L.
Jacquin, N.J. von, Fragmenta botanica,
figuris coloratis illustrata,(1809)

This aromatic plant was formerly in more request than at present.   Its young shoots and leaves are sometimes used as a condiment, but it rather belongs among medicinal herbs. 
In 1597 Gerarde figures three varieties ; in 1683 Worlidge  names it among culinary herbs in England, but says it is more valued for medicine;  in 1778 Mawe  describes six varieties, and says generally cultivated in the kitchen garden, and in 1806  McMahon includes it in his list of kitchen aromatics for American gardens. 

It is mentioned among European garden plants by Albertus Magnus  in the thirteenth century, and in nearly all the later botanies, Ray  enumerating it as also an ornamental plant, in nine varieties. As an ornamental plant is it yet deserving of notice, but its present use in American gardens must be very limited. It is mentioned by Paulas AEgnita,  in the seventh century, as a medicinal plant.

Hyssop is called


  • in France hyssope; 
  • in Germany, Isop
  • in Flanders and Holland, hijsoop; 
  • in Denmark, isop; 
  • in Italy, issopo
  • in Spain, hisopo; 
  • in Arabic, zoofoe yeabus, ushnaz-daoud.
to be continued.