Wednesday, July 6, 2016

1888 - Ice Plant to Kale - Part 11 of Sturtevant's History of Garden Vegetables

Continued from page 433.)

Ice Plant. Mesembryanthemum crystallinum 

Mesembryanthemum crystallinum L.
Sibthrop, J., Smith, J.E., Flora Graeca, (1825)
THE ice plant, from the Cape of Good Hope, was introduced into Europe in 1727.
 It is advertised in American seed lists of 1881 as a desirable vegetable for boiling like spinage, or for garnishing. Vilmorin says the thickness and slightly acid flavor of the fleshy parts of the leaves have caused it to be used as a fresh table vegetable for summer use in warm, dry countries. 
It is, however, he adds, not without merit as an ornamental plant. 

It is called:
  • in Germany, siskraut 
  • in France ficoide glaciale, glaciale 
  • in Flanders and Holland, ijsplant, ijskruid 
  • in Italy, erba diacciola 
  • in Spain, escarchosa, escarcha 

Italian Corn Salad. Valerianea eriocarpa Desv. (Valerianella eriocarpa) Say this second name is musical!  Hard to reconcile the common name of Hairy Fruited Lamb's Lettuce with such a mellifluous scientific appellation!

This species occurs in gardens in two varieties. It has a lighter green, somewhat longer leaf than the ordinary corn salad, slightly hairy and a little dentate on the borders towards the base. 

 It has the same uses. It is described for American gardens in 1863.  

Under its common name grosse mache it is noticed in France in 1829, and also as mache d'ltalie in 1824. 

  • in France mache d'ltalie, regence, grosse mache
  • in Germany, italienischer ackersalat; 
  • in Holland, italiansche koornsalad. 

Valeriana coronata Willd. is occasionally grown abroad as a salad plant under the name of Italian corn salad. 
The above link goes to the Linnean herbarium  for a pressed specimen!

Jerusalem Artichoke. Helianthus tuberosus L.

I couldn't resist featuring this charming imprint!  

This plant was cultivated by the Huron Indians,  and was in use by the New England Indians at an early period.  It reached Europe in the early part of the seventeenth century, as it is not mentioned in Bauhin's Phytopinax, 1596, and is mentioned in his Pinax, 1623, where, among other names, he calls it "Chrysanthemum e Canada quibusdam, Canada & Artichoki sub terra, aliis." 

It is figured by Columna  in 1616, and also by Laurembergius in 1632, and Kay,  1686, is the first use I have found of the name Jerusalem artichoke, but Parkinson uses the word in 1640, according to Gray.  

In 1727 Townsend says it "is a Root fit to be eat about Christmas when it is boil'd";  Mawe,  in 1778, says it is by many esteemed; Bryant,  in 1783, says, "not much cultivated." 
In 1806 McMahon  speaks of it in American gardens, and calls it "a wholesome, palatable food." In 1863 Burr describes varieties with white, purple, red and yellow-skinned tubers. 

The Jerusalem artichoke is called 
  • in France, topinambour, artichaut du Canada, A. de Jerusalem, A. de terre, crompire, poire de terre soleil vivace, tertifle, topinamboux;
  • in Germany, erdapfel, erdbirne;
  • in Flanders, aardpeer;
  • in Denmark, jordskokken ;
  • in Italy, girasole del Canada, tartufoli;
  • in Spain, namara pataea;
  • in Portugal, topinambor, batata carvalha;
  • in Bengali, bhramoka, soorjya- mookhee.  

The history of the Jerusalem artichoke has been well treated by Gray and Trumbull, in the American Journal of Science, May, 1877, and April, 1883. It was found in culture at the Lew Chew islands about 1858. 

We offer a synonymy as below : 

  • Flos Solis Farnesianus sive Aster Peruanus tubercosus. Col., 1616, 13. 
  • Helianthemum indicuni tuberosum. Bauh. pin., 1623, 277. 
  • De Solis flore tuberoso, seu flore Farnesiano Fabii Columna Aldinus, 1625, 91. 
  • Battatas de Canada. Park, par., 1629, ex Gray. 
  • Adenes Canadenses seu flos solis glandulosus. Lauremb., 1682, 132. 
  • Flos Solis pyramldalis, parvo flore, tuberosa radice, Heliotropiiim indicum. Ger., 1633. 
  • Peruanus solis flos ex Indiis tuberosus. Col. in Hern., 1651, 878, 881, ex Gray. 
  • Potatoes of Canada. Coles, 1657, ex Phillips. 
  • Canada & Artischokki sub terra. H. R. P., 1665, ex Gray. 
  • Chrysanthemum latifolium Brasilianum. Bauh. prod., 1671, 70. 
  • Chrysanthemum Canadense arumosum. Cat. H. L. B., 1672, ex Gray. 
  • Helenium Canadense. Amman., 1676, ex Gray. 
  • Chrysanthemum perenne majus fol, integris, americanum tuberum. Mor., 1630, ex Mill diet.
  • Jerusalem Artichoke. Ray, 1686, 335.  
  • Corona solis parvo flore, tuberosa radice. Tourn. , 1719, 489. 
  • Helianthus radice tuberosa esculenta, Hierusalem Artichoke. Clayton, 1739, ex Gronov. Helianthus follis ovato cordatis triplinervus. Gronov. virg., 1762, 129. 
  • Helianthus tuberosus. Linn. sp.. 1763, 1277. 

What a beautiful plate!!!! B. oleracea var. costata (1824)
Kale. Brassioa oleraeea acephala D C. 

The kales represent an extremely variable class of vegetable, and have been under cultivation from a most remote period. What the varieties of cabbage were that were known to the ancient Greeks it seems impossible to determine in all cases, but we can hardly question but that some of them belonged to the kales. Many varieties were known to the Romans.
 Cato,  who lived about B.C. 201, describes the Brassicae as: 

  • the levis, large, broad-leaved, large-stalked; 
  • the crispa or apiacon
  • the lenis, small-stalked, tender, but rather sharp-tasting.

 Pliny, in the first century, describes 

  • the Cumana, with sessile leaf and open head ; 
  • the aricenum, not excelled in height, the leaves numerous and thick; 
  • the Pompeianum, tall, the stalk thin at the base, thickening among the leaves ; 
  • the Brutiani, with very large leaves, thin stalk, sharp savor; 
  • the Sabellica, admired for its curled leaves, whose thickness exceeds that of the stalk, of very sweet savor; 
  • the Lacuturres, very large headed, innumerable leaves, the head round, the leaves fleshy; 
  • the Tritianon, often a foot in diameter, and late in going to seed. 
I have not sufficient knowledge to give a complete history of the kales. I can only review those races which I have had an opportunity of studying, and this I will make as short as possible, intending only to bring into form for further study. 

The form of kale known in France as the Chevalier seems to have been the longest  known, and we may surmise that its names of chou caulier and caulet have reference to the period when the word caulis, a stalk, had a generic meaning applying to the cabbage race in general, and we may hence surmise that this was the common form in ancient times, in like manner as coles or coleworts in more modern times imply the cultivation of kales. 

This word coles or caulis is used in the generic sense, for illustration, 

  • by Cato, two hundred years B.C.;  
  • by Varro and Aemilius Macer in the first century B.C.; 
  • by Columella the first century A. D. ; 
  • by Palladius in the third; 
  • by Vegetius in the fourth century A. D.;  
  • Albertus Magnus in the thirteenth, etc.   

This race of the Chevaliers may be quite reasonably supposed to be the levis of Cato, sometimes called caulodem, of no medicinal use. 

According to Decandolle,  this race of Chevaliers has five principal sub-races, of which the

following is an incomplete synonymy : — 
I am going to rely on Vilmorin to give us some idea of each form here.

  • Brassica laevis. Cam. epit., 1586, 248 ; Matth. op., 1598, 366. 
  • Br. vulgaris sativa. Ger., 1597, 244. 
  • Cavalier branchu. Decand. mem., 1821, 9. 
  • Thousand-headed. Burr, 1863, 236. 
  • Chou branchu du Poitou. Vilm., 1883, 135. 
  • Chou mille tetes. Vilm. 1. c. 

II. a. viridis. 

  • Kol. Roszlin, 1550, 87. 
  • Brassica. Tragus, 1852, 720. 
  • Brassica alba vulgaris. J. Bauh., 1651, ii., 829. 
  • Chou vert commun. Decand. mem., 1821, 9. 
  • Cow Cabbage. Burr, 1863, 232. 
  • Chou cavalier., Vilm., 1883, 134. 
  • Brassica vulgaris alba. Chabr., 1677, 290. 
Above: Chou cavalier

II. b.  rubra. 

  • Brassica primum genus. Fuch., 1542, 413. 
  • Br. rubra prima species. Lugd., 1587, 523. 
  • Br. rubra. Ger., 1597, 244. 
  • Br. rubra vulgaris. J. Baughin, 1651, ii., 831 ; Charb., 1877. 270. 
  • Red cavalier. Decand. mem., 1821, 9. 
  • Flanders kale. Burr, 1863, 233. 
  • Caulet de Flandre. Vilm., 1883, 134. 


  • Brassica vulgaris sativa. Lob. obs., 1576, 122; ic, 1591, L, 243; Dod., 1616, 621. 
  • Br. alba vulgaris. Lugd., 1587, 520. 
  • Brassica. Cast. Dur., 1817, 76. 
  • Chou a fevilles de Chene. Decand. mem., 1821, 10. 
  • Buda kale. Vilm., 1885, 141. 
Chou frise vert grand

IV. a. 

  • Brassica secundum genus. Fuch., 1542, 414. 
  • Br. flmbriata. Lob. obs., 1576, 124; ic, 1591, 247.  
  • Br. sativa crispa. Ger., 1597, 244. 
  • Br. crispa. Dod., 1616, 622. 
  • Br. crispa lacinosa. J. Bauh., 1651, ii., 832. 
  • Chou vert frise. Decand. mem., 1821, 10. 
  • Tall Green Curled. Bnrr, 1863, 236. 
  • Chou frise vert grand. Vil., 1883, 131. 

IV. b. 

  • Brassica crispa, seu apiana. Trag., 1552, 721. 
  • Br. crispa Tragi. Lugd., 1587, 524. 
  • Br. tenuifolia laciniata. Lob. ic, 1591, i., 246. 
  • Br. selenoides. Dod., 1616, 622. 
  • Br. tenuissima laciniata. J. Bauh., 1651, ii., 832. 
  • Br. selenoides. Ger., 1597, 248. 
  • Chou plume or Chou aigrette. Decand. mem., 1821, 11. 
  • Ornamental kales of our gardens.  Nice PDF By Kathie Carter from the U. of California


  • Brassica tophosa. Ger., 1547, 246 ; J. Bauh., 1651, ii., 830. 
  • Br. tophosa Tabernemontano. Chabr., 1677, 270. 
  • Chou palmier. Decand. mem., 1821, 11 ; Vilm., 1883, 133. 
Chou palmier

These forms occur in many varieties, differing in degree only, and of various colors, even variegated. In addition to the above we may mention the proliferous kales, which also occur in several varieties. The following synonyms refer to proliferation only, as the plants in other respects are not resembling: 

  • Brassica asparagoides Dalechampii. Lugd., 1587, 522. 
  • Brassica prolifera. Ger., 1597, 245. 
  • Brassica prolifera crispa. Ger., 1597, 245. 
  • Cockscomb kale. Burr, 1863, 232. 
  • Chou frise prolifere. Vilm., 1883, 133. 

II. The Dwarf Kales. 

Decandolle does not bring these into his classification as offering true types, and in this perhaps he is right. Yet olericulturally considered they are quite distinct. There are but few varieties. The best marked is the Dwarf Curled, the leaves falling over in a graceful curve and reaching the ground. It can be traced through variations and varieties to our first class, and hence it has been probably derived in recent times through a process of selection, or through the preservation of a natural variation. We have now an intermediate type between the Dwarf Curled and the Tall Curled forms in the intermediate Moss Curled.

III. The Portugal Kales.

We have two sorts of kales that have extensive rib-system and the general aspect of the Portugal cabbage.  These are the Chou Brocoli and the chou frise de mosbach of Vilmorin.  I must consider these as bearing the same relation to the Portugal cabbage that our kales bear to the heading cabbages. Of their history I have ascertained nothing.

How did Sturtevant keep all these clear in his mind!!!!??? It's not like he had access to multiple images.  This work, in general, is derivative obviously, but how did he sort through all the catalogs and documents?  Wouldn't you love to see his file cards?

History of Garden Plants 
by E. Lewis Sturtevant,