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1, 8, AND 5 BOND STREET. f 









The knowledge of the origin of cultivated plants is 
interesting to agriculturists, to botanists, and even to 
historians and philosophers concerned with the dawnings 
of civilization. 

I went into this question of origin in a chapter in my 
work on geographical botany ; but the book has become 
scarce, and, moreover, since 1855 important facts have 
been discovered by travellets, botanists, and archae- 
ologists. Instead of publishing a second edition, I have 
drawn up an entirely new and more extended work, 
which treats of the origin of almost double the number of 
species belonging to the tropics and the temperate zones. 
f^ It includes almost all plants which are cultivated, either 

on a large scale for economic purposes, or in orchards and 

kitchen gardens 

' I have always aimed at discovei'ing the condition and 

^ the habitat of each species before it was cultivated. It 

^' was needful to this end to distinguish from among 

^ innumerable varieties that which should be regarded as 

the most ancient, and to find out from what quarter of 

vi author's preface. 

the globe it came. The problem is more difficult than it 
appears at first sight. In the last century and up to 
the middle of the present authors made little account 
of it, and the most able have contributed to the pro- 
pagation of erroneous ideas. I believe that three out 
of four of Linnaeus' indications of the original home of 
cultivated plants are incomplete or incorrect. His state- 
ments have since been repeated, and in spite of what 
modem writers have proved touching several species, 
they are still repeated in periodicals and popular works. 
It is time that mistakes, which date in some cases from 
the Greeks and Romans, should be corrected. The actual 
condition of science allows of such correction, provided 
we rely upon evidence ol varied character, of which 
some portion is quite recent, and even unpublished ; and 
this evidence should be sifted as we sift evidence in his- 
torical research. It is one of the rare cases in which 
a science founded on observation should make use of 
testimonial proof. It will be seen that this method 
leads to satisfactory results, since I have been able to 
determine the origin of almost all the species, sometimes 
with absolute certainty, and sometimes with a high 
degree of probability. 

I have also endeavoured to establish the number of 
centuries or thousands of years during which each 
species has been in cultivation, and how its culture 
spread in different directions at successive epochs. 

A few plants cultivated for more than two thousand 
years, and even some others, are not now known in a 

authob's pbefack vii 

spontaneous, that is, wild condition, or at any rate this 
condition is not proved. Questions of this nature are 
subtle. They, like the distinction of species, require 
much research in books and in herbaria. I have even 
been obliged to appeal to the courtesy of travellers or 
botanists in all parts of the world to obtain recent 
information. I shall mention these in each case with 
the expression of my grateful thanks. 

In spite of these records, and of all my researches, 
there still remain several species which are unknown 
wild. In the cases where these come from regions 
not completely explored by botanists, or where they 
belong to genera as yet insufficiently studied, there is 
hope that the wild plant may be one day discovered. 
But this hope is fallacious in the case of well-known 
species and countries. We are here led to form one of two 
hypotheses ; either these plants have since history began 
so changed in form in their wild as well as in their 
cultivated condition that they are no longer recognized 
as belonging to the same species, or they are extinct 
species. The lentil, the chick-pea, probably no longer 
exist in nature ; and other species, as wheat, maize, the 
broad bean, carthamine, very rarely found wild, appear 
to be in course of extinction. The number of cultivated 
plants with which I am here concerned being two hun- 
dred and forty-nine, the three, four, or five species, extinct 
or nearly extinct, is a large proportion, representing a 
thousand species, out of the whole number of phane- 
rogams. This destruction of forms must have taken 

viii author's preface. 

place during the short period of a few hundred centuries, 
on continents where they might have spread, and under 
circumstances which are commonly considered unvarying. 
This shows how the history of cultivated plants is allied 
to the most important problems of the general history of 
organized beings. 

GSNETA, 188S. 







L In what Makkeb and at what Epochs Cultivation began 

IN DiFFEBENT COUNTRIES ... ... ... ... 1 

II. Methods fob discovebinq ob pboyinq the Obigin of Species 8 



I. Plants cultivated fob theib Subtebbanean Pabts, such 

as Roots, Tubercles, ob Bulbs ... ... ... 29 

II. Plants cultivated fob their Stems Or Lkaves... ... 83 

III. Plants cultivated fob their Flowers, ob fob the Organs 

WHICH ENVELOP THEM ... ... ... ... 161 

IV. Plants cultivated fob theib Feuits ... ... ... 168 

V. Plants cultivated fob their Seeds ... „. ... 313 



I. General Table of Species, with their Origin and the 

Epoch of their Earliest Cultivation ... ... 436 

II. General Observations and Conclusions ... ... 447 

JLNDEX ... ... ... .*• ••• •.• ••• 40 V 




General Eemarks. 


The traditions of ancient peoples, embellished by poets, 
have commonly attributed the first steps in agriculture 
and the introduction of useful plants, to some divinity, or 
at least to some great emperor or Inca. Reflection shows 
that this is hardly probable, and observation of the 
attempts at agriculture among the savage tribes of our 
own day proves that the facts are quite otherwise. 

In the progress of civilization the beginnings are 

usually feeble, obscure, and limited. There are reasons 

why this should be the case with the first attempts at 

agriculture or horticulture. Between the custom of 

I gathering wild fruits, grain, and roots, and that of the 

I regular cultivation of the plants which produce them, 

I there are several steps. A family may scatter seeds 

around its dwelling, and provide itself the next year 

with the same product in the forest. Certain fruit trees 

may exist near a dwelling without our knowing whether 

they were planted, or whether the hut was built beside 


them in order to profit by them. War and the chase 
often interrupt attempts at cultivation. Rivaby and 
mistrust cause the imitation of one tribe by another to 
make but slow progress. If some great personage com- 
mand the cultivation of a plant, and institute some cere- 
monial to show its utility, it is probably because obscure 
and unknown men have previously spoken of it^ and 
that successful experiments have been already made. 
A longer or shorter succession of local and short-lived 
experiments must have occurred before such a display, 
which is calculated to impress an already numerous public. 
It is easy to understand that there must have been de- 
termining causes to excite these attempts, to renew them, 
to make them successful. 

The first cause is that such or such a plant, offering 
some of those advantages which all men seek, must be 
within reach. The lowest savages know the plants of their 
country ; but the example of the Australians and Patago- 
nians shows that if they do not consider them productive 
and easy to rear, they do not entertain the idea of culti- 
vating them. Other conditions are sufficiently evident : a 
not too rigorous climate ; in hot countries, the moderate 
duration of drought ; some degree of security and settle- 
ment; lastly, a pressing necessity, due to insufficient 
resources in fishing, hunting, or in the production of 
indigenous and nutritious plants, such as the chestnut, 
the date-palm, the banana, or the breadfruit tree. When 
men can live without work it is what they like best. 
Besides, the element of hazard in hunting and fishing 
attracts primitive, and sometimes civilized man, more 
than the rude and regular labour of cultivation. 

I return to the species which savages are disposed to 
cultivate. They sometimes find them in their own 
country, but often receive them from neighbouring 
peoples, more favoured than themselves by natural con- 
ditions, or already possessed of some sort of civilization. 
When a people is not established on an island, or in 
some place difficult of access, they soon adopt certain 
plants, discovered elsewhere, of which the advantage is 
evident, and are thereby diverted from the cultivation of 


the poorer species of their own country. History shows 
us that wheat, maize, the sweet potato, several species of 
the genus Panicum, tobacco, said other plants, especially 
annuals, were widely diffused before the historical period. 
These useful species opposed and arrested the timid 
attempts made here and there on less productive or 
less agreeable plants. And we see in our own day, in 
various countries, barley replaced by wheat, maize pre- 
ferred to buckwheat and many kinds of millet, while some 
vegetables and other cultivated plants fall into disrepute 
because other species, sometimes brought from a distance, 
are more . profitable. The difference in value, however 
great, which is found among plants already improved by 
culture, is less than that which exists between cultivated 
plants and others completely wild. Selection, that great 
factor which Darwin has had the merit of introducing 
so happily into science, plays an important part when 
once agriculture is established ; but in every epoch, and 
especially in its earliest stage, the choice of species is 
more important than the selection of varieties. 

The various causes which favour or obstruct the 
beginnings of agriculture, explain why certain regions 
have been for thousands of years peopled by husbandmen, 
while others are still inhabited by nomadic tribes. It is 
clear that, owing to their well-known qualities and to the 
favourable conditions of climate, it was at an early period 
found easy to cultivate rice and several leguminous plants 
in Southern Asia, barley and wheat in Mesopotamia and 
in Egypt, several species of Panicum in Africa, maize, 
the potato, the sweet potato, and manioc in America. 
Centres were thus formed whence the most useful species 
were diffused. In the north of Asia, of Europe, and of 
America, the climate is unfavourable, and the indigenous 
plants are unproductive; but as hunting and fishing 
offered their resources, agriculture must have been intro- 
duced there late, and it was possible to dispense with the 
good species of the south without great suffering. It 
was different in Australia, Patagonia, and even in the 
south of Africa. The plants of the temperate region in 
our hemisphere could not reach these countries by 


reason of the distance, and those of the intertropical 
zone were excluded by great drought or by the absence of 
a high temperature. At the same time, the indigenous 
species are very poor. It is not merely the want of 
intelligence or of security which has prevented the in- 
habitants from cultivating them. The nature of the 
indigenous flora has so much to do with it, that the 
Europeans, established in these countries for a hundred 
years, have only cultivated a single species, the Tetror- 
gonia, an insignificant green vegetable. I am aware 
that Sir Joseph Hooker^ has enumerated more than a 
hundred Australian species which may be used in some 
way ; but as a matter of fact they were not cultivated 
by the natives, and, in spite of the improved methods of 
the English colonists, no one does cultivate them. This 
clearly demonstrates the principle of which I spoke just 
now, that the choice of species is more important than 
the selection of varieties, and that there must be valuable 
qualities in a wild plant in order to lead to its cultivation. 
In spite of the obscurity of the beginnings of culti- 
vation in each region, it is certain that they occurred at 
very different periods. One of the most ancient examples 
of cultivated plants is in a drawing representing figs, 
found in Egypt in the pyramid of Gizeh. The epoch of 
the construction of this monument is UDceitain. Authors 
have assigned a date varying between fifteen hundred and 
four thousand two hundred years before the Christian era. 
Supposing it to be two thousand years, its actual age 
would be four thousand years. Now, the construction 
of the pyramids could only have been the work of a 
numerous, organized people, possessing a certain degree of 
civilization, and consequently an established agriculture, 
dating from some centuries back at least. In China, two 
thousand seven hundred years before Christ, the Emperor 
Chenming instituted the ceremony at which every year 
five species of useful plants are sown — rice, sweet potato, 
wheat, and two kinds of millet.^ These plants must 

Hooker, Flora Tasmanise, i. p. ox. 
' Bretschneider, On the Shidy and Valtie of Chinese Botanical WorkSt 
p. 7. 


have been cultivated for some time in certain localities 
before they attracted the emperor's attention to such a 
degree. Agriculture appears, then, to be as ancient in 
China as in Egypt. The constant relations between 
Egypt and Mesopotamia lead us to suppose that an 
almost contemporaneous cultivation existed in the valleys 
of the Euphrates and the Nile. And it may have been 
equally early in India and in the Malay Archipelago. ! 
The history of the Dravidian and Malay peoples does : 
not reach far back, and is sufficiently obscure, but there 
is no reason to believe that cultivation has not been 
known among them for a very long time, particularly 
along the banks of the rivers. 

The ancient Egyptians and the Phoenicians propa- 
gated many plants in the region of the Mediterranean, 
and the Aryan nations, whose migrations towards Europe 
began about 2500, or at latest 2000 years B.C., carried 
with them several species already cultivated in Western ^ 
Asia. We shall see, in studying the history of several 
species, that some plants were probably cultivated in 
Europe and in the north of Africa prior to the Aryan 
migration. This is shown by names in languages more 
ancient than the Aryan tongues; for instance, Finn,' 
Basque, Berber, and the speech of the Guanchos of the 
Canary Isles. However, the remains, called kitchen- 
middens, of ancient Danish dwellings, have hitherto 
furnished no proof of cultivation or any indication of the 
possession of metal.^ The Scandinavians of that period 
lived principally by fishing and hunting, and perhaps 
eked out their subsistence by indigenous plants, such as 
the ^cabbage, the nature of which does not admit any 
remnant of traces in the dung-heaps and rubbish, and 
which, moreover, did not require cultivation. The absence 
of metals does not in these northern countries argue a 
greater antiquity than the age of Pericles, or even the 
palmy days of the Roman republic. Later, when bronze 

* De Naidaillao, Lea Premiers Hommea et Ics Temps Pr^iatorxqueSt 
i. pp. 266, 268. The absence of traces of agriculture among these 
remains is, moreoyer, corroborated hj Heer and Cartailhac, both well 
Tersed in the discoveries of archaeology. 


was known in Sweden — ^a repon far removed from the 
then civilized countries — agriculture had at length been 
introduced. Among the remains of that epoch was 
found a carving of a cart drawn by two oxen and driven 
by a man.^ 

The ancient inhabitants of Eastern Switzerland, at a 
time when they possessed instruments of polished stone 
and no metals, cultivated several plants, of which some 
were of Asiatic origin. Heer ^ has shown, in his admirable 
work on the lake-dwellings, that the inhabitants had 
intercourse with the countries south of the Alps. They 
may also have received plants cultivated by the Iberians, 
who occupied Gaul before the Kelts. At the period 
when the lake-dwellers of Switzerland and Savoy pos- 
sessed bronze, their agriculture was more varied. It 
seems that the lake-dwellers of Italy, when in possession 
of this metal, cidtivated fewer species than those of 
Savoy,® and this may be due either to a greater antiquity 
or to local circumstances. The remains of the lake- 
dwellers of Laybach and of the Mondsee in Austria 
prove likewise a completely primitive agriculture; no 
cereals have been found at Laybach, and but a single 
grain of wheat at the Mondsee.* The backward condition 
of agriculture in this eastern part of Europe is contrary 
to the hypothesis, based on a few words used by ancient 
historians, that the Aryans sojourned first in the region 
of the Danube, and that Thrace was civilized before 
Greece. In spite of this example, agriculture appears 
in general to have been more ancient in the temperate 
parts of Europe than we should be inclined to believe 
from the Greeks, who were disposed, like certain modem 

* M. Montelius, from Cartailbac, Revue^ 1875, p. 237. 

* Heer, Die Pjlanzen der Pfahlhauten, in 4to, Zurich, 1865. See the 
article on " Flfltx." 

* Perrin, Etude Pr^istorique de la Savoie, in 4to, 1870 ; Castelf ranco, 
Notizie intomo alia Stazione lacustre di Lagozza ; and Sordelli, Sulle 
piante delta torhiera delta Lagozza, in the Actes de la Soc. ItaZ, des 8cien. 
Nat., 1880. 

* Much, Mitiheil d, Anthropol. Ges, in Wien, vol. yi. ; Sacken, Sitzher. 
Akad, Wien., vol. vi. Letter of Heer on these works and analysia of 
them in Naidaillac, i p. 247. 


writers, to attribute the origin of all progress to their 
own nation. ... 

In America, agriculture is perhaps not quite so 
ancient as in Asia and Egypt, if we are to judge from 
the civilization of Mexico and Peru, which does not date 
even from the first centuries of the Christian era. How- 
ever, the widespread cultivation of certain plants, such 
as maize, tobacco, and the sweet potato, argues a con- 
siderable antiquity, perhaps two thousand years or there- 
abouts. History is at fault in this matter, and we can 
only hope to be enlightened by the discoveries of archseo- 
logy and geology. 




1. General reflections. As most cultivated plants have 
been under culture from an early period, and the manner 
of their introduction into cultivation is often little known, 
different means are necessary in order to ascertain their 
origin. For each species we need a research similar to 
those made by historians and archaeologists — a varied 
research, in which sometimes one process is employed, 
sometimes another; and these are afterwards combined 
and estimated according to their relative value. The 
naturalist is here no longer in his ordinary domain of 
observation and description; he must support himself 
by historical proof, which is never demanded in the 
laboratory; and botanical facts are required, not with 
respect to the physiology of plants — a favourite study of 
the present day — but with regard to the distinction of 
species and their geographical distribution. 

I shall, therefore, have to make use of methods of 
which some are foreign to naturalists, others to persons 
versed in historical learning. I shall say a few words 
of each, to explain how they should be employed and 
what is their value. 

2. Botany. One of the most direct means of dis- 
covering the geographical origin of a cultivated species, 
is to seek in what country it grows spontaneously, and 
without the help of man. The question appears at the 
first glance to be a simple one. It seems, indeed, that 


by consulting floras, works upon species in general, 
or herbaria, we ought to be able to solve it easily in 
each particular case. Unfortunately it is, on the contrary, 
a question which demands a special knowledge of botany, 
especially of geographical botany, and an estimate of 
botanists and of collectors, founded on a long experience. 
Learned men, occupied with history or with the inter- 
pretation of ancient authors, are liable to grave mistakes 
when they content themselves with the first testimony 
they may happen to light upon in a botanical work. 
On the other hand, travellers who collect plants for a 
herbarium are not always sufficiently observant of the 
places and circumstances in which they find them. 
They often neglect to note down what they have 
remarked on the subject. We know, however, that a 
plant may have sprung from others cultivated in the 
neighbourhood ; that birds, winds, etc., may have borne 
the seeds to great distances; that they are sometimes 
brought in the ballast of vessels -or mixed with their 
cargoes. Such cases present themselves with respect 
to common species, much more so with respect to culti- 
vated plants which abound near human dwellings. A 
collector or traveller had need be a keen observer to 
judge if a plant has sprung from a wild stock belonging 
to the flora of the country, or if it is of foreign origin. 
When the plant is growing near dwellings, on walls, 
among rubbish-heaps, by the wayside, etc., we should be 
cautious in forming an opinion. 

It may also happen that a plant strays from cultiva- 
tion, even to a distance from suspicious localities, and 
has nevertheless but a short duration, because it cannot 
in the long run support the conditions of the climate or 
the struggle with the indigenous species. This is what 
is called in botany an adventive species. It appears 
and disappears, a proof that it is not a native of the 
country. Every flora offers numerous examples of this 
kind. When these are more abundant than usual, the 
public is struck by the circumstance. Thus, the troops 
hastily summoned from Algeria into France in 1870, 
disseminated by fodder and otherwise a number of 



African and southern species which excited wonder, but 
of which no trace remained after two or three winters. 

Some collectors and authors of floras are very careful 
in noting these facts. Thanks to p^-sonal relations 
with some of them, and to frequent references to their 
herbaria and botanical works, I flatter myself I am 
acquainted with them. I shalt, therefore, willingly 
cite their testimony in doubtful cases. For certain 
countries and certain species I have addressed myselt 
directly to these eminent naturalists. I have appealed 
to their memory, to their notes, to their herbaria, and from 
the answers they have been so kind as to return, I have 
been enabled to add unpublished documents to those 
found in works already made public. My sincere thanks 
are due for information of this nature received from 
Mr. C. B. Clarke on the plants of India, from M. Boissier 
on those of the East, from M. Sagot on the species of 
French Guiana, from M. Cosson on those of Algeria, from 
MM. Decaisne and Bretschneider on the plants of China, 
from M. Pancic on the cereals of Servia, from Messrs. 
Bentham and Baker on the specimens of the herbarium 
at Kew, lastly from M. Edouard Andr^ on the plants of 
America. This zealous traveller was kind enough to 
lend me some most interesting specimens of species 
cultivated in South America, which he found presenting 
every appearance of indigenous plants. 

A more difficult question, and one which cannot be 
solved at once, is whether a plant growing wild, with 
all the appearance of the indigenous species, has existed 
in the country from a very early period, or has been 
introduced at a more or less ancient date. 

For there are naturalized species, that is, those that 
are introduced among the plants of the ancient flora, and 
which, although of foreign origin, persist there in such a 
manner that observation alone cannot distinguish them, so 
that historical records or botanical considerations, whether 
simple or geographical, are needed for their detection. 
In a very general sense, taking into consideration the 
lengthened periods with which science is concerned, nearly 
all species, especially in the regions lying outside the 


tropics, have been once naturalized ; that is to say, they 
have, from geographical and physical circumstances, 
passed from one region to another. When, in 1855, I 
put forward the idea that conditions anterior to our 
epoch determined the greater number of the facts of the 
actual distribution of plants — this was the sense of 
several of the articles, and of the conclusion of my two 
volumes of geographical botany ^ — it was received with 
considerable surprise. It is true that general considera- 
tions of palaeontology had just led Dr. Unger,^ a German 
savant, to adopt similar ideas, and before him Edward 
Forbes had, with regard to some species of the southern 
counties of the British Isles, suggested the hypothesis 
of an ancient connection with Spain.® But the proof 
that it is impossible to explain the habitations of the 
whole number of present species by means of the con- 
ditions existing for some thousands of yeara, made a 
greater impression, because it belonged more especially 
to the department of botanists, and did not relate to 
only a few plants of a single country. The hypothesis 
suggested by Forbes became an assured fact and capable 
of general application, and is now a truism of science. All 
that is written on geographical or zoological botany rests 
upon this basis, which is no longer contested. 

This principle, in its application to each country and 
each species, presents a number of difficulties ; for when 
a cause is once recognized, it is not always easy to dis- 
cover how it has affected each particular case. Luckily, 
so far as cultivated plants are concerned, the questions 
which occur do not make it necessary to go back to 
very ancient times, nor to dates which cannot be defined 
by a given number of years or centuries. No doubt the 
modem specific forms date from a period earlier than 
the great extension of glaciers in the northern hemi- 

' Alph. de Candolle, Qiograjgihie Botanique Raisonndey chap. x. p. 
1055 ; chap, xi., xix., zxyii. 

■ TTngep, Verauch einer Qeschichte der PJlanzenweltj 1S52. 

• Forbes, On the Oormection between the IHstrihution of the Existing 
Fauna and Flora of the British IsleSt with the Geological Changes which 
have affected their Area, in 8vo, Memoirs of the Qeological Survey, vol. i. 


sphere — a phenomenon of several thousand years' duration, 
if we are to judge from the size of the deposits transported 
by the ice ; but cultivation began after this epoch, and 
even in many instances within historic time. We have 
little to do with previous events. Cultivated species 
may have changed their abode before cultivation, or in 
the course of a longer time they may have changed their 
form ; this belongs to the general study of all organized 
life, and we are concerned only with the exammation 
of each species since its cultivation or in the time 
immediately before it. This is a great simplification. 

The question of age, thus limited, may oe approached 
by means of historical or other records, of which I shall 
presently speak, and by the principles of geographical 

I shall briefly enumerate these, in order to show 
in what manner they can aid in the discovery of the 
geographical origin of a given plant. 

As a rule, the abode of each species is constant, or 
nearly constant. It is, however, sometimes disconnected ; 
that is to say, that the individuals of which it is com- 
posed are found in widely separated regions. These cases, 
which are extremely interesting in the study of the 
vegetable kingdom and of the surface of the globe, are 
far from forming the majority. Therefore, when a culti^ 
vated species is found wild, frequently in Europe, more 
rarely in the United States, it is probable that, in spite 
of its indigenous appearance in America, it has become 
naturalized after being accidentally transported thither. 

The genera of the vegetable kingdom, although 
usually composed of several species, are often confined 
to a single region. It follows, that the more species 
included in a genus all belonging to the same quarter 
of the globe, the more probable it is that one of the 
species, apparently indigenous in another part of the 
world, has been transported thither and has become 
naturalized there, by escaping from cultivation. This 
is especially the case with tropical genera, because they 
are more often restricted either to the old or to the new 


Geographical botany teaches us what countries have 
genera and even species in common, in spite of a certain 
distance, and what, on the contrary, are very different, 
in spite of similarity of climate or inconsiderable dis- 
tance. It also teaches us what species, genera, and 
families are scattered over a wide area, and the more 
limited extent of others. These data are of great assist- 
ance in determining the probable origin of a given 
species. Naturalized plants spread rapidly. I have 
quoted examples elsewhere ^ of instances within the last 
two centuries, and similar facts have been noted from 
year to year. The rapidity of the recent invasion of 
ATiachai^ Alainastruvi into the rivers of Europe is well 
known, and that of many European plants in New 
Zealand, Australia, California, etc., mentioned in several 
floras or modem travels. 

The great abundance of a species is no proof of its 
antiquity. Agave AmericaTia, so common on the shores 
of the Mediterranean, although introduced from America, 
and our cardoon, which now covers a great part of the 
Pampas of La Plata, are remarkable instances in point. 
As a rule, an invading species makes rapid way, while 
extinction is, on the contrary, the result of the strife of 
several centuries against unfavourable circumstances.^ 

The designation which should be adopted for allied 
species, or, to speak scientifically, allied forms, is a 
problem often presented in natural history, and more 
often in the category of cultivated species than in others. 
These plants are changed by cultivation. Man adopts 
new and convenient forms, and propagates them by 
artificial means, such as budding, grafting, the choice of 
seeds, etc. It is clear that, in order to discover the origin 
of one of these species, we must eliminate as far as possible 
the forms which appear to be artificial, and concentrate our 
attention on the others. A simple reflection may guide 
this choice, namely, that a cultivated species varies 
chiefly in those parts for which it is cultivated. The 
others remain unmodified, or present trifling alteratioas, 

^ A. de CandoUe, Gdographie Botanxque Raisonn^e, chap. yii. and z. 
* Ibid., chap. viii. p. 804. 


of which the cultivator takes no note, because they are 
useless to him. We may expect, therefore, to find the 
fruit of a wild fruit tree small and of a doubtfully 
agreeable flavour, the grain of a cereal in its wild state 
small, the tubercles of a wild potato small, the leaves of 
indigenous tobacco narrow, etc., without, however, going 
so far as to imagine that the species developed rapidly 
under cultivation, for man would not have begun to 
cultivate it if it had not from the beginning presented 
some useful or agreeable qualities. 

When once a cultivated plant has been reduced to 
such a condition as permits of its being reasonably 
compared with analogous spontaneous forms, we have 
still to decide what group of nearly similar plants it is 
proper to designate as constituting a species. Botanists 
alone are competent to pronounce an opinion on this 
question, since they are accustomed to appreciate difier- 
ences and resemblances, and know the confusion of 
certain works in the matter of nomenclature. This is 
not the place to discuss what may reasonably be termed 
a species. I have stated in some of my articles the 
principles which seem to me the best. As their applica- 
tion would often require a study which has not been 
made, I have thought it well occasionally to treat quasi- 
specific forms as a group which appears to me to corre- 
spond to a species, and I have sought the geographical 
origin of these forms as though they were really specific. 

To sum up: botany furnishes valuable means of 
guessing or proving the origin of cultivated plants and 
for avoiding mistakes. We must, however, hj no means 
forget that practical observation must be supplemented 
by research in the study. After gaining information 
from the collector who sees the plants in a given spot 
or district, and who draws up a flora or a catalogue of 
species, it is indispensable to study the known or probable 
geographical distribution in books and in herbaria, and 
to reflect upon the principles of geogiaphical botany 
and on the questions of classification, which cannot be 
done by travelling or collecting. Other researches, of 
which I shall speak presently, must be combined with 


those of botany if we would arrive at satisfactory con- 

3. ArchcBology and Palceontology, The most direct 
proof which can be conceived of the ancient existence 
of a species in a given country is to see its recognizable 
fragments in old buildings or deposits, of a more or less 
certain date. 

The fruits, seeds, and different portions of plants 
taken from ancient Egyptian tombs, and the drawings 
which surround them in the pyramids, have given rise 
to most important researches, which I shall often have to 
mention. Nevertheless, there is a possible source of error ; 
the fraudulent introduction of modem plants into the 
sarcophagi of the mummies. This was easily discovered 
in the case of some grains of maize, for instance, a plant 
of American origin, which were introduced by the Arabs ; 
but species cultivated in Egypt within the last two or 
three thousand years may have been added, which would 
thus appear to have belonged to an earlier period. The 
tumuli or mounds of North America, and the monuments 
of the ancient Mexicans and Peruvians, have furnished 
records about the plants cultivated in that part of the 
world. Here we are concerned with an epoch subsequent 
to the pyramids of Egypt. 

The deposits of the Swiss lake-dwellings have been 
the subject of important treatises, among which that of 
Heer, quoted just now, holds the first place. Similar 
works have been published on the vegetable remains 
found in other lakes or peat mosses of Switzerland, Savoy, 
Germany, and Italy. I shall quote them with reference 
to several species. Dr. Gross has been kind enough to 
send me seeds and fruits taken from the lake-dwellings 
of; and my colleague. Professor Heer, has 
favoured me with several facts collected at Zurich since 
the publication of his work. I have already said that 
the rubbish-heaps of the Scandinavian countries, called 
kitchen-middens, have furnished no trace of cultivated 

The tufa of the south of France contains leaves and 
other remains of plants, which have been discovered by 


MM. Martins, Planchon, de Saporta> and other savants. 
Their date is not, perhaps, always earlier than that of the 
first lacustrine deposits, and it is possible that it agrees 
with that of ancient Egyptian monuments, and of ancient 
Chinese books. Lastly, the mineralogic strata, with 
which geologists are specially concerned, tell us much 
about the succession of vegetable forms in diflFerent 
countries; but here we are dealing with epochs far 
anterior to agriculture, and it would be a strange and 
certainly a most valuable chance if a modem cultivated 
species were discovered in the European tertiary epoch. 
No such discovery has hitherto been made with any 
certainty, though uncultivated species have been recog- 
nized in strata prior to the glacial epoch of the northern 
hemisphere. For the rest, if we do not succeed in 
finding them, the consequences will not be clear, since 
it may be said, either that such a plant came at a later 
date from a different region, or that it had formerly 
another form which renders its recognition impossible 
in a fossil state. 

4. History, Historical records are important in order 
to determine the date of certain cultures in each country. 
They ako give indications as to the geographical origin 
of plants when they have been propagated by the migra- 
tions of ancient peoples, by travellers, or by military 

The assertions of authors must not, however, be 
accepted without examination. 

The greater number of ancient historians have con- 
fused the fact of the cultivation of a species in a country 
with that of its previous existence there in a wild state. 
It has been commonly asserted, even in our own day, 
that a species cultivated in America or China is a native 
of America or China. A no less common error is the 
belief that a species comes originally from a given 
country because it has come to us from thence, and not 
direct from the place in which it is really indigenous. 
Thus the Greeks and Bomans called the peach the 
Persian apple, because they had seen it cultivated in 
Persia, where it probably did not grow wild. It was a 


native of China, as I have elsewhere shown. They called 
the pomegranate, which had spread gradually from 
garden to garden from Persia to Mauritania, the apple of 
Carthage {Malv/m Pv/aiaum). Very ancient authors, 
such as Herodotus and Berosius, are yet more liable to 
error, in spite of their desire to be accurate. 

We shall see, when we speak of maize, that historical 
documents which are complete forgeries may deceive us 
about the origin of a species. It is curious, for it seems 
to be no one's interest to lie about such agricultural facts. 
Fortunately, facts of botany and archaeology enable us to 
detect errors of this nature. 

The principal difficulty, which commonly occurs in 
the case of ancient historians, is to find the exact trans- 
lation of the names of plants, which in their books 
always bear the common names. I shall speak presently 
of the value of these names and how the science of 
language may be brought to bear on the questions with 
which we are occupied, but I must first indicate those 
historical notions which are most useful in the study of 
cultivated plants. 

Agriculture came originally, at least so far as the 
principal species are concerned, from three great regions, 
in which certain plants grew, regions which had no com- 
munication with each other. These are — China, the south- 
west of Asia (with Egypt), and intertropical America. 
I do not mean to say that in Europe, in Africa, and 
elsewhere savage tribes may not have cultivated a few 
species locally, at an early epoch, as an addition to the 
resources of hunting and fishing ; but the great civiliza- 
tions based upon agriculture began in the three regions 
I have indicated. It is worthy of note that in the 
old world agi'icultural communities established them-\ 
selves along the banks of the rivers, whereas in America \ 
they dwelt on the high lands of Mexico and Peru. This \ 
may perhaps have been due to the original situation of ! 
the plants suitable for cultivation, for the banks of the i 
Mississippi, of the Amazon, of the Orinoco, are not more 
unhealthy than those of the rivers of the old world. 
A few words about each of the three regions. 


China had akeady possessed for some thousands of 
years a flourishing agriculture and even horticultwre, 
when she entered for the first time into relations with 
Western Asia, by the mission of Chang-Kien, during the 
reign of the Emperor Wu-ti, in the second century before 
the Christian era. The records, known as Pent-sao, 
written in our Middle Ages, state that he brought back 
the bean, the cucumber, the lucem, the saffron, the 
sesame, the walnut, the pea, spinach, the water-melon, 
and other western plants,^ then unknown to the Chinese. 
Chang-Kien, it will be observed, was no ordinary ambas- 
sador. He considerably enlarged the geographical know- 
ledge, and improved the economic condition of his 
countrymen. It is true that he was constrained to dwell 
ten years in the West, and that he belonged to an already 
civilized people, one of whose emperors had, 2700 B.C., 
consecrated with imposing ceremonies the cultivation of 
certain plants. The Mongolians were too barbarous, and 
came from too cold a country, to have been able to intro- 
duce many useful species into China; but when we 
consider the origin of the peach and the apricot, we shall 
see that these plants were brought into China from 
Western Asia, probably by isolated titivellers, merchants 
or others, who passed north of the Himalayas. A few 
species spread in the same way into China from the 
West before the embassy of Chang-Kien. 

Regular communication between China and India 
only began in the time of Chang-Kien, and by the cir- 
cuitous way of Bactriana ; ^ but gradual transmissions 
from place to place may have been eflected through the 
Malay Peninsula and Cochin-China. The writers of 
Northern China may have been ignorant of them, and 
especially since the southern provinces were only united 
to the empire in the second century before Christ.® 

Regular communications between China and Japan 
only took place about the year 57 of our era, when 
an ambassador was sent; and the Chinese had no real 
knowledge of their eastern neighbours until the third 

' Bretschneider, On the Study and ValvtSy etc., p. 15. 
• Ihid. » Ibid., p. 23. 


century, when the Chinese character was introduced 
into Japan.^ 

The vast region which stretches from the Ganges to 
Armenia and the Nile was not in ancient times so 
isolated as China. Its inhabitants exchanged cultivated 
plants with great facility, and even transported them 
to a distance. It is enough to remember that ancient 
migrations and conquests continually intermixed the 
Turanian, Aryan, and Semitic peoples between the 
Caspian Sea, Mesopotamia, and the Nile. Great states 
were formed nearly at the same time on the banks of 
the Euphrates and in Egypt, but they succeeded to 
tribes which had already cultivated certain plants. Agri- 
cultu re is older in that region than Babylon and the first 
Egyptian dynasties, which date from more than four 
Itonisand years" ago. ' The Assyrian and Egyptian em- 
pires afterwards fought for supremacy, and in their 
struggles they transported whole nations, which could 
not fail to spread cultivated species. On the other hand, 
the Aryan tribes who dwelt originally to the north of 
Mesopotamia, in a land less favourable to agriculture, 
spread westward and southward, driving out or subju- 
gating the Turanian and Dravidian nations. Their speech, 
and those wj^ch are derived from it in Europe and Hin- 
dustan, show that they knew and transported several 
useful species.^ After these ancient events, of which the 
dates are for the most part uncertain, the voyages of the 
Phoenicians, the wars between the Greeks and Persians, 
Alexander's expedition into India, and finally the Roman 
rule, completed the spread of cultivation in the interior 
of Western Asia, and even introduced it into Europe and 
the noi*th of Africa, wherever the climate permitted. 

Later, at the time of the crusades, very few useful 
plants yet remained to be brought from the East. A 

* Atsuma-gusa. Recueil pour servir d la connaissance de VextrSme 
Orient, Turretini, vol. vi., pp. 200, 293. 

' There are in the French language two excellent works, which give 
the snm of modern knowledge with regard to the East and Egypt. Tie 
one is the Manuel de VHistoire Ancienne de VOi-ientf by Francois Lenor- 
mand, 3 vols, in 12mo, Paris, 1869; the other, UHistoire Ancienne dei 
Peuples de VOi'ient, by Maspero, 1 vol. in 8vo, Paris, 1878. 


few varieties of fruit trees which the Romans did not 
possess, and some ornamental plants, were, however, then 
brought to Europe. 

The discovery of America in 1492 was the last g reat 
event which caused the diffusion of cultivated pTanls 
into all countries. The American species, such as the 
potato, maize, the prickly pear, tobacco, etc., were first 
imported into Europe and Asia. Then a number of 
species from the old world were introduced into America. 
The voyage of Magellan (1520-1521) was the first direct 
communication between South America and Asia. In the 
jame century the slave trade multiplied communications 
between Africa and America. Lastly, the discovery of 
the Pacific Islands in the eighteenth century, and the 
growing facility of the means of communication, combined 
with a general idea of improvement, produced that more 
general dispersion of useful plants of which we are 
witnesses at the present day. 

5. Philology. The common names of cultivated plants 
are usually well known, and may afford indications touch- 
ing the history of a species, but there are examples 
in which they are absurd, based upon errors, or vague 
and doubtful, and this involves a certain caution in 
their use. 

I could quote a number of such names in all languages; 
ib is enough to mention, in French, hU de Turquiey maize, 
a plant which is not a wheat, and which comes from 
America; in English, Jerusalem artichoke {Hdianthua 
tuberosus), which does not come from Jerusalem, but 
from North America, and is no artichoke. 

A number of names given to foreign plants by 
Europeans ;when they are settled in the colonies, ex- 
press false or insignificant analogies. For instance, the 
New Zealand flax resembles the true flax as little as 
possible ; it is merely that a textile substance is obtained 
from its leaves. The tnahogany apple (cashew) of the 
French West India Isles is not an apple, nor even the 
fruit of a pomaceous tree, and has nothing to do with 

Sometimes the common names have changed, in 


passing from one language to another^ in such a manner 
as to give a false or absurd meaning. Thus the tree of 
Judea of the French (Cei^cis SUiquastrum) has become 
the Judas tree in English. The fruit called by the 
Mexicans cJiuaca, is become the avocat (lawyer) of the 
French colonists. 

Not unfrequently names of plants have been taken 
by the same people at successive epochs or in different 
provinces, sometimes as generic, sometimes as specific 
names. The French word &Z^, for instance, may mean 
several species of the genus Triticum, and even of very 
different nutritious plants (maize and wheat), or a given 
species of wheat. 

Several common names have been transferred from 
one plant to another through error or ignorance. Thus 
tlie confusion made by early travellers between the 
sweet potato (Convolvulvs Batatas) and the potato 
(Solanum tvheroav/m) has caused the latter to be called 
potato in English and patatas in Spanish. 

If modem, civilized peoples, who have great facilities 
for comparing species, learning their origin and verifying 
their names in books, have made such mistakes, it is 
probable that ancient nations have made many and 
more grave errors. Scholars display vast learning in 
explaining the philological origin of a name, or its 
modifications in derived languages, but they cannot 
discover popular errors or absurdities. It is left for 
botanists to discover and point them out. We may note, 
in passing, that the double or compound names are the 
most doubtful. They may consist of two mistakes ; one 
in the root or principal name, the other in the addition 
or accessory name, destined almost always to indicate 
the geographical origin, some visible quality, or some 
comparison with other species. The shorter a name 
is, the better it merits consideration in questions of 
origin or antiquity ; for it is by the succession of years, 
of the migi'ations of peoples, and of the transport of 
plants, that the addition of often erroneous epithets takes 
place. Similarly, in symbolic writing, like that of the 
Chinese and the Egyptians, unique and simple signs 


indicate long-known species, not imported from foreign 
countries, while complicated signs are doubtful or indi- 
cate a foreign origin. We must not forget, however, that 
the signs have often been rebuses, based on chance 
resemblances in the words, or on superstitious and fanciful 

The identity of a common name for a given species 
in several languages may have two very different ex- 
planations. It may be because a plant has been spread 
by a people which has been dispersed and scattered. It 
may also result from the transmission of a plant from 
one people to another with the name it bore in its original 
home. The first case is that of the hemp, of which the 
name is similar, at least as to the root, in all the tongues 
derived from the primitive Aryan stock. The second is 
seen in the American name of tobacco, the Chinese of 
tea^ which have spread into a number of countries, 
without any philological or ethnographic filiation. This 
case has occurred oftener in modern than in ancient 
times, because the rapidity of communications allows of 
the simultaneous introduction of a plant and of its name, 
even where the distance is great. 

The diversity of names for the same species may also 
spring from various causes. As a rule, it indicates an 
early existence in different countries, but it may also 
arise from the mixture of races, or from names of varieties 
which take the place of the original name. Thus in 
England we find, according to the county, a Keltic, 
Saxon, Danish, or Latin name ; and flax bears in Germany 
the names offlacha and lein, words which are evidently of 
different origin. 

When we desire to make use of the common names 
to gather from them certain probabilities regarding the 
origin of species, it is necessary to consult dictionaries 
and the dissertations of philologists ; but we must take 
j into account the chances of error in these learned men, 
who, since they are neither cultivators nor botanists, may 
have made mistakes in the application of a name to a 

The most considerable collection of common names is 


that of Nemnicli, published in 1793.^ I have another in 
manuscript which is yet more complete, drawn up in 
our library by an old pupil of mine, Moritzi, by means of 
floras and of several books of travel written by botanists. 
There are, besides, dictionaries of the names of the species 
in given countries or in some special language. This kind 
of glossary does not often contain explanations of etymo- 
logy ; but in spite of what Hehn^ may say, a naturalist 
possessed of an ordinary general education can recognize 
the connection or the fundamental differences between 
certain names in different languages, and need not con- 
found modem with ancient languages. It is not necessary 
to be initiated into the mysteries of suffixes or affixes, 
of dentals and labials. 14 o doubt the researches of a 
philologist into etymologies are more profound and valu- 
able, but this is rarely necessary when our researches 
have to do with cultivated plants. Other sciences are 
more useful, especially that of botany ; and philologists 
are more often deficient in these than naturalists are 
deficient in philology, for the very evident reason that 
more place is given to languages than to natural history 
in general education. It appears to me, moreover, that 
philologists, notably those who are occupied with San- 
skrit, are always too eager to find the etymology of 
every name. They do not aUow sufficiently for human 
stupidity, which has in all time given rise to absurd 
words, without any real basis, and derived only from 
error or supeptitioi 

The filiation of modem European tongues is known 
to every one. That of ancient languages has, for more 
than half a century, been the object of important labours. 
Of these I cannot here give even a brief notice. It is 
sufficient to recall that all modem European languages 
are derived from the speech of the Western Aryans, who 
came from Asia, with the exception of Basque (derived 
from the Iberian language), Finnish, Turkish, and Hun- 

* Nemnich, Allgenieines polyglotten-Lexicon der Naturgeschichte, 2 vols, 
ia 4to. 

' Hehn, Kulturpflanzen und Hausthiere in ihren Uehergang aiM Asieiit 
in 8vo, 3rd edit. 1877. 


garian, into which, moreover, words of Aryan origin 
have been introduced. On the other hand, several modem 
languages of India, Ceylon, and Java, are derived from 
the Sanskrit of the Eastern Aryans, who left Central 
Asia after the Western Aryans. It is supposed, with 
sufficient probability, that the first Western Aryans 
came into Europe 2500 B.C., and the Eastern Aryans 
into India a thousand years later. 

Basque (or Iberian), the speech of the Guanchos of 
the Canary Isles, of which a few plant names are known, 
and Berber, are probably connected with the ancient 
tongues of the north of Africa. 

Botanists are in many cases forced to doubt the 
common names attributed to plants by travellers, his- 
torians, and philologists. This is a consequence of their 
own doubts respecting the distinction of species and of 
the well-known difiiculty of ascertaining the common 
name of a plant. The uncertainty becomes yet greater 
in the case of species which are more easily confounded 
or less generally known, or in the case of the languages 
of little-civilized nations. There are, so to speak, degrees 
of languages in this respect, and the names should be 
accepted more or less readily according to these degrees. 

In the first rank, for certainty, are placed those 
languages which possess botanical works. For instance, 
it is possible to recognize a species by means of a Greek 
description by Dioscorides or Theophrastus, and by the 
less complete Latin texts of Cato, Columella, or Pliny, 
Chinese books also give descriptions. Dr. Bretschneider, 
of the Bussian legation at Pekin, has written some 
excellent papers upon these books, from which I shall 
often quote.^ 

The second degree is that of languages possessing 
a literature composed only of theological and poetical 
works, or of chronicles of kings and battles. Such works 

* Bretschneider, On the Study cmd Value of Chinese Botanical Works, 
with Notes on the History of Plcmts and Oeogra^hical Botany from Chinese 
Sources, in Svo, 51 pp., with illustrations, Fooohoo, without date, but the 
preface bears the date Dec. 1870. Notes on Some Botamcal Questions^ 
in Svo, 14 pp., 1880. 


make mention here and there of plants, with epithets or 
reflections on their mode of flowering, their ripening, 
their use, etc., which allow their names to be divined, 
and to be referred to modern botanical nomenclature. 
With the added help of a knowledge of the flora of the 
country, and of the common names in the languages 
derived from the dead language, it is possible to discover 
approximately the sense of some words. This is the case 
with Sanskrit,^ Hebrew,^ and Armenian.® 

Lastly, a third category of dead languages offers no 
certainty, but merely presumptions or hypothetical and 
rare indications. It comprehends those tongues in which 
there is no written work, such as Keltic, with its dialects, 
the ancient Sclavonic, Pelasgic, Iberian, the speech of 
the primitive Aryans, Turanians, etc. It is possible to 
guess certain names or their approximate form in these 
dead languages by two methods, both of which shoidd 
be employed with caution. 

The first and best is to consult the languages derived, 
or which we believe to be derived, directly from the 
ancient tongues, a.s Basque for the Iberian language, 
Albanian for the Pelasgic, Breton, Erse, and Gaelic for 
Keltic. The danger lies in the possibility of mistake in 
the filiation of the languages, and especially in a mistaken 
belief in the antiquity of a plant-name which may have 

' Wilson's dictionary contains names of plants, bat botanists bave 
more confidence in the names indicated by Roxburgh in his Flora 
Iridica (edit, of 1832, 3 vols, in 8to), and in Piddington's English Index 
to the Plants of India, Calcatta, 1832. Scholars fiud a greater nnmber 
of words in the texts, but they do not give safiicient proof of the sense 
of these words. As a rnle, we have not in Sanskrit what we have in 
Hebrew, Greek, and Chinese — a quotation of phrases concerning each 
word translated into a modem language. 

' The best work on the plant*names in the Old Testament is that of 
BoBenmiiller, Handhuch der hihliachen Alterkundef in 8vo, vol. iv., Leipzig, 
1830. A good short work, in French, is La Botanique de la Bible, by 
Fred. Hamilton, in 8vo, Nice, 1871. 

' Beynier, a Swiss botanist, who had been in Egypt, has given the 
sense of many plant-names in the Talmud. See his volumes entitled 
Eeonomie Puhlique et Rurale des Arahes et des Juifs, in 8vo, 1820; 
and Eeonomie Puhlique et Rurale des Egyptians et des Carthaginois, 
in 8vo, Lausanne, 1823. The more recent works of Dnschak and Low 
are not based upon a knowledge of Eastern plants, and are unintelligible 
to botanists because of names in Syriac and Hebrew characters. 


been introduced by another people. Thus the Basque 
language contains many words which seem to have been 
taken from the Latin at the time of the Roman rule. 
Berber is full of Arab words, and Persian of words of 
every origin, which probably did not exist in Zend. 

The other method consists in reconstructing a dead 
language which had no literature, by means of those 
which are derived from it ; for instance, the speech of 
the Western Aryans, by means of the words common to 
several European languages which have sprung from it. 
Fick's dictionary will hardly serve for the words of 
ancient Aryan languages, for he gives but few plant- 
names, and his arrangement renders it unintelligible to 
those who have no knowledge of Sanskrit. Adolphe 
Pictet's work ^ is far more important to naturalists, and 
a second edition, augmented and improved, has been 
published since the author's death. Plant-names and 
agricultural terms are explained and discussed in this 
work, in a manner all the more satisfactory that an 
accurate knowledge of botany is combined with philology. 
If the author attributes perhaps too much importance 
to doubtful etymologies, he makes up for it by other 
knowledge, and by his excellent method and lucidity. 

The plant-names of the Euskarian or Basque language 
have been considered from the point of view of their 
probable etymology by the Comte de Charencey, in Lea 
Actes de la Societ^ PhUologique (voL i. No. 1, 1869). I 
shall have occasion to quote this work, of which the 
difficulties were great, in the absence of all literature 
and of all derived languages. 

6. The necessity for combining tJie different Tnethods. 
The various methods of which I " have spoken are of 
unequal value. It is clear that when we have archseo- 
logical records about a given species, like those of the 
Egyptian monuments, or of the Swiss lake-dwellings, 
these are facts of remarkable accuracy. Then come 
the data furnished by botany, especially those on the 
spontaneous existence of a species in a given country. 

* Adolphe Pictet, Lea Origines des Peuplea Indo-EuropSenSf 3 vols, in 
870, Paris, 1878. 


These, if examined with care, may be very important. 
The i^ertions contained in the works of histo^ans or 
even of naturalists respecting an epoch at which science 
was only beginning, have not the same value. Lastly, 
the common names are only an accessory means, especially 
in modem languages, and a means which, as we have 
seen, is not entirely trustworthy. So much may be 
said in a general way, but in each particular case one 
method or the other mav be more or less important. 

Each can only lead to probabilities, since we are 
dealing with facts of ancient date which are beyond 
the reach of direct and actual observation. Fortunately, 
if the same probability is attained in three or four 
different ways, we approach very near to certainty. The 
same rule holds good for researches into the history of 
plants as for researches into the history of nationa A 
good author consults historians who have spoken of 
events, the archives in which unpublished documents are 
found, the inscriptions on ancient monuments, the news- 
papers, private letters, finally memoirs and even tradition. 
He gathers probabilities from every source, and then 
compares these probabilities, weighs and discusses them 
before deciding. It is a labour of the mind which requires 
intelligence and judgment. This labour differs widely 
from observation employed in natural history, and from 
pure reason which is proper to the exact sciences. 
Nevertheless, when, by several methods, we reach the 
same probability, I repeat that the latter is very nearly 
a certJEunty. We may even say that it is as much a 
certainty as historical science can pretend to attain. 

I have the proof of this when I compare my present 
work with that which I composed by the same methods 
in 1855. For the species which I then studied, I have 
now more authorities and better authenticated facts, 
but my conclusions on the origin of each species have 
scarcely altered. As they were already based on a 
combination of methods, probabilities have usually 
become certainties, and I have not been led to conclusions 
absolutely contrary to those previously formed. 

Archaeological, philological, and botanical data become 


more and more numerous. By their means the history 
of cultivated plants is perfected, while the assertions of 
ancient authors lose instead of gaining in importance. 
From the discoveries of antiquaries and philologists, 
moderns are better acquainted than the Greeks with 
Chaldea and ancient Egypt. They can prove mistakes 
in Herodotus. Botanists on their side correct Theo- 
phrastus, Dioscorides, and Pliny from their knowledge of 
the flora of Greece and Italy, while the study of classical 
authors to which learned men have applied themselves 
for three centuries has already furnished all that it has to 
give. I cannot help smiling when, at the present day, 
savants repeat well-known Greek and Latin phrases, and 
draw from them what they call conclusions. It is trying 
to extract juice from a lemon which has already been 
repeatedly squeezed. We must say it frankly, the works 
which repeat and commentate on the ancient authors 
of Greece and Home without giving the first place to 
botanical and archaeological facts^ are no longer on a 
level with the science of the day. Nevertheless, I could 
name several German works which have attained to the 
honour of a third edition. It would have been better to 
reprint the earlier publications of Fraas and Lenz, of 
Targioni and Heldreich, which have always given more 
weight to the modern data of botany, than to the vague 
descriptions of classic authors; that is to say, to facts 
than to words and phrases. 


PART 11. 

On fhe Study of Species, considered as to their Origin, 
their early Cultivation, and the Principal Facts of their 



Badish. — Raphanua sativua, Linnaeus. 

The radish is cultivated for what is called the root, 
which is, properly speaking, the lower part of the stem 
with the tap root.® Every one knows how the size, shape, 
and colour of those organs which become fleshy vary 
according to the soil or the variety. 

There is no doubt that the species is indigenous in 
the temperate regions of the old world ; but, as it has 
been cultivated in gardens from the earliest historic 
times, from China and Japan to Europe, and as it sows 

* A certain number of species whose origin is well known, snch as 
the carrot, sorrel, etc., are mentioned only in the snmmary at the begin- 
ning of the last part, with am indication of the principal facts concerning 

* Some species are onltivated sometimes for their roots and some- 
times for their leaves or seeds. In other chapters will be f oand species 
caltiyated sometimes for their leaves (as fodder) or for their seeds, etc. 
I have classed them according to their commonest nse. The alpha- 
betioal index refers to the place assigned to each species. 

* See the yonng state of the plant when the part of the stem below 
the cotyledons is not yet swelled. Tnrpin gives a drawing of it in the 
Annales des Sciences Naturelles, series 1, voL zxi. pi. 5. 


itself frequently round cultivated plots, it is difficult to 
fix upon its starting-point. 

Formerly RapKanud sativus was confounded with 
kindred species of the Mediterranean region, to which 
certain Greek names were attributed; but Gay, the 
botanist, who has done a good deal towards eliminat- 
ing these analogous forms,^ considered M. sativus as a 
native of the East, perhaps of China. Linnaeus also sup- 
posed this plant to be of Chinese origin, or at least that 
variety which is cultivated in China for the sake of ex- 
tracting oil from the seeds.^ Several floras of the south 
of Europe mention the species as subspontaneous or 
escaped from cultivation, never as spontaneous. Lede- 
bour had seen a specimen found near Mount Ararat^ had 
sown the seeds of it and verified the species.^ However, 
Boissier,* in 1867, in his Eastern Flora, says that it is 
only subspontaneous in the cultivated parts of Anatolia, 
near Mersivan (according to Wied), in Palestine (on his 
own authority), in Armenia (according to Ledebour), and 
probably elsewhere, which agrees with the assertions 
found in European floras.^ Buhse names a locality, the 
Ssahend mountains, to the south of the Caucasus, which 
appears to be far enough from cultivation. The recent 
Flora of British India,^ and the earlier Flora of Cochin- 
China by Loureiro, mention the radish only as a culti- 
vated speciea Maximowicz saw it in a garden in the 
north-east of China.^ Thunberg speaks of it as a plant 
of general cultivation in Japan, and growing also by 
the side of the roads,® but the latter fact is not repeated 
by modern authors, who are probably better informed.® 

Herodotus (Hist., 1. 2, c. 125) speaks of a radish which 
he calls surmaia, used by the builders of the pyramid of 

In A. de CandoUe, Giogr. Bot, Baiaonnie, p. 820. 

Linnsans, Bpec, Plant, p. 935. 

Ledebour, Fl. Rosa., i. p. 225. 

Boissier, Fl. Orient, i. p. 400. 

Bnhse, AufzaJilung Transcaucasien, p. 30. 

Hooker, Flora of British India^ i. p. 166. 

Bfaximowicz, Primitias FlorcB Amurensis, p. 47. 

Thanberg, Fl. Jap,, p. 263. 

Franohet and Sayatier, Enum, Fla7\;b. Jap., i. p. 39. 


Cheops, according to an inscription upon the monument, 
linger^ copied from Lepsius' work two drawings from 
the temple of Eamak, of which the first, at any rate, 
appears to represent the radish. 

From all this we gather, first, that the species 
spreads easily from cultivation in the west of Asia and 
the south of Europe, while it does not appear with cer- 
tainty in the flora of Eastern Asia ; and secondly, that 
in the regions south of the Caucasus it is found without 
any sign of culture, so that we are led to suppose that 
the plant is wild there. From these two reasons it 
appears to have come originally from Western Asia 
between Palestine, Anatolia, and the Caucasus, perhaps 
also from Greece ; its cultivation spreading east and west 
from a very early period. 

The common names support these hypotheses. In 
Europe they offer little interest when they refer to the 
quality of the root (radis), or to some comparison with 
the turnip (ravandlo in Italian, rabica in Spanish, etc.), 
but the ancient Greeks coined the special name raphaTios 
(easily reared). The Italian word ramoraccio is derived 
from the Greek armorada, which was used for B. satiws 
or some allied species. Modem interpreters have erro- 
neously referred this name to Cocfdearia Arviordda or 
horse-radish, which I shall come to presently. Semitic ^ 
languages have quite different names (fugla in Hebrew, 
fuU,fidgel, jigl, etc., in Arab.). In India, according to 
Roxburgh,® the common name of a variety with an 
enormous root, as large sometimes as a man's leg, is 
Tnoola or moolee, in Sanskrit Tnoolvka. Lastly, for 
CJochin-China, China, and Japan, authors give various 
names which differ very much one from the other. From 
this diversity a cultivation which ranged from Greece to 
Japan must be very ancient, but nothing can thence be 
concluded as to its original home as a spontaneous plant. 

A totally different opinion exists on the latter point, 

* Ung^r, Tflaneen des Alien ^gyptens, p. 51, figs. 24 and 29. 
' In my manascript dictionary of oommon names, drawn from the 
floras of thirty years ago. 

» Eoxburgh, Fl. Ind,, ill. p. 126. 


• » 


which we must also examine. Several botanists^ suspect 
that Baphanvs scUivus is simply a particular condition, 
with enlarged root and non-articulated fruit, of Bapha- 
nu8 raphanistrum, a very common plant in the tem- 
perate cultivated districts of Europe and Asia^ and 
which is also found in a wild state in sand and light 
soil near the sea — ^for instance, at St. Sebastian, in Dal- 
matia, and at Trebizond.^ Its usual haunts are in deserted 
fields; and many common names which signify wild 
radish, show the affinity of the two plants. I should not 
insist upon this point if their supposed identity were a 
mere presumption, but it rests upon experiments and 
observations which it is important to know. 

In i2. raphanistrum the siliqua is articulated, that 
is to say, contracted at intervals, and the seeds placed 
each in a division. In R. sativvs the siliqua is con- 
tinuous, and forms a single cavity. Some botanists had 
made this difference the basis of two distinct genera, 
Baphanistrvmi and Baphanua. But tiiiree accurate ob- 
servers, Webb, Gay, and Spach, have noticed among 
plants of Raphanua aatiws, raised from the same seed, 
both unilocular and articulated pods, some of them 
bilocular, others plurilocular. Webb® arrived at the 
same results when he afterwards repeated these experi- 
ments, and he observed yet another fact of some import- 
ance : the radish which sows itself by chance, and is 
not cultivated, produced the siliquse of BaphanistrumA 
Another difference between the two plants is in the 
root, fleshy in R, aativiia, slender in R. raphanis^ 
trv/m; but this changes with cultivation, as appears 
from the experiments of Carrifere, the head gardener of 
the nurseries of the Natural History Museum in Paris.^ 
It occuiTed to him to sow the seeds of the slender- 

* Webb, Phytogr, Canar., p. 83 ; Iter, Hisp., p. 71 j Bentham, Fl. 
Hong Kong, p. 17 ; Hooker, Fl. Brit Ind.y i. p. 166. 

• Willkomm and Lange, Prod. Fl, Hisp., iii. p. 748 ; Viviani, Flor. 
Dalmat.y iii. p. 104; Boissier, Fl, Orient, i. p. 401. 

• Webb, Phytographia Canariensis, i. p. 83. 

* Webb, /fer. Hispaniense, 1838, p. 72. 

' Carri^re, Origine dea Plantea DomesHques d4montr4e pa/r la Culture 
dtt Rodia Sauvage, in 8vo, 24 pp., 1869. 


rooted MaphaniMrum in both stiff and light soil, and in 
the fourth generation he obtained fleshy radishes, of 
varied colour and form like those of our gardens. He 
even gives the figures, which are really curious and con- 
clusive. The pungent taste of the radish was not 
wanting. To obtain these changes, Carrifere sowed in 
September, so as to make the plant almost biennial 
instead of annual. The thickening of the root was the 
natural result^ since many biennial plants have fleshy 

The inverse experiment remains to be tried — to sow 
cultivated radishes in a poor soil Probably the roots 
would become poorer and poorer, while the siliquse would 
become more and more articidated. 

From all the experiments I have mentioned, Ha- 
phanua aatwua might well be a variety of 2J. ra- 
phanistrum, an unstable variety determined by the 
existence of several generations in a fertile soil. We 
cannot suppose that ancient uncivilized peoples made 
essays like those of Carrifere, but they may have noticed 
plants of Raphaniatrum grown in richly manured soil, 
with more or less fleshy roots ; and this soon suggested 
the idea of cultivating them. 

I have, however, one objection to make, founded on 
geographical botany. Raphanus raphanistrum is a 
European plant which does not exist in Asia.^ It can- 
not, therefore, be this species that has furnished the in- 
habitants of India, China, and Japan with the radishes 
which they have cultivated for centuries. On the other 
hand, how could R, rapltanistrum, which is supposed 
to have been modified in Europe, have been transmitted 
in ancient times across the whole of Asia ? The transport 
of cultivated plants has commonly proceeded from Asia 
into Europe. Chang-Kien certainly brought vegetables 
from Bactriana into China in the second century B.C., 
but the radish is not named among the number. 

Horse-radish — Cochlearia Armoracia, Linnseus. 

This Crucifer, whose rather hard root has the taste of 

^ Ledebonr, Fl. Boss. ; Boissier, Fl. Orient. Works on the flora of the 
valley of the Amur. 


mustard, was sometimes called in French cran, or cranson 
de Bretagne, This was an error caused by the old 
botanical name ArTnorobciay which was taken for a cor- 
ruption of Armorica (Brittany). Armorada occurs in 
Pliny, and was applied to a crucifer of the Pontine 
province, which was perhaps Rapfta/nus aativua. After I 
had formerly^ pointed out this confusion, I expressed 
myself as follows on the mistaken origin of the species : — 
Cochlearia Amiorada is not wild in Brittany, a fact 
now established by the researches of botanists in the 
west of France. The Abbe Delalande mentions it in 
his little work, entitled Hcedic et Houat,^ in which he 
gives so interesting an account of the customs and pro- 
ductions of these two little islands of Brittany. He 
quotes the opinion of M. le Gall, who, in an unpublished 
flora of Morbihan, declares the plant foreign to Brittany. 
This proof, however, is less strong than others, since the 
south coast of the peninsula of Brittany is not yet 
sufliciently known to botanists, and the ancient Armorica 
extended over a portion of Normandy where the wild 
horse-radish is now found.® This leads me to speak of 
the original home of the species. English botanists 
mention it as wild in Great Britain, but are doubtful 
about its origin. Watson * considers it as introduced by 
cultivation. The difficulty of extirpating it, he says, 
from places where it is cultivated, is well known to 
gardeners. It is therefore not surprising that this plant 
should take possession of waste ground, and persist there 
so as to appear indigenous. Babington ^ mentions only 
one spot where the species appears to be really wild, 
namely, Swansea. We will try to solve the problem by 
further arguments. 

Cochlearia ArmoraAa is a plant belonging to the 
temperate, and especially to the eastern regions of Europe. 
It is diffused from Finland to Astrakhan, and to the 

* A. de CandoUe, Q4ographie Botanique 'RaisonnSe, p. 654, 

■ Delalande, Hcedic et Houatj 8vo pamphlet, Nantes, 1850, p. 109. 

* Hardouin, Benon, and Leclero, Catalogue du Calvados, p. 85 ; De 
Brebisson, Fl. de Normandiei p. 25. 

* Watson, Cyhele, i. p. 159. 

* Babington, Manual of Brit. Bot, 2nd edit», p. 28. 


desert of Cuman.^ Grisebach mentions also several 
localities in Turkey in Europe, near £nos, for instance, 
where it abounds on the sea-shore.^ 

The further we advance towards the west of Europe, 
the less the authors of floras appear sure that the plant 
is indigenous, and the localities assigned to it are more 
scattered and doubtful. The species is rarer in Norway 
than in Sweden,^ in the British Isles than in Holland, 
where a foreign origin is not attributed to it.* 

The specific names confirm the impression of its origin 
in the east rather than in the west of Europe ; thus the 
name chren^ in Russia recurs in all the Sclavonic 
languages, krenai in Lithuanian, chren in lUyrian,^ etc. 
It has introduced itself into a few German dialects, round 
Vienna,^ for instance, where it persists, in spite of the 
spread of the German tongue. We owe to it also the 
French names cran or cranaon. The word used in 
Germany, Meerretig, and in Holland, Tneer-radys, whence 
the Italian Swiss dialect has taken the name Tneridi, or 
m6redi, means sea-radish, and is not primitive like the 
word chren. It comes probably from the fact that the 
plant grows well near the sea, a circumstance common to 
many of the GrucifercB, and which should be the case 
with this species, for it is wild in the east of Russia 
where there is a good deal of salt soiL The Swedish 
name peppar-rot^ suggests the idea that the species came 
into Sweden later than the introduction of pepper by 
commerce into the north of Europe. However, the name 
may have taken the place of an older one, which has 
remained unknown to us. The English name of horse- 
radish is not of such an oridnal nature as to lead to 
a belief in the existence of the species in the country 
before the Saxon conquest. It means a very strong 

^ Ledebonr, Fl, Boss., i. p. 159. 

' Grisebaoh, Spicilegium Fl, Rumel., i. p. 265. 

* Fries, Summaf p. 30. 

* Miquel, Disquisitio pi. regn, Batav. 

* Moritzi, Diet, Inid, des Noms Vvlgaires, 

* Moritzi, ihid. ; Viyiani, Fl. Dalmat,^ iii. p. 82%. 
» Neilreioh, Fl. Wien, p. 502. 

* LinnsBiui, Fl. Suecica, No. 640* 


radish. The Welsh name rhuddygl maurth ^ is only the 
translation of the English word, whence we may infer 
that the Kelts of Great Britain had no special name, and 
were not acquainted with the species. In the west of 
Finance, the name raifort, which is the commonest, merely 
means strong root. Formerly it bore in France the 
names of German, or Capuchin mustard, which shows 
a foreign and recent origia On the contrary, the word 
chren is in all the Sclavonic languages, a word which has 
penetrated into some German and French dialects under 
the forms of kreen, cran, and craifison, and which is 
certainly of a primitive nature, and shows the antiquity 
of the species in temperate Eastern Europe. It is 
therefore most probable that cultivation has propagated 
and naturalized the plant westward from the east for 
about a thousand years. 

Turnips — Brasaica species et varietatea radice i/ri- 

The innumerable varieties and subvarieties of the 
turnip known as swedes, Kohl-rabi, etc., may be all attri- 
buted to one of the four species of Linnaeus — Brassica 
Tiapua, Br, oleracea, Br. rapa, Br. campeatria — of which 
the two last should, according to modern authors, be fused 
into one. Other varieties of the species are cultivated for 
the leaves (cabbages), for the inflorescence (cauliflowers), 
or for the oil which is extracted from the seed (colza, 
rape, etc.). When the root or the lower part of the stem ^ 
is fleshy, the seed is not abundant, nor worth the trouble 
of extracting the oil ; when those organs are slender, the 
production of the seed, on the contrary, becomes more 
important, and decides the economic use of the plant. 
In other words, the store of nutritious matter is placed 
sometimes in the lower, sometimes in the upper part of 
the plant, although the organization of the flower and 
fruit is similar, or nearly so. 

^ H. Davies, Welsh Botanology, p. 68. 

' In tnmips and swedes the swelled pttrt is, as in tbe radish, the 
lower part of the stem, below the cotyledons, with a more or leas per- 
sistent part of the root. (See Tnrpin, Ann, 8c. Natur., ser. 1, vol. xad.) 
In the Eohl-rabi {Brasnca clertieea eaulo-rapa) it is the stem. 


Touching the question of origin, we need not occupy 
ourselves with the botanical limits of the species, and 
with the classification of the races, varieties, and sub- 
varieties,^ since all the Brassicce are of European and 
Siberian origin, and are still to be seen in these regions 
wild, or half wild, in some form or other. 

Plants so commonly cultivated and whose germina- 
tion is so easy often spread round cultivated places ; 
hence some uncertainty regarding the really wild nature 
of the plants found in the open country. Nevertheless, 
Linnaeus mentions that Brassica napua grows in the sand 
on the sea-coast in Sweden (Gothland), Holland, and Eng- 
land, which is confirmed, as far as Sweden is concerned, 
by Fries,* who, with his usual attention to questions of 
this nature, mentions Br, Ca/mpestris, L. (type of the 
JRapa with slender roots), as really wild in the whole 
Scandinavian peninsula, in Finland and Denmark. 
Ledebour ^ indicates it in the whole of Russia, Siberia, 
and the Caspian Sea. 

The floras of temperate and southern Asia mention 
rapes and turnips as cultivated plants, never as escaped 
from cultivation.* This is already an indication of foreign 
origin. The evidence of philology is no less significant 

There is no Sanskrit name for these plants, but only 
modem Hindu and Bengalee names, and those only for 
Brassica rapa and B. oleracea.^ Ksempfer® gives Japanese 
names for the turnip — Imaei, or more commonly aona — 
but there is nothing to show that these names are ancient. 
Bretschneider, who has made a careful study of Chinese 
authors, mentions no Brassica. Apparently they do not 
occur in any of the ancient works on botany and agricul- 
ture,although several varieties are now cultivated inChina. 

It is just the reverse in Europa The old languages 

^ This classification has been the snbject of a paper hj Angnstin 
Pyramns de CandoUe, Transactions of the HorticuUv/ral Society, vol. v. 
■ Fries, Swmma Veget, Scand., i. p. 29. 
' Ledeboor, Fl, Ross., i. p. 216. 

* Boissier, Flora OrientcUis ; Sir J. Hooker, Flora of British India ; 
Thanberg, Flora Japonica^ Franchet and Savatier, JEnAjmieratio Pla/n^ 
tarwn Japonicarum. 

* Piddington, Indew* ' Kaampfer, Amcen., p. 822. 


have a number of names which seem to be original 
Braasica rapa is called meipen or erjinen^ in Wales; 
repa Biadrippa in several Slav tongues,^ which answers to 
the Latin rapa, and is allied to the neipa of the Anglo- 
Saxons. The Brassica napua is in Welsh breaych yr yd ; 
in !&se braissca^h buigh, according to Threlkeld,^ who sees 
in braisacagh the root of the Latin Braasica. A Polish 
name, karpiele, a Lithuanian, jelUizoji,^ are also given, 
without speaking of a host of otiiier names, transferred 
sometimes in popular speedi from one species to another. 
I shall speak of the names of Branca cleracea when I 
come to vegetablea 

The Hebrews had no names for cabbages, rapes, and 
turnips,'^ but there are Arab names : aelgam for the Br, 
napua, and aubjum or avijumi for Br. rapa; words 
which recur in Persian and even in Bengali, transferred 
perhaps from one species to another. The cultivation of 
these plants has therefore been difiused in the south-west 
of Asia since Hebrew antiquity. 

Finally, every method, whether botanical, historical, 
or philological, leads us to the following conclusions : — 

Firstly, the Braaaicce with fleshy roots were originally 
natives of temperate Europe. 

Secondly, their cultivation was diflused in Europe 
before, and in Asia after, the Aryan invasion. 

Thirdly, the primitive slender-rooted form of Bra^- 
aica Tuipua, called Br. ca/mpeatris, had probably from 
the beginiiing a more extended range, from the Scan- 
dinavian peninsula towards Siberia and the Caucasus. 
Its cultivation was perhaps introduced into China and 
Japan, through Siberia, at an epoch which appears not 
to be much earlier than Greco-Koman civilization. 

Fourthly, the cultivation of the various forms or species 
of Braasica was diffused throughout the south- west of 
Asia at an epoch later than that of the ancient Hebrewa 

* Davies, Welsh Botanology, p. 65. 

' Moritzi, Diet, MS,, compiled from pnblished floras. 

* Threlkeld, Bynopsis Stirpium Hihemicarwn, 1 vol. in 8vo, 1727. 
« Moritzi, Diet. M8, 

* BoBenmuller, Bibliache Natubrgeachichte, vol* L, gives none. 


Skirret — Slum Siaarum, Linngeus. 

This vivacious Umbellifer, famished with several 
diverging roots in the form of a carrot, is believed to come 
from Eastern Asia. Linnaeus indicates China, doubtfully ; 
and Loureiro/ China and Cochin-China, where he says it 
is cultivated. Others have mentioned Japan and the 
Corea, but in these countries there are species which it 
is easy to confound with the one in question, particularly 
Siura Ninsi and Panax Oinseng. Maximowicz,* who 
has seen these plants in China and in Japan, and who 
has studied the herbariums of St. Petersburgh, recognizes 
only the Altaic region of Siberia and the North of Persia 
as the home of the wild Slum Sisarum, I am veiy 
doubtful whether it is to be found in the Himalayas or 
in China, since modem works on the region of the river 
Amoor and on British India make no mention of it. 

It is doubtful whether the ancient Greeks and Romans 
knew this plant. The names Sisaron of Dioscorides, Siser 
of Columella and of Pliny,^ are attributed to it. Certainly 
the modem Italian name sisaro or sisero seems to confirm 
this idea; but how could these authors have failed to 
notice that several roots descend from the base of the stem, 
whereas all the other umbels cultivated in Europe have 
but a single tap-root ? It is just possible that the siser 
of Columella, a cultivated plant, may have been the 
parsnip ; but what Pliny says of the siaer does not apply 
to it. According to him it was a medicinal plant, i/nter 
mediea dicendum,^ He says that Tiberius caused a 
quantity to be brought every year from Germany, which 
proves, he adds, that it thrives in cold countries. 

If the Greeks had received the plant direct from 
Persia, Theophrastus would probably have known it. It 
came perhaps from Siberia into Russia^ and thence into 
Germany, in which case the anecdote about Tiberius 
might well apply to the skirret. I cannot find any 

^ Linnssiis, 8pecie9j p. 861 ; Loareiro, M. CochinelUitensiHf p. 225. 
' Maximowicz, Diagnoses Plantarum Japonicm et ManshuricB, in 
lUlanges Biologiques du BulleUn de VAcad,, 8t. ^tersJywrg, deoad 13, p. 18. 

* Dioscorides, Mat Med., 1. 2, c. 139 s Colamella, 1. 11, o. 3, 18, 35 ; 
LenZ) Bot, der Alten, p. 560. 

* Plinj, Hist. Plant,, 1. 19, o. 6. 

40 oBiam OF cultivated plants. 

Russian name, certainly, but the Qennans have original 
names, Krizel or GHzel, Gorlein or Oierlein, which 
indicate an ancient cultivation, more than the ordinary 
name Zuckerwurzel, or sugar-root.^ The Danish name has 
the same meaning — sokerot, whence the English ddrret. 
The name aiaaron is not known in modem Greece ; nor 
was it known there even in the Middle Ages, and the plant 
is not now cultivated in that country.* There are reasons 
for doubt as to the true sense of the words aiaaron and 
aiaer. Some botanists of the sixteenth century thought 
that aiaaron was perhaps the paranip proper, and 
Sprengel" supports ttis idea. 

The French names chervis and girole * would perhaps 
teach us something if we knew their origin. Littr^ 
derives cliervia from the Spanish chirivia, but the latter is 
more likely derived from the French. Bauhin ^ mentions 
the low Latin names aerviUwn, cherviUura, or aervUlam, 
words which are not in Ducange's dictionary. This may 
well be the origin of chervia, but whence came aerviUum, 
or chervillum f 

Arracacha or Arracacia — Arracacha eacvZenta, de Can- 

An umbel generally cultivated in Venezuela, New 
Granada, and Ecuador as a nutritious plant. In the tem- 
perate regions of those countries it bears comparison with 
the potato, and even yields, we are assured, a lighter and 
more agreeable fecuia. The lower part of the stem is 
swelled into a bulb, on which, when the plant thrives well, 
tubercles, or lateral bulbs, form themselves, and persist 
for several months, which are more prized than the ceMral 
bulb, and serve for future planting.® 

The species is probably indigenous in the region where 

' Nemnich, Polygl. Lexiconf ii. p. 1313. 

' Leuz, Bot. derAlten, p. 560; Heldreich, Nutzpjlanzen Oriecherdcrnds ; 
Langkayel, Bot. der Spateren Griechen. 

* Sprengel, DioscoridiSf etc., ii. p. 462. 

* Olivier de Serres, Thddtre de VAgricultwre, p. 471. 

* Bauhin, Hist. PL, iii. p. 154. 

* The best information about the cultivation of this plant was given hy 
Bancroft to Sir W. Hooker, and may be found in the Botcmical Magazine, 
pi. 3092. A. F. de Candolle published, in La 5' Notice sur lea Plantes Rares 
des Jardin Bot. de Qenex'e, an illustration showing the principal bulb. 


it is cultivated, but I do not find in any author a positive 
assertion of the fact. The existing descriptions are drawn 
from cultivated stocks. Grisebach indeed says that he 
has seen (presumably in the herbarium at Kew) specimens 
gathered in New Granada, in Peru, and in Trinidad,^ but 
he does not say whether they were wild. The other 
species of the same genus, to the number of a dozen, grow 
in the same districts of America, which renders the above- 
mentioned origin more probable. 

The introduction of the arracacha into Europe has 
been attempted several times without success. The damp 
climate of England accounts for the failure of Sir William 
Hooker's attempts ; but ours, made at two different times, 
under very different conditions, have met with no better 
success. The lateral bulbs did not form, and the central 
bulb died in the house where it was placed for the winter. 
The bulbs presented to different botanical gardens in 
France and Italy and elsewhere shared the same fate. lb 
is clear that if the plant is in America really equal to the 
potato in productiveness and taste, this will never be the 
case in Europe. Its cultivation does not in America 
spread as far as Chili and Mexico, like that of the potato 
and sweet potato, which confirms the difficulty of pro- 
pagation observed elsewhere. 

Madder — RvMa tinctorv/m, linnseus. 

The madder is certainly wild in Italy, Greece, the 
Crimea, Asia Minor, Syria, Persia, Armenia, and near 
Lenkoran.^ As we advance westward in the south of 
Europe, the wild, indigenous nature of the plant becomes 
more and more doubtful. There is uncertainty even in 
France. In the north and east the plant appears to be 
"naturalized in hedges and on walls,''® or "subspon- 
taneous," escaped fix)m former cultivation.* In Provence 
and Languedoc it is more spontaneous or wild, but here 
also it may have spread from a somewhat extensive 

* Grisebacb, Flora of British WesUIndia Islands. 

* Bertoloni, Flora ItcUica, ii. p. 146; Decaisne, Recherches sur la 
Oarancs, p. 68 ; Boissier, Flora Orientalis, iii. p. 17 ; Ledebonr, Flora 
Bossica, ii. p. 405. 

* Coason and Germain, Flore des Ewvirong de Paris, ii. p. 365. 

* KirBchleger, Flore d* Alsace, i. p. 359. 


cultivation. In the Iberian peninsula it is mentioned as 
"subspontaneous."^ It is the same in the north of Africa.^ 
Evidently the natural, ancient, and undoubted habitation 
is western temperate Asia and the south-east of Europe. 
It does not appear that the plant has been found beyond 
the Caspian Sea in the land formerly occupied by the 
Indo-Europeans, but this region is still little known. 
The species only exists in India as a cultivated plant, 
and has no Sanskrit name.' 

Neither is there any known Hebrew name, while the 
Greeks, Romans, Slavs, Germans, and Kelts had various 
names, which a philologist could perhaps trace to one 
or two roots, but which nevertheless indicate by their 
numerous modifications an ancient date. Probably the 
wild roots were gathered in the fields before the idea of 
cultivating the species was suggested. Pliny, however, 
says ^ that it was cultivated in Italy in his time, and it 
is possible that the custom was of older date in Greece 
and Asia Minor. 

The cultivation of madder is often mentioned in 
French records of the Middle Ages.^ It was afterwards 
neglected or abandoned, until Althen reintroduced it 
into the neighbourhood of Avignon in the middle of the 
eighteenth century. It flourished formerly in Alsace, 
Germany, Holland, and especially in Greece, Asia Minor, 
and Syria, whence the exportation was considerable ; but 
the di4overy of dyes extracted from inorganic substi^nces 
has suppressed this cultivation, to the great detriment of 
the provinces which drew large profits from it. 

Jerusalem Artichoke — HeUaiiUhua tiiberoaus, Linnaeus. 

It was in the year 1616 that European botanists first 
mentioned this Composite, with a large root better 
adapted for the food of animals than of man. Columna ^ 
had seen it in the garden of Cardinal Farnese, and called 
it Aster peruamos tvherosus. Other authors of the same 

* Willkomm and Lange, FrodrowAM Floras HiepanicoBf ii. p. 307. 

* Ball, Spicilegitim Florcs MaroccancB, p. 483; Munby, CcUal, Plant, 
Alger., edit. 2, p. 17. 

* Fiddiugton, Indew* * Flinia^, lib. 19, cap. 8. 
' De Gasparin, TraiU d'Agricidture, ir. p. 253. 

* Columna, Ecphrasis, ii. p; 11. 


centuiy gave it epithets showing that it was believed to 
come from Brazil^ or from Canada, or from the Indies, 
that is to say, America. Linnaeus^ adopted, on Parkinson's 
authority, the opinion of a Canadian origin, of which, 
however, he had no proof. I pointed out formerly ^ that 
there are no species of the genus Helianthus in Brazil, 
and that they are, on the contrary, numerous in North 

Schlechtendal,® after having proved that the Jeru- 
salem artichoke can resist the severe winters of the 
centre of Europe, observes that this fact is in favour of 
the idea of a Canadian origin, and contrary to the belief 
of its coming from some southern region. Decaisne^ 
has eliminated from the synonymy of H. tvierosus 
several quotations which had occasioned the belief 
in a South American or Mexican origin. Like the 
American botanists, he recalls what ancient travellers 
had narrated of certain customs of the aborigines of the 
Northern States and of Canada. Thus Champlain, in 
1603, had seen, ''in their hands, roots which they cul- 
tivate, and which taste like an artichoke." Lescarbot ^ 
speaks of these roots with the artichoke flavour, 
which multiply freely, and which he had brought back 
to France, where they began to be sold under the 
name of topiTunnbaux. The savages, he says, call them 
chiquehi, Decaisne also quotes two French horticulturists 
of ijbhe seventeenth century, Colin and Sagard, who 
evidently speak of the Jerusalem artichoke, and say it 
came from Canada. It is to be noted that the name 
Canada had at that time a vague meaning, and compre- 
hended some parts of the modem United States. Gookin, 
an American writer on the customs of the aborigines, 
says that they put pieces of the Jerusalem artichoke into 
their soups.® 

• LinnsBDS, Hortus Cliffortianus, p. 420. 

• A. de CandoUe, 04ogr. Bot. Raisonn^ef p. 824. 

• Schlechfcendal, Bot Zeit, 1858, p. 113. 

• Decaisne, Recherches 8v/r VOrigine de qtLelqtteS'Unes de noa Plantes 
AlimentaireSj in Flore dee Serves et Jiardins, vol. 23, 1881, p. 112. 

• Lescarbot, Histoire de la Nouvelle France, edit. 3, 1618, t. yi. p. 931 . 

• Pickering, Chron, Arrang., pp. 749, 972. 


Botanical analogies and the testimony of con- 
temporaries agree, as we have seen, in considering this 
plant to be a native of the north-east of America. Dr. 
Asa Grav, seeing that it is not found wild, had formerly 
supposed it to be a variety of -ff. eZoro7iicoi(2M of Lamarck, 
but he has since abandoned this ideiei (American Journal 
of Science, 1883, p. 224). An author gives it as wild in 
the State of Indiana.^ The French name topinarnhour 
comes apparently from some real or supposed Indian 
name. Tne English name Jerusalem artichoke is a cor- 
ruption of the Italian giraeote, sunflower, combined with 
an allusion to the artichoke flavour of the root. 

Salsify — Tragopogon porrifoliwm, Linnaeus. 

The salsify was more cultivated a century or two ago 
than it is now. It is a biennial composite, found wild 
in Greece, Dalmatia, Italy, and even in Algeria.* It 
frequently escapes fix)m gardens in the west of Europe, 
and becomes half-naturalized.' 

Commentators* give the name Tragopogon (goat's 
beard) of Theophrastus sometimes to the modem species, 
sometimes to Tragopogon crodfolium, which also grows 
in Greece. It is difficult to know if the ancients culti- 
vated the salsify or gathered it wild in the country. In 
the sixteenth century Olivier de Serres says it was a 
new culture in his country, the south of France. Our 
word Salsifis comes from the Italian Sassefrica, that 
which rubs stones, a senseless term. 

Scorzonera — Scorzonera hispanica, Linnaeus. 

This plant is sometimes called the Spanish salsify, 
from its resemblance to Tragopogon porrifolium ; but 
its root has a brown skin, whence its botanical name, 
and the popular name ecorce noire in some French 

It is wild in Europe, from Spain, where it abounds, the 

* Catalogue of Indiana Plants, 1881, p. 16, 

* Boissier, FL Orient,, iii. p. 745; Viviani, Fl. Dalmat., ii. p. 108; 
Bertoloni, Fl, Ital., viii. p. 348; Gassone, Synopsis Fl. SiculcBf ii. p. 384; 
Mnnby, CataZ, Alger., edit. 2, p. 22. 

' A. de Candolle, Oeogr. Bot. Baisonn^e, p. 671. 

* Fraas, Synopsis Fl, Class,, p. 196 ; Lens, Bot, der Alien, p. 485. 


south of France, and Germany, to the region of Cau- 
casus, and perhaps even as far as Siberia, but it is wanting 
in Sicily and Greece.^ In several parts of Germany the 
species is probably naturalized from cultivation. 

It seems that this plant has only been cultivated 
within the last hundred or hundred and fifty years. 
The botanists of the sixteenth century speak of it as 
a wild species introduced occasionally into botanical 
gardena Olivier de Serres does not mention it. 

It was formerly supposed to be an antidote against 
the bite of adders, and was sometimes called the viper s 
plant. As to the etymology of the name Scorzonera, it is 
so evident, that it is difficult to understand how early 
writers, even Toumefort,^ have declared the origin of the 
word to be escorso, viper in Spanish or Catalan. Viper 
is in Spanish more commonly vibora. 

There exists in Sicily a Scorzonera delidosa, Gussone, 
whose very sugary root is used in the confection of 
bonbons and sherbets, at Palermo.^ How is it that its 
cultivation has not been tried ? It is true that I tasted 
at Naples Scorzonera ices, and found them detestable, but 
they were perhaps made of the common species (Scorzo- 
mera hispanica). 

Potato — Solanum tuberosum, Linnaeus. 

In 1855 I stated and discussed what was then known 
about the origin of the potato, and about its introduction 
into Europe.* I will now add the result of the researches 
of the last quarter of a century. It will be seen that the 
data formerly acquired have become more certain, and that 
several somewhat doubtful accessory questions have 
remained uncertain, though the probabilities in favour 
of what formerly seemed the truth have grown stronger. 

It is proved beyond a doubt that at the time of the 
discovery of America the cultivation of the potato was 

' Willkomm and Lange, ProdromuB Floras BispamccB, ii. p. 223; 
De Candolle, FUyre Frangaise, iv, p. 59 ; Koch, Synopsis Fl. Germ,, edit. 
2, p. 488; LedeboTir, Fl. Boss., ii. p. 794; Boissier, FU Orientcdis, iii. p. 
767 ; Bertoloni, Fl.,Itdl., viii. p. 365. 

■ Tonmefort, EUments de Botanique, p. 379. 

• Gossone, Synopsis Floras Siculos. 

* A. de Candolle, Q^r. Bot. Raisown^ pp. 810, 816. 


practised, with every appearance of ancient usage, in 
the temperate regions extending firom Chili to New- 
Granada) at altitudes varying with the latitude. This 
appears from the testimony of all the early travellers, 
among whom I shall name Acosta for Peru,^ and Pedro 
Cieca, quoted by de TEduse,^ for Quito. 

In the eastern temperate region of South America, 
on the heights of Guiana and Brazil, for instance, the 
potato was not known to the aborigines, or if they 
were acquainted with a similar plant, it was Solanwn 
GommersonU, which has also a tuberous root, and is 
found wild in Montevideo and in the south of Brazil. 
The true potato is certainly now cultivated in the latter 
country, but it is of such recent introduction that it has 
received the name of the English Batata.^ According to 
Humboldt it was unknown in Mexico,* a fact confirmed 
by the silence of subsequent authors, but to a certain 
degree contradicted by another historical fact. It is said 
that Sir Walter Raleigh, or rather Thomas Heniott, his 
companion in several voyages, brought back to Ireland, 
in 1585 or 1586, some tubers of the Virginian potato.^ 
Its name in its own country was openawk. From 
Herriott's description of the plant, quoted by Sir Joseph 
Banks,® there is no doubt that it was the potato, and not 
the batata, which at that period was sometimes con- 
founded with it. Besides, Gerard' tells us that he 
received from Virginia the potato which he cultivated 
in his garden, and of which he gives an illustration 
which agrees in all points, with Solanwm tubero»wnu 
He was so proud of it that he is represented, in his 
portrait at the beginning of the work, holding in his 
hand a flowering branch of this plant. 

* Acosta, p. 163, verso. 

* De TEclnse (or Clnsins), Rariarum Plantarum EiatoricB, 1601, lib. 
4, p. Ixxix., with illastration. 

■ De Martius, Flora Bfasil.f vol. x. p. 12. 

* Von Homboldt, Nowvelle EspagnCf edit. 2, toI. ii. p. 451 ; Essai aur la 
GSographie des Plantes, p. 29. 

' At that epoch Virginia was not distinguished from GaroUna. 

* Banks, Trans. Hort. Soc, 1805, vol. i. p, 8. 

' Gerard, Herbal, 1597, p. 781, with iUnstration. 


The species could scarcely have been introduced into 
Virginia or Carolina in Raleigh's time (1585), unless the 
ancient Mexicans had possessed it, and its cultivation 
had been diffused among the aborigines to the north of 
Mexico. Dr. Roulin, who has carefully studied the works 
on North America, has assured me that he has found 
no signs of the potato in the United States before the 
arrival of the Europeans. Dr. Asa Gray also told me so, 
adding that Mr. Harris, one of the men most intimately 
acquainted with the language and customs of North 
American tribes, was of the same opinion. I have read 
nothing to the contrary in recent publications, and we 
must not forget that a plant so easy of cultivation 
would have spread itself even among nomadic tribes, had 
they possessed it. It seems to me most likely that some 
inhabitants of Virginia — perhaps English colonists — 
received tubers from Spanish or other travellers, traders 
or adventurers, during the ninety years which had elapsed 
since the discovery of America. Evidently, dating from 
the conquest of Peru and Chili, in 1535 to 1585, many 
vessels could have carried tubers of the potato as pro- 
visions, and Sir Walter Baleigh, making war on the 
Spaniards as a privateer, may have pillaged some vessel 
which contained them. This is the less improbable, since 
the Spaniards had introduced the plant into Europe 
before 1585. 

Sir Joseph Banks ^ and Dunal^ were right to insist 
upon the £EU3t that the potato was first introduced by the 
Spaniard, since for a long time the credit was generally 
given to Sir Walter Raleigh, who was the second intro- 
ducer, and even to other Englishmen, who had introduced, 
not the potato but the batata (sweet potato), which is 
more or less confounded with it.® A celebrated botanist, 
de TEduse,^ had nevertheless defined the facts in a 

* Banks, Trans. Hort. Soc, 1805, vol. i. p. 8. 

• Dunal, Hist. Nat. des Solanwn, in 4to. • 

' The plant imported by Sir John Hawkins and Sir Francis Drake 
was clearly the sweet potato. Sir J. Banks says ; whence it results that 
the questions discussed by Hamboldt tonching the localities visited by 
these travellers do not apply to the potato. 

* De I'Eclase, Rariarum PlarUarum Ristoria, 1601, lib. 4, p. IzxviiL 


remarkable manner. It is he who published the first 
good description and illustration of the potato, under the 
significant name of Papas Peiruanorum. From what he 
says, the species has little changed under the culture 
of nearly three centuries, for it yielded in the beginning 
as many as fifty tubers of unequal size, from one to 
two inches long, irregularly ovoid, reddish, ripening in 
November (at Vienna). Ine flower was more or less 
pink externally, and reddish within, with five longi- 
tudinal stripes of green, as is often seen now. No doubt 
numerous varieties have been obtained, but the original 
form has not been lost. De TEcluse compares the scent 
of the flower with that of the lime, the only difibrence 
from our modem plant. He sowed seeds which produced 
a white-flowered variety, such as we sometimes see now. 
The plants described by de TEcluse were sent to him 
in 1588, by Philippe de Sivry, Seigneur of Waldheim and 
Governor of Mons, who had received them from some 
one in attendance on the papal legate in Belgium. De 
FEduse adds that the species had been introduced into 
Italy from Spain or America (certv/m est vd ex Hispania, 
vei ex America habuisae), and he wonders that, although 
the plant had become so common in Italy that it was 
eaten like a turnip and given to the pigs, the learned 
men of the University of Padua only became acquainted 
with it by means of the tuber which he sent them from 
Germany. Targioni * has not been able to discover any 
proof that the potato was as widely cultivated in Italy 
at the end of the sixteenth century as de TEcluse 
asserts, but he quotes Father Magazzini of Yallombrosa^ 
whose posthumous work, published in 1623, mentions the 
species as one previously brought^ without naming the 
date, from Spain or Portugal by barefooted friars. It 
was, therefore, towards the end of the sixteenth or at the 
beginning of the seventeenth century that the cultivation 
of the potato became known in Tuscany. Independently 
of what de TEcluse and the agiiculturist of Vallombrosa 

* Targioni-Tozzetti, Lezzioni, ii. p. 10 ; Cenni Storici 8uU* Introduzione 
di Vaiie PiarUe neW Agricdtura di Todcana, 1 toI. in 8yo, Florence, 1853, 
p. 37. 


say of its introduction from the Iberian peninsula, it is 
not at all likely that the Italians had any dealings with 
Baleigh's companions. 

No one can doubt that the potato is of American 
origin ; but in order to know from what part of that 
vast continent it was brought, it is necessary to know 
if the plant is found wild there, and in what localities. 

To answer this question clearly, we must first remove 
two causes of error : the confusion of allied species of the 
genus Solanum with the potato; and the other, the 
mistakes made by travellers as to the wild character 
of the plant. 

The allied species are Solanum Commersonii of 
Dunal, of which I have already spoken; S. viaglia 
of Molina, a Chili species; S. immite of Dunal, a 
native of Peru; and S, venrucosum^ of Schlechtendal, 
which grows in Mexico. These three kinds of Solanum 
have smaller tubers than S, tuherosura, and differ also 
in other charact^eristics indicated in special works on 
botany. Theoretically, it may be believed that all these, 
and other forms growing in America, are derived from a 
single earlier species, but in our geological epoch they 
present themselves with differences which seem to me to 
justify specific distinctions, and no experiments have 
proved that by crossing one with another a product 
would be obtained of which the seed (not the tubers) 
would propagate the race. Leaving these more or less 
doubtful questions of species, let us try to ascertain 
whether the common form oiSolanwm tuberoaum has been 
found wild, and merely remark that the abundance of 
tuberous solanums growing in the temperate regions of 
America, from Chili or Buenos Ayres as far as Mexico, con- 
firms the fact of an American origin. If we knew nothing 
more, this would be a strong presumption in favour of 
this country being the original home of the potato. 

The second cause of error is very clearly explained 

* SoXamtm verrucosum, whose iiitro<1action into the neighbonrhood 
of Gex, near Geneya, I mentioned in 1855, has since been abandoned 
because its tubers are too small, and because it does not, as it was hoped, 
withstand the pot(Uo-ftmgu9, 


by the botanist Weddell,^ who has carefully explored 
Bolivia and the neighbouring countries. ''When we 
reflect/' he says, '' that on the arid Ck>rdillera the Indians 
often establish their little plots of cultivation on points 
which would appear almost inaccessible to the great 
majority of our European farmers, we understand that 
when a traveller chances to visit one of these cultivated 
plots, long since abandoned, and finds there a plant of 
Solanum tuberosum which has accidentally persisted, he 
gathers it in the belief that it is really wild; but of this 
there is no proof." 

We come now to facts. These abound concerning the 
wild character of the plant in ChUi 

In 1822, Alexander Caldcleugh,* English consul, 
sent to the London Horticultural Society some tubers of 
the potato which he had found in the ravines round 
Valparaiso. He says that these tubers are small, some- 
times red, sometimes yellowish, and i*ather bitter in taste * 
" I believe," he adds, " that this plant exists over a great 
extent of the littoral, for it is found in tiie south of 
Chili, where the aborigines call it maglia," This is 
probably a confusion with 8, *inaglia of botanists ; but 
the tubers of Valparaiso, planted in London, produced 
the true potato, as we see from a glance at Sabine's 
coloured figure in the TranscLctions of the Horticultural 
Society, The cultivation of this plant was continued 
for some time, and Lindley certified anew, in 1847, its 
identity with the common potato.* Here is the account 
of the Valparaiso plant, given by a traveller to Sir 
William Hooker.* "I noticed the potato on the shore 
as far as fifteen leagues to the north of this town, and to 
the south, but I do not know how far it extends. It 

* Chloria Andina^ in 4to, p. 103. 

* Sabine, Trams. Hort. /Soc, vol. v. p. 249. 

' No importance should be attached to this flavonr, nor to the watery 
quality of some of the tubers, since in hot countries, even in the south 
of Europe, the potato is often poor. The tubers, which are subter- 
ranean ramifications of the stem, are torned green by exposure to the 
light, and are rendered bitter. 

* Journal Hort, Soc, vol, iii. p. 66. 

' Hooker, Botanical Miscellanies, 1S31, vol. ii. p. 203. 


grows on cliiis and hills near the sea, and I do not 
remember to have seen it more than two or three leagues 
from the coast. Although it is found in mountainous 
places, far from cultivation, it does not exist in the 
immediate neighbourhood of the fields and gardens where 
it is planted, excepting when a stream crosses these en- 
closures and carries the tubers into uncultivated placea" 
The potato described by these two travellers had white 
flowers, as is seen in some cultivated European varieties, 
and like the plant formerly reared by de TEcluse. We 
may assume that this is the natural colour of the species, 
or at least one of the most common in its wild state. 

Darwin, in his voyage in the Beagle, found the potato 
growing wild in great abundance on the sand of the 
sea-shore^ in the archipelago of Southern Chili, and 
growing with a remarkable vigour, which may be attri- 
buted to the damp climate. The tallest plants attained 
to the height of four feet. The tubers were small as a 
rule, though one of them was two inches in diameter. 
They were watery, insipid, but with no bad taste when 
cooked. "The plant is undoubtedly wild," says the 
author,^ *'and its specific identity has been confirmed 
first by Henslow, and afterwards by Sir Joseph Hooker 
in his Flora ATdarctica.^ 

A specimen in the herbarium collected by Claude 
Gay, considered by Dunal to be SclanuTn tuberoavmi, 
bears this inscription : " From the centre of the Cordilleras 
of Talcagouay> and of Cauquenes, in places visited only 
by botamsts and geologists. * The same author. Gay, in 
his Flora Chilena,^ insists upon the abundance of the 
wild potato in Chili, even among the Araucanians in the 
mountains of Malvarco, where, he says, the soldiers of 
Pincheira used to go and seek it for food. This evidence 
suflSciently proves its wild state in Chili, so that I may 
omit other less convincing testimony — for instance, that 
of Molina and Meyen, whose specimens from Chili have 
not been examined. 

The climate of the coast of Chili is continued upon 

^ Journal of the Voyage, etc., edit. 1852, p. 285. 
» Vol. i. part 2, p. 329. • Vol. v. p. I4t, 


the heights as we follow the chain of the Andes, and the 
cultivation of the potato is of ancient date in the tem- 
perate regions of JPeru, but the wild character of the 
species there is not so entirely proved as in the case of 
Ohili.^ Pavon declared he found it on the coast at 
Chancay, and near Lima. The heat of these districts 
seems very great for a species which requires a temperate 
or even a rather cold climate. Moreover, the specimen 
in Boissier-s herbarium, gathered by Pavon, belongs, ac- 
cording to Dunal,^ to another species, to which he has 
given the name of S, immite. I have seen the authentic 
specimen, and have no doubt that it belongs to a species 
distinct from the S. tvhero&wni. Sir W. Hooker® speaks 
of McLean's specimen, gathered in the hills round Lima, 
without any information as to whether it was found wild. 
The specimens (more or less wild) which Matthews sent 
from Peru to Sir W. Hooker belong, according to Sir 
Joseph,* to varieties which diflFer a little from the true 
potato. Mr. Hemsley,^ who has seen them recently in 
the herbarium at Kew, believes them to be "distinct 
forms, not more distinct, however, than certain varieties 
of the species." 

Weddell,® whose caution in this matter we already 
know, expresses himself as follows: — ^'^I have never 
found Solanum ivherosuTa in Peru under such circum- 
stances as left no doubt that it was indigenous ; and I 
even declare that I do not attach more belief to the wild 
nature of other plants found scattered on the Andes 
outside Chili, hitherto considered as indigenous." 

On the other hand, M. Ed. Andr^^ collected with 
great care, in two elevated and wild districts of Columbia, 
and in another near Lima, epecimens which he believed 
he might attribute to S, tubtroaum, M. Andr^ has been 
kind enough to lend them to me. I have compared 
them attentively with the types of Dunal's species in 

' Rniz and Pavon, Flora Peruviana, ii. p. 38. 

* Danal, Prodromus, xiii., sect. i. p. 22. 

* Hooker, Bot, MiscelLf ii. * Hooker, Fl, Antarctica, 

* Jfywmal Sort, Soc, new series, vol. v. 

* Weddeli, CM&ria Andina, p. 103. 

^ Andre, in Illustration Horticolef 1877» p. 114* 


my herbarium and in that of M. Boissier. None of 
these SolanacesB belong, in my opinion, to S. tvheroavmi, 
although that of La Union, near the river Cauca, comes 
nearer than the rest. None — and this is yet more certain 
— answers to 8. immite of Dunal. They are nearer to 
8, colwmhianuTn of the same author than to 8, tuberosu/m 
or 8. immite. The specimen from Mount Quindio presents 
a singular characteristic — it has pointed ovoid berries.^ 

In Mexico the tuberous Solanums attributed to 
8. tuberosum, or, according to Hemsley,^ to allied forms, 
do not appear to be identical with the cultivated plant. 
They belong to 8. FencUeri, which Dr. Asa Gray con- 
sidered at first as a separate species, and afterwards^ 
as a variety of 8. tuberosum, or of 8. verrucosum. 

We may sum up as follows : — 

1. The potato is wild in Chili, in a form which is 
still seen in our cultivated plants. 

2. It is very doubtful whether its natural home 
extends to Peru and New Granada. 

3. Its cultivation was diffused before the discovery 
of America from Chili to New Granada. 

4. It was introduced, probably in the latter half of 
the sixteenth century, into that part of the United 
States now known as Virginia and North Carolina. 

5. It was imported into Europe between 1580 and 
1585, first by the Spaniards, and afterwards by the 
English, at the time of Raleigh's voyages to Virginia.* 

Batata, or Sweet Potato — Convolvulus batatas, Lin- 
naeus ; Batatas edvlis, Choisy. 

The roots of this plant, swelled into tubers, resemble 
potatoes, whence it arose that sixteenth-century navi- 
gators applied the same name to these two very different 
species. The sweet potato belongs to the Convolvulus 
family, the potato to the Solanum family ; the fleshy 

^ The form of the berries in £f. colwmhianum and 8* immite is not yet 

• Hemeley, Journal Hort. 8oc., new series, vol. v. 

■ Asa Gray, Synoptical Flora of North America, ii. }k 227. 

* See, for the successiye introduction into the different parts of 
Earope, Cloe, Quelquea Document swr VHistoire de la Pomms de 
Terre, in 8yo, 1874, in Journal d^Agric. Pratiq, du Midi de la France, 


parts of the former are roots, those of the latter subter* 
ranean branches.^ The sw^et potato is sugary as well 
as farinaceous. It is cultivated in all countries within 
or near the tropics, and perhaps more in tibie new than 
in the old world.^ 

Its origin is, according to a great number of authors, 
doubtfuL Humboldt,® Meyen,* and Boissier * hold to its 
American, Boyer,® Choisy,'' etc., to its Asiatic origin. The 
same diversity is observed in earlier worka The question 
is the more difficult since the Convolvulaceae is one of the 
most widely diffused families, either from a very early 
epoch or in consequence of modem transportation. 

There are powerful arguments in favour of an 
American origin. The fifteen known species of the 
genus Batatas are all found in America ; eleven in that 
continent alone, four both in America and the old 
world, with possibility or probability of transportation. 
The cultivation of the common sweet potato is widely 
diffused in America. It dates from a very early epoch, 
Marcgraff® mentions it in Brazil imder the name of 
jetica, Humboldt says that the name camote comes 
from a Mexican word. The word Batatas (whence comes 
by a mistaken transfer the word potato) is given as 
American. Sloane and Hughes^ speak of the sweet 
potato as of a plant much cultivated, and having several 
varieties in the West Indies. They do not appear to 
suspect that it had a foreign origin. Clusius, who was 
one of the first to mention the sweet potato, says he had 
eaten some in the south of Spain, where it was supposed 
to have come from the new world.^® He quotes the 

^ Tnrpin g^ves figures whioh clearly show these facts. M4m, du 
Museum, vol. six. plates 1, 2, 5. 

' Dr. Sagot gives interesting details on the method of cnltiTation, 
the prodnct, etc., in the Journal 8oc, d*Hortic, de France^ second seiieSy 
vol. ▼. pp. 450-458. 

» Humboldt, Nouvelle Espagne, edit. 2, toL ii. p. 470. 

* Meyen, Qrwndrisse Pfla/nz, Geogr,, p. 373. 

* Boissier, Voyage Botanique en Eapagne. 

* Boyer, Hort, Ma/writ,, p. 225. ' Choisj, in Prodronms, p. 838. 

* MarcgrafiF» Bres., p. 16, with illustration. 

* Sloane, Hist. Jam., i. p. 150 ; Hughes, Barb., p. 22S. 
*• Clnsios, HUt, ii. p. 77. 


names Batatas, camotes, ariiotes, ajes} which were foreign 
to the languages of the old world. The date of his 
book is 1601, Humboldt^ says that, according to 
Gomara, Christopher Columbus, when he appeared for 
the first time before Queen Isabella, offered her various 
productions from the new world, sweet potatoes among 
others. Thus, he adds, the cultivation of this plant was 
already common in Spain from tike beginning of the six- 
teenth century. Oviedo,® writing in 1526, had seen the 
sweet potato freely cultivated by the natives of St. 
Domingo, and had introduced it himself at Avila, in Spain. 
Bumphius * says positively that, according to the general 
opinion, sweet potatoes were brought by the Spanish 
Americans to Manilla and the Moluccas, whence the 
Portuguese diffused it throughout the Malay Archipelago. 
He quotes the popular names, which are not Malay, and 
which indicate an introduction by the Castillians. 
Lastly, it is certain that the sweet potato was unknown 
to the Qreeks, Romans, and Arabs; that it was not 
cultivated in Egypt even eighty years ago,^ a fact which 
it would be hard to explain if we supposed its origin to 
be in the old world. 

On the other hand, there are arguments in favour of an 
Asiatic origin. The Chinese Encydopcedia of Agricul- 
ture speaks of the sweet potato, and mentions different 
varieties ;• but Bretschneider "^ has proved that the 
species is described for the first time in a book of the 
second or third century of our era. According to 
Thunberg,® the sweet potato was brought to Japan by 
the Portuguese. Lastly, the plant cultivated at Tahiti, 
in the neighbouring islands, and in New Zealand, under 
the names umara, gumarra, and gumalla, described by 
Forster ® under the name of Convolvulvs chrysorhizus, is, 

Ajes was a name for the yam (Hamboldt, Nouvelle Espagne), 

Humboldt, ibid, 

Oriedo, Bamnsio's translation, vol. iii. pt. 3. 

Bomphins, Amhoin., v. p. 368. 

Forskal, p. 54 ; Delile, Ul. 

D*Hervey Saint-Denys, Bech. 8ur VAgric. des Chin., 1850, p. 109. 

Study and Value of Chinese Botanical Works, p. 13. 

Thnnberg, Flora Japon., p. 84. * Forster, Phmtm Escul., p. 56. 


according to Sir Joseph Hooker, the sweet potato.* 
Seemann^ remarks that these names resemble the 
Quichuen name of the sweet potato in America, which is, 
he says, cwmar. The cultivation of the sweet potato be- 
came general in Hindustan in the eighteenth century.* 
Several popular names are attributed to it, and even, 
according to Piddington,* a Sanskrit name, ruktalu, 
which has no analogy with any name known to me, and 
is not in Wilson's Sanskrit Dictionary. According to a 
note given me by Adolphe Pictet, ruktaJu seems a 
Bengalee name composed from the Sanskrit cdu {Rukta 
plus dZu, the name of Arum campa/rbviatum). This 
name in modem dialects designates the yam and the 
potato. However, Wallich*^ gives several names omitted 
by Piddington. Roxburgh ® mentions no Sanskrit name. 
Rheede "^ says the plant was cultivated in Malabar, and 
mentions common Indian namea 

The arguments in favour of an American origin seem 
to me much stronger. If the sweet potato had been 
known in Hindustan at the epoch of the Sanskrit 
language it would have become diffused in the old world, 
since its propagation is easy and its utility evident It 
seems, on the contrary, that this cultivation remained 
long unknown in the Sunda Isles, Egypt, etc. Perhaps 
an attentive examination might lead us to share the 
opinion of Meyer,® who distinguished the Asiatic plant 
from the American species. However, this author has 
not been generally followed, and I suspect that if there is 
a different Asiatic species it is not, as Meyer believed, 
the sweet potato described by Rumphius, which the 
latter says was brought from America, but the Indian 
plant of Roxburgh. 

Sweet potatoes are grown in Africa ; but either the 
cultivation is rare, or the species are different. Robert 
Brown ® says that the traveller Lockhardt had not seen 

• Hooker, Handbook of New Zealand FlnrOf p. 194. 

• Seemann, Journal ofBot, 1866, p. 328. 

» Eoxburgh, edit. Wall., ii. p. 69. * Piddington, IndeiB, 

» Wallich, Flora Ind, • Roxburgh, edit. 1832, vol. i. p. 483. 

^ Rheede, Mai., vii. p. 95. • Meyer, PHmitioB Ft. Eseeq., p. 103. 

• R. Brown, Bot. Congo, p. 56. 


the sweet potato of whose cultivation the Portuguese 
missionaries make mention. Thonning ^ does not name it. 
Vogel brought back a species cultivated on the western 
coast, which is certainly, according to the authors of 
the Flora NigrUiana, Batatas paniawlata of Choisy. It 
was, therefore, a plant cultivated for ornament or for 
medicinal purposes, for its root is purgative.^ It might 
be supposed that in certain countries in the nld or new 
world Ipomcea tiiberoaa, L., had been confounded with 
the sweet potato ; but Sloane^ tells us that its enormous 
roots are not eatable.^ 

Ijxymcea Tnammosa, Choisy (Convolvulus mammosus, 
Loureiro ; Batata Tnammosa, Rumphius), is a Convol- 
vulaceous plant with an edible root, which may well be 
confounded with the sweet potato, but whose botanical 
character is nevertheless distinct. This species grows 
wild near Amboyna (Rumphius), where it is also culti- 
vated. It is prized in Cochin-China. 

As for the sweet potato (Batatas edulis), no botanist, 
as far as I know, has asserted that he found it wild him- 
self, either in India or America.^ Clusius * affirms upon 
hearsay that it grows wild in the new world and in the 
neighbouring islands. 

In spite of the probability of an American origin, 
there remains, as we have seen, much that is unknown 
or uncertain touching the original home and the trans- 
port of this species, which is a valuable one in hot coun- 
tries. Whether it was a native of the new or of the 
old world, it is difficult to explain its transportation 
from America to China at the beginning of our era, and 

* Schumacher and Thonning, Besk. Guin. 

• Wallich, in Roxburgh, Fl, Ivd,, ii. p. 63. 
' Sloane, Jam,, i. p. 152. 

* Several Couvolvnlaceaa have large roots, or more properly root- 
stocks, but in this case it is the base of the stem with a part of the root 
which is swelled, and this root-stock is always purgative, as in the Jalap 
and Turbith, while in the sweet potato it is the lateral roots, a different 
organ, which swell. 

• No. 701 of Schomburgh, ooll. 1, is wild in Gaiantk. According 
to Choisy, it is a variety of the Batatas edulis; according to Bentham 
(Hook, Jour. Bot.t v. p. 352), of the Bata4;as paniculata. My specimen, 
which is rather imperfect, seems to me to be different from both. 

' Clusius, Hist., ii. p. 77. 


to the South Sea Islands at an early epoch, or from Asia 
and from Australia to America at a time sufficiently 
remote for its cultivation to have been early diffiised 
from the Southern States to Brazil and Chili. We must 
assume a prehistoric communication between Asia and 
America, or adopt another hypothesis, which is not in- 
applicable to the present case. The order Convolvidacece is 
one of those rare families of dicotyledons in which certain 
species have a widely extended area, extending even to 
distant continents.^ A species which can at the present 
day endure the different climates of Virginia and Japan 
may well have existed further north before the epoch of 
the ^eat extension of glaciers in our hemisphere, and 
prehistoric men may have ti*ansported it southward 
when the climatic conditions altered. According to 
this hypothesis, cultivation alone preserved the species, 
unless it is at last discovered in some spot in its ancient 
habitation — in Mexico or Columbia^ for instance.^ 

Beetroot — Beta vulgaris and B. TnaritiTna, Linnseus ; 
Beta vulgaris, Moquin. 

This plant is cultivated sometimes for its fleshy root 
(red beet), sometimes for its leaves, which are used as a 
vegetable (white beet), but botanists are generally agreed 
in not dividing the species. It is known from other 
examples that plants slender rooted by nature easily 
become fleshy rooted from the effects of soU or cultivation. 

The slender-rooted variety grows wild in sandy soil, 
and especially near the sea in the Canary Isles, and all 
along the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea, and as far as 
the Caspian Sea, Persia, and Babylon,® perhaps even as 


* A. de CandoUe, Q^ogr. BoU Ba%8onn4, pp. 1041-1043, and pp. 

■ Dr. Bretschneider, after having read the above, wrote to me from 
Fekin that the cultivated sweet potato is of origin foreign to China, 
according to Chinese anthors. The handbook of agricaltnre of Nong. 
chang-tsnan-shu, whose anthor died in 1633, asserts this fact. He 
speaks of a sweet potato wild in China, called chu, the cultivated species 
being kan-chu. The Min^shtty published in the sixteenth centary, says 
that the introduction took place between 1573 and 1620. The American 
origin thus receives a further proof. 

• Moquin-Tandon, in Prodromus, vol. xiii. pt. 2, p. 55 j Boissier, 
Flora OrientcUia, iy. p. 898 ; Ledebour, Fl. Bo88ica, iii. p. 692. 


far as the west of India, whence a specimen was brought 
by Jaquemont, although it is not certain that it was 
growing wild. Roxburgh's Indian flora, and Aitchison's 
more recent flora of the Punjab and of the Sindh, only- 
mention the plant as a cultivated species. 

It has no Sanskrit name/ whence it may be inferred 
that the Aryans had not brought it from western tem- 
perate Asia, where it exists. The nations of Aryan race 
who had previously migrated into Europe probably did 
not cultivate it, for I find no name common to the Indo- 
European languages. The ancient Greeks, who used the 
leaves and roots, called the species teiitlion;^ the Romans, 
beta. Heldreich^ gives also the ancient Greek name 
sevlde, or sfekdie, which resembles the Arab name sdg, 
ailq,^ among the Nabatheans. The Arab name has passed 
into the Portuguese aelga. No Hebrew name is known. 
Everything shows that its cultivation does not date from 
more than three or four centuries before the Christia;i era. 

The red and white roots were known to the ancients, 
but the number of varieties has greatly increased in 
modern times, especially since the beetroot has been 
cultivated on a large scale for the food of cattle and for 
the production of sugar. It is one of the plants most 
easily improved by selection, as the experiments of 
Vilmorin have proved.^ 

Manioc — Manihot utiliadma, Pohl; Jatropha ma- 
nihot, Linnaeus. 

The manioc is a shrub belonging to the Euphorbia 
family, of which several roots swell in their first year ; 
they take the form of an irregular ellipse, and contain 
a fecula (tapioca) with a more or less poisonous juice. 

It is commonly cultivated in the equatorial or tropical 
regions, especially in America from Brazil to the West 
Indies. In Africa the cultivation is less general, and seems 
to be more recent. In certain Asiatic colonies it is 

* Roxburgh, Flora Indiea, ii. p. 69 ; Piddingix)ii, Iridex. 

* TheophrastuB and Dioscorides, quoted by Lenz, Botanik der Qrie. 
chen imd Bomer, p. 446 ; Fraas, Synopsis Fl, Class., p. 233. 

* Heldreich, Die Nutzpjlanzen OriechenlandSf p. 22. 

* Alawdm, Agriculture iwihaMenne, from JB. Mejer, Oeschichte der 
Botanik, iii. p. 75. 

' Notice 8wr V ArnMioration des Plantea par le SemiSf p. 15. 



decidedly of modom introduction. It is propagated by 

Botanists are divided in opinion whether the innu- 
merable varieties of manioc should be regarded as form- 
ing one, two, or several different speciea Pohl ^ admitted 
several besides his Manihot utUissimaj and Dr. Miiller,^ 
in his monograph on the Euphorbiaceae, places the variety 
aipi in an allied species, M. palmata, a plant cultivated 
with the others in Brazil, and of which the root is not 
poisonous. This last character is not so distinct as might 
be believed from certain books and even from the asser- 
tions of the natives. Dr. Sagot,' who has compared a 
dozen varieties of manioc cultivated at Cayenne, says 
expressly, "There are maniocs more poisonous than 
others, but I doubt whether any are entirely free from 
noxious principles." 

It is possible to account for these singular differences 
of properties in very similar plants by the example of 
the potato. The Manihot and Solanum tuberosum 
both belong to suspected families {Euphorbiacece and 
Solanacece). Several of their species are poisonous in 
some of their organs; but the fecula, wherever it is 
found, is never harmful, and the same holds good of 
the cellular tissue, freed from all deposit ; that is to say, 
reduced to cellulose. In the preparation of cassava, or 
manioc flour, great care is taken to scrape the outer skin 
of the root, then to pound or crush the fleshy part so as 
to express the more or less poisonous juice, and finally 
the paste is submitted to a baking which expels the 
volatile parts.* Tapioca is the pure fecula without the 
mixture of the tissues which still exist in the cassava. 
In the potato the outer pellicle contracts noxious quali- 
ties when it is allowed to become green by exposure to 
the light, and it is well known that unripe or diseased 
tubers, containing too small a propertion of fecula with 

* Pohl, Plantarum Brasilice Iconea et DescriptioneSt in fol., vol. i. 

• J. Miiller, in ProdromuSy xv., sect. 2, pp. 1062-1064. 

• Sagot, Bull, de la Soc. Bot de France, Dec. 8, 1871. 

* I give the essentials of the preparation ; the details vary according 
to the country. See on this head : Aublet, Chiyane, ii. p. 67 ; De- 
courtilz, Flora dea An^illeSy iii. p. 113 ; Sagot, etc. 


much sap, are not good to eat, and would cause positive 
harm to persons who consumed any quantity of them. 
All potatoes, and probably all maniocs, contain something 
harmful, which is observed even in the products of dis- 
tillation, and which varies with several causes ; but only 
matter foreign to the fecula should be mistrusted. 

The doubts about the number of species into which 
the cultivated manihots should be divided are no source 
of difficulty regarding the question of geographic origin. 
On the contrary, we shall see that they are an important 
means of proving an Americain origin. 

The AbbiS Raynal had formerly spread the erroneous 
opinion that the manioc was imported into America from 
Africa. Robert Brown ^ denied this in 1818, but without 
giving reasons in support of his opinion ; and Humboldt,^ 
Moreau de Jonnes,® and Saint HUaire * insisted upon its 
American origin. It can hardly be doubted for the 
following reasons : — 

1. Maniocs were cultivated by the natives of Brazil, 
Guiana, and the warm region of Mexico before the arrival 
of the Europeans, as all early travellers testify. In the 
West Indies this cultivation was, according to Acosta,^ 
common enough in the sixteenth century to inspire the 
belief that it was also there of a certain antiquity. 

2. It is less widely diffused in Africa, especially in 
regions at a distance from the west coast. It is known 
that manioc was introduced into the Isle of Bourbon by 
the Govemour Labourdonnais.® In Asiatic countries, 
where a plant so easy to cultivate would probably have 
spread had it been long known on the African continent, 
it is mentioned here and there as an object of curiosity 
of foreign origin.' 

> R. Brown, Botany of the Oongo, p. 50. 

■ Humboldt, Nouvelle Eapagne, edit. 2, vol. ii. p. 398. 

' Hist, de I Acad, dee Sciences^ 1824. 

* GaiUemin, Archives de Botanique^ i. p. 239. 

* Acosta, Hist. Nat. des Indesy FroDch trans., 1598, p. 16S. 

* Thomas, Statistiqtie de Bov/rbon, ii. p. 18. 

' The catalof^ae of the botanical ^rdeos of Baitenzorg, 1866, p. 222, 
says expressly that the Manihot utilisaivfia comes from Bourbon and 

62 oBiam OF cultivated plants. 

3. The natives of America had several andent names 
for the varieties of manioc, especially in Brazil/ which 
does not appear to have been the case in Africa, even on 
the coast of Guinea * 

4. The varieties cultivated in Brazil, in Guiana, and 
in the West Indies are very numerous, whence we may 
presume a very ancient cultivation. This is not the case 
in A&ica. 

5. The forty-two known species of the genus ManiJiot, 
without counting M. utilissimay are all wild in America ; 
most of them in Brazil, some in Guiana, Peru, and 
Mexico; not one in the old world.® It is very unlikely that 
a single species, and that the cultivated one, was a native 
both of the old and of the new world, and all the more so 
since in the family EtaphorbiacecB the area of the woody 
species is usuaUy restricted, and since phanerogamous 
plants are very rarely common to Africa and America. 

The American origin of the manioc being thus 
established, it may be asked how the species has been 
introduced into Guinea and Congo. It was probably 
the result of the frequent communications established in 
the sixteenth century by Portuguese merchants and 

The Manihot utiliasima and the allied species or 
variety called aipi, which is also cultivated, have not 
been found in an undoubtedly wild state. Humboldt 
and Bonpland, indeed, found upon the banks of the 
Magdalena a plant of Manihot utUissima which they 
called almost wild,^ but Dr. Sagot assures me that it has 
not been found in Guiana, and that botanists who have 
explored the hot region in Brazil have not been more 
fortunate. We gather as much from the expressions 
of Pohl, who has carefully studied these plants, and who 
was acquainted with the collections of Martins, and had 

* Aypi, mandioeOf manihot, manioch, yuca, etc., in Pohl, Icones and 
Desc, i. pp. 80, 33. Martius, Beitrcuge z. Ethnographic, etc., Braziliens, 
ii. p. 122, gives a immbei* of names. 

' Thonning (in Schomaoher, Besh, Ouin.), who is aocnsiomed to 
quote the common names, gives none for the manioc. 

* J. Miiller, in Prodromtis, xv., sect. 1, p. 1057. 

* Kunth, in Homboldt and B., Nova Genera, ii. p. lOS. 


no doubt of their American origin. If he had observed 
a wild variety identical with those which are cultivated, 
he would not have suggested the hypothesis that the 
manioc is obtained from his Mani/tot pusiUa^ of the 
province of Goyaz, a plant of small size, and considered 
as a true species or as a variety of Manihot paJmata.^ 
Martins declared in 1867, that is after having received a 
quantity of information of a later date than his journey, 
that the plant was not known in a wild state.^ An early 
traveller, usually accurate, Piso,* speaks of a wild mandi- 
hoca, of which the Tapuyeris, the natives of the coast 
to the north of Rio Janeiro, ate the roots. " It is>" he 
says, " very like the cultivated plant ; " but the illustra- 
tion he gives of it appears unsatisfactory to authors who 
have studied the maniocs. Pohl attributes it to his 
M. aipi, and Dr. Muller passes it over in silence. For 
my part, I am disposed to believe what Piso says, and 
his Rgure does not seem to me entirely unsatisfactory. 
It is better than that by Yellozo, of a wild manioc which 
is doubtfully attributed to M. aijri.^ If we do not 
accept the origin in eastern tropical Brazil, we must 
have recourse to two hypotheses : either the cultivated 
maniocs are obtained from one of the wild species 
modified by cultivation, or they are varieties which 
exist only by the agency of man after the disappearance 
of their fellows from modem wild vegetation. 

Garlic — Allium aativtum, Linnaeus. 

Linnaeus, in his Species Flantai^m, indicates Sicily 
as the home of the common garlic; but in his Hortua 
Cl/iffortianvs, where he is usually more accurate, he does 
not give its origin. The fact is that, according to all the 
most recent and complete floras of Sicily, Italy, Greece, 
France, Spain, and Algeria, garlic is not considered to be 
indigenous, although specimens have been gathered here 
and there which had more or less the appearance of 

' Pohl, Icones et Descr., i. p. 3B, pi. 26. • MiiUer, in Prodromua, 

' De Martins, Beitrage xur Ethnographies etc., i. pp. 19, 136. 

* Piso, Historia Naturalis BrazilicBf in folioi 1658, p. 65, cum icone. 

* Jairopia Sylvestris Veil, Fl, Flum., 16, t. 83. See Muller, in 
D. C. ProdromuSf xt. p. 1063. 

64j origin of cultivated plants. 

being so. A plant so constantly cultivated and so easily 
propagated may spread from gardens and persist for a 
considerable time without being wild by nature. I do 
not know on what authority Kunth ^ mentions that the 
species is found in Egypt. According to authors who are 
more accurate^ in their accounts of the plants of that 
country, it is only found there under cultivation. Boissier, 
whose herbarium is so rich in Eastern plants, possesses 
no wild specimens of it. The only country where garlic 
has been found in a wild state, with the certainty of its 
really being so, is the desert of the Kirghis of Sungari ; 
bulbs were brought thence and cultivated at Dorpat,^ 
and specimens were afterwards seen by RegeL* The 
latter author also says that he saw a specimen which 
Wallich had gathered as wild in British India ; but 
Baker,^ who had access to the rich herbarium at Kew, 
does not speak of it in his review of the *'AUiu7n8 of 
India, China, and Japan.'' 

Let us see whether historical and philological records 
confirm the fact of an origin in the south-west of Siberia 

Garlic has been long cultivated in China under the 
name of suan. It is written in Chinese by a single sign, 
which usually indicates a long known and even a wild 
species.® The floras of Japan ^ do not mention it, whence 
I gather that the species was not wild in Eastern Siberia 
and Dahuria, but that the Mongols brought it into 

According to Herodotus, the ancient Egyptians made 
great use of it. Archaeologists have not found the proof 
of this in the monuments, but this may be because the 
plant was considered unclean by the priests.® 

* Kunth, Enunu, iv. p. 881. 

* Schweinfurth and Ascherson, Aufzdhlungf p. 294. 

* Ledebonr, Flora Altaicay ii. p. 4; Flora Rossicaj iv. p. 162. 

* Begel, Allior. Monogr., p. 44. 

» Baker, in Journal of Bot^ 1874, p. 295. 
' Bretschneider, Study and Valuer etc., pp. 15, 4, and 7. 
' Thunberg, Fl, Jap,; Franchet and Savatier, Enuaneraiioy 1876, 
vol. ii. 

* Unger, Ffian%en dee Alien JEgyptenSj p. 42. 


There is a Sanskrit name, mahovshouda} become 
loshoun in Bengali, and to which appears to be related 
the Hebrew name schonm or schumm^ which has pro- 
duced the Arab thoum or toum. The Basque name bara- 
tchouria is thought by de Charencey ® to be allied with 
Aryan names. In support of his hypothesis I may 
add that the Berber name, tiskert, is quite different, and 
that consequently the Iberians seem to have received the 
plant and its name rather from the Aryans than from 
their probable ancestors of Northern Africa. The Lettons 
call it fci2^ZoAA»,theEsthoniaiis krunslauhywhence probably 
the German Knoblauch, The ancient Greek name appears 
to have been acorodon, in modem Greek scordon. The 
names given by the Slavs of Illyria are bill and cesan. 
The Bretons say quinen,"^ the Welsh craf, cenhinnen, or 
garlleg, whence the English garlic. The Latin allium 
has passed into the languages of Latin origin.^ This 
great diversity of names intimates a long acquaintance 
with the plant, and even an ancient cultivation in 
Western Asia and in Europe. On the other hand, if the 
species has existed only in the land of the Kirghis, where 
it is now found, the Aryans might have cultivated it and 
carried it into India and Europe; but this does not 
explain the existence of so many Keltic, Slav, Greek, 
and Latin names which differ from the Sanskrit. To 
explain this diversity, we must suppose that its original 
abode extended farther to the west than that known at 
the present day, an extension anterior to the migrations 
of the Aryans. 

If the genus Allium were once made, as a whole, the 
object of such a serious study as that of Gay on some 

* Piddingtoii, Indem, 

* Hiller, Hierophyton ; Rosen muller, Bihl. Alterthum^ vol. it, 

* Do Charencey, Actea de la 8oc Phil,, Isfc March, 18(39. 

* Davies, Welsh Botanology, 

' All these common names are fonnd in mj dictionary compiled by 
Moritzi from floras. I could have qaoted a larger namber, and men- 
tioned the probable etymologies, as given by philologists — Hehn, for 
instance, in his Kulturpflcmzen aus Asien, p. 171 and following; but 
this is not necessary to show its origin and early cultivation in several 
different oonntriea. 


of its species^^ perhaps it might be found that certain 
wild European forms^ included by authors under A. 
arenariuTn, L., A. arenarium, Sm., or A. acorodoprasum, 
L., are only varieties of A. sativum. In that case every- 
thing would agree to show that the earliest peoples of 
Europe and Western Asia cultivated such form of the 
species just as they found it from Tartary to Spain, 
giving it names more or less diflTerent. 

Onion — Allium Cepa, Linnaeus. 

I will state first what was known in 1855 ;* I will 
then add the recent botanical observations which confirm 
the inferences from philological data. 

The onion is one of the earliest of cultivated species. 
Its original country is, according to Kunth, unknown.^ 
Let us see if it is possible to discover it. The modem 
Greeks call Allium Cepa, which they cultivate in 
abundance, krcym/muTida} This is a good reason for be- 
lieving that the krcymmuon of Theophrastus ^ is the same 
species, as sixteenth-century writers already supposed.® 
Pliny' translated the word by ccepa. The ancient Greeks 
and Bomans knew several varieties, which they distin 
guished by the names of countries: Cypriurifi, Cretense, 
Samx>thra<yiae, etc One variety cultivated in Egypt ® was 
held to be so excellent that it received divine honours, 
to the great amusement of the Romans.^ Modem 
Egyptians designate A. Cepa by the name of basal ^® or 
bussul,^ whence it is probable that the bezaZim of the 
Hebrews is the same species, as commentators have said.^ 
There are several distinct names — palandu, latarka, sor- 
kamdaka,^ and a nmnber of modem Indian names. The 
species is commonly cultivated in India, Cochin-China, 

* Annales des flfc Nat, 3rd seriea, vol. viiL 

' A. de GandoUe, G^ogr. Bot. Raisonn^, ii. p. 828. 

• Xnnth, Enumer., iv. p. 394. 

* Fraas, Syn. Fl. Class., p. 291. 

* Theophrastns, Hist., 1. 7, c. 4. 

• J. Banhin, Hist., iL p. 548. » Pliny, Hist., 1. 19, c. 6. • Ibid. 

• Javenalis, Sat. 15. *• Forskal, p. 65. 
" Ainslie's Mat Med. Ind., i. p. 269. 

'* Hiller, Hieroph., ii. p. 36; Bosenmuller, HandbJc Bibl. Alterh., iv, 
p. 96. 

" Piddington, Index ; Aioslie's Mat. Med. Ind, 


China,* and even in Japan.* It was lai'gely consumed 
by the ancient Egyptians. The drawings on their 
monuments often represent this species,® Thus its 
cultivation in Southern Asia and the eastern region of 
the Mediterranean dates from a very early epoch. More- 
over, the Chinese, Sanskrit, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin 
names have no apparent connection. From this last fact 
we may deduce the hypothesis that its cultivation was 
begun after the separation of the Indo-European nations, 
the species being found ready to hand in different 
countries at once. This, however, is not the present state 
of thiDgs, for we hardly find even vague indications of 
the wild state of A, Cepa, I have not discovered it 
in European or Caucasian floras; but Hasselquist^ says, 
'' It grows in the plains near the sea in the environs of 
Jericho." Dr. Wallich mentioned in his list of Indian 
plants. No. 5072, specimens which he saw in districts of 
fiengal, without mentioning whether they were cultivated. 
This indication, however insufficient, together with the 
antiquity of the Sanskrit and Hebrew names, and the 
communication which is known to have existed between 
the peoples of India and of Egypt, lead me to suppose 
that this plant occupied a vast area in Western Asia, 
extending perhaps from Palestine to India, Allied species, 
sometimes mistaken for A. Cepa, exist in Siberia.^ 

The specimens collected by Anglo-Indian botanists, of 
which Wallich gave the first idea, are now better known. 
Stokes discovered Allium Cepa wild in Beluchistan. 
He says, " wild on the Chehil Tun." Griffith brought 
it from Afghanistan and Thomson from Lahore, to say 
nothing of other collectors, who are not explicit as to the 
wild or cultivated nature of their specimens.® Boissier 
possesses a wildspedmen found in the mountainous regions 
of the Khorassan. The umbels are smaller than in the 

* Bozbnrgh, Fl, Jncl., ii. ; Lonreiro, Fl, Cochin.f p. 249. 
■ Thanberg, Fl, Jap., p, 132. 

' Unger, Pflanzen d. Alt JSgypt, p. 42, figs. 22, 23, 24, 

* Hasselqnist, Vcy» and Trav., p. 279. 

* Ledebour, Fl. Rossica, ij. p. 169. 

* Aitchison, A Catalogue of the Plants of the Punjab and the Sindhy 
in 8to, 1869, p. 19; Baker, in Journal ofBot, 1874, p. 295. 


cultivated plant, but there is no other difference. Dr. 
R^gc'» j^ii-> found it to the south of Kuldscha, in Western 
Siberia.^ Thus my former conjectures are completely 
justified ; and it is not unlikely that its habitation extends 
even as far as Palestine, as Hasselquist said. 

The onion is designated in China by a single sign 
(pronounced tsung), which may suggest a long existence 
there as an indigenous plant.* I very much doubt, how- 
ever, that the area extends so far to the east. 

Humboldt^ says that the Americans have always been 
acquainted with onions, in Mexican OBonacatl. " Cortes, " 
he says, *' speaking of the comestibles sold at the market 
of the ancient Tenochtillan, mentions onions, leeks, and 
garlic." I cannot believe, however, that these names 
applied to the species cultivated in Europe. Sloane, in 
the seventeenth century, had only seen one AUiv/m 
cultivated in Jamaica {A. Cepa), and that was in a garden 
with other European vegetables * The word osonacatl is 
not in Hernandez, and Acosta * says distinctly that the 
onions and garlics of Peru are of European origin. The 
species of the genus Allium are rare in America. 

Spring, or Welsh Onion — Allium fistvloawm, Linnaeus. 

This species was for a long time mentioned in floras 
and works on horticulture as of unknown origin ; but 
Russian botanists have found it wild in Siberia towards 
the Altai mountains, on the Lake Baikal in the land of 
the Kirghis.* The ancients did not know the plant.' It 
must have come into Europe through Russia in the 
Middle Ages, or a little later. Dodoens,® an author of 
the sixteenth century, has given a figure of it, hardly 
recognizable, under the name of Cepa obUmgcL 

Shallot — Allium aacalonicum, Linnaeus. 

It was believed, according to Pliny,® that this plant 

> ni. Eortic., 1877, p. 167. 

* Bretschneider, Study and Valuer etc., pp. 47 and 7« 
' Nouvelle Espctgne, 2nd edit., ii. p. 476. 

* Sloane, Jam.f i. p. 75. 

* Acosta, Hist. Nat des IndeB, French trans., p. 1G5. 

* Ledebour, Flora Boaaica, iv. p. 169. 

'* Lenz, Botanik. der Alien Qriechen tmd JRom^ p. 295. 

* Dodoens, Pemptadea, p. 687. • Pliny» Hiat, 1. 19, o. 6. 


took its name from Ascalon, in Judaea ; but Dr. Foumier^ 
thinks that the Latin author mistook the meaning of the 
word Aakalonion of Theophrastus. However this may 
be, the word has been retained in modem languages under 
the form o{6chalote in French, cludote in Spanish, acalogno 
in Italian, Aachaluch or Sschlauch in German. 

In 1855 1 had spoken of the species as follows : ^ — 
* According to Roxburgh,® AlUum ascaUmicum is 
much cultivated in India. The Sanskrit name pvlandu 
is attributed to it, a word nearly identical with palandu, 
attributed to A, Cepa,^ Evidently the distinction be- 
tween the two species is not clear in Indian or Anglo- 
Indian works. 

"Loureiro says he saw Alliwm ascalonicu/m cul- 
tivated in Cochin-China,^ but he does not mention 
China, and Thunberg does not indicate this species in 
Japan, Its cultivation, therefore, is not universal in the 
east of Asia. This fact, and the doubt aboiit the Sanskrit 
name, lead me to think that it is not ancient in Southern 
Asia. Neither, in spite of the name of the species, am I 
convinced that it existed in Western Asia. Rauwolf, 
Forskal, and Delile do not mention it in Siberia, in Arabia, 
or in Egypt. Linnaeus ® mentions Hasselquist as having 
found the species in Palestine. Unfortunately, he gives 
no details about the locality, nor about its wild condition. 
In the Travels of Hasselquist "^ I find a Ce2ya Ttiontana 
mentioned as growing on Mount Tabor and ona neighbour- 
ing mountain, but there is nothing to prove that it was 
this species. In his article on the onions and garlics of 
the Hebrews he mentions only Allium Cepa, then A, 
porrwm and A. satiw/m. Sibthorp did not find it in 
Greece,® and Fraas ® does not mention it as now cultivated 

' He will treat of this in a publication entitled Ciharia, which will 
shortly appear. 

• G4og, Bot Raisonn^Bf p. 829. 

» Roxburgh, Fl, Ind,; edit. 1832, vol. ii. p. 142. 

* Piddington, Index. 

■ Loureiro, Fl. Cochin.^ p. 251. 

* LinniBUs, Species, p. 429. 

' Hasselqaist, Voy. and Trav., 1766, pp. 281, 282. 

• Sibthorp, Prodr, • Fraas, 8yn. Fl. Class., p. 291. 


in that country. According to Koch,^ it is naturalized 
among the vines near Fiume. However, Viviani^ only 
speaks of it as a cultivated plant in Dalmatia, 

"From all these facts I am led to believe that 
Allium ascalonicwm is not a species. It is enough to 
render its primitive existence doubtful, to remark: (1) 
that Theophrastus and ancient writers in general have 
spoken of it as a form of the Allium Gepa, having the 
same importance as the varieties cultivated in Greece, 
Thrace, and elsewhere ; (2) that its existence in a wild 
state cannot be proved ; (3) that it is little cultivated, 
or not all, in the countries where it is supposed to have 
had its origin, as in Syria, Egypt, and Greece ; (4) that 
it is commonly without flowers, whence the name of Gepa 
sterilis given by Bauhin, and the number of its bulbs is 
an allied fact; (5) when it does flower, the organs of the 
flower are similar to those of A. Gepa, or at least no 
diflference has been hitherto discovered, and according to 
Koch ^ the only difference in the whole plant is that the 
stalk and leaves are less swelled, although fistulous." 

Such was formerly my opinion.* The facts published 
since 1855 do not destroy my doubts, but, on the contrary, 
justify them. Kegel, in 1875, in his monograph of the 
genus Allium, declares he has only seen the shallot as a 
cultivated species. Aucher Eloy has distributed a plant 
from Asia Minor under the name of A. ascalonicwm, but 
judging from my specimen this i^ certainly not the 
species. Boissier tells me that he has never seen A. 
dscalonicum, in the East, and it is not in his herbarium. 
The plant from the Morea which bears this name in the 
flora of Bory and Chaubard is quite a different species, 
which he has named A, gomphrenoideB. Baker,^ in his 
review of the Alliums of India, China, and Japan, 
mentions A. ascalonicum in districts of Bengal and of 
the Punjab, from specimens of GriflSth and Aitchison; 
but he adds, "They are probably cultivated plants." 

» Koch, 8yn, F7. Germ., 2nd edit,, p. 833. 

• Viviani, Fl. Dalmat, p. 138. • Koch, Syn, Fl, Qemu 

• A. de Candolle, Qiogr. Bot, Eaisonn^e, p. 829. 

• Baker, in Journ. of Bot, 1874, p. 295. 


He attributes to A, ascalonicv/m Allium sulvia. Ham., 
of Nepal, a plant little known, and whose wild character 
is uncertain. The shallot produces many bulbs, which 
may be propagated or preserved in the neighbourhood 
of cultivation, and thus cause mistakes as to its origin. 

Finally, in spite of the progress of botanical investiga- 
tions in the East and in India, this form of Allium has 
not been found wild with certainty. It appears to me, 
therefore, more probable than ever that it is a modifica- 
tion of A, Cepa, dating from about the beginning of the 
Christian era — a modification less considerable than many 
of those observed in other cultivated plants, as, for 
instance, in the cabbage. 

Bocambole — Allium scorodoprasum, Linnaeus. 

If we cast a glance at the descriptions and names 
of A, acorodoprasum in works on botany since the 
time of Linnaeus, we shall see that the only point on 
which authors are agreed is the common name of rocam- 
bole. As to the distinctive characters, they sometimes 
approximate the plant to Allium sativum, sometimes 
regard it as altogether distinct. With such difierent 
definitions, it is difiicult to know in what country the 
plant, well known in its cultivated state as the rocambole, 
is found wild. According to Cosson and Germain,^ it 
grows in the environs of Paris. According to Grenier 
and Godron,^ the same form grows in the east of France. 
Bumat says he found the species undoubtedly wild in 
the Alpes-Maritimes, and he gave specimens of it to 
Boissier. Willkomm and Lange do not consider it to be 
wild in Spain,^ though one of the French names of the 
cultivated plant is ail or esehalote d^Espagne. Many 
other European localities seem to me doubtful, since the 
specific characters are so uncertain. I mention, however, 
that, according to Ledebour,* the plant which he calls 
A. scorodopramim is very common in Russia from Fin- 
land to the Crimea. Boissier received a specimen of it 

' Cosson and Germain, Flore, ii. p. 553. 

* Grenier and Godron, Flore de France, iii. p. 1P7. 

* Willkomm and Lange, Frodr. Fl. Hisjp., i. p. 885. 

* Ledebour, Flora Roasica, iv. p. 163. 


from Dobrutscha, sent by the botanist Sintenia The 
natural habitat of the species borders, therefore, on that 
of Allium sativuTTi, or else an attentive study of all 
these forms will show that a single species, comprising 
several varieties, extends over a great part of Europe and 
the bordering countries of Asia. 

The cultivation of this species of onion does not 
appear to be of ancient date. It is not mentioned by 
Greek and Eoman authors, nor in the list of plants 
recommended by Charlemagne to the intendants of his 
gardens.^ Neither does Olivier de Serres speak of it. 
We can only give a small number of original common 
names among ancient peoples. The most distinctive 
are in the North. Skovlog in Denmark, keipe and 
racJceTiboll in Sweden.^ Mockenbolle, whence comes the 
French name, is German. It has not the meaning given 
by Littrd Its etymology is Bolle, onion, growing among 
the rocks, Rocken? 

CJiives — Allium schcBTwprasum., Linnaeus. 

This species occupies an extensive area in the 
northern hemisphere. It is found all over Europe, from 
Corsica and Greece to the south of Sweden, in Siberia 
as far as Kamtschatka, and also in North America, but 
only near the Lakes Huron and Superior and further 
north * — a remarkable circumstance, considering its Euro- 
pean habitat. The variety found in the Alps is the 
nearest to the cultivated form.^ 

The ancient Greeks and Eomans must certainly have 
known the species, since it is wild in Italy and Greece. 
Targioni believes it to be the Scorodon schiston of 
Theophrastus ; but we are dealing with words without 
descriptions, and authors whose specialty is the inter- 
pretation of Greek text, like Fraas and Lenz, are prudent 
enough to affirm nothing. If the ancient names are 
doubtful, the fact of the cultivation of the plant at this 
epoch is yet more so. It is possible that the custom of 
gathering it in the fields existed, 

• Le Grand d'Anssy, Eistoire de la Vie dea Franqais, vol. i. p. 122. 

• Nemnioh, Polyglott. Lexicon, p. 187- ■ Ihid. 

• Asa Gi"ay, Botany of the Northern States, edit. 5, p. 534. 
» De Candolle, Flore Framfaise, iv. p. 227. 


Colocasia — Arum esculentum, Linnaeus ; Coloca&ia 
antiqiu)rv/ni, Schott.^ 

This species is cultivated in the damp districts of the 
tropics, for the swelled lower portion of the stem, which 
forms an edible rhizome similar to the subterraneous 
part of the iris. The petioles and the young leaves are 
also utilized as a vegetable. Since the different forms of 
the species have been properly classed, and since we have 
possessed more certain information about the floras of 
the south of Asia, we cannot doubt that this plant is 
wild in India, as Roxburgh ^ formerly, and Wight ^ and 
others have more recently asserted ; likewise in Ceylon,* 
Sumatra,^ and several islands of the Malay Archipelago.® 

Chinese books make no mention of it before a work 
of the year 100 B.C? The first European navigators saw 
it cultivated in Japan and as far as the north of New 
Zealand,® in consequence probably of a^ early introduc- 
tion, and without the certain co-existence of wild stocks. 
When portions of the stem or of the tuber are thrown 
away by the side of streams, they naturalize themselves 
easily. This was perhaps the case in Japan and the 
Fiji Islands,® judging from the localities indicated. The 
colocasia is cultivated here and there in the West Indies, 
and elsewhere in tropical America, but much less than 
in Asia or Africa, and without the least indication of an 
American origin. 

In the countries where the species is wild there are 
common names, sometimes very ancient, totally different 
from each other, which confirms their local origin. Thus 
the Sanskrit name is kwchoo, which persists in modem 

^ Aram Egyptium^ Golnmma, Eephrasis, ii. p. 1, tab. 1; Rnm- 
pbins, Amhoin, vol. v. tab. 109. Arum colocasia and A, esculentum^ 
LinnsBUS ; Colocasia antiquorum^ Schott, Melet., i. 18 ; Engler, in D. C. 
Monog, Phaner., ii. p. 491. 

* Roxburgh, Ft. Ind. , iii. p. 495. ■ Wight, Iconesy t. 786. 

* Thwaites, Enum, Plant. Zeylan., p. 335. 

* Miqnel, Sumatra, p. 258. 

* Rnmphins, Amhoinj vol. v. p. 318. 

' Bretschneider, On the Study and Value, etc., p. 12. 

* Forster, De PUmtis EscuX., p. 58. 

* Franchet and Sayatier, Enum,, p. 8; Seemann, Flora Vitiensis. 
p. 284. 

74 oaiaiN of cultivated PLANTa 

Hindu languages — in Bengali, for instance.* In Ceylon 
the wild plant is styled gahala, the cultivated plant 
kandalla} The Malay names are hdady? taUus, taUas, 
tales, or taloea,^ from which perhaps comes the well- 
known name of the Otahitans and New Zealanders — tallo 
or tarro^ dalo ® in the Fiji Islands. The Japanese have 
a totally distinct name, vmo,'^ which shows an existence 
of long duration either indigenous or cultivated. 

European botanists first knew the colocasia in Egypt, 
where it has perhaps not been very long cultivated. The 
monuments of ancient Egypt furnish no indication of 
it, but Pliny® spoke of it as the Arum Mgyptium. 
Prosper Alpin saw it in the sixteenth century, and 
speaks of it at length.^ He says that its name in itis 
country is culcas, which Delile*® writes qolkas, and 
konUcas, It is clear that this Arab name of the 
Egyptian arum lias some analogy with the Sanskrit 
kiichoo, which is a confirmation of the hypothesis, 
sufficiently probable, of an introduction from India or 
Ceylon. De TEcluse ^* had seen the plant cultivated in 
Portugal, as introduced from Africa, under the name 
alcoleaz, evidently of Arab origin. In some parts of the 
south of Italy, where the plant has become naturalized, 
it is, according to Parlatore, called aro di Effitto.^ 

The name oolocdsia, given by the Greeks to a plant 
of which the root was used by the Egyptians, may 
evidently come from colcas, but it has been transferred 
to a plant differing from the true colcas. Indeed, 
Dioscorides applies it to the Egyptian bean, or nelumbo,^ 
which has a large root, or rather rhizome, rather stringy 

* Roxburgh, Fl. Ind, 

' Thwaites, Enum. Plant. Zeylan, ' Bnmphins, Amhoitu 

* Miqael, Sumatra, p. 258 ; Hasskarl, Cat Horti. Bogor. Alter., p. 55. 
' Forster, De Plantie Esctd., p. 58. ' Seemann, Flora Vitienaia. 

' FraDchet and Savatier, Enum. • Pliny, Hist., 1. 19, o. 5. 

* Alpinns, Hist. JEgyyt. Naturalis, edit. 2, vol. i. p. 166 ; ii. p. 192. 

^* Delile, FU JEgypt. III., p. 28 ; De la Colocase dee Anciene, in 8vo, 

" Glnsins, Kisforia, ii. p. 76. " Parlatore, Fl. Ital., ii. p. 255. 

" Prosper Alpinus, Uiat. ^gypt. Naturalis ; Colomna ; Delile, Ann. 
du Mu8., i. p. 375 ; De la Coloca^e des Anciena $ Beynier, Economie dea 
Egyptiena, p. 321. 


and not good to eat. The two plants are very different, 
especially in the flower. The one belongs to the Aracece, 
the other to the Nympkoeacece ; the one belongs to the 
class of Monocotyledons, the other to that of the Dico- 
tyledons, The nelumbo of Indian origin has ceased to 
grow in Egypt, while the colocasia of modem botanists 
has persisted there. If there is any confusion, as seems 
probable in the Greek authors, it must be explained by 
the fact that the colcas rarely flowers, at least in Egypt. 
From the point of view of botanical nomenclature, it 
matters little that mistakes were formerly made about 
the plants to which the name colocasia should be applied. 
Fortunately, modem scientific names are not based upon 
the doubtful definitions of the ancient Greeks and 
Romans, and it is sufficient to say now, if the etymology 
is insisted upon, that colocasia comes from colcas in 
consequence of an error. 

Ap6, or Large-rooted Alocasia — Alocasia inacrorrhiza, 
Schott ; Arum maerorrhizurn, Linnaeus. 

This araceous plant, which Schott places now in the 
genus Colocasia, now in the Alocasia, and whose names 
are far more complicated than might be supposed from 
those indicated above,^ is less frequently cultivated than 
the common colocasia, but in the same manner and nearly 
in the same countries. Its rhizomes attain the length 
of a man's arm. They have a distinctly bitter taste, 
which it is indispensable to remove by cooking. 

The aborigines of Otahiti call it ape, and those of 
the Friendly Isles kappe,^ In Ceylon, the common name 
is hahara, according to Thwaites.^ It has other names 
in the Malay Archipelago, which argues an existence 
prior to that of the more recent peoples of these 

The plant appears to be wild, especially in Otahiti.* 
It is also wild in Ceylon, according to Thwaites, who has 
studied botany for a long time in that island. It is 

* See Engler, in D. 0. MonographioB Phanerogarumf ii. p. 502. 

* Forster, De Plantis Esexdentis Inaularum Oceani Australia, p» 5S. 

* Thwaites, Enum, PL Zeyl., p. 336. 

* Nadeaad, Enum, des Plantes Indigdnes^ p. 40. 


mentioned also in India ^ and m Australia,^ but its wild 
condition is not affirmed — a fact always difficult to 
establish in the case of a species cultivated on the banks 
of streams, and which is propagated by bulba More- 
over, it is sometimes confounded with the Colocdsia 
indica of Kunth, which grows in the same manner, and 
is found here and there in cultivated ground ; and this 
species grows wild, or is naturalized in the ditches and 
streams of Southern Asia, although its history is not yet 
well known. 

Kom'ak — Amorphophallua Konjaky Koch ; Amor- 
phophallus Rivieriy du Kieu, var. Konjaky Engler.® 

The konjak is a tuberous plant of the family 
Araceae, extensively cultivated by the Japanese, a culture 
of which Vidal has given full details in the BvMetin de 
la SocietS cPAcclimatation of July, 1877. It is consi- 
dered by Engler as a variety of ATnorphopkalliia BivieH, 
of Cochin-China, of which horticultural periodicals 
have given several illustrations in the last few years.* 
It can be cultivated in the south of Europe, like the 
dahlia, as a curiosity ; but to estimate the value of the 
bulbs as food, they should be prepared with lime-water, 
in Japanese fashion, so as to ascertain the amount of 
fecula which a given area will produce. 

Dr. Vidal gives no proof that the Japanese plant is 
wild in that country. He supposes it to be so from the 
meaning of the common name, which is, he says, konni- 
yakoUy or yamagonniyakou^ yama meaning " mountain." 
Franchet and Savatier^ have only seen the plant in 
gardens. The Cochin-China variety, believed to belong 
to the same species, grows in gardens, and there is no 
proof of its being wild in the country. 

YsLms^-Dioscorea saliva, D. batatas, D, japonica, 
and D. alata. 

The yams, monocotyledonous plants, belonging to 

* Engler, in D. C. Monog, Phaner. 

■ Bentham, Flora Austr., viii. p. 165. 

• Engler, in D. C Monogr. Phaner. , vol. ii. p. 813. 

^i0ardener*8 Chronicle^ 1873, p. 610; Flore des Serres et Jardins, 
t. 1958, 1959; Hooker, Bot. Mag., t. 6195. 

^ Franohet and Savatier, Enum, PI, Japonice, ii« p. 7. 


the family DioscoridecB, constitute the genus Dioscorea, 
of which botanists have described about two hundred 
species, scattered over all tropical and sub-tropical 
countries. They usually have rhizomes, that is, under- 
ground stems or branches of stems, more or less fleshy, 
which become larger when the annual, exposed part of 
the plant is near its decay.^ Several species are culti- 
vated in different countries for these farinaceous rhizomes, 
which are cooked and eaten like potatoes. 

The botanical distinction of the species has always 
presented difficulties, because the male and female flowers 
are on different individuals, and because the characters 
of the rhizomes and the lower part of the exposed stems 
cannot be studied in the herbarium. The last complete 
w^ork is that of Kunth,^ published in 1850. It requires 
revision on account of the number of specimens brought 
home by travellers in these last few years. Fortunately, 
with regard to the origin of cultivated species, certain 
historical and philological considerations will serve as 
a guide, without the absolute necessity of knowing and 
estimating the botanical characters of each. 

Roxburgh enumerates several DioscorecB^ cultivated 
in India, but he found none of them wild, and neither 
he nor Piddington * mentions Sanskrit names. This last 
point argues a recent cultivation, or one of originally 
small extent, in India, arising either from indigenous 
species as yet undefined, or from foreign species culti- 
vated elsewhere. The Bengali and Hindu generic name 
is cdUy preceded by a special name for each species or 
variety ; karri alu, for instance, is Dioscorea alata. The 
absence of distinct names in each province also argues 
a recent cultivation. In Ceylon, Thwaites^ indicates 
six wild species, and he adds that D. saliva, L., D. alata, 

* M. Sagot, Bull, de la 8oc, Bot. de France, 1871, p. 306, has well 
described the growth and cultivation of yams, as he has studied them in 

* Knnth, Enumeratio, vol. v, 

' These are D. glohosa, alata, rubella, fasdculata, purpurea^ at which 
two or three appear to be merely varieties. 

* Tiddington, Index. 

^ Thwaites, Enum, PkmU ZeyL, p. 326. 


L., and D, purpurea, Roxb., are cultivated in gardens, 
but are not found wild. 

The Chinese yam, Dioscorea batatas of Decaisne,^ 
extensively cultivated by the Chinese under the name 
of Sain-in, and introduced by M. de Montigny into 
European gardens, where it remains as a luxury, has 
not hitherto been found wild in China. Other less- 
known species are also cultivated by the Chinese, 
especially the chou-yu, tovr-tchou, chan-yn, mentioned 
in their ancient works on agriculture, and which has 
spherical rhizomes (instead of the pyriform spindles of 
the D. batatas). The names mean, according to Stanis- 
las Julien, mountain arum, whence we may conclude 
the plant is really a native of the country. Dr. 
Bretschneider ^ gives three DioscoreoB as cultivated in 
China (D. batatas, alata, sativa), adding, " The Dioscorea 
is indigenous in China, for it is mentioned in the oldest 
work on medicine, that of the Emperor Schen-nung." 

Dioscorea japonica, Thunberg, cultivated in Japan, 
has also been found in clearings in various localities, 
but Franchet and Savatier* say that it is not posi- 
tively known to what degree it is wild or has strayed 
from cultivation. Another species, more often cultivated 
in Japan, grows here and there in the country according 
to the same authors. They assign it to Dioscorea 
sativa of Linnaeus; but it is known that the famous 
Swede had confounded several Asiatic and American 
species under that name, which must either be aban- 
doned or restricted to one of the species of the Indian 
Archipelago. If we choose the latter course, the true 
D. sativa would be the plant cultivated in Ceylon with 
which Linnseus was acquainted, and which Thwaites 
calls the D, sativa of Linnaeus. Various authors admitted 
the identity of the Ceylon plant with others cultivated 
on the Malabar coast, in Sumatra, Java, the Philippine 
Isles, etc. Blume * asserts that D. sativa, L., to which 

' Decaisne, Histoire et Culture de I'Igname de Chiney in the Revue 
HoHicole, Ist July and Dec. 1853 ; Flore dea Serrea et Jardine, x. pL 971. 

• On the Study and Value, etc., p. 12. 

' Franchet and Savatier, Enum. Plant, Japonias, ii. p. 47. 

* Blame, Enum, Plant, Javai, p. 22. 


he attributes pL 61 in Rheede's Hortua Malabaricus, vol. 
viii., grows in damp places in the mountains of Java and 
of Malabar. In order to put faith in these assertions, it 
would be necessary to have carefully studied the question 
of iroecies from authentic specimens. 

The yam, which is most commonly cultivated in 
the Pacific Isles under the name ubi, is the Dioscorea 
alata of Linnaeus. The authors of the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries speak of it as widely spread in 
Tahiti, in New Guinea, in the Moluccas, etc.^ It is 
divided into several varieties, according to the shape of 
the rhizome. No one pretends to have found this species 
in a wild state, but the flora of the islands whence it 
probably came, in particular that of Celebes and of New 
Guinea, is as yet little known. 

Passing to America, we find there also several species 
of this genus growing wild, in Brazil and Guiana, for 
instance, but it seems more probable that the cultivated 
varieties were introduced. Authors indicate but few culti- 
vated species or varieties (Plumier one, Sloane two) and 
few common names. The most widely spread is yam, 
ignaw/e, or inhame, which is of African origin, according 
to Hughes, and so also is the plant cultivated in his time 
in Barbados.^ 

He says that the word yam means "to eat," in several 
negro dialects on the coast of Guinea. It is true that 
two travellers nearer to the date of the discovery of 
America, whom Humboldt quotes,* heard the word 
igTiame pronounced on the American continent : Ves- 
pucci in 1497, on the coast of Paria ; Cabral in 1500, in 
Brazil. According to the latter, the name was given to 
a root of which bread was made, which would better 
apply to the manioc, and leads me to think there must 
be some mistake, more especially since a passage from 
Vespucci, quoted elsewhere by Humboldt,* shows the 

* Forster, Plant Esculent, p. 56; RnmpliinB, Amhoin, yoI. v., pi. 
120, 121, etc. 

• Hughes, Hist Nat Barb., 1750, p. 226. 

' Hamboldt, Nouvelle Espagne, 2nd edit., 7ol. ii. p. 4G8. 
4 Ibid., p. 403. 


confusion he made between the manioc and the yam. 
D. OliffortiaTWby Lam.> grows wild in Peru^ and in 
Brazil,^ but it is not proved to be cultivated. Presl says 
veroaimiliter colitur, and the Flora Braailienaid does 
not mention cultivation. 

The species chiefly cultivated in French Guiana, 
according to Sagot,® is Dioscorea triloba, Lam., called 
Indian yam, which is also common in Brazil and 
the West India Islands. The common name argues a 
native origin, whereas another species, D. cayenneTtaiSy 
Kunth, also cultivated in Quiana, but under the name of 
negro-cov/atry yam, was most likely brought from Africa, 
an opinion the more probable that Sir W. Hooker likens 
a yam cultivated in Africa on the banks of the Nun and 
the Quorra,* to D. cayenTiensis. Lastly, the free yam 
of Quiana is, according to Dr. Sagot, D. aZata introduced 
from the Malay Archipelago and Polynesia. 

In Africa there are fewer indigenous Dioscorece than 
in Asia and America, and the culture of yams is less 
widely spread. On the west coast, according to Thon- 
ning,^ only one or two species are cultivated ; Lockhardt* 
only saw one in Congo, and that only in one locality. 
Bojer' mentions four cultivated species in Mauritius, 
which are, he says, of Asiatic origin, and one, D. hrd- 
bifera, Lam., from India, if the name be correct He 
asserts that it came from Madagascar, and has spread 
into the woods beyond the plantations. In Mauritius 
it bears the name Cambare Tnarron. Now, camhare 
is something like the Hindu name kaTn, and Tnarron 
(marroon) indicates a plant escaped from cultivation. 
The ancient Egyptians cultivated no yams, which argues 
a cultivation less ancient in India than that of the colo- 
casia. Forskal and Delile mention no yams cultivated 
in Egypt at the present day. 

To sum up : several Dioscorece wild in Asia (especially 

> Henke, in Presl, Rel, p. 133. * Martias, Fl, Bras., ▼. p. 43. 

» Sagot, Btdl. 8oc. Bot. France, 1871, p. 305. 

* Hooker, Fl, Nigrit, p. 53. 

^ Schumacher and Thonning, Besk. Ouin, p. 447. 

* Brown, Congo, p. 49. ' Bojer, Hortua Mawr%tianu», 


in the Asiatic Archipelago), and others less numerous 
growing in America and in Africa, have been introduced 
into cultivation as alimentary plants, probably more 
recently than many other species. This last conjecture is 
based on the absence of a Sanskrit name, on the limited 
geographical range of cultivation, and on the date, which 
appears to be not very ancient^ of the inhabitants of the 
Pacific Isles. 

Arrowroot — Maranta arundindcea, Linnaeus. A 
plant of the family of the Sdtaminece, allied to the genus 
Canna, of which the underground suckers ^ produce the 
excellent fecula called arrowroot. It is cultivated in the 
West India Islands and in several tropical countries of 
continental America. It has also been introduced into 
the old world — on the coast of Guinea, for instance.^ 

Maranta arundinacea is certainly American. Ac- 
cording to Sloane,* it was brought from Dominica to 
Barbados, and thence to Jamaica, which leads us to 
suppose that it was not indigenous in the West Indies. 
Komicke, the last author who studied the genus Ma- 
ranta,* saw several specimens which were gathered in 
Guadaloupe, in St. Thomas, in Mexico, in Central 
America, in Guiana, and in Brazil ; but he did not con- 
cern himself to discover whether they were taken from 
wild, cultivated, or naturalized plants. Collectors hardly 
ever indicate this ; and for the study of the American 
continent (excepting the United States) we are unpro- 
vided with local floras, and especially with floras made 
by botanists residing in the country. In published 
works I find the species mentioned as cultivated^ or 
growing in plantations,® or without any explanation. A 
locality in Brazil, in the thinly peopled province of 
Matto Grosso, mentioned by Komicke, supposes an 
absence of cultivation. Seemann*^ mentions that the 
species is found in sunny spots near Panama. 

^ See Tussac's description, Flore des Antilles, 1. p. 183. 

• Hooker, Niger Flora, p. 531. 

• Sloane, Jamaica^ 1707i vol. i. p. 254. 

• In Bull. 8oe^ dea Natur, de MoscoUf 1822, vol. i. p. 84. 

• Aablet, Guyane, i. p. 3. • Meyer, Flora Essequibo, p. 11. 
' Seemann, Bot, of Herald,, p. 213. 


A species is also cultivated in the "West Indies, Ma^ 
ranta %ifidica, which, Tussac says, was brought from the 
East Indies. Komicke believes that M, ^ramosisaiTna of 
Wallich found at Sillet, in India, is the same species, 
and thinks it is a variety of M. ai^ndinacea. Out of 
thirty-six more or less known species of the genus 
Maranta, thirty at least are of American origin. It is 
therefore unlikely that two or three others should be 
Asiatic. Until Sir Joseph Hookers Flora of British 
India is completed, these questions on the species of the 
Hcitaminea^ and their origin will be very obscure. 

Anglo- Indians obtain arrowroot from another plant 
of the same family, Curcwma angustifolia, Roxburgh, 
which grows in the forests of the Deccan and in Mala- 
bar.^ I do not know whether it is cultivated. 

* Roxburgh, Fl, Ind., i. p. 81 j Porter, The Trojpiccd Agriculturalist ^ 
p. 241 5 Ainslie, Materia Medica^L p. 19* 



Article /.—Vegetables. 

Common Cabbage — Brassica oleracea, Linnaeus. 

The cabbage in its wild state, as it is represented in 
Eng. Bot, t. 637, the Flora Danica, t. 2056, and elsewhere, 
is found on the rocks by the sea-shore : (1) in the Isle of 
Laland, in Denmark, the island of Heligoland, the south 
of England and Ireland, the Channel Isles, and the islands 
off the coast of Charente Inferieure; ^ (2) on the north 
coast of the Mediterranean, near Nice, Genoa, and Lucca.* 
A traveller of the last century, Sibthorp, said that he 
found it at Mount Athos, but tnis has not been confirmed 
by any modern botanist, and the species appears to be 
foreign in Greece, on the shores of the Caspian, as also in 
Siberia, where Pallas formerly said he had seen it, and in 
Persia.® Not only the numerous travellers who have 
explored these countries have not found the cabbage, but 
the winters of the east of Europe and of Siberia appear 
to be too severe for it. Its distribution into somewhat 
isolated places, and in two different regions of Europe, 
suggests the suspicion either that plants apparently indi- 

* Fries, Summa, p. 29 ; Nylander, Gonapectiu, p. 46 ; Bentham, Handb. 
Brit. Fl,, edit. 4, p. 40 ; Mackaj, Fl. Uihem,, p. 28 ; Brebisson, Fl. de 
Normandie, edit. 2, p. 18; Babbington, PrimitioB FL Samicat, p. 8; 
Clavand, Flore de la Oironde, i. p. 68. 

' Bertoloni, Fl, Itdl., vii. p. 146 ; Njlander, Conspectus. 

' Jjedebonr, Fl, Ross, ; Griesbacb, SpiciUjium J^'l, Runieh ; Boissici*, 
Flora OrienidliSf etc. 



genous may in several cases be the result of self-sowing 
from cultivation,^ or that the species was formerly com- 
mon, and is tending to disappear. Its presence in the 
western islands of Europe favours the latter hypothesis, 
but its absence in the islands of the Mediterranean is 
opposed to it.^ 

Let us see whether historical and philological data 
add anything to the facts of geographical botany. 

In the first place, it is in Europe that the 
varieties of cabbage have been formed,* principally since 
the days of the ancient Greeks. Theophrastus dis- 
tinguished three, Pliny double that number, Toumefort 
twenty, De CandoUc more than thirty. These modifica- 
tions did not come from the East — another sign of an 
ancient cultivation in Europe and of a European origin. 

The common names are also numerous in European 
languages, and rare or modem in those of Asia. Without 
repeating a number of names I have given elsewhere,* I. 
shall mention the five or six distinct and ancient roots 
from which the European names are derived. 

Kap or hah in several Keltic and Slav names. The 
French name cahuB comes from it Its origin is clearly 
the same as that of caput, because of the head-shaped 
form of the cabbage. 

Caul, kohl, in several Latin (caulis, stem or cabbage), 
German {Gkdli in Old German, Kohl in modem German, 
kaal in Danish), and Keltic languages ijcaol and kol in 
Breton, cal in Iiish) * 

Bresic, bresych, Wassic, of the Keltic and Latin 
(brassica) languages, whence, probably, berza and verza of 
the Spaniards ana Portuguese, varza of the Roumanians.^ 

' Watson, who !s earef al on these points, doubts whether the cabbage 
is indigenous in England (Compendium of the Cyhele, p. 103), but most 
authors of British floras admit it to be so. 

' Br, halearica and Br, eretiea are perennial, almost woody, not 
biennial ; and botanists are agreed in separating them from Br. olenieea, 

' Aug. Pyr. de Candolle has published a paper on the divisions and 
8abdiri8ion8 of Br. oleracea (TranscLctionB of the Hort. Soc, vol. t., trans* 
lated into German nad in French in the Bihl, Univ, Agric, yoL viii.), 
which is often quoted. 

• Alph. de Candolle, G^ogr. Bot, Raisonndey p. 839. 

• Ad. Piotet, Les.Origines Indo-Europ^ennes, edit. 2, vol. i. p 380. 

• Brandza, Prodr, FL Romane, p. 122. 


Aza of the Basques (Iberians), considered by de 
Charencey^ as proper to the Euskarian tongue, but which 
differs little from the preceding. 

Krambai, crambe, of the Greeks and Latins. 

The variety of names in Keltic languages tends to 
show the existence of the species on the west coast of 
Europe. If the Aryan Kelts had brought the plant from 
Asia, they would probably not have invented names 
taken from three different sources. It is easy to admit, 
on the contraiy, that the Aryan nations, seeing the 
cabbage wild, and perhaps already used in Europe by 
the Iberians or the Ligurians, either invented names or 
adopted those of the earlier inhabitants. 

Philologists have connected the krambai of the 
Greeks with the Persian name Jcaramb, karam, kalam, 
the Kurdish kalam, the Armenian gaghamb;^ others 
with a root of the supposed mother-tongue of the Aryans ; 
but they do not agree in matters of detail. According to 
Fick,^ karaTnbka, in the primitive Indo-Germanic tongue, 
signifies " Oemusepflanze (vegetable), Kohl (cabbage), 
karambha meaning stalk, like cauLis!' He adds that 
karambha, in Sanskrit, is the name of two vegetables. 
Anglo-Indian writers do not mention this supposed 
Sanskrit name, but only a name from a modern Hindu 
dialect, kopee^ Pictet, on his side, speaks of the Sanskrit 
word kalamba, " vegetable stalk, applied to the cabbage." 

I have considerable difficulty, I must own, in ad- 
mitting these Eastern etymologies for the Greco-Latin 
word crambe. The meaning of the Sanskrit word (if it 
exists) is very doubtful, and as to the Persian word, 
we ought to know if it is ancient. I doubt it, for if the 
cabbage had existed in ancient Persia, the Hebrews 
would have known it.^ 

For all these reasons, the species appears to me of 

* De Charencey, Recherehes sur lea Noma Basqttes, in Actea de la 
SociiU Philotogiquey let March, 1869. 

* Ad. Pictet, Lea Originea Indo-Europ^enneaf edit. 2, vol. i. p. 380. 

* Fick, Vorterh, d. Indo-Qerm. SpracheUf p. 34. 

* Fiddingion, Index ; Ainslie, Mat. Med. Ind. 

* BosenmuUer, Bibl. Alierth., mentions do name. 


European origin. The date of its cultivation is probably- 
very ancient, earlier than the Aryan invasions, but no 
doubt the wild plant was gathered before it was cultivated. 

Garden-Cress — Lejyiditmi sativwm, Linnseus. 

This little Crucifer, now used as a salad, was valued 
in ancient times for certain properties of the seeds. Some 
authors believe that it answers to a certain cardamon of 
Dioscorides ; while others apply that name to Emcaria 
aleppica} In the absence of sufficient description, as the 
modem common name is cardamon,^ the fii'st of these 
two suppositions is probably correct. 

The cultivation of the species must date from ancient 
times and be widely diffused, for very different names 
exist : reschad in Arab, tureldezuk ® in Persian, dirges * in 
Albanian, a language derived from the Pelasgic; without 
mentioning names drawn from the similarity of taste 
with that of the water-cress {Nasturtium officinale). 
There are very distinct names in Hindustani and 
Bengali, but none are known in Sanskrit.^ 

At the present day the plant is cultivated in Europe, 
in the north of Africa, in Eastern Asia, India, and else- 
where, but its origin is somewhat obscura I possess 
several specimens gathered in India, where Sir Joseph 
Hooker^ does not consider the species indigenous. 
Kotschy brought it back from Karrak, or Earels: Island, 
in the Persian Gulf. The label does not say that it was 
a cultivated plant. Boissier ^ mentions it without com- 
ment, and he afterwards speaks of specimens from Ispahan 
and Egypt gathered in cultivated ground. Olivier is 
quoted as having found the cress in Persia, but it is not 
said whether it was growing wild.® It has been asserted 
that Sibthorp found it in Cyprus, but reference to his 
work shows it was in the fields.® Poech does not mention 

» See Fraas, Syn. Fl. Class,, pp. 120, 124 ; Lenz, Bot der Alten, p. 617. 
» Sibthorp, Prodr. Fl, Orasc, ii. p. 6 ; Heldreioh, Nvtzpfl, Griechenl., 
p. 47. 

* Ainslie* Mat Med, Ind., i. p. 95. * Heldreioh, Nuts, Or, 

* Fiddington, Index ; Ainslie, Mat. Med, Ind,^ i. p. 95. 

« Hooker, Fl, Brit, Ind,, i. p. 160. » Boissier, Fl, Orient^ vol. i. 

' De Candolle, Syst., ii. p. 533. 

» Sibthorp and Smith, Prodr, Fl, Graece, ii. p. 6. 


it in Cyprus.^ XJnger and Kotschy * do not consider it 
to be wUd in that island. According to Ledebour,® Eoch 
found it round the convent on Mount Ararat; Pallas 
near Sarepta ; Falk on the banks of the Oka, a tributary 
of the Volga ; lastly, H. Martins mentions it in his flora of 
Moscow ; but there is no proof that it was wild in these 
various localities. Lindemann,* in 1860, did not reckon 
the species among those of Russia, and he only indicates it 
as cultivated in the Crimea.** According to Nyman,^ the 
botanist Schur found it wild in Transylvania, while the 
Austro-Hungarian floras either do not mention the species, 
or give it as cultivated, or growing in cultivated ground. 

I am led to believe, by this assemblage of more or 
less doubtful facts, that the plant is of rersian origin, 
whence it may have spread, after the Sanskrit epoch, 
into the gardens of India, Syria, Greece, and Egypt, and 
even as far as Abyssinia.'' 

Purslane — Portidaca oleracea, Linnaeus. 

Purslane is one of the kitchen garden plants most 
widely diffused throughout. the old world from the earliest 
times. It has been transported into America,® where it 
spreads itself, as in Europe, in gardens, among rubbish, 
by the wayside, etc. It is more or less used as a vege- 
table, a medicinal plant, and is excellent food for pigs. 

A Sanskrit name for it is known, lonica or lounia, 
which recurs in the modem languages of India.^ The 

• Poech, Envm. PL Cypriy 1842. 

• linger and Kotsohy, Inseln Cypem.t p. 331. 

• Ledebour, Fl. Boss., i. p. 203. 

• Lindemann, Index Plant. %nRo8S.,Bull. Soc. Nat.Mosc. 1860, vol. xxxiiL 

• Lindemann, Prodr, Fl, Cherson, p. 21. 

• Nyman, Conspectus Fl. Ewop., 1878, p. 65. 
» Sohweinfurth, Beitr. Fl. JEth,, p. 270. 

• In the United States purslane was believed to be of foreign origin 
(Asa Gray, Fl. of Nwihem States, ed. 5 j Bot. of California, i. p. 79), but 
in a recent publication, Asa Gray and Trumbull give reasons for believing 
that it is indigenoos in America as in the old world. Columbus had 
noticed it at San Salvador and at Cuba; Oviedo mentions it in St. 
Domingo and De Lery in Brazil. This is not the testimony of botanists, 
but Nuttall and others found it wild in the upper valley of the Missouri, 
in Colorado, and Texas, where, however, from the date, it might have 
been introduced. — Author's Note, 1884. 

• Piddington, Index to Indian Plants, 


Greek name andrachne and the Latin porlvJaca are 
very different, as also the group of names, ckolza in Per- 
sian, Ichursa or koursa in Hindustani, kourfa karoror in 
Arab and Tartar, which seem to be the origin of kv/rza 
noka in Polish, kurj-noha in Bohemian, Kreusel in Ger- 
man, without speaking of the Russian name schrucha, 
and some others of Eastern Asia.^ One need not be a 
philologist to see certain derivations in these names show- 
ing that the Asiatic peoples in their migrations trans- 
ported with them their names for the plant, but this does 
not prove that they transported the plant itself. They 
may have found it in the countries to which they cama 
On the other hand, the existence of three or four different 
roots shows that European peoples anterior to the Asiatic 
migrations had already names for the species, which is 
consequently very ancient in Europe as well as in Asia. 

It is very difficult to discover in the case of a plant 
so widely diffused, and which propagates itself so easily 
by means of its enormous number of little seeds, whether 
a specimen is cultivated, naturalized by spreading from 
cultivation, or really wild. 

It does not appear to be so ancient in the east as in 
the west of the Asiatic continent, and authors never say 
that it is a wild plant.^ In India the case is very 
different. Sir Joseph Hooker says* that it grows in 
India to the height of five thousand feet in the Himalayas. 
He also mentions having found in the north-west of 
India the variety with upright stem, which is cultivated 
together with the common species in Europe. I find 
nothing positive about the localities in Persia, but so 
many are mentioned, and in countries so little cultivated, 
on the shores of the Caspian Sea, in the neighbourhood of 
the Caucasus, and even in the south of Russia,* that it 
is difficult not to admit that the plant is indigenous in 
that central region whence the Asiatic peoples overran 

* Nemnich, Polyglot. Lex, Naturgesch., ii. p. 1047. 

* Loureiro, Fl. Cochin., i. p. 359 ; Franchet and Savatier, Enum, PL 
Japon,^ i. p. 53 ; Bentham, Fl. Hongkong, p. 127. 

» Hooker, Fl. Brit. Ind., i. p. 240. 

* Ledebour, Fl. Ross., ii. p. 145 ; Lindemann, in Prodr. Fl. Chera., p. 74, 
says, *' In desertis et arenosis inter Cherson et Berislaw, circa Odessam." 


Europe. In Greece the plant is wild as well as culti- 
vated.^ Further to the west, in Italy, etc., we begin to 
find it indicated in floras, but only growing in fields, 
gardens, rubbish-heaps, and other suspicious localities.^ 

Thus the evidence of philology and botany alike show 
that the species is indigenous in the whole of the region 
which extends from the western Himalayas to the south 
of Russia and Greece. 

New Zealand Spinach — Tetragonia expansa, Murray. 

This plant was brought from New Zealand at the time 
of Cook's famous voyage, and cultivated by Sir Joseph 
Banks, and hence its name. It is a singular plant from a 
double point of view. In the first place, it is the only 
cultivated species which comes from New Zealand ; and 
secondly, it belongs to an order of usually fleshy plants, 
the Ficoidece, of which no other species is used. Hor- 
ticulturists ® recommend it as an annual vegetable, of 
which the taste resembles that of spinach, but which 
bears drought better, and is therefore a resource in 
seasons when spinach fails. 

Since Cook s voyage it has been found wild chiefly on 
the sea coast, not only in New Zealand but also in Tas- 
mania, in the south and west of Australia, in Japan, and 
in South America.^ It remains to be discovered whether 
in the latter places it is not naturalized, for it is found 
in the neighbourhood of towns in Japan and Chili.** 

Garden Celery — Apvwm graveolena, Linnaeus. 

Like many Umbellifers which grow in damp places, 
wild celery has a wide range. It extends from Sweden to 
Algeria, Egypt, Abyssinia, and in Asia from the Caucasus 
to Beluchistan, and the mountains of British India.^ 

* Lenz, Bot. der Alien, p. 632 ; Heldreich, Fl. Attisch, Ebene., p. 483. 

• Bertoloni, Fl. J*., vol. v. ; Gnssone, Fl, Sic, vol. i. ; Moris, Fl. Sard,, 
vol. ii. ; Willkomm and Lange, Prodr. Fl. Hisp,, vol. iii. 

' Botanical Magazine, t. 2362 ; Bon Jardinier, 1880, p. 567* 

* Sir J. Hooker, Handbook of New Zealand Flora, p. 84 ; Bentham, 
Flora AustraliensiSf iii. p. 327 ; Franchet and Savatier, Enum, Plant. 
JaponicB, i. p. 177. 

» CL Gay, Flora Chilena, ii. p. 468. 

• Fries, Summa Veget. Scand, ; Munby, Catal. Alger., p. 11 ; Boissier, 
Fl. Orient. J voL ii. p. 856; Schweinfurth and Ascherson, Aufzahlung, 
p. 272; Hooker, Fl. Brit. Ind., ii. p. 679. 


It is spoken of in the Odyssey under the name of 
selinon, and in Theophrastus ; but later, Dioscorides and 
Pliny ^ distinguish between the wild and cultivated 
celery. In the latter the leaves are blanched, which 
greatly diminishes their bitterness. The long course of 
cultivation explains the numerous garden varieties. The 
one which differs more widely from the wild plant is that 
of which the fleshy root is eaten cooked. 

Chervil — Scandix cerefolium, Linnaeus; Anth^civs 
cerefolium, Hoffmann. 

Not long ago the origin of this little Umbellifer, so com- 
mon in our gardens, was unknown. Like many annuals, 
it sprang up on rubbish-heaps, in hedges, ^in waste 
places, and it was doubted whether it should be con- 
sidered wild. In the west and south of Europe it seems 
to have been introduced, and more or less naturalized ; 
but in the south-east of Russia and in western temperate 
Asia it appears to be indigenous. Steven ^ tells us that 
it is found " here and there in the woods of the Crimea." 
Boissier ® received several specimens from the provinces 
to the south of the Caucasus, from Turcomania and the 
mountains of the north of Persia, localities of which the 
species is probably a native. It is wanting in the floras 
of India and the east of Asia. 

Greek authors do not mention it. The first mention 
of the plant by ancient writers occurs in Columella and 
Pliny,* that is, at the beginning of the Christian era. 
It was then cultivated. Pliny calls it cerefolium. The 
species was probably introduced into the Greco-Roman 
world after the time of Theophrastus, that is in the 
course of the three centuries which preceded our era. 

Parsley — PetroselinuTn sativum, Moench. 

This biennial Umbellifer is wild in the south of Europe, 
from Spain to Turkey. It has also been found at 
Tlemcen in Algeria, and in Lebanon.^ 

> Dioscorides, Mat Med., 1. 8, o. 67, 68 ; Pliny, Hist., 1. 19, o. 7, 8 ; 
Lenz, Bot der Alien Qriechen wnd Romery p. 557. 

' Steven, Verzeichniss Taurischen Halbinselrif p. 183. 

' Boissier, Fl. Orient ii. p. 913. 

* Lenz, Bot d. Alt Or, und JR., p. 572. 

' Munbj, Catal. Alger,, edit. 2, p. 22 ; Boissier, Fl, Orient, ii. p. 857. 


Dioscorides and Pliny speak of it under the names 
of Petroselinon and Petroselinum,^ but only as a wild 
medicinal plant. Nothing proves that it was cultivated in 
their time. In the Middle Ages Charlemagne counted it 
among the plants which he ordered to be cultivated in 
his gardens.^ Olivier de Serres in the sixteenth century 
cultivated parsley. English gardeners received it in 
1 548.® Although this cultivation is neither ancient nor 
important, it has already developed two varieties, which 
would be called species if they were found wild ; the 
parsley with crinkled leaves, and that of which the fleshy 
root is edible. 

Smymium, or Alexanders — Smymivmi olus-atrwrn, 

Of all the Umbellifers used as vegetables, this was one 
of the commonest in gardens for nearly fifteen centuries, 
and it is now abandoned. We can trace its beginning 
and end. Theophrastus spoke of it as a medicinal plant 
under the name of Ipposelinon, but three centuries later 
Dioscorides* says that either the root or the leaves 
might be eaten, which implies cultivation. The Latins 
called it olua-atrum, Charlemagne olisajtv/m, and com- 
manded it to be sown in his farms.^ The Italians made 
great use of it under the name vaacerone} At the end 
of the eighteenth century the tradition existed in Eng- 
land that this plant had been formerly cultivated ; later 
English and French horticulturists do not mention it.'' 

The Smymimn olus-atrum is wild throughout 
Southern Europe, in Algeria, Syria, and Asia Minor.® 

Com Salad, or Lamb's Lettuce — Valei^nella olitoria, 

> Diosoorides, Mat. Med., 1. 3, o. 70 ; Pliny, Hist, 1. 20, oh. 12. 
' The list of these plants may be found in Meyer, Qesch. der Bot., 
iii, p. 401. 

* Phillips, Com/panion to the Kitchen Oarderif ii. p. 85. 

* Theophrastus, Hist, 1. 1, 9 ; 1. 2, 2 ; I. 7, 6 j Dioscorides, Mat. Med., 
1. 3, c. 71. 

* E. Meyer, Oesch. der Bot., iii. p. 401. 

* Targioni, Cenni Storici, p. 58. 

' Engliah Botany, t. 230 ; Phillips, Companion to the Kitchen Garden; 
Le Bon Jardinier, 

* Boissier, Fl. Orient., ii. p. 927. 


Frequently cultivated as a salad, this annual, of the 
Valerian family, is found wild throughout temperate 
Europe to about the sixtieth degree of latitude, in 
Southern Europe, in the Canary Isles, Madeira, and the 
Azores, in the north of Africa, Asia Minor, and the 
Caucasus.^ It often grows in cultivated ground, near 
villages, etc., which renders it somewhat difficult to 
know where it grew before cultivation. It is mentioned, 
however, in Sardinia and Sicily, in the meadows and 
mountain pastures.^ I suspect that it is indigenous only 
in these islands, and that everywhere else it is introduced 
or naturalized. The grounds for this opinion are the fact 
that no name which it seems possible to assign to this 
plant has been found in Greek or Latin authors. We 
cannot even name any botanist of the Middle Ages or 
of the sixteenth century who has spoken of it. Neither 
is it mentioned among the vegetables used in France in 
the seventeenth century, either by the Jardinier Frangais 
of 1651, or by Laurenberg's work, HorticuZtura (Frankfurt, 
1632). The cultivation and even the use of this salad 
appear to be modern, a fact which has not been noticed. 

Cardoon — Cynara carduncvZus, Linnaeus. 

Artiehoke — Cy Tiara scolymvs, Linnaeus; C. cardun- 
culvs, var. sativay Moris. 

For a long time botanists have held the opinion that 
the artichoke is probably a form obtained by cultivation 
from the wild cardoon.® Careful observations have lately 
proved this hypothesis. Moris,* for instance, having cul- 
tivated, in the garden at Turin, the wild Sardinian plant 
side by side with the artichoke, affirmed that true 
characteristic distinctions no longer existed. 

Willkomm and Lange,^ who have carefully observed 
the plant in Spain, both wild and cultivated, share the 

^ Krok, Monographie des ValerianelUif Stockholm, 1864, p. 88; 
Boissier, Fl. Orient, iii. p. 104. 

* Bertoloni, Fl. Ital., i. p. 185 ; Moris, Fl, Sard., ii. p. 314 j Gussone, 
Synopsis Fl. SicvlcBf edit. 2, vol. i. p. 30. 

' Dodoens, Hist, Plant., p. 724; Liunssos, Species, p. 1159; De Caa- 
dolle, Prodr., vi. p. 620. 

* Moris, Flora Sardoa, ii. p. 61. 

* Willkomm and Lange, Prodr. Fl. Hisp., ii. p. 180. 


same opinion. Moreover, the artichoke has not been 
found out of gardens ; and since the Mediterranean 
region, the home of all the Cynarw, has been thoroughly 
explored, it may safely be asserted that it exists nowhere 

The cardoon, in which we must also include C, 
horrida of Sibthorp, is indigenous in Madeira and in the 
Canary Isles, in the mountains of Marocco near Mogador, 
in the south and east of the Iberian peninsula, the 
south of France, of Italy, of Greece, and in the islands 
of the Mediterranean Sea as far as Cyprus.^ Munby ^ does 
not allow C, carduTimlus to be wild in Algeria, but 
he does admit Cynara humilis of Liimgeus, which is 
considered by a few authors as a variety. 

The cultivated cardoon varies a good deal with regard 
to the division of the leaves, the number of spines, and 
the size — diversities which indicate long cultivation. 
The Bomans eat the receptacle which bears the flowers, 
and the Italians also eat it, under the name of girdlo. 
Modem nations cultivate the cardoon for the fleshy part 
of the leaves, a custom which is not yet introduced into 

The artichoke offers fewer varieties, which bears out 
the opinion that it is a form derived from the cardoon. 
Targioni/ in an excellent article upon this plant, 
relates that the artichoke was broiight from Naples to 
Florence in 1466, and he proves that ancient writers, 
even Athenseus, were not acquainted with the artichoke, 
but only with the wiJd and cultivated cardoons. I must 
mention, however, as a sign of its antiquity in the north 
of Africa, that the Berbers have two entirely distinct 
names for the two plants : addad for the cardoon, taga 
for the artichoke.** 

* Webb, Phyt Canar,, iii. sect. 2, p. 384 ; Ball, Spicilegium Fl. Maroc.y 
p. 524 ; Willkomm and Lange, Pr. Fl. Hisp, ; Bertoloni, Fl. Ital., ix. p, 
86 ; Boissier, Fl. Orient, iii. p. 357 ; Unger and Kotschy, Inaeln Cypern. 
p. 246. 

* Mnnby, Catal.^ edit. 2. 

* Heldreich, Nutzpfianzen OriechenlandSj p. 27. 

* Targioni, Cenni Storiciy p. 52. 

* Dictionnaire FranQaits-Berh^re, published by the Government, 1 vol. 
in Sva 


It is believed that the Jcactos, hinara, and acolimos of 
the Greeks, and the carduus of Roman horticulturists, 
were Gynara cardunculus^ although the most detailed 
description, that of Theophrastus, is sufficiently confused. 
"The plant," he said, "grows in Sicily " — as it does to this 
day — "and," he added, "not in Greece." It is, therefore, 
possible that the plants observed in our day in that 
country may have been naturalized from cultivation. 
According to Athenseus,^ the Egyptian king Ptolemy 
Energetes, of the second century before Christ, had found 
in Libya a great quantity of wild hinara, by which his 
soldiers had profited. 

Although the indigenous species was to be found at 
such a little distance, I am very doubtful whether the 
ancient Egyptians cultivated the cardoon or the artichoke. 
Pickering and Unger ® believed they recognized it in some 
of the drawings on the monuments ; but the two figures 
which Unger considers the most admissible seem to me 
extremely doubtful. Moreover, no Hebrew name is known, 
and the Jews would probably have spoken of this vege- 
table had they seen it in Egypt The diffusion of the 
species in Asia must have taken place somewhat late. 
There is an Arab name, hirschuff or kerschouff, and a 
Persian name, kunghir,^ but no Sanskrit name, and the 
Hindus have taken the Persian word kunjir,^ which 
shows that it was introduced at a late epoch. Chinese 
authors do not mention any Cynara.^ Tne cultivation 
of the artichoke was only introduced into England in 
154j8.^ One of the most curious facts in the history of 
Cynara carduncidua is its naturalization in the present 
century over a vast extent of the Pampas of Buenos 
Ayres, where its abundance is a hindrance to travellers.® 

' Theophrastus, Hist, I. 6, o. 4 ; Pliny, Hist.j 1. 19, o. 8; Lenz, 
Bot. der Alten Qriechen and Romer, p. 480. 

* Athenseas, Deipn.j ii. 84. 

* Pickering, Chron, Arrangement, p. 71 ; Unger, PJlanzen der Alten 
JEgyptenSy p. 46, figs. 27 and 28. 

* Ainslie, Mat, Med. Ind.^ i. p. 22. ' Piddington, Index. 
^ Bretsohneider, Study , etc, and Letters of 1881. 

' Phillips, Companion to the Kitchen Garden^ p. 22. 

* Aug. de Saint Hilary, Plantes Remarkahles du Bresilj Introd., p. 58 ; 
Darwin, AnimaZt and Plants under Domestication, ii. p. 34. 


It is becoming equally troublesome in Chili.^ It is not 
asserted that the artichoke has anywhere been naturalized 
in this manner, and this is another sign of its artificial 

Lettuce — Latuca Scariola, var. sativa. 

Botanists are agreed in considering the cultivated 
lettuce as a modification of the wild species called Latuca 
8can*iola? The latter grows in temperate and southern 
Europe, in the Canary Isles, Madeira,® Algeria,* Abys- 
sinia,^ and in the temperate regions of Eastern Asia. 
Boissier speaks of specimens from Arabia Petrea to 
Mesopotamia and the Caucasus.® He mentions a variety 
with crinkled leaves, similar therefore to some of our 
garden lettuces, which the traveller Hausknecht brought 
with him from the mountains of Kurdistan. I have a 
specimen from Siberia, found near the river Irtysch, and 
it is now known with certainty that the species grows in 
the north of India, in Kashmir, and in NepaU In all these 
countries it is often near cultivated ground or among 
rubbish, but often also in rocky ground, clearings, or 
meadows, as a really wild plant. 

The cultivated lettuce often spreads from gardens, 
and sows itself in the open country. No one, as far as I 
know, has observed it in such a case for several genera- 
tions, or has tried to cultivate the wild i. Scariola^ to 
see whether the transition is easy from the one form to 
the other. It is possible that the original habitat of the 
species has been enlarged by the diffiision of cultivated 
lettuces reverting to the wild form. It is known that 
there has been a great increase in the number of culti- 
vated varieties in the coui'se of the last two thousand 

* Cl. Gay, Flora Chilena, iv. p. 317. 

' The author who has gone into this question most carefully is Bischoff, 
in his Beitrdge zur Flora Deutschlands und der Schweitz, p. 184. See 
also Moris, Flora' Sardoa^ ii. p. 530. 

* Webb, Phytogr, Canariensia, iii. p. 422 ; Lowe, Flora of Madeira^ 
p. 544. 

* Munby, Catal., edit. 2, p. 22, under the name of L. sylvestris, 
' Schweinfurth and Ascherson, Aufzahlwng^ p. 285. 

* Boissier, FL Orient.^ iii. p. 809. 
' Clarke, Compos, Indicai, p. 263. 


years. Theophrastus indicated three ; ^ le Bon Jardinier 
of 1880 gives forty varieties existing in France. 

The ancient Greeks and Romans cultivated the lettuce, 
especially as a salad. In the East its cultivation possibly 
dates from an earlier epoch. Nevertheless it does not 
appear, from the original common names both in Asia and 
Europe, that this plant was generally or very anciently 
cultivated. There is no Sanskrit nor Hebrew name 
known, nor any in the reconstructed Aryan tongue. A 
Greek name exists, tridax; Latin, latuca; Persian and 
Hindu, A;aA7i; and the analogous Arabic form chms or chaaa. 
The Latin form exists also, slightly modified, in the Slav 
and Germanic languages,^ which may indicate either that 
the Western Aryans diffused the plant, or that its culti- 
vation spread with its name at a later date from the 
south to the north of Europe. 

Dr. Bretschneider has confirmed my supposition ® 
that the lettuce is not very ancient in China, and that it 
was introduced there from the West. He says that the 
first work in which it is mentioned dates from A.D. 600 
to A.D. 900.* 

Wild Chicory — GichoriuTn Intyhus, Linnaeus. 

The wild perennial chicory, which is cultivated as a 
salad, as a vegetable, as fodder, and for its roots, which 
are used to mix with coffee, grows throughout Europe, 
except in Lapland, in Marocco, and Algeria,^from Eastern 
Europe to Afghanistan and Beluchistan,** in the Punjab 
and Kashmir,' and from Russia to Lake Baikal in Siberia.® 
The plant is certainly wild in most of these countries ; 
but as it often grows by the side of roads and fields, it is 
probable that it has been transported by man from its 
original home. This must be the case in India, for there 
is no known Sanskrit name. 

The Greeks and Romans employed this species wild 

* Theophrastas, 1. 7, o. 4. ' Nemnich, Polygl, Lexicon, 

* A. de CandoUe, Qdogr, Bot. BaiaonnSef p. 843. 

* Bretschneider, Stvdy and Value of Chinese Botanical Works, p. 17. 

* Ball, Sjpidlegium Fl, Marocc.y p. 534; Munby, Catul., edit. 2, p. 21. 

* Boissier, Fl. Orient, iii. p. 715. 
' Clarke, Compos. Ind., p. 250. 

® Ledebour, Fl. Boss., ii. p. 774, 


and cultivated,^ but their notices of it are too brief to be 
clear. According to Heldreich, the modern Greeks apply 
the general name of IdchaTia, a vegetable or salad, to 
seventeen different chicories, of which he gives a list.^ 
He says that the species cotnmonly cultivated is Gicho^ 
rium divaricatwm, Schousboe (G pumilum, Jacquin); 
but it is an annual, and the chicory of which Theophrastus 
speaks was perennial. 

Endive — Cichorium Endivia, Linnaeus. 

The white chicories or endives of our gardens are 
distinguished from GichoriuTn Intyhus, in that they are 
annuals, and less bitter to the taste. Moreover, the hairs 
of the pappus which crowns the seed are four times longer, 
and unequal instead of being equal. As long as this 
plant was compared with. G. IntyhuSy it was diflScult 
not to admit two species. The origin of (7. Endivia 
is uncertain. When we received, forty years ago, speci- 
mens of an Indian Gichorium, which Hamilton named 
(7. cosmia, they seemed to us so like the endive that we 
supposed the latter to have an Indian origin, as has been 
sometimes suggested ; ^ but Anglo-Indian botanists said, 
and continue to assert, that in India the plant only grows 
under cultivation.* The uncertainty persisted as to the 
geographical origin. After this, several botanists ^ con- 
ceived the idea of comparing the endive with an annual 
species, wild in the region of the Mediterranean, Gicfvo- 
rium pumilum, Jacquin (G. divaHcatuTn, Schousboe), 
and the differences were found to be so slight that some 
have suspected, and others have affirmed, their specific 
identity. For my part, after having seen wild specimens 
from Sicily, and compared the good illustrations published 
by Reichenbach (Icones, vol. xix., pis. 1357, 1358), I 
am disposed to take the cultivated endives for varieties 

* Dioscorides, ii. o. 160 ; Pliny, xix. c. 8 ; Palladius, xi. o. 11, See 
other authors qnoted by Lenz, Bot. d. Alien, p. 483. 

* Heldreich, Die Nutzpflanzen Qriechenlands, pp. 28, 76. 

* AupT. Pyx. de Candolie, Frodr,, vii. p. 84 ; Alph. de CandoUe, Q4ogr. 
Bot.f p. 845. 

* Clarke, Compos. Ind., p. 250. 

* De Viviani, Flora Dalmaty ii. p. 97 ; Schultz in Webb, Phyt Canar., 
sect, ii p. 391; Boissier, Ft. Orient , iii p. 716. 


of the same species as G. pumilum. In this case the 
oldest name being G, Endivia, it is the one which ought 
to be retained, as has been done by Schultz. It resembles, 
moreover, a popular name common to several languages. 

The wild plant exists in the whole region, of which 
the Mediterranean is the centre, from Madeira,^ Marocco,^ 
and Algeria,^ as far as Palestine,* the Caucasus, and 
Turkestan.*^ It is very common in the islands of the 
Mediterranean and in Greece. Towards the west, in 
Spain and Madeira, for instance, it is probable that it has 
become naturalized from cultivation, judging from the 
positions it occupies in the fields and by the wayside. 

No positive proof is found in ancient authors of the 
use of this plant by the Greeks and Romans ; * but it 
is probable that they made use of it and several other 
GichoHa. The common names tell us nothing, since they 
may have been applied to two diflFerent species. These 
names vary little,^ and suggest a cultivation of Graeco- 
Koman origin. A Hindu name, kasni, and a Tamul one, 
koschi,^ are mentioned, but no Sanskrit name, and this 
indicates that the cultivation of this plant was of late 
origin in the east. 

Spinach — Spinacia oleracea, Linnaeus. 

This vegetable was unknown to the Greeks and 
Romans.^ It was new to Europe in the sixteenth century/® 
and it has been a matter of dispute whether it should bo 
called apanadta, as coming from Spain, or spinacia, from 
its prickly fruit ^^ It was afterwards shown that the 
name comes from the Arabic isfdriddsch, eshanach, or 
sepanach, according to different authors.^^ The Persian 

• Lowe, Flora of Madeira, p. 521. * Ball, Bpicilegium, p. 534. 

• Munby, Catal., edit. 2, p. 21. * Boissier, Ft, Orient., iii. p. 716. 

• Bange, Beitrdge zur Flora Ruaslands und Central Aaiens, p. 197. 

• Lenz, BoU der Alien, p. 483 j Heldreich, Die Nutzpfianzen Oriechen 
lands, p. 74. 

' ^emnich, Polygl, Lex., at the word Cichorium Endivia,, 

• Boyle, III. Himal,, p. 247 ; Piddington, Index. 

' J. Baahin, Hist., ii. p. 964 ; Fraas, Syn, Ft. Class. ; Lenz, Bot. der 

" Brassavola, p. 176. " Mathioli, ed Valgr., p. 343. 

^* Ebn Baithar, neberitz von Sondtheimer, i. p. 34; Forskal, Egypt, 
p. 77 J Delile, III. Mgypt, p. 29. 


name is ispany, or ispanaj} and the Hindu isfany, or 
palak, according to Piddington, and also pinnis, accord- 
ing to the same and to Roxburgh. The absence of any- 
Sanskrit name shows a cultivation of no great antiquity 
in these regions. Loureiro saw the spinach cultivated 
at Canton, and Maximowicz in Mantschuria ; ^ but 
Bretschneider tells us that the Chinese name signifies 
herb of Persia, and that Western vegetables were com- 
monly introduced into China a century before the Chris- 
tian era.® It is therefore probable that the cultivation 
of this plant began in Persia from the time of the Graeco- 
Boman civilization, or that it did not quickly spread 
either to the east or to the west of its Persian origin. 
No Hebrew name is known, so that the Arabs must have 
received both plant and name from the Persians. No- 
thing leads us to suppose that they carried this vegetable 
into Spain. Ebn Baithar, who was living in 1235, was of 
Malaga ; but the Arabic works he quotes do not say where 
the plant was cultivated, except one of them, which says 
that its cultivation was common at Nineveh and Babylon. 
Herrera's work on Spanish agriculture does not mention 
the species, although it is inserted in a supplement of 
recent date, whence it is probable that the edition of 
1513 did not speak of it ; so that the European cultiva- 
tion must have come from the East about the fifteenth 

Some popular works repeat that spinach is a native 
of Northern Asia, but there is nothing to confirm this 
supposition. It evidently comes from the empire of the 
ancient Medes and Persians. According to Bosc,* the 
traveller, Olivier brought back some seeds of it, found in 
the East in the open country. This would be a positive 
proof, if the produce of these seeds had been examined 
by a botanist in order to ascertain the species and the 
variety. In the present state of our knowledge it must 

* Boxbnrgh, Fl, Jrul., ed. 1832, v. iii. p. 771, applied to Spinacta 
tetandra, which seems to be the same species. 

* Kaximowicz, PHmitics FL Amur,, p. 222. 

■ Bretschneider, Sttidy and Value of Chin„ Bot. Works, pp. 17, 15. 

* Diet d^Agric, v. p. 906. 

-* J ^ 

J . 


be owned that spinach has not yet been found in a 
wild state, unless it be a cultivated modification of 
Spinada tetandra, Steven, which is wild to the south of 
the Caucasus, in Turkestan, in Persia, and in Afghanis- 
tan, and which is used as a vegetable under the name of 

Without entering here into a purely botanical dis- 
cussion, I may say that, after reading the descriptions 
quoted by Boissier, and looking at Wight's^ plate of 
Spinada tetandra, Roxb., cultivated in India, and the 
specimens of several herbaria, I see no decided differ- 
ence between this plant and the cultivated spinach with 
prickly fruit. The term tetandra implies that one of 
the plants has five and the other four stamens, but the 
number varies in our cultivated spinaches.® 

If, as seems probable, the two plants are two varieties, 
the one cultivated, the other sometimes wild and some- 
times cultivated, the oldest name, 8, oleracea, ought to 
persist, especially as the two plants are found in the 
cultivated grounds of their original country. 

The Dutch or great spinach, of which the fruit has no 
spines, is evidently a garden product. Tragus, or Bock 
was the first to mention it in the sixteenth century.* 

Amaranth. — Amaranius gangeticus, Linnaeus. 

Several annual amaranths are cultivated as a green 
vegetable in Mauritius, Bourbon, and the Seychelles Isles, 
under the name of bride de Malabar.^ This appears 
to be the principal species. It is much cultivated in 
India. Anglo-Indian botanists mistook it for a time 
for Arriarantiis oleraceus of Linnaeus, and Wight gives 
an illustration of it under this name,® but it is now 
acknowledged to be a different species, and belongs to 
A. gangeticus. Its numerous varieties, differing in size, 
colour, etc., are called in the Telinga dialect tota kura, 
with the occasional addition of an adjective for each. 

> Boissier, Fl. Orient, vi. p. 234. « Wight, Icones, t. 818. 

• Nees, Gen, Plant. Fl. Germ., 1. 7, pi. 15. 

* Baahin, Hist., ii. p. 965. 

* A. gangeticus t A. tristis, and A, hyhridis of Linns&ns, aocordiog to 
Baker, Flora qf Mauritiiis, p. 266. 

• Wight, Iconea, p. 715. 


There are other names in Bengali and Hindustani The 
young shoots sometimes take the place of asparagus 
at the table of the English.^ A, vielancholicuSy often 
grown as an ornamental plant in European gardens, is 
considered one of the forms of this species. 

Its original home is perhaps India, but I cannot dis- 
cover that the plant has ever been found there in a wild 
state ; at least, this is not asserted by any author. All 
the species of the genus Amararvtus spread themselves in 
cultivated ground, on rubbish-heaps by the wayside, and 
thus become half-naturalized in hot countries as well as 
in Europe. Hence the extreme difficulty in distinguish- 
ing the species, and above all in guessing or proving their 
origin. The species most nearly akin to A. gangeticus 
appear to be Asiatic. 

A. gangeticus is said by trustworthy authorities to 
be wild in Egypt and Abyssinia;^ but this is perhaps 
only the result of such naturalization as I spoke of 
just now. The existence of numerous varieties and 
of different names in India, render its Indian origin most 

The Japanese cultivate as vegetables A, caudatus, 
A. mangostanus, and A. Tnelancholicus (or gangeticus) of 
Linnaeus,® but there is no proof that any of them are 
indigenous. In Java A. polystachyns, Blume, is cul- 
tivated; it is very common among rubbish, by the 
wayside, etc.* 

I shall speak presently of the species grown for the 

Leek — Allium ampeloprasum, var. Porrum. 

According to the careful monograph by J. Gay,^ the 
leek, as early writers^ suspected, is only a cultivated 
variety of Allium am^pelojn^asuw, of Linnaeus, so com- 
mon in the East, and in the Mediterranean region, 

* Roxburgh, Flora Indicaf edit. 2, vol. iii. p. 606. 

* Boissier, Flora Orientalis, iv. p. 990 ; Schweinf urth and Ascherson, 
Aufzahlung, etc., p. 289. 

* Franchet and Savatier, Enum, Plant. JaponicSf i. p. 390, 

* Hasskarl, Plant. Javan. BarioreSf p. 431. 

* Gay, Ann. des 8c, Nat,, 3rd series, vol. viii. 

' Limu9ii8, Species PI. ; De CandoUe, Fl. Franq., ill. p. 219. 


especially in Algeria, which in Central Europe sometimes 
becomes naturalized in vineyards and round ancient 
cultivations.^ Gay seems to have mistrusted the indica- 
tions of the floras of the south of Europe, for, contrary 
to his method with other species of which he gives the 
localities out of Algeria, he only quotes in the present 
case the Algerian localities; admitting, however, the 
identity of name in the authors for other countries. 

The cultivated variety of Forrwm has not been found 
wild. It is only mentioned in doubtful localities, such 
as vineyards, gardens, etc Ledebour^ indicates for A. 
aTfypd(ypTa&wm the borders of the Crimea, and the provinces 
to wie south of the Caucasus. Wallich brought a specimen 
from Kamaon, in India,^ but we cannot be sure that it 
was wild. The works on Cochin-China (Loureiro), 
China (Bretschneider), and Japan (Franchet and Savatier) 
make no mention of it. 

Article IT, — ^Fodder. 

Lucem — Medicago sativa, Linnaeus. 

The lucem was known to the Greeks and Romans. 
They called it in Greek Toedicai, in Latin Tnedica, or herba 
TTi^cfica, because it had been brought from Media at the time 
of the Persian war, about 470 years before the Christian 
era.* The Romans often cultivated it, at any rate from the 
beginning of the first or second century. Cato does not 
speak of it,® but it is mentioned by Varro, Columella, and 
Virgil. De Gasparin® notices that Crescenz, in 1478, does 
not mention it in Italy, and that in 1711 Tull had not 
seen it beyond the Alps. Targioni, however, who could 
not be mistaken on this head, says that the cultivation 
of lucem was maintained in Italy, especially in Tuscany, 

^ Koch, Synopsis Fl. Qerm, ; Babington, Man, of Brit Bot. $ English 
Bot,^ etc. 

• Ledebour, Flora Ross,, iv. p. 163. 

• Baker, Journal of Bot,^ 1874, p. 295. 

* Strabo, xii. p. 560 ; Pliny, bk. xviii. o. 16» 

* Hehn, Cvlturpflanzenf etc., p. 355. 

' Gagparin, Gou/rs dHAgric, iv. p. 424. 


from ancient timeH.^ It is rare in modem Greece.* 
French cultivators have often given to the lucern the 
name of sainfoin^ which belongs properly to Ono- 
hrychis sativa; and this transposition still exists, for 
instance in the neighbourhood of Geneva. The name 
lucem has been supposed to come from the valley of 
Luzerne, in Piedmont; but there is another and more 
probable origin. The Spaniards had an old name, eruye, 
mentioned by J. Bauhin,® and the Catalans call it userdas^ 
whence perhaps the patois name in the south of France, 
laouzeraOf nearly akin to Ivaeme. It was so commonly 
cultivated in Spain that the Italians have sometimea 
called it herba apagna^ The Spaniards have, besides the 
names already given, Tnidga, or mdga, which appears to 
come from Medica, but they principally used names 
derived from the Arabic — alfafa, alfasafat, alfalfa. In 
the thirteenth century, the famous physician Ebn Baithar, 
who wrote at Malaga, uses the Arab word Jiafiaai;, which 
he derives from the Persian isjtst^ It will be seen that, 
if we are to trust to the common names, the origin of 
the plant would be either in Spain, Piedmont, or rersia. 
Fortunately botanists can furnish direct and possible 
proofs of the original home of the species. 

It has been found wild, with every appearance of an 
indigenous plant, in several provinces of Anatolia, to the 
south of the Caucasus, in several parts of Persia, in 
Afghanistan, in Beluchistan,^ and in Kashmir.^ In the 
south of Russia, a locality mentioned by some authors, 
it is perhaps the result of cultivation as well as in 
the south of Europe. The Greeks may, therefore, have 
introduced the plant from Asia Minor as well as from 
India, which extended from the north of Persia. 

This origin of the lucem, which is well established, 

' Targioni-Tozzetti, Cenni 8torici, p. 34. 

' Fraas, Synopaia Fl, Class., p. 63; Heldreich, Die Nutzpflanzen 
^riechenlandSf^p. 70, 
^^* Banhin, Hist. Plant, ii. p. 381. * Colmeiro, Oatal, 

* Tozzetti, Dizion, Hot. 

* Ebn Baithar, HeU und Nahrungsmittel, translated from Arabic by 
Sontheimer, vol. ii. p. 257. 

^ Boissier, Fl, Orient., ii. p. 94. • Boyle, HI. Himal., p. 197. 


makes me note as a singular fact that no Sanskrit name 
is known.^ Clover and sainfoin have none either, which 
leads us to suppose that the Aryans had no artificial 

Sainfoin — Hedysarum Ondbrychia, Linnaeus ; Onobry- 
chis sativa, Lamarck. 

This leguminous plant, of which the usefulness in the 
dry and chalky soils of temperate regions is incontestable, 
has not been long in cultivation. The Greeks did not 
grow it, and their descendants have not introduced it 
into their agriculture to this day.^ The plant called 
Onobrychis by Dioscorides and Pliny, is Onobrychis 
Capvi-Galli of modem botanists,® a species wild in Greece 
and elsewhere, which is not cultivated. The sainfoin, or 
lupivslla of the Italians, was highly esteemed as fodder 
in the south of France in the time of Olivier de Serres,* 
that is to say, in the sixteenth century ; but in Italy it 
was only in the eighteenth century that this cultivation 
spread, particularly in Tuscany.^ 

Sainfoin is a herbaceous plant, which grows wild in 
the temperate parts of Europe, to the south of the 
Caucasus, round the Caspian Sea,® and even beyond Lake 
Baikal.^ In the south of Europe it grows only on the 
hills. Gussone does not reckon it among the wild species 
of Sicily, nor Moris among those of Sardinia, nor Munby 
among those of Algeria. 

No Sanskrit, Persian, or Arabic names are known. 
Everything tends to show that the cultivation of this 
plant originated in the south of France as late perhaps 
as the fifteenth century. 

French Honeysnckle, or Spanish. Sainfoin — Hedysarum 
coronarium, Linnaeus. 

The cultivation of this leguminous plant, akin to the 

' Piddin^ton, Index. 

■ Heldreich, Nutzpflanzen OriechenlandSj p. 72. 

• Fraas, Synopsis Fl. ClcLsa., p. 58; Lenz, Bot. der Alten Or. una 
Rdm,^ p. 731. 

• O. de Serrea, ThMtre de VAgric, p. 242. 

• Targioni.Tozzetti, Cenni StoHciy p. 34. 

• Ledebonr, FL Ross., i. p. 708 ; Boissier, Fl. Or., p. 532. 
^ Turczaninow, Flora Baical. Dahur., i. p. 340. 


sainfoin, and of which a good illustration may be found 
in the Flora des Senses et des Jardins, vol. xiii. pi. 
1382, has been diffused in modem times through Italy, 
Sicily, Malta, and the Balearic Isles.^ Marquis Grimaldi, 
who first pointed it out to cultivators in 1766, had seen 
it at Seminara, in Lower Calabria ; De Gasparin ^ recom- 
mends it for Algeria, and it is probable that cultiva- 
tors under similar conditions in Australia, at the Cape, 
in South America or Mexico, would do well to try it. 
In the neighbourhood of Orange, in Algeria, the plant 
did not survive the cold of 6** centigrade. 

Hedyaarwm coronarium grows in Italy from Genoa 
to Sicily and Sardinia,® in the south of Spain* and 
in Algeria^** where it is rare. It is, therefore, a species 
of limited geographical area. 

Purple Clover — TrifoUum pratense, Linnaeus. 

Clover was not cultivated in ancient times, although 
the plant was doubtless known to nearly all the peoples 
of Europe and of temperate Western Asia. Its use was 
first introduced into Flanders in the sixteenth century, 
perhaps even earlier, and, according to Schwerz, the 
Protestants expelled by the Spaniards carried it into 
Germany, where they established themselves under the 
protection of the Elector Palatine. It was also from 
Flanders that the English received it in 1633, through 
the influence of Weston, Earl of Portland, then Lord 

TrifoUum prateriM is wild throughout Europe, in 
Algeria,^ on the mountains of Anatolia, in Armenia, 
and in Turkestan,® in Siberia towards the Altai Moun- 
tains,^ and in Kashmir and GarwhalL^® 

' Targioni-Tozzetti, Cenni Storici, p. 35 ; Mar^s and Virgineix, Catal 
des Baliarea, p. 100. 

• De Gasparin, Coura d'Agric, iv. p. 472. 

• Bertoloni, Flora Ital., viii. p. 6. 

• Willkomm and Lange, Prodr, Fl. Hiftp,, iii. p. 262. 
' Mnnby, Catal., edit. 2, p. 12. 

' De Crasparin, Coura d'AgriCf iv. p. 445, according to Schwerz and 
A. Yonng. 

' Hanby, Caiahy edit. 2, p. 11. ^ Boissier, FL Ch-ienU i. p. 115. •^ 

' Ledebour, Fl, Ross., i. p. 548. 

*• Baker, in Hooker's FL ofBriL Ind„ ii. p. 86. 


The species existed, therefore, in Asia, in the land 
of the Aryan nations ; but no Sanskrit name is known, 
whence it may be inferred that it was not cultivated. 

Crimflon or Italian Cloyer — Trifolium incamatum, 

An annual plant grown for fodder, whose cultivation, 
says Vilmorin, long confined to a few of the southern 
departments, becomes every day more common in France.^ 
De CandoUe, at the beginning of the present century, 
had only seen it in the department of Ari^ge.^ It has 
existed for about sixty years in the neighbourhood of 
Geneva. Targioni does not think that it is of ancient 
date in Italy,^ and the trivial name trafoglio strengthens 
his opinion. 

The Catalan /e'^encA,* and, in the patois of the south 
of France,** farradje (Roussillon), /arro^o^e (Languedoc), 
ferovitgi (Gascony), whence the French name farouch, 
have, on the other hand, an original character, which 
indicates an ancient cultivation round the Pyrenees. 
The term which is sometimes used, " clover of Roussillon," 
also shows this. 

The wild plant exists in Galicia, in Biscaya, and 
Catalonia,® but not in the Balearic Isles ; ^ it is found 
in Sardinia ® and in the province of Algiers.* It appears 
in several localities in France, Italy, and Dalmatia, in 
the valley of the Danube and Macedonia, but in many 
cases it is not known whether it may not have strayed 
from neighbouring cultivation. A singular locality in 
which it appears to be indigenous, according to English 
authors, is on the coast of Cornwall, near the Lizard. 
In this place, according to Bentham, it is the pale yellow 
variety, which is truly wild on the Continent, while the 

* Bon Jardinier, 1880, pt. i. p. 618. 

' De CandoUe, Fl. Fraw},, iv, p. 528. 

* Targioni, Cenni Storid, p. 35. 

* Costa, Intro, Fl, di CataL, p. 60. 

^ Moritzi, Diet MS,, compiled from floras published before the 
Qiiddle of the present century. 

* Willkomni and Lange, Prodr, Fl. Hisp., iii. p. 366. 
' Mar^s and Virgineix, Catal,, 1880. 

* Moris, FL Sard,, i. p. 467. ' Mnnbjr, CataL, edit. 2. 


crimson variety is only naturalized in England from 
cultivation.^ I do not know to what degree this remark 
of Bentham's as to the wild nature of the sole variety 
of a yellow colour (var. MolvneriL Seringe) is confirmed 
in aU the countries where the species^ows. It is 
the only one indicated by Moris in Sardinia, and in 
Dalmatia by Viviani,* in the localities which appear 
natural {in pascuia collinis, in Tnontania, in herbidia). 
The authors of the Bon Jardinier^ affirm with Bentham 
that Trifolium Molinerii is wild in the north of 
France, that with crimson flowers being introduced from 
the south ; and while they admit the absence of a good 
specific distinction, they note that in cultivation the 
variety Molinerii is of slower growth, often biennial 
instead of annual 

Alexandrine or Egyptian Clover — Trifolium Alexan- 
drinv/m, Linnaeus. 

This species is extensively cultivated in Egypt as 
fodder. Its Arab name is hersym or herznn^ There is 
nothing to show that it has been long in use ; the name 
does not occur in Hebrew and Armenian botanical works. 
The species is not wild in Egypt, but it is certainly 
wild in Syria and Asia Minor.^ 

Ervilia — Ervum, Ervilia, Linnasus; Yicia Ervilia, 

Bertoloni* gives no less than ten common Italian 
names — ervo, lero, zirlo, eta This is an indication of an 
ancient and general culture. Heldreich ^ says that the 
modem Greeks cultivate the plant in abundance as fodder. 
They call it rohai, from the ancient Greek orohoa, as ei^oa 
comes from the Latin ervum. The cultivation of the 
species is mentioned by ancient Greek and Latin authors.® 
The Greeks made use of the seed ; for some has been 

' Bentham, Handbook Brit Ft., edit. 4, p. 117. 

' Moris, Fl. 8ard.f i. p. 467 ; Vivlani, Fl. Ddlmat,, iii. p. 290. 

» Ban Jardinier, 1880, p. 619. 

* Fcnrskal, Fl. Egypt, p. 71 ; Delile, Plant Cult en Egypt, p. 10 ; 
Wilkinson, Mam^nera and Cuatoma of Ancient Egyptiana, ii. p. 898. 

^^» Boissier, Fl, Orient, ii. p. 127. * Bertoloni, Fl, It, vii. p. 500. 

' Nutzpflanzen Qriechenlanda, p. 71. 

* See Lenz, Bat d. Alien, p. 727 ; Fraas, Fl, Claaa,, p. 64. 


discovered in the excavations on the site of Troy.^ Tliere 
are a number of common names in Spain, some of them 
Arabic,^ but the species has not been so widely cultivated 
there for several centuries.® In France it is so little 
grown that many modern works on agriculture do not 
mention it. It is unknown in British Lidia.^ 

General botanical works indicate Ervwrn ErvUia as 
growing in Southern Europe, but if we take severally the 
best floras, it will be seen that it is in such localities as 
fields, vineyards, or cultivated ground. It is the same in 
Western Asia, where Boissier ^ speaks of specimens from 
Syria, Persia, and Afghanistan. Sometimes, in abridged 
catalogues,^ the locality is not given, but nowhere do I 
find it asserted that the plant has been seen wild in places 
far from cultivation. The specimens in my own herbarium 
furnish no further proof on this head. 

In all likelihood the species was formerly wild in 
Greece, Italy, and perhaps Spain and Algeria, but the 
frequency of its cultivation in the very regions where it 
existed prevent us from now finding the wild stocks. 

Tare, or Common Vetch — Vicia aativa, Linnaeus. 

Vida sativa is an annual leguminous plant wild 
throughout Europe, except in Lapland. It is also common 
in Algeria,^ and to the south of the Caucasus as far as the 
province of Talysch.® Roxburgh pronounces it to be 
wild in the north-west provinces and in Bengal, but Sir 
Joseph Hooker admits this only as far as the variety called 
angustifolia ^ is concerned. No Sanskrit name is known, 
and in the modem languages of India only Hindu names.^^ 
Targioni believes it to be the ketsach of the Hebrews.^ 

' Wittmack, Sitzungsher Bot Vereins Brandenburg, Deo. 19, 1879. 
' Willkomm and Lange, Prodr, Fl, Hisp., iii. p. 308. 
' Baker, in Hooker's FL Brit Ind, 

* Herrera, Agricultura, edit. 1819, iv. p. 72. 
' Baker, in Hooker's Fl. Brit. Ind, 

^ For instance, Mnnby, Catal. Plant Algertce, edit. 2, p. 12. 
^ Mnnby, Catal., edit. 2. 

' Ledebonr, Fl. Ross,, i. p. 666 ; Hohenacker, Enum, Plant. Talysehf 
p. 113 J C. A. Meyer, Verzeichnisa, p. 147. 

* Roxburgh, Fl. Ind., edit. 1832, iii. p. 323; Hooker, Fl. Brit, Ind.^ 
a p. 178. 

•* Piddington's Index gives four. ** Targioni, Cenni Storici, p. 80. 


I have received specimens from the Cape and from 
California. The species is certainly not indigenous in 
the two last-named regions^ but has escaped from cul- 

The Romans sowed this plant both for the sake of the 
seed and as fodder as early as the time of Cato.^ I have 
discovered no proof of a more ancient cultivation. The 
name vik, whence vicia, dates from a very remote epoch 
in Europe, for it exists in Albanian,^ which is believed to 
be the language of the Felasgians, and among the Slav, 
Swedish, and Germanic nations, with slight modifications. 
This does not prove that the species was cultivated. It 
is distinct enough and useful enough to herbivorous 
animals to have received common names from the earliest 

Flat-podded Pea — Lathyi^us Cicera, Linnaeus. 

An annual leguminous plant, esteemed as fodder, but 
whose seed, if used as food in any quantity, becomes 

It is grown in Italy under the name of mochi} Some 
authors suspect that it is the cicera of Columella and tbe 
ervUia of Varro,*^ but the common Italian name is very 
different to these. The species is not cultivated in Greece.® 
It is more or less grown in France and Spain, without 
anything to show that its use dates from ancient times. 
However, Wittmack^ attributes to it, but doubtfully, 
some seeds brought by Yirchow from the Trojan exca- 

According to the floras, it is evidently wild in dry 
places, beyond the limits of cultivation in Spain and 
Italy.® It is also wild in Lower Egypt, according to 

' Gato, De re Rustical edit. 1535, p. 34 ; Pliny, bk. xriii. o. 15. 

* Heldreioh, Nutzpfianzen QriecherUandSf p. vl. In the earlier lan- 
gnage than the Indo-Enropeans, vik bears another meaning, that of 
" hamlet " (Fick, Vorterh. Indo-Get-m,, p. 189). 

* Vilmorin, Bon Jardinier, 1880, p. 603. 

* Targioni, Cermi Storid, p. 31 ; Bertoloni, Fl. Ital., vii. pp. 444, 447. 

* Lenz, Botanik. d. Alten, p. 730. 

' Fraas, Fl. Class, ; Heldreioh, Nutz/lanzen Qriechenlands, 
' Wittmack, Sitz, Ber, Bot Vereins Brandenburg, Deo. 19, 1879. 
' Willkomm and Lange, Prodr. Fl. Hisp., iii. p. 813 3 Bertoloni, Fl. 


Schweinfurth and Ascherson ; ^ but there is no trace of 
ancient cultivation in this country or among the Hebrews. 
Towards the East its wild character becomes less certain. 
Boissier indicates the plant " in cultivated ground from 
Turkey in Europe, and Egypt as far as the south of the 
Caucasus and Babylon."^ It is not mentioned in India 
either as wild or cultivated, and has no Sanskrit name.' 

The species is probably a native of the region com- 
prised between Spain and Qreece, perhaps also of Algeria,^ 
and diffused by a cultivation, not of very ancient date, 
over Western Asia. 

ChieUing Tetoh — Laihyrus Botifms, Linnaeus. 

An annual leguminous plant, cultivated in the South 
of Europe, from a very early age, as fodder, and also for 
the seeds. The Greeks called it lathyroa ^ and the Latins 
dcercula.^ It is also cultivated in the temperate regions 
of Western Asia, and even in the north of India ;^ but it 
has no Hebrew® nor Sanskrit name,^ which argues a 
not very ancient cultivation in these regions. 

Nearly all the floras of the south of Europe and of 
Algeria give the plant as cultivated and half- wild, rarely 
and only in a few localities as truly wild. It is easy to 
understand the difficulty of recognizing the wild character 
of a species often mixed with cereals, and which persists 
and spreads itself after cultivation. Heldreich does not 
allow that it is indigenous in Greece.^^ This is a strong 
presumption that in the rest of Europe and in Algeria the 
plant has escaped from cultivation. 

It is probable that this was not the case in Western 
Asia ; for authors cite sufficiently wild localities, where 
agriculture plays a less considerable part than in Europe. 

Schweinfarth and Asoherson, Avfz&hlung, etc., p. 257« 

Boissier, Fl. Orient.j ii. p. 605. 

J. Baker, in Hooker's FL of Brit Ind, 

Manby, Catal, 

Theophrastus, Hist, Flant,^ viii., o. 2, 10. 

Colamella, Be rei ntstica, ii. o. 10; Pliny, xviii. o. 13, 82. 

Rozbnrgh, J^. Ind. ; Hooker, Fl, Brit, Ind., ii. p. 178. 

Bosenmuller, JEfand&. Bibl. Alterth,, vol. i. 

Piddington, Indeoo. 

Heldreich, I^flanz, d. AtHach. Ebene, p. 476 ; Nutx^pf, Or,, p. 78. 


Ledebour,* for instance, mentions specimens gathered in 
the desert, near the Caspian Sea, and in the province of 
Lenkoran. Meyer ^ confirms the assertion with respect to 
Lenkoran. Baker, in his flora of British India, after 
indicating the species as scattered here and there in the 
northern provinces, adds, " often cultivated," whence it 
may be inferred that he considers it as indigenous, at 
least in the north. Boissier asserts nothing with regard 
to the localities in Persia which he mentions in his 
Oriental flora.® 

To sum up, I think it probable that the species was 
indigenous before cultivation in the region extending 
from the south of the Caucasus, or of the Caspian Sea, 
to the north of Lidia, and that it spread towards Europe 
in the track of ancient cultivation, mixed perhaps with 

Ocbroft — Pisum ochrvs, Linnaeus ; Lathyrus ochrus, de 

Cultivated as an annual fodder in Catalonia, under 
the name of tapisots,^ and in Greece, particularly in 
the island of Crete, under that of ochros,^ mentioned 
by Theophrastus,® but without a word of description. 
Liettin authors do not speak of it, which argues a rare 
and local cultivation in ancient times. 

The species is certainly wild in Tuscany J It appears 
to be wild also in Greece and Sardinia, where it is found 
in hedges,® and in Spain, where it grows in uncultivated 
ground;^ but as for the south of France, Algeria, and 
Sicily, authors are either silent as to the locality, or 
mention only fields and cultivated ground. The plant 
is unknown further east than Syria/® where probably it 
is not wild. 

Ledebonr, Fl. Ro88.y i, p. 681. 

C. A. Meyer, Verzeichniss, p. 148. 

Boissier, FL Orient., ii. p. 606. 

Willkomm and Lange, Prodr, Fl, Hisp,, iii. p. 312. 

Lenz,, Bot, d. Alien, p, 730 ; Heldreioh, Nutapjl, Or., p. 72. 


Camel, FL Toae^ p. 193 ; Gnssone, 8yn, Fl. Sic, edit. 2. 

Boissier, Fl. Orient, ii. p. 602; Moris, FL Bard., i. p. 582. 

Willkomm and Lange, Prodr. Fl, Eisp, *• Boissier, Fl, Orient. 


The fine plate published by Sibthorp, Flora Ghrceca, 
589, suggests that the species is worthy of more general 

Trigonel, or Fenugreek — Trigondla fcenum-groecum, 

The cultivation of this annual leguminous plant was 
common in ancient Greece and Italy/ either for spring 
forage, or for the medicinal properties of its seeds. 
Abandoned almost everywhere in Europe, and notably 
in Greece,^ it is maintained in the East and in India,^ 
where it is probably of very ancient date, and throughout 
the Nile Valley* The species is wild in the Punjab 
and in Kashmir,^ in the deserts of Mesopotamia and of 
Persia,® and in Asia Minor,^ where, however, the localities 
cited do not appear sufficiently distinct from the culti- 
vated ground. It is also indicated ® in several places in 
Southern Europe, such as Mount Hymettus and other 
localities in Greece, the hills above Bologna and Genoa, 
and a few waste places in Spain ; but the further west 
we go the more we find mentioned such localities as 
fields, cultivated ground, etc. ; and careful authors do not 
fail to note that the species has probably escaped from 
cultivation.^ I do not hesitate to say that if a plant 
of this nature were indigenous in Southern Europe, it 
would be far more common, and would not be wanting to 
the insular floras, such as those of Sicily, Ischia/and the 
Balearic Isles.^" 

The antiquity of the species and of its use in India is 
confirmed by the existence of several different names in 

^ Theophrastiis, Hist, Tlant., viii. o. 8 ; ColameUa, De rei rusiica, ii. 
c. 10 ; Pliny, EiaUf xviii. o. 16. 

' Fraas, 8yn. i%. Class,, p. 63 ; Lenz, Bot. der Alien, p. 719. 

• Baker, in Hooker's Fl, Brit. Ind., ii. p. 57. 

• Schweinfurth, Beitr. z. Fl. JEthiop,, p. 258. 

• Baker, in Hooker's Fl. Brit, Ind. 

• Boissier, Ft, Orient, ii. p. 70. ' Boissier, ihid. 

• Sibthorp, Fl. Grmca, t. 766; Lenz, Bot. der Alien, Bertoloni, Fl. 
ItaL, viii. p. 250 ; Willkomm and Lange, Prodr. FU Eisp., iii. p. 390. 

' Caruel, Fl. Tosc, p. 256 ; Willkomm and Lange. 
'^ The plants which spread from one oonntry to another introdnoe 
themselFes into islands with more difficulfcj, as wiU be seen from the re- 
marks I formerly published Q4ogr. Bot. Raisonn4e, p; 706). 


different dialects, and above all of a Sanskrit and modem 
Hindu name, Tnethi} There is a Persian name, schemlit, 
and an Arab name, helbeh;^ but none is known in 
Hebrew.^ One of the names of the plant in ancient 
Greek, tailia (ttjXic), may, perhaps, be considered by- 
philologists as akin to the Sanskrit name,^ but of this 
I am no judge. The species may have been introduced 
by the Aryans, and the primitive name have left no trace 
in northern languages, since it can only live in the south 
of Europe. 

Bird's Foot — Omithopus aativua, Brotero; 0. isth- 
Tnocarjms, Cosson. 

The true bird's foot, wild and cultivated in Portugal, 
was described for the first time in 1804? by Brotero,^ and 
Cosson has distinguished it more clearly from allied 
species.® Some authors had confounded it with Omi- 
thopua roseus of Dufour, and agriculturists have some- 
times given it the name of a very different species, 
0. perpvsiUtis, which by reason of its small size is 
unsuited for cultivation. It is only necessary to see 
the pod of Omitfuypua aativibs to make certain of the 
species, for it is when ripe contracted at intervals and 
considerably bent. If there are in the fields plants of a 
similar appearance, but whose pods are straight and not 
contracted, they are the result of a cross with 0. roaevs, or, 
if the pod is curved but not contracted, with 0. com- 
preaaua. From the appearance of these plants, it seems 
that they might be grown in the same manner, and 
would present, I suppose, the same advantages. 

The bird's foot is only suited to a dry and sandy soil 
It is an annual which furnishes in Portugal a very early 
spring fodder. Its cultivation has been successfully in- 
troduced into Campine.'^ 

^ Piddington, Indea. * Ainslie, Mat, Med, Jnd., i. p. 130. 

^ Rosenmiiiler, Bihl. Alterth, 

* As usual, Fick's dictiouarj of Indo-European languages does not 
mention the name of this plant, which the English say is Sanskrit. 

^ Brotero, Flora Lusitanica, ii. p. 160. 

' Oosson, Notes sur Quelqiies Plantes Nowelles ou Oriiiques du Midi 
de VEapoffne, p. 36. 

7 Bon Ja/rdinier, 18S0, p. 512. 


0. 8ativu8 appears to be wild in several districts of. 
Portugal and the south of Spain. I have a specimen 
from Tangier; and Cosson found it in Algeria. It is 
often found in abandoned fields, and even elsewhere. It 
is difficult to say whether the specimens are not from 
plants escaped from cultivation, but localities are dted 
where this seems improbable ; for instance, a pine wood 
near Chiclana^ in the south of Spain (Willkomm). 

Spergola, or Com Spurry — SpergiUa arvensia^ Lin« 

This annual, belonging to the family of the Coryo- 
phylaceae, grows in sandy fields and similar places in 
Europe, in North Africa and Abyssinia,^ in Western Asia 
as far as Hindustan,^ and even in Java.^ It is difficult to 
know over what extent of the old world it was originally 
indigenous. In many localities we do not know if it is 
really wild or naturalized from cultivation. Sometimes 
a recent introduction may be suspected. In India, for 
instance, numerous specimens have been gathered in the 
last few. years ; but Roxburgh, who was so diligent a 
collector at the end of the last and the beginning of the 
present century, does not mention the species. No 
Sanskrit or modem Hindu name is known,^ and it has 
not been found in the countries between India and 

The common names may tell us something with 
regard to the origin of the species and to its culti- 

No Greek or Latin name is known. Spergula, in 
Italian spergola, seems to be a common name long in use 
in Italy. Another Italian name, erba renaiola, indicates 
only its growth in the sand (vena). The French (spar- 
gouLe), Spanish (esparcillas), Portuguese {espargata)^ and 
German (Spark), have all the same root. It seems that 
throughout the south of Europe the species was taken 
from country to country by the Romans, before the 

* Boissier, Fl. Orient, i. p. 731. 

' Hooker, Fl. Brit. Ind., i. p. 243, and several specimens from the 
Nilgherries and Ceylon in jnj herbarium. 

* Zollinger, No. 2556 in my herbariam. * Fiddington, Index. 


division of the Latin languages. In the north the case 
is very different. There is a Russian name, toritsa ; ^ 
several Danish names, hv/mb or Aum, girr or Icirr ; * and 
Swedish, knuttyfryle, ndgde, skorff,^ This great diversity 
shows that attention had long been drawn to this plant 
in this part of Europe, and argues an ancient cultivation. 
It was cultivated in the neighbourhood of Montbelliard 
in the sixteenth century,^ and it is not stated that it was 
then of recent introduction. Probably it arose in the 
south of Europe during the Roman occupation, and per- 
haps earUer in the north. In any case, its original home 
must have been Europe. 

Agriculturists distinguish a taller variety of spergula,^ 
but botanists are not agreed with them in finding in it 
sufficient characteristics of a distinct species, and some 
do not even make it a variety. 

Oninea Grass — Panicum maxirauTyi, Jacquin.® 

This perennial grass has a great reputation in countries 
lying between the tropics as a nutritious fodder, easy of 
cultivation. With a little care a meadow of guinea 
grass will last for twenty years.^ 

Its cultivation appeal's to have begun in the West 
Indies. P. Browne speaks of it in his work on Jamaica, 
published in the middle of the last century, and it is 
subsequently mentioned by Swartz. 

The former mentions the name guinea grass, without 
any remarks on the original home of the species. The 
latter says, " formerly brought from the coast of Africa to 
the Antilles." He probably trusted to the indication 
given by the common name ; but we know how fallacious 

* Sobolewski, Fl. Petrop^ p. 109. 

* Bafn, Danmarks Flora, ii. p. 799. 

* Wahlenberg, quoted bj Moritzi, Diet MS. ; SvensJc Botanih, t. SOS. 

* Bauhin, Hist. Plants iii. p. 722. 

' Spergula Maxima, Bdninghaiisen, an illastration published in Bei- 
chenbach's Planted Crit, yi. p. 513. 

* Panicum maximum, Jacq., OoU. 1, p. 71 (1786) ; Jacq., Icones 1, 
t. 13 ; Swartz, Fl, Indies Occ, vii. p. 170 j P. polygamum, Swartz, Prodr., 
p. 24 (1788) ; P. jwnentorum, Persoon Ench., i. p. 83 (1805) ; P. 
altisgimum of some gardens. and modern anthers. According to the 
role, the oldest name should be adopted. 

' In Dominica according to Imray, in the Kew Report for 1879, p. 10. 


such indications of origin sometimes are. Witness the 
so-called Turkey wheat, which comes from America. 

Swartz, who is an excellent botanist, says that the 
plant grows in the dry cultivated pastures of the West 
Indies, where it is also wild, which may imply that it 
has become naturalized in places where it was formerly 
cultivated. I cannot find it anywhere asserted that it is 
really wild in the West Indies. It is otherwise in Brazil. 
From data collected by de Martins and studied by Nees,^ 
data afterwards increased and more carefully studied by 
Doell,^ Fanicum maodmurri grows in the clearings of 
the forests of the Amazon valley, near Santarem, in the 
provinces of Balria, Ceara, Rio de Janeiro, and Saint Paul. 
Although the plant is often cultivated in these countries, 
the localities given, by their number and nature, prove 
that it is indigenous. Doell has also seen specimens from 
French Guiana and New Granada. 

With respect to Africa, Sir William Hooker® men- 
tioned specimens brought from Sierra Leone, from 
Aguapim, from the banks of the Quorra, and from the 
Island of St. Thomas, in Western Africa. Nees * indicates 
the species in several districts of Cape Colony, even in 
the bush and in mountainous country. Richard ® men- 
tions places in Abyssinia, which also seem to be beyond 
the limits of cultivation, but he owns to being not very 
sure of the species. Anderson, on the contrary, posi- 
tively asserts that Panicum maximum was brought 
from the banks of the Mozambique and of the Zambesi 
rivers by the traveller Peters.^ 

The species is known to have been introduced into 
Mauritius by the Govemour Labourdonnais,'' and to have 
become naturalized from cultivation as in Rodriguez 
and the Seychelles Isles. Its introduction into Asia 

* Nees, in Martins, Fl. Brasil.f in Svo, vol. ii. p. 166. 

* DgbII, in Fl. Bratsil., in foL, vol. ii. part 2. 
" Sir W. Hooker, Niger Fl, p. 560. 

* Nees, Florae Africm Austr. OraminecB, p. 86. 
' A. Richard, AbyssiniBf ii. p. 373. 

* Peters, Reise Botanik, p. 546. 
' Bojer, Hortus Maurit., p. 565. 


must be recent, for Roxburgh and Miquel do not men- 
tion the species. In Ceylon it is only cultivated.^ 

On the whole, it seems to me that the probabilities 
are in favour of an African origin, as its name indicates, 
and this is confirmed by the general, but insufficiently 
grounded opinion of authors.^ However, as the plant 
spreads so rapidly, it is strange that it has not reached 
Egypt from the Mozambique or Abyssinia, and that it 
was introduced so late into the islands to the east of 
Africa. If the co-existence of phanerogamous species 
in Africa and America previous to cultivation were not 
extremely rare, it might be inferred in this case ; but 
this is unlikely in the case of a cultivated plant of 
which the difiusion is evidently very easy. 

Article III. — ^Various Uses of the Stem and Leaves. 

Tea — TTiea sinensis, Linnseus. 

In the middle of the eighteenth century, when the 
shrub which produces tea was still very little known, 
Linnseus gave it the name of Thea sinensis. Soon after- 
wards, in the second edition of the Species Plantatum, 
he judged it better to distinguish two species, Thea hohea 
and Thea viridis, which he believed to correspond to the 
commercial distinction between black and green teas. It 
has since been proved that there is but one species, com- 
prehending several varieties, from all of which either 
black or green tea may be obtained according to the pro- 
cess of manufacture. This question was settled, when 
another was raised, as to whether Thea really forms' 
a genus by itself distinct from the genus Cainellia. 
Some authors make Thea a section of the old genus 
Camellia ; but from the characters indicated with great 
precision by Seemann,® it seems to me that we are 
justified in retaining the genus Thea^ together with the 
old nomenclature of the principal species. 

A Japanese legend, related by Ka3mpfer,* is often 

' Baker, Fl. of Mauritius and Seychelles, p. 436. 

* Thwaites, Enum. PL Zeylanice. 

* Seemann, TV. of ike Linncean Society, xxii. p. 337, pi* CI. 

* Efldmpfer, ArruBn. Japon. 


quoted. A priest who came from India into China 
in A.D. 519, having succumbed to sleep when he had 
wished to watch and pray, in a movement of anger cut 
off his two eyelids, which were changed into a shrub, 
the tea tree, whose leaves are eminently calculated to 
prevent sleep. Unfortunately for those people who 
readily admit legends in whole or in part, the Chinese 
have never heard of this story, although the event is 
said to have taken place in their country. Tea was 
known to them long before 519, and probably it was 
not brought from India. This is what Bretschneider 
tells us in his little work, rich in botanical and philologi- 
cal facts.'^ The Pentaao, he says, mentions tea 2700 B.C., 
the Rye 800 or 600 b.o. ; and the commentator of the 
latter work, in the fourth century of our era, gave 
details about the plant and about the infusion of the 
leaves. Its use is, therefore, of very ancient date in 
China. It is perhaps more recent in tfapan, and if it has 
been long known in Cocliin-China, it is possible, but 
not proved, that it formerly spread thither from India ; 
authors cite no Sanskrit name, nor even any name in 
modem Indian languages. This fact will appear strange 
when contrasted with what we have to say on the 
natural habitat of the species. 

The seeds of the tea-plant often sow themselves beyond 
the limits of cultivation, thereby inspiring doubt among 
botanists as to the wild nature of plants encountered 
here and there. Thunberg believed the species to be 
wild in Japan, but Franchet and Savatier* absolutely 
deny this. Fortune,® who has so carefully examined 
the cultivation of tea in China, does not speak of the 
wild plant. I^ontanier* says that the tea-plant grows 
wild abundantly in Mantschuiia. It is probable that 
it exists in the mountainous districts of South-eastern 
China, where naturalists have not. yet penetrated. 

* Bretschneider, On the Study and Valiie of Chin, BoU WorkSf pp. 13 
and 45. 

' Franchet and Savatier, "Enum, PI. Jap.^ i. p. 61. 

* Fortune, Three Tears* Wandering in China^ 1 vol. in Svo. 

* Fontanier, Bulletin 8oc d^Acdim,^ 1870, p. 88. 


-lioureiro says that it is found both " cultivated and un- 
cultivated" in Cochin- China.^ What is more certain 
is, that English travellers gathered specimens in Upper 
Assam ^ and in the province of Cachar.® So that the 
tea-plant must be wild in the mountainous region 
which separates the plains of India from those of China, ! 
but the use of the leaves was not formerly known in V 


The cultivation of tea, now introduced into several 
colonies, has produced admirable results in Assam. Not 
only is the product of a superior quality to that of 
average Chinese teas, but the quantity obtained increases 
rapidly. In 1870, three million pounds of tea were pro- 
duced in British India; in 1878, thirty-seven million 
pounds ; and in 1880, a harvest of seventy million pounds 
was looked for.* Tea will not bear frost, and suffers from 
drought. As I have elsewhere stated,^ the conditions 
which favour it are the opposite to those which suit the 
vine. On the other hand, it has been observed that tea 
flourishes in Azores, where good wine is made ; ^ but it 
is possible to cultivate in gardens, or on a small scale, 
many plants which will not be profitable on a large scale. 
The vine grows in China, yet the manufacture of wine 
is unimportant. Conversely, no wine-growing country 
grows tea for exportation. After China, Japan, and 
Assam, it is in Java, Ceylon, and Brazil that tea is most 
largely grown, where, certainly, the vine is little culti- 
vated, or not at all ; while the wines of dry regions, such 
as Australia and the Cape, are already known in the 

Flax — Linv/m usitatissvnium, Linnaeus. 

The question as to the origin of flax, or rather of the 
cultivated flax, is one of those which give rise to most 
interesting researchea 

* Lonreiro, M. Cochin., p. 414. 

* Griffith, Reports s Wallich, qaoted by Hooker, Fl. Brit JncZto, i. 
p. 293. 

■ Anderson, quoted by Hooker. 

* The Colonies and Indiaf Gardener's ChronicUy 1880, i. p. 659. 
' Speech at the Bot. Cong, of London in 1866. 

* Flora, 1868, p. 64. 


In order to understand the dij£cnlties which it 
presents, we must first ascertain what nearly allied forms 
authors designate — sometimes as distinct species of the 
genus Linum, and sometimes as varieties of a single 

The first important work on this subject was by 
Planchon, in 1848.^ He clearly showed the differences 
between Linum vsitatissimum, L. humile, and L. angua- 
tifoliwm, which were little known. Afterwards Heer,* 
when making profound researches into ancient cultivation, 
went again into the characters indicated, and by adding 
the study of two intermediate forms, as well as the com- 
parison of a great number of specimens, he arrived at the 
conclusion that there was a single species, composed of 
several slightly different forms. I give a translation of 
his Latin summary of the characters, only adding a name 
for each distinct form, in accordance with the custom of 
botanical works. 

LinuTTi vmtatissiTnum, 

1. Annuurri (annual). Root annual; stem single, 
upright ; capsules 7 to 8 mm. long ; seeds 4 to 6 mm., 
terminating in a point, a. Vvlgare (common). Capsules 
7 mm., not opening when ripe, and displaying glabrous 
partitions. German names, ScJdiesslein, Dreschlein, 
j3. Humile (low). Capsules 8 mm., opening suddenly when, 
ripe; the partitions hairy. Linum humUCy Miller; L. 
crepitans, Boninghausen. German names, Elanglein, 

2. Hyemale (winter). Root annual or biennial ; stems 
numerous, spreading at the base, and bent; capsules 
7 mm., terminating in a point Linum hyemale roma- 
num. In German, Winterlein. 

3. Ambiguum (doubtful). Root annual or perennial ; 
stems numerous, leaves acuminate ; capsules 7 mm., with 
partitions nearly free from hairs ; seeds 4 mm., ending in 
a short point. Linv/m ambiguuTn, Jordan. • 

4. Angustifolium, (narrow-leaved). Root annual or 

* Planchon, in Hooker, Journal of Botany ^ vol. vii. p. 165. 
■ Heer, Die Pflanzen der PfahLhwaten, in 4to, Zflrich, 1865, p. 35 ; JJeber 
den Flachs imd die Flachskultv/r, in 4to, Zurich, 1872. 


perennial ; stems numerous, spreading at the base, and 
bent ; capsules 6 mm., with hairy partitions ; seeds 3 mm., 
slightly hooked at the top. Liniirri anguMifolium. 

It may be seen how easily one form passes into 
another. The quality of annual, biennial, or perennial, 
which Heer suspected to be uncertain, is vague, especially 
for the angustifolium ; for Loret, who has observed this 
flax in the neighbourhood of Montpellier, says,^ "In 
very hot countries it is nearly always an annual, and this 
is the case in Sicily according to Gussone ; with us it is 
annual, biennial, or perennial, according to the nature of 
the soil in which it grows ; and this may be ascertained 
by observing it on the shore, notably at Maguelone. 
There it may be seen that along the borders of trodden 
paths it lasts longer than on the sand, where the sun 
soon dries up the roots and the acidity of the soil 
prevents the plant from enduring more than a year." 

When forms and physiological conditions pass from 
one into another, and are distinguished by characters 
which vary according to circumstances, we are led to 
consider the individuals as constituting a single species, 
although these forms and conditions possess a certain 
degree of heredity, and date perhaps from very early 
times. We are, however, forced to consider them 
separately in our researches into their origin. I shall 
first indicate in what country each variety has been dis- 
covered in a wild or half- wild state. I shall then speak of 
cultivation, and we shall see how far geographical and 
historical facts confirm the opinion of the unity of species. 

The common annual flax has not yet been discovered, 
with absolute certainty, in a wild state. I possess 
several specimens of it from India, and Planchon saw 
others in the herbarium at Kew; but Anglo-Indian 
botanists do not admit that the plant is indigenous in 
British India. The recent flora of Sir Joseph Hooker 
speaks of it as a species cultivated principally for the oil 
extracted from the seeds ; and Mr. C. B. Clarke, formerly 
director of the botanical gardens in Calcutta, writes to 

* Loret, Observations Critiques sur Plusdeura FlcMtea Monppelliiraines^ 
in the Bevue des Sc NaU, 1875. 


me that the specimens must have been cultivated, its 
cultivation being very common in winter in the north of 
India. Boissier^ mentions L. hwmile, with narrow leaves, 
which Kotschy gathered ** near Schiraz in Persia, at the 
foot of the mountain called Sabst Buchom/' This is, 
perhaps, a spot far removed from cultivation; but I 
cannot give satisfactory information on this head. Ho- 
henacker found i. uaitatisaimum " half wild " in the pro- 
vince of Talifschy to the south of the Caucasus, towards the 
Caspian Sea.* Steven is more positive with regard to 
Southern Kussia.* According to him, it " is found pretty 
often on the barren hills to the south of the Crimea, 
between Jalta and Nikita ; and Nordmann found it on 
the eastern coast of the Black Sea." Advancing westward 
in Southern Russia, or in the region of the Mediterranean, 
the species is but rarely mentioned, and only as escaped 
from cultivation, or half wild. In spite of doubts and of 
the scanty data which we possess, I think it very pos- 
sible that the annual flax, in one or other of these two 
forms, may be wild in the district between the south of 
Persia and the Crimea, at least in a few localities. 

The winter Jlax is only known under cultivation in a 
few provinces of Italy.* 

The Linum ambiguum of Jordan grows on the coast 
of Provence and of Languedoc in dry places.® 

Lastly, Linum anguatifoliwny which hardly diiSers 
from the preceding, has a well-defined and rather large 
area. It grows wild, especially on hills throughout the 
region of which the Mediterranean forms the centre ; that 
is, in the Canaries and Madeira, in Marocco,® Algeria,*^ 
and as far as the Cyrenaic ;^ from tho south of Europe, 

^ Boissier, Flora Orient, i. p. 851. It is L. usitatissimum of Kotschj, 
No. 164. 

* Boissier, ibid. ; Hohenh., Enum. TalyacK, p. 168. 

■ Steven, Verzeichniss der auf der tauriscken Halhinseln wildivaeh- 
senden PJlanzen, Moscow, 1857, p. 91. 

* Heer, Ueh, d. Flachs, pp. 17 and 22. 

' Jordan, quoted by Walpers, Annal., yoL ii., and by Heer, p. 22. 

* BaU, Spidlegium Fl. Marocc, p. 380. 
' KoDby, CataL, edit. 2, p. 7. 

S Bohlf, according to Cosson, BuUe, 8oc. Bot de Fr., 1875, p. 4A, 


as far as England,^ the Alps, and the Balkan Mountains ; 
and lastly, in Asia from the south of the Caucasus^ to 
Lebanon and Palestine.® I do not find it mentioned in 
the Crimea, nor beyond the Caspian Sea. 

Let us now turn to the cultivation of flax, destined in 
most instances to furnish a textile substance, often also 
to yield oil, and cultivated among certain peoples for the 
nutritious properties of the seed. I first studied the 
question of its origin in 1855,* and with the following 
result : — 

It was abundantly shown that the ancient Egyptians 
and the Hebrews made use of linen stufis. Herodotus 
afiirms this. Moreover, the plant may be seen figured in 
the ancient Egyptian drawings, and the microscope 
indubitably shows that the bandages which bind the 
mummies are of linen.^ The cidture of flax is of ancient 
date in Europe ; it was known to the Kelts, and in India 
according to history. Lastly, the widely difierent com- 
mon names indicate* likewise an ancient cultivation or 
long use in different countries. The Keltic name lin, 
and Greco-Latin linon or linv/m^heu^ no analogy with the 
Hebrew pischta,^ nor with the Sanskrit names oama^ 
atasi, utad.'^ A few botanists mention the flax as 
" nearly wild " in the south-east of Russia, to the south 
of the Caucasus and to the east of Siberia, but it was 
not known to be truly wild, I then summed up the 
probabilities, saying, ** The varying etymology of the 
names, the antiquity of cultivation in Egypt, in Europe, 
and in the north of India, the circumstance that in the 
latter district flax is cultivated for the yield of oil alone, 

' Flanohon, in Hooker's Journal of Botany, Yol. 7 ; Bentliam, Handbk. 
of Brit. Flora, edit. 4, p. 89. 

* Planchon, ibid, ■ Boissier, Fl. Or., i. p. 861. 

* A. de CandoUe, Q4ogr. Bot Rats., p. 833. 

* Thomson, Annals of Philosophy, June, 1834 ; Dntrocbet, Larrey, 
and Costaz, Comptes rendus de VAcad. des* 8c., Paris, 1837, sem. i. p. 739 ; 
Unger, Bot. Btreifzuge, iy. p. 62. 

* Other Hebrew words are interpreted " flax," bnt this is the most 
oeriain. See Hamilton, La Botanique de la Bible, Nice, 1871, p. 68. 

' Piddington, Index Ind. Plants; Boxbnrgh, Fl. Ind., edit. 1832, ii, 
p. 110. The name matvsi indicated by Piddington belongs to other 
plants, according to Ad. Pictet, Origines Indo-Euro., edit. 2, yol. i p. 396. 


lead me to believe thi^t two or three species of different 
origin, confounded by most authors under the name of 
Linumusitati88iinum,were formerly cultivated in different 
countries, without imitation or communic&tion the one 
with the other. ... I am very doubtful whether the 
species cultivated by the ancient Egyptians was the 
species indigenous in Russia and in Siberia." 

My conjectures were confirmed ten years later by a 
very curious discovery made by Oswald Heer. The lake- 
dwellers of Eastern Switzerland, at a time when they only 
used stone implements, and did not know the use of hemp, 
cultivated and wove a flax which is not our common 
annual flax, but the perennial flax called Linum angvstv- 
folium, which is wild south of the Alps. This is shown 
by the examination of the capsules, seeds, and especially 
of the lower part of a plant carefully extracted from the 
sediment at Bobenhausen.^ The illustration published 
by Heer shows distinctly a root surmounted by from two 
to four stems after the maimer of perennial plants. The 
stems had been cut, whereas our common flax is plucked 
up by the roots, another proof of the persistent nature 
of the plant. With the remains of the Kobenhausen flax 
some grains of SUene eretica were found, a species 
which is also foreign to Switzerland, and abundant in 
Italy in the fields of flax.^ Hence Heer concluded that 
the Swiss lake-dwellers imported the seeds of the Italian 
flax. This was apparently the case, unless we suppose 
that the climate of Switzerland at that time differed 
from that of our own epoch, for the perennial flax would 
not at the present day survive the winters of Eastern 
Switzerland.® Heer's opinion is supported by the 
surprising fact that flax has not been found among the 
remains of the lake-dwellings of Laybach and Mondsee 

' Heer, Die PJlanzen der Pfahlhauten, 8vo pamphlet, ZfLrich, 1865, 
p. 85 ; Ueber den Flacha und die FlfichsJcidtur in Alterthunif pamphlet in 
8vo, Zarich, 1872. 

« Bertoloni, Fl, Ital., iv. p. 612. 

' We have seen that flax is foand towards the north-west of Europe, 
but not immediately north of the Alps. Perhaps the climate of Switser- 
land was foimei I7 more equable than it is now, with more snow to 
shelter perennial plants. 


of the Austrian States, where bronze has been discovered.* 
The late epoch of the introduction of flax into this region 
excludes the hypothesis that the inhabitants of Switzer- 
land received it from Eastern Europe, from which, more- 
over, they were separated by immense forests. 

Since the ingenious observations of the Zurich savant, 
a flax has been discovered which was employed by the 
prehistoric inhabitants of the peat-mosses of Lagozza, 
in Lombardy; and Sordelli has shown that it was the 
same as that of Robenhausen, L. angustifolium.^ This 
ancient people was ignorant of the use of hemp and of 
metals, but they possessed the same cereals as the Swiss 
lake-dwellers of the stone age, and ate like them the 
acorns of Quercus robur, var. sessiliflora. There was, 
therefore, a civilization which had reached a certain 
development on both sides of the Alps, before metals, 
even bronze, were in common use, and before hemp and 
the domestic fowl were known.® It was probably before 
the arrival of the Aryans in Europe, or soon after' that 

The common names of the flax in ancient European 
languages may throw some light on this question. 

The name lin, llin, linu, linon, linum, lein, Ian, 
exists in all the European languages of Aryan origin of 
the centre and south of Europe, Keltic, Slavonic, Greek, 
or Latin. This name is, however, not common to the 
Aryan languages of India; consequently, as Pictet^ 
justly says, the cultivation must have been begun by the 

* Mittheil. Anthropol, Geaellschaft, Wien, vol. vi. pp. 122, 161; Abhandl., 
Wien AJcad,y 84, p. 488. 

' Sordelliy Stille piante della torhiera e delta stazione preiaUyrica 
della Lagozza, pp. 37, 51, printed at the conclnsion of Castelfranco's 
Noiizie alia atazione lacuatre della Lagozza, in 8vo, Atti della 8oc» Ital, 
8c, Natt 1880. 

■ The fowl was introdnced into Greece from Asia in the sixth 
centnry before Christ, according to Heer, Ueh, d. Flachs, p. 25. 

* These discoveries in the peat.mosses of Lagozza and elsewhere in 
Italy show how far Hehn was mistaken in supposing that (Kvlturpfi.y edit. 
8, 1877) p. 524) the Swiss lake.dwellers were near the time of Csesar. 
The men of the same civilization as they to the south of the Alps were 
evidently more ancient than the Boman repablic, perhaps than the 

* Ad. Pictet, Originea Indo-Etarop,, edit. 2, vol. i. p. 896. 


western Aryans, and before their arrival in Europe. 
Another idea occurred to me which led me into further 
researches, but they were unproductive. I thought that, 
since this flax was cultivated by the lake-dwellers of 
Switzerland and Italy before the arrival of the Aryan 
peoples, it was probably also grown by the Iberians, who 
then occupied Spain and Gaul ; and perhaps some special 
name for it has remained among the Basques, the sup- 
posed descendants of the Iberians. Now, according to 
several dictionaries of their language,^ liho, lino, or li, 
according to the dialects, signifies flax, which agrees with 
the name difiused throughout Southern Europe. The 
Basques seem, therefore, to have received flax from 
peoples of Aryan origin, or perhaps they have lost the 
ancient name and substituted that of the Kelts and 
Bomans. The name flacks or fl^x of the Teutonic lan- 
guages comes from the Old German ^A«. There are also 
special names in the north-west of Europe — jpellawa, 
aimhta, in Finnish ; ^ Jior, hdrr, hor, in Danish ; ^ hor 
and tone in ancient Gothic * Hoar exists in the German 
of Salzburg.^ This word may be in the ordinary sense 
of the German for thread or hair, as the name li may 
be connected with the same root as ligare, to bind, and as 
hoVy in the plural horvar, is connected by philologists ® 
with hurva, the German root for Flocks ; but it is, never- 
theless, a fact that in Scandinavian countries and in 
Finland terms have been used which differ from those 
employed throughout the south of Europe. This variety 
shows the antiquity of the cultivation, and agrees with 
the fact that the lake-dwellers of Switzerland and Italy 
cultivated a species of flax before the first invasion of the 
Aryans. It is possible, I might even say probable, that 

* Van Eye, Diet, Basque-Francis, 1876; Geze, EUmenU de Oram- 
maire Basque suivis d^un vocahvlaire, Bayonne, 1873; Salaberry, Mote 
Basque NavarraiSj fiayonne, 1856 ; rEcluse, Vocdb, Fran f. -Basque, 1826. 

' Nemnich, Poly, Lex, d. Naturgesch,^ ii. p. 420; Bafn, Jkmmark 
Flora, ii. p. 390. 

■ Nemnich, ihid. * Ihid, • Ibid, 

* Fick, Vergl, Worterbuch. Ind, Qerm., 2nd edit., i. p. 722. He also 
derives tlie name Lirui from the Latin linum ; but this name is of earlier 
date, being common to several European Aryan languages. 


the latter imported the name li rather than the plant or 
its cultivation ; but as there is no wild flax in the north 
of Europe, an ancient people, the Finns, of Turanian 
origin, introduced the flax into the north before the 
Aryans. In this case they must have cultivated the 
annual flax, for the perennial variety will not bear the 
severity of the northern winters ; while we know how 
favourable the climate of Biga is in summer to the culti- 
vation of the annual flax. Its first introduction into 
Gaul, Switzerland, and Italy may have been from the 
south, by the Iberians, and in Finland by the Finns ; and 
the Aryans may have afterwards difiused those names 
which were commonest among themselves — that of linum 
in the south, and of Jlahs in the north. Perhaps the 
Ar3'^ans and Finns had brought the annual flax from 
Asia, which would soon have been substituted for the 
perennial variety, which is less productive and less 
adapted to cold countries. It is not known precisely at 
what epoch the cultivation of the annual flax in Italv 
took the place of that of the perennial linum angush- 
folium, but it must have been before the Christian era ; 
for Latin authors speak of a well-established cultivation, 
and Pliny says that the flax was sown in spring and 
rooted up in the summer.* Metal implements were not 
then wanting, and therefore the flax would have been 
cut if it had been perennial. Moreover, the latter, if 
sown in spring, would not have ripened till autumn. 

For the same reasons the flax cultivated by the 
ancient Eg3rptians must have been an annual Hitherto 
neither entire plants nor a great number of capsules have 
been found in the catacombs of a nature to furnish direct 
and incontestable proof. Unger ^ alone was able to ex- 
amine a capsule taken from the bricks tof a monument, 
which Leipsius attributes to the thirteenth or fourteenth 
century before Christ, and he found it more like those 
of L. v^tatimiTnum than of L, angibstifolium. Out of 
three seeds which Braun' saw in the Berlin Museum, 

* Pliny, bk. zix. c. 1 : Vere satum CBstate vellitur, 
■ Unger, Botanische Streifzuge, 1866, No. 7, p. 15. 
' A. Braun, Die Pflanzenreste des JEgyptischen Museuma in, Berlin, in 
Svo, 1877, p. 4. 


mixed with those of other cultivated plants, one appeared 
to him to belong to L, anguatifolium, and the other to 
L. humUe ; but it must be owned that a single seed 
without plant or capsule is not sufficient proof. Ancient 
Egyptian paintings show that flax was not reaped with 
a sickle like cereals, but uprooted.'^ In Egypt flax is 
cultivated in the winter, for the summer drought would 
no more allow of a perennial variety, than the cold of 
northern countries, where it is sown in spring, to be 
gathered in in summer. It may be added that the 
annual flax of the variety called humile is the only one 
now grown in Abyssinia, and also the only one that 
modem collectors have seen in Egypt.* 

Heer suggests that the ancient Egyptians may have 
cultivated L, angustifolvwm of the Mediterranean region, 
sowing it as an annual plant.* I am more inclined 
to believe that they had previously imported or re- 
ceived their flax from Egypt, already in the form of the 
species X. humile. Their modes of cultivation, and the 
figures on the monuments, show that their knowledge 
of the plant dated from a remote antiquity. Now it is 
known that the Egyptians of the first dynasties before 
Cheops belonged to a proto-semitic race, which came 
into Egypt by the isthmus of Suez.* Flax has been 
found in a tomb of ancient Chaldea prior to the existence 
of Babylon,^ and its use in this region is lost in the 
remotest antiquity. Thus the first Egyptians of white 
race may have imported the cultivated flax, or their im- 
mediate successors may have received it from Asia before 
the epoch of the Phoenician colonies in Greece, and before 
direct communication was established between Greece 
and Egypt under the fourteenth dynasty.® 

* Bosellini, pis. 35 and 36, qaoted by Unger, Bot. Streifzuge, No. 4, 
p. 62. 

' W. Scbimper, Ascberson, Boissier, Scbweinfarth, quoted by Brann. 

* Heer, Ueh, d, Flachs, p. 26. 

* Maspero, Histoire Ancienne des Peuples de V Orient., edit. 3, Paris, 
1878, p. 13. 

* JourruU of the Royal Asiat. Soc., vol. xr. p. 271> qaoted by Heer, Ueh, 

* Maspero, p. 213. 


A very early introduction of the plant into Egypt 
from Asia does not prevent us from admitting that it was 
at different times taken from the East to the West at 
a later epoch than that of the iirst Egyptian dynasties. 
Thus the western Aryans and the Phoenicians may have 
introduced into Europe a flax more advantageous than 
L. angustifolium during the period from 2500 to 1200 
years before our era. 

The cultivation of the plant by the Aryans must have 
extended further north than that by the Phoenicians. In 
Greece, at the time of the Trojan war, fine linen stuffs 
were still imported from Colchis; that is to say, from 
that region at the foot of the Caucasus where the com- 
mon annual flax has been found wild in modem times. 
It does not appear that the Greeks cultivated the plant 
at that epoch/ The Aryans had perhaps already intro- 
duced its cultivation into the valley of the Danube. How- 
ever, I noticed just now that the lacustrine remains of 
Mondsee and Laybach show no trace of any flax. In the 
last centuries before the Christian era the Romans pro- 
cured very fine linen from Spain, although the names 
of the plant in that country do not tend to show that the 
Phoenicians introduced it. There is not any Oriental 
name existing in Europe belonging either to antiquity 
or to the Middle Ages. The Arabic name kattan, kettane, 
or kittanej of Persian origin,* has spread westward only 
among the Kabyles of Algeria.® 

The sum of facts and probabilities appear to me to 
lead to the following statements, which may be accepted 
until they are modified by further discoveries. 

1. Linum angustifolium, usually perennial, rarely 
biennial or annual, which is found wild from the Canary 
Isles to Palestine and the Caucasus, was cultivated in 
Switzerland and the north of Italy by peoples more 
ancient than the conquerors of Aryan race. Its cultiva- 
tion was replaced by that of the annual flax. 

• The Greek texts are qnoted in Lenz, Bot der Alt, Gr. und R6m., 
p. 672 ; and in Hehn, Culturpfi. und HatLsthiere, edit. 8, p. 144. 

• Ad. Pictet, Origines Indo-Ewrop. 

• Dictionnaire Franf.-Berhire, 1 vol. in 8vo, 1814. 


2. The annual flax (L, uaitatisdmum), cultivated for 
at least four thousand or five thousand years in Mesopo- 
tamia, Assyria, and Egypt, was and still is wild in the 
districts included between the Persian Gulf, the Caspian 
Sea, and the Black Sea. 

8. This annual flax appears to have been introduced 
into the north of Europe by the Finns (of Turanian race), 
afterwards into the rest of Europe by the western Aryans, 
and perhaps here and there by the Phoenicians; lastly 
into Hindustan by the eastern Aryans, after their sepa- 
ration from the European Aryans. 

4. These two principal forms or conditions of flax 
exist in cultivation, and have probably been wild in their 
modem areas for the last five thousand years at least. 
It is not possible to guess at their previous condition. 
Their transitions and varieties are so numerous that they 
may be considered as one species comprising two or three 
hereditary varieties, which are each again divided into 

Jute — Corchorus capsularis and Corchorus olitorivs, 

The fibres of the jute, imported in great quantities in 
the last few years, especially into England, are taken 
from the stem of these two species of Corchorus, annuals 
of the family of the Tiliaceae. The leaves are also used 
as a vegetable. 

C, capsularis has a nearly spherical finiit, flattened 
at the top, and surrounded by longitudinal ridges. 
There is a good coloured illustration of it in the work of 
the younger Jacquin, Edogce, pi. 119. G olitoriua, on 
the contrary, has a long fruit, like the pod of a Crucifer. 
It is figured in the Botanical Magazine, fig. 2810, and in 
Lamarck, fig. 478. 

The species of the genus are distributed nearly equally 
in the warm regions of Asia, Africa, and America ; con- 
sequently the origin of each cannot be guessed. It must 
be sought in floras and herbaria, with the help of his- 
torical and other data. 

Corchorus capsularis is commonly cultivated in 
the Sunda Islands, in Ceylon, in the peninsula of Hin- 


dustan, in Bengal, in Southern China, in the Philippine 
Islands,^ generally in Southern Asia. Forster does not 
mention it in his work on the plants in use among the 
inhabitants of the Pacific, whence it may be inferred 
that at the time of Cook's voyages, a century ago, its cul- 
tivation had not spread in that direction. It may even 
be suspected from this fact that it does not date from a 
very remote epoch in the isles of the Indian Archipelago. 

Blume says that Corchoms capavlaria grows in the 
marshes of Java near Parang,^ and I have two speci- 
mens from Java which are not given as cultivated.® 
Thwaites mentions it as " very common ** in Ceylon.* 

On the continent of Asia, authors speak more of it 
as a plant cultivated in Bengal and China. Wight, who 
gives a good illustration of the plant, does not mention 
its native place. Edgeworth,* who has studied on the 
spot the flora of the district of Banda, says that it is 
found in " the fields." In the Flora of British India, 
Masters, who drew up the article on the Tiliacese from 
the herbarium at Kew, says " in the hottest regions of 
India, cultivated in most tropical countries." * I have 
a specimen from Bengal which is not given as cul- 
tivated. Loureiro says "wild, and cultivated in the 
province of Canton in China,^ which probably means 
wild in Cochin-China, and cultivated in Canton. In Japan 
the plant grows in cultivated soil.® In conclusion, I am 
not convinced that the species exists in a truly wild state 
north of Calcutta, although it may perhaps have spread 
from cultivation and have sown itself here and there. 

C. capsvlaris has been introduced into various parts 
of tropical Africa and even of America, but it is only 
cultivated on a large scale for the production of jute 
thread in Southern Asia, and especially in Bengal 

' Rnmphias, Amhoin, vol. v. p. 212 ; Boxbargh, Fl, Ind,, ii. p. 681; 
Loureiro, Fl. Cochinchine, vi. p. 408. 

« Blume, Bijdragen, i. p. 110. » Zollinger, Kos. 1698 and 2761. 

• Thwaites, Envm. Fl, Zeylan,, p. 31. 

• Edgeworth, LinnoBan 8oc. J<mm.j ix. 

• Masters, ki Hooker's Fl, lirit, Ind,, i. p. 397« 
' Jjoareiro, Fl. Cochin., L p. 408. 

^ Franchet and Savatier, Enumtf U p. 66. 



C, olitorius is more used as a vegetable than for 
its fibres. Out of Asia it is employed exclusively for 
the leaves. It is one of the commonest of cuUnary 
plants among the modem Egyptians and Syrians, who 
call it in Arabic mdokych, but it is not likely that they 
had any knowledge of it in ancient times, as we know 
of no Hebrew name.^ The present inhabitants of Crete 
cultivate it under the name of ^mouchlia^ evidently 
derived from the Arabic, and the ancient Greeks were 
not acquainted with it. 

According to several authors® this species of Corchorus 
is wild in several provinces of British India. Thwaites 
says it is common in the hot districts of Ceylon ; but in 
Java, Blume only mentions it as growing among rubbish 
(m ruderatis), I cannot find it mentioned in Cochin-China 
or Japan. Boissier saw specimens from Mesopotamia, 
AfghanistatU, Syria, and Anatolia, but gives as a general 
indication, "culta, et in ruderatis subspontanea." No 
Sanskrit name for the two cultivated species of Corchorus 
is known.* 

Touching the indigenous character of the plant in 
Africa, Masters, in Oliver s Flora of Tropical Africa (i, 
p. 262), says, " wild, or cultivated as a vegetable through- 
out tropical Africa." He attributes to the same species 
two plants from Guinea which G. Don had described as 
difierent, and as to whose wild nature he probably knew 
nothing. I have a specimen from Kordofan gathered by 
Kotschy, No. 45, "on the borders of the fields of sorghum." 
Peters, as far as I know, is the only author who asserts 
that the plant is wild. He found C, clitoriuH "in 
dry places, and also in the meadows in the neighbour- 
hood of Sena and Tette." Schweinfurth only gives it as 
a cultivated plant in the whole Nile Valley.^ This is 
also the case in the flora of Senegambia by Guillemin, 
Perrottet, and Richard. 

1 Rosenmuller, Bxbl, Naturgeseh. 

• Von Heldreich, Die Nutzpjl. QriecKenl^ p. 53. 

• Maaters, in Hooker's Fl. Brit. Ind., i. p. 897; AitoliiBon, Catal. 
Punjab, p. 23 ; Bozbnrgh, Fl. Ind,, ii. p. 581. 

• Piddington, Index, 

' Schweinfurth, Beitr. B. Fl. JClhiop., p. 264 


To sum up, C. olitorius seems to be wild in the mode- 
rately warm regions of Western India, of Kordofan, and 
probably of some intermediate countries. It must have 
spread from the coast of Timor, and as far as Northern 
Australia, into Africa and towards Anatolia, in the wake 
of a cultivation not perhaps ot earlier date than the 
Christian era, even at its origin. 

In spite of the assertions made in various works, the 
cultivation of this plant is rarely indicated in America. 
I note, however, on Grisebach's authority,^ that it has 
become naturalized in Jamaica from gardens, as often 
happens in the case of cultivated annuals. 

Samach. — Rhus coriaria. 

This tree is cultivated in Spain and Italy * for the 
young shoots and leaves, which are dried and made into 
a powder for tanning. I recently saw a plantation in 
Sicily, of which the product was exported to America. 
As oak-bark becomes more rare and substances for tan- 
ning are more in demand, it is probable that this cultiva- 
tion will spread ; all the more that it is suitable to sandy, 
sterile regions. In Algeria, Australia, at the Cape, and 
in the Argentine Republic, it might be introduced with 
advantage.® Ancient peoples used the slightly acid fruits 
as a seasoning, and the custom has lingered here and 
there; but I find no proof that they cultivated the 

It grows wild in the Canaries and in Madeira, in 
the Mediterranean region and in the neighbourhood of 
the Black Sea> preferring dry and stony ground. In 
Asia its area extends as far as the south of the Cau- 
casus, the Caspian Sea^ and Persia** The species is 
so common that it may have been in use before it was 

* Grisebach, FL of Brit. Went Ind., p. 97. 

* Bo8C, Diet. d'Agric.y at the woi-d ** Snmao.'* 

* The conditions and methods of the caltore of the Eramach are the 
snbjeot of an important paper by Inzenga, translated in the Bull. 
8oc. d'AccUm,, Feb. 1877. In the Trans. Bot. 8oc. of Edinburgh, ix. p. 341, 
may be seen an extract from an earlier paper hj the anthor on tLo same 

* Ledebonr, Fl. Rosa., i. p. 609 ; Boissfer, Fl, Orient., ii. p. 4. 


Sumach is the Persian and Tartar name ; ^ roua, rhus, 
the ancient name among the Greeks and Romans.^ 
A proof of the persistence of certain common names is 
found in the French *' Currier's roux or roure.*' 

Khat, or Arab Tea — Catha edutis, Forskal; Celastrua 
edvlis, VahL 

This shrub, belonging to the family of the Celastracece, 
is largely cultivated in Abyssinia, under the name of 
tchut or tchat, and in Arabia under that of eat or gat. Its 
leaves are chewed, when green, like those of the coca in 
America, and they have the same exciting and strength- 
ening properties. Those of uncultivated plants have a 
stronger taste, and are even intoxicating. Botta saw 
that in Yemen as much importance is attributed to the 
cultivation of the Catha as to that of coffee, and he 
mentions that a sheik, who is obliged to receive many 
visits of ceremony, bought as much as a hundred francs' 
worth of leaves a day * In Abyssinia an infusion is 
also made from the leaves.* In spite of the eagerness 
with which stimulants are sought, this species has not 
spread into the adjoining countries, such as Beluchistan, 
Southern India, etc., where it might succeed. 

The Catha is wild in Abyssinia,^ but has not yet been 
found wild in Arabia. It is true that the interior of 
the country is nearly unknown to botanists. It cannot 
be ascertained from Botta*s account whether the wild 
plants he mentions are wild and indigenous, or escaped 
from cultivation and more or less naturalized. Perhaps 
the Catha was introduced from Abyssinia with the coffee 
plant, which likewise has not been discovered wild in 

Mat! — Hex paraguariensis, Saint-Hilaire. 

The inhabitants of Brazil and of Paraguay have em- 

^ Nemnich, PolygL Lexicon^ It p. 1156 ; Aiuslie, M<U. Med. Ind.^ i. 
p. 414. 

* Fraas, 8yn. Fl. Class., p. 85. 

* Forskal, Flora ^gyptO'Arahicaf p. 65 ; Richard, Tentamen Fl. Abyss., 
1. p. 134, pi. 30 ; Botta, Archives du Museum, ii. p. 73. 

* Hochstetter, Flora, 1841, p. 663. 

' Schweinfnrth and Ascherson, At^fzaMung, p. 263; Olirer, 17. 
Trop. Afr.y I p. 364. 


ployed from time immemorial the leaves of this shrub, as 
the Chinese have those of the tea plant. They gather them 
especially in the damp forests of the interior, between the 
degrees of 20 and 30 south latitude, and commerce trans- 
ports them dried to great distances throughout the greater 
part of South America. These leaves contain, with aroma 
and tannin, a principle analogous to thai of tea and coffee ; 
they are not, however, much liked in the countries where 
Chinese tea is known. The plantations of mat^ are not 
yet as important as the product of the wild shrub, but 
they may increase as the population increases. More- 
over, the preparation is simpler than that of tea, as the 
leaves are not rolled. 

Illustrations and descriptions of the species, with a 
number of details about its use and properties, may be 
found in the works of Saint-Hilaire, of Sir William 
Hooker, and of Martins.^ 

Coca. — Erythroxylon Coca, Lamarck, 

The natives of Peru and of the neighbouring pro- 
vinces, at least in the hot moist regions, cultivate this 
shrub, of which they chew the leaves, as the natives of 
India chew the leaves of the betel. It is a very ancient 
custom, which has spread even into elevated regions, 
where the species cannot live. Now that it is known how 
to extract the essential part of the coca, and its virtues 
are recognized as a tonic, which gives strength to endure 
fiEktigue without having the drawbacks of alcoholic liquors, 
it is probable that an attempt will be made to extend 
its cultivation in America and elsewhere. In Guiana, for 
instance, the Malay Archipelago, or the valleys of Sikkim 
and Assam, or in Hindustan, since both moisture and heat 
are requisite. Frost is very injurious to the species. The 
best sites are the slopes of hills where water cannot lie. 
An attempt made in the neighbourhood of Lima failed, 
because of the infrequency of rain and perhaps because 
of insufficient heat.^ 

' Ang. de Saint-Hilaire, M4m, du Museum, iz. p. 351 ; Ann. 8c. 
Nat.^ 3rd series, xiv. p. 52 ; Hooker, London Jowmal of Botany, L p. 34 ; 
Martins, Fl&ra Brasiliensis, vol. ii. part 1, p. 119. 

' Martinet, Bull. 8oc. d'Acclim., 1874, p. 449. 


I shall not repeat here what may be found in several 
excellent treatises on the coca ; ^ I need only say that the 
original home of the species in America is not yet clearly 
ascertained. Gosse has shown that early authors, such as 
Jose})h de Jussieu, Lamarck, and CavaniUes, had only seen 
cultivated specimens. Mathews gathered it in Peru, in 
the ravine (quebrada) of Chinchao,^ which appears to be a 
place beyond the limits of cultivation. Some specimens 
from Cuchero, collected by Poeppig,^ are said to be wild ; 
but the traveller himself was not convinced of their wild 
natura* D'Orbigny thinks he saw the wild coca on 
a hill in the eastern part of Bolivia.*^ Lastly, M. Andr^ 
has had the courtesy to send me the specimens of jEry- 
throxylon in his herbarium, and I recognized the coca in 
several specimens from the valley of the river Cauca in 
New Granada, with the note " in abundance, wild or half- 
wild." Triana, however, does not admit that the species 
is wild in his country, New Granada.* Its extreme im- 
portance in Peru at the time of the Incas, compared to 
the rarity of its use in New Granada, seems to show 
that it has escaped from cultivation in places where it 
occurs in the latter country, and that the species is in- 
digenous only in the east of Peru and Bolivia, according 
to the indications of the travellers mentioned above. 

Dyer's Indigo. — Indigofera tinctoria, Linnseus. 

The Sanskrit name is nili.'^ The Latin name, 
indicum, shows that the Romans knew that the indigo 
was a substance brought from India. As to the wUd 
nature of the plant, Roxburgh says, " Native place un- 
known, for, though it is now common in a wild state in 
most of the provinces of India, it is seldom found far from 
the districts where it is now cultivated, or has been culti- 
vated formerly." Wight and Royle, who have published 
illustrations of the species, tell us nothing on this head, 

* Particularly in Gosse's Monographie de VEry throxylon Coca, in 
Svo, 1861. 

' Hooker, Comp. to the Bot, Mag,, ii. p. 25. 

* Peyritsch, in the Flora BrasU., faso. 81, p. 156. 

* Hooker, Comp. to the BoL Mag. * Gosse, Monogr., p. 12. 

* Triana and Planchon, Awn. Sciences Nat., 4th series, yoL 18, p. 338. 
' Eoxbnrgh, FL Ind., iii. p. 379. 


and more recent Indian floras mention the plant as 
cultivated.^ Several other indigoes are wild in India. 

This species has been found in the sands of Senegal,* 
but it is not mentioned in other African localities, and 
as it is often cultivated in Senegal, it seems probable 
that it is naturalized. The existence of a Sanskrit name 
renders its Asiatic origin most probable. 
- Silver Indigo — Indigofera argentea. 

This species is certainly wild in Abyssinia, Nubia, 
Kordofan, and Senaar.* It is cultivated in Egypt and 
Arabia. Hence we might suppose that it was from this 
species that the ancient Egyptians extracted a blue dye ; * 
but perhaps they imported their indigo from India, for 
its cultivation in Egypt is probably not of earlier date 
than the Middle Ages.^ 

A slightly different form, which Roxburgh gives as 
a separate species (Indigofera ccerulea)^ and which 
appears rather to be a variety, is wild in the plains of 
the peninsula of Hindustan and of Beluchistan. 

American Indigoes. 

There are probably one or two indigoes indigenous in 
America, but ill defined, and often intermixed in cultiva- 
tion with the species of the old world, and naturalized 
beyond the limits of cultivation. This interchange makes 
the matter too uncertain for me to venture upon any 
researches into their original habitat. Some authors 
have thought that /. Anil, Linnaeus, was one of these 
species. Linnaeus, however, says that his plant came 
from India (Mantissa, p. 273). The blue dye of the 
ancient Mexicans was extracted from a plant which, 
according to Hernandez' account,* difiers widely from the 

* Wight, Icones, i. 865 ; Rojle, HI. HimaZ., t, 195 ; Baker, in Flora 
of Brit. Ind., iu p. 98 ; Brandis, Forest Flora, p. 136. 

* GDillemin, Perrottefc, and Richard, Florae Seneg. Tentamen, p. 178. 

* Bichard, Tentamen Fl. Abyss., i. 184 ; Oliver, Fl. of Trop. Afr., 
iL p. 97 ; Schweinfurth and Ascherson, AufzdM'wng, p. 256. 

* Unger, Pflanzen d. Alt. JEgyptens, p. 66} Pickering, Chronol. 
Arrang., p. 443. 

* Reynier, Economie des Juifs, p. 439 ; des Egyptiens, p. 854. 

* Hernandez, Thes,^ p. 108. 


Henna — Lawsonia alba, Lamarck {Lawaonia inermis 
and L, apinosa of different authors). 

The custom among Eastern women of staining their 
nails red with the juice of henna-leaves dates from a 
remote antiquity, as ancient Egyptian paintings and 
mummies show. 

It is difficult to know when and in what country this 
species was first cultivated to fulfil the requirements of a 
fashion as absurd as it is persistent, but it may be from 
a very early epoch, since the inhabitants of Babylon, 
Nineveh, and the towns of Egypt had gardens. It may 
be left to scholars to show whether the practice of stain- 
ing the nails began in Egypt under this or that dynasty, 
before or after certain relations were established with 
Eastern nations. It is enough for our purpose to know 
that Laivsonia, a shrub belonging to the order of the 
Lythraceae, is more or less wild in the warm regions of 
Western Asia and of Africa to the north of the equator. 

I have in my possession specimens from India, Java, 
Timor, even from China ^ and Nubia, which are not said 
to be taken from cultivated plants, and others from 
Quiana and the West Indies, which are doubtless fur- 
nished by the imported species. Stocks found it indige- 
nous in Beluchistan.^ Roxburgh also considered it to be 
wild on the Coromandel ^ coast, and Thwaites * mentions 
it in Ceylon in a manner which seems to show that it is 
wild there. Clarke *^ says, " very common, and cultivated 
in India, perhaps wild in the eastern part" It is pos- 
sible that it spread into India from its original home, as 
intoAmboyna* in the seventeenth century, and perhaps 
more recently into the West Indies,^ in the wake of culti- 
vation ; for the plant is valued for the scent of its flowers, 
as well as for the dye, and is easily propagated by seed. 

' Fortune, No. 32. 

' Aitchison, CaiaL of PI, of Pwijah a/ndSindh,-p. 60; Boissier, FU 
Orient; ii. p. 744. 

■ Roxburgh, Fl. Ind., ii. p. 258. 

« Thwaifces, Enum. PI. Zeyl., p. 122. 

* Clarke, in Hooker's Fl. Brit. Ind., ii. p. 27S. 

* BampMos, Amh.y iy. p. 42. 

' Grisebach, Fl. Brit. W. Ind.^ i. p. 271. 


There is the same doubt as to whether it is indigenous 
in Persia, Arabia, and Egypt (an essentially cultivated 
country), in Nubia, and even in Guinea, where specimens 
have been gathered.^ It is even possible that the area of 
this shrub extends from India to Nubia. Such a wide 
geographical distribution is, however, always somewhat 
rare. The common names may furnish some indication. 

A Sanskrit name, sakachera,^ is attributed to the 
species, but as it has left no trace in the different modem 
languages of India> I am inclined to doubt its reality. 
The Persian name hanna is more widely diffused and 
retained than any other (hima of the Hindus, henneh and 
aUieuTia of the Arabs, kinna of the modem Greeks). 
That of cypros, used by the Syrians of the time of 
Dioscorides,® has not found so much favour. This fact 
supports the opinion that the species grew originally 
on the borders of Persia, and that its use as well as 
its cultivation spread from the East to the West, from 
Asia into Africa. 

Tobacco — NicotiaTia Tabacum, Linnasus ; and other 
species of Nicotiana. 

At the time of the discovery of America^ the custom 
of smoking, of snuff-taking, or of chewing tobacco was 
diffused over the greater part of this vast continent. 
The accounts of the earliest travellers, of which the 
famous anatomist Tiedemann ^ has made a very complete 
collection, show that the inhabitants of South America 
did not smoke, but chewed tobacco or took snuff, except 
in the district of La Plata, Uruguay, and Paraguay, 
where no form of tobacco was used. In North America, 
from the Isthmus of Panama and the West Indies as far 
as Canada and California, the custom of smoking was 
universal, and circumstances show that it was also very 
ancient. Pipes, in great numbers and of wonderful work- 
manship, have been discovered in the tombs of the Aztecs 

> Oliver, Fl. of Trop. Afr,, ii. p. 483. 

* Fiddington, Index. 

' DiosoorideSf 1, c. 124 ; Lenz, Bot. d. Alten^ p. 177. 

* Tiedemann, Geschichte des Tahaks, in Svo, 1854. For Brasil, see 
MartiuB, Beitrage vwr Ethnographie und Sprachhwnde Amerikcu, i. p. 719. 


in Mexico^ and in the mounds of the United States; 
some of them represent animals foreign to North America.^ 

As the tobacco plant is an annual which gives a great 
quantity of seeds, it was easy to sow and to cultivate or 
naturalize them more or less in the neighbourhood of 
dwellings, but it must be noted that difierent species of 
the genus Nicotiana were employed in different parts 
of America^ which shows that they had not all the 
same origin. Nicotiana Tabacum, commonly cultivated, 
was the most widely difiused, and sometimes the only 
one in use in South America and the West Indies. The 
use of tobacco was introduced into La Plata, Paraguay,® 
and Uruguay by the Spaniards, consequently we must 
look further to the north for the origin of the plant. 
De Martins does not think it was indigenous in Brazil,* 
and he adds that the ancient Brazilians smoked the 
leaves of a species belonging to their country known 
to botanists as Nicotiaiia Langsdorfii, When I went 
into the question in 1855,^ I had not been able to dis- 
cover any wild specimens of Nicotiana Tabacum except 
those sent by Blanchet from the province of Bahia, 
numbered 3223, a. No author, either before or since that 
time, has been more fortunate, and I see that Messrs. 
Fluckiger and Hanbury, in their excellent work on 
vegetable drugs,^ say positively, " The common tobacco 
is a native of the new world, though not now known 
in a wild state." I venture to gainsay this assertion, 
although the wild nature of a plant may always be 
disputed in the case of a plant which spreads so easily 
from cultivation. 

We find in herbaria a number of specimens gathered in 
Peru without indication that they were cultivated or that 
they grew near plantations. Boissier's herbarium contains 

' Tiedemann, p. 17) pi. 1. 

' The drawings on these pipes are reprodnoed in Naidaillac's recent 
work, Lea Premiers Homines et les Temps Pr^historiqiteSf vol. ii. pp. 

• Tiedemann, pp. 38, 39. 

* Martins, 8yst. Mat. Med. Bras.t p. 120 ; Fl. Bras., yoL x. p. 191. 

• A. de CandoUe, Qiogr. Bot. Raisonndef p. 849. 

* Fluckiger and Hanbury, Pharmacographia, p. 418. 



two specimens collected by Pavon, from different locali- 
ties.^ Pavon says in his flora that the species grows in 
the moist warm forests of the Peruvian Andes, and that it 
is cultivated. But — and this is more significant — Edouard 
Andr^ gathered specimens in the republic of Ecquador 
at Saint Nicholas, on the western slope of the volcano of 
Corazon in a virgin forest. These he was kind enough 
to send me. They are evidently the tall variety (four to 
six feet) of N. Tabdcum, with the upper leaves narrow 
and acuminate, as they are represented in the plates of 
Hayne and Miller.* The lower leaves are wanting. The 
flower, which gives the true characters of the species, is 
certainly that of N. Tabacum, and it is well known that 
the height of this plant and the breadth of the leaves 
vary in cultivation.^ It is very possible that its original 
country extended north as far as Mexico, as far south as 
Bolivia, and eastward to Venezuela. 

Nicotiana rustica, Linnaeus, a species with yellow 
flowers, very diflbrent from Tahaawm,^ and which yields 
a coarse kind of tobacco, was more often cultivated by 
the Mexicans and the native tribes north of Mexico. I 
have a specimen brought from California by Douglas in 
1837, a time when colonists were still few; but American 
authorities do not admit that the plant is wild, and Dr. 
Asa Gray says that it sows itself in waste places.^ This 
was perhaps the case with the specimens in Boissier's 
herbarium, gathered in Peru by Pavon, and which he 
does not mention in the Peruvian flora. The species 
grows in abundance about Cordova in the Argentine 
Republic,® but from what epoch is unknown. From the 

^ One of these is classed nnder the name Nicot fruUcoscu, which in 
my opinion is the same species, tall, bnt not woody, as the name would 
lead one to believe. N. auriculata, Bertero, is also Taibacumf according 
to my authentic specimens. 

' Hayne, Arzneikunde Gewachse^ toL zil t. 41; Miller, Figures of 
Plants, pi. 185, f. 1. 

' The capsule is sometimes shorter and sometimes longer than the 
caliz, on the same plant, in Andre's specimens. 

* See the figures of N. rustica in Flee, Types de Families Na,tureUe8 
de France^ Solandes ; BuUiard, Herhier de France, t. 289. 

* Asa Gray, 8yn. Flora of North Amer. (1878), p. 241. 

* Martin de Moussy, Descr. de la Repub. Argent., i. p. 193. 


ancient use of the plant and the home of the most analo- 
gous species, the probabilities are in favour of a Mexican, 
Texan, or Oalifornian origin. 

Several botanists, even Americans, have believed that 
the species came from the old world. This is certainly 
a mistake, although the plant has spread here and there 
even into our forests, and sometimes in abundance,^ 
having escaped from cultivation. Authors of the six- 
teenth century spoke of it as a foreign plant introduced 
into gardens and sometimes spreading from them.' It 
occurs in some herbaria under the names of N. tar- 
tarica, turcica, or aibirica ; but these are garden-grown 
specimens, and no botanist has found the species in Asia, 
or on the borders of Asia, with any appearance of wildness. 

This leads me to refute a widespread and more per- 
sistent error, in spite of what I proved in 1855, namely, 
that of regarding some species ill described from culti- 
vated specimens as natives of the old world, of Asia in 
particular. The proofs of an American origin are so 
numerous and consistent that, without entering much 
into detail, I may sum them up as follows : — 

A, Out of fifty species of the genus Nicotiana found 
in a wild state, two only are foreign to America \ namely, 
N. auavolens of New Holland, with which is joined 
N. rotundifolia of the same country, and that which 
Ventinat had wrongly styled iV, undulata; and N.fra- 
gems, Hooker, of the Isle of Pines, near New Caledonia, 
which difiers very little from the preceding. 

B. Though the Asiatic people are great lovers of 
tobacco, and have from a very early epoch sought the 
smoke of certain narcotic plants, none of them made use 
of tobacco before the discovery of America. Tiedemann 
has distinctly proved this fact by thorough researches 
into the writings^of travellers in the Middle Ages.® He 
even quotes for a later epoch, not long after the dis- 
covery of America, between 1540 and 1603, the fact that 

* Balliard, Herhier de France. 

' GsBsalpinns, lib. viii. cap. 44 ; Banhin, iTf^f., iii. p. 630. 

' Tiedemann, Oeschichte dea Tahaks (1854), p. 208. Two years 
earlier, Volz, Beitrage tur Culturgeschichte, had collected a number 
of facts relatire to the introduction of tobacco into different ooontries. 


several travellers, some of whom were botanists, such as 
Belon and Rauwolf, who travelled through the Turkish 
and Persian empires, observing their customs with much 
attention, have not once mentioned tobacco. It was 
evidently intixxiuced into Turkey at the beginning of the 
seventeenth century, and the Persians soon received it 
from the Turks. The first European who mentions the 
smoking of tobacco in Persia is Thomas Herbert, in 1626. 
No later travellers have omitted to notice the use of the 
hookah as well established. Olearius describes this ap- 
paratus, which he saw in 1633. The first mention of 
tobacco in India is in 1605,^ and it is probable that it 
was of European introduction. It was first introduced 
at Arracan and Pegu, in 1619, according to the traveller 
Methold.^ There are doubts about Java, because Rum- 
phius, a very accurate observer, who wrote in the second 
half of the seventeenth century, says* that, according 
to the tradition of some old people, tobacco had been 
employed as a medicine before the arrival of the Portu- 
guese in 1496, and that only the practice of smoking it 
had been communicated by the Europeans. Rumphius 
adds, it is true, that the name tabaco or tambuco, which 
is in use in all these places, is of foreign origin. Sir 
Stamford Raffles,* in his numerous historical researches 
on Java, gives, on the other hand, the year 1601 as the 
date of the introduction of tobacco into Java. The 
Portuguese had certainly discovered the coasts of Brazil 
between 1500 and 1504, but Yasco di Gama and his 
successors went to Asia round the Cape, or through the 
Red Sea, so that they could hardly have established 
frequent or direct communications between America and 
Java. Nicot had seen the plant in Portugal in 1560, so 
that the Portuguese probably introduced it into Asia 
in the latter half of the sixteenth century. Thunberg 
affirms^ that the use of tobacco was introduced into 

' According to an anonymous Indian anthor quoted hj Tiedemann, 
p. 229. 

* Tiedemann, p. 234. * Bamphiiu, Herb, Amboin t. p. 225. 

* Ba£9es, Deicr, of Java, p. 85. 

' Thunberg, Flora JaponuM, p. 9L 


Japan by the Portuguese, and according to early travellers 
quoted by Tiedemann, this was at the beginning of the 
seventeenth century. Lfistly, the Chinese have no original 
and ancient sign for tobacco ; their paintings on china 
in the Dresden collection often present, from the year 1700 
and never before that date, details relating to tobacco,^ 
and Chinese students are agreed that Chinese works do 
not mention the plant before the end of the sixteenth 
century.* If it be remembered with what rapidity the 
use of tobacco has spread wherever it has been intro- 
duced^ these data about Asia have an incontestable force. 

C, The common names of tobacco confirm its 
American origin. If there had been any indigenous 
species in the old world there would be a great number 
of different names; but, on the contrary, the Chinese, 
Japanese, Javanese, Indian, Persian, etc., names are 
derived from the American names, petum, or tahak, 
tahoky tamboc, slightly modified. It is true that Pid- 
dington gives Sanskrit names, dhumrapatra and tam- 
rakouta,^ but Adolphe Pictet informs me that the first of 
these names, which is not in Wilson's dictionary, means 
only leaf for smoking, and appears to be of modem com- 
position; while the second is probably no older, and 
seems to be a modem modification of the American 
names. The Arabic word docchan simply means smoke.* 

Lastly, we must inquire into the two so-called Asiatic 
NicotiaTKB. The one, called by Lehmann Nicotiana 
chinensis, came from the Russian botanist Fischer, who 
said it was Chinese. Lehmann said he had seen it in a 
garden. Now, it is well known how often an enx)neous 
origin is attributed to plants grown by horticulturists 
and besides, from the description, it seems that it was 
simply N, Tahacwm, of which the seeds had perhaps 
come from China.* The second species is N. persica, 

• Klemm, qnoted by Tiedemann, p. 256. 

' Stanislas J alien, in de Candolle, Q^ogr. Bot, Rais., p. 851 ; 
Bretschneider, Study and Value, etc., p. 17. 

• Fiddington, Index, * Forskal, p. 63. 

• Lehmann, Histoi'ia Nicotinarumf p. 18. The epithet suffniticosa 
is an exaggeration applied to the tobaccos, which are always annnal. I 
have said already that N. suffruticosa of different auth )rs is N, Tabacum, 


Lindley, figured in the Botanical Register (pi. 1592), 
of which the seeds had been sent from Ispahan to the 
Horticultural Society of London, as those of the best 
tobacco cultivated in Persia, that of Schiraz. Lindley 
did not observe that it corresponded exactly to N, alata, 
drawn three years before by Link and Otto^ from a 
plant in the gardens at Berlin. The latter was grown 
from seed sent by Sello from Southern Brazil. It is 
certainly a Brazilian species, with a white elongated 
corolla, allied to N, suaveolens of New Holland. Thus 
the tobacco cultivated sometimes in Persia along with 
the common species, is of American origin, as I declared 
in my Geographiccd Botany of 1855. I do not under- 
stand how this species was introduced into Persia. It 
must have been from seed taken from a garden, or 
brought by chance from America, and it is not likely 
that its cultivation is common in Persia, for Olivier and 
Bruguifere, and other naturalists who have observed the 
tobacco plantations in that country, make no mention 
of it. 

From all these reasons I conclude that no species of 
tobacco is a native of Asia. They are all American, 
except N, suaveolens of New Holland, and N, fragrans 
of the Isle of Pines to the south of New Caledonia. 

Several Nicotiance, besides N, Tabacwn and N. rus- 
tica, have been cultivated here and there by savages, 
or as a curiosity by Europeans. It is strange that so 
little notice is taken of these attempts, by means of 
which very choice tobacco might be obtained. The 
species with white flowers would yield probably a light 
and perfumed tobacco, and as some smokers seek the 
strongest tobaccos and the most disagreeable to non- 
smokers, I would recommend to their notice N. angusti- 
folia of Chili, which the natives call tabaco del diahlo,^ 

* Link and Otto, Icones Plant. Rar. ITort. Ber.f in 4to, p. 63, t. 32. 
Sendtner, in Flora Brasily vol. x. p. 167, describes the same plant as 
Sello, as it seems from the Bpecimens collected by this traveller ; and 
Grisebach, SymholoB Fl. Argent.^ p. 243, mentions N. alata in the pro- 
vince of Entrerios of the Argentine republic. 

' Bertero, in De Cand., Prodr,, zii., sect. 1, p. 568. 


Cinnamon — Cinnamonum zeylanicwniy Breyn. 

This little tree, belonging to the laurel tribe, of which 
the bark of the young branches forms the cinnamon of 
commerce, grows in great quantities in the forests of 
Ceylon. Certain varieties which grow wild on the con- 
tinent of India were formerly considered to be so many 
distinct species, but Anglo-Indian botanists are agreed 
in connecting them with that of Ceylon,^ 

The bark of (7. zeylanicum, and that of several uncul- 
tivated species of CinnaTnonuTn, which produce the 
cae&ia, or Chinese cassia, have been an important article 
of commerce from a very early period. Fluckiger and 
Hanbury ^ have treated of this historical question with 
so much learning and thoroughness, that we need only 
refer to their work, entitled PJiarrrwLcographiay or His- 
tory of the Principal Drugs of Vegetable Origin, It is 
important from our point of view to note how modern 
the culture is of the cinnamon tree in comparison with 
the trade in its product. It was only between 1765 and 
1770 that a Ceylon colonist, named de Koke, aided by 
Falck, the governor of the island, made some planta- 
tions which were wonderfully successful. They have 
diminished in Ceylon in the last few years, but others 
have been established in the tropical regions of the old 
and new worlds. The species becomes easily naturalized 
beyond the limits of cultivation,® as birds are fond of the 
fruit, and drop the seeds in the forests. 

China Grass — Boehraeii^ nivea, Hooker and Amott. 

The cultivation of this valuable Urticacea has been 
introduced into the south of France and of the United 
States for about thirty years, but commerce had pre- 
viously acquainted us with the great value of its fibres, 
more tenacious than hemp and in some cases flexible as 
silk. Interesting details on the manner of cultivating 

* Thwaites, Enum. PI. ZelanioB, p. 252 ; Brandis, Forest Flora of India, 
p. 375. 

■ Fluckiger and Hanbnrj, Pharmacographia, p. 467; Porter, The 
Tropical AgricvXturist^ p. 268. 

* Braudis, Forwt Flora; Grisebach, Flora of Brit. W. India Is., 
p. 179. 


the plant and of extracting its fibres ^ may be found in 
several books ; I shall confine myself here to defining as 
clearly as I can its geographical origin. 

To attain this end we must not trust to the vague 
expressions of most authors, nor to the labels attached 
to the specimens in herbaria, since frequently no dis- 
tinction has been made between cultivated, naturalized, 
or truly wild plants, and the two varieties of Boehmeria 
nivea (Urtica nivea, Linnaeus), and Boehmeria tenacis- 
aima, Gaudichaud, or B, candican^, Hasskarl, have been 
confounded together; forms which appear to be varieties 
of the same species, because transitions between them 
have been observed by botanists. There is also a sub- 
variety, with leaves green on both sides, cultivated by 
Americans and by M. de Malartic in the south of France. 

The variety earliest known (Urtica nivea, L.), with 
leaves white on the under side, is said to grow in China 
and some neighbouring countries. Linnaeus says it is 
found on walls in China, which would imply a plant 
naturalized on rubbish-heaps from cultivation. But 
Loureiro ^ says, " habitat et abundanter colitur in Cochin- 
China et China** and according to Bentham,® the collector 
Champion found it in abundance in the ravines of the 
island of Hongkong. According to Franchet and Sava- 
tier,* it exists in Japan in clearings and hedges (infriUi- 
cetis unihrosia et aepihus). Blanco ^ says it is common in 
the Philippine Isles. I find no proof that it is wild in 
Java, Sumatra, and other islands of the Malay Archi- 
pelago. Rumphius ® knew it only as a cultivated plant. 
Roxburgh'' believed it to be a native of Sumatra, but 
Miquel® does not confirm this belief. The other varieties 

* De Malartic, Joum, d*Agric, Pratiqvs, 1871, 1872, vol. ii. No. 31 ; 
de la Roqne, ibid., No. 29, BvXl. 8oc. d'Acdim,, 1872, p. 463; Vilmoriii, 
Bon Jardinier, 1880, pt. 1, p. 700; Yetillart, Atudea atur lea Fibres 
V4g4taXe8 TextileSy p. 99, pi. 2. 

■ Loureiro, Fl. Cochin,, ii. p. 683. 
' Bentham, Fl, Hongkong , p. 331. 

* Franchet and Savatior, Fnum, PiarU. Jap., i. p. 439. 

■ Blanco, Flora de Filip., edit. 2, p. 484. 
' Bamphins, Amhoin, t. p. 214. 

' Boxbnrgh, Fl. Ind., iii. p. 590. 

* Hiquel, Svmuitra, Germ, edit., p. 170« 


have nowhere been found wild, which supports the 
theory that they are only the result of cultivation. 

Hemp — Cannabis saliva, Linnaeus. 

Hemp is mentioned, in its two forms, male and female^ 
in the most ancient Chinese works, particularly in the 
Shu-King, written 500 B.c.^ 

It has Sanskrit names, bhanga and gangika} The 
root of these words, ana or an, recurs in all the Indo- 
European and modern sLitic lakeuages : 6o«^ in Hindu 
and Persian, ganga in Bengali,® Acw^ in German, hemp 
in English, chanvre in French, kanas in Keltic and 
modern Breton,* can/nabis in Greek and Latin, cannab 
in Arabic.*^ 

According to Herodotus (bom 484 B.C.), the Scythians 
used hemp, but in his time the Greeks were scarcely 
acquainted with it.® Hiero II., King of Syracuse, bought 
the hemp used for the cordage of his vessels in Gaul, and 
Lucilius is the earliest Roman writer who speaks of the 

{lant (100 B.C.). Hebrew books do not mention hemp.^ 
t was not used in the fabrics which enveloped the 
mummies of ancient Egypt. Even at the end of the 
eighteenth century it was only cultivated in Egypt for the 
sake of an intoxicating liquid extracted from the plant.® 
The compilation of Jewish laws known as the Talmud, 
made under the Boman dominion, speaks of its textile 
properties as of a little-known fact.® It seems probable 
that the Scythians transported this plant from Central 
Asia and from Russia when they migrated westward 
about 1500 B.C., a little before the Trojan war. It may 
also have been introduced by the earlier incursions of the 
Aryans into Thrace and Western Europe ; yet in that case 
it would have been earlier known in Italy. Hemp has 

' Bretschneider, On the Study arid Value, etc., pp. 5, 10, 48. 

* Piddington, Index; Boxbnrgh, Fl. Ind., edit. 2, vol. iii. p. 772. 
' Roxburgh, ihid, 

* Reynier, ^conomie dee CelteSy p. 448 ; Legonideo, Diet. Bas'Breton. 
^ J. Hnmbert, formerly professor of Arabic at Geneva, says the name 

is lannahf kon-ndb, hon-nahf hen-nahf kanedir, according to the locality. 

* AthenaDDS, quoted by Hehn, Culturpjlanzen, p. 168. 
' Bosenmilller, Hand. Bibl. Altertk, 

* ForakeA, Mora ! Del'ile, Flore d*Egypte, 

* Beynier, £conomie des Araibes, p. 434. 


not been found in the lake-dwellings of Switzerland * and 
Northern Italy.* 

The observations on the habitat of Cannabis sativa 
agree perfectly with the data furnished by history and 
philology. I have treated specially of this subject in a 
monograph in Prodromus, 1869.® 

The species has been found wild, beyond a doubt, to 
the south of the Caspian Sea,* in Siberia, near the Irtysch, 
in the desert of the Kirghiz, beyond Lake Baikal, in 
Dahuria (government of Irkutsh). Authors mention it 
also throughout Southern and Central Russia, and to the 
south of the Caucasus,^ but its wild nature is here less 
certain, seeing that these are populous countries, and that 
the seeds of the hemp are easily diffused from gardens. 
The antiquity of the cultivation of hemp in China leads 
me to believe that its area extends further to the east, 
although this has not yet been proved by botanists.® 
Boissier mentions the species as " almost wild in Persia." 
I doubt whether it is indigenous there, since in that case 
the Greeks and Hebrews would have known of it at an 
earlier period. 

White Mulberry — Morus alba, Linnaeus. 

The mulberry tree, which is most commonly used 
in Europe for rearing silkworms, is Morus alba. Its 
very numerous varieties have been carefully described by 
Seringe,^ and more recently by Bureau.** That most 
widely cultivated in India, Morus indica, Linnaeus 
{Morus alba, var. Indica, Bureau), is wild in the Punjab 
and in Sikkim, according to Brandis, inspector-general of 
forests in British India.* Two other varieties, serrata 
and cuspidata, are also said to be wild in different pro- 

' Heer, Ueber d. Flachs, p. 25. 

' Sordelli, Notizie aull. Staz. di Lagozza, 1880. 

• Vol. xvi. sect. 1, p. 80. 

« De BaDge, Bull, 8oc, Bot. de Pr., 1860, p. 30. 
' Ledebonr, Flora Rosnca, iii. p. 634. 

' BnDge found hemp in the north of China, bnt among mbbish (Enum. 
No. 338). 

' Seringe, Description et Culture des MUriers, 

• Bureau, in De Candolle, Prodrornvs, xvii. p. 238. 

• Brandis, Forest Flora of North-West and Central India, 1874, 
p. 408. This variety has black fruit, like that of Morua nigra. 


vinces of Northern India.^ The Abb^ David found a 
perfectly wild variety in Mongolia, described under the 
name of mongolica by Bureau; and Dr. Bretschneider* 
quotes a name yen, from ancient Chinese authors, for the 
wild mulberry. 

It is true he does not say whether this name applies 
to the white mulberry, pe-aang, of the Chinese planta- 
tions.* The antiquity of its culture in China,* and in 
Japan, and the number of different varieties grown there, 
lead us to believe that its original area extended east- 
ward as far as Japan; but the indigenous flora of Southern 
China is little known, and the most trustworthy authors 
do not affirm that the plant is indigenous in Japan. 
Franchet and Savatier ^ say that it is " cultivated from 
time immemorial, and become wild here and there." It 
is worthy of note also that the white mulberry appears 
to thrive especially in mountainous and temperate coun- 
tries, whence it may be argued that it was foiinerly 
introduced from the north of China into the plains of 
the south. It is known that birds are fond of the fruit, 
and bear the seeds to great distances and into unculti- 
vated ground, and this makes it difficult to discover its 
really original habitat. 

This facility of naturalization doubtless explains the 
presence in successive epochs of the white mulberry in 
Western Asia and the south of Europe. This must have 
occurred especially after the monks brought the silk- 
worm to Constantinople under Justinian in the sixth 
century, and as the culture of silkworms was gradually 
propagated westwards. However, Targioni has proved 
that only the black mulberry, M, nigra, was known in 
Sicily and Italy when the manufacture of silk was intro- 
duced into Sicily in 1148, and two centuries later into 

' Bnrean, ibid., from the specimens of several travellers. 

* Bretschneider, Stvdy and Value, etc., p. 12. 

* This name occurs in the Pent-sao, according to Bitter, Erdkunde, 
xvii. p* 489. 

« Piatt says (Zeitschrift d. Gesellsch. Erdkunde, 1871, p. 162) that 
its cnltivation dates from 4000 years B.c. 

* Franohet and Savatier, Enum, Plant, Jap., L p. 483. 


Tuscany.^ According to the same author, the introduction 
of the white mulberry into Tuscany dates at the earliest 
from the year 1340. In like manner the manufacture of 
silk may have begun in China, because the silkworm is 
natural to that country ; but it is very probable that the 
tree grew also in the north of India, where so many 
travellers have found it wild. In Persia, Armenia, and 
Asia Minor, I am inclined to believe that it was natura- 
lized at a very early epoch, rather than to share Grise- 
bach's opinion that it is indigenous in the basin of the 
Caspian Sea. Boissier does not give it as wild in that 
region.^ - Buhse* found it in Peraia, near Erivan and 
Bashnaruschin, and he adds, *' naturalized in abundance 
in Ghilan and Masenderan." Ledebour,* in his Russian 
flora, mentions numerous localities round the Caucasus, 
but he does not specify whether the species is wild or 
naturalized. In the Crimea, Greece, and Italy, it exists 
only in a cultivated state".^ A variety, tatainca, often 
cultivated in the south of Bussia, has become naturalized 
near the Volga.® 

If the white mulberry did not originally exist in 
Persia and in the neighbourhood of the Caspian Sea, it 
must have penetrated there a long while ago. I may 
quote in proof of this the name tvH, tutti, tvia, which is 
Persian, Arabic, Turkish, and Tartar. There is a Sanskrit 
name, tula,'' which must be connected with the same root 
as the Persian name; but no Hebrew name is known, 
which is a confirmation of the theory of a successive 
extension towards the west of Asia. 

I refer those of my readers who may desire more de- 
tailed information about the introduction of the mulberry 
and of silkworms to the able works of Targioni and 

* Ant. Targioni, Gewni Storici svXV Introduzione di Varie Piante nell* 
Agricoltura Toacaria, p. 188. 

* Boissier, Fl. Orient., iv, p. 1153. 

' Bahse, Aufzdhlung der Transcaucasien und Peraien Pflanzen, p. 203. 

* Ledebour, Fl. Ross,, iii. p. 643. 

■ Steven, Verseichniss d. Taurisch. Halbins, p. 313 ; Heldreich, PJlan- 
zen des Attischen Ebene, ^, 508; Bertoloni, FL It<U,, z. p. 177 s Camel, 
F:. Towana, p. 171. 

* Barean, de Cand., Prodr., zvii. p. 238. 

' Bozbnrgh, Fl. Ind, ; Fiddington, Indem, 


Bitter, to which I have already referred. Recent dis- 
coveries made by various botanists have permitted me 
to add more precise data than those of Ritter on the 
question of origin, and if there are some apparent contra- 
dictions in our opinions on other points, it is because the 
famous geographer has considered a number of varieties 
as so many different species, whereas botanists, after a 
careful examination, have classed them together. 

Black Mulberry — Morus nigra, Linnseus. 

This tree is more valued for its fruit than for its 
leaves, and on that account I should have included it 
in the list of fruit trees ; but its history can hardly be 
separated from that of the white mulberry. Moreover, 
its leaves are employed in many countries for the feeding 
of silkworms, although the silk produced is of inferior 

The black mulberry is distinguished from the white 
by several characters independently of the black colour 
of the fruit, which occurs also in a few varieties of the 
M, alba} It has not a great number of varieties like 
the latter, which argues a less ancient and a less general 
cultivation and a narrower primitive area. 

Greek and Latin authors, even the poets, have men- 
tioned Morvs nigra, which they compare to Ficus syco- 
TTioriis, and which they even confounded originally with 
this Egyptian tree. 

Commentators for the last two centuries have quoted 
a number of passages which leave no doubt on this head, 
but which are devoid of interest in themselves.^ They 
furnish no proof touching the origin of the species, which 
is presumably Persian, unless we are to take seriously 
the fable of Pyramus and Thisbe, of which the scene was 
in Babylonia, according to Ovid. 

Botanists have not yet furnished any certain proof 
that this species is indigenous in Persia. Boissier, who 
is the most learned in the floras of the East, contents 

* E^ichenbach gives good figures of both species in his Iconee Fl* 
Germ., 657, 658. 

• Fraas, Syn. Fl, Class,, p. 236 ; Lenz, Bot der Alien Or, und Rom., 
]). 419; Bitter, Erdkunde, xvii. p. 482; Hehn, Culturpfianzen, edit. 3, 
p. 336. 


himself with quoting Hohenacker as the discoverer of 
M. nigra in the forests of Lenkoran, on the south coast 
of the Caspian Sea, and he adds, ** probably wild in the 
north of Persia near the Caspian Sea/' ^ Ledebour, in his 
Russian flora, had previously indicated, on the authority 
of different travellers, the Crimea and the provinces south 
of the Caucasus ; ^ but Steven denies the existence of the 
species in the Crimea except in a cultivated state.® Tchi- 
hatcheff and Koch found the black mulberry in high 
wild districts of Armenia. It is very probable that in 
the region to the south of the Caucasus and of the 
Caspian Sea Moms nigra is wild and indigenous rather 
than naturalized. What leads me to this belief is (1) 
that it is not known, even in a cultivated state, in India, 
China, or Japan ; (2) that it has no Sanskrit name ; (3) 
that it was so early introduced into Greece, a country 
which had intercourse with Armenia at an early period.* 

Moras nigra spread so little to the south of Persia, 
that no certain Hebrew name is known for it, nor even 
a Persian name distinct from that of Moms alba. It 
was widely cultivated in Italy until the superiority 
of the white mulberry for the rearing of silkworms was 
recognized. In Greece the black mulberry is still the 
most cultivated.^ It has become naturalized here and 
there in these countries and in Spain.® 

American Aloe — Agave Americana, Linnaeus. 

This Ugneous plant, of the order of AmarylUdacece, 
has been cultivated from time immemorial in Mexico under 
the names maguey or m£tl, in order to extract from it, at 
the moment when the flower stem is developed, the wine 
known as pulqv£, Humboldt has given a full descrip- 
tion of this culture,^ and he tells us elsewhere ® that the 

» Boissier, Fl. Orient, iv. p. 1153 (published 1879). 

« Ledebour, Fl. Ross., iii. p. 641. 

■ Steven, Verseichniss d. Taur. Hcdh. Pflan., p. 313. 

« Tchihatcheff, trans, of Grisebach's V4g4tation du Globe, i. 424. 

• Heldreich, Nutzpjlanzen Griechenlands, p. 19. 

• Bertoloni, FUxra Ital., x. p. 179; Viriani, Fl, Dalmat., i. p. 220; 
Willkomm and Lange, Prodr, Fl. Hisp., i. p. 250. 

' Hnmboldt, Nouvelle Espagne, ed. 2, p. 487. 

• Humboldt, in Knnth, Nova Oenera, i. p. 297* 


species grows in the whole of South America as far as 
five thousand feet of altitude. It is mentioned^ in 
Jamaica, Antigua, Dominica, and Cuba, but it must 
be observed that it multiplies easily by suckers,^ and 
that it is often planted far from dwellings to form 
fences or to extract from it the fibre known as pite, and 
this makes it ditiicult to ascertain its original habitat. 
Transported long since into the countries which border 
the Mediterranean, it occurs there with every appearance 
of an indigenous species, although there is no doubt as 
to its origin.^ Probably, to judge from the various uses 
made of it in Mexico before the arrival of the Euro- 
peans, it came originally from thence. 

Sugar-Cane — Saccharwm ojffwinarvmi, Linnaeus. 

The origin of the sugar-cane, of its cultivation, and 
of the manufacture of sugar, are the subject of a very 
remarkable work by the geographer, Karl Ritter.® I need 
not follow his purely agricultural and economical details ; 
but for that which interests us particularly, the primitive 
habitat of the species, he is the best guide, and the facts 
observed during the last forty years for the most part 
support or confirm his opinions. 

The sugar-cane is cultivated at the present day in all 
the warm regions of the globe, but a number of historical 
facts testify that it was first grown in Southern Asia;" 
whence it spread into Africa, and later into America. 
The question is, therefore, to discover in what districts 
of the continent, or in which of the southern islands of 
Asia, the plant exists, or existed at the time it was first 

Ritter has followed the best methods of arriving at a 
solution. He notes first that all the species known in a 

' Grisebach, Fl, of Brit W. Ind, Is,, p. 582. 

' Alpb. de Caudolle, Q4ogr. BoU RaiwnnSe, p. 789 ; H. Hoffmann, in 
Begel's Qartenjlora, 1875, p. 70. 

■ K. fiitter, Ueher die Oeographiache Verhreitung dea Zuckerrohrg, 
in 4to, 108 pages (according to Pritzel, Thes. Lit Bot) ; Die Cultur 
des Zuckerrohrs, Saccharwm, in Asien, Qeogr. Verhreitung^ etc., etc., in 
870, 64 pages, without date. This monograph is fnll of learning and 
judgment, worthy of the best epoch of German science* when English 
or French authors were quoted bj all authors with as much care as 


wild state, and undoubtedly belonging to the genus Sac- 
charuTTb, grow in India, except one in Egypt.^ Five 
species have since been described, growing in Java, New 
Guinea, Timor, and the Philippine Isles.^ The proba- 
bilities are all in favour of an Asiatic origin, to judge 
from the data furnished by geographical botany. 

Unfortunately no botanist had discovered at the time 
when Ritter wrote, or has since discovered, Saccharum 
officinaruTn wild in India, in the adjacent countries or 
in the archipelago to the south of Asia. All Anglo- 
Indian authors, Roxburgh, Wallich, Royle, etc., and more 
recently Aitchison,® only mention the plant as a culti- 
vated one. Roxburgh, who was so long a collector in 
India, says expressly, " where wild I do not know." The 
family of the GramiTiecB has not yet appeared in 
Sir Joseph Hooker s flora. For the island of Ceylon, 
Thwaites does not even mention the cultivated plant.* 
Rumphius, who has carefully described its cultivation 
in the Dutch colonies, says nothing about the home 
of the species. Miquel, Hasskarl, and Blanco mention no 
wild specimen in Sumatra, Java, or the Philippine Isles. 
Crawfurd tried to discover it, but failed to do so.^ At the 
time of Cook's voyage Forster found the sugar-cane only 
as a cultivated plant in the small islands of the Pacific.® 
The natives of New Caledonia cultivate a number of 
varieties of the sugar-cane, and use it constantly, sucking 
the syrup from the cane ; but Vieillard '^ takes care to say, 
" From the fact that isolated plants of Saccharum ojffici- 
nfiarum are often found in the middle of the bush and 
even on the mountains, it would be wrong to conclude 
that the plant is indigenous ; for these specimens, poor 
and weak, only mark the site of old plantations, or 

^ Kunth, Enum, Plant, (1838), vol. i. p. 474. There is no more 
recent descriptive work on the family of the ijiraminece, nor the genus 

• Miqnel, FlorcB IndioB Batavaiy 1856, vol. iii. p. 511. 

' Aitchison, Catalogue of Punjab and Sindh PlantSj 1869, p. 173. 

* Thwaites, Enum. PL Zeylonice, 

* Crawfni'd, Indian Archip., i. p. 476, 

• Forster, De Plantis Esculentis, 

' Vieillard, Annates dea 8c. Nat.y 4th series, vol. xvi. p. 32. 



are sprung from fragments of cane left by the natives, 
who seldom travel without a piece of cane in the hand." 
In 1861, Bentham, who had access to the rich herbarium 
of Kew, says, in his Flora of Hongkong^ " We have no 
authentic and certain proof of a locality where the 
common sugar-cane is wild." 

I do not know, however, why Ritter and every one 
else has neglected an assertion of Loureiro, in his Flora 
of Cochin-China} " Habitat, et colitur abundantissime^ 
in omnibus provinciis regni Cochin-Chinensis : simul in 
aliquibus imperii sinensis, sed minori copia." The word 
habitat, separated by a comma from the rest, is a distinct 
assertion. Loureiro could not have been mistaken about 
the Sacchamm ojfficiTiarwm, which he saw cultivated all 
about him, and of which he enumerates the principal 
varieties. He must have seen plants wild, at least in 
appearance. They may have spread from some neigh- 
bouring plantation, but I know nothing which makes it 
unlikely that the plant should be indigenous in this warm 
moist district of the continent of Asia. . 

Forskal^ mentions the species as wild in the moun- 
tains of Arabia, under a name which he believes to be 
Indian. If it came from Arabia, it would have spread 
into Egypt long ago, and the Hebrews would have 
known it 

Roxburgh had received in the botanical gardens of 
Calcutta in 1796, and had introduced into the planta- 
tions in Bengal, a Sacchartmi to which he gave the name 
o{ 8. ainense, and of which he published an illustration 
in his great work Plantce Coromandeliance, vol iii. 
pi. 232. It is perhaps only a form of S. ojfficinarum, 
and moreover, as it is only known in a cultivated state, 
it tells nothing about the primitive country either of 
this or of any other variety. 

A few botanists have asserted that the sugar-cane 
flowers more often in Asia than in America or Africa, 
and even that it produces seed® on the banks of the 

* Loureiro, Gochin-CKt edit. 2, vol. i. p. 66. 

* Forskal, Fl. ^gyptO'Arabica, p. 103. 

* Macfadyen, On the Botcmical Characters of the Sugar-Cane, in 
^looker's Bot. Miscell., i. p. 101 ; Maycock, Fl. Barhad., p. 50. 


Ganges, which they regard as a proof that it is indigenous. 
Maefadyen says so without giving any proof. It was an 
assertion made to him in Jamaica by some traveller ; but 
Sir W. Hooker adds in a note, " Dr. Roxburgh, in spite 
of his long residence on the banks of the Ganges, has 
never seen the seeds of the sugar-cane." It rarely flowers, 
and still more rarely bears fruit, as is commonly the case 
with plants propagated by buds or suckers, and if any 
variety of sugar-cane were disposed to seed, it would 
probably be less productive of sugar and would soon be 
abandoned. Rumphius, a better observer than many 
modern botanists, has given a good description of the 
cultivated cane in the Dutch colonies, and makes an 
interesting remark.^ " It never produces flowers or fruit 
unless it has remained several years in a stony place." 
Neither he, nor any one else to my knowledge, has de- 
scribed or drawn the seed. The flower, on the contrary, 
has often been figured, and I have a fine specimen from 
Martinique.^ Schacht is the only person who has given 
a good analysis of the flower, including the pistil ; he 
had not seen the seed ripe.® De Tussae,* who gives a 
poor analysis, speaks of the seed, but he only saw it 
young in the ovary. 

In default of precise information as to the native 
country of the species, accessory means, linguistic and 
historical, of proving an Asiatic origin, are of some 
interest. Ritter gives them carefully; I will content 
myself with an epitome. The Sanskrit name of the sugar- ^ 
cane was ikshiiy ikshura, or ikskava, but the sugar was 
called sarkara, or sakkara, and all its names in our Euro- 
pean languages of Aryan origin, beginning with the 
ancient ones — Greek, for example — are clearly derived 
from this. This is an indication of Asiatic origin, and that 
the produce of the cancwas of ancient use in the southern 
regions of Asia with which the ancient Sanskrit-speak- 
ing nation may have had commercial dealings. The 
two Sanskrit words have remained in Bengali under the 

* Rampliias, Amhoin, vol. v. p. 186. • Hehn, No. 480. 

* Schacht, Madeira und Teneriffe, tab. i. 

* Tussao, Flore dea AntiUest i. p. 153, pi. 23. 


forms ife and akh} But in other languages beyond the 
Indus, we find a singular variety of names, at least when 
they are not akin to that of the Aryans ; for instance : 
panchadara in Telinga, kyam in Burmese, mia in the 
dialect of Cochin-China, kan and tche, or ^sc^, in Chinese ; 
and further south, among the Malays, tubu or tahw for 
the plant, and gula for the product. This diversity 
proves the great antiquity of its cultivation in those 
regions of Asia in which botanical indications point out 
the origin of the species. 

The epoch of its introduction into different countries 
agrees with the idea that its origin was in India, Cochin- 
Cnina, or the Malay Archipelago. 

The Chinese were not acquainted with the sugar-cane 
at a very remote period, and they received it from the 
West Ritter contradicts those authors who speak of a 
very ancient cultivation, and I find most positive con- 
firmation of his opinion in Dr. Bretschneider s pamphlet, 
drawn up at Pekin with the aid of all the resources of 
Chinese literature.* " I have not been able to discover," 
he says, "any allusion to the sugar-cane in the most 
ancient Chinese books (the five classics)." It appears to 
have been mentioned for the first time by the authors of 
the second century before Christ. The first description 
of it appears in the Nan-fang-tsao-'mU'ChuaTig, in the 
fourth century : " The chS cM, kan-cM {kan, sweet, che^ 
bamboo) grows," it says, " in Cochin-China. It is several 
inches in circumference, and resembles the bamboo. The 
stem, broken into pieces, is eatable and very sweet. The 
sap which is drawn from it is dried in the sun. After a 
few days it becomes sugar (here a compound Chinese 
character), which melts in the mouth. ... In the year 
286 (of our era) the kingdom of Funan (in India, beyond 
the Ganges) sent sugar as a tribute." According to the 
Pent'SaOj an emperor who reigned from 627 to 650 A.D., 
sent a man into the Indian province of Behar to learn 
how to manufacture sugar. 

There is nothing said in these works of the plant 

* Piddington, Index, 

■ Bretschneider, On the Study and Valuer etc., pp. 45-47. 


growing wild in China ; on the contrary, the origin in 
Cochin-China, indicated by Loureiro, finds an unexpected 
confirmation. It seems to me most probable that its 
primitive range extended from Bengal to Cochin-China. 
It may have included the Sunda Isles and the Moluccas, 
whose climate is very similar; but there are quite as 
many reasons for believing that it was early introduced 
into these from Cochin-China or the Malay peninsula. 

The propagation of the sugar-cane from India west- 
ward is well known. The Greco-Roman world had a 
vague idea of the reed {calamua) which the Indians 
delighted to chew, and from which they obtained sugar.^ 
On the other hand, the Hebrew writings do not mention 
sugar ; ^ whence we may infer that the cultivation of the 
sugar-cane did not exist west of the Indus at the time 
of the Jewish captivity at Babylon. The Arabs in the 
Middle Ages introduced it into Egypt, Sicily, and the 
south of Spain,^ where it flourished until the abundance 
of sugar in the colonies caused it to be abandoned. Don 
Henriquez transported the sugar-cane from Sicily to 
Madeira, whence it was taken to the Canaries in 1503.* 
Hence it was introduced into Brazil in the beginning of 
the sixteenth century.^ It was taken to St. Domingo 
about 1520, and shortly afterwards to Mexico;® to 
Guadeloupe in 1644, to Martinique about 1650, to Bour- 
bon when the colony was founded.'' The variety known 
as Otahiti, which is not, however, wild in that island, 
and which is also called Bourbon, was introduced into 
the French and English colonies at the end of the last 
and the beginning of the present century.® 

* See tbe quotations from Strabo, Dioscorides, Pliny, etc., in Lenz, 
Botanik der Alien Oriechen und BomeTf 1859, p. 267 ; Fingerhut, in Flora, 
1839, vol. ii. p. 529 ; and many other aathors. 

* Rosenmiiller, Hcmdhuch der Bill. Alterth, 

■ Calendrier Rural de Uarib^ written in the tenth century for SpaiD, 
translated by Bureau de la Malle in his Climatologie de Vltalie et de 
VAndalousiey p. 71* 

* Von Buch, Canar. Ins. • Piso, Br^sil, p. 49, 

* Humboldt, Nouv. Espaxfne, ed. 2, vol. iii. p. 34. 
' Not Stat. 8ur lea Col. Franc., i. pp. 207, 29, 83. 

* Macfadyen, in Hooker, Bot, MiscelU, i. p. 101 ; Haycock, Fl, Barhad., 
p. 50. 


The processes of cultivation and preparation of the 
sugar are described in a number of works, among which 
the following may be recommended : de Tussac, Flore 
des Antilles, 3 vols., Paris; vol i. pp. 151-182; and 
Macfadyen, in Hooker's Botanical Miscellany, 1830, 
vol i pp. 103-116, 




Clove — Caryophyllus aromaticvs, Linnseus. 

The dove used for domestic purposes is the ealix aud 
flower-bud of a plant belonging to the order of Myr- 
taeeae. Although the plant has been often described and 
very well drawn from cultivated specimens, some doubt 
remains as to its nature when wild. I spoke of it in my 
Oeographicdl Botany in 1855, but it does not appear 
that the question has made any further progress since 
then, which induces me to repeat here what I said then. 

" The clove must have come originally from the Moluc- 
cas," as Rumphius asserts,^ for its cultivation was limited 
two centuries ago to a few little islands in this archipelago. 
I cannot, however, find any proof that the true clove tree, 
with peduncles and aromatic buds, has been found in a 
wild state. Rumphius ^ considers that a plant of which 
he gives a description, and a drawing under the name 
Caryophylluni aytvestre, belongs to the same species, and 
this plant is wild throughout the Moluccas. A native 
told him that the cultivated clove trees degenerate into 
this form, and Rumphius himself found a plant of C. 
sylvestre in a deserted plantation of cultivated cloves. 
Nevertheless plate 3 differs from plate 1 of the cultivated 
clove in the shape of the leaves and of the teeth of the 
calis. I do not speak of pL'ite 2, which appears to be an 

* ii. p. 8. ■ ii. tab. 3. 


abnormal form of the cultivated clove. Humphius says 
that G. sylvestre has no aromatic properties ; now, as 
a rule, the aromatic properties are more developed in the 
wild plants of a species than in the cultivated plants. 
Sonnerat ^ also publishes figures of the true clove and of 
a spurious clove found in a small island near the country 
of the Papuans. It is easy to see that his false clove 
differs completely by its blunt leaves from the true clove, 
and also from the two species of Rumphius. I cannot 
make up my mind to class aU these different plants, wild 
and cultivated, together, as all authors have done.^ It 
is especially necessary to exclude plate 120 of Sonnerat, 
which is admitted in the Botanical Magazine, An 
historical account of the cultivation of the clove, and of 
its introduction into different countries, will be found in 
the last-named work, in the Dictionnaire d'Agricidture, 
and in the dictionaries of natural history. 

If it be true, as Roxburgh says,® that the Sanskrit 
language had a name, luvunga, for the clove, the trade 
in this spice must date from a very early epoch, even 
supposing the name to be more modem than the true 
Sanskrit. But I doubt its genuine character, for the 
Romans would have known of a substance so easily trans- 
ported, and it does not appear that it was introduced 
into Europe before the discovery of the Moluccas by the 

Hop — Hrimulus Lupvlus, Linnseua 

The hop is wild in Europe from England and Sweden 
as far south as the mountains of the Mediterranean basin, 
and in Asia as far as Damascus, as the south of the 
Caspian Sea, and of Eastern Siberia,* but it is not found in 
India, the north of China, or the basin of the river Amur.^ 

• Sonnerat, Voy. Nov/v. Quin., tab. 119, 120. 

• Thanber^, Dias.y ii. p. 326 ; De CandoUe, Prodr.j iii. p. 262 ; Hooker, 
Bot. Mag.i tab. 2749 ; Hasskarl, Cat. HorU Bogor. Alt., p. 261. 

• Kozbnrgh, Flora Indicat edit. 1832, vol. ii. p. 194. 

• Alph. de CandoUe, in ProdromuSj vol. xvi., sect. 1, p. 29 ; Boissier, 
FL Orient., iv. p. 1152 ; Hohenacker, Enum. Plant. Ta2t/scfc, p. 30 ; Bahse 
Avfzdhlung Transcaiicasien, p. 202. 

• An erroneous transcription of what Asa Gray (Botany of North, 
United States, edit. 5) says of the hemp, wrongly attributed to the hop 
in ProdromuSf and repeated in the French edition of this work, should 


In spite of the entirely wild appearance of the hop in 
Europe in districts far from cultivation, it has been some- 
times asked if it is not of Asiatic origin.^ I do not think 
this can be proved, nor even that it is likely. The fact 
that the Greeks and Latins have not spoken of the use 
of the hop in making beer is easily explained, as they 
-were almost entirely unacquainted with this drink. If 
the Greeks have not mentioned the plant, it is simply 
perhaps because it is rare in their country. From the 
Italian name lupulo it seems likely that Pliny speaks of 
it with other vegetables under the name lupus salictarius? 
That the custom of brewing with hops only became 
general in the Middle Ages proves nothing, except that 
other plants were formerly employed, as is still the case 
in some districts. The Kelts, the Germans, other peoples 
of the north and even of the south who had the vine, 
made beer ^ either of barley or of other fermented grain, 
adding in certain cases different vegetable substances — the 
bark of the oak or of the tamarisk, for instance, or the 
fruits of Myrica gale,^ It is very possible that they 
did not soon discover the advantages of the hop, and that 
even after these were recognized, they employed wild 
hops before beginning to cultivate them. The first men- 
tion of hop-gardens occurs in an act of donation made by 
Pepin, father of Charlemagne, iji 768.^ In the fourteenth 
century it was an important object of culture in Germany, 
but it began in England only under Henry VIII.® 

The common names of the hop only furnish negative 
indications as to its origin. There is no Sanskrit name,'' 

be corrected. Humulus Lupulua is indigenons in the east of the United 
States, and also in the island of Yeso, according to a letter from 
Maximo wicz. — Author's Note, 1884. 

* Hehn, Nutzpfianzen und Hauathiere in ihren Uebergang aus Asiev, 
edit. 3, p. 415. 

* Pliny, Hist., bk, 21, c. 15. He mentions asparagns in this con- 
nection, and the young shoots of the hop are S( meiimes eaten in this 

* Tacitus, Germania, cap. 25 ; Pliny, bk. 18, c. 7 j Hehn, Kultur- 
pflamzen, edit. 8, pp. 125-137. 

* Volz, Beitrage zur Culturgeschichtey p. 149. • Ibid* 

* Beokmann, Erfindungen, quoted by Volz. 

' Piddington, Index; Fick, Wdrterh, Indo^Germ* Sprachen, i.j Ur- 


and this agrees with the absence of the species in the region 
of the Himalayas, and shows that the early Aryan peoples 
had not noticed and employed it. I have quoted before ^ 
some of the European names, showing their diversity, 
although some few of them may be derived from a com- 
mon stock. Hehn, the philologist, has treated of their 
etymology, and shown how obscure it is, but he has not 
mentioned the names totally distinct from humle, hopf or 
hop, and chmeli of the Scandinavian, Gothic, and Slav 
races ; for example, Apini in Lette, Apwynia in Lithua- 
nian, tap in Esthonian, blvst in lUyrian,^ which have 
evidently other roota This variety tends to confirm the 
theory that the species existed in Europe before the 
arrival of the Aryan nations. Several different peoples 
must have distinguished, known, and used this plant suc- 
cessively, which confirms its extension in Europe and in 
Asia before it was used in brewing. 

Carthamine — Carthamua tinctorius, Linnaeus. 

The composite anhual which produces the dye called 
carthamine is one of the most ancient cultivated species. 
Its flowers are used for dyeing in red or yellow, and the 
seeds yield oiL 

The grave-cloths which wrap the ancient Egyptian 
mummies are dyed with carthamine,^ and quite recently 
fragments of the plant have been found in the tombs 
discovered at Deir el BaharL* Its cultivation must also 
be ancient in India, since there are two Sanskrit names 
for. it, cmumbha and kamalottara, of which the first has 
several derivatives in the modem languages of the 
peninsula.^ The Chinese only received carthamine in 
the second century B.C., when Chang-kien brought it 
back from Bactriana.® The Greeks and Latins were 
probably not acquainted with it, for it is very doubtful 
whether this is the plant which they knew as cnikoa or 
cnicusJ At a later period the Arabs contributed largely 

* A. de Candolle, Q4ogr, Bot, Bais.t p. 857. 

• Diet. M8., compiled from floras, Moritzi. 

• Unger, Die Pjlanzen des Alien ^gyptens, p. 47. 

* Schweinf arth, in a letter to M. Boissier, 1882. • Piddington, Index, 

• Bret Schneider, Study and Value, etc, p. 15. 

* See Targioni, Cenni Storici, p. 108. 


to diffuse the cultivation of carthamine, which they 
named qorton, kurturri, whence carthamine, or vsfur, 
or ihriah, or fnorahu} a diversity indicating an ancient 
existence in several countries of Western Asia or of 
A&ica. The progress of chemistry threatens to do away 
with the cultivation of this plant as of many others, but 
it still subsists in the south of Europe, in the East, and 
throughout the valley of the Nile.^ 

No botanist has found the carthamine in a really 
wild state. Authors doubtfully assign to it an origin in 
India or Africa, in Abyssinia in particular, but they have 
never seen it except in a cultivated state, or with every 
appearance of having escaped from cultivation.® 

Mr. Clarke,* formerly director of the Botanical Gardens 
in Calcutta, who has lately studied the Compositce of 
India, includes the species only as a cultivated one. 
The summary of our modem knowledge of the plants 
of the Nile region, including Abyssinia, by Schweinfurth 
and Ascherson,* only indicates it as a cultivated species, 
nor does the list of the plants observed by Rohlfs on his 
recent journey mention a wild carthamine.® 

As the species has not been found wild either in 
India or in Africa, and as it has been cultivated for 
thousands of years in both countries, the idea occurred 
to me of seeking its origin in the intermediate region ; a 
method which had been successful in other cases. 

Unfortunately, the interior of Arabia is almost un- 
known. Forskal, who has visited the coasts of Yemen 
has learnt nothing about the carthamine; nor is it 
mentioned among the plants of Botta and of Bovd But 
an Arab, Abu Anifa, quoted by Ebn Baithar, a thirteenth- 
century writer, expressed himself as follows : '^ — " Usfur, 
this plant furnishes a substance used as a dye ; there are 
two kinds, one cultivated and one wild, which both grow 

' Forskal, Fl. JEgy^Ut p. 73 j Ebn Baithar, Germ, trans., ii. pp. 196, 
293; L p. 18. 

* See Grasparin, Cours d*Agric.i iv, p. 217. 

* Boissier, Fl. OrienUy iii. p. 710 ; Oliver, Flora of Trop. Afr., iii. p. 439. 

* Clarke, Composita JndiccB, 1876, p. 244. 

* Schwcinfarth and Ascberson, Av^zdhhing, p. 28X 

* Bohlfs, Kvfra, in 8?o, 1881. ' Ebi. Baith ir, ii. p. 196. 


in Arabia, of which the seeds are called ellcuHhv/m'' 
Abu Anifa was very likely right. 

Saffron— Crocks sativus, Linneeus. 

The saffron was cultivated in very early times in the 
west of Asia. The Romans praised the saffron of Cilicia, 
which they preferred to that grown in Italy.^ Asia Minor, 
[Persia, and Kashmir have been for a long time the 
j\ countries which export the most. India gets it from 
Kashmir^ at the present day. Roxburgh and Wallich 
do not mention it in their works. The two Sanskrit 
names mentioned by Piddington ® probably applied to the 
substance saffron brought from the West, for the name 
kasmirajamma appears to indicate its origin in Kashmir. 
The other name is kunkuvia. The Hebrew word karkom 
is commonly translated saffron, but it more probably 
applies to carthamine, to judge from the name of the 
latter in Arabic* Besides, the saffron is not cultivated 
in Egypt or in Arabia. The Greek name is krokos? 
Saffron, which recurs in all modem European languages, 
comes from the Arabic sahafaran^ zafran? The 
Spaniards, nearer to the Arabs, call it azafran. The 
Arabic name itself comes from assfar, yeUow. 

Trustworthy authors say that G. eativus is wild 
in Greece® and in the Abruzzi mountains in Italy .• 
Maw, who is preparing a monograph of the genus Crocus, 
based on a long series of observations in gardens and 
in herbaria, connects with 0. sativus six forms which 
are found wild in mountainous districts from Italy to 
Kurdistan. None of these, he says,^® are identical with 
the cultivated variety; but certain forms described 
under other names (0. Orisnii, C. Cartiurigktianus, C. 
Thomasii), hardly differ from it. These are from Italy 
and Greece. 

» Pliny, bk. xxi. c. 6. • Royle, III. Himaly p. 372. 

• IndesBy p. 25. 

• According to Forskal, Delile, Reynier, Schweinf urth, and AscUerson. 

• Theophrastns, Hist., 1. 6, c, 6. 

• J. Banhin, Hist, ii. p. 637. ' Boyle, El, HimdL 

• Sibthorp, Prodr, ; Fraae, Syn, Fl. Class., p. 292. 

• J. Gray, quoted by Babington, Man. Brit. Fl, 

*• Maw, in the Qardener^a Chron,, 1881, vol. xvi. 





The cultivation of saffron, of which the conditions 
are given in the Cours d*Agriculture by Gasparin, and 
in the Bulletin de la Societe d' Acclimatation for 1870, is 
becoming more and more rare in Europe and Asia.^ It 
has sometimes had the effect of naturalizing the species 
for a few years at least in localities where it appears to 
be wild. 

^ Jacq^aemont, Voyage^ yol. ill. p. 238. 



Sweet Sop, Sugar Apple ^ — Ancma squamosa, Linnaeus. 
(In British India, Custard Apple ; but this is the name 
of Anona muricata in America.) 

The original home of this and other cultivated 
Anonaceas has been the subject of doubts, which make 
it an interesting problem. I attempted to resolve them 
in 1855. The opinion at which I then arrived has been 
confirmed by the subsequent observations of travellers, 
and as it is useful to show how far probabilities based 
upon sound methods lead to true assertions, I will trans- 
cribe what I then said,* mentioning afterwards the more 
recent discoveries. 

"Robert Brown proved in 1818 that all the species 
of the genus Anona, excepting AnoTia senegataisisy 
belong to America, and none to Asia. Aug. de Saint- 
Hilaire says that, according to Vellozo, A. aqiiamosa was 
introduced into Brazil, that it is known there imder 
the name of pinha, from its resemblance to a fir-cone, 
and of ata, evidently borrowed from the names attoa and 
atis, which are those of the same plant in Asia, and 
•which belong to Eastern languages. Therefore, adds de 

* The word fruit is here employed in the vnlgaj sense, for any fleshy 
part which enlarges after the flowering. In the strictly botanical sense, 
the AnonacesB, strawberries, cashews, pine-apples, and breadfruit are not 

' A. squamosa is figured in Descourtilz, Flore dee AntilleSy ii. pi. 83 ; 
Hooker's Bot, Mag.^ 3095 ; and Tussac, Flore des Antilles, ill. pL 4. 

' A. de CandoUe, Q4ogr, Bot, Bats., p. 859. 



Saint-Hilaire/ the Portuguese transported il. squamosa 
from their Indian to their American possessions, etc." 

Having made in 1832 a review of the family of the 
Anonaceae,* I noticed how Mr. Brown's botanical argument 
was ever growing stronger; for in spite of the considerable 
increase in the number of described Anonacese, no Anona, 
nor even any species of Anonacese with united ovaries, 
had been found to be a native of Asia. I admitted® 
the probability that the species came from the West 
Indies or from the neighbouring part of the American 
continent ; but I inadvertently attributed this opinion to 
Mr. Brown, who had merely indicated an American origin 
in general.* 

Facts of different kinds have since confirmed this 

''Anona squamosa has been found wild in Asia, 
apparently as a naturalized plant ; in Africa, and espe- 
cially in America, with all the conditions of an indigenous 
plant. In fact, according to Dr. Royle,^ the species has 
been naturalized in several parts of India ; but he only 
saw it apparently growing wild on the side of the moun- 
tain near the fort of Adjeegurh in Bundlecund, among 
teak trees. When so remarkable a tree, in a country so 
thoroughly explored by botanists, has only been discovered 
in a single locality beyond the limits of cultivation, it is 
most probable that it is not indigenous in the country. 
Sir Joseph Hooker found it in the isle of St. lago, of the 
Cape Verde group, forming woods on the hiUs which over- 
look the valley of St. Domingo.® Since A, sqvAiTnosa 
is only known 'as a cultivated plant on the neighbouring 
continent;^ as it is not even indicated in Guinea by 
Thonning,® nor in Congo,® nor in Senegambia,^® nor in 

• Ang. de Saint- Hilaire, Plantes usuelles des Br^stliens, bk. vi. p. 6. 

• Alph. de CandoUe, Mem. 8oc. Phya. et d'Hiat. Nat. de Gendve. 

• Ihid.t p. 19 of Mem. printed separately. 

• See Botany of Congo, and the German translation of Brown's works, 
which has alphabetical tables. 

• Royle, III. Himal.f p. 60. 

• Webb, in Fl. Nigr., p. 97, ' Ihid.y p. 204. 

• Thonning, PI, Guin. • Brown, Congo, p. 6. 
>* Guillemin, Perrottet^ and Bichard, Teniamen Fl. Seneg, 


Abyssinia and Egypt, which proves a recent introduction 
into Africa ; lastly, as the Cape Verde Isles have lost a 
great pai-t of their primitive forests, I believe that this 
is a case of naturalization from seed escaped from gardens. 
Authors are agreed in considering the species wild in 
Jamaica. Formerly the assertions of Sloane^ and Brown^ 
might have been disregarded, but they are confirmed by 
Macfadyea^ Martins found the species wild in the 
virgin forests of Para.* He even says, * Sylvescentem in 
nemoribus paraensibus inveni, whence it may be in- 
ferred that these trees alone formed a forest. Splitgerber^ 
found it in the forests of Surinam, but he says, ^ An 
spontanea V The number of localities in this part of 
America is significant. I need not remind my readers 
that no tree growing elsewhere than on the coast has 
been found truly indigenous at once in tropical Asia, 
Africa, and America.® The result of my researches renders 
such a fact almost impossible, and if a tree were robust 
enough to extend over such an area, it would be extremely 
common in all tropical countries. 

"Moreover, historical and philological facts tend also 
to confirm the theory of an American origin. The details 
given by Rumphius '^ show that Anona sqvximosa was 
a plant newly cultivated in most of the islands of the 
Malay Archipelago. Forster does not mention the culti- 
vation of any Anonacea in the small islands of the 
Pacific.® Rheede® says that A, sqvximosa is an exotic 
in Malabar, but was brought to India, first by the Chinese 
and the Arabs, afterwards by the Portuguese. It is cer- 
tainly cultivated in China and in Cochin-China,^® and in 
the Philippine Isles,^ but we do not know from what 
epoch. It is doubtful whether the Arabs cultivate it.^^ 

• Sloane, Jam.f ii. p. 168. • P. Brown, Jam,, p. 257. 

• Macfadyen, Fl. Jam., p. 9. * Martins, Fl. Bras., faso. ii. p. 15. 

• Splitgerber, Nederl. Kruidk. Arch., ii. p. 230. 

• A. de CandoUe, Gdogr, Bot. Raia., chap. x. 

' Ramphins, i. p. 139. » Forster, Planton Esctdentce, 

• Bheede, Malabar, iii. p. 22. "• Lonreiro, Fl. Cochin., p. 427. 
" Blanco, Fl. Filip. 

*• This depends upon the opinion formed with respect to A. glahray 
Forskal (A. Asiaiica, B. Dnn. Anon., p. 71 ; A. Forslcalii, D. C. Syst., 
i. p. 472), which was sometimes cultivated in gardens in Egypt when 


It was cultivated in India in Roxburgh's day ;^ he had 
not seen the wild plant, and only mentions one common 
name in a modern language, the Bengali ata, which is 
already in Rheede. Later the name gunda-gatra ^ was 
believed to be Sanskrit, but Dr. Royle ® having consulted 
Wilson, the famous author of the Sanskrit dictionary, 
touching the antiquity of this name, he replied that it 
was taken from the Sabda ChanHka, a comparatively 
modem compilation. The names of dta, ati, are found 
in Rheede and Rumphius.* This is doubtless the founda- 
tion of Saint-Hilaire's argument; but a nearly similar 
name is given to Anona squamosa in Mexico. This 
name is a^e, ahate di Panucho, found in Hernandez^ 
with two similar and rather poor figures which may be 
attributed either to A, squamosa^ as Dunal ® thinks, or 
to A. cheHTnoliay according to Martins.^ Oviedo uses 
the name anon? It is very possible that the name ata 
was introduced into Braail from Mexico and the neigh- 
bouring countries. It may also, I confess, have come 
from the Portuguese colonies in the East Indies. Mar- 
tins says, however, that the species was imported from 
the West India Islands.® I do not know whether he had 
any proof of this, or whether he speaks on the authority 
of Oviedo's work, which he quotes and which I cannot 
consult. Oviedo's article, tmnslated by Marcgraf,^® 
describes A. sqvximosa without speaking of its origin. 

Forskal viaited that coantrj ; it was called keschta, that is, coagalated 
milk. The rarity of its cnltiyation and the silence of ancient authors 
Ehows that it was of modem inti'odnotion into Egypt. Ebn Baithar 
(Sondtheimer's German translation, in 2 vols., 1840), an Arabian physician 
of the thirteenth century, mentions no Anonacea, nor the name keschta. 
I do not see that Forskal's description and illustration (Descr., p. 102. ic. 
tab. 15) differ from A, aquanwsa, Coqneberb's specimen, mentioned in 
the iS^v^/emo, agrees with Forskal's plate; but as it is in flower while 
the plate shows the fruit, its identity cannot be proved. 
» Boxburgh, Fl. Ind,, edit. 1832, v. u. p. 657. 

* Piddington, Indew, p. 6. » Eoyle, BL Bvn^ p. 60, 

* Rheede and Bomphius, i. p. 189. 

* Hernandez, pp. 348, 454. • Dunal, Mem. Anon,, p. 70. 
' Martins, Fl, Bras., fasc. ii. p. 15. 

* Hence the generic name Xnona, which LinnsBus changed to Annona 
(provision), because he did not wish to have any savage name, and did 
not mind a pun. 

* Martius, Fl, Braa.^ faso. ii. p. 16. ^ Morcgraf, Brazil, p. 94. 


" The sum total of the facts is altogether in favour of 
an American origin. . The locality where the species 
usually appears wild is in the forests of Para. Its culti- 
vation is ancient in America, since Oviedo is one of the 
first authors (1535) wlio has written about this country. 
No doubt its cultivation is of ancient date in Asia like- 
wise^ and this renders the problem curious. It is not 
proved, however, that it was anterior to the discovery 
of America, and it seems to me that a tree of which the 
fruit is so agreeable would have been more widely diffused 
in the old world if it had always existed there. More- 
over, it would be difficult to explain its cultivation in 
America in the beginning of the sixteenth century^ on the 
hypothesis of an origin in the old world." 

Since I wrote the above, I find the following facts 
published by different authors : — 

1. The argument drawn from the fact that there is no 
Asiatic species of the genus Anona is stronger than ever. 
A. Aaiatica, Linnaeus, was based upon errors (see my 
note in the Geogr. Bot, p. 862). A. obtudfolia (Tussac, 
Fl des Antilles, i. p. 191, pi. 28), cultivated formerly 
in St. Domingo as of Asiatic origin, is also perhaps 
founded upon a mistake. I suspect that the drawing 
represents the flower of one species {A. muricdta) and 
the fruit of another (4. aqiuimoaa). No Anona has been 
discovered in Asia, but four or five are now known in 
Africa instead of only one or two/ and a larger number 
than formerly in America. 

2. The authors of i*ecent Asiatic floras do not hesi- 
tate to consider the AnonaB, particularly A^ squamosa, 
which is here and there found apparembly wild, as 
naturalized in the neighbourhood of cultivated ground 
and of European settlements.^ 

* See Baker, Flora of Maurititfs, p. 3, The identity admitted by 
Oliver, Fl, Trop, Afr,, i. p. 16, of the Anona paliisti'is of America with 
that of Senegambia, appears to me very extraordinary, although it is a 
species which grows in marshes ; that is, having perhaps a very wide 

* Hooker, Fl, of Brit. Ind., i. p. 78 ; Miqnel, Fl. Indo-Batava, i. part 2, 
p. 33 ; Eurz, Forest Flora of Bnt, Bvrm.f i, p. 46 ; Stewart and Brandis, 
Forests qf India, p. 6. 


8. In the new African floras already quoted, A, 
squamosa and the others of which I shall speak presently 
are always mentioned as cultivated species. 

4. McNab, the horticulturist, found A, squamosa in 
the dry plains of Jamaica/ which confirms the asser- 
tions of previous authors. Eggers says ^ that the species 
is common in the thickets of Santa Cruz and Virgin 
Islands. I do not find that it has been discovered wild 
in Cuba. 

5. On the American continent it is given as culti- 
vated.® However, M. Andr^ sent me a specimen from a 
stony district in the Magdalena valley, which appears to 
belong to this species and to be wild. The fruit is want- 
ing, which renders the matter doubtful. From the note on 
the ticket^ it is a delicious fruit like that of A. squa- 
m^osa. Warming ^ mentions the species as cultivated at 
Lagoa Santa in Brazil It appears, therefore, to be 
cultivated or naturalized from cultivation in Para, 
Guiana, and New Granada. 

In fine, it can hardly be doubted, in my opinion, 
that its original country is America, and in especial the 
West India Islands. 

Sour Sop — Aruma muricata, Linnaeus. 

This fruit-tree,^ introduced into all the colonies in 
tropical countries is wild in the West Indies ; at least, 
its existence has been proved in the islands of Cuba, 
St. Domingo, Jamaica, and several of the smaller 
islands.® It is sometimes naturalized on the continent 
of South America near dwellings.^ Andr^ brought 
specimens from the district of Cauca in New Granada, 

' Grisebach, M, of Brit W. I. IsleSy p. 5. 

* Eggers, Flora of 8t. Croix and Virgin IsleSy p. 23. 

* Triana and Flanchon, Prodr. Fl. Novo-QrarudertsiB, p. 29; Sagot, 
Joum. Soc. d*Hortic., 1872. 

* Warming, SymholcB ad. Fl. Bra^., xvi. p. 434. 

' Figured in Besconrtilz, Fl, Med, des, Antilles, ii. pL 87, and in 
Tnssac, Fl. des Antilles, ii. p. 24. 

* Richard, Plantes Vascidaires de Cvha, p. 29; Swartz, Obs,, p. 221; 
P. Brown, Jamaica, p. 255 ; Macfadjen, FL of Jam., p. 7 ; Eggers, Fl. 
of St. Croix, p. 23 ; Grisebach, Fl. Brit. W. 7"., p. 4. 

7 Martins, Fl. Brasil, fasc. ii« p. 4; Splitj;erber, PL de Surinam^ in 
NederL Kruidk. Arch,, L p. 226. 


but he does not say they were 'wild, and I see that 
Triana (JProdr. FL Granat) only mentions it as culti- 

Custard Apple in the West Indies, Bullock's Heart 
in the East Indies — AnoTia reticulata, Linnaeus. 

This Anona, figured in Descourtilz, Flore MMicale 
des Antilles, ii. pi. 82, and in the Botanical Magazine, 
pi. 2912, is wild in Cuba, Jamaica, St. Vincent, Guade- 
loupe, Santa Cruz, and Barbados,^ and also in the island 
of Tobago in the Bay of Panama,^ and in the province 
of Antioquia in New Granada.® If it is wild in the last- 
named localities as well as in the West Indies, its area 
probably extends into several states of Central America 
and of New Granada. 

Although the bullock's heart is not much esteemed 
as a fruit, the species has been introduced into most 
tropical colonies. Rheede and Rumphius found it in 
plantations in Southern Asia. According to Welwitsch, 
it has naturalized itself from cultivation in Angola, in 
Western Africa,* and this has also taken place in British 

Chirimoya — Anona CheHmolia, Lamarck. 

The chirimoya is not so generally cultivated in the 
colonies as the preceding species, although the fruit is 
excellent. This is probably the reason that there is no 
illustration of the fruit better than that of FeuilMe 
{Obs,, iii. pi. 17), while the flower is well represented in 
pi. 2011 of the Botanical Magazine, under the name of 
A. tripetala. 

In 1855, I wrote as follows, touching the origin of 
the species :® "The chirimoya is mentioned by Lamarck 
and Dunal as growing in Peru ; but Feuill^e, who was 
the first to speak of it,^ says that it is cultivated. Mac- 

* Bicliai*cl, MacfadyeD, Grisebach, Eggers, Swartz, Haycock^ Fl. 
Barhad,f p. 233. 

* SeemanD, Bot of the Herald^ p. 75. 

» Triana and Planchon, Prodr. Fl. Novo-Granat*, p. 29. 

* Oliver, FL Trop, Afr., i. p. 15. 

* Sir J. Hooker, Fl, Brit. Ind,, i. p. 78. 

* De Candolle, G4ogr. Bot. Rais., p. 863. 
' Feuilloe, Ohs., iii. p. 23, t. 17. 


fadyen* says it abounds in the Port Royal Mountains^ 
Jamaica ; but he adds that it came originally from Peru, 
and must have been introduced long ago, whence it 
appears that the species is cultivated in the higher 
plantations, rather than wild. Sloane does not mention 
it. Humboldt and Bonpland saw it cultivated in 
Venezuela and New Granada ; Martius in Brazil,^ where 
the seeds had been introduced from Peru. The species 
is cultivated in the Cape Verde Islands, and on the 
coast of Guinea,' but it does not appear to have been 
introduced into Asia. Its American origin is evident. 
I might even go further, and assert that it is a native of 
Peru, rather than of New Granada or Mexico. It will 
probably be found wild in one of these countries. Meyen 
has not brought it from Peru." * 

My doubts are now lessened, thanks to a kind com- 
munication from M Ed. Andrd I may mention first, 
that I have seen specimens from Mexico gathered by 
Botteri and Bourgeau, and that authors often speak of 
finding the species in this region, in the West Indies, in 
Central America, and New Granada. It is true, they do 
not say that it is wild. On the contrary, they remark 
that it is cultivated, or that it has escaped from gardens 
and become naturalized.^ Grisebach asserts that it is 
wild from Peru to Mexico, but he gives no proof. Andr^ 
gathered, in a valley in the south-west of Ecuador, 
specimens which certainly belong to the species as far 
as it can be asserted without seeing the fruit. He says 
nothing as to its wild nature, but the care with which 
he points out in other cases plants cultivated or perhaps 
escaped from cultivation, leads me to think that be 
regards these specimens as wild. Claude Gay says that 
the species has been cultivated in Chili from time im- 
memorial.® However, Molina, who mentions several fruit- 

• Macfadjen, Fl. Jam., p. 10. • Martins, Fl. Bras., fasc. iii. p. 15. 

• Hooker, Fl. Nigr., p. 205. * Nov. Act. Nat Cur.^ xix. suppl. 1, 

• Richard, Plant Vase, de Cuba ; Grisebach, Fl, Brit. TT, Ind. Is. ; 
Hemsley, Biologia Centr. Am., p. 118 ; Knnth, in Hamboldt and Bon- 
pland, Nova Gen., y. p. 57 ; Triana and Planchon, Prodr, FL NovO' 
Granat., p. 28. 

• G.iy, Flora Chil, i. p. 66^ 


trees in the ancient plantations of the countiy, does not 
speak of it.^ 

In conclusion, I consider it most probable that the 
species is indigenous in Ecuador, and perhaps in the 
neighbouring part of Peru. 

Oranges and Lemons — Citrus, Linnaeus. 

The different varieties of citrons, lemons, oranges, 
shaddocks, etc., cultivated in gardens have been the 
subject of remarkable works by several horticulturists, 
among which Gallesio and Risso^ hold the first rank. 
The difficulty of observing and classifying so many 
varieties was very great. Fair results have been 
obtained, but it must be owned that the method was 
wrong from the beginning, since the plants from which 
the observations were taken were all cultivated, that is 
to say, more or less artificial, and perhaps in some cases 
hybrids. Botanists are now more fortunate. Thanks to 
the discoveries of travellers in British India, they are 
able to distinguish the wild and therefore the true and 
natural species. According to Sir Joseph Hooker,® who 
was himself a collector in India, the work of Brandis * is 
the best on the Citrus of this region, and he follows it 
in his flora. I shall do likewise in default of a mono- 
graph of the genus, remarking also that the multitude 
of garden varieties which have been described and 
figured for centuries, ought to be identified as far as 
possible with the wild species.^ 

The same species, and perhaps others also, probably 
grow wild in Cochin-China and in China ; but this has 
not been proved in the country itself, nor by means of 
specimens examined by botanists. Perhaps the im- 
portant works of Pierre, now in course of publication, will 

' Molina, French trans. 

• Gallesio, Traiti du, Citrus, in 8vo, Paris, 1811 ; Risso and Foitean, 
Ilistoire Naturelle des Oran^ers, 1818, in folio, 109 plates. 

■ Hooker, Fl, of Brit, hid., i. p. 515. 

• Brandis, Forest Flora, p. 50. 

• For a work of this nature, the first step would be to publish good 
figures of wild species, showing particalarly the fruit, which is not seen 
in herbaria. It would then be seen which forms represented in the 
plates of Bisso, Dahamel, and others, are nearest to the wild types. 


give information on this head for Cochin-China. With 
regard to China, I will quote the following passage from 
Dr. Bretschneider/ which is interesting from the special 
knowledge of the writer : — " Oranges, of which there are 
a great variety in China, are counted by the Chinese 
among their wild fruits. It cannot be doubted that most 
of them are indigenous, and have been cultivated from 
very early times. The proof of this is that each species 
or variety bears a distinct name, besides being in most 
cases represented by a particular character! and is 
mentioned in the Sku-king, Ith-ya, and other ancient 

Men and birds disperse the seeds of Aurantiacese, 
whence results the extension of its area, and its naturali- 
zation in all the warm regions of the two worlds. It 
was observed ^ in America from the first century after 
the conquest, and now groves of orange trees have sprung 
up even in the south of the United States. 

Shaddock — Citrus decumana, Willdenow. 

I take this species first, because its botanical character 
is more marked than that of the others. It is a larc^er 
tree, and this species alone has down on the young 
shoots and the under sides of the leaves. The fruit is 
spherical, or nearly spherical, larger than an orange, 
sometimes even as large as a man's head. The juice is 
slightly acid, the rind remarkably thick. Good illus- 
trations of the fruit may be seen in Duhamel, Traite des 
Arhrea, edit. 2, vii. pi. 42, and in Tussac, Flore des Antilles, 
iii. pis. 17, 18. Tlie number of varieties in the Malay 
Archipelago indicates an ancient cultivation. Its original 
country is not yet accurately known, because the trees 
which appear indigenous may be the result of naturaliza- 
tion, following frequent cultivation. Roxburgh says that 
the species was brought to Calcutta from Java,^ and 
Bumphius * believed it to be a native of Southern China. 

' Bretsohneider, On the Study and Value of Chinese Botanical Worke, 
p. 55. 

' Aoosta, Hist, Nat. des Indes, Fr. trans. 1598, p. 187. 

* Bozburgh, Flora Jndica, edit. 1832 iii. p. 393. 

* Bamphins, Hortus AmheineTiaiSf iL p. 98. 


Neither he nor modern botanists saw it wild in the 
Malay Archipelago.^ In China the species has a simple 
name, yu; but its written character^ appears too com- 
plicated for a truly indigenous plant. According to 
Loureiro, the tree is common in China and Cochin-China, 
but this does not imply that it is wild.^ It is in the 
islands to the east of the Malay Archipelago that the 
clearest indications of a wild existence are found. 
Forster* formerly said of this species, "verj'- common 
in the Friendly Isles." Seemann ^ is yet more positive 
about the Fiji Isles. "Extremely common," he says, 
" and covering the banks of the rivers." 

It would be strange if a tree, so much cultivated in 
the south of Asia, should have become naturalized to 
such a degree in certain islands of the Pacific, while it 
has scarcely been seen elsewhere. It is probably indi- 
genous to them, and may perhaps yet be discovered 
wild in some islands nearer to Java. 

The French name, pompelmovse, is from the Dutch 
pompelmoes. Shaddock was the name of a captain who 
first introduced the species into the West Indies.** 

Citron, Lemon — C%tTus Toedica, Linnaeus. 

This tree, like the common orange, is glabrous in all 
its parts. Its fruit, longer than it is wide, is surmounted 
in most of its varieties by a sort of nipple. The juice 
is more or less acid. The young shoots and the petals 
are frequently tinted red. The rind of the fruit is often 
rough, and very thick in some subvarieties.^ 

Brandis and Sir Joseph Hooker distinguish four 
cultivated varieties : — 

1. Citrus Tnedica proper {citron in English, cedra- 
tier in French, cedro in Italian), with large, not 

^ Miquel, Flora Indo-Batavay i. pt. 2, p. 526. 

• Bretschneider, Study and Value, efco. 

■ Loureiro, FL Cochin., ii. p. 572. For another species of the genu?, 
he says that it is cultivated and non-cultivated, p. 569. 

* Forster, De Plantis Esculentis Oceani Australis, p. 35. 

• Seemann, Flora Vitiensis, p. 33. 

* Plukenet, AlnMgestett, p. 239; Sloane, Jamaica, i. p. 41. 

' Cedrat d gros fruit of Duhamel, Trait4 des Arhres, edit. 2, vii. p. 65^. 
pi. 22. 


spherical fruit, whose highly aromatic rind is covered 
with lumps, and of which the juice is neither abundant 
nor very acid. According to Brandis, it was called 
vijapura in Sanskrit. 

2. Citrus Tnedica Limonum {citronnier in French, 
lenwn in English). Fruit of average size, not spherical, 
and abundant acid juice. 

3. Citrus medica adda (G. acida, Roxburgh). Lime in 
English. Small flowers, fruit small and variable in shape, 
juice very acid. According to Brandis, the Sanskrit name 
was jamfyira. 

4. Citrus medica Limetta (0. Limetta and C. Luniia 
of Risso), with flowers like those of the preceding variety, 
but with spherical fruit and sweet, non^aromatic juice. 
In India it is called the sweet lime. 

The botanist Wight affirms that this last variety is 
wild in the Nilgherr}^ Hills. Other forms, which answer 
more or less exactly to the three other varieties, have 
been found wild by several Anglo-Indian botanists ^ in 
the warm districts at the foot of the Himalayas, from 
Garwal to Sikkim, in the south-east at Chittagong and 
in Burmah, and in the south-west in the western Ghauts 
and the Satpura Mountains. From this it cannot be 
doubted that the species is indigenous in India, and even 
under different forms of prehistoric antiquity 

I doubt whether its area includes China or the Malay 
Archipelago. Loureiro mentions Citrus medica in Cochin- 
China only as a cultivated plant, and Bretschneider tells 
us that the lemon has Chinese names which do not 
exist in the ancient writings, and for which the written 
characters are complicated, indications of a foreign 
species. It may, he says, have been introduced. In 
Japan the species is only a cultivated one.^ Lastly, 
several of Rumphius' illustrations show varieties culti- 
vated in the Sunda Islands, but none of these are con- 
sidered by the author as really wild and indigenous to the 
country. To indicate the locality, he sometimes used 

* Royle, HI, H%mal.y p. 129 ; Brandis, Forest Flora, p. 52 ; Hooker, 
Fl. of Brit. Ind.f i. p. 514w 

' Franohet and SaY^tier, Unum, Pltmtt Jajp,, p. 1^* 



the expression " in hortis aylvestribus** which might be 
translated shrubberies. Speaking of his Lemon aussu 
(vol. ii. pi. 25), which is a Citrus medica with ellipsoidal 
acid fruit, he says it has been introduced into Amboyna, 
but that it is commoner in Java, " usually in forests." 
This may be the result of an accidental naturalization 
from cultivation. Miquel, in his modem flora of the 
Dutch Indies,^ does not hesitate to say that Citrua medica 
and G. Limonum are only cultivated in the archipelago. 

The cultivation of more or less acid varieties spread 
into Western Asia at an early date, at least into Mesopo- 
tamia and Media. This can hardly be doubted, for two 
varieties had Sanskrit names ; and, moreover, the Greeks 
knew the fruit through the Medes, whence the name 
Citrua Tnedica, Theophrastus * was the first to speak of 
it under the name of apple of Media and of Persia, in a 
phrase often repeated and commented on in the last two 
centuries.® It evidently applies to Citrua mediea ; but 
while he explains how the seed is first sown in vases, 
to be afterwards transplanted, the author does not say 
whether this was the Greek custom, or whether he was 
describing the practice of the Medes. Probably the citron 
was not then cultivated in Greece, for the Romans did 
not grow it in their gardens at the beginning of the 
Christian era. 

Dioscorides,* bom in Cilicia, and who wrote in the 
first century, speaks of it in almost the same terms as 
Theophrastus. It is supposed that the species was, after 
many attempts,^ cultivated in Italy in the third or fourth 
century. Falladius, in the fifth century, speaks of it as 
well established. 

The ignorance of the Romans of the classic period 
touching foreign plants has caused them to confound, 
under the name of lignum dtrewm, the wood of Citrua, 
with that of Cedrua, of which fine tables were made, and 

^ Miqnel, Flora Indo-Batava, i. pt. 8, p. 528, / 

' Theophrastus, 1. 4, o, 4, ' 

> BodsBDS, in Theophrastus, edit. 1644, pp. 822, 343 ; Bisso, Traitd du 
Citrus, p. 198 ; Targioni, Cenni Storici, p. 196. 

* Dioscorides, i. p 166. ' Targioni, Cenni StorieL 


which was a cedar, or a Thuya, of the totally different 
family of Coniferae. 

The Hebrews must have known the citron before the 
Romans, because of their frequent relations with Persia, 
Media and the adjacent countries. The custom of the 
modern Jews of presenting themselves at the synagogue 
on the day of tne Feast of Tabernacles, with a citron 
in their hand, gave rise to the belief that the word hadar 
in Leviticus signified lemon or citron; but Bisso has 
shown, by comparing the ancient texts, that it signifies a 
fine fruit, or the fruit of a fine tree. He even thinks 
that the Hebrews did not know the citron or lemon at 
the beginning of our era, because the Septuagint Version 
translates hadar by fruit of a fine tree. Nevertheless, 
as the Greeks had seen the citron in Media and in Persia 
in the time of Theophrastus, three centuries before Christ, 
it would be strange if the Hebrews had not become 
acquainted with it at the time of the Babylonish Captivity. 
Besides, the historian Josephus says that in his time the 
Jews bore Persian apples, malum persicwm, at their feasts, 
one of the Greek names for the citron. 

The varieties with very acid fruit, like LiinonuTn, 
and adda, did not perhaps attract attention so early 
as the citron, however the strongly aromatic odour 
mentioned by Dioscorides and Theophrastus appears to 
indicate them. The Arabs extended the cultivation of 
the lemon in Africa and Europe. According to Gallesio, 
they transported it, in the tenth century of our era, from 
the gardens of Oman into Palestine and Egypt Jacques 
de Vitry, in the thirteenth century, well described the 
lemon which he had seen in Palestine. An author 
named Falcando mentions in 1260 some very acid 
" lumias " which were cultivated near Palermo, and 
Tuscany had them also towards the same period.^ 

Orange — Citrus Aurantium, Linnaeus (excl. var. y) ; 
Citrus Aurantium, Bisso. 

Oranges are distinguished from shaddocks ((7. deew- 
mana) by the complete absence of down on the young 
shoots and leaves, by their smaller fruit, always spherical, 

» Targioni, p. 2X7. 


and by a thinner rinA They differ from lemons and citrons 
in their pure white flowers ; in the fruit, which is never 
elongated, and without a nipple on the summit ; in the rind, 
smooth or nearly so, and adhering but lightly to the pulp. 

Neither Bisso, in his excellent monograph of Citrus, 
nor modern authors, as Brandis and Sir Joseph Hooker, 
have been able to discover any other character than the 
taste to distinguish the sweet orange from more or less 
bitter fruits. This difference appeared to me of such 
slight importance from the botanical point of view, when 
I studied the question of origin in 1855, that I was 
inclined, with Risso, to consider these two sorts of orange 
as simple varieties. Modem Anglo-Indian authors do 
the same. They add a third variety, which they call 
BergaTTiia, for the bergamot orange, of which the flower is 
smaller, and the fruit spherical or pyriform, and smaller 
than the common orange, aromatic and slightly acid. 
This last form has not been found wild, and appears to 
me to be rather a product of cultivation. 

It is often asked whether the seeds of sweet oranges 
yield sweet oranges, and of bitter, bitter oranges. It 
matters little from the point of view of the distinction 
into species or varieties, for we know that both in the 
animal and vegetable kingdoms all characters are more 
or less hereditary, that certain varieties are habitually 
so, to such a degree that they should be called races, and 
that the distinction into species must consequently be 
founded upon other considerations, such as the absence of 
intermediate forms, or the failure of crossed fertilization 
to produce fertile hybrids. However, the question is not 
devoid of interest in the present case, and I must answer 
that experiments have given results which are at times 

Gallesio, an excellent observer, expresses himself as 
follows : — " I have during a long series of years sown pips 
of sweet oranges, taken sometimes from the natural tree, 
sometimes from oranges grafted on bitter orange trees 
or lemon trees. The result has always been trees bearing 
sweet fruit; and the same has been observed for more 
than sixty years by all the gardeners of Finale. There 




is no instance of a bitter orange tree from seed of sweet 
oranges, nor of a sweet orange tree from the seed of 
bitter oranges. ... In 1709, the orange trees of Finale 
having been killed by frost, the practice of raising sweet 
orange trees from seed was introduced, and every one 
of these plants produced the sweet-juiced fruit." ^ 

Macfady en,^ on the contrary, in his Flora of Jamaica^ 
s>B;ys, " It is a well-established fact, familiar to every one 
who has been any length of time in this island, that the 
seed of the sweet orange very frequently grows up into 
a tree bearing the bitter fruit, numerous well-attested 
instances of which have come to my own knowledge. I 
am not aware, however, that the seed of the bitter orange 
has ever gi-own up into the sweet-fruited variety. . . . 
We may tiberefore conclude," the author judiciously goes 
on to say, " that the bitter orange was the original stock." 
He asserts that in calcareous soil the sweet orange may 
be raised from seed, but that in other soils it produces 
fi-uits more or less sour or bitter. Duchassaing says that 
in Guadeloupe the seeds of sweet oranges often yield 
bitter fruit,* while, according to Dr. Ernst, at Caracas 
they sometimes yield sour but not bitter fruit.* Brandis 
relates that at Khasia, in India, as far as he can verify 
the fact, the extensive plantations of sweet oranges are 
from seed. These differences show the variable degree of 
heredity, and confirm the opinion that these two kinds 
of orange should be considered as two varieties, not two 

I am, however, obliged to take them in succession, 
to explain their origin and the extent of their cultivation 
at ditferent epochs. 

Bitter Orange — Arando forte in Italian, bigaradier in 
French, pomeranze in German. Citrus vtilgaria, Risso ; 
C. aurantium (var. bigaradia), Brandis and Hooker. 

It was unknown to the Greeks and Romans, as well 
a^ the sweet orange. As they had had communication 

* Gallesio, Traits du Citrus, pp. 82, 67, 355, 357. 

* Macfadyen, Flora of Jamaica, p. 129. 

' Qaoted in Grisebach's Veget. Karaibeity p. 34. 

* Ernst, in Seemann, Jounu of Bot., 18G7, p. 272. 


with India and Ceylon, Gallesio supposed that these 
trees were not cultivated in their time in the west of 
India. He had studied from this point of view, ancient 
travellers and geographers, such as Diodorus Siculus, 
Nearchus, Arianus, and he finds no mention of the orange 
in them. However, there was a Sanskrit name for the 
orange — nagarunga, nagrunga} It is from this that the 
word orange came, for the Hindus turned it into Ttarun- 
gee (pron. narovdji), according to Royle, nerunga accord- 
ing to Piddington ; the Arabs into narunjy according to 
Gallesio, the Italians into naranzi, arangi, and in the 
mediaeval Latin it was aranciv/m, arangium, afterwards 
aurantium.^ But did the Sanskrit name apply to the 
bitter or to the sweet orange ? The philologist Adolphe 
Pictet formerly gave me some curious information on 
this head. He had sought in Sanskrit works the de- 
scriptive names given to the orange or to the tree, and 
had found seventeen, which all allude to the colour, the 
odour, its acid nature (danta catha, harmful to the 
teeth), the place of growth, etc., never to a sweet or 
agreeable taste. This multitude of names similar to 
epithets show that the fruit had long been known, but 
that its taste was very difierent to that of the sweet 
orange. Besides, the Arabs, who carried the orange tree 
with them towards the West, were first acquainted with 
the bitter orange, and gave it the name narunj^ and 
their physicians from the tenth century prescribed the 
bitter juice of this fruit.* The exhaustive researches of 
Gallesio show that after the fall of the Empire the species 
advanced from the coast of the Persian Gulf, and by the 
end of the ninth century had reached Arabia, through 
Oman, Bassora, Irak, and Syria, according to the Arabian 
author Massoudi. The Crusaders saw the bitter orange 
tree in Palestine. It was cultivated in Sicily from the 
year 1002, probably a result of the incursions of the 

» Roxburgh, Fl. tndica, edit. 1832, vol. ii. p. 392 j Piddington, Index, 

8 GaUesio, p. 122. 

' In the modem languages of India the Sanskrit name has been 
applied to the sweet orange, so says Brandis, by one of those transposi- 
tions which are so common in popular language. 

« GaUesio, pp. 122, 247, 24a 


Arabs. It was they who introduced it into Spain, and 
most likely also into the east of Africa. The Portuguese 
found it on that coast when they doubled the Cape in 
1498.^ There is no ground for supposing that either the 
bitter or the sweet orange existed in Africa before the 
Middle Ages, for the myth of the garden of Hesperides 
may refer to any species of the order Aurantiacecey and 
its site is altogether arbitraiy, since the imagination of 
the ancients was wonderfully fertile. 

The early Anglo-Indian ootanists, such as Eoxburgh, 
Boyle, Griffith, Wight, had not come across the bitter 
orange wild; but there is every probability that the 
eastern region of India was its original country. Wallich 
mentions Silhet,* but without asserting that the species 
was wild in this locality. Later, Sir Joseph Hooker^ 
saw the bitter orange certainly wild in several districts 
to the south of the Himalayas, from Garwal and Sikkira 
as far as Khasia. The fruit was spherical or slightly 
flattened, two inches in diameter, bright in colour, and 
uneatable, of mawkish and bitter taste (" if I remember 
right," says the author), dtribafusca, Loureiro,* similar, 
he says, to pi. 23 of Rumphius, and wild in Cochin-China 
and China, may very likely be the bitter orange whose 
area extends to the east. 

Sweet Orange — Italian, Arando doles; German, 
Apfelsine. Citrus Aurantium sinense, Gallesio. 

Royle^ says that sweet oranges giow wild at Silhet 
and in the Nilgherry Hills, but his assertion is not 
accompanied with sufficient detail to give it importance. 
According to the same author. Turner's expedition 
gathered "delicious" wild oranges at Buxedwar, a 
locality to the north-east of Rungpoor, in the province 
of Bengal. On the other hand, Brandis and Sir Joseph 
Hooker do not mention the sweet orange as wild in 

• Gallesio, p. 240. Goe7^,Beitrag zur Kenntniss der OrangengewacJisef 
1374, p. 13, quotes early Portngaese travellers on this head, 

• Wallich, Catalogue, No. 6384. 

• Hooker, Fl. of Brit, Ind,, i. p. 516, 

• Loareiro, FU Cochin,, p. 571. 

• Boyle, lUustr, of Himal., p. 129. He qnotes Turner, Journey to 
Thibet, pp. 20, 387. 


British India; tliey only give it as cultivated. Kurz 
does not mention it in his forest flora of British Burmah. 
Further east, in Cochin-China^ Loureiro ^ describes a C. 
Aurantium, with bitter-sweet (acido-dwicis) pulp, which 
appears to be the sweet orange, and which is found both 
wild and cultivated in China and Cochin-China Chinese 
authors consider orange trees in general as natives of 
their country, but precise information about each species 
and variety is wanting on this head. 

From the collected facts, it seems that the sweet 
orange is a native of Southern China and of Cochin- 
China, with a doubtful and accidental extension of area 
by seed into India. 

By seeking in what country it was first cultivated, 
and how it was propagated, some light may be thrown 
upon the origin, and upon the distinction between the 
bitter and sweet orange. So large a fruit, and one so 
agreeable to the palate as the sweet orange, can hardly 
have existed in any district, withovit some attempts 
having been made to cultivate it It is easily raised 
from seed, and nearly always produces the wished-for 
quality. Neither can ancient travellers and historians 
have neglected to notice the introduction of so remark- 
able a fruit tree. On this historical point Gallesio's 
study of ancient authors has produced extremely in- 
teresting results. 

He first proves that the orange trees brought from 
India by the Arabs into Palestine, Egypt, the south of 
Europe, and the east coast of Africa, were not the sweet- 
fruited tree. Up to the fifteenth century, Arab books 
and chronicles only mention bitter, or sour oranges. 
However, when the Portuguese arrived in the islands of 
Southern Asia, they found the sweet orange, and ap- 
parently it had not previously been unknown to them. 
The Florentine who accompanied Vasco de Gama, and 
who published an account of the voyage, says, " Sonvi 
Tnelarancie assai, ma tutte dolei'* (there are plenty of 
oranges, but all sweet.) Neither this writer nor subsequent 
travellers expressed sui-prise at the pleasant taste of the 

^ Loureiro, Fl. Cochin,, p. 560. 


fruit* Hence Gallesio infers that the Portuguese were 
not the first to bring the sweet orange from India, which 
they reached in 1498, nor from China, which they 
reached in 1518. Besides, a number of writers in the 
beginning of the sixteenth century speak of the sweet 
orange as a fruit already cultivated in Spain and Italy. 
There are several testimonies for the years 1523, and 
1525. Gallesio goes no further than the idea that the 
sweet orange was introduced into Europe towards the 
beginning of the fifteenth century ; ^ but Targioni quotes 
from Valeriani a statute of Fermo, of the fourteenth 
century, referring to citrons, sweet oranges, etc. ;^ and 
the information recently collected from early authors by 
Goeze,^ about the introduction into Spain and Portugal, 
agrees with this date. It therefore appears to me prob- 
able that the oranges imported later from China by the 
. Portuguese were only of better quality than those 
already known in Europe, and that the common expres- 
sions, Portugal and Lisbon oranges, are due to this cir- 

If the sweet orange had been cultivated at a very 
early date in India, it would have had a special name 
in Sanskrit; the Greeks would have known it after 
Alexander's expedition, and the Hebrews would have 
early received it through Mesopotamia. This fruit would 
certainly have been valued, cultivated, and propagated 
in the Roman empire, in preference to the lemon, citron, 
and bitter orange. Its existence in India must, there- 
fore, be less ancient. 

In the Malay Archipelago the sweet orange was 
believed to come from China.* It was but little difiused 
in the Pacific Isles at the time of Cook's voyages.^ 

We come back thus by all soiiis of ways to the idea 
that the sweet variety of the orange came from China 

» Gallesio, p. 321. 

* The date of this statuto is given by Targioni, on p. 205 of the Cenni 
Storici, as 1379, and on p. 213 as 1309. The errata do not notice this 

' Goeze, Ein Beitrag zur Kewatniss der Orangengewachae, Hamburg, 
1874, p. 26 

* Bnmphins, Amboin., ii a 42. Forster, Plantis Esculentis, p. 35. 


and Cochin-China, and that it spread into India perhaps 
towards the beginning of the Christian era. It may have 
become naturalized from cultivation in many parts of 
India and in all tropical countries, but we have seen that 
the seed does not always yield trees bearing sweet fruit 
This defect in heredity in certain cases is in support of 
the theory that the sweet orange was derived from the 
bitter, at some remote epoch, in China or Cochin-China, 
and has since been carefully propagated on account of 
its horticultural value. 

Mandarin — Citrus nobilis, Loureiro. 

This species, characterized by its smaller fruit, uneven 
on the surface, spherical, but flattened at the top, and of 
a peculiar flavour, is now prized in Europe as it has been 
from the earliest times in China and Cochin-China. 
The Chinese call it kan} Rumphius had seen it culti- 
vated in all the Sunda Islands,^ and says that it was 
introduced thither from China, but it had not spread into 
India. Roxburgh and Sir Joseph Hooker do not mention 
it, but Clarke informs me that its culture has been 
greatly extended in the district of Khasia. It was new 
to European gardens at the beginning of the present 
century, when Andrews published a good illustration of 
it in the Botanisfs Repository (pi. 608). 

According to Loureiro,^ this tree, of average size, 
grows in Cochin-China, and also, he adds, in China, 
although he had not seen it in Canton. This is not very 
precise information as to its wild character, but no other 
origin can be supposed. According to Kurz,* the species 
is only cultivated in British Burmah. If this is confirmed, 
its area would be restricted to Cochin-China and a few 
provinces in China. 

Mangorteen — Oardnia mangostana, Linnaeus. 

There is a good illustration in the Botanical Magazine, 
pL 4847, of this tree, belonging to the order Guttiferse, of 
which the fruit is considered one of the best in existence. 

* Bretschneider, On the Stvdy and Valuer etc., p. 11. 

• Humphius, Amhoin.^ ii. pis. 34, 35, where, however, the form of £he 
fruit is not that of oar maadorin. 

■ Loureiro, FL Cochin,, p. 570. * Kurz, Forest Fl. of Brit Bur, 


It demands a very hot climate, for Roxburgh could not 
make it grow north of twenty-three and a half degrees 
of latitude in India,^ and, transported to Jamaica, it bears 
but poor fruit^ It is cultivated in the Sunda Islands, in 
the Malay Peninsula, and in Ceylon. 

The species is certainly wild in the forests of the Sunda 
Islands ® and of the Malay Peninsula.* Among cultivated 

Slants it is one of the most local, both in its origin, 
abitation, and in cultivation. It belongs, it is true, to 
one of those families in which the mean area of the 
species is most restricted. 

Mamey, or Mammee Apple — Mammea Americana, 

This tree, of the order Guttiferae, requires, like the 
mangosteeuy great heat. Although much cultivated in 
the West Indies and in the hottest parts of Venezuela,^ 
its culture has seldom been attempted, or has met with 
but little success, in Asia and Africa, if we are to judge 
by the silence of most authors. 

It is certainly indigenous in the forests of most of the 
West Indies.® Jacquin mentions it also for the neigh- 
bouring continent, but I do not find this confirmed by 
modem authors. The best illustration is that in Tussac's 
Flore des Antilles, iii. pi. 7, and this author gives a 
number of details respecting the use of the fruit. 

Ochro, or Gombo — Hibiscus escvZentus, Linnaeus. 

The young fruits of this annual, of the order of 
Malvaceae, form one of the most delicate of tropical 
vegetables. Tussac's Flore des Antilles contains a fine 
plate of the species, and gives all the details a gourmet 
could desire on the manner of preparing the caloulou, so 
much esteemed by the Creoles of the French colonies. 

* Royle, ni. FijnaZ., p. 133, and Roxbnrgh, Fl, Ind., li. p. 618. 

* Macfadyen, Flora of Jamaicaj p. 134. 

' Ramphiua, Amhoin.j i. p. 133; Miquel^PZawto Jun-ghun.t i. p. 290; 
Flora Indo-Batavat i. pt. 2, p. 606. 

* Hooker, Flora of Brit. Ind., i. p. 260. 

* Ernst in Seemann, Journal of Botany, 18G7, p. 273 j Triana and 
Ilanchon, Prodr. Fl. Novo'Qranat., p. 285. 

* Sloane, Jamaica, i. p. 123; Jacquin, Amer., p. 263; Grisebach, 
Fl, of Brit W. Ind. Isles, p. 118. 


When I formerly ^ tried to discover whence this plant, 
cultivated in the old and new worlds, came originally, the 
absence of a Sanskrit name, and the fact that the first 
writei*s on the Indian flora had not seen it wild, led me 
to put aside the hypothesis of an Asiatic origin. How- 
ever, as the modem flora of British India ^ mentions it as 
" probably of native origin," I was constrained to make 
further researches. 

Although Southern Asia has been thoroughly explored 
during the last thirty years, no locality is mentioned 
where the Oombo is wild or half wild. There is no 
indication, even, of an ancient cultivation in Asia. The 
doubt, therefore, lies between Africa and America. The 
plant has been seen wild in the West Indies by a good 
observer,' but I can discover no similar assertion on the 
part of any other botanist, either with respect to the 
islands or to the American continent. The earliest writer 
on Jamaica, Sloane, had only seen the species in a state of 
cultivation. Marcgraf ^ had observed it in Brazilian plan- 
tations, and as he mentions a name from the Congo and 
Angola country, quillobOy which the Portuguese corrupted 
into quingombo, the African origin is hereby indicated. 

Schweinfurth and Ascherson * saw the plant wild in 
the Nile Valley in Nubia, Kordofan, Senaar, Abyssinia^ 
and in the Baar-el-Abiad, where, indeed, it is cultivated. 
Other travellers are mentioned as having gathered speci- 
mens in Africa, but it is not specified whether these 
plants were cultivated or wild at a distance from habita- 
tions. We should still be in doubt if Fliickiger and 
Hanbury^ had not made a bibliographical discovery 
which settles the question. The ^abs call the fruit 
lamyah, or bdmiat, and Abul-Abas-Elnabati, who visited 
Egypt long before the discovery of America, in 1216, has 

* A. de Candolle, GSogr, Bot Rata., p. 768. 

* Flora of Brit. Ind.y i. p. 843. 

■ Jacquin, OhservationeSy iii. p. 11. 

* Marcgraf, Hiat. Plant.f p. 32, with illnstrations. 

' Schweinfurth and Ascherson, Attfzdldungf p. 265, under the name 

* Fliickiger and Hanhnry, Phannacogr<iphi(i, p. 86. The descrip. 
tion is in £bn Baithar, Sondtheimer's trans., i. p. 118. 


distinctly described the gombo then cuItiNrated by the 

In spite of its undoubtedly African origin, it does not 
appear that the species was cultivated in Lower Egypt 
before the Arab rule. No proof has been found in ancient 
monuments, although Rosellini thought he recognized 
the plant in a drawing, which differs widely from it 
according to Unger.^ The existence of one name in 
modem Indian languages, according to Piddington, con- 
firms the idea of its propagation towards the East after 
the beginning of the Christian era. 

Vine — VUia viniferay linns&us. 

The vine grows wild in the temperate regions of 
Western Asia, Southern Europe, Algeria, and Marocco.* It 
is especially in the Pontus, in Armenia, to the south of 
the Caucasus and of the Caspian Sea, that it grows with 
the luxuriant wildness of a tropical creeper, clinging to 
tall trees and producing abundant fruit without pruning 
or cultivation. Its vigorous growth is mentioned in 
ancient Bactriana, Cabul, Kashmir, and even in Badak- 
khan to the north of the Hindu Koosh.® Of course, it is 
a question whether the plants found there, as elsewhere, 
are not sprung from seeds carried from vineyards by 
birds. I notice, however, that the most trustworthy' 
botanists, those who have most thoroughly explored the 
Transcaucasian provinces of Russia, do not hesitate to 
say that the plant is wild and indigenous in this region. 
It is as we advance towards India and Arabia, Europe ^' 
and the north of Africa, that we frequently find in floras 
the expression that the vine is " subspontaneous," per- 
haps wild, or become wild (yerwUdert is the expressive 
German term). 

The dissemination by birds must have begun very 
early, as soon as the fruit existed, before cultivation, 
before the migration of the most ancient Asiatic peoples, 

' Unger, Die Pflanzen des Alien JEgyptena, p. 50. 

* Grisebach, V4g4t, du Olohe, French trans, by Tohibatoheif, i. pp. 
162, 163, 442; Manbj, Catal, Alger; Ball, FU Maroe. BpUtl, p. 392. 

' Adolpbe Pictet, Origines Indo-Europ. edit. 2, yol. 1, p. 295« qnotes 
Beverai traFellers for these regions, among others Wood's Journef/ to the 
8owr4t8 of the Ovus. 


perhaps before the existence of man in Europe or even 
m Asia. Nevertheless, the frequency of cultivation, and 
the multitude of forms of the cultivated grape, may have 
extended naturalization and introduced among wild vines 
varieties which originated in cultivation. In fact, natural 
agents, such as birds, winds, and currents, have always 
widened the area of species, independently of man, as far 
as the limits imposed in each age by geographical and 
physical conditions, toother with the hostile action of 
other plants and animals, allow. An absolutely primitive 
/liabitation is more or less mythical, but habitations 
successively extended or restricted are in accordance 
with the nature of things. They constitute areas more 
or less ancient and real, provided that the species has 
maintained itself wild without the constant addition ot 
\fresh seed. 

/ Concerning the vine, we have proofs of its great 
, antiquity in Europe as in Asia. Seeds of the grape have 
been found in the lake-dwellings of Castione, near Parma, 
which date from the age of bronze,^ in a prehistoric settle- 
ment of Lake Varese,* and in the lake-dwellings of 
Wangen, Switzerland, but in the latter instance at an un- 
certain depth.* And, what is more, vine-leaves have been 
found in the tufa round Montpellier, where they were 
probably deposited before the historical epoch, and in the 
tufa of Meyrargue in Provence, which is certainly prehis- 
toric,* though later than the tertiary epoch of geologists.* 

^'^^ A Russian botanist, Kolenati,* has made some very 
interesting observations on the different varieties of the 
vine, both wild and cultivated, in the country which may 
lBe called the central, and perhaps the most ancient home 
of the species, the south of the Caucasua> I consider his 
opinion the more important that the author has based 

* These are fignred in Beer's PJlanzen der ^ahlhauten, p. 24, fig. 11. 
■ Ragazzoni, Rioista Arch, della Prov, di Como, 1880, fasc. 17, p. 30. 

* Heer, ibid, 

* Planchon, Atude eur les Tufs de Montpellier, 1864, p. 63. 

* De Saporta, La Flore des Tufa Quaternaires de Provence, 1867) pp. 

^' * Kolenati, Bvlletin de la Soci^tS Jmp4r%<Ue diB Naturalistet de 
(^ Moscou, 1846, p. 279. 


liis classification of varieties with reference to the downy 
character and veining of the leaves, points absolutely 
indifferent to cultivators, and which consequently must 
far better represent the natural conditions of the plant. 
He says that the wild vines, of which he had seen any 
immense quantity between the Black and Caspian Seas, \ 
may be grouped into two subspecies which he describes, ) 
and declares are recognizable at a distance, and which ) 
are the point of departure of cultivated vines, at least in 
Armenia and the neighbourhood. He recognized them 
near Mount Ararat, at an altitude where the vine is / 
not cultivated, where, indeed, it could not be cultivated/ 
Other characters — for instance, the shape and colour of 
the grapes — ^vary in each of the subspecies. We cannot 
enter here into the purely botanical details of Kolenati's 
paper, any more than into those of Regel's more recent 
work on the genus Vitis ; ^ but it is well to note that a 
species cultivated from a very remote epoch, and which 
has perhaps two thousand described varieties, presents 
in the district where it is most ancient, and probably 
presented before all cultivation, at least two principal 
forms, with others of minor importance. If the wild 
vines of Persia and Kashmir, of Lebanon and Greece, 
were observed with the same care, perhaps other sub- 
species of prehistoric antiquity might be found. The \ 
idea of collecting the juice of the grape and of allowing 
it to ferment may have occurred to different peoples, 
principally in Western Asia, where the vine abounds and 
thrives. Adolphe Pictet,* who has, in common with\ 
numerous authors, but in a more scientific manner, con- , 
sidered the historical, philological, and even mythological 
questions relating to the vine among ancient peoples, 

* Regel, Acta HorH Imp, Petrop,, 1873. In thig sboit review of the 
genus, M. Regel gives it as his opinion that Vitis vinifera is a hybrid 
between two wild species, F. wUpina and F. lahruscay modified by culti- 
ration ; bat he gives no proof, and his characters of the two wild 
species are altogether unsatisfactory. It is much to be desired that 
the wild and caltivated vines of Earope and Asia should be compared 
with regard to their seeds, which furnish excellent distinctions, according 
to Englemann's observations on the American vines. 

' Ad. Pictet, Originea Indo-Eur., 2nd edit., vol. i. pp.- 298-^21. 

194 omaiN OP cultivated PLAKTa 

admits that both Semitic and Aryan nations knew the 
use of wine, so that they may have introduced it into all 
the countries into which they migrated, into India and 
Egypt and Europe. )( This they were the better able to 
do, since they found the vine wild in several of these 

The records of the cultivation of the grape and of the 
making of wine in Egypt go back five or six thousand 
years.^ In the West the propagation of its culture by 
the Phenicians, Greeks, and Eomans is pretty well 
known, but to the east of Asia it took place at a late 
period. The Chinese who now cultivate the vine in 
their northern provmces did not possess it earUer than 
the year 122 b.c.^ 

It is known that several wild vines exist in the north 
of China, but I cannot agree with M. Regel in consider- 
ing Vitia Amurensis, Ruprecht, the one most analogous 
to our vine, as identical in species. The seeds drawn in 
the Gartenflora, 1861, pL 33, differ too widely. If the 
fruit of these vines of Eastern Asia had any value, the 
Chinese would certainly have turned them to account. 

Common Jujube — Zizyphus wZgaris, Lamarck. 

According to Pliny,* the jujube tree was brought from 
Syria to Rome by the consul Sextus Papinius, towards 
the end of the reign of Augustus. Botanists, however, 
have observed that the species is common in rocky 
places in Italy,* and that, moreover, it has not yet been 
found wild in Syria, although it is cultivated there, as 
in the whole region extending from the Mediterranean 
to China and Japan,* 

The result of the search for the origin of the jujube 
tree as a wild plant bears out Pliny's assertion, in spite 

• M. Delchevalerie, in VJllustraiion Horticole, 1881, p. 28. He 
mentions in pai'ticnlar the tomb of Phtah-Hotep, who lived at Memphis 
4000 B.C. 

• Bretschneider, Study and Value, etc., p. 16. 

• Pliny, Hist, lib. 15, c. 14. 

• Bertoloni, FL ItaL, ii. p. 665 ; Gnsscne, Syn. Fl, Sicul., ii. p. 276. 

• Willkomm and Lange, Prod, FL Hisp., iii. p. 480; Desfontaines, Fl. 
Atlant.y i. p. 200 j Boissier, Fl. OHenU, ii. p. 12 ; J. Hooker, Fl, Brit. Ind,, 
i. p. 633 ; Bunge, Enum. PI. Chin., p. 14 j Franchet and Sayatier, Enum, 
PL Jap,, i. p. 81. 


of the objections I have just mentioned. According to 
plant collectors and authors of floras, the species appears 
to be more wild and more anciently cultivated in the 
east than in the west of its present wide area. Thus, in 
the north of China, de Bunge says it is " very common 
and very troublesome (on account of its thorns) in moun- 
tainous places." He had seen the thornless variety in 
gardens. Bretschneider ^ mentions the jujube as one of 
the fruits most prized by the Chinese, who give it the 
simple name tsao. He also mentions the two varieties, 
with and without thorns, the former wild.* The species 
does not grow in the south of China and in India proper, 
because of the heat and moisture of the climate. It is 
found again wild in the Punjab, in Persia, and Armenia. 

Brandis ^ gives seven ditferent names for the jujube 
tree (or for its varieties) in modem Indian languages, 
but no Sanskrit name is known. The species was there- 
fore probably introduced into India from China, at no 
very distant epoch, and it must have escaped from culti- 
vation and have become wild in the dry provinces of the 
west. The Persian name is anob, the Arabic unab. No 
Hebrew name is known, a further sign that the species 
is not very ancient in the west of Asia. 

The ancient Greeks do not mention the common 
jujube, but only another species, Zizyphua lotus. At least, 
such is the opinion of the critic and modern botanist, 
Lenz.* It must be confessed that the modem Greek name 
pritzuphuia has no connection witli the names formerly 
attributed in Theophrastus and Dioscorides to some 
Zizyphus, but is allied to the Latin name zizyphus (fruit 
zizyphum) of Pliny, which does not occur in earlier 
authors, and seems to be rather of an Oriental than of a 
Latin character. Heldreich^ does not admit that the 
jujube tree is wild in Greece, and others say " natural- 
ized, half-wild," which confirms the hypothesis of a 

' Bretschneider, Study and Valuer etc., p. 11. 

* Zizyphus chinensia of some authors is the same species, 

* Brandis, Forest Flora of British India, p. 84, 

* Lenz, Botanik der Alien, p. 651. 

' Heldreich, NutzpfianMen Qriecherdanda, p. 57. 


recent introduction. The same arguments apply to 
Italy. The species may have become naturalized there 
after the introduction into gardens mentioned by 

In Algeria the jujube is only cultivated or half-wild.^ 
So also in Spain. It is not mentioned in Marocco, nor in 
the Canary Isles, which argues no very ancient existence 
in the Mediterranean basin. 

It appears to me probable, therefore, that the species 
is a native of the north of China ; that it was intro- 
duced and became naturalized in the west of Asia after 
the epoch of the Sanskrit language, perhaps two thousand 
five hundred or three thousand years ago; that the 
Greeks and Bomans became acquainted with it at the 
beginning of our era, and that the latter carried it into 
Barbary and Spain, where it became partially naturalized 
by the effect of cultivation. 

Lotus Jujube — Zizyphus lotus, Desfontaines. 

The fruit of this jujube is not worthy of attention 
except from an historical point of view. It is said to have 
been the food of the lotus-eater, a people of the Lybian 
coast, of whom Herod and Herodotos ^ have given a more 
or less accurate account. The inhabitants of this country 
must have been very poor or very temperate, for a berry 
the size of a small cherry, tasteless, or slightly sweet, 
would not satisfy ordinary men. There is no proof that 
the lotus-eaters cultivated this little tree or shrub. They 
doubtless gathered the fruit in the open country, for the 
species is common in the north of Africa. One edition 
of Theophrastus * asserts, however, that there were some 
species of lotus without stones, which would imply culti- 
vation. They were planted in gardens, as is still done 
in modern Egypt,* but it does not seem to have been a 
common custom even among the ancients. 

For the rest, widely different opinions have been held 

' Miinby, Catal,, edit. 2, p. 9. 

' Odyssey y bk. 1, y. 84; Herodotos, 1. 4^ p. 177, trans, in Lenz, BoL 
der Altf p. 653. 

' Theophrastns, Bisty 1. 4, o. 4, edit. 1644. The edition of 1618 does 
not contain the words which refer to this detail. 

* Schweinforth and Ascherson, Beitr, zur Fl. JEthiop,, p. 263. 


touching the lotus of the lotus-eaters,^ and it is needless 
to insist upon a point so obscure, in which so much must 
be allowed for the imagination of a poet and for popular 

The jujube tree is now wild in dry places from Egypt 
to Marocco, in the south of Spain, Terracina, and the 
neighbourhood of Palermo * In isolated Italian localities 
it has probably escaped from cultivation. 

Indian Jigube^ — Zizyphus jujube, Lamarck; 5er among 
the Hindus and Anglo-Indians, Tnasson in the Mauritius. 

This jujube is cultivated further south than the com- 
mon kind, but its area is equally extensive. The fruit is 
sometimes like an unripe cherry, sometimes like an olive, 
as is shown in the plate published by Bouton in Hooker's 
Journal of Botany, i. pi. 140. The great number of 
known varieties indicates an ancient cultivation. It 
extends at the present day from Southern China, the Malay 
Archipelago, and Queensland, through Arabia and Egypt 
as far as Marocco, and even to Senegal, Guinea, and Angola.* 
It grows also in Mauritius, but it does not appear to have 
been introduced into America as yet, unless perhaps into 
Brazil, as it seems from a specimen in my herbarium.^ 
The fruit is preferable to the common jujube, according 
to some writers. 

It is not easy to know what was the habitation of 
the species before all cultivation, because the stones sow 
themselves readily and the plant becomes naturalized out- 
side gardens.* If we are guided by its abundance in a 
wild state, it would seem that Burmah and British India 
are its original abode. I have in my herbarium several 
specimens gathered by Wallich in the kingdom of Burmah, 

^ 8ee the article on the carob tree. 

• Desfontaines, Fl, Atlant, i. p. 200 ; Mtinby, Catal. Alger,, edit. 2, p. 
9 ; Ball, Spicilegium, FL Maroc, p. 301 ; Willkomra and Lange, Prodr. FL 
Hisp., iii. p. 481 ; Bertoloni, FL ItaL, ii. p. 664. 

' This name, which is little used, occurs in Banhin, as Jujuha Indica. 

• Sir J. Hooker, Fl. Brit Ind., i. p. 632 ; Brandis, Forest Fl., i. 87 ; 
Bentham, FL AnstraL, i. p. 412 j Boissier, FL Orient, ii. p. 13; 01i?er, 
FL of Trop, Afr,, i. p. 379. 

• Beoeived from Martins, No. 1070, from the Cdbo frio. 

• Bouton, in Hooker's Joum, of Bot} Baker, Fl, of Mauritius, p. 61 ; 


and Eurz has often seen it in the dry forests of that 
country, near Ava and Prome.^ Beddone admits the 
species to be wild in the forests of British India, but 
Brandis had only found it in the neighbourhood of 
native settlements.^ In the seventeenth century Rheede * 
described this tree as wild on the Malabar coast, and 
botanists of the sixteenth century had received it from 
Bengal. In support of an Indian origm, I may mention 
the existence of thi*ee Sanskrit names, and of eleven other 
names in modem Indian languages.^ 

It had been recently introduced into the eastern 
islands of the Amboyna group when Bumphius was 
living there/ and he says himself that it is an Indian 
species. It was perhaps originally in Sumatra and in 
other islands near to the Malay Peninsula., Ancient 
Chinese authors do not mention it ; at least Bretschneider 
did not know of it Its extension and naturalization to 
the east of the continent of India appear, therefore, to 
have been recent. 

Its introduction into Arabia and Egypt appears to 
be of 3'et later date. Not only no ancient name is 
known, but Forskal, a hundred years ago, and Delile at 
the beginning of the present century, had not seen the 
speciesj of which Schweinfurth has recently spoken as 
cultivated It must have spread to Zanzibar from Asia, 
and by degrees across Africa or in European vessels as 
far as the west coast This must have been quite 
recently, as Robert Brown (Bot of Congo) and Thonning 
did not see the species in Guinea.® 

Cashew — Anacardiwm occidentale, Linnaeus. 

The most erroneous assertions about the origin of 
this species were formerly made,^ and in spite of what 

* Karz, Forest Flora ofBunnah^ i. p. 2GC. 

* Beddone, Forest Flora of India, i. jil. 149 (repi-esentiug the wild 
fruit, which is smaller than that of the cultivated plant) ; Biundis. 

■ Rheede, it. pi. 141. 

* Piddington, Index. 

* Bumphius, Amhoyna, ii. pi. 36, 

* Zizyphua dbyssinicus, Hochst, seems to be a different species. 

' Tussac, Flore dea Antilles, ill. p. 55 (where there is an excellent 
figure, pi. 13). He says that it is an East Indian species, thus aggra- 
vating Linnasus' mistake, who belieTed it to be Asiatic and Amejncim* 


I said on the subject in 1855,^ I find them ocffM^ionally 
reproduced. ' 

The French name PoniTnier d'acajou (mahogany 
apple tree) is as absurd as it is possible to be. It is^a 
tree belonging to the order of Terebintacece or Anacar- 
diacecB, very different from the Rosaceae and the Meliaceae, 
to which the apple and the mahogany belong. The 
edible part is more like a pear than an apple, and botani- 
cally speaking is not a fruit, but the receptacle or sup- 
port of the fruit, which resembles a large bean. The two 
names, French and English, are both derived from a name 
given to it by the natives of Brazil, acaju, acajaiba, 
quoted by early travellers.* The species is certainly wild 
in the forests of tropical America, and indeed occupies a 
wide area in that region ; it is found, for example, in 
Brazil, Guiana, the Isthmus of Panama, and the West 
Indies.® Dr. Ernst * believes it is only indigenous in the 
basin of the Amazon River, although he had seen it also 
in Cuba, Panama, Ecuador, and New Granada. His 
opinion is founded upon the absence of all mention of the 
plant in Spanish authors of the time of the Conquest — a 
negative proof, which establishes a mere probability. 

Rheede and Rumphius had also indicated this plant 
in the south of Asia. The former says it is common on 
the Malabar coast.*^ The existence of the same tropical 
arborescent species in Asia and America was so little 

Srobable, that it was at first suspected that there was a 
ifference of species, or at least of variety ; but this was 
not confirmed. Different historical and philological 
proofs have convinced me that its origin is not Asiatic.® 
Moreover, Rumphius, who is always accurate, spoke of an 
ancient introduction by the Portuguese into the Malay 
Archipelago from America. The Malay name he gives, 

* Odogr. Bot. Kaw., p. 873. 

■ Piso and Marcgraf, EisU rer. Natur. Brasil, 1648, p. 57. 

* Vide Piso and Marcgraf; Aublet, Guyane, p. 392 ; Seemann, Bot, 
of the Herald, p. 106 ; Jacqain, Arn^r.j p. 124 ; Macfadjen, PL Jamaic, 
p. 119; Gi-eisbach, Fl. of BHt, W. Itid., p. 176. 

* Ernst in Seemann, Joum. ofBoUj 1867, p. 278. 

* Rheede, Malabar, iii. pi. 54. 

* Rumphius, Herb. Amboin,, i. pp. 177, 178. 


cadju, is American ; that used at Amboyna means Portugal 
fruit, that of Macassar was taken from the resemblance of 
the fruit to that of the jambosa, Rumphius says that the 
species was not widely diffused in the islands. Garcia ab 
Orto did not find it at Goa in 1550, but Acosta after- 
wards saw it at Couchin, and the Portuguese propagated 
it in India and the Malay Archipelago. According to 
Blume and Miquel, the species is only cultivated in Java. 
Rheede, it is true, says it is abundant (provenU ubiqvs) 
on the coast of Malabar, but he only quotes one name 
which seems to be Indian, kapa mava ; all the others 
are derived from the American name. Piddington gives 
no Sanskrit name. Lastly, Anglo-Indian colonists, after 
some hesitation as to its origin, now admit the importation 
of the species from America at an early period. They 
add that it has become naturalized in the forests of 
British India.^ 

It is yet more doubtful that the tree is indigenous 
in Africa, indeed it is easy to disprove the assertion. 
Loureiro ^ had seen the species on the east coast of this 
continent, but he supposed it to have been of American 
origin. Thonning had not seen it in Guinea, nor Brown 
in Congo.® It is true that specimens from the last-named 
country and from the islands in the Gulf of Guinea were 
sent to the herbarium at Kew, but Oliver says it is cul- 
tivated there.* A tree which occupies such a large area 
in America, and which has become naturalized in several 
districts of India within the last two centuries, would 
exist over a great extent of tropical Africa if it were indi- 
genous in that quarter of the globe. 
"Kssigo—Mangifera indica, Linnseus. 
Belonging to the same order as the Cashew, this tree 
nevertheless produces a true fruit, something the colour 
of the apricot.^ 

It is impossible to doubt that it is a native of the 
south of Asia or of the Malay Archipelago, when we see 

* Beddone, Flora Sylvatica, t. 163 j Hooker, Fl, Brit. Ind,, ii. p. 20. 
■ Lonreiro, Fl. Cochin,, p. 304. • Brown, Congo, pp. 12, 49. 

* Oliver, Fl. of Trop. Afr., i. p. 443. 

' See plate 4510 of the Botanical Magaaine, 


the multitude of varieties cultivated in these countries, 
the number of ancient common names, in particular a 
Sanskrit name,^ its abundance in the gardens of Bengal, 
of the Dekkan Peninsula, and of Ceylon, even in 
Rheede's time. Its cultivation was less difiused in the 
direction of China, for Loureiro only mentions its 
existence in Cochin-China. According to Rumphius,* 
it had been introduced into certain islands of the 
Asiatic Archipelago within the memory of living men. 
Forster does not mention it in his work on the fruits of 
the Pacific Islands at the time of Cook's expedition. 
The name common in the Philippine Isles, Tnanga,^ 
shows a foreign origin, for it is the Malay and Spanish 
name. The common name in Ceylon is avibey akin to 
the Sanskrit amra, whence the Persian and Arab amby^ 
the modem Indian names, and perhaps the Malay, 
mangka, manga, Tnanpelaxin, indicated by Rumphius. 
There are, however, other names used in the Sunda 
Islands, in the Moluccas, and in Cochin-China. The 
variety of these names argues an ancient introduction 
into the East Indian Archipelago, in spite of the opinion 
of Rumphius. 

The Mangifera which this author had seen wild in 
Java, and Mangifera sylvatica which Roxburgh had 
discovered at Silhet, are other species; but the true 
mango is indicated by modem authors as wild in the 
forests of Ceylon, the regions at the base of the Himalayas, 
especially towards the east, in Arracan, Pegu, and the 
Andaman Isles.^ Miquel does not mention it as wild 
in any of the islands of the Malay Archipelago. In 
spite of its growing in Ceylon, and the indications, less 
positive certainly, of Sir Joseph Hooker in the Flora of 
BHtish India, the species is probably rare or only 
naturalized in the Indian Peninsula. The size of the 
stone is too great to allow of its being transported by 

' Roxburgh, Flora Tndica, edit. 2, vol. ii. p. 435 ; Piddington, Index, 
' Rnmphias, Herb, Amhoin,, i. p. 95. 

* Blanco, Fl. Filvp., p. 181. * Kumphins ; Forskal, p. cvii. 

* Thwaites, Enum, Plant Ceyl,, p. 75 ; Brsndia, Forest Flora, p. 120 
Hooker, Fl, Brit Ind,, ii. p. 13 ; Kurz, Forest Ftoi-a Brit Burmah, i. p 304. 


birds, but the frequency of its cultivation causes a 
dispersion by man's agency. If the mango is only 
naturalized in the west of British India, this must have 
occurred at a remote epoch, as the existence of a San- 
skrit name shows. On the other hand, the peoples of 
Western Asia must have known it late, since they did 
not transport the species into Egypt or elsewhere towards 
the west. 

It is cultivated at the present day in tropical Africa, 
and even in Mauritius ana the Seychelles, where it has 
become to some extent naturalized in the woods.^ 

In the new world it was first introduced into Brazil, 
for the seeds were brought thence to Barbados in the 
middle of the last century.* A French vessel was 
carrying some young trees from Bourbon to Saint 
Domingo in 1782, when it was taken by the English, 
who took them to Jamaica, where they succeeded won- 
derfully. When the coffee plantations were abandoned, 
at the time of the emancipation of the slaves, the mango, 
whose stones the negroes scattered everywhere, formed 
forests in every part of the islands, and these are now 
valued both for their shade and as a form of food.* It 
was not cultivated in Cayenne in the time of Aublet, 
at the end of the eighteenth century, but now there are 
mangoes of the finest kind in this colony. They are 
grafted, and it is observed that their stones produce better 
fruit than that of the original stock.* 

Tahiti Apple — Spondiaa duLda, Forster. 

This tree belongs to the family of the Anacardiacece, 
and is indigenous in the Society, Friendly, and Fiji 
Islands.^ The natives consumed quantities of the fruit 
at the time of Cook's voyage. It is like a large plum, of 

* Oliver, Flora of Trop.Afr,, i. p. 442 ; Baker, Fl. of Maur, and Seych.^ 
p. 63. 

* Ilaghes, Barbados, p. 177. 

' MacfodyeQ) FL of Jam. ^-p, 221 ; Sir J. Hooker, Speech at the Royal 

* Sagot, Jour, de la 8oc. Centr. d^Agrie, de France, 1S72. 

* Foi'ster, De PlatUis Esculentia Insularum Oceani AuetraliSf p. 33 ; 
Seemann, Flora Vitiensis, p. 61 ; Nadaud, Enum» dee Plantes de Taiti, 
p. 76. 


the colour of an apple, and contains a stone covered with 
long hooked bristles.^ The flavour, according to travel- 
lers, is excellent. It is not among the fruits most widely 
diffused in tropical colonies. It is, however, cultivated 
in Mauritius and Bourbon, under the primitive Polynesian 
name evi or lievi,^ and in the West Indiea It was in- 
troduced into Jamaica in 1782, and thence into Saint 
Domingo. Its absence in many of the hot countries of 
Asia and Africa is probably owing to the fact that the 
species was discovered, only a century ago, in small 
islands which have no communications with other 

Strawberry — Fragaria vesca, Linnaeus. 

Our common strawberry is one of the most widely 
diffused plants, partly owing to the small size of its seeds, 
which birds, attracted by the fleshy part on which they 
are found, carry to great distances. 

It grows wild in Europe, from Lapland and the 
Shetland Isles * to the mountain ranges in the south ; 
in Madeira, Spain, Sicily, and in Greece.* It is also 
found in Asia, from Armenia and the north of Syria * to 
Dahuria. The strawberries of the Himalayas and of 
Japan,® which several authors have attributed to this 
species, do not perhaps belong to it,'' and this makes me 
doubt the assertion of a missionary® that it is found in 
China. It is wild in Iceland,® in the north-east of the 
United States,^® round Fort Cumberland, and on the 
north-west coast,^ perhaps even in the Sierra-Nevada of 

' There is a good coloured iUastratioii in Tussac's Fl, des ArUilles, 
iii. pi. 28. 

' Boyer, Hortua Mavriti<mu8, p. 81. 

' H. G. Watson, Compendium Cyhele Brit.f i p. ICO ; Fries, Swnma 
Veg. Sccmd,, p. 44. 

* Lowe, Man. Fl, of Madeira^ p. 246 ; Willkomm and Lange, Frodr, 
Fl. Hiap.j iii. p. 224; Moiis, Fl. Sardoa, ii. p. 17. 

* Boissier, Fl. Orient, • Ledehonr, Fl. Ro88., ii. p. 64. 

' Gay; Hooker, Fl. BHt Ind,, ii. p. 344; Franchet and Savatier, 
Enum. PL Japon., i. p. 129. 

' Pemy, Propag. de la Foi, quoted in Decaisne's Jardin Fruitier du 
Mua.f p. 27. Gay does not give Ghina. 

* Babington, Joum. o/Linnoean Society, ii. p. 303 ; J. Gay. 

>« Asa Gray, Botany of the Northern States, edit. 1868, p. 156. 
" Sir W. Eooker. FU Bor, Amer., i. p. 181. 



California.^ Thus its area extends round the north pole, 
except in Eastern Siberia and the basin of the river 
Amur, since the species is not mentioned by Maximowicz 
in his PrimUioB Florce Amurensia. In America its area 
is extended along the highlands of Mexico ; for Frugaria 
Tneadcana, cultivated in the Jardin dea Plantes, and 
examined by Gay, is F. vesca. It also grows round 
Quito, according to the same botanist, who is an authority 
on this question.* • 

The Greeks and Romans did not cultivate the straw- 
berry. Its cultivation was probably introduced in the 
fifteenth or sixteenth century. Champier, in the six- 
teenth century, speaks of it as a novelty in the north 
of France,^ but it already existed in the south, and in 

Transported into gardens in the colonies, the straw- 
berry has become naturalized in a few cool localities far 
from dwellings. This is the case in Jamaica,*^ in Mauritius,® 
and in Bourbon, where some plants had been placed by 
Commerson on the table-land known as the Kaffirs' 
Plain. Bory Saint-Vincent relates that in 1801 he 
found districts quite red with strawberries, and that it 
was impossible to cross them without staining the feet 
red with the juice, mixed with volcanic dust.'' It is 
probable that similar cases of naturalization may be seen 
in Tasmania and New Zealand. 

The genus Fragaria has been studied with more care 
than many others, by Duchesne (fUa), the Comte de 
Lambertye, Jacques Gay, and especially by Madame Eliza 
Vilmorin, whose faculty of observation was worthy of 
the name she bore. A summary of their works, with 
excellent coloured plates, is published in the Jardin 

* A. Gray, Bot Calif., i. p. 176. 

* J. Gay, in Decaisne, Jardin Fruitier du Mu84umy Fraisier, p. 30. 

' Le Grand d'Aussy, Hist, de la Vie Priv4e dea Francis, i. pp. 233 
and 3. 

* Olivier de Serres, Th46ire d*Agrie,, p. 511 ; Gerard, from Phillips, 
Poinarium Britannicum, p. 334. 

' Fardie, in Hooker's London Journal of Botany, 1844) p. 515. 

* Bojer, Hortus Mauritianus, p. 121. 

' Bory Saint-Yincent, Oomptes Rendus de VAcad. dee, Se, Nat, 1836, 
sem, ii. p. 109. 


Fruitier du Museum by Decaisne. These authors have 
overcome great difficulties in dietinguishing the varieties 
and hybrids which are multiplied in gardens from the 
true species, and in defining these by well-marked charac- 
ters. Some strawberries whose fruit is poor have been 
abandoned, and the finest are the result of the crossing 
of the species of Virginia and Chili, of which I am about 
to speak. 

Virginian Strawberry — Fragaria virginiana, Ehrarht. 

The scarlet strawberry of French gardens. This 
species, indigenous in Canada and in the eastern States 
of America, and of which one variety extends west as 
far as the Rocky Mountains, perhaps even to Oregon,^ 
was introduced into English gardens in 1629.^ It was 
much cultivated in France in the last century, but its 
hybrids with other species are now more esteemed. 

Chili Strawberry — Fragaria GhUoerm8y Duchesne. 

A species common in Southern Chili, at Conception, 
Valdivia, and Chiloe.* and often cultivated in that country. 
It was brought to France by Frezier in the year 1715. 
Cultivated in the Museum of Natural History in France^ 
it spread to England and elsewhere. The large size of 
the berry and its excellent flavour have produced by 
different crossings, especially with F. virginiana, the 
highly prized varieties Ananaa^ Victoria, Trollope, 
ItvMs, eta 

Bird-Cherry — Prunus avium, Linnaeus; Silsskirsch- 
haum in German. 

I use the word cherry because it is customary, and 
has no inconvenience when speaking of cultivated species 
or varieties, but the study of allied wild species confirms 
the opinion of Linnseus, that the cherries do not form 
a separate genus from the plums. 

All the varieties of the cultivated cherry belong to 
two species, which are found wild: 1. Planus avium, 
Linnaeus, tall, with no suckers from the roots, leaves 

^ Asa Gray, Manual of Botany of i^ Northern States, edit. 1868, 
p. 155 ; Botany of California, i. p. 177. 

• Phillips, Romar. Brit., p. 335. 

* CI. Gay, Hist, Chili, Botanica, ii. p. 305. 


downy on the under side, the fruit sweet; 2. Prunua 
cerasus, Linnaeus, shorter, with suckers from the roots, 
leaves glabrous, and fruit more or less sour or bitter. 

The first of these species, from which the white 
and black cherries are developed, is wild in Asia; in 
the forest of Ghilan (north of Persia), in the Russian 
provinces to the south of the Caucasus and in Armenia ; ^ 
in Europe in the south of Russia proper, and generally 
from the south of Sweden to the mountainous parts of 
Greece, Italy, and Spain.* It even exists in Algeria.' 

i^s we leave the district to the south of the Caspian 
and Black Seas, the bird-cherry becomes less common^ 
less natural, and determined more perhaps by the birds 
which seek its fruit and carry the seeds from place to 
place.^ It cannot be doubted that it was thus naturalized, 
from cultivation, in the north of India,' in many of the 
plains of the south of Europe, in Madeira,* and here and 
there in the United States ; ^ but it is probable that in 
the greater part of Europe this took place in prehistoric 
times, seeing that the agency of birds was employed 
before the first migrations of nations, perhaps before 
there were men in Europe. Its area must have extended 
in this region as the glaciers diminished. 

The common names in ancient languages have been 
the subject of a learned article by Adolphe Pictet,® but 
nothing relative to the origin of the species can be 
deduced from them ; and besides, the different species and 
varieties have often been confused in popular nomencla- 
ture. It is far more important to know whether archae- 
ology can tell us anything about the presence of the 
bird-cherry in Europe in prehistoric timea 

^ Ledebonr, J7. RoBB.t ii. p. 6 ; Boissier, Fl. Orient.^ ii. p. 649. 

' Ledebour, ibid. ; Fries, Surmma 8cand,y p. 46 ; N)nnan, Conspee. FL 
Evr., p. 213; Boisrier, ibid.; Willkomm and Lange, Prodr. FL Risp,, 
iii. p. 245. 

' Mnnbj, Catal. Alger^ edit. 2, p. 8. 

* Ab the cherries ripen after the season when birds mie^rate, they 
disperse the stones chiefly in the neighbourhood of the plautatious. 

* Sir J. Hooker, Fl, of Brit India. 

* Lowe, Manual of Madeira^ p. 235. 

' Darlington, FU Ceatricaf edit. 3, p. 73. 

* Ad. Pictet, Originea Indo-Europ.f edit. 2, vol. i. p. 281. 


Heer gives an illustration of the stones of Pi*%mvs 
avium, in his paper on the lake-dwellings of Western 
Switzerland.^ From what he was kind enough to write 
to me, April 14, 1881, these stones were found in the 
peat formed above the ancient deposits of the age of 
stone. De Mortillet ^ found similar cherry-stones in the 
lake-dwellings of Bourget belonging to an epoch not 
very remote, more recent than the stone age. Dr. Gross 
sent me some from the locality, also comparatively recent, 
of Corcelette on Lake NeuchS,tel, and Strobel and Pigorini 
discovered some in the *' terramare " of Parma.® All these 
are settlements posterior to the stone age, and perhaps 
belonging to historic time. If no more ancient stones of 
this species are found in Europe, it will seem probable 
that naturalization took place after the Aryan migrations. 

Sour Cherry — Prunus cerasua, Linnaeus ; Cerasua vuL- 
garis, Miller ; Baumweischel, Sauerkirschen, in Geiman. 

The Montmorency and griotte cherries, and several 
other kinds known to horticulturists, are derived from 
this species.* 

Hohenacker * saw Prunus cerastLS at Lenkoran, near 
the Caspian Sea, and Koch® in the forests of Asia 
Minor, that is to say, in the north-east of that country, 
as that was the region in which he travelled. Ancient 
authors found it at Elisabethpol and Erivan, according 
to Ledebour,^ Grisebach® indicates it on Mount Olympus 
of Bithynia, and adds that it is nearly wild on the plains 
of Macedonia. The true and really ancient habitation 
seems to extend from the Caspian Sea to the environs 
of Constantinople ; but in this very region Prunus avium, 
is more common. Indeed, Boissier and Tchihatcheff 
do not appear to have seen P. cerasus even in the 

^ Heer, Pflanzen der Pfahlbauten, p. 24, figs. 17, 18, and p. 26. 
' In Perrin, Atudes PrihisU sur la 8avoie, p. 22. 

* Atie 8oc. Itdl, 8e. Nat, vol. yi. 

^ For the Dnmerons varieties which have common names in France, 
varying with the different provinces, see Jhihamsl, Traitd des Arbres, edit. 
2, vol. v., in which are good coloured illastrations. 

* Hohenacker, Plantaf Tdlysch., p« 128. 

* Koch, Dendrologie, i. p. 110. ' Ledebonr, FL Boss., ii. p. 6» 

* Grisebach, SjpiciU Fl, Bumel^ p. 86. 


Pontus, though they received or brought back several 
specimens of P. avium} 

In the north of India, P. certisua exists only as a 
cultivated plant.^ The Chinese do not appear to have 
been acquainted with our two kinds of cherry. Hence 
it may be assumed that it was not very early introduced 
into Lidia, and the absence of a Sanskrit name confirms 
this. We have seen that, according to Grisebach, P. 
cerasua is nearly wild in Macedonia. It was said to 
be wild in the Crimea, but Steven ® only saw it cultivated ; 
and Behmann ^ gives only the allied species, P. chanKB- 
cerasvs, Jacquin, as wild in the south of Russia. I very 
much doubt its wild character in any locality north of 
the Caucasus Even in Greece, where Fiuas said he saw 
this tree wild, Heldreich only knows it as a cultivated 
species.*^ In Dalmatia,® a particular variety or allied 
species, P. Maraacay is found really wild; it is used 
in making Maraschino win& P. cerastes is wild in 
mountainous parts of Italy ^ and in the centre of France,® 
but farther to the west and north, and in Spain, the 
species is only found cultivated, and naturalized here 
and there as a bush. P. eerasus, more than the bird- 
cherry, evidently presents itself in Europe, as a foreign 
tree not completely naturalized. 

None of the often-quoted passages • in Theophrastus, 
Pliny, and other ancient authors appear to apply to 
P. eerasus}^ The most important, that of Theophrastus, 
belongs to Prunus avium, because of the height of 
the tree, a character which distinguishes it from P. 
eerasus. Kerasos being the name for the bird-cherry 

' Boissier, Fl, Orient. ^ ii p. 649; Tchihateheff, Asia Minewe, BoL, p. 

• Sir J. Hooker, Fl. of Brit. India, ii. p. 818. 

• Steven, Verzeichniss Halhinselm, etc., p. 147. 

• Behmann, Verhandl. Nat. Ver. Brunn, x. 1871. 

• Heldreioh, Hutzpjl. Orieeh., p. 69 ; Pfianzen d^Attisch. Ehena., p. 477. 

• Viviani, Fl. Dalmat, iii. p. 258. ' Bertoloni, Fl. Ital., y. p. 181. 

• Lecoc and Lamotte, Catal. du Flat. Centr, de la France, p. 14)8. 

• Theophrastes, Hist. PI., lib. 3, o. 13 ; Plinj, lib. 15, o. 25, and others 
quoted in Lenz, Bot. der Alien Or. and Rom., p. 710. 

** Fftrt of the description of Theophrastas shows a oonfnsion with 
other trees. He sajs* for instance, that the nut is soft. 


in Theophrastus, as now Jcera^aia among the modem 
Greeks, I notice a linguistic proof of the antiquity of 
P. ceraaua. The Albanians, descendants of the Pelas- 
gians, call the latter vydsirie, an ancient name which 
reappears in the German Wechsel, and the Italian visciolo} 
As the Albanians have also the name kerasie for P. 
avium, it is probable that their ancestors very clearly 
distinguished the two species by different names, perhaps 
before the arrival of the Hellenes in Greece. 

Another indication of antiquity may be seen in Virgil 
{Geor. ii. 17) — 

" Pullalat ab radioe aliis densissima silya 
Ut cerasis nlmisqne *' — 

which applies to P. cerasus, not to P, avium. 

Two paintings of the cherry tree were found at 
Pompeii, but it seems that it cannot be discovered to 
which of the two species they should be attributed.^ 
Comes calls them Prunus cerasus. 

Any archaeological discovery would be more con- 
vincing. The stones of the two species present a differ^ 
ence in the furrow or groove, whidi has not escaped the 
observation of Heer and Sordelli. Unfortunately, only 
one stone of P. cerasus has been found in the pre- 
historic settlements of Italy and Switzerland, and what 
is more, it is not quite cei-tain from what stratum it 
was taken. It appears that it was a non-archaeological 

From all these data, somewhat contradictory and 
suiEciently vague, I am inclined to admit that Planus 
cerasus was known and already becoming naturalized 
at the beginning of Greek civilization, and a little later 
m Italy before the epoch when Lucullus brought a 
cherry tree from Asia Minor. Pages might be tran- 
scribed from authors, even modem ones, who attribute, 
after Pliny, the introduction of the cherry into Italy to 

* Ad. Fictet qnotes forms of the same name in Persian, Tarkisli, and 
Rnssian, and derives from the same source the French woi'd guigne, now 
used for certain varieties of the cherry. 

• Schonw, Die Erde^ p. 44 ; Comes, III. delle Ptante, et<j., in 4to, p.- 56. 
' Sordelii, Fiante delta torbiera di Lagozza, p. 40. 


this rich Roman, in the year 65 B.C. Since this error is 
perpetuated by its incessant repetition in classical schools, 
it must once more be said that cherry trees (at least the 
bird-cherry) existed in Italy before Lucullus, and that 
the famous gourmet did not need to go far to seek the 
species with sour or bitter fruit. I have no doubt that 
he pleased the Romans with a good variety cultivated 
in tne Pontus, and that cultivators hastened to propagate 
it by grafting, but Lucullus* share in the matter was 
confined to this. 

From what is now known of Kerasunt and the 
ancient names of the cherry tree, I venture to maintain, 
contrary to the received opinion, that it was a variety 
of the bird-cherry of which the fleshy fruit is of a sweet 
flavour. I am inclined to think so because Kerasoa in 
Theophrastus is the name of Prunus aviv/m, which is 
far the commoner of the two in Asia Minor. The town 
of Kerasunt took its name from the tree, and it is 
probable that the abundance of Prunus avimn in the 
neighbouring woods had induced the inhabitants to seek 
the trees which yielded the best fruits in order to plant 
them in their gardens. Certainly, if Lucullus brought 
fine white-heart cherries to Rome, his countrymen who 
only knew the little wild cherry may well have said, 
*' It is a fruit which we have not." Pliny aflirms nothing 

I must not conclude without suggesting a hypothesis 
about the two kinds of cherry. They differ but little in 
character, and, what is very rare, their two ancient 
habitations, which are most clearly proved, are similar 
(from the Caspian Sea to Western Anatolia). The two 
species have spread towards the West, but unequally. 
That which is commonest in its original home and the 
stronger of the two (P. avium) has extended further and 
at an earlier epoch, and has become better naturalized. 
P, cerasus is, therefore, perhaps derived from the 
other in prehistoric times. I come thus, by a different 
road, to an idea suggested by Caruel;^ only, instead 
of saying that it would perhaps be better to unite them 

Camel, Flora Toscana^ p. 48. 


now in one species, I consider them actually distinct, and 
content myself with supposing a descent, which for the 
rest it would not be easy to prpve. 

Cultivated Flams. 

Pliny ^ speaks of the immense quantity of plums 
known in his time: ingens turba prvmoiniTn. Horti- 
culturists now number more than three hundred. Some 
botanists have tried to attribute these to distinct wild 
species, but they have not always agreed, and judging from 
the specific names especially they seem to have had very 
different ideas. This diversity is on two heads ; first as 
to the descent of a given cultivated variety, and secondly 
as to the distinction of the wild forms into species or 

I do not pretend to classify the innumerable culti- 
vated forms, and I think that labour useless when dealing 
with the question of geographical origin, for the differ- 
ences lie principally in the shape, size, colour, and taste 
of the fruit, in characters, that is to say, which it has 
been the interest of horticulturists to cultivate when 
they occur, and even to create as far as it was in their 
power to do so. It is better to insist upon the distinction 
of the forms observed in a wild state, especially upon 
those from which man derives no advantage, and which 
have probably remained as they were before the existence 
of gardens. 

It is probably only for about thirty years that 
botanists have given really comparative characters for 
the three species or varieties which exist in nature.^ 
They may be summed up as follows : — 

Prunus domestica, Linnaeus. Tree or tall shrub, with- 
out thorns ; young branches glabrous ; flowers appearing 
with the leaves, their peduncles usually downy; fruit 
pendulous, ovoid and of a sweet flavour. 

Prunus insititia, Linnaeus. Tree or tall shrub, with- 
out thorns ; young shoots covered with a velvet down ; 
flowers appearing with the leaves, with peduncles covered 

> Hist, lib. 15, c. 13. 

' Koch, 8yn. Fl. Oerm., eel it. 2, p. 228 ; Gosson and Germain, Flore 
des Environs de Paris, i. p. 165. 


with a fine down, or glabrous ; fruit pendulous, round or 
slightly elliptical, of a sweet flavour. 

Prwaus apinosa, Linnseus. A thorny shrub, with 
branches spreading out at right angles; young shoots 
downy; flowers appearing before the leaves; pedicles 
glabrous ; fruit upright, round, and very sour. 

This third form, so common in our hedges (sloe or 
blackthorn), is very different from the other two. There- 
fore, unless we interpret by hypothesis what may have 
happened before all observation, it seems to me im- 
possible to consider the three forms as constituting one 
and the same species, unless we can show transitions 
from one to the other in those organs which have not 
been modified by cultivation, and hitherto this has not 
been done. At most the fusion of the two first categories 
can be admitted. The two forms with naturally sweet 
fruit occur in few countries. These must have tempted 
cultivators more than Pninus opvnosa, whose fruit 
is- so sour. It is, therefore, in these that we must seek 
to find the originals of cultivated plums. For greater 
clearness I shall speak of them as two species.^ 

Common Flnm — Frunua domestica, Linnaeus; Zwet- 
chen in German. 

Several botanists^ have found this variety wild 
throughout Anatolia, the region to the south of the 
Caucasus and Northern Persia, in the neighbourhood of 
Mount Elbruz, for example. 

I know of no proof for the localities of Kashmir, the 
country of the Kirghis and of China, which are men- 
tioned in some floras. The species is often doubtful, and 
it is probably rather Prunua insititia; in other cases 
it is its true and ancient wild character which is un- 
certain, for the stones have evidently been dispersed from 
cultivation. Its area does not appear to extend as far as 
Lebanon, although the plums cultivated at Damascus 
(damascenes, or damsons) have a reputation which dates 

^ Hadson, Fl. Anglic.^ 1778, p. 212, unites them nnder the name 
Prunua communis, 

• Ledebonr, Fl, ^88*^ ii. p. 6 ; BoiBsier, Fl. Orienty ii. p. 652 ; K Koch 
Dendrologiey i. p. 94; Boissier and Biihse, Avfzahl Transcaucaaien, p. 80l 


from the days of Pliny. It is supposed that this was the 
species referred to by Dioscorides^ under the name of 
Syrian coccv/melea, growing at Damascus. Karl Koch 
relates that the merchants trading on the borders of 
China told him that the species was common in the 
forests of the western part of the empire. It is true that 
the Chinese have cultivated different kinds of plums 
fi*om time immemorial, but we do not know them well 
enough to judge of them, and we cannot be sure that 
they are indigenous. As none of our kinds of plum has 
been found wild in Japan or in the basin of the river 
Amur, it is very probable that the species seen in China 
are different to ours. This appears also to be the result 
of Bretschneider's statements.^ 

It is very doubtful if Prnnus domeatica is in- 
digeiious in Europe. In the south, where it is given, it 
grows chiefly in hedges, near dwellings, with all the 
appearance of a tree scarcely naturalized, and maintained 
here and there by the constant bringing of stones from 
plantations. Authors who have seen the species in the 
East do not hesitate to say that it is ** subspontaneous." 
Fraas^ affirms that it is not wild in Greece, and this is 
confirmed as far as Attica is concerned by Heldreich.* 
Steven** says the same for the Crimea. If this is the 
case near Asia Minor, it must be the more readily 
admitted for the rest of Europe. 

In spite of the abundance of plums cultivated formerly 
by the Somans, no kind is found represented in the 
frescoes at Pompeii® Neither has Prunua domestica 
been found among the remains of the lake-dwellings of 
Italy, Switzerland, and Savoy, where, however, stones 
of Prunua inaititia and apinoaa have been discovered. 
From these facts, and the small number of words at- 
tributable to this species in Greek authors, it may be 

' Dioscoridefl, p. 174 

' Bretschneider, On the Studyt etc., p. 10. 

* Fraas, &yn, Fl, Class,, p. 69. 

* Heldreich, PJlanzen Attischen Ebeve, 

^ Steven, Verzeichniss Halhinselnt i. p.«172. 

* Comes, IlL Pia/nte Panipeiane. 


inferred that its half-wild or half-naturalized state dates 
in Europe from two thousand years at most. 

Prunes and damsons are ranked with this species. 

Bnllace — Prunus insititia, Linnaeus;^ PjUiuevhawm, 
and Baferschlehen in German. 

This kind of plum grows wild in the south of Europe.* 
It has also been found in Cilicia, Armenia, to the south 
of the Caucasus, and in the province of Talysch near the 
Caspian Sea.® It is especially in Turkey in Europe and 
to the south of the Caucasus that it appears to be truly 
wild. In Italy and in Spain it is perhaps less so, 
although trustworthy authors who have seen the plant 
growing have no doubt about it. In the localities 
named north of the Alps, even as far as Denmark, it is 
probably naturalized from cultivation. The species is 
commonly found in hedges not far from dwellings/ and 
apparently not truly wild. 

All this agrees with archaeological and historical data. 
The ancient Greeks distinguished the Coccunielea of their 
country from those of Syria,* whence it is inferred that 
the former were Prunus insititia. This seems the more 
likely that the modem Greeks call it coT'omdeia,^ The 
Albanians say corombile^ which has led some people to 
suppose an ancient Pelasgian origin. For the rest, we 
must not insist upon the common names of the plum 
which each nation may have given to one or another 
species, perhaps also to some cultivated variety, without 
any rule. The names which have been much commented 
upon in learned works generally, appear to me to applj'- 
to any plum or plum tree without having any very 
defined meaning. 

No stones of P. insititia have yet been found in 

' Insititia — foreign. A curious name, since every plant is foreign to 
all countries but its own. 

" Willkomm and Lange, Prodr, Fl. Hisp.j iii. p. 244 ; Bertoloni, Fl. Ital., 
V. p. 135; Grisebach, £f/)tc«l. Fl. Rumel.yVt, 8b ; Heldreich, Nutzpfl. Griech., 
p. 68. 

» Boissier, Fl. Orient^ ii. p. 651 ; Ledebour, Fl. Ross., ii. p. 5 ; Holien- 
acker, PI. Talysch, p. 128. 

* Dioscorides, p. 473 ; Fraas, Fl. Class., p. 69. 

• Heldreich, Nutzpjlanzen Griechenlands, p. 68. • Ibid, 


the terronmare of Italy, but Heer has described and 
given illustrations of some which were found in the lake- 
dwellings of Robenhausen.^ The species does not seem 
to be now indigenous in this part of Switzerland, but we 
must not forget that, as we saw in the history of flax, the 
lake-dwellers of the canton of Zurich, in the age of stone, 
had communications with Italy. These ancient Swiss 
were not hard to please in the matter of food, for they 
also gathered the berries of the blackthorn, which are, as 
we think, uneatable. It is probable that they ate them 

Apricot — Prunud ar7neniaA:a, Linnaeus; Armenica 
wZgaris, Lamarck. 

The Greeks and Romans received the apricot about 
the beginning of the Christian era. Unknown in the 
time of Theophrastus, Dioscoiides^ mentions it under 
the name of mailon ariftieniacon. He says that the 
Latins called it praikokion. It is, in fact, one of the 
fruits mentioned briefly by Pliny,® under the name of 
proBcociuTTi, so called from the precocity of the species.* 
Its Armenian origin is indicated by the Greek name, 
but this name might mean only that the species was 
cultivated in Armenia. Modem botanists have long had 
good reason to believe that the species is wild in that 
country. Pallas, Guldenstadt, and Hohenacker say they 
found it in the neighbourhood of the Caucasus Mountains, 
on the north, on the banks of the Terek, and to the south 
between the Caspian and Black Seas.® Boissier ® admits 
all these localities, but without saying anything about 
the wild character of the species. He saw a specimen 
gathered by Hohenacker, near ElisabethpoL On the 

* Heer, PJlanzen der Pfahlhauten, p. 27, fijr. 16, o. 

* Dioscorides, lib. 1, c. 165. " Pliny, lib. 2, cap. 12. 

* The Latin name has passed into modem Greek (^prikokkia)* The 
Spanish and French names, etc. {alhai-icoqvst dbricot)^ seem to be derived 
from arbor prcBcox, or prcBcocium, while the old French woi-d armegne^ 
and the Italian armenilU, etc., come from mailon armeniacon. See further 
details abont the names of the species in my Odographie BUuniiue 
Baisonnde, p. 880. 

» Ledebour, Fl. Roaa^ ii. p. 3. • 

' Boissier, Fl. Orient,, ii. p. 652. 


other hand, Tchihatcheff * who has crossed Anatolia and 
Armenia several times, does not seem to have seen the 
wild apricot; and what is still more significant. Earl 
Koch, who travelled through the region to the south of 
the Caucasus, in order to observe facts of this nature, 
expresses himself as follows : ^ " Native country unknown. 
At least, during my long sojourn in Armenia, I nowhere 
found tlie apricot wild, and I have rarely seen it even 

A traveller, W. J. Hamilton.® said he found it wild 
near Orgou and Outch Hisar in Anatolia : but this asser- 
tion has not been verified by a botanist. The supposed 
wild apricot of the ruins of Baalbek, described by Eusfebe 
de Salle * is, from what he says of the leaf and fruit, 
totally different to the common apricot. Boissier, and 
the different collectors who sent him plants from Syria 
and Lebanon, do not appear to have seen the species. 
Spach *^ asserts that it is indigenous in Persia, but he gives 
no proof. Boissier and Buhse ® do not mention it in their 
list of the plants of Transcaucasia and Persia. It is use- 
less to seek its origin in Africa. The apricots which 
Reynier "^ says he saw, " almost wild," in Upper Egypt 
must have sprung from stones grown in cultivated 
ground, as is seen in Algeria.® Schweinfurth and 
Ascherson,® in their catalogue of the plants of Egypt and 
Abyssinia, only mention the species as cultivated. Besides, 
if it had existed formerly in the north of Africa it would 
have been early known to the Hebrews and the Romans. 
Now there is no Hebrew name, and Pliny says its intro- 
duction at Rome took place thirty years before he wrote. 

Carrying our researches eastward, we find that Anglo- 

• Tchihatcheff, Asie Mineure^ Botanique, vol. L 

• K. Koch, Dendrologie, i. p. 87. 

• Nouv, Ann, des Voyages, Feb., 1839, p. 176. 

• E. de Salle, Voyttgey i. p. 140. 

• Spach, Hist, des V6g4t. Phan^r., i. p. 889. 

' Boissier and Buhse, Aufzahlv/ngf etc., in 4to, I860* 
' Beynier, J^conomie des j^gyptiens, p. 371. 

• Miinby, Catal. Fl. d'AlgSr,, edit. 2, p. 49. 

' Schweinfurth and Ascherson, Beitrctge z. Fl. JEthiop,, in Ifcc, 18G7, 
p. 259. 


Indian botanists ^ are agreed in considering that the 
apricot, which is generally cultivated in the north of 
India and in Thibet, is not wild in those regions ; but 
they add that it has a tendency to become naturalized, 
and that it is found upon the site of ruined villages. 
Messrs. Schlagintweit brought specimens from the north- 
west provinces of India, and Irom Thibet, which West- 
mael verified,^ but he was kind enough to write to me 
that he cannot affirm that it was wild, since the collector's 
label gives no information on that head. 

Roxburgh,' who did not neglect the question of origin, 
says, speaking of the apricot, " native of China as well 
as the west of Asia." I read in Dr. Bretschneider's 
curious little work,* drawn up at Pekin, the following 
passage, which seems to me to decide the question in 
favour of a Chinese origin : — ^^ Sing, as is well known, 
is the apricot {Prunus airmenidca). The character (a 
Chinese sign printed on p. 10) does not exist as indicat- 
ing a fruit, either in the Shu-king, or in the Shi-kiTig, 
Cihouli, etc., but the Shan-hai-king says that several 
sings grow upon the hills (here a Chinese character). 
Besides, the name of the apricot is represented by a 
particular sign which may show that it is indigenous in 
China." The Shan-hai-king is attributed to the Emperor 
Yii, who lived in 2205-2198 B.C. Decaisne,^ who was 
the first to suspect the Chinese origin of the apricot, has 
recently received from Dr. Bretschneider some specimens 
accompanied by the following note: — "No. 24, apricot 
wild in the mountains of Pekin, where it grows in 
abundance ; the fruit is small (an inch and a quarter in 
diameter), the skin red and yellow ; the flesh salmon 
colour, sour, but eatable. No. 25, the stone of the apricot 
cultivated round Pekin. The fruit is twice as large as 

* Royle, HI. of Himalaya, p. 205 ; Aitchison, Catal, of Punjab and 
iSfmd/i, p. 56; Sir Joseph Hooker, J^Z. of Brit. Ind., ii. p. 313; Brandip, 
Forest Flora ofN. W. and Central India, 191. 

* Westinael, in BuU, 8oc. Bot. Belgiq., viii., p. 219. 

* Boxburgh, Fl. Ind,, edit. 2, v. ii. p. 501. 

* Bretschneider, On the Study and Value, etc., pp. IC, 49. 

* Decaisne, Jardin Fruitier du Museum, vol. viii., art. Ahricotier. 


that of the wild tree." * Decaisne adds^ in the letter 
he was good enough to write to me, "In shape and 
surface the stones are exactly like those of our small 
apricots ; they are smooth and not pitted." The leaves 
he sent me are certainly those of the apricot. 

The apricot is not mentioned in Japan, or in the basin 
of the river Amoor.^ Perhaps the cold of the winter is 
too great. If we recollect the absence of commimication 
in ancient times between China and India, and the 
assertions that the plant is indigenous in both countries, 
we are at first tempted to believe that the ancient area 
extended from the north-west of India to China. How- 
ever, if we wish to adopt this hypothesis, we must also 
admit that the culture of the apricot spread very late 
towards the West.® For no SansKrit or Hebrew name is 
known, but only a Hindu name, zard alu, and a Persian 
name, mischmisch, which has passed into Arabic* How 
is it to be supposed that so excellent a fruit, and one 
which grows in abundance in Western Asia, spread so 
slowly from the north-west of India towards the Graeco- 
Boman world? The Chinese knew it two or three 
thousand years before the Christian era. Changkien 
went as far as Bactriana, a century before our era, and 
he was the first to make the West known to his fellow- 
countrymen.^ It was then, perhaps, that the apricot was 
introduced in Western Asia, and that it was cultivated 
and became naturalized here and there in the north-west 
of India, and at the foot of the Caucasus, by the scatter- 
ing of the stones beyond the limits of the plantations. 

Almond — Amygaalus communis, Linnaeus; Pruni 
species, Baillon ; Frunus Amygdalus, Hooker, 

* Dr. Bretschneider confirms this in a recent work, Notes on Botanical 
Questions, p. 3. 

■ Pruniis armeniaca of Thnnberg is P. nvume of Siebold and Znccha- 
rini. The apricot is not mentioned in the Enumeratio, etc., of Fjtincbet 
and Savatier. 

■ Capus (Ann. 8c. Nat., sixth series, vol. xv. p. 206) foand it wild in 
Tiirkest«,n at the height of four thousand to seven thousand feet, which 
weakens the hypothesis of a solely Chinese origin. 

* Piddington, Index ; Boxburgh, Fl. Ind. ; Forskal, Fl. JEgyp, ; Delile, 
III. Egypt. 

' Bretschneider, On the Study and Value, etc. 


The almond grows apparently wild or half wild in 
the warm, dry regions of the Mediterranean basin and 
of western temperate Asia. As the nuts from cultivated 
trees naturalize the species very easily, we must have 
recourse to various indications to discern its ancient 

We may first discard the notion of its origin in 
Eastern Asia. Japanese floras make no mention of the 
almond. That which M. de Bonge saw cultivated in 
the north of China was the Persica Davidiana} Dr. 
Bretschneider,^ in his classical work, tells us that he has 
never seen the almond cultivated in China, and that the 
compilation entitled Pent-sao, published in the tenth or 
eleventh century of our era, describes it as a tree of the 
country of the Mahometans, which signifies the north- 
west of India, or Persia. 

Anglo-Indian botanists ^ say that the almond is culti- 
vated m the cool parts of India, but some add that it 
does not thrive, and that many almonds are brought 
from Persia.* No Sanskrit name is known, nor even 
any in the languages derived from Sanskrit. Evidently 
the north-west of India is not the original home of the 

On the other hand, there are many localities in the 
region extending from Mesopotamia and Turkestan to 
Algeria, where excellent botanists have found the almond 
% tree quite wild. Boissier** has seen specimens gathered 
in rocky ground in Mesopotamia, Aderbijan, Turkestan, 
Kurdistan, and in the forests of the Anti-Lebanon. 
Karl Koch * has not foimd it wild to the south of the 
Caucasus, nor Tchihatcheff in Asia Minor. Cosson '^ found 
natural woods of almond trees near Saida in Algeria. It 

' Bretschneider, Early European ReaearcheSj p. 149. 
' Bretschneider, Sitidy and Value, etc., p. 10; and Early Europ, 
Tiesear,j p. 140. 

» Brandis, Forest Flora ; Sir J. Hooker, Fl. of Brit. Ind., iii. p. 313. 

* Roxbargh, Fl, Ind,,, edit. 2, vol. IL p. 500 ; Kojie, 111, Himal^f p. 204. 

• Boissier, FL Orien,, iii. p. 641. 

' K. Koch, Dendrologie, i. p. 80; Tchihatcheff, A»ie Miiieure Bota. 
niquet 1. p. 108. 

' Ann, des Sc, Nat, 3rd scries, toL xix. p. 108. 


is also regarded as wild on the coasts of Sicily and of 
Greece;^ but there, and still more in the localities in 
which it occurs in Italy, Spain, and France, it is probable, 
and almost certain, that it springs from the casual dis- 
persal of the nuts from cultivation. 

The antiquity of its existence in Western Asia is 

!)roved by Hebrew names for the almond tree — schaked, 
uz or lus (which recurs in the Arabic Umz), and «cAe- 
Icedim for the nut.^ The Peraians have another name, 
badam, but I do not know how old this is. Theophras- 
tus and Dioscorides ® mention the almond by an entirely 
different name, amiigdalaiy translated by the Latins into 
amygdalus. It may be inferred from this that the Greeks 
did not receive the species from the interior of Asia, but 
found it in their own country, or at least in Asia Minor. 
The almond tree is represented in several frescoes found 
at Pompeii.* Pliny® doubts whether the species was 
known in Italy in Cato*s time, because it was called the 
Greek nut. It is very possible that the almond was in- 
troduced into Italy from the Greek islands. Almonds 
have not been found in the terra-mare of the neigh- 
bourhood of Parma, even in the upper layers. 

The late introduction of the species into Italy, and the 
absence of naturalization in Sardinia and' Spain,® incline 
me to doubt whether it is really indigenous in the north 
of Africa and Sicily. In the latter countries it was more 
probably naturalized some centuries ago. In confirma- * 
tion of this hypothesis, I note that the Berber name of 
the almond, talouzet^ is evidently connected with the 
Arabic louz^ that is to say with the language of the 
conquerors who came after the Romans. In Western 
Asia, on the contrary, and even in some parts of Greece, 

* Gnssone, Synopsis Florcs SiculoB, L p. 552 ; Heldreich, Nutzpjlanzen 
GriecherUandsy p. 67. 

* Hiller, Hierophyi(m, L p, 215; Rosenmuller, Hwadh. Bihl, AUerth., 
iy. p. 263. 

* Theopbrastas, Btsf., lib. l,c. 11, 18, etc. ; Dioscorides, lib, 1, o. 176, 

* Schoaw, Die Erde, etc. j Comes, III, Piante nei dipinti Pomp., p. 13. 

* Plinj, Mist., lib. 16, o. 22. 

' Moris, Flora Sardoa, ii. p, 5 ; Willkomm and Lange, Prodr, Fl: Hisp,, 
ill. p. 243. 

' Dictionnaire Fran^aia B rh^f 1844. 


it may be regarded as indigenous from prehistoric time. 
I do not say primitive, for everything was preceded by 
something else. I remark finally that the difierence be- 
tween bitter and sweet almonds was known to the Greeks 
and even to the Hebrews. 

Peach — Amygdalvs persica, Linneeus ; Persica vul- 
garis, Miller ; Prunua persica, Bentham and Hooker. 

I will quote the article in which I formerly^ attributed 
a Chinese origin to the peach, a contrary opinion to that 
which prevailed at the time, and which people who are 
not on a par with modem science continue to reproduce. 
I will afterwards give the facts discovered since 1855. 

" The Greeks and Romans received the peach shortly 
after the beginning of the Christian era. The names 
persica, malum persicv/m, indicate whence they had it. 
I need not dwell upon those well-known facts.^ Several 
kinds of peach are now cultivated in the north of India,® 
but, what is remarkable, no Sanskrit name is known ; * 
whence we may infer that its existence and its cultivation 
are of no great antiquity in these regions. Roxburgh, 
who is usually careful to give the modem Indian naities, 
only mentions Arab and Chinese names. Piddington 
gives no Indian name, and Royle only Persian names. 
The peach does not succeed, or requires the greatest 
care to ensure success, in the north-east of India.*^ In 
China, on the contrary, its cultivation dates from 
the remotest antiquity. A number of superstitious 
ideas and of legendis about the properties of its different 
varieties exist in that country.® These varieties are very 

' Alph. de Gandolle, G6ogr, Bot. Jtaia.t p. 881; 

' Theophrastns, Hiat, iv. c. 4; Dioscorides, lib. 1, c. 164; Plinj, 
Geneva edit., bk. 15, c. 13. 
» Royle, ni. Him,, p. 204. 

* Bozburgb, FL Ind,, 2ud. edit., ii. p. 500; Piddington, Index; Royle, 

* Sip Joseph Hooker, Joum. of Bot,, 1850, p. 64. 

* Rose, the bead of the French trade at Canton, collected these from 
Chinese manuscripts, and Noisette {Jard. fruit, i. p. 76) has transcribed 
a part of his article. The facts are of the following nature. The Chinese 
believe the oval peaches, which are very red on one side, to be a symbol 
of a long life. In consequence of this ancient belief, peaches are used 
in all ornaments in painting and sculpture, and in congratulatory pre. 


numerous;^ and in particular the singular variety with 
compressed or flattened fruit,^ which appears to be further 
removed than any other from the natural state of the 
peach ; lastly, a simple name, to, is given to the common 

" From all these facts, I am inclined to believe that the 

{•each is of Chinese rather than of western Asiatic origin, 
f it had existed in Persia or Armenia from all time, the 
knowledge and cultivation of so pleasant a fruit would 
have spread earlier into Asia Minor and Greece. The 
expedition of Alexander probably was the means of 
making it known to Theophrastus (332 B.C.), who speaks 
of it as a Persian fruit. Perhaps this vague idea of 
the Greeks dates from the retreat of the ten thousand 
(401 B.C,); but Xenophon does not mention the peach. 
Nor do the Hebrew writings speak of it- The peach 
has no Sanskrit name, yet the peoples who spoke this 
language came into India from the north-west ; that is 
to say, from the generally received home of the species. 
On this hypothesis, how are we to account for the fact 
that neither the Greeks of the early times of Greece, nor 
the Hebrews, nor the Sanskrit-speaking peoples, who all 
radiated from the upper part of the Euphrates valley or 
communicated with it, did not cultivate the peach ? On 
the other hand, it is very possible that the stones of a 
fruit tree cultivated in China from the remotest times, 
should have been carried over the mountains from the 
centre of Asia into Kashmir, Bokhara, and Persia. The 
Chinese had very early discovered this i*oute. The im- 
portation would have taken place between the epoch of 
the Sanskrit emigrations and the relations of the Persians 
with the Greeks. The cultivation of the peach, once 

Bents, etc. According to the work of Chm-nong-king, the peach Fu 
prevents death. If it is not eaten in time, it at least preserves the body 
from decay until the end of the world. The peach is always mentioned 
among the fruits of immortality, with which were entertained the hopes 
of Tsinchi-Hoang, Vouty, of the Hans and other emperors who pretended 
to immortality, etc. 

• Lindley, Trana. Hort, Soc, v. p. 121. 

• Trans. Hort. Soc, Lond., iv. p. 612, tab, 19, 

• Koxbui^h, Fl, Ind, 


established in Persia, would have easily spread on the 
one side towards the west ; on the other, through Cabul 
towards the north of India, where it is not so very ancient. 

" In confirmation of the hypothesis of a Chinese origin, 
it may be added that the peach was introduced into 
Cochin-China from China,^ ajid that the Japanese give 
the Chinese name Tao^ to the peach. M. Stanislas 
Julien was kind enough to read to me in French some 
passages of the Japanese encyclopsedia (bk. Ixxxvi p. 7), 
in which the peach tree too is said to be a tree of 
Western countries, which should be understood to mean 
the interior of China as compared to the eastern coast, 
since the passage is taken from a Chinese author. The 
tao occurs in the writings of Confucius in the fifth 
centiuy before the Christian era, and even in the Ritual 
in the tenth century before Christ. Its wild nature is 
not specified in the encyclopaedia of which I have just 
spoken ; but Chinese authors pay little attention to this 

After a few details about the common names of the 
peach in different languages, I went on to say, " The 
absence of Sanskrit and Hebrew names remains the most 
important fact, whence we may infer an introduction 
into Western Asia from a more distant land, that is to 
say, from China. 

"The peach has beeii found wild in different parts 
of Asia ; but it is always a question whether it is indige- 
nous there, or whether it sprang from the dispersion of 
stones produced by cultivated trees. The question is 
the more necessary since the stones germinate easily, and 
several of the modifications of the peach are hereditary.^ 
Apparently wild peach trees have often been found in 
the neighbourhood of the Caucasus. Pallas * saw several 
on the banks of the Terek, where the inhabitants give 

• Loureiro, Fl. Cochin., p. 386. 

■ Ksempfer, ^TTKsn., p. 798; Thunberg, PZ. Jap., p. 199. Kaempfer 
and Thunberg also give the name momu, bnt Siebold {Fl, Jap., i. p. 29) 
attributes a somewhat similar name, tnume, to a plum tree, Prunua 
mum^, Sieb. and Z. 

• Noisette, Jard. Fr,, p. 77; Trans, 8oc, Hort. Lond,, iv. p. 613. 

• Pallas, Fl. Bossicat p. 13. 


it a name which he calls Persian, scheptata} It fruit is 
velvety, sour, not very fleshy, and hardly larger than 
a walnut ; the tree smalL Pallas suspects that this tree 
has degenerated from cultivated peaches. He adds that 
it is found in the Crimea, to the south of the Caucasus, 
and in Persia; but Marshall, Bicberstein, Meyer, and 
Hohenacker do not give the wild peach in the neigh- 
bourhood of the Caucasua Early travellers, Gmelin, 
Guldenstadt, and Georgi, quoted by Ledebour, mentioned 
it. C. Koch ^ is the only modem botanist who said he 
found the peach tree in abundance in the Caucasian 
provinces. Ledebour, however, prudently adds. Is it wild ? 
The stones which Brugnifere and Olivier brought from 
Ispahan, which were sown in Paris and yielded a good 
velvety peach, were not, as Bosc * asserted, taken from 
a peach tree wUd in Persia, but from one growing in 
a garden at Ispahan.* I do not know of any proof of a 
peach tree found wild in Persia, and if travellers mention 
any it is always to be feared that these are only sown 
trees. Dr. Royle* says that the peach grows wild in 
several places south of the Himalayas, notably near 
Mussouri, but we have seen that its culture is not ancient 
in these regions, and neither Roxburgh nor Don's Flora 
Nepalensis mention the peach. Bunge ® only found cul- 
tivated trees in the north of China. This country has 
hardly been explored, and Chinese legends seem some- 
times to indicate wild peaches. Thus the Chou-y-ki, 
according to the author previously quoted, says, * Who- 
soever eats of the peaches of Mount Kouoliou shall 
obtain eternal life.' For Japan, Thunberg ^ says, Cresdt 
uhique vulgaris^ prcedpue juocta Nagasaki, In omni 
horto colitur oh elegantiam florura. It seems from this 
passage that the species grows both in and out of gardens, 
but perhaps in the first case he only alludes to peaches 
growing in the open air and without shelter. 

^ Shuft aloo IB, accordmg to Boyle (HL Eim, p. 204), the Persian 
name for the Dectarine. 

« Ledebour, Fl, Ross.ji. p. 3. Spb p. 228, the snbseqaent opinion of Kocb. 
8 Bosc, Diet. d*Agric., ix. p. 481. * Thouin, Ann. Mus., viii. p. 433. 
• Koyle, HU Eim,, p. 204. • Buiige, Enum. PL Chin,, p. 23. 

» Thunberg, Fl. Jap. 199. 


"I have said nothing hitherto of the distinction to 
be established between the different varieties or species 
of the peach, since most of them are cultivated in all 
countries — at least the clearly defined kinds, which may 
be considered as botanical species. Thus the great dis- 
tinction between the downy and smooth-skinned fruits 
(peaches proper and nectarines), on which it is proposed 
to found two species (Pereica vulgaris, Mill, and P. levis, 
D. C), exists in Japan ^ and in Europe, as in most of the 
intermediate countries.^ Less importance is attached 
to distinctions founded on the adherence or non-adherence 
of the skin, on the white, yellow, or red colour of the 
flesh, and on the general form of the fruit. The great 
division into peaches and nectarines presents most of 
these modifications in Europe, in Western Asia, and 
probably in China. It is certain that in the latter 
country the form of the fruit varies more than else- 
where ; for there are as in Europe oval peaches, and also 
the peaches of which I spoke just now, which are quite 
flattened, in which the top of the stone is not even covered 
with flesh.® The colour also varies greatly.* In Europe 
the most distinct varieties, nectarines and peaches, 
freestones and clingstones, existed three centuries ago, 
for J. Bauhin enumerates them very clearly ; ^ and before 
him Dalechamp, in 1587, also gave the principal ones.^ 
At that time nectarines were called Nucipersica, because 
of their resemblance in shape, size, and colour to the 
walnut. It is in the same sense that the Italians call 
them peacanoce. 

" I have sought in vain for a proof that the nectarine 
existed in Italy in the time of ancient Rome. Pliny,'' 
who confounds in his compilation peaches, plums, the 
Laurvs Fersea,^ and perhaps other trees, says nothing 

> Thnnberg, Ft. Jap., 199. 

' The accounts about China which I have oonsulted do not mention 
the nectarine ; bat as it exists in Japan, it is eztremelj probable that it 
docs also in China. 

* Noisette, Jard. Fr., p, 77 1 Trans. Hort. 8oe., ir. p. 612, tab. 19. 

* Lindley, Trans, HoH, 8oc., v. p. 122. * J. BauhiD,Hwe., i. pp. 162, 163. 

* Dalechamp, Hist.f i. p. 295. ^ I'linj) lib. zv. cap. 12 and 13. 
' Plinj, De Div. Qen. MaZorum, lib. ii. cap. 14. 


which can apply to such a fruit. Sometimes people have 
thought they recognized it in the tuberes of which he 
speaks. It was a tree imported from Syria in the time 
of Augustus. There were both red and white tuberes. 
Others {tuberes? or malat) of the neighbourhood of 
Verona were downy. Some graceful verses of Petronus, 
quoted by Dalechamp,^ clearly prove that the tuberes 
of the Romans in Nero's time were a smooth-skinned 
fruit; but this might be the jujube (Zizyphus), 
Diospyros, or some Cratcegus, just as well as the smooth- 
skinned peach. Each author in the time of the Renais- 
sance had his opinion on this pointy or criticized that 
of the others.^ Perhaps there were two or three species 
of tuberes, as Pliny says, and one of them which was 
grafted on plum trees was the nectarine (?) * but I doubt 
whether this question can ever be cleared up.* 

" Even admitting that the Nucipersica was only intro- 
duced into Europe in the Middle Ages, we cannot help 
remarking that in European gardens for centuries, and 
in Japan from time unknown, there was an intermix- 
ture of all the principal kinds of peach. It seems that 
its different qualities were produced everywhere from 
a primitive species, which was probably the downy 
peach. If the two kinds had existed from the beginning, 
either they would have been in different countries, and 
their cultivation would have been established separately, 
or they would have been in the same country, and in 
this case it is probable that one kind would have been 
anciently introduced into this country and the other 
into that." 

I laid stress, in 1855, on other considerations in support 
of the theory that the nectarine is derived from the 
common peach; but Darwin has given such a large 
number of cases in which a branch of nectarine has 

' Dalechamp, Hist., i. p. 358. 

' Dalechamp, ibid. ; Matthioli, p. 122 ; Csosalpinns, p. 107; J. Bauhin, 
p. 163, etc. 

• Pliny, lib. xvii. cap. 10. 

* I havj not been able to discover an Italian name for a glabrous or 
other fruit derived from iube; or tuhereSf which is singular, as the 
ancient names of fra'fs au u^ua^ly preserved under some form or other. 


unexpectedly appeared upon a peach tree, that it is 
useless to insist longer upon this point, and I will only 
add that the nectarine has every appearance of an arti- 
ficial tree. Not only is it not found wild, but it never 
becomes naturalized, and each tree lives for a shorter 
time than the common peach. It is, in fact, a weakened 

'* The facility," I said, " with which our peach trees are 
multiplied from seed in America, and have produced 
fleshy fruits, sometimes very fine ones, without the resource 
of grafting, inclines me to think that the species is in a 
natural state, little changed by a long cultivation or by 
hybrid fertilization. In Virginia and the neighbouring 
states there are peaches grown on trees raised from seed 
and not grafted, and their abundance is so great that 
brandy is made from them.^ On some trees the fruit is 
magnificent.^ At Juan Fernandez, says Bertero,® the 
peach tree is so abundant that it is impossible to form 
an idea of the quantity of fruit which is gathered ; it is 
usually very good, although the trees have reverted to a 
wild condition. From these instances it would not be 
surprising if the wild peaches with indifferent fruit found 
in Western Asia were simply naturalized trees in a climate 
not wholly favourable, and that the species was of Chinese 
origin, where its cultivation seems most ancient" 

Dr. Bretschneider,* who at Pekin has access to all the 
resources of Chinese literature, merely says, after reading 
the above passages, " Too is the peach tree. De Candolle 
thinks that China is the native country of the peach. 
He may be right." 

The antiquity of the existence of the species and its 
wild nature in Western Asia have become more doubtful 
since 1855. Anglo-Indian botanists speak of the peach 
solely as a cultivated tree,' or as cultivated and becoming 
naturalized and apparently wild in the north-west of 
India.* Boissier^ mentions specimens gathered in Ghilan 

> Braddlck, Tram, Hort. 8oc, Lond., ii. p. 203. • IhicU, pi. 13. 

* Bertero, Annates 8c, Nat., xzi. p. 350. 

^ Bretschneider, On the Stvdy and Value, etc., p« 10. 

* Sir J. Hooker, Flora of Brit, hid,, ii. p. 313, 

' Brandis, Forest Flora, etc., p, 191, ' Buissier, Ft, (hienf,, ii. p. 640. 



and to the south of the Caucasus, but he says nothing as 
to their wild nature ; and Karl Koch/ after travelUng 
through this district, says, speaking of the peach, 
" Country unknown, perhaps Persia. Boissier saw trees 
growing in the gorges on Mount Hymettus, near Athens." 

The peach spreads easily in the countries in which it 
is cultivated, so^ that it is hard to say whether a given 
tree is of natural origin and anterior to cultivation, or 
whether it is naturalized. But it certainly was first culti- 
vated in China ; it was spoken of there two thousand 
years before its introduction into the Greco-Boman world, 
a thousand years perhaps before its introduction into the 
lands of the Sanskrit-speaking race. 

The group of peaches (genus or subgenus) is composed 
of five forms, which Decaisne ' regards as species, but 
which other botanists are inclined to call varietiea The 
one is the common peach ; the second the nectarine, which 
we know to be derived ; the third is the flattened peach 
(P. platycarpa, Decaisne) cultivated in China ; and the 
two last are indigenous in China (P. simonii, Decaisne, 
and P. Davidii, Cairifere). It is, therefore, essentially a 
Chinese group. 

It is difficult, from all these facts, not to admit the 
Chinese origin of the common peach, as I had formerly 
inferred from more scanty data. Its arrival in Italy at 
the beginning of the Christian era is now confirmed by 
the absence of peach stones in the tei^a-mare or lake- 
dwellings of Parma and Lombardy, and by the represen- 
tations of the peach tree in the paintings on the walls of 
the richer houses in Pompeii.® 

I have yet to deal with an opinion formerly expressed 
by Knight, and supported by several horticulturists, that 
the peach is a modification of the almond. Darwin * 
collected facts in support of this idea, not omitting to 
mention one which seems opposed to it. They may be 
concisely put as foUows : — (1) Crossed fertilization, which 

* K. Koch, D&ndrologief i. p. 83. 

' Decaisne, Jard, Fr. du Mus^f PScherSf p. 42. 

' Comes, Illu8, Piante nei Dipinti Pompeiani, p. 14. 

* Darwin, Variation of Plants and Animals, etc., i. p, 838, 



presented Knight with somewhat doubtful results; (2) 
intermediate forms, as to the fleshiness of the fruit and 
the size of the nut or stone, obtained by sowing peach 
stones, or by chance in plantations, forms of which the 
almond-peach is an example which has long been known. 
Decaisne^ pointed out differences between the almond 
and peach in the size and length of the leaves indepen- 
dently of the fruit. He calls Knights theory a " strange 

Geographical botany opposes his hypothesis, for the 
almond tree has its origin in Western Asia ; it was not 
indigenous in the centre of the Asiatic continent, and its 
introduction into China as a cultivated species was not 
anterior to the Christian era. The Chinese, however, had 
already possessed for thousands of years different varieties 
of the common peach besides the two wild forms I have 
just mentioned. The almond and the peach, starting 
from two such widely separated regions, can hardly be 
considered as the same species. The one was established 
in China, the other in Syria and in Anatolia. The peach, 
after being transported from China into Central Asia, 
and a little before the Christian era into Western Asia, 
cannot, therefore, have produced the almond, since the 
latter existed already in Syria. And if the almond of 
Western Asia had produced the peach, how could the 
latter have existed in China at a very remote period 
while it was not known to the Greeks and Latins ? 

Pear — Pyrus communis, Linnaeus. 

The pear grows wild over the whole of temperate 
Europe and Western Asia, particularly in Anatolia, to the 
south of the Caucasus and in the north of Persia,* per- 
haps even in Kashmir,® but this is very doubtful Some 
authors hold that its area extends as far as China. This 
opinion is due to the fact that they regard Pyrus 
sinensis, Lindley, as belonging to the same species. An 
examination of the leaves alone, of which the teeth are 

* Decaisne, uhi supra, p. 2. 

' Ledebonr, Fl. Boss., ii. p. 94 ; Buissier, Fl, Orient,, il. p. 653. He 
has verified several specimens. 

• Sir J. Hooker, Fl. Brit, Ind,, ii. p. 374. 


covered with a fine silky down, convinced me of the 
specific diflerence of the two trees.^ 

Our wild pear does not differ much from some of 
the cultivated varieties. Its fruit is sour, spotted, and 
narrowing towards the stalk, or nearly spherical on the 
same tree.* With many other cultivated species, it is 
hard to distinguish the individuals of wild origin from 
those which the chance transport of seeds has produced 
at a distance from dwellings. In the present case it is 
not difficult. Fear trees are often found in woods, and 
they attain to a considerable height, with all the con- 
ditions of fertility of an indigenous plant* Let ns 
examine, however, whether in the wide area they occupy 
a less ancient existence may be suspected in some coun- 
tries than in others. 

No Sanskrit name for the pear is known, whence it 
may be concluded that its cultivation is of no long stand- 
ing in the north-west of India, and that the indication, 
which is moreover very vague, of wild trees in Kashmir 
is of no importance. Neither are there any Hebrew or 
Aramaic names,^ but this is explained by the fact that 
the pear does not flourish in the hot countries in which 
these tongues were spoken. 

Homer, Theophrastus, and Dioscorides mention the 
pear tree under tne names ochnai, apios, or achras. The 
Latins called it pyrus or piruaj^ and cultivated a great 

* p. ^inensiB described by Lindley is badly drawn with regard to 
the indentation of the leaves in the plate in the Botanical Register, and 
very well in that of Decaisne's Jardin Fruitier du Mtut^um. . It is the 
same species as P. ussuriensis, Maximowicz, of Eastern Asia. 

' Well drawn in Dnhamel, Trait4 dee Arhres, edit. 2, vi. pi. 59 ; and in 
Decaisne, Jard. Frui. du Mue., pi. 1, figs. B and C. P. haZanaa, pi. 6 of 
the same work, appears to be identical, as Boisaier observes. 

* This is the case in the forests of Lorraine, for instance, according 
to the observations of Godron, De VOrigine Probable dea Poiriers CtUtiv^s, 
8vo pamphlet, 1873, p. 6. 

* Bosenaiiiller, Bibl. Alterth. ; L5w, Aramaeiache Pfianaennamen^ 1881. 
' The spelling Pyrus, adopted by Linnaaus, occnrs in Pliny, Hiatoria, 

edit. 1631, p. 30l. Some botanists, purists in spelling, write piniba, so 
that in referring to a modem work it is necessary to look in the index 
for both forms, or run the risk of believing that the pears are not in the 
work. In any ca«e the ancient name was a common name ; but the trae 
botanical name is that of LinnaBua, funnder of the received nomen- 
clataro, and Linnaeus wrote Pyrus* 


number of varieties, at least in Pliny's time. The mural 
paintings at Pompeii frequently represent the tree with 
its fruit.^ 

The lake-dwellers of Switzerland and Italy gathered 
wild apples in great quantities, and among their stores 
pears are sometimes, but rarely, found. Heer has given 
an illustration of one which cannot be mistaken, found 
at Wangen or Robenhausen. It is a fruit narrowing 
towards the stalk, 28 mm. (about an inch and a half) 
long by 19 mm. (an inch) wide, cut longitudinally so as 
to show the small quantity of pulp as compared to the 
cartilaginous central part.^ None have been found in 
the lake-dwellings of Bourget in Savoy. In those of 
Lombardy, Professor Raggazzoni ® found a pear cut length- 
ways, 25 mm. by 16. This was at Bardello, Lago di Varese. 
The wild pears figured in Duhamel, TraUedea -4r6re3,edit. 2, 
are 30 to 33 by 30 to 32 mm.; and those of Laristan, figured 
in the Jardin Fruitier du Museum under the name P. 
balansce, which seem to me to be of the same species, and 
undoubtedly wild, are 26 to 27 mm. by 24 to 25. In 
modem wild pears the fleshy part is a little thicker, but 
the ancient lake-dwellers dried their fruits after cutting 
them lengthways, which must have caused them to shrink 
a little. No knowledge ef metals or of hemp is shown 
in the settlements where these were found; but, con- 
sidering their distance from the more civilized centres of 
antiquity, especially in the case of Switzerland, it is , 
poJble that these remains are not more ancient than 
the Trojan war, or than the foundation of Rome. 

I have mentioned three Greek and one Roman name, 
but there are many others; for instance, j>avia in 
Armeniaji and Georgian ; vatzkor in Hungarian ; in Slav 
languages gruscha (Russian), hrusska (Bohemian), hrualca 
(lUyrian). Names similar to the Latin pyrus recur in 
the Keltic languages ; peir in Erse, per in Kymric and 
Armorican.* I leave philologists to conjecture the Aryan 

> Comes, III. Piante nei Dipinti Pompetanij p. 59. 
• Heer, PfahlhauteUf pp. 24, 26, fig. 7. 
' Sordelli, Notizie Stat, Lacuatre di Lagozza. 

^ Nenmich, Polygloit, Lex, Naturgeach,; Ad. Pictet, Origines Indo» 
Europ.f i. p. 277 ; and mj manuscript dictionary of common names. 


origin of some of these names, and of the German Bim; 
I merely note their number and diversity as an indica- 
tion of the very ancient existence of the species from the 
Caspian Sea to the Atlantic. The Aryans certainly did 
not carry pears nor pear pips with them in their wander- 
ings westward; but if they found in Europe a fruit they 
knew, they would have given it the name or names they 
were accustomed to use, while other earlier names may 
have survived in some countries. As an example of the 
latter case, I may mention two Basque names, udarea and 
TTiadaria} which have no analogy with any known 
European or Asiatic name. The Basques being probably 
the descendants of the conquered Iberians who were 
driven back to the Pyrenees by the Kelts, the antiquity 
of their language is very great, and it is clear that their 
names for the species in question were not derived from 
Keltic or Latin. 

The modem area of the pear extending from the 
north of Persia to the western coast of temperate Europe, 
principally in mountainous regions, may therefore be con- 
sidered as prehistoric, and anterior to all cultivation. It 
must be added, however, that in the north of Europe and 
in the British Isles an extensive cultivation must have 
extended and multiplied naturalizations in comparatively 
modem times which can scarcely be now distinguished. 

I canniot accept Godron's hypothesis that the 
numerous cultivated varieties come from an unknown 
Asiatic species.^ It seems that they may be ranked, as 
Decaisne says, either with P. communis or P. nivalis of 
which I am about to speak, taking into account the 
effect of accidental crossing, of cultivation, and of long- 
continued selection. Besides, Western Asia has been 
explored so thoroughly that it is probable it contains 
no other species than those already described. 

Snow Pear — Pyrua nivalis, Jacquin. 

This variety of pear is cultivated in Austria, in the 
north of Italy, and in several departments of the east and 

* From a list of plant-names sent hj M. d'Abadie to Professor Clos, 
of Tonlouse. 

' Godron, ubi supra, p. 28. 


centre of France. It was named Pyru8 nivalis by 
Jacquin ^ from the German name Schneebirn, given to it 
because the Austrian peasants eat the fruit when the 
snow is on the ground. It is called in France Poirier 
sauger, because the under side of the leaves is covered 
with a white down which makes them like the sage (Fr. 
aauge). Decaisne^ considered all the varieties of P. 
nivalis to be derived from P. kotachyanu, Boissier,® 
which grows wild in Asia Minor. The latter in this 
case should take the name of nivalis, which is the older. 

The snowy pears cultivated in France to make the 
drink called perry have become wild in the woods here 
and there.* They constitute the greater number of the 
so-called " cider pears/' which are distinguished by the 
sour taste of the fruit independent of the character of the 
leaf. The descriptions of the Greeks and Romans are too 
imperfect for us to be certain if they possessed this 
species. It may be presumed that they did, however, 
since they made cider.*^ 

Sandy Pear, Chinese Pear — Pyrus sinensis, Lindley.® 

I have already mentioned this species, which is nearly 
allied to the common pear. It is wild in Mongolia and 
Mantchuria,^ and cultivated in China and Japan. Its fruit, 
large rather than good, is used for preserving. It has also 
been recently introduced into European gardens for 
experiments in crossing it with our species. This will 
very likely take place naturally. 

Apple — Pyrus Mains, Linnaeus. 

The apple tree grows wild throughout Europe 

* Jacqnin, Flora Austriaca, ii. pp. 4, 107. 

' Decaisne, Jardin Fruitier du Mus4um, Poiriera, pi. 21. 

' Decaisne, ibid,, p. 18, and Introdnction, p. 30. Several varieties 
of ibis speoies, of which a few bear a large f mit, are figured in the same 

* Borean, Fl, du Centre de la France, edit. 3, vol. ii. p. 236. 

' Palladias, De re Rustica, lib. 8, c. 25. For this pnrpose " pira 
aylvestria vel asperi generis** were used. 

* The Chinese quince had been called by Thonin Pyrus sinensis, 
Lindlej has unfortunately given the same name to a true pyrus. 

' Decaisne (Ja/rdin Fruitier du Mus4um, Poirier s, pi. 5) saw speci- 
mens from both countries. Franchet and Savatier give it as onlj 
cultivated in Japan. 


(excepting in the extreme north), in Anatolia, the south 
of the Caucasus, and the Persian province of Ghilan.^ 
Near Trebizond, the botanist Bourgeau saw quite a small 
forest of them,^ In the mountains of the north-west 
of India it is " apparently wild," as Sir Joseph Hooker 
writes in his Flora of British India. No author men- 
tions it as growing in Siberia, in Mongolia, or in Japan.® 

There are two varieties wild in Germany, the one 
with glabrous leaves and ovaries, the other with leaves 
downy on the under side, and Koch adds that this down 
varies considerably.* In France accurate authors also 
give two wild varieties, but with characters which do 
not tally exactly with those of the German flora.^ It 
would be easy to account for this difference if the wild 
trees in certain districts spring from cultivated varieties 
whose seeds have been accidentally dispersed. The 
question is, therefore, to discover to what degree the 
species is probably ancient and indigenous in different 
countries, and, if it is not more ancient in one country 
than another, how it was gradually extended by the 
accidental sowing of forms changed by the crossing of 
varieties and by cultivation. 

The country in which the apple appears to be most 
indigenous is the region lying between Trebizond and 
Ghilan. The variety which there grows wild has leaves 
downy on the under side, short peduncles, and sweet 
fruit,® like Malu8 coTnniunis of France, described by 
Boreau. This indicates that its prehistoric area extended 
from the Caspian Sea nearly to Europe. 

Piddington gives in his Indsx a Sanskrit name for 
the apple, but Adolphe Pictef informs us that this 

• Nyman, Conspectibs Flora EuropecHf p. 240 ; Ledeboar, Flora Rossiea, 
ii. p. 96; Boissier, Flora OrientaliSf ii. p. 656; De^aisne, Nouv, Arch. 
Mus.f X. p. 153. 

' Boissier, ibid. 

• Ma^imowicz, Prim. Ussur. ; Regel, Opit. Flori, etc., on the plants of 
the Ussuri collected bjMaak; Schmidt, Reisen Amur. Franchet and 
Savatier do not mention it in their Enum. Jap, Bretschneider qnotes 
a Chinese name which, he says, applies also to other species. 

• Koch, Syn. Fl. Germ.y i. p. 261. 

• Borean, Fl. du GerUre de la France, edit. 3, vol. ii. p. 236. 

• Boissier, uhi supra. ' Orig. Indo-Eur., i. p. 276. 


name seha is Hindustani, and comes from the Persian 
aeb, sef. The absence of an earlier name in India argues 
that the now common cultivation of the apple in Kashmir 
and Thibet, and especially that in the north-west and 
central provinces of India, is not very ancient. The tree 
was probably known only to the western Aryans. 

This people had in all probability a name of which 
the root was ab, af, av, ob, as this root recurs in several 
European names of Aryan origin. Pictet gives aball, 
ubhall, in Erse; afal in Kymric; aval in Aimorioan; 
aphal in old High German ; appel in old English ; apli in 
Scandinavian ; obolys in Lithuanian ; iablulco in ancient 
Slav ; iabloko in Russian. It would appear from this that 
the western Aryans, finding the apple wild or already 
naturalized in -the north of Europe, kept the name under 
which they had known it. The Greeks had Tnailea or 
Tnaila, the Latins malus, malum, words whose origin, 
according to Pictet, is very uncertain. The Albanians, 
descendants of the Pelasgians, have mx)U} Theophrastus ^ 
mentions wild and cultivated maila. Lastly, the Basques 
(ancient Iberians) have an entirely different name, sagara, 
which implies an existence in Europe prior to the Aryan 

The inhabitants of the terra-mare of Parma, and of 
the palafittes of the lakes of Lombardy, Savoy, and Swit- 
zerland, made great use of apples. They always cut 
them lengthways, and preserved them dried as a provision 
for the winter. The specimens are often carbonized by 
fire, but the internal structure of the fruit is only the 
more clearly to be distinguished. Heer,^ who has shown 
great penetration in observing these details, distinguishes 
two varieties of the apple known to the inhabitants of 
the lake-dwellings before they poss3ssed metals. The 
smaller kind are 15 to 24$ mm. in their longitudinal 
diameter, and about 3 mm. more across (in their dried 
and carbonized state) ; the larger, 29 to 32 mm. length- 
ways by 36 wide (dried, but not carbonized). The latter 

• Heldreich, Nutzpflanxen QriechenlandSf i. p. 64. 

• Theophrastns, De Causis, lib. 6, cap. 24. 

• Heer, PfaMhomtenj p. 24, figs. 1-7. 


corresponds to an apple of German-Swiss orcl ards, now 
called campaner. The English wild apple, figured in 
English Botany, pi. 179, is 17 mm. long by 22 wide. It 
is possible that the little apples of the lake-dwellings 
were wild ; however, their abundance in the stores makes 
it doubtful. Dr. Gross sent me two apples from the more 
recent palafittes of Lake Neuch&tel; the one is 17 the 
other 22 mm. in longitudinal diameter. At Lagozza, in 
Lombardy, Sordelli^ mentions two apples, the one 17 
mm. by 19, the other 19 min.- by 27. In a prehistoric 
deposit of Lago Yarese, at BardeUo, Bagazzoni found an 
apple in the stores a little larger than the others. 

From all these facts, I consider the apple to have 
existed in Europe, both wild and cultivated, from pre- 
historic times. The lack of communication with Asia 
before the Aryan invasion makes it probable that the 
tree was indigenous in Europe as in Anatolia, the south 
of the Caucasus, and Northern Russia, and that its culti- 
vation began early everywhere. 

Auince — Cydonia vulgaris, Persoon. 

The quince grows wild in the woods in the north of 
Persia, near the Caspian Sea, in the region to the south 
of the Caucasus, and in Anatolia.* A few botanists have 
also found it apparently wild in the Crimea, and in the 
north of Greece;* but naturalization may be suspected 
even in the east of Europe, and the further we advance 
towards Italy, especially towards the south-west . of 
Europe and Algeria, the more it becomes probable that 
the species was .naturalized at an early period round 
villages, in hedges, etc. 

No Sanskrit name is known for the quince, whence 
it may be inferred that its area did not extend towards 
the centre of Asia. Neither is there any Hebrew name, 
though the species is wild upon Mount Taurus.* The 
Persian name is haivak,^ but I do not know whether 

' Sordelli, Sulle Piante della Stazhns di Lagozza, p. 35. 

• Boissier, Fl. Orient,, ii. p. 656 j Ledebour, Fl. Boss., ii. p. 55. 

• Steven, Verzeichnisa Taurien^ p. 150; Sibthorp, Frodr, Fl, OrwoB, 
i. p. 344. 

* Boissier, ibid. 

* Nemnich, Polyglott Lexicon, 



it is as old as Zend. The same name, aiva, exists in 
Russian for the cultivated quince, while the name of 
the wild plant is arrnud, from the Armenian armuda} 
The Greeks grafted upon a common variety, strviion, a 
superior kind, which came from Cydon, in Crete, whence 
Kvoiaviov, translated by the Latin malum cotonewm^ by 
cydonia, and all the European names,- such as codogno in 
Italian, covdougner, and later coing in French, quitte in 
Getman, etc. There are Polish, pigwa, Slav, tunja? and 
Albanian (Pelasgian ?), ftua^ names which differ entirely 
from the others. This variety of names points to an 
ancient knowledge of the species to the west of its 
original country, and the Albanian name may even 
indicate an existence prior to the Hellenes. 

Its antiquity in .Greece may also be gathered from 
the superstition, mentioned by Pliny and Plutarch, that \ 
the fruit of the quince was a preservation from evil \ 
influences, and from its entrance into the marriage rites 
prescribed by Solon. Some authors go so far as to main- 
tain that the apple disputed by Hera, Aphrodite, and 
Athene was a quince. Those who are interested in 
such questions will find details in Comes's paper on the 
plants represented in the frescoes at Pompeii.* The 
quince tree is figured twice in these, which is not sur- 
prising, as the tree was known in Cato's time.*^ 

It seems to me pro,bable that it was naturalized in 
the east of Europe before the epoch of the Trojan war. 
The quince is a fruit which has been little modified by 
cultivation ; it is as harsh and acid when fresh as in the 
time of the ancient Greeks. 

Pomegranate — Punica granatum, Linnaeus. 

The pomegranate grows wild in stony ground in ' 
Persia, Kurdistan, Afghanistan, and Beluchistan.^ ' 
Burnes saw groves of it in Mazanderan, to the south of 
the Caspian Sea.'' It appears equally wild to the south 

' Nemnich, Poly. Lex, ■ Ibid. • Heldreich, Nutz. Griech., p. 64 

* In 4to, Napoli, 1879. • De re Rusticaj lib. 7, cap. 2. 

• Boissier, Fl. Orient., ii. p. 737 ; Sir J. Hooker, Fl* of Brit Ind., ii. 
p. 581. 

' Quoted from Eoyle, Ulus. Himal., p. 208. 


of the Caucasus.^ Westwards, that is to say, in Asia 
Minor, in Greece, and in the Mediterranean basin gene- 
rally, in the north of Africa and in Madeira, the species 
appears rather to have become naturalized from cultiva- 
tion, and by the dispersal of the seeds by bii'ds. Many 
floras of the south of Europe speak of it as a '' subspon- 
taneous" or naturalized species. Desfontaines, in his 
Atlantic Flora, gives it as wild in Algeria, but subsequent 
authors think ^ rather it is naturalized.^ I doubt its being 
wild in Beluchistan, where the traveller Stocks found it, 
for Anglo-Indian botanists do not allow it to be indi- 
genous east of the Indus, and I note the absence of the 
species in the collections from Lebanon and Syria which 
JBoissier is always careful to quote. 

In China the pomegranate exists only as a cultivated 
plant. It was introduced from Samarkhand by Chang- 
Kien, a century and a half before the Christian era.* 

The naturalization in the Mediterranean basin is so 
general that it may be termed an extension of the original 
area. It probably dates from a very remote perioiJ, for 
the cultivation of the species dates &om a very early 
epoch in Western Asia. 

Let us see whether historical and philological data 
can give us any information on this head. 

I note the existence of a Sanskrit name, darimha, 
whence several modem Indian names are derived.* 
Hence we. may conclude that the species had long been 
known in the regions traversed by the Aryans in their 
route towards India. The pomegranate is mentioned 
several times in the Old Testament, under the name of 
riminon,^ whence the Arabic rvmvman or rdman. It 
was one of the fruit trees of the promised land, and the 
Hebrews had learnt to appreciate it in Egyptian gardens. 
Many localities in Palestine took their name from this 

' Ledebour, Fl. Ross., ii. p. 104. 

* Munby, Fl, Alger,, p. 49 j Spicilegium Flora Maroccanae, p. 458. 

* Boissier, ibid, 

* Bretschneider, On Study and Value, etc., p. 16. 

* Piddington, Index,'' 

* Bosenmiiller, Bihl, Katurge,, i. p. 273 ; Ilamilton, La Bot, de la Bible, 
Nice, 1871, p. 48. 


shrub, but the Scriptures only mention it as a cultivated 
species. The flower and the fruit figured in the religious 
rites of the Phoenicians, and the goddess Aphrodite had 
herself planted it in the isle of Cyprus,^ which implies 
that it was not indigenous there. The Greeks were 
acquainted with the species in the time of Homer. It is 
twice mentioned in the Odyssey as a tree in the gardens 
of Phaeacia and Phrygia. They called it roia or roa, 
which philologists believe to be derived from the Syrian 
and Hebrew name,^ and also sidai^ which seems to be 
Felasgic, for the modem Albanian name is sige.^ There 
is nothing to show that the species was wild in Greece, 
where Fraas and Heldreich afliim that it is now only 

The pomegranate enters into the myths and religious 
ceremonies of the ancient Romans.* Cato speaks of its 
properties as a vermifuge. According to Pliny,'' the best 
pomegranates came from Carthage, hence the name 
Malum punicum ; but it should not be supposed, as it 
has been assumed, that the species came originally from 
Northern Africa. Very probably the Phoenicians had 
introduced it at Carthage long before the Romans had 
anything to do with this town, and it was doubtless 
cultivated as in Egypt. 

If the pomegranate had formerly been wild in 
Northern Ai'rica and the south of Europe, the Latins 
would have had more original names for it than granatum 
(from granum T) and Malum jmnicum. We should have 
perhaps found local names derived from ancient Western 
tongues ; whereas the Semitic name rimTnon has prevailed 
in Greek and in Arabic, and even occurs, through Ai^ab 
influence, among the Berbera® It must be admitted that 
the African origin is one of the errors caused by the 
erroneous popular nomenclature of the Romans. 

Leaves and flowers of a pomegranate, described by 

~ > Hehn, Cultur und Hansthiere ams Asien, edit. 3, p. 106. 

• Hehn, ibid, * Lenz, Bot der Alten Grie. und Rom., p. 681. 

• Heldreich, Die Nutzpflanzen Qrieclieidanda, p. 64. 
» Fraas, Fl. Class,, p. 79 ; Heldreich, ibid. 

• Hehn, ibid. » Pliny, lib. 13, c. 19. 

' DictioTvnaire Fran^ais-Berbire, published by the French GoTernment. 


Saporta^ as a variety of the modem Punica granatum, 
have been discovered in the pliocene strata of the environs 
of Meximieux. The species^ therefore, existed under this 
form, before our epoch, along with several species, some 
extinct, others still existing in the south of Europe, and 
others in the Canaries, but the continuity of existence 
down to our own day is not thereby proved. 

To conclude, botanical, historical, and philological 
data agree in showing that the modem species is a native 
of Persia and some adjacent countries. Its cultivation 
began in prehistoric time, and its early extension, first 
towards the west and afterwards into China, has caused 
its naturalization in cases which may give rise to errors 
as to its true origin, for they are frequent, ancient, and 
enduring. I arrived at these conclusions in 1869,* which 
has not prevented the repetition of the erroneous African 
origin in several works. 

Bose Apple — Eugenia Jambos, Linnaeus; Jambosa 
vulgaris, de CandoUe. 

This small tree belongs to the family of Myrtacese. It is 
cultivated in tropical regions of the old and new worlds, 
as much perhaps for the beauty of its foliage as for its 
fruit, of which the rose-scented pulp is too scanty. There 
is an excellent illustration and a good description of it in 
the Botanical Magazine, pi. 3356. The seed is poisonous.*^ 

As the cultivation of this species is of ancient date 
in Asia, there was no doubt of its Asiatic origin ; 
but the locality in which it grew wild was formerly 
unknown. Loureiro's assertion that it grew in Cochin- 
China and some parts of India required confirmation, 
which has been aftbrded by some modem writers.* The 
jamboa is wild in Sumatra, and elsewhere in the islands 
of the Malay Archipelago. Kurz did not meet with it in 
the forests of British Burmah, but when Rheede saw 
this tree in gardens in Malabar he noticBd that it was 
called Malacca-schambu, which shows that it came origi- 

> De Saporta, Bvll. 8oc, Q4ol, de France, April 5, 1863, pp. 767-769. 
Qdogr. Bot. Bats., p. 191. 

• Desconrtilz, Flore M^dicale de8 AfitilleSf r. pi. 316. 

* Miquel, Svmatra, p. 118 ; Flora IndicB-Batavay L p. 425 Blame^ 
Mmevm% Lugd.-Bjt., i. p. 9 J. 


nally from the Malay Peninsula. Lastly, Brandis says 
it is wild in Sikkim, to the north of Bengal. Its natural 
area probably extends from the islands of the Malay 
Archipelago to Cochin-China, and even to the north-east 
of Inaia, where, however, it is probably naturalized from 
cultivation aud by the agency of birds. Naturalization 
has also taken place elsewhere — at Hong-kong, for in- 
stance, in the Seychelles, Mauritius, and Rodriguez, and 
in several of the West India Islands.^ 

Malay Apple — Eugenia Tnaldccenais, Linnreus; Jam- 
bosa mcdaccensia, de CandoUe. 

A species allied to Eugenia jambos, but differing 
from it in the arrangement of its flowers, and in its 
fruit, of an obovoid instead of ovoid form ; that is to say, 
the smaller end is attached to the stalk. The fruit is 
more fleshy and is also rose-scented, but it is much^ 
or little ® esteemed according to the country and varieties. 
These are numerous, differing in the red or pink colour of 
the flowers, and in the size, shape, and colour of the fruit. 

The numerous varieties show an ancient cultivation 
in the Malay Archipelago, where the species is indigenous. 
In confirmation, it must be noted that Forster found it 
established in the Pacific Islands, from Otahiti to the 
Sandwich Isles, at the time of Cook's voyages.* The 
Malay apple grows wild in the forests of the Malay 
Archipelago, and in the peninsula of Malacca.** 

Tussac says that it was brought to Jamaica from 
Otahiti in 1793. It has spread and become naturalized 
in several of the West India Islands, also in Mauritius 
and the Seychelles.® 

Ouava — Psidium guayava, Raddi. 

Ancient authors, Linnaeus, and some later botanists, 

^ Hooker, Fl, Brit, Ind., ii. p. 474 ; Baker, Fl, of Maurit, etc., p. 116 ; 
Grisobach, Fl. of Brit. W. Ind. Isles, p. 235. 

• Rumphins, Amboirif i. p. 121, t. 37. 

• Tassac, Flore des AniiLles, iii. p. 89, pi. 25. 

* Forster, Plantis Escvl&ntis, p. 36. 

' Blame, Museum Lugd..Bat,, i. p. 91 ; Miqael, Fl. IndicB'Batav,, i. 
p. 411 ; Hooker, Flora of British India, ii. p. 472. 

* Grisebach, FL Brit, W, Indies, p. 235 ; Baker, Fl, of Mauritius, 
p. 116. 


admitted two species of this fruit tree of the family 
of Myrtaceae, the one with elliptical or spherical fruit, 
with red flesh, Psidium pomiferum; the other with a 
pyriform fruit and white or pink flesh, more agreeable 
to the taste. Such diversity is also observed in pears, 
apples, or peaches ; so it was decided to consider all the 
Psidii as forming a single species, Raddi saw a proof 
that there was no essential difference, for he observed 
pyriform and round fruits growing on the same tree in 
Brazil.^ The majority of botanists, especially those who 
have observed the guava in the colonies, follow the 
opinion of Raddi,^ to which I was inclined, even in 1855, 
from reasons drawn from the geographical distribution.® 

Lowe,* in his Flora of Madeira, maintains with some 
hesitation the distinction into two species, and asserts 
that each can be raised from seed. They are, therefore, 
races like those of our domestic animals, and of many 
cultivated plants. Each of these races comprehends 
several varieties.^ 

The study of the origin of the guava presents in the 
highest degree the difficulty which exists in the case of 
many fruit trees of this nature : their fleshy and some- 
what aromatic fruits attract omnivorous animals which 
cast their seeds in places far from cultivation. Those of 
the guava germinate rapidly, and fructify in the third 
or fourth year. Its area has thus spread, and is still 
spreading by naturalization, principally in those tropical 
countries which are neither ver^*^ hot nor very damp. 

In order to simplify the search after the origin of the 
species, I may begin by eliminating the old world, for it 
is sufficiently evident that the guava came from America. 

^ Baddi, Di Alcune Specie di Pero Indiana, in 4to, Bolo^a, 1821, p. 1. 

' Martins, Syst, Nat. Medicce Bras., p. 32 ; Blume, Mvseum Lugd,- 
Batj i. p. 71; Hasskarl, in i'tora, 1844, p. 589 j Sir J. Hooker, Fl, of Brit. 
Ind., ii. p. 468. 

» O^ogr. Bot. Rats., p. 893. 

* Lowe, Flora of Madeira, p. 266. 

* See Blume, ibid. ; Descourtilz, Flore MMicale dee AnHlles, ii. p. 20, 
in which thei*e is a good illustration of the pyriform guava. Tussac, 
Flore dee Antilles j gives a good plate of the roimd form. These two 
latter works furnish interesting details on the use of the guava, on the 
vegetation of the species, etc. 


Out of sixty species of the genus Psidium, all those 
which have been carefully studied are American. It is 
true that botanists from the sixteenth century have found 
plants of Psidium guayava (varieties pomiferum and 
pyriferum) more or less wild in the Malay Archipelago 
and the south of Asia,^ but everything tends to show 
that these were the result of recent naturalization. In 
each locality a foreign origin was admitted; the only 
doubt was whether this origin was Asiatic or American. 
Other considerations justify this idea. The common 
names in Malay are derived from the American woi-d 
guiava. Ancient Chinese authors do not mention the 
guava, though Loureiro said a centuiy and a half ago 
that they were growing wild in Cochin-China. Forster 
does not mention them among the cultivat'Cd plants of 
the Pacific Isles at the time of Cook's voyage, which 
is significant when we consider how easy this plant is 
to cultivate and its ready dispersion. In Mauritius and 
the Seychelles there is no doubt of their recent intro- 
duction and naturalization.* 

It is more difficult to discover from what part of 
America the guava originally came. In the present 
century it is undoubtedly wild in the West Indies, in 
Mexico, in Central America, Venezuela, Peru, Guiana, 
and Brazil® But whether this is only since Europeans 
extended its cultivation, or whether it was previously 
diffused by the agency of the natives and of birds, seems 
to be no more certain than when I spoke on the subject 
in 1855.* Now, however, with a little move" experience 
in questions of this nature, and since the specific unity 
of the two varieties of guava is recognized, I shall 
endeavour to show what seems most probable. 

J. Acosta,*^ one of the earliest authors on the natural 
history of the new world, expresses himself as follows, 
about the spherical variety of the guava: "There are 

' Rnmpbias, Amhoin, i. p. 141 ; Rheede, Sortus Malahariensis, iii. t. 34. 

* Bojer, Hortus Mauritianus; Baker> Flora of Mauritius, p. 112. 

* All the floras, and Berg in Flora Brasiliensis, vol. ziv. p. 196. 

* Q4ogr. Bot. Rais., p. 894. 

* Acofita, Higt. Nat. et Morale des Indes OrietU. et Oedd., French 
trans., 1598, p. 173. 


mountains in San Domingo and the other islands 
entirely covered with guavas, and the natives say that 
there were no such trees in the islands before the 
arrival of the Spaniards, who brought them, I know not 
whence." The mainland seems, therefore, to have been 
the original home of the species. Acosta says that it 
grows in South America, adding that the Peruvian 
guavas have a white flesh superior to that of the red 
fruit. This argues an ancient cultivation on the main- 
land. Hernandez ^ saw both varieties wild in Mexico in 
the warm regions of the plains and mountains near 
Quauhnaci. He gives a description and a fair draw- 
ing of P. pomiferum. Piso and Marcgraf ^ also found 
the two guavas wild in the plains of Brazil ; but they 
remark • that it spreads readily. Marcgraf says that 
they were believed to be natives of Peru or of North 
America, by which he may mean the West Indies or 
Mexico. Evidently the species was wild in a great part 
of the continent at the time of the discovery of America. 
If the area was at one time more restncted, it must have 
been at a far more remote epoch. 

Different common names were given by the different 
native races. In Mexico it was xalococotl ; in Brazil the 
tree was called araca-iba, the fruit araca guacu ; lastly, 
the name guajavos, or guajava, is quoted by Acosta and 
Hernandez for the guavas of Peru and San Domingo 
without any precise indication of origin. This diversity 
of names confirms the hypothesis of a very ancient and 
extended area. 

From what ancient travellers say of an origin foreign 
to San Domingo and Brazil (an assertion, however, which 
we may be permitted to doubt), I suspect that the most 
ancient habitation extended from Mexico to Columbia 
and Peru, possibly including Brazil before the discovery 
of America, and the West Indies after that event. In its 
earliest state, the species bore spherical, highly coloured 
fruit, harsh to the taste. The other form is perhaps the 
result of cultivation. 

* Hernandez, Kovcb Hispcmice Thesaurus, p. 85. 

* Piso, Hist. Brasilf p. 74 j Marcgraf, ibid., p. 105. 


Qourd,^ or Calabash — Lagenaria vulgaris^ Seringe; 
Cncurbita lagenaria^ Liimseus. 

The fruit of this Gwrcubitacea has taken different 
forms in cultivation, but from a general observation of 
the other parts of the plant, botanists have ranked them 
in one species which comprises several varieties,^ The 
most remarkable are the pilgrivi's gourd, in the form of 
a bottle, the long-necked gourd, the trv/mpet gourd, and 
the calabash, generally large and without a neck. Other 
less common varieties have a flattened^ very small fruit, 
like the snuff-box gourd. The species may always be 
recognized by its white flower, and by the hardness of 
the outer rind of the fruit, which allows of its use as a 
vessel for liquids, or a reservoir of air suitable as a buoy 
for novices in swimming. The flesh is sometimes sweet 
and eatable, sometimes bitter and even purgative. 

Linnaeus^ pronounced the species to be American. 
De Candolle * thought it was probably of Indian origin, 
and this opinion has since been confirmed. 

Lagenaria vulgaris has been found wild on the 
coast of Malabar and in the humid forests of Deyra Doon.^ 
Roxburgh ^ considered it to be wild in India, although 
subsequent floras give it only as a cultivated species. 
Lastly, Rumphius '' mentions wild plants of it on the sea- 
shore in one of the Moluccas. Authors generally note 
that the pulp is bitter in these wild plants, but this is 
sometimes the case in cultivated forms. The Sanskrit 
language already distinguished the common gourd,ulavou, 
and another, bitter, kutou-toumhi, to which Pictet also 
attributes the name tiktdka or tildika? Seemann ® saw 

* The word gourd is also used in English for Cncurbita maxima^ 
This is one of the examples of the confusion in common names and the 
greater accuracy of scientific terms. 

' Naudin, AnnaUs des 8c, Nat, 4th series, yol. xii. p. 91 ; Cog^iaux, 
in our Monog. Phan€rog., iii. p. 417. 

* Linnsaus, Species Plantarum, p. 1434, under Cncurbita, 

* A. P. de Candolle, Fl(yra Fran^uise (1805), vol. iii. p. 692. 

* Bheede, Malabar^ iii. pis. 1, 5 ; Rojle, III. Himal., p. 218. 

* Roxburgh, Fl. Ivd., edit. 1832, vol. iii. p. 719. 
^ Rumphius, Amboin, vol. v. p. 397, t. 144. 

* Piddington, Ivtdex, at the word Cncurbita lagenaria ; Ad. Pictet, 
Origines Indo-Enrop,, edit. 3, vol. i. p. 386. 

* Seemann, Flora Vitienaia, p. 106. 


the species cultivated and naturalized in the Fiji Isles. 
Thozet gathered it on the coast of Queensland,^ but it 
had perhaps spread from neighbouring cultivation. The 
localities in continental India seem more certain and 
more numerous than those of the islands to the south of 

The species has also been found wild in Abyssinia, in 
the valley of Hieha by Dillon, and in the bush and stony- 
ground of another district by Schimper.* 

From these two regions of the old world it has been 
introduced into the gardens of all tropical countries and 
of those temperate ones where there is a sufficiently high 
temperature in summer. It has occasionally become 
naturalized from cultivation, as is seen in America.® 

The earliest Chinese work which mentioned the gourd 
is that of Tchong-tchi-chou, of the first century before 
Christ, quoted in a work of the fifth or sixth century 
according to Bretschneider.* He is speaking here of 
cultivated plants. The modem varieties of the gardens 
at Pekin are the trumpet goui*d, which is eatable, and 
the bottle gourd. 

Greek authoi*s do not mention the plant, but Romans 
speak of it from the beginning of the empire. It is 
clearly alluded to in the often-quoted lines ® of the tenth 
book of Columella. After describing the different forms 
of the fruit, he says — 

** Dabit ilia capacem, 
Nariciee picis, ant Actasi mellia Hjmetti, 
Aat habilem lympbis hamnlam, Bacchoye lagenam, 
Turn pueros eadem flnviis innare docebit." 

Pliny ® speaks of a Cuctirhitacea, of which vessels and 

1 Bentham, Flora AtLstraliensis, iii. p. 316. 

' Described first nnder the name Lagenaria idolatrica. A. Richard, 
Tentamen Ft. Ahysa.f i. p. 293, and later, Nandin and Cognianz, recognized 
its identity with L, vulgaris, 

• Torrey and Gray, Fl, 6f N. Amer.f i. p. 543 ; Grisebach, Flora of 
Brit W, Ind. Is., p. 288. 

* Bretschneider, letter of the 23rd of Augnst, 1881. 

* Tragus, Stirp., p. 285 ; Baellios, De Natura Siirpium, p. 498; Nau- 
din, ibid. 

• Pliny, Hist, Plant, 1. 19, o. 6. 


flasks for wine were made, whicH can only apply to this 

It does not appear that the Arabs were early ac- 
quainted with it^ for Ibn Alaw&m and Ibn Baithar say 
nothing of it.^ Commentators of Hebrew works attri- 
bute no name to this species with certainty, and yet the 
climate of Palestine is such as to popularize the use of 
gourds had they been known. From this it seems to me 
doubtful that the ancient Egyptians possessed this plant, 
in spite of a single figure of leaves observed on a tomb 
which has been sometimes identified with it* Alexander 
Braun, Ascherson, and Magnus, in their learned paper on 
the Egyptian remains of plants in the Berlin Museum,^ 
indicate sevaral Cucurbitacese without mentioning this 
one. The earliest modem travellers, such as Rauwolf,* 
in 1574, saw it in the gardens of Syria, and the so-called 
pilgrim's gourd, figured in 1539 by Brunfels, was probably 
known in the Holy Land from tne Middle Ages. 

All the botanists of the sixteenth century give illus- 
trations of this species, which was more generally culti- 
vated in Europe at that time than it is now The common 
name in these older writings is Cameraria, and three 
kinds of fruit are distinguished. From the white colour 
of the flower, which is always mentioned, there can be no 
doubt of the speciea I also note an illustration, certainly 
a very indifierent one, in which the flower is wanting, 
but with an exact representation of the fruit of the 
pilgrim's gourd, which has the great interest of having 
appeared before the discovery of America. It is pL 216 
of Herharius Pcdavice Impreasua, in 4to, 1485 — a rare 

In spite of the use of similar names by some authors, 
I do not believe that the gourd existed in America be- 
fore the arrival of the Europeana The Taquera of Piso ^ 


* Ibn Alaw4m, in E. Meyer, QeBchickte der Botamik, iii. p. 60 ; Ibn 
Baithar, Sondtbeimer's translation. 

' Unger, PJlanzen des Alien jSJgyptens, p. 59; Pickering, Chronol, 
Arrang., p. 137. 

» In 8vo, 1877, p. 17. * Ranwolf, Fl. Orient, p. 125. 

* Piso, IndicB UtriiMque.t etc., edit. 1658, p. 264. 


and Cucurbita lagencefiyimia of Marcgraf^ are per- 
haps Lagenaria vulgaris as monographs say,* and the 
specimens from Brazil which they mention should be 
certain, but that does not prove that the species was in 
the country before the voyage of Amerigo Vespucci in 
1504. From that time until the voyages of these two 
botanists in 1637 and 1638, a much longer time elapsed 
than is needed to account for the introduction and dif- 
fusion of an annual species of a curious form, easy of 
cultivation, and of which the seeds long retain the faculty 
of germination. It may have become naturalized from 
cultivation, as has taken place elsewhere. It is still 
more likely that Cucfiirhita aiceratia, Molina, attributed 
sometimes to the species under consideration, sometimes 
to Cucurbita maodma,^ may have been introduced into 
Chili between 1538, the date of the discovery of that 
country, and 1787, the date of the Italian edition of 
Molina. Acosta^ also speaks of calabashes which the 
Peruvians used as cups and vases, but the Spanish 
edition of his book appeared in 1591, more than a 
hundred years after the Conquest. Among the first 
naturalists to mention the species after the discovery of 
America (1492) is Oviedo,^ who had visited the main- 
land, and, after dwelling at Vera Paz, came back to 
Europe in 1515, but returned to Nicaragua in 1539.* 
According to Ramusio's compilation ^ he spoke of zueche, 
freely cultivated in the West India Islands and Nicaragua 
at the time of the discovery of America, and used as 
bottles. The authors of the floras of Jamaica in the 
seventeenth century say that the species was cultivated 
in that island. P. Brown,® however, mentions a large 
cultivated gourd, and a smaller one with a bitter and 
purgative pulp, which was found wild. 

' Marcppraf, Hist. Nat, BrasilicB, 16i8, p. 44. 

' Naudin, tbtd. ; Cogn\a,\xx, Flora BrasiL, faso. 78, p. 7; andde CandoUe, 
Monogr. Phan4r.f iii. p. 418. 

• CI. Gay, Flora Chilenaf ii. p. 403. 

• Jos. Aoosta, French trans., p. 167. 

• Pickering, Chronol. Arrang.^ p. 861, • Fiokering, ibid, 
' Ramusio, yoI. iii. p. 112. 

' P. Brown, Jamaica^ edit! ii. p. 351. 


Lastly, Elliott * writes as follows, in 1824, in a work 
on the Southern States of America: "X. vulgaris is 
rarely found in the woods, and is certainly not indigenous. 
It seems to have been brought by the early inhabitants 
of our coimtry from a warmer climate. The species has 
now become wild near dwellings, especially in islands." 
The expression, " inhabitants of our country," seems to 
refer rather to the colonists than to the natives. Between 
the discovery of Virginia by Cabot in 1497, or the travels 
of Baleigh in 1584, and the floras of modem botanists, 
more than two centuries elapsed, and the natives would 
have had time to extend the cultivation of the species if 
they had received it from Europeans. But the fact of 
its cultivation by Indians at the time of the earliest deal- 
ings with them is doubtful Torrey and Gray* mentioned 
it as certain in their flora published in 1830-40, and 
later the second of these able botanists,^ in an article on 
the CucurhitaceoB known to the natives, does not mention 
the calabash, or LageTiaria, I remark the same omission 
in another special article on the same subject, published 
more recently.* 

[In the learned articles by Messrs. Asa Gray and 
Trumbull on the present volume (American Journal of 
Science, 1883, p. 370), they give reasons for supposing 
the species known and indigenous in America previous 
to the arrival of the Europeans. Early travellers are 
quoted more in detail than I had done. From their 
testimony it appears that the inhabitants of Peru, Brazil, 
and of Faria possessed gourds, in Spanish calahaza^, but I 
do not see that this proves that this was the species called 
by botanists Cucurhita lagmaria. The only character in- 
dependent of the exceedingly variable form of the fruit 
is the white colour of the flowers, and this character is 
not mentioned. — Author's Note, 1884.] 

Oourd — Gucurhita maxima, Duchesne. 

In enumerating the species of the genus Cucurbita, I 

' Elliott, Sicetch of the Botany of South Carolina and Georgia, ii. p. 663. 

• Torrey and Gray, Flora of N. America^ i. p. 644. 

• Asa Gray, in the American Journal of Bciencet 1857, vol. xxiv. p. 442. 

• Trnmbnil, in Bull. Torrey Bot. Cluh, vol. vi. p. 69. 


should explain that their distinction, formerly exceedingly- 
difficult, has been established by M. Naudin ^ in a very 
scientific manner, by means of an assiduous cultivation of 
varieties and of experiments upon their crossed fertiliza- 
tion. Those groups of forms which cannot fertilize each 
other, or of which the product is not fertile and stable, 
are regarded by him as species, and the forms which can 
be crossed and yield a fertile and varied product, as races, 
breeds, or varieties. Later experiments^ showed him 
that the establishment of species on this basis is not 
i^dthout exceptions, but in the genus Cucwrbita physio- 
logical facts agree with exterior differences. M. Naudin 
has established the true distinctive characters of G, 
maaGvma and G. Pepo. The leaves of the first have rounded 
lobes, the peduncles are smooth and the lobes of the 
corolla are curved outwards ; the second has leaves with 
pointed lobes, the peduncles marked with ridges and 
furrows, the corolla narrowed towards the base and with 
lobes nearly always upright. 

The principal varieties of Cncurhita maadTria are 
the great yellow gourd, which sometimes attains to an 
enormous size,' the Spanish gourd, the turban gourd, etc. 

Since common names and those in ancient authors do 
not agree with botanical definitions, we must mistrust 
the assertions formerly put forth on the origin and early 
cultivation of such and such a gourd at a given epoch in 
a given country. For this reason, when I considered the 
subject in 1855, the home of these plants seemed to me 
either unknown or very doubtful. At the present day 
it is more easy to investigate the question. 

According to Sir Joseph Hooker,* Gucurbita mxixima 
was found by Barter on the banks of the Niger in 
Guinea, apparently indigenous, and by Welwitsch in 
Angola without any assertion of its wild character. In 
works on Abyssinia, Egypt, or other African countries 
in which the species is commonly cultivated, I find no 

' Nandin, Ann. 8c. Nai.y 4th Bories, vol. vi. p. 5 ; vol. zii. p. 84. 

* Ihid.f 4th series, vol. xviii. p. 160 ; yol. xiz. p. 180. 

' As much as 200 lbs., according to the Bon Ja/rdiniery 1850, p. 180. 

* Hooker, Fl, of Trop, AJr.f ii. p. 655. 


indication that it is found wild. The Abyssinians used 
the word dubba, which is applied in Arabic to gourds 
in general. 

The plant was long supposed to be of Indian origin, 
because of such names as Indian gourd, given by sixteenth- 
century botanists, and in particular the Pepo maodm/us 
indicua, figured by Lobel,^ which answers to the modem 
species ; but this is a very insufficient proof, since popu- 
lar indications of origin are very often erroneous. The 
fact is that though pumpkins are cultivated in Southern 
Asia, as in other parts of the tropics, the plant has not 
been found wild.^ No similar species is indicated by 
ancient Chinese authors, and the modem names of gourds 
and pumpkins now grown in China are of foreign and 
southern origin.® It is impossible to know to what 
species the Sanskrit name kurkarou belonged, although 
Roxburgh attributes it to Cucurfnta Pepo ; and there is 
no less uncertainty with respect to the gourds, pump- 
kins, and melons cultivated by the Greeks and Romans. 
It is not certain if the species was known to the ancient 
Egyptians, but perhaps it was cultivated in that country 
and in the Graeco-Roman world. The Peponea, of which 
Charlemagne commanded the cultivation in his farms,^ 
were perhaps some kind of pumpkin or marrow, but no 
figure or description of these plants which may be clearly 
recognized exists earlier than the sixteenth century. 

This tends to show its American origin. Its existence 
in Africa in a wild state is certainly an argument to the 
contrary, for the species of the family of CucurbitdcecB are 
very local; but there are arguments in favour of America, 
and I must examine them with the more cai"e since I have 
been reproached in the United States for not having 
given them sufficient weight. 

In the first place, out of the ten known species of 
the genus Cucurhitay six are certainly wild in America 

* Lobe], Icones^ t. 641. The illastration is reproduced in Dalechamp's 
His*., i. p. 626. 

* Clarke, Hooker^s Fl. Brit. Ind,, ii. p. 622. 
' Bretschneider, letter of Ang. 23, 1881. 

* The list is given by B. Meyer, Qeschichte du Botantk, iH. p. 401 . 
The Cnonrbita of which he ipei^kd must haye beei^ the gonrd, Lagenaria, 



(Mexico and California) ; but these are perennial species' 
while the cultivated pumpkins are annuals. 

The plant called jururau by the Brazilians, figured 
by Piso and Marcgraf ^ is attributed by modern writers 
to Cucurhita maxima. The drawing and the short 
account by the two authors agree pretty well with this 
theory, but it seems to have been a cultivated plant. It 
may have been brought from Europe or from Africa by 
Europeans, between the discovery of Brazil in 1504, and 
the travels of the above-named authors in 16S7 and 1638. 
No one has found the species wild in North or South 
America. I cannot find in works on Brazil, Guiana, or 
the West Indies any sign of an ancient cultivation or of 
wild growth, either from names, or from traditions or 
more or less distinct belief. In the United States those 
men of science who best know the languages and customs 
of the natives, Dr. Harris for instance, and more recently 
Trumbull,^ maintain that the Gv>curhita/iece oaiXLeA. squash 
by the Anglo-Americans, and Tnacock, or cashaw, cusha^u, 
by early travellers in Virginia, are pumpkins. Trumbull 
says that squash is an Indian word. I have no reason to 
doubt the assertion, but neither the ablest linguists, nor 
the travellers of the seventeenth century, who saw the 
natives provided with fruits which they called gourds 
and pumpkins, have been able to prove that they were 
such and such species recognized as distinct by modern 
botanists. All that we learn from this is that the natives 
a century after the discovery of Virginia, and twenty to 
forty years after its colonization by Sir Walter Raleigh, 
made use of some fruits of the Cucui^tacecB, The com- 
mon names are still so confused in the United States, 
that Dt. Asa Gray, in 1868, gives pv/nipldn and squash 
as answering to different species of Cucwrhita? while 
Darlington* attributes the nKmQ pumpkin to the common 
CucurbitaPepo,B,nd thsLtot squash to the varieties of the 

* Piso, BrosiZ, edit. 1658, p. 264; Marcgraf, edit. 1648, p. 44. 

' Harris, American Journal, 1857, vol. zxiy. p. 4iLL ; Trumbull, BtUL 
of Torrey Bot. Club, 1876, voL vi. p. 69. 

* Asa Gray, Botany of the Northern States, edit. 18C8, p 186. 

* Darlington, Flora Ceatrica, 1853, p. 94. 


latter wliich correspond to the forms of Mdopepo of early 
botanists. They attribute no distinct common name to 
Cucurbita maayima. 

Finally, without placing implicit faith in the indi- 
genous character of the plant on the banks of the Niger, 
based upon the assertion of a single traveller, I still 
believe that the species is a native of the old world, and 
introduced into America by Europeans. 

[The testimony of early travellers touching the ex- 
istence of Cucurbita maxima in America before the 
arrival of Europeans has been collected and supplemented 
by Messrs. Asa Gray and Trumbull {ATaerican Jov/mal 
Of ScieTice, 1883, p. 372). They confirm the fact already 
known, that the natives cultivated species of Cucurbita 
under American names, of which some remain in the 
modem idiom of the United States. None of these early 
travellers has noted the botanical characters by which 
Naudin established the distinction between 0. maadma 
and C. Pepo, and consequently it is still doubtful to 
which species they referred. For various reasons I had 
already admitted that (7. Pepo was of American origin, 
but I retain my doubts about C. maxima. After a more 
attentive perusal of Ti'agus and Matthiolo than I had 
bestowed upon them, Asa Gray and TrumbuU. notice that 
they call Indian whatever came from America. But if 
these two botanists did not confound the East and West 
Indies, several othera, and the public in general, did make 
this confusion, which occasioned errors touching the 
origin of species which botanists were liable to repeat. 
A further indication in favour of the American origin of 
C. Toaxi/nia is communicated by M. Wittmack, who in- 
forms me that seeds, certified by M. Naudin to belong to 
this species, have been found in the tombs of Ancon. 
This would be conclusive if the date of the lates^t burials 
at Ancon were certain. See on this head the article on 
Pha8eolu8 vulgaria. — Author's Note, 1884.] 

Pumpkin — Cucurbita Pepo and C. Mdopepo, Linnaeus. 
Modem authors include under the head of Cucurbita 
Pepo most of the varieties which Linnaeus designated by 
this name, and also those which he called C. Melopepo. 


These varieties are very different as to the shape of the 
fruit, which shows a very ancient cultivation. There is 
the Patagonian pumpkin, with enormous cjdindrical fruit ; 
the sugared pu/mpkiny called Brazilian; the vegetable 
marrow, with smaller long-shaped fruit ; the BarberinCy 
with knobby fruit; the Elector's hat, with a curiously 
shaped conical fruit, eta No value should be attached 
to the local names in this designation of varieties, for we 
have often seen that they express as many errors as 
varieties. The botanical names attributed to the species 
by Naudin and Cogniaux are numerous, on account of the 
bad habit which existed not long ago of describing as 
species purely garden varieties, without taking into 
account the wonderful effects of cultivation and selection 
upon the organ for the sake of which the plant is 

Most of these varieties exist in the gardens of the 
warm and teifiperate regions of both hemispheres. The 
origin of the species is considered to be doubtfuL I 
hesitated in 1855 ^ between Southern Asia and the 
Mediterranean basin. Naudin and Cogniaux^ admit 
Southern Asia as probable, and the botanists of the 
United States on their side have given reasons for their 
belief in an American origin. The question requires 
careful investigation, 

I shall first seek for those forms now attributed to 
the species which have been found growing anywhere in 
a wild state. 

The variety Cucurbita ovifera, Linnaeus, was 
formerly gathered by Lerche, near Astrakhan, but no 
modem botanist has confirmed this fact, and it is 
probable it was a cultivated plant. Moreover, Linnaeus 
does not assert it was wild. I have consulted all the 
Asiatic and African floras without finding the slightest 
mention of a wild variety. From Arabia, or even from 
the coast of Guinea to Japan, the species, or the varieties 
attributed to it, are always said to be cultivated. In 

* O^ogr, Bot. Eaison/nAey p. 902. 

' Naadin, An/a, Be, Nat, 8rd series, voL vi. p. 9 ; Cogniaux^ in de 
Candolle, Monoffr, Phandr,, iii. p. 546. 


India, Roxbui^h remarked this, and certainly Clarke, in 
his recent flora of British India, has good reasons for 
indicating no locality for it outside cultivation. 

It is otherwise in America. A variety, C, texana^ 
very near to the variety ovata, according to Asa Gray, 
and which is now unhesitatingly attributed to (7. Pepo, 
was found by Lindheimer " on the edges of thickets, in 
damp woods, on the banks of the upper Guadaloupe, 
apparently an indigenous plant." Asa Gray adds, how- 
ever, that it is perhaps the result of naturalization. 
However, as several species of the genus Cucurbita grow 
wild in Mexico and in the south-west of the United 
States, we are naturally led to consider the collector's 
opinion sound It does not appear that other botanists 
found this plant in Mexico, or in the United States. It 
is not mentioned in Hemsley's Biologia Centralis 
Americana, nor in Asa Gray's recent flora of Cali- 

Some synonyms or specimens from South America, 
attributed to C, Fepo, appear to me very doubtful. It 
is impossible to say what Molina' meant by the 
names C Siceratia and G, mammeatay which appear, 
moreover, to have been cultivated plants. Two species 
briefly described in the account of the journey of Spix 
and Martins (ii. p. 586), and also attributed to C. 
Pepo? are mentioned among cultivated plants on the 
banks of the Rio Francisco. Lastly, the specimen of 
Spruce, 2716, from the river Uaupes, a tributary of 
the Rio Negro, which Cogniaux* does not mention 
having seen, and which he first attributed to the 
C Pepo, and afterwards to the C, moschata, was per- 
haps cultivated or naturalized from cultivation, or by 
transport, in spite of the paucity of inhabitants in this 

Botanical indications are, therefore, in favour of a 
Mexican or Texan origin. It remains to be seen if 

* Asia Gray, PlanicB lAndheim&riancB, part ii. p. 193. 

* Molina, Hist. Nat. du Chiliy p. 377. 

* Gogniauz, in Monogr. Phanir, and Flora Breuil, fasc. 78, p. 21. 
^ Cognianz, FL Brtu, and Monogr, Fhanir., iii., p. 617. 


historical records are in agreement with or contrary to 
this idea. 

It is impossible to discover whether a given Sanskrit, 
Greek, or Latin name for the pumpkin belongs to one 
species rather than to another. The form of the fruit is 
often the same, and the distinctive characters are never 
mentioned by authors. 

There is no figure of the pumpkin in the Herhariua 
Patavice Impressua of 1485, before the discovery of 
America, but sixteenth-century authors have published 
plates which may be attributed to it. There are three 
forms of Peponea figured on page 406 of Dodoens, 
edition 1557. A fourth, Pepo rotundua major, added 
in the edition of 1616, appears to me to be G. Tuaxima. 
In the drawing of Pepo oblongvs of Lobel, Icones, 641, 
the character of the peduncle is clearly defined. The 
names given to these plants imply a foreign origin ; but 
the authors could make no assertions on this head, all 
the more that the name of *' the Indies " applied both to 
Southern Asia and America. 

Thus historical data do not gainsay the opinion of an 
American origin, but neither do they adduce anything 
in support of it. 

If the belief that it grows wild in America is con- 
firmed, it may be confidently asserted that the pumpkins 
cultivated by the Romans and in the Middle Ages were 
Gucurhita maxima, and those of the natives of North 
America, seen by different travellers in the seventeenth 
century, were GwcurHta Pepo. 

Musk, or Melon Pumpkin — Gucurbita Toosckata, 

The Bon Jardinier quotes as the principal varieties 
of this species pumpkin muscade de Provence, pleine 
de Naples, and de Barbarie. It is needless to say that 
these names show nothing as to origin. The species is 
easily recognized by its fine soft down, the pentagonal 
peduncle which supports the fruit broadening at the 
summit ; the fruit is more or less covered with a glaucous 
efflorescence, and the flesh is somewhat musk-scented. 
The lobes of the calyx are often terminated by a leafy 


border.^ Cultivated in all tropical countries, it is less 
successful than other pumpkins in temperate regions. 

Cogniaux ^ suspects that it comes from the south of 
Asia> but he gives no proof of this. I have searched 
through the floras of the old and new worlds, and I 
have nowhere been able to discover the mention of the 
species in a truly wild state. The indications which 
approach most nt3arly to it are : (1) In Asia, in the island 
of Bangka, a specimen verified by Cogniaux, and which 
Miquel * says is not cultivated ; (2) in Africa, in Angola, 
specimens which Welwitsch says are quite wild, but 
" probably due to an introduction ; " (3) in America, five 
specimens from Brazil, Guiana, or Nicaragua,mentioned by 
Cogniaux, without knowing whether they were cultivated, 
naturalized, or indigenous. These indications are very 
slight Rumphius, Blume, Clarke (Flora of British 
iTuiia) in Asia, Schweinfurth (Oliver's Flora of Trop^ 
Africa) in Africa, only know it as a cultivated plant. Its 
cultivation is recent in China,* and American fioras rarely 
mention the spocies. 

No Sanskrit name is known, and the Indian, Malay, 
and Chinese names are neither very numerous nor very 
original, although the cultivation of the plant seems 
to be more difiused in Southern Asia than in other 
parts of the tropics. It was already grown in the 
seventeenth century according to the Hortus Malor- 
baricus, in which there is a good plate (vol. viii. pi. 2). 
It does hot appear that this species was known in the 
sixteenth century, for Dalechamp's illustration (Hist, i p. 
616) which Seringe attributed to it has not its true cha- 
racters, and I can find no other figure which resembles it. 

Fig-leaved Pumpkin — Cuod^ita ficifolia, Bouch^ ; 
Cucuf^Ua melanosperma, Braun. 

About thirty years ago this pumpkin with black or 
brown seeds was introduced into gardens. It differs 

^ See the excellent plate in Wight's Iconea, t. 507, under the 
erroneoas name of Cucurhita maxima, 

• Ck>gniaaz, in Monogr. Phan^r., iii. p. 547. 

' Miquel, Sumatra^ nnder the name Gym^opetaZumt p. 332. 

« Cogrianz, in Monogr. PhanSr,, 


from other cultivated species in being perennial It is 
sometimes called the Siaviese melon. The Bon Jardinier 
says that it comes from China. Dr. Bretschneider does 
not mention it in his letter of 1881, in which he enu- 
merates the pumpkins grown by the Chinese. 

Hitheito no botanist has found it wild. I very much 
doubt its Asiatic origin as all the known perennial species 
of Ciicurbita are from Mexico or California. 

Melon — Cucumie Melo, LinnaBus. 

The aspect of the question as to the origin of the 
melon has completely changed since the experiments of 
Naudin. The paper which he published in 1859, in the 
Annalea dea odericea NatureUeSy 4th series, vol ii., on 
the genus Cucumid,i8 as remarkable as that on the genus 
CucurbUa, He gives an account of the observations and 
experiments of several years on the variability of forms 
and the crossed fecundation of a multitude of species, 
breeds, or varieties coming from all parts of the world, I 
have already spoken (p. 250) of the physiological principle 
on which he believes it possible to distinguish those groups 
of forms which he terms species, although certain excep- 
tions have occurred which render the criterion of fertili- 
zation less absolute. In spite of these exceptional cases, 
it is evident that if nearly allied forms can be easily 
crossed and produce fertile individuals, as we. see, for 
example, in the human species, they must be considered 
as constituting a single species. 

In this sense Cucwmia Mdo, according to the ex- 
periments and observations made by Naudin upon about 
two thousand living plants, constitutes a species which 
comprehends an extraordinary number of varieties and 
even of breeds; that is to say, forms which are pre- 
served by heredity. These varieties or races can be ferti- 
lized by each other, and yield varied and variable products. 
They are classed by the author into ten groups, which he 
calls canteloups, melona brodes, aucrina, melona d'hiver, 
aerpenta, forme de concombre, Chito, Dudavm, rougea de 
Ferae, and aauvagea, each containing varieties or nearly 
allied races. These have been named in twenty-five or 
thirty different ways by botanists^ who, without noticing 


transitions of form, the faculty of crossing or of change 
under cultivation, have distinguished as species all the 
varieties which occur in a given time or place. 

Hence it results that several forms found wild, and 
which have been described as species, must be the types 
and sources of the cultivated forms ; and Naudin makes 
the very just observation that these wild forms, which 
differ more or less the one from the other, may have pro- 
duced different cultivated varieties. This is the more 
probable that they sometimes inhabit countries remote 
from each other as Southern Asia and tropical Africa, 
so that differences in climate and isolation may have 
created and consolidated varieties. 

The following are the forms which Naudin enume- 
rates as wild : 1. Those of India, which are named by 
Wildenow Cucumis piibeaceTis, and by Roxburgh C. tur- 
bincUvs or C. maderas-patanua. The whole of British 
India and Beluchistan is their natural area. Its natural 
wildness is evident even to non-botanical travellers.^ 
The fruit varies from the size of a plum to that of a 
lemon. It is either striped or barred, or all one colour, 
scented or odourless. The flesh is sweet, insipid, or 
slightly acid, differences which it has in common with 
the cultivated Cantelopes. According to Roxburgh the 
Indians gather and have a taste for the fruits of (7. tur- 
binatvs and of C, nfiaderaa'patanua, though they do not 
cultivate it. 

Referring to the most recent flora of British India, 
in which Clarke has described the Cucurbitacece (ii. p. 
619), it seems that this author does not agree with M. 
Naudin about the Indian wild forms, although both have 
examined the numerous specimens in the herbarium at 
Kew. The difference of opinion, more apparent than real, 
arises from the fact that the English author attributes 
to a nearly and certainly wild allied species, C, trigonua, 
Roxburgh, the varieties which Naudin classes under 
C. Melo. Cogniaux,^ who afterwards saw the same speci- 

< Gardener's Chronicle, articles signed ** I. H. H.," 1857, p. 153 ; 1858, 
p. 130. 

' Cogniauz, Mono^, Phan^r,, iii. p. 485. 


mens, attributes only G. tv/rhinatus to trigonvs. The 
specific difference between G. Melo and G. trigonus is 
unfortunately obscure, from the characters given by 
these three authors. The principal difference is that 
G. Melo is an annual, the other perennial, but this dura- 
tion does not appear to be very constant. Mr. Clarke 
says himself that G. Melo is perhaps derived by cultiva- 
tion from G. trigonus ; that is to say, according to him, 
from the forms which Naudin attributes to G. Melo. 

The experiments made during three consecutive years 
by Naudin^ upon the products of Gucfwrnis trigonus^ 
fertilized by (7. Melo, seem in favour of the opinion which 
admits a specific diversity ; for if fertilization took place 
the products were of difterent forms, and often reverted 
to one or other of the original parents. 

2. The African forms. Naudin had no specimens in 
suflSciently good condition, or of which the wild state 
was sufficiently certain to assert positively the habitation 
of the species in Africa. He admits it with hesitation. 
He includes in the species cultivated forms, or other wild 
ones, of which he had not seen the fruit Sir Joseph 
Hooker* subsequently obtained specimens which prove 
more. I am not speaking of those from the Nile Valley,* 
which are probably cultivated, but of plants gathered by 
Barter in Guinea in the sands on the banks of the Niger. 
Thonning * had previously found, in sandy soil in Guinea, 
a CucuTnis to which he had given the name arenarius ; 
and Cogniaux,« after having seen a specimen brought 
home by this traveller, had classed it with G. Melo, as 
Sir J. Hooker thought. The negroes eat the fruit of the 
plant found by Barter. The smell is that of a fresh green 
melon. In Thonning's plant the fruit is ovoid, the size 
of a plum. Thus in Africa as in India the species bears 
small fruit in a wild state, as we might expect The 
Dudaim among cultivated varieties is allied to it 

* Nandin, Ann. 8c. Nat.f Aith. series, vol. xviii. p. 171. 
« Hooker, in Oliver, Fl. of Trop, Afr„ ii. p. 546. 

* Scbweinfurth and Aecherson, AufzdhluTig, p. 267. 

* Schamacher and Thonning, Ouineiske Planten,, p. 4-6. 

* Cogniauz, in de Candolle, Monogr. Phanir., p. 483. 


The majority of the species of the genus Cv/ywmia are 
found in Africa ; a small minority in Asia or in America. 
Other species of Cucurbitacecb are divided between 
Asia and America, although as a rule, in this family, 
the areas of species are continuous and restricted. Cu- 
eumis Melo was once perhaps, like GitruUvs Colocynthia 
of the same family, wild from the west coast of Africa 
as far as India without any break. 

I formerly hesitated to admit that the melon was 
indigenous in the north of the Caucasus, as it is asserted 
by ancient authors — an assertion which has not been 
confirmed by subsequent botanists. Hohenacker, who 
was said to have found the species near Elisabethpolis, 
makes no mention of it in his paper upon the province of 
Talysch. M. Boissier does not include Cvxywrnis Melo 
in his Oriental flora. He merely says that it is easily 
naturalized on rubbish-heaps and waste ground. The 
same thing has been observed elsewhere, for instance in 
the sands of XJssuri, in Eastern Asia. This would be a 
reason for mistrusting the locality of the sands of the 
Niger, if the small size of the fruit in this case did not 
recall the wild forms of India. 

The culture of the melon, or of different varieties of 
the melon, may have begun separately in India and \ 

Its introduction into China appears to date only from 
the eighth century of our era, judging from the epoch of 
the first work which mentions it.^ As the relations of 
the Chinese with Bactriana, and the north-west of India 
by the embassy of Chang-kien, date from the second 
century, it is possible that the culture of the species was 
not then widely diffused in Asia. The small size of the 
wild fruit offered little inducement. No Sanskrit name 
is known, but there is a Tamul name, probably less 
ancient, Tnolam,^ which is like the Latin Melo. 

It is not proved that the ancient Egyptians cultivated 
the melon. The fruit figured by Lepsius ® is not recog- 
nizable. If the cultivation had been customary and 

* Bretsohneider, lotter of Ang. 26, 18S1. ' Piddington, Tndea, 
f See tlie copy in Unger's Pfianzen dea Altsn JSgyptens, fig. 25. 


ancient in that country, the Greeks and Romans would 
have early known it. Now, it is doubtful whether the 
Sikua of Hippocrates and Theophrastus, or the Fepon of 
Dioscorides, or the Melopepo of Pliny, was the melon. 
The passages referring to it are brief and insignificant ; 
Galen ^ is less obscure, when he says that the inside of 
the Melopeponea is eaten, but not of the Pepones.^ There 
has been much discussion about those names,^ but we 
want facts more than words. The best proof which I 
have been able to discover of the existence of the melon 
among the Romans is a very accurate representation of 
a fruit in the beautiful mosaic of fruits in the Vatican. 
Moreover, Dr. Comes certifies that the half of a melon 
is represented in a painting at Herculaneum.® The 
species was probably introduced into the Graeco-Roman 
world at the time of the Empire, in the beginning of the 
Christian era. It was probably of indifferent quality, to 
judge from the silence or the faint praise of writers in 
a country where gourmets were not wanting. Since 
the Renaissance, an improved cultivation and relations 
with the East have introduced better varieties into our 
gardens. We know, however, that they often degenerate 
either from cold or bad conditions of soil, or by crossing 
with inferior varieties of the species. 

Water -Melon — Citrullus vulgaris, Schrader; Cucur" 
bita Citrullus, Linnaeus. 

The origin of the water-melon was long mistaken 
or unknown. According to Linnaeus, it was a native 
of Southern Italy.* This assertion was taken from 
Matthiole, without observing that this author says it was 
a cultivated species. Seringe,^ in 1828, supposed it 
came from India and Africa, but he gives no proof. 
I believed it came from Southern Asia, because of its 

* Galen, Be AlimenHst 1. 2, o. 5. 

' See all the Vergiliau floras, and Kandin, Ann. 8c. Kat, 4th series, 
vol. xii. p. 111. 

' Comes, III. Piante net Dipinti Pompeiani, in 4to, p. 20, in the Museo 
Nation., vol. iii. pi. 4. 

^ Habitat in Apulia, Calabria, Sicilia (Linnasus, Species, edit. 1763, 
p. 1435). 

* Sennge, in Prodromus, iii« p. SOL 


very general cultivation in this region. It was not 
known in a wild state. At length it was found indi- 
genous in tropical Africa, on both sides of the equator, 
which settles the question.^ Livingstone^ 3aw districts 
literally covered with it, and the savages and several 
kinds of wild animals eagerly devoured the wild fruit. 
They are sometimes, but not always, bitter, and this 
cannot be detected from the appearance of the fruit. The 
negroes strike it with an axe, and taste the juice to see 
whether it is good or bad. This diversity in the wild 
plant, growing in the same climate and in the same soil, 
is calculated to show the small value of such a character 
in cultivated Cucurbitacece, For the rest, the frequent 
bitterness of the water-melon is not at all extraordinary, 
as the most nearly allied species is Citrullua Colocynthis. 
Naudin obtained fertile hybrids from crossing the 
bitter water-melon, wild at the Cape, with a cultivated 
species which confirms the specific unity suggested by 
the outward appearance. 

The species has not been found wild in Asia. 

The ancient Egyptians cultivated the water-melon, 
which is represented in their paintings.' This is one 
reason for believing that the Israelites knew the species, 
and called it ahbatitchirriy as is said; but besides the 
Arabic name, battieh, batteca, evidently derived from the 
Hebrew, is the modem name for the water-melon. The 
French name, pastiqtie, comes through the Arabic from the 
Hebrew. A proof of the antiquity of the plant in the 
north of Africa is found in the Berber name, tadeladt,^ 
which differs too widely from the Arabic name not to have 
existed before the Conquest. The Spanish names zan- 
dria, cindria, and the Sardinian aindi^,^ which I cannot 
connect with any others, show also an ancient culture 
in the eastern part of the Mediterranean basin. Its 

* Nandiu, Ann, «c. Nat, 4tli series, vol. xii. p. 101 ; Sir J. Hooker, in 
Oliver, Flora of Trop. Afr., ii. p. 549. 

* French trans., p. 56. 

' Uager has copied tbe figares from Lepsius' work in his memoir, 
Die PJla.rgen des Alien ^gyptens, figs. 80, 31, 32. 

* Vktiannaire Franqaia-Berher, at the word pastique, 

* Mcris, Flora Sardwu 


cultivation early spread into Asia, for there is a Sanskrit 
name, chayapula} but the Chinese only received the 
plant in the tenth century of the Christian era* They 
call it «i-itta, that is melon of the West.* 

As the water-melon is an annual, it ripens out of the 
tropics wherever the summer is sufficiently hot The 
modem Greeks cultivate it largely, and call it carpovLsia 
or carpousea^ but this name does not occur in ancient 
authors, nor even in the Greek of the decadence and of 
the Middle Ages> It is the same as the karpus of the 
Turks of Constantinople/ which we find again in the 
Russian arhaa^ and in Bengali and Hindustani as tarbuj 
tv/rhouz? Another Constantinople name, mentioned by 
Forskal, chimonico, recurs in Albanian chimico^ The 
absence of an ancient Greek name which can with 
certainty be attributed to this species, seems to show 
that it was introduced into the Graeco-Boman world 
about the beginning of the Christian era. The poem 
Copa, attributed to Virgil and Pliny, perhaps mentions 
it (lib. 19, cap. 5), as Naudin thinks, but it is doubtful, 

Europeans have introduced the water-melon into 
America, where it is now cultivated from Chili to the 
United Statea The jace of the Brazilians, of which 
Piso and Marcgraf have a drawing, is evidently in- 
troduced, for the first-named author says it is cultivated 
and partly naturalized.^ 

Cacumber — Gucwmia satiws, Linnaeus. 

In spite of the very evident difierence between the 
melon and cucumber, which both belong to the genus 
Cv/ywmia, cultivators suppose that the species may be 
crossed, and that the quality of the melon is thus some- 

* Piddington, Index. 

• Bretschneider, Study and Value, etc., p. 17. 

* Heldreich, PJlana, d. Attiach. Mens., p. 591; Nutzpfi, QriecJuBnUf 
p. 60. 

* Langkavel, Bot der 8pai. Oriechen. 

• Forskal, Flora JEgypto-Arahica., part i. p. 84. 

• Nemnich, Polyg. Leseic, i. p. 1309. 

' Piddington, Index ; Pickering, Chronol, Arrang,, p. 72. 

• Heldreich, Niitzpfl., etc., p. 50. 

* ** Sativa planta et tractu temporis quan nativa facta*' (Piso, 
edit 1658, p. 233). 


times spoilt. Naudin ^ ascertained by experiments that 
this fertilization is not possible, and has also shown that 
the distinction of the two species is well founded. 

The original country of Cucumia sativus was un- 
known to Linnaeus and Lamarck. In 1805, Wildenow * 
asserted it was indigenous in Tartaiy and India, but 
without furnishing any proof Later botanists have not 
confirmed the assertion. When I went into the question 
in 1855, the species had not been anywhere found wUd. 
For various reasons deduced from its ancient culture in 
Asia and in Europe, and especially from the existence of 
a Sanskrit name, soukasa,^ I said, " Its original habitat is 
probablj'' the north-west of India, for instance Cabul, or 
some adjacent country. Everything seems to show that 
it will one day be discovered in these regions which are 
as yet but little known." 

This conjecture has been realized if we admit, with 
the best-informed modern authors, that Cucumis Hard- 
wickii, Royle, possesses the characteristics of Gucwmis 
satiws. A coloured illustration of this cucumber found 
at the foot of the Himalayas may be seen in Boyle's 
Illustrations of Himalayan Plants, p. 220, pi 47. The 
stems, leaves, and flowers are exactly those of C. sativus. 
The fruit, smooth and elliptical, has a bitter taste ; but 
there are similar forms of the cultivated cucumber, and 
we know that in other species of the same family, the 
water-melon, for instance, the pulp is sweet or bitter. 
Sir Joseph Hooker, after describing the remarkable 
variety which he calls the SikkiTa cucumber,* adds 
that the variety Hardwickii, wild from Kumaon to 
Sikkim, and of which he has gathered specimens, does 
not differ more from the cultivated plant than certain 
varieties of the latter differ from others ; and Cogniaux, 
after seeing the plants in the herbarium at Kew, adopts 
this opinion.*^ 

The cucumber, cultivated in India for at least three 

^ Naudin, in Ann. 8c. Nat, 4ith. series, vol. xi. p. 31. 

• Wildenow, Species, iv. p. 615. • Piddiug^on, Indent 

« Bot. Mag., pi. 6206. 

^ Cogaiaux, in de Candolle, Monogr. Phanir., iii. p. 499. 


thousand years^ was only introduced into China in the 
second century before Christ, when the ambassador 
Chang-kien returned from Bactriana.^ The species 
spread more rapidly towards the West. The ancient 
Greeks cultivated the cucumber under the name of sikuos,^ 
which remains as aikua in the modem language. The 
modem Greeks have also the name aggouria, from an 
ancient Aryan root which is sometimes applied to the 
water-melon, and which recurs for the cucumber in 
the Bohemian dgurka, the German Ghirke, etc. The 
Albanians (Pelasgians ?) have quite a different name, 
kratsaveU^ which we recognize in the Slav Krastavak. 
The Latins called the cucumber cibcv/inia. These different 
names show the antiquity of the species in Europe. 
There is even an Esthonian name, uggurits, ukkurita, 
urita.^ It does not seem to be Finnish, but to belong to 
the same Aryan root as aggouria. If the cucumber came 
into Europe before the Aryans, there would perhaps be 
some name peculiar to the Basque language, or seeds 
would have been found in the lake-dwellings of Switzer- 
land and Savoy ; but this is not the case. The peoples 
in the neighbourhood of the Caucasus have names quite 
different to the Greek ; in Tartar kiar, in Kalmuck chaja, 
in Armenian karan.^ The name ckiar exists also in 
Arabic for a variety of the cucumber.® This is, therefore, 
a Turanian name anterior to the Sanskrit, whereby its 
culture in Western Asia would be more than three 
thousand years old. 

It is often said that the cucumber is the kischschniTri, 
one of the fruits of Egypt regretted by the Israelites in 
the desert^ However, 1 do not find any Arabic name 
among the three given by Forskal which can be con- 
nected with this, and hitherto no trace has been found 
of the presence of the cucumber in ancient Egypt. 

1 Bretschneider, letters of Aug. 23 and 26, 188L. 
' Theophrastas, Hist., lib. 7» cap. 4; Lenz, Bot, der Alien, p. 492. 
■ Heldreich, Nutzpjl. Qriechen,, p. 50. 
^ Nemnich, Polygl. Lex,, i. p. 1306. 

* Nemnich, ibid. • Forskal, Fl, JEgypt., p. 76. 

' BosenmuUer, Bihlische Alterth,, i. p. 97 ; Hamilton, Bot. de la Bille, 
p. 34. 


Wert Indian Oherkin — Chicumis Anguria, LinnaBus. 

This small species of cucumber is designated in the 
Bon Jardinier under the name of the cucumber Arada. 
The fruit, of the size of an egg, is very prickly. It is 
eaten cooked or pickled. As the plant is very produc- 
tive, it is largely cultivated in the American colonies. 
Descourtilz and Sir Joseph Hooker have published good 
coloured illustrations of it, and M. Cogniaux a plate with 
a detailed analysis of the flower.^ / 

Several botanists affirm that it is wild in the West 
Indies. P. Browne,* in the last century, spoke of the 
plant as the ''little wild cucumber" (in Jamaica). 
Descourtilz said, " The cucumber grows wild everywhere, 
and principally in the dry savannahs and near rivers, 
whose banks afford a rich vegetation." The inhabitants 
call it the "maroon cucumber." Grisebach" saw speci- 
mens in several other West India Isles, and appears 
to admit their wild character. M. E. Andrd found the 
species growing in the sand of the sea-shore at Porto- 
Cabello, and Burchell in a similar locality in Brazil, and 
Biedel near Rio di Janeiro.^ In the case of a number of 
other specimens gathered in the east of America from 
Brazil to Florida, it is unknown whether they were wild 
or cultivated. A wild Brazilian plant, badly drawn by 
Piso,^ is mentioned as belonging to the species, but I am 
very doubtful of this. 

Botanists from Toumefort down to our own day have 
considered the Anguria to be of American origin, a native 
of Jamaica in particular. M. Naudin^ was the first to 
point out that all the other species of Cucwmis are of the 
old world, and principally African. He wondered whether 
this one had not been introduced into America by the 
negroes, like many other plants which have become 

' Descourtilz, Fl, M^d. des Antilles, y. pi. 829 ; Hooker, Bot 2Sag., 
t. 5817 ; Cogniaux, in Fl. Brasil, fasc. 78, pi. 2. 
' Browne, Jamaiixtj edit. 2, p. 853. 

* Grisebaoh, Fl. of Brit, TT. India Is., p. 288. 

* Cogniaux, uhi supra, 

* Guarierva-oba, in Piso, Brasil, edit. 1658, p. 264; Harograf, 
edit. 1648, p. 44, without illoBtration, calls it C%tcwmis sylvesti'is BrasiLiaB, 

* Naudin, Ann, 8e, Nat, 4th series, toL ii. p. 12. 


naturalized. However, unable to find any similar 
African plant, he adopted the general opinion* Sir 
Joseph Hooker, on the contrary, is inclined to believe 
that C. Angwrkt is a cultivated and modified form of 
some African species nearly allied to C, prophetarum and 
0, Figareif although these are perennial In favour of 
this hypothesis, I may add : (1) The name maroon cu- 
cumber, given in the French West India Islands, indicates 
a plant which has become wild, for this is the meaning 
of the word maroon as applied to the negroes ; (2) its 
extended area in America from Brazil to the West Indies, 
always along the coast where the slave trade was most 
brisli^ seems to be a proof of foreign orifjin. If the 
species grew in America previous to its discovery, it 
would, with such an extensive habitat, have been also 
found upon the west coast of America, and inland, which 
is not the case. 

The question can only be solved by a more complete 
knowledge of the African species of Cucum^is, and by 
experiments upon fertilization, if any have the patience 
and ability necessary to do for the genus Cucu/mis what 
Naudin has done for the genus Cucurbita. 

Lastly, I would point out the absurdity of a common 
name for the Anguria in the United States — Jerusalem. 
Cucumber} After this, is it possible to take popular 
names as a guide in our search for origins ? 

White Ooord-melon, or Benincasa — Benincasa hispida, 
Thunberg ; Benincaaa cerifera, SavL 

This species, which is the only one of the genus 
Benincasa, is so like the pumpkins that early botanists 
took it for one,* in spite of the waxy efflorescence on the 
surface of the fruit. It is very generally cultivated in 
tropical countries. It was, perhaps, a mistake to aban- 
don its cultivation in Europe after having, tried it, for 
Naudin and the Bon Jardinier both recommend it. 

It is the cumbalara of Rheede, the cam/)lenga of 
Rumphius, who had seen it cultivated in Malabar and 
the Sunda Islands, and give illustrations of it. 

' Darlington, Agric. BoL, p. 58. 

' Cucurbita Pepo of Loureiro and Roxburgh. 


From several works, even recent ones/ it might be 
supposed that it had never been found in a wild state, 
but if we notice the different names under which it 
has been described we shall find that this is not the 
case. Thus Gucurbita hispida, Thunberg, and Lagenaria 
daaystemon, Miquel, from authentic specimens seen 
by Cogniaux,^ are synonyms of the species, and these 
plants are wild in Japan.^ Gucurbita littoralis, Hass- 
karl,* found among shrubs on the sea-shore in Java, 
and Gyniriopetahuni septerrdobwin^ Miquel, also in Java, 
are the BeniTicasa according to Cogniaux. As are 
also Gucurbita vacua, Mueller,^ and Gucurbita pruriens, 
Forster, of which he has seen authentic specimens found 
at Rockingham, in Australia, and in the Society Islands. 
Nadeaud® does not mention the latter. Temporary 
naturalization may be suspected in the Pacific Isles and 
in Queensland, but the localities of Java and Japan seem 
quite certain. I am the more inclined to believe in the 
latter, that the cultivation of the Benincasa in China dates 
from the remotest antiquity.^ 

Towel Gourd — Momordica cylindrica, Linnseus ; Lwffa 
cylindrica, Roemer. 

Naudin ® says, " Luffa cylindrica, which in some of 
our colonies has retained the Indian name pStole, is 
probably a native of Southern Asia, and perhaps also 
of Afidca, Australia, and Polynesia. It is cultivated by 
the peoples of most hot countries, and it appears to be 
naturalized in many places where it doubtless did not 
exist originally." Cogniaux® is more positive. "An 
indigenous species," he says, "in all the tropical regions 

* Clarke, in Fl. of Brit. Ind., ii. p. 616. 

' Cogniaux, in de Candolle, Monogr. Phan^r., in. p. 513, 

* Thunberg, Fl, Jap.y p. 322 5 Franchet and Savatier, Enum. PI. Jap., 
i. p. 173. 

* Hasskarl, Catal. Horti, Bogor. Alter,, p. 190 ; Miqnel, Flora Indo- 

* Mueller, Fragm., ri. p. 186 ; Forster, Prodr, (no description) ; 
Seemann, Jour, of Bot., ii. p. 50. 

* Nadeaud, Plan. Uau. des Taitiens, Enum* des PL Indig, d Taiti. 
^ Bretschneider, letter of Aug. 26, 1881. 

' Naudin, Ann. Sc. Nat., 4th series, vol. xii. p. 121. 

* Cogniaux, Monogr, PhanSr,, iii. p. 458. 


of the old world; often cultivated and half irild in 
America between the tropics." In consultirg ihe works 
quoted in these two monographs, and herbaria, its 
character as a wild plant will be found sometimes 
conclusively certified. 

With regard to Asia,^ Rheede saw it in sandy places, 
in woods and other localities in Malabar ; Roxburgh says 
it is wild in Hindustan ; Kurz, in the forests of Burmim ; 
Thwaites, in Ceylon. I have specimens from Ceylon and 
Khasia There is no Sanskrit name known, and Dr. 
Bretschneider, in his work On the Study and Value of 
Chinese Botanical Works, and in his letters mentions no 
luffa either wild or cultivated in China. I suppose, 
therefore, that its cultivation is not ancient even in 

The species is wild in Australia, on the banks of 
rivers in Queensland,^ and hence it is probable it will 
be found wild in the Asiatic Archipelago, where Rum- 
phius, Miquel, etc., only mention it as a cultivated plant 

Herbaria contain a great number of specimens from 
tropical Africa, from Mozambique to the coast of Guinea, 
and even as far as Angola, but collectors do not appear 
to have indicated whether they were cultivated or wild 
plants. In the Delessert herbarium, Heudelot indicates it 
as growing in fertile ground in the environs of Galam. Sir 
Joseph Hooker ^ quotes this without affirming anything. 
Schweinfurth and Ascheron,* who are always careful in 
this matt^, say the species is only a cultivated one in 
the Nile Valley. This is curious, because the plant 
was seen in the seventeenth century in Egyptian gar- 
dens under the Arabian name of luff,^ whence the genus 
was called Luffa, and the species Luffa cegyptica. The 
ancient Egyptian monuments show no trace of it The 

'. Bbeede, Eort. Malah., viii. p. 15, t. 8 ; Boxbni^h. Fl, Ind., iii. p. 714, 
as L. davata ; Kurz, Contrih.f ii. p. 100 ; Thwaites, Enum, 

■ Mueller, Fragmentaf iii. p, 107 ; Bentham, IZ, Av^str,, iii, p. 817» 
Tiiider names which Naudin and Cognijinz regaid as synonyms of 
L. cyliTtdriccu 

» Hooker, in Oliver, Fl, of Trop. Afr., ii. p. 530. 

* Schweinfurth and Ascheron, Aufadhl^jbng, p. 238* 

» Forskal, Fl» JEgypU^ p. 75. 


absence of a Hebrew name is another reason for believing 
that its cultivation was introduced into Egypt in the 
Middle Ages. It is now grown in the Delte, not only 
for the fruit but also for the export of the seed, from 
which a preparation is made for softening the skin. 

The species is cultivated in Brazil, Quiana, Mexico, 
etc., but 1 find no indication that it is indigenous in 
America. It appears to have been here and there 
naturalized, in Nicaragua for instance, from a specimen 
of Levy's. 

In brief, the Asiatic origin is certain, the African very 
doubtful, that of America imaginary, or rather the effect 
of naturalization. 

Angular Luffa — Laffa acutangvJa, Roxburgh. 

The origin of this species, cultivated like the pre- 
ceding one in all tropical countries, is not very clear, 
according to Naudin and Cogniaux.^ The first gives 
Senegal, the second Asia, and, doubtfully, Africa. It is 
hardly necessary to say that Linnaeus * was mistaken in 
indicating Tartary and China Clarke, in Sir Joseph 
Hooker's flora, says without hesitation that it is in- 
digenous in British India. Rheede® formerly saw the 
plant in sandy soil in Malabar. Its natural area seems 
to be limited, for Thwaites in Ceylon, Kurz in British 
Burmah, and Loureiro in China and Cochin-China,* only 
give the species as cultivated, or growing on rubbish- 
heaps near gardens. Rumphius ^ calls it a Bengal plant. 
No luffa has been long cultivated in China, according 
to a letter of Dr. Bretschneider. No Sanskrit name is 
known. All these are indications of a comparatively 
recent culture in Asia 

A variety with bitter fruit is common in British 
India ^ in a wild state^ since there is no inducement to 

* Kaadin, Ann, Se, Kat^ 4th series, yoI. xiL p. 122 ; Cognianz, in de 
CandoUe, Monogr. Phcmir,, in. p. 459. 

' LinD»as, Species^ p. 1436, as Cucum\8 acutangvZus, 
' Rheede, Hort. Malah,, yiii. p. 13, t. 7. 

* Thwaites, Ewmn, Ceylan, p. 126 ; Knrz, Contrib.f iL p. 101 ; 
Loureiro, Fl. Cochin., p. 727. 

* Ramphias, Amhoin, ▼. p. 408, t. 149. 

* Clarke, in FL BHt. Ind., ii. p. 614. 


cultivate it. It exists also iu the Sunda Islands. It 
is Lwffa amara, Roxburgh, and L. sylvestris, Miquel. 
L. 8yJbangulata, Miquel, is another variety which grows 
in Java^ which M. Cogniaux also unites with the others 
from authentic specimens which he saw. 

M. Naudin does not say what traveller gives the 
plant as wild in Senegambia ; but he says the negroes 
call it papengaye, and as this is the name of the 
Mauritius planters/ it is probable that the plant is 
cultivated in Senegal, and perhaps naturalized near 
dwellings. Sir Joseph Hooker, in the Flora of Tropical 
Africa, gives the species, but without proof that it 
is wild in Africa, and Cogniaux is still more brief, 
Schweinfurth and Ascheron^ do not mention it either 
as wild or cultivated in Egypt, Nubia, and Abyssinia. 
There is no trace of its ancient cultivation in Egypt. 

The species has often been sent from the West Indies, 
New Granada, Brazil, and other parts of America, but 
there is no indication that it has been long in these places, 
nor even that it occurs at a distance from gardens in a 
really wild state. 

The conditions or probabilities of origin, and of date 
of culture, are, it will be seen, identical for the two 
cultivated species of luffa. In support of the hypothesis 
that the latter is not of African origin, I may say that 
the four other species of the genus are Asiatic or 
American ; and as a sign that the cultivation of the luffa 
is not very ancient, I will add that the form of the fruit 
varies much less than in the other cultivated cucar- 

Snake Ooord — Trichosanthes anguina, Linnaeus. 

An annual creeping Oucwrbitacea, remarkable for its 
fringed corolla. It is called petole in Mauritius, from a 
Java name. The fruit, which is something like a long 
fleshy pod of some leguminous plants, is eaten cooked 
like a cucumber in tropical Asia. 

As the botanists of the seventeenth century received 
the plant from China, they imagined that the plant was 

* Bojer, Sort. Maurit 

* Schweinf arth and Ascherson, Avfisdhlv/ng, p. 268. 


indigenous there, but it was probably cultivated. Dr. 
Brei^chneider ^ tells us that the Chinese name^ manhia, 
means *' cucumber of the southern barbarians/' Its home 
must be India, or the Indian Archipelago. No author, 
however, asserts that it has been found in a distinctly 
wild state. Thus Clarke, in Hooker's Flora of British 
iTidia, ii. p. 610, says only, '* India, cultivated." Naudin,^ 
before him, said, " Inhabits the East Indies, where it is 
much cultivated for its fruits. It is rarely found wild." 
Rumphius ^ is not more positive for Amboyna. Loureiro 
and Kurz in Cochin-China and Burmah, Blume and 
Miquel in the islands to the south of Asia, have only seen 
the plant cultivated. The thirty-nine other species of 
the genus are all of the old world, found between China 
or Japan, the west of India and Australia. They belong 
especially to India and the Malay Archipelago. I 
consider the Indian origin as the most probable one. 

The species has been introduced into Mauritius, where 
it sows itself round cultivated places. Elsewhere it is 
little diffused. No Sanskrit name is known. 

Chayote, or Choco — Sechiwm edvZe, Swartz. 

This plant, of the order Ciicurbitacece, is cultivated 
in tropical America for its fruits, shaped like a pear, and 
tasting like a cucumber. They contain only one seed, so 
that the flesh is abundant. 

The species alone constitutes the genus Sechium. 
There are specimens in every herbarium, but generally 
collectors do not indicate whether they are naturalized, 
or really wild, and apparently indigenous in the country. 
Without speaking of works in which this plant is said to 
come from the East Indies, which is entirely a mistake, 
several of the best give Jamaica ^ as the original home. 
However, P. Browne,^ in the middle of the last century, 
said positively that it was cultivated there, and Sloane 
does not mention it. Jacquin^ says that it ''inhabits 

' Bretsohneider, Study and Value, etc., p. 17. 

' Naadln, Aim. 8c. Nat., 4th series, vol. zriii. p. 190. 

' Bnmphius, Amhoiny y. pi. 148. 

« Grisebach, Flora of Brit. W. India !«:., p. 28G. 

' Browoe, Jamaica, p. 335. 

' Jacqain, Stirp. Amer. Hist., p. 2.'>9. 


Cuba, and Ib cultivated there/' and Richard copies this 
phrase in the flora of R de La Sagra without adding 
any proof. Naudin says,^ '*a Mexican plant," but he 
does not give his reasons for asserting thia Cogniaux,* 
in his recent monograph, mentions a great number of 
specimens gathered from Brazil to the West Indies with- 
out saying if he had seen anv one of these given as wild. 
Seemann^saw the plant cultivated at Panama, and he 
adds a remark, important if correct, namely, that the 
name chayote, common in the isthmus, is the corruption 
of an Aztec word, cluiyoU. This is an indication of an 
ancient existence in Mexico, but I do not find the word 
in Hernandez, the classic author on the Mexican plants 
anterior to the Spanish conquest. The chayote was not 
cultivated in Cayenne ten years ago.^ Nothing indicates 
an ancient cultivation in Brazil The species is not 
mentioned by early writers, such as Fiso and Marcgraf, 
and the name chudiu, given as Brazilian,^ seems to me to 
come from chocho, the Jamaica name, which is perhaps 
a corruption of the Mexican word. 

The plant is probably a native of the south of Mexico 
and of Central America, and was transported into the 
West India Islands and to Brazil in the eighteenth 
century. The species was afterwards introduced into 
Mauritius and Algeria, where it is very successful.® 

Indian Pig, or Prickly Pear — Opuntia fixyas indica, 

This fleshy plant of the Cactus family, which produces 
the fruit known in the south of Europe as the Indian fig, 
has no connection with the fig tree, nor has the fruit 
with the fig. Its origin is not Indian but American. 
Everything is erroneous and absurd in this common 
name. However, since Linnaeus took his botanical name 
from it, Cactus ficua indica, afterwards connected with 
the genus Opuntia^ it was necessary to retain the specific 

' Naaflin, Awn» 8e. Nat, 4th series, vol. zviii. p. 205* 

■ In Monogr. Phan^r,, iii. p. 902. 

' Scemann, Bot of Herald, p. 128. 

* Sagot, Journal de la 8oc, d^Hortic, de France, 1872. 

A Cogniaux, Fl. Biosil, faso. 78. * Sagot, ibid. 


name to avoid changes which are a source of confusion, 
and to recall the popular denomination. The prickly 
forms, and those more or less free from spines, have been 
considered by some authors as distinct species, but an 
attentive examination leads us to regard them as one.^ 

The species existed both wild and cultivated in 
Mexico before the arrival of the Spaniards. Hernandez ^ 
describes nine varieties of it, which shows the antiquity of 
its cultivation. The cochineal insect appears to feed on one 
of these, almost without thorns, more than on the others, 
and it has been transported with the plant to the Canary 
Isles and elsewhere. It is not known how far its habitat 
extended in America before man transported pieces of 
the plants shaped like a racket, and the fruits, which are 
two easy ways of propagating it. Perhaps the wild 
plants in Jamaica, and the other West India Islands 
mentioned by Sloane," in 1725, were the result of its 
introduction by the Spaniards. Certainly the species 
has become natui*alized in this direction as far as the 
climate permits; for instance, as far as Southern Florida.^ 

It was one of the first plants which the Spaniards in- 
troduced to the old world, both in Europe and Asia Its 
singular appearance was the more striking that no other 
species belonging to the family had before been seen.^ 
All sixteenth-century botanists mention it, and the plant 
became naturalized in the south of Europe and in Africa 
as its cultivation was introduced. It was in Spain that 
the prickly pear was first known under the American 
name tuna, and it was probably the Moors who took it 
into Barbary when they were expelled from the peninsula. 
They called it fig of the Christians.® The custom of 
using the plant for fences, and the nourishing property 
of the fruits, which contain a large proportion of sugar, 
have determined its extension round the Mediterranean, 
and in general in all countries near the tropics. 

^ Webb and Bertbelot, Phytog, Canar,, sect. 1, p. 208. 

' Hernandez, Theo, Novm Hisp.t p. 78. ' SloaQC, Jamaica, ii. p. 150. 

* Chapman, Flora of Sovihem Staies, p. 144. 

'The cacto8 of the Greeks was qaite a diffei'ent plant. 

' Steinheil, in Boissier, Voyage Bot. en Espagne, i. p. 25.^ 


276 oBioiH OF culhyated PLAirra 

The cnltiv ation of ihe cochineal, which was nnfavour* 
able to the production of the froit,^ is dying out since the 
manufacture of colouring matters by chemical processea 

Ooosebeiry — Rihes groaavlaria and IL Vcuorispa, 

The fruit of the cultivated varieties is generally 
smooth, or provided with a few stiff hairs, while that of 
the wild varieties has soft and shorter hairs ; but inter- 
mediate forms exist, and it has been shown by experi- 
ment that by sowing the seeds of the cultivated fruity 
plants with either smooth or hairy fruit are obtained.^ 
There is, therefore, but one species, which has produced 
under cultivation one principal variety and several sub- 
varieties as to the size, colour, or taste of the fruit. 

The gooseberry grows wild throughout temperate 
Europe, from Southern Sweden to the mountainous 
regions of Central Spain, of Itcdy, and of Greece.^ It is 
also mentioned in Northern Africa, but the last published 
catalogue of Algerian plants^ indicates it only in the 
mountains of Aures, and Ball has found a variety in 
the Atlas of Marocco.^ It grows in the Caucasus,^ and 
under more or less different forms in the western 

The Greeks and Romans do not mention the species, 
which is rare in the South, and which is hardly worth 
planting where grapes will ripen. It is especiaUy in 
Germany, Holland, and England that it has been culti- 
vated from the sixteenth century,® principally as a 
seasoning, whence the English name, and the French 
groseille d maqa^eavjai (mackerel currant). A wine 
is also made from it. 

The frequency of its cultivation in the British Isles 
and in other places where it is found wild, which are 

> Webb and Berthelct, Phytog, Oanar,, yoI. iii. sect. 1, p. 208 

' Bobson, quoted in English Botany, pi. 2057, 

' Nymon, Conspectus FL Europeas, p. 266 ; Boissier, Fl. Or», ii. p. 815. 

* Mnnbj, Catdl; edit. 2, p. 15. 

• Ball, Spicilegium Fl. Maroc, p. 449. 

* Ledeboor, Fl, Ross,, ii. p. 194 ; Boissier, uhi supra. 
' Clarke, in Hooker*8 Fl. Brit Ind., ii. p. 410, 

• Phillips, Account of Fruits, p. 174, 


often near gardens, has suggested to some English 
botanists the idea of an accidental naturalization. This 
is likely enough in Ireland ; ^ but as it is an essentially 
European species, I do not see why it should not have 
existed in England, where the wild plant is more common, 
since the establishment of most of the species of the 
British flora ; that is to say, since the end of the glacial 
period, before the separation of the island from the 
continent. Phillips quotes an old English name,/ea6er7'y 
or feahea, which supports the theory of an ancient exist- 
ence, and two Welsh names/ of which I cannot, however, 
certify the originality. 

Bed Currant — Rwea ruhrura, Linnaeus. 

The common red currant is wild throughout Northern 
and Temperate Europe, and in Siberia^ as far as Kamts- 
chatka, and in America, from Canada and Vermont to 
the mouth of the river Mackenzie.* 

Like the preceding species, it was unknown to the 
Greeks and Romans, and its cultivation was only intro- 
duced in the Middle Ages. The cultivated plant hardly 
differs from the wild one. That the plant was foreign 
to the south of Europe is shown by the name of gvoseiUier 
doviremer (currant from beyond the sea), given in France ** 
in the sixteenth century. In Geneva the currant is still 
commonly called ro/iain de rnare, and in the canton of 
Soleure meertrubli, I do not know why the species was 
supposed, three centuries ago, to have come from be- 
yond seas. Perhaps this should be understood to mean 
that it was brought by the Danes and the Northmen, 
and that these peoples from beyond the northern seas 
introduced its cultivation. I doubt it, however, for the 
Rihea rvhrvmi is wild in almost the whole of Great 
Britain* and in Normandy;^ the English, who were in 
constant communication with the Danes, did not cultivate 
it as late as 1557, from a list of the fruits of that epoch 

* Moore and More, CoTvtrih. to the Oyhele Hyhemicat p. 113. 
' Davies, Welsh Botanology, p. 24. 

' Ledebour, Fl, Ross,, ii. p. 199. 

* Torrej and Gray, Fl. N. Amer,, i. p. 150. • Dodoneos, p. 74S. 
' Watson, Cyhele Brit, 

^ Brebisson, Flore de Normandiet p. 99. 


drawn up by Th. Tusser, and published by Phillips;* 
and even ia ihe time of Gerard, in 1597i^ its cultivation 
was rare, and the plant had no p^u^icular name.® Lastly, 
there are French and Breton names which indicate a 
cultivation anterior to the Normans in the west of 

The old names in France are given in the dictionary 
by Manage. According to him, red currants are called at 
Bouen gardes, at Caen grades, in Lower Normandy gra- 
diUea, and in Anjou castiUes, Manage derives all these 
names from rubiits, rubicua, etei,by a series of imaginary 
transformations, from the word ruber, red, Legonidec* 
tells us that red currants are also called KastUez (I. liquid) 
in Brittany, and he derives this name from CastiUe, as if 
a fruit scarcely known in ^)ain and abundant in the 
north could come from Spain. These words, found 
both in Brittany and beyond its limits, appear to me 
to be of Celtic origin ; and I may mention, in support 
of this theory, that in Legonidec's dictionary gardis 
means rough, harsh, pungent, sour, etc., which gives a 
hint as to the etymology. The generic name Rihes has 
caused other errors. It was thought the plant might be 
one which was so called by the Arabs ; but the word 
comes rather from^ a name for the currant very common 
in the north, rihs in Danish,* risp and resp in Swedish.* 
The Slav names are quite different and in considerable 

Black Currant — Cassis ; Ribes nigrum,, Linmeus. 

The black currant grows wild in the north of Europe, 
from Scotland and Lapland as far as the north of France 
and Italy ; in Bosnia,* Armenia,® throughout Siberia, in 
the basin of the river Amur, and in the western Hima- 

* Phillips, Accotmt of Fruits, p. 136. 
' Gerard, Herbal, p. 1143. 

' That of currant is a later introduction, g^ven from the resemblance 
to the gprapes of Corinth (Phillips, ibid.), 
^ Legonldeo, Diction. Celto-Breton. 

* Moritzi, Diet, Inidit des Noms Vulgaires. 

* LinnsBus, Flora Sttecica, n. Id7. 

' Watson, Compend. Cybele, i. p. 177 ; Fries, Summa Veg, Scand.^ p. 
39 ; Nyman, Conspect. Fl. Europ., p. 2GQ, 
' Boissier, Fl, Or,, ii. p. 815. 


layas ; ^ it often becomes naturaHzed^ as for instance, in 
the centre of France * 

This shrub was unknown in Greece and Italy, for it 
is proper to colder countries. From the variety of the 
names in all the languages^ even in those anterior to the 
Aryans, of the. north of Europe, it is clear that this finiit 
was very early sought after, and its cultivation was pro- 
bably begun before the Middle Ages, J. Bauhin" says it 
was planted in gardens in France and ItsHy, but miost 
sixteenth-century authors do not mention it. In the 
JSistaire de la Vie PrivSe des Frarifaia, by Le Grand 
d'Aussy, published in 1872, vol. i. p. 232, the following 
curious passage occurs: "The black currant has been 
cultivated hardly forty years, and it owes its reputa- 
tion to a pamphlet entitled Culture du Cassia, in which 
the author attributed to this shrub all the virtues it is 
possible to imagine." Further on (voL iiL p. 80), the 
author mentions the frequent use, since the publication of 
the pamphlet in question, of a liqueur made from the 
black currant. Bosc, who is always accurate in his articles 
in the Dictionnaire d^Agruynlture, mentions this fashion 
under the head Cwrranty but he is careful to add, " It 
has been very long in cultivation for its fruit, which has 
a peculiar odour agreeable to some, disagreeable to others, 
and which is held to be stomachic and diuretic." It is 
also used in the manufacture of the liqueurs known as 
ratafia de Cassis.^ 

Olive — OUa Europea, Linnseua 

The wild olive, called in botanical books the variety 

' Ledebonr, Fl, Hots*, p, ' 200 ; llaximbwicz, Primitim Ft. Amur., p. 
119 ; Clarke, in Hooker* M, Brit. Ind,, n. p. 411.. 

.' Boreauj Flore du Centre de la France, edit. 3, p. 262. 

* BauhiD, HisU PlarU., ii. p. 99. 

* Thie name Ctueis is cnrions. Littr^ says tbat it seems to bare been 
introdooed late into the language, and that he does not know its wigin. 
X have not met with it in botanicaJ works earlier than the middle of the 
seventeenth centnr j. Mj manuscript collection of common names, among 
more than fortj names for this species in different languages or dialects 
has not one which resembles it. Bnchos, in his Dictiownaire deeFlantee, 
1770, i. p. 289, calls the plant the (7«mw or Caseetier des Poiievine* The 
old French name was Poivrier or groeeiUier noir^ Laronsse's dictionary 
sajs that good liqnenrs were made at Cassis in Froyence. Can this be 
the origin of the name ? 


aylvestris or oleaster, is distinguished from the cultivated 
olive tree by a smaller fruit, of which the flesh is not so 
abundant The best fruits are obtained by selecting the 
seeds, buds, or grafts from good varieties. 

The oleaster now exists over a wide area east and 
west of Sjn^ia, from the Punjab and Beluchistan ^ as far 
as Foi*tu^ and even Madeira, the Canaries and even 
Marocco,^ and from the Atlas northwards as far as the south 
of France, the ancient Macedonia, the Crimea, and the 
Caucasus." If we compare the accounts of travellers and 
of the authors of floras, it will be seen that towards the 
limits of this area there is often a doubt as to the wild 
and indigenous (that is to say ancient in the country) 
nature of the species. Sometimes it offers itself as a 
shrub which fruits little or not at all ; and sometimes, as 
in the Crimea, the plants are rare as though they had 
escaped, as an exception, the destructive effects of winters 
too severe to allow of a definite establishment. As 
regards Algeria and the south of France, these doubts 
have been the subject of a discussion among competent 
men in the Botanical Society.* They repose upon the 
uncontestable fact that birds often transport the seed of 
the olive into uncultivated and sterile places, where the 
wild form, the oleaster, is produced and naturalized. 

The question is not clearly stated when we ask if 
such and such olive trees of a given locality are really 
wild. In a woody species which lives so long and shoots 
again from the same stock when cut off by accident, it is 
impossible to know the origin of the individuals observed. 
They may have been sown by man or birds at a very 
early epoch, for olive trees of more than a thousand years 
old are known. The effect of such sowing is a naturaliza- 
tion, which is equivalent to an extension of area. The 
point in question is, therefore, to discover what was the 

' Aitchison, Catalogtie^ p. 86. 

* Lowe, Man, FL of Madeira, ii. p. 20 ; Webb and Bertheloi, HiaU 
Nat dee Ca/narieg, Oiog. Bot., p. 48 ; Ball, Spieil. FL Maroc., p. 565. 

• Cosson, Bull. 8oc. Bot. France^ iv. p. 107, and vii. p. 81 ; Grisebaoh, 
SfpiciZ. Fl, BumeliecB, ii. p. 71 ; Steven, Verzeich, der TaurUch, Halhine,, 
p. 248 ; Ledebonr, Fl. Ro88,j p. 88. 

♦ Bulletin, iv. p. 107. 


home of ihe species in very early prehistoric times, and 
how this area has grown larger by different modes of 

It is not by the study of living olive trees that this 
question can be answered. We must seek in what coun- 
tries the cultivation began, and how it was propagated. 
The more ancient it is in any region, the more probable 
it is that the species has existed wild there from the time 
of those geological events which took place before the 
coming of prehistoric man. 

The earliest Hebrew books mention the olive aait, or 
zeU,^ both wild and cultivated. It was one of the trees 
promised in the land of Canaan. It is first mentioned in 
Genesis, where it is said that the dove sent out by Noah 
should bring back a branch of olive. If we take into 
account this tradition, which is accompanied by miracu- 
lous details, it may be added that the discoveries of 
modem erudition show that the Mount Ararat of the 
Bible must be to the east of the mountain in Armenia 
which now bears that name, and which was anciently 
called Masis. From a study of the text of the Book of 
Genesis, Fran9ois Lenormand^ places the mountain in 
question in the Hindu Kush, and even near the sources 
of the Indus. This theory supposes it near to the land of 
the Aryans, yet the olive has no Sanskrit name, not even 
in that Sanskrit from which the Indian languages ® are 
derived. If the olive had then, as now, existed in the 
Punjab, the eastern Aryans in their migrations towards 
the south would probably have given it a name, and if it 
had existed in the Mazanderan, to the south of the Cas- 
pian Sea> as at the present day, the western Aryans 
would perhaps have known it. To these negative indi- 
cations, it can only be objected that the wild olive attracts 
no considerable attention, and that the idea of extracting 
oil from it perhaps arose late in this part of Asia. 

' Rosenmuller, Handhuch der Bihl. Alterth.y vol. i^. p. 258 ; Hamilton, 
Bot de la Bible, p. 80, where the pajssages are indicated. 

' Fr. Lenormand, Manuel de I'Hxst, Xuc. d% VOrient., 1869, vol. i. 
p. 31. 

' Fick, Worterbuch, Piddington, Indem^ only mentions one Hindu 
name, jidpai. 


Herodotus * tells us that Babylonia grew no olive trees, 
and that its inhabitants made use of oil of sesame. It 
is certain that a country so subject to inundation was 
not at all favourable to the olive. The cold excludes the 
higher plateaux and the mountains of the north of 

I do not know if thei-e is a name in Zend, but the 
Senaitic word sait must date from a remote antiquity, for 
it is found in modem Persian, eeiinn^ and in Arabic, 
zeitv/n, 8Jetwn? It even exists in Turkish and among 
the Tartars of the Crimea, seitv/a,^ which may signify 
that it is of Turanian origin, or from the remote epocn 
when the Turanian and Semitic peoples intermixed. 

The ancient Egyptians cultivated the olive tree, which 
they called tcut.^ Several botanists have ascertained the 
presence of branches or leaves of the olive in the sarco- 
phagi.^ Nothing is more certain, though Hehn^ has 
recently asserted the contrary, without giving any proof 
in support of his opinion. It would be interesting to 
know io what dynasty belong the most ancient mummy- 
cases in which olive branches have been found. The 
Egyptian name, quite different to the Semitic, shows an 
existence more ancient than the earliest dynasties. I 
shall mention presently another fact in support of this 
great antiquity. 

Theophrastus says® that the olive was much grown, 
and the harvest of oil considerable in Cyrenaica^ but 
he does not say that the species was wild there, and the 
quantity of oil mentioned seems to point to a cultivated 
variety. The low-lying, very hot country between Egypt 
and the Atlas is little favourable to a naturalization 
of the olive outside the plantations. Kralik, a very 
accurate botanist, did not anywhere see on his journey 

* Herodotus, Hist,, bk. i. c, 193. • Boissier, M. Orient., iv. p. 36, 
' Ebn Baithar, Germ, trans., p. 569 ; Forskal, Plaiit. Egypt, p. 49. 

* Boissier, ibid. ; Steven, ibid. 

* linger, Die PJlanz, der Alten. J^tgypt^ p. 46. 

* De Gandolle, Physiol, Yig^t., p. 696 ; Fleyte, qnoted by Braun and 
Ascherson, Sitzher, Naturfor. Ges., May 15, 1877. 

' Hehn, Kulturpflanzen, edit. 3, p. 88, line 9, 

* Theophrastas, Hist. Plant,, lib. iv, c. 3. 


to Tunis and into Egypt the olive growing wild,* although 
it is cultivated in the oases. In Egypt it is only culti- 
vated, according to Schweinfurth and Ascherson,* in their 
resume of the Flora of the Nile Valley. 

Its prehistoric area probably extended from Syria 
towards Greece, for the wild olive is very common along the 
southern coast of Asia Minor, where it forms regular 
woods.® It is doubtless here and in the archipelago that 
the Greeks early knew the tree. If they had not known 
it on their own territory, had received it from the 
Semites, they would not have given it a special name, 
elaia, whence the Latin olea. The Iliad and the Odyssey 
mention the hardness of the olive wood and the practice 
of anointing the body with olive oil. The latter was in 
constant use for food and lighting. Mythology attributed 
to Minerva the planting of the olive in Attica, which 
probably signifies the introduction of cultivated varieties 
and suitable processes for extracting the oil. Aristous 
introduced or perfected the manner of pressing the fruit. 

The same mythical personage carried, it was said, the 
olive tree from the north of Greece into Sicily and Sar- 
dinia. It seems that this may have been early done by 
the Phoenicians, but in support of the idea that the 
species, or a perfected variety of it, was introduced by 
the Greeks, I may mention that the Semitic name seit 
has left no trace in the islands of the Mediterranean. 
We find the Graeco^Latin name here as in Italy,* while 
upon the neighbouring coast of Africa, and in Spain, 
the names are Egyptian or Arabic, as I shall explain 

The Romans knew the olive later than the Greeks. 
According to Pliny ,'^ it was only at the time of Tarquin 
the Ancient, 627 B.C., but the species probably existed 
already in Great Greece, as in Greece and Sicily. Besides, 
Pliny was speaking of the cultivated olive. 

A remarkable fact, and one which has not been noted 

» Eralik, BulL Soc. Bot. Fr., ir. p. 108. 

^ Beitrctge Mur M. JEthiopienrSf p. 281. v . - 

s Balansa, Bull, Soc. Bot. de Fr., iv. p. 107. 

^ Moris, FL Sard., iii. p. 9 ; Bertolooi, Fl. Ital.^ i. p. 4G. 

* Pliuj, Hiat., lib. xy. cap. 1. 


or discussed by philologists, is that the Berber name for 
the olive, both tree and fruit, has the root taz or tas, 
similar to the tat of the ancient Egyptians. The Kabyles 
of the district of Algiers, according to the French- 
Berber dictionary, published by the French Government, 
calls the wild olive tazebboujt, tesettfia, ov! zebbouj, and 
the grafted olive tazefniTnourt, tasettha, ou' zew/mour. The 
Touaregs, another Berber nation, call it tamahinet} These 
are strong indications of the antiquity of the olive in 
Africa. The Arabs ha^dng conquered this country and 
driven back the Berbers into the mountains and the 
desert, having likewise subjected Spain excepting the 
Basque country, the names derived from the Semitic zeit 
have prevailed even in Spanish. The Arabs of Algiers say 
zenboudje for the wild, zitoun for the cultivated olive,* zlt 
for olive oil. The Andalusians call the wild olive aze- 
bvjche, and the cultivated aceytuno? In other provinces 
we find the name of Latin origin, oliviOf side by side with 
the Arabic words.* The oil is in Spanish aceytCy which 
is almost the Hebrew name ; but the holy oils are called 
oleoa Santos, because they belong to Borne, The Basques 
use the Latin name for the olive tree. 

Early voyagers to the Canaries, Bontier for instance, 
in 1403, mention the olive tree in these islands, where 
modem botanists regard it as indigenous.^ It may have 
been introduced by the Phoenicians, if it did not pre- 
viously exist there. We do not know if the Guanchos 
had names for the olive and its oil. Webb and Berthelot 
do not give any in their learned chapter on the language 
of the aborigines,® so the question is open to conjecture. 
It seems to me that the oil would have played an impor- 
tant part among the Guanchos if they had possessed the 
olive, and that some traces of it would have remained in 
the actual speech of the peopla From this point of view 

* Duveyrier, Les Touaregs du Nord (1864), p. 179. 

* Mnnby, Flore de VAlgerie, p. 2 ; Debeanz, Catal, Boghar, p. 68. 
' Boissier, Voyage Bot. en Espagne, edit. 1, vol. ii. p. 407. 

* Willkoznm and Lange, Prod. Fl. Hiapan,, ii. p. 672. 

* Webb and Berthelot, Hist, Nat, des Canariest Qiog, Bot., pp. 47, 43. 

* Webb and Berthelot, ibid,, Ethnographie, p 188. 


the naturalization in the Canaries is perhaps not more 
ancient than the Phcenician voyages. 

No leaf of the olive has hitherto been found in the 
tufa of the south of France, of Tuscany, and Sicily, where 
the laurel, the myrtle, and other shrubs now existing 
have been discovered. This is an indication, until the 
contrary is proved, of a subsequent naturalization. 

The olive thrives in dry climates like that of Syria 
and Assyria. It succeeds at the Cape, in parts of America, 
in Australia, and doubtless it will become wild in these 
places when it has been more generally planted. Its 
slow growth, the necessity of grafting or of choosing the 
shoots of good varieties, and especially the concurrence 
of other oU-producing species, have hitherto impeded its 
extension ; but a tree which produces in an ungrateful 
soil should not be indefinitely neglected. Even in the 
old world, where it has existed for so many thousands 
of years, its productiveness might be doubled by taking 
the trouble to graft on wild trees, as the French have 
done in Algeria. 

Star Apple — ChrysophyUv/m Calnito, Linnaeus. 

The star apple belongs to the family of the Sapotacese, 
It yields a fruit valued in tropical America, though 
Europeans do not care much for it. I do not find that 
any pains have been taken to introduce it into the colonies 
of Asia or Africa. Tussac gives a good illustration of it 
in his Flore des Antilles, vol. ii. pi. 9. 

Seemann ^ saw the star apple wild in several places 
in the Isthmus of Panama. De Tussac, a San Domingo 
colonist, considered it wild in the forests of the West 
India Islands, and Grisebach ^ says it is both wild and 
cultivated in Jamaica, San Domingo, Antigua, and Tri- 
nidad. Sloane considered it had escaped from cultivation 
in Jamaica, and Jacquin says vaguely, '^Inhabits Mar- 
tinique and San Domingo."* 

CaimitOy or Abi — Lwcuma Cainito, Alph. de CandoUe. 

This Peruvian Cai'mito must not be confounded with 

^ Seemann, Bot, of the Herald., p. 166. 

• Grisebach, Flora of Brit. W, Ind. Isl., p. 398. 

* Sloane, Jamaica, ii. p. 170; Jacqnin, Amer., p. 62. 


the ChrysophyUv/m CalniJto of the West Indies. Both 
belong to the family Sapotaceae, but the flowers and 
seeds are different. There is a figure of this one in Ruiz 
and Pavon, Flora Peruviana, vol. iii. pi 240. It has 
been transported from Peru, where it is cultivated, to Ega 
on the Amazon River, and to Para, where it is commonly 
called abi or abiu} Ruiz and Pavon say it is wild in 
the warm regions of Peru, and at the foot of the Andes. 

Marmalade Plum, or Mammoo Sapota — Lucwma rriamr- 
Toosa, Gsertner. 

This fruit tree, of the order Sapotacese and a native 
of tropical America, has been the subject of several 
mistakes in works on botany^ There exists no satis- 
factory and complete illustration of it as yet, because 
colonists and travellers think it is too well known to 
send selected specimens of it, such as may be described 
in herbaria. This neglect is common enough in the 
case of cultivated plants. The mammee is cultivated in 
the West Indies and in some warm regions of America. 
Sagot tells us it is grown in Venezuela, but not in 
Cayenne* I do not find that it has been transported 
into Africa and Asia, the Philippines* excepted. This 
is probably due to the insipid taste of the fruit. Hum- 
boldt and Bonpland found it wild in the forests on the 
banks of the Orinoco.^ All authors mention it in the 
West Indies, but as cultivated or without asserting that 
it is wild. In Brazil it is only a garden species. 

Sapodilla — Sapota achras, Miller. 

The sapodilla is the most esteemed of the ordeF 
Sapotacese, and one of the best of tropical fruits. " An 
over-ripe sapodilla," says Descourtilz, in his Flore dee 
Antilles, "is melting, and has the sweet perfum:es of 
honey, jasmin, and lily of the valley." There is a very 
good illustration in the Bata/nical Magazvne, pl& 3111 
and 3112, and in Tussac, Flange dea AntiUes^ L pL 5. It 

* Flora Brasil., vol. vii. p. 88. 

' See the synonyms in the Flora Brasili&nsis, vol. vii. p. 66. 

* Sagot, Joum. 8oc. d*Hortic. de France, 1872, p. 347. 

^ Blanoo, FL de Filipinas, under the name Achras lucuma, 

* Nova Genera, iii. p. 240. 


has been introduced inio gardens in. Mauritius^ the Malay 
Archipelago, and India, from the time of Rheede and 
Rumphius, but no one disputes its American origin. 
Several botanists have seen it wild in the forests of the 
Isthmus of Panama, of Campeachy/ of Venezuela,* and 
perhaps of Trinidad.^ In Jamaica, in the time of Sloane, 
it existed only in gardens * It is very doubtful that 
it is wild in the other West India Islands, although 
perhaps the seeds, scattered here and there, may have 
naturalized it to a certain degree. Tussac says that the 
young plants are not easy to rear in the plantations. 

Aubergine — Solanum rrulongena, Linnaeus ; Sclanum 
escvIeTUum, DunaL 

The aubergine has a Sanskrit name, vartta, and several 
names, which Piddington in his Index considers as both 
Sanskrit and Bengali, such as bong, bartaJcon, Toahoti, 
hingoli, Wallich, in his edition of Roxburgh's Indian 
Flora, gives vartta, varttakan, varttaka bunguna, whence 
the Hindustani bungan. Hence it cannot be doubted 
that the species has been known in India from a very 
remote epoch. Rumphius had seen it in gardens in the 
Sunda Islands, and Loureiro in those of Cochin-China. 
Thunberg does not mention it in Japan, tiiough several 
vaineties are now cultivated in that country. The Greeks 
and Romans did not know the species, and no botanist 
mentions it in Europe before the beginning of the seven- 
teenth century,^ but its cultivation must have spread 
towards Africa before the Middle Ages. The Arab phy« 
sician, Ebn Baithar,® who wrote in the thirteenth century, 
speaks of it, and he quotes Rhasis, who lived in the 
ninth century. Rauwolf ^ had seen the plant in the 
gardens of Aleppo at the end of the sixteenth century. 
It was called rndanzana and bedengiam* This Arabic 

^ Dampier and Lnesao, ia Sloime's Jamaicct, ii. p« 172; Seemann, 
Botany of the HercUd., p. 166. 

' Jacqnin, Amer., p. 59 ; Hamboldt and Bonpland, T^ova Genera, iii. 
p. 239. 

■ Grisebacli, Flora, of Brit, W, Ind., p. 899. * Sloane, uhi supra, 

' Dunaly ^iet. des Solanum, p. 209. 

* Ebn Baithar, Germ, trans., i. p. 116. 

' Bauwolf, Flora Orient,, ed. Groniogne, p. 26. 


name, whTch Forskal writes badinjan, is the same as 
the Hindustani hddanjan, which Piddington gives. A 
sign of antiquity in Northern Africa is the existence of 
a name, tabendjalts, among the Berbers or Kabyles of the 
province of Algiers,^ which differs considerably from 
the Arab word. Modem travellers have found the 
aubergine cultivated in the whole of the Nile Valley and 
on the coast of Guinea.^ It has been transported into 

The cultivated form of Sclanwra melangena has not 
hitherto been found wild, but most botanists are agreed 
in regarding Solamum insanv/m, Roxburgh, and S. 
incanum, Linnaeus, as belonging to the same species. 
Other synonyms are sometimes added, the result of a 
study made by Nees von Esenbeck from numerous speci- 
mens.* S. inaanum appears to have been lately found 
wild in the Madras presidency and at Tong-dong in 
Burmah. The publication of the article on the Sola- 
naceae in the Flora of British India will probably give 
more precise information on this head. 

Bed Pepper — Capsicwm. In the best botanical works 
the genus Capsicum is encumbered with a number of 
cultivated forms, which have never been found wild, and 
which differ especially in their duration (which is often 
variable), or in the form of the fruit, a character which 
is of little value in plants cultivated for that special 
organ. I shall speak of the two species most often culti- 
vated, but I cannot refmin from stating my opinion that 
no capsicum is indigenous to the old world. I believe 
them to be all of American origin, though I cannot 
absolutely prove it. These are my reasons. 

Fruits so conspicuous, so easily grown in gardens, 
and so agreeable to the palate of the inhabitants of hot 
countries, would have been very quickly diffused through- 
out the old world, if they had existed in the south of 
Asia, as it has sometimes been supposed. They would 
have had names in several ancient languages. Yet 

' Did. Fr.-Berbiref published by the French Grovemment. 

' Thonning, under the name S, edule ; Hooker, Niger Flora, p. 473. 

' Trans, of Liwn, 8oc., xvii. p. 4S; Baker, Fl» ofMaurit.t p. 216. 


neither Romans, Greeks, nor even Hebrews were ac- 
quainted with them. They are not mentioned in ancient 
Chinese books.^ The islanders of the Pacific did not 
cultivate them at the time of Cook's voyages,^ in spite 
of their proximity to the Sunda Isles, where Bumphius 
mentions their very general use. The Arabian physician, 
Ebn Baithar, who collected in the thirteenth century all 
that Eastern nations knew about medicinal plants, 
says nothing about it. Roxburgh knew no Sanskrit 
name for the capsicums. Later, Piddington mentions a 
name for C. fruteac&na, hran-^maridva^ which he says is 
Sanskrit; but this name, which may be compared to 
that of black pepper (muricha, murichung), is probably 
not really ancient, for it has left no trace in the Indian 
languages which are derived from Sanskrit.* The wild 
nature and ancient existence of the capsicum is always 
uncertain, owing to its very general cultivation; but 
it seems to me to be more often doubtful in Asia than in 
South America. The Indian specimens described by the 
most trustworthy authors nearly all come from the her- 
baria of the East India Company, in which we never 
know whether a plant appeared really wild, if it was 
found far from dwellings, in forests, etc. For the 
localities in the Malay Archipelago authors often give 
rubbish-heaps, hedges, etc. We pass to a more particular 
examination of the two cultivated species. 

Annual Capsicam — Capsicum annuum, Linnaeus. 

This species has a number of different names in 
European languages,^ which all indicate a foreign origin 
and the resemblance of the taste to that of pepper. In 
French it is often called poivre de Guinee (Guinea 
pepper), but also poivre dii Brazil, d*Inde (Indian, Brazi- 
lian pepper), eta, denominations to which no importance 
can be attributed. Its cultivation was introduced into 
Europe in the sixteenth century. It was one of the 
peppers that Piso and Marcgi'af ^ saw grown in Brazil 

* Bretschneider, On the Study and VcUtte, etc., p. 17. 

• Forsfcer, De Plantis Escul. Insul., etc. • Piddington, Index. 

* Piddington, at the word Capsicum. 

' Nemnich, Lexicony gives twelve French and eight German names. 

• Piso, p. 107 ; Marcgraf , p. 89. 


under the name quija or qwiya. They say nothing as to 
its origin. The species appears to have been early culti- 
vated in the West Indies, where it has several Carib names.^ 

Botanists who have most thoroughly studied the 
genus Capsicum * do not appear to have found in herbaria 
a single specimen which can be considered wild. I have 
not been more fortunate. The original home is probably 

C, gro88um, Willdenow, seems to be a variety of the 
same species. It is cultivated in India under the name 
kafree Tnurich, and kafree chilly^ but' Roxburgh did not 
consider it to be of Indian origin.® 

Shrubby Capsicum — Capsicum frutescenSf Willdenow. 

This species, taller and with a more woody stock than 
(7. annuui/niy is generally cultivated in the warm regions 
of both hemispheres. The great part of our so-called 
Cayenne pepper is made from it, but this name is given 
also to the product of other peppers. Roxburgh, the 
author who is most attentive to the origin of Indian 
plants, does not consider it to be wild in India. Blume 
says it is naturalized in the Malay Archipelago in hedges.* 
In America, on the contrary, where its culture is ancient, 
it has been several times found wild in forests, apparently 
indigenous. De Martins brought it from the banks of 
the Amazon, Poeppig from the province of Maynas in 
Peru, and Blanchet from the province of Bahia.^ So that 
its area extends from Bahia to Eastern Peru, which ex- 
plains its diffusion over South America generally. 

Tomato — Lycopersicv/m esmlentum, Miller. 

The tomato, or love apple, belongs to a genus of the 
Solaneae, of which all the species are American.^ It 
has no name in the ancient languages of Asia, nor even 
in modem Indian languages.^ It was hot cultivated in 
Japan in the time of Thunberg, that is to say a century 

* Desconrtilz, Flore Midicale des Antilles, vi. pi. 423. 

• Fingerhuth, Monograjphia Gen. tJapsici, p. 12 ; Sendtner, in Flora 
Brasil., vol. x. p. 147. 

» Raxburgh, Fl Ind.^ edit. Wall, ii. p. 260 ; edit. 1832, n* p. 574. 

* Blume, Bijdr., ii. p. 704. * Sendtner, in Fl. Bras., y. p. 143. 

• Alph. de CandoUe, Prodr,, xiii. part 1, p. 26. 

' Eoxbargh, Fl. Ind., edit. 1832, vol. i. p. 565 j Piddington, Inde»» 


ago, and the silence of ancient writers on China on th's 
head shows that it is of recent introduction there. Rum- 
phias ^ had seen it in gardens in the Malay Archipelago. 
The Malays called it tomatte, but this is an American 
name, for C. Bauhin calls the species tumatle America-- 
novum. Nothing leads us to suppose it was known in 
Europe before the discovery of America. 

The first names given to it by botanists in the six- 
teenth century indicate that they received the plant from 
Peru.' It was cultivated on the continent of America 
before it was grown in the West India Islands, for Sloane 
does not mention it in Jamaica, and Hughes^ says it 
was brought to Barbados from Portugal hardly more 
than a century ago. Humboldt considered that the cul- 
tivation of the tomato was of ancient date in Mexico.* 
I notice, however, that the earliest work on the plants of 
this country (Hernandez, Hiatoria) makes no mention 
of it. Neither do the early writers on Brazil, Piso and 
Marcgraf, speak of it, although* the species is now culti- 
vated throughout tropical America. Thus by the process 
of exhaustion we return to the idea of a Peruvian origin; 
at least for its cultivation. 

De Martius^ found the plant wild in the neigh- 
bourhood of Rio de Janeiro and Para, but it had per- 
haps escaped from gardens. I do not know of any 
botanist who has found it really wild in the state in 
which it is familiar to us, with the fruit more or less 
large, lumpy, and with^ swelled sides ; but this is not the 
case with the variety with small spherical fruit, called 
X. cerasifoTTme in. some botanical works, and considered 
in others (and rightly so, I think ®) as belonging to the 
same species. This variety is^ wild on the sea-shore of 

> BampbioSy Amhok^ r. p. 416. 

* JfoZa Femvxg,nc^P&mi del F^ru^ in JSanluB'fi Hi«^., iU. p. C21. 

* Hughes, BarhadpSf p. 148. 

* Hnmboldt, Espagne, edit. 2, toI. ii. p. 472. 

* K. BrasiL., vol. x. p< 126'. 

* The propprtiona of the oaljx and the corolla are the same as those 
of the c\iHivated. tomato, but thej are different in the alHed speciea 8, 
Humholdtii^ of which the fruit is also eaten, according to Humboldt, who 
found it wild in Venezaela. 


Peru,^ at Tarapoto, in Eastern Peru,* and on the frontiers 
of Mexico and of the United States towards California.' 
It is sometimes naturalized in clearings near gardens.^ It 
is probably in this manner that its area has extended 
north and south from Peru. 

AYocado, or Alligator Pear — Fersea gratissima^ 

The avocado pear is one of the most highlj prized 
of tropical fruits. It belongs to the order Lauiinese. 
It is like a'^pear containing one large stone, as is well 
shown in Tussac's illustrations, Flore dee Antilles, iiL pi. 
3, and in the Botanical Magazine, pL 4580. The com- 
mon names are absurd The origin of that of alligator 
is unknown; avocado is a corruption of the Mexican 
ahuaca, or aguacaie. The botanical name Fersea has 
nothing to do with the persea of the Greeks, which was 
a Cordia, Clusius,^ writing in 1601, says that the avo- 
cado pear is an American fruit tree introduced into a 
garden in Spain ; but as it is widely spread in the colo- 
nies of the old world, and has here and there become 
almost wild,® it is possible to make mistakes as to its 
origin. This tree did not exist in the gardens of British 
India at the beginning of the nineteenth century. It 
had been introduced into the Sunda Isles ^ in the middle 
of the eighteenth century, and in 1750 into Mauritius and 

In America its actual area in a wild state is of un- 
common extent. T^e species has been found in forests, 
on the banks of rivers, and on the sea-shore from Mexico 
and the West Indies as far as the Amazon.' It has not 

^ Bnizand Favon, Flor. Peruv.y ii. p. 87. 

* Sprace, n. 4143, in Boissier's herbarium. 
' Asa Gray, Bot. qf Califor., i p. 638. 

* Baker, Fl. o/Maurit,, p. 216. * Clnsins, Fwforto, p. 2. 

* For instivnce in Madeira, according to Grisebachi Fl. of Brit, W, Jnr7., 
p. 280 ; in Manritias, the Seychelles and Bodrignez, according to Baker, 
Flora of Mauritius, p. 290. 

' It is not in Bnmphias. ' Anblet, Cfuyant, i. p. 364. 

* Meissner, in de Candolle, Prodromua, vol. zv. part 1, p. 52 ; and Flora 
Branl,, vol. r. p. 158. For Mexico, Hernandez, p. 89 ; for Yenesaela 
and Para, Nees, LotmiMfls, p. 129; for EaAtem Pern, Posppig, Exsice*^ 
seen by Meissner. 


always occupied this vast region. P. Browne says dis- 
tinctly that the avocado pear was intreduced from the 
Continent into Jamaica, and Jacquin held the same opinion 
as regards the West India Islands generally.^ Piso and 
Marcgraf do not mention it for Brazil, and Martins gives 
no Brazilian name. 

At the time of the discovery of America, the species 
was certainly wild and cultivated in Mexico, according 
to Hernandez. Acosta * says it was cultivated in Peru 
under the name of palto, which was that of a people of 
the eastern part of Peru, among whom it was abundant.® 
I find no proof that it was wild upon the Peruvian 

Papaw — Carica Papaya, Linnaeus ; Papaya wZgaris, 
de Candolle. 

The papaw is a large herbaceous plant rather than a 
tree. It has a sort of juicy trunk terminated by a tuft 
of leaves, and the fruit, which is like a melon, hangs down 
under the leaves.* It is now grown in all tropical coun- 
tries, even as far as thirty to thirty-two degrees of 
latitude. It is easily naturalized outside plantations. 
This is one reason why it has been said, and people still 
say that it is a native of Asia or of Africa, whereas Robert 
Brown and I proved in 1848 and 1855 its American 
origin.^^ I repeat the arguments against its supposed 
origin in the eastern hemisphere. 

The species has no Sanskrit name. In modem Indian 
languages it bears names derived from the American 
word papaya, itself a corruption of the Carib ababai,^ 
Bumphius ^ says that the inhabitants of the Malay Archi- 
pelago considered it as an exotic plant introduced by the 
Portuguese, and gave it names expressing its likeness to 

' * P. Browne, Jamaica^ p. 214 ; Jacqnin, Ob«., i. p. 88. 

* Acosta, Hist. Nat dea Indes.^ edit. 1598, p. 176. 
' Laet, Hist. Nouv, Monde, i. pp. 825, 841. 

^ See the fine plates in Tassac's Flore des Antilles, iii. p. 45, pis. 10 
and 11. The papaw belongs to the small family of the Papayaceoe,inBed 
by some botanists into the Fassifloras, and hj others into the Bixacece. 

* B. Brown, Bot. of Congo, p. 52 ; A. de Candolle, G4ogr, Bot, Bais^^ 
p. 917. 

* Sagot, Joum, de la 8oe. Centr. d*Hort%c, de France^ 1872. 
' Bumphius, Amhoin, i. p. 147* 


other species or its foreign extraction. Sloane/ in the 
beginning of the eighteenth century, quotes several of his 
contemporaries, who mention that it was taken from the 
West Indies into Asia and Africa. Forster had not seen 
it in the plantations of the Pacific Isles at the time of 
Cook's voyages. Loureiro,* in the middle of the eigh- 
teenth century, had seen it in cultivation in China, 
Cochin-China, and Zanzibar. So useful and so striking 
a plant would have been spread throughout the old 
world for thousands <^ years if it had existed there. 
Everything leads to the belief that it was introduced 
on the coasts of Africa and Asia after the discovery of 

All the species of the family are American. This one 
seems to have been cultivated from Brazil to the West 
Indies, and in Mexico before the arrival of the Europeans, 
since the earliest writers on the productions of the new 
world mention it.® 

Marcgraf had often seen the male plant (always com- 
moner than the female) in the forests of Brazil, while the 
female plants were in gardens. Clusius, who was the 
first to give an illustration of the plant, says ^ that his 
drawing was made in 1607, in the bay of Todos Santos 
(province of Bahia). I know of no modem auth(»' who 
has confirmed the habitation in Brazil. Martins does 
not mention the species in his dictionary of the names of 
fruits in the language of the Tupis.^ It is not given as 
wild in Guiana and Columbia^ P. Browne ® asserts, on 
the other hand, that it is wild in Jamaica, and before his 
time Ximenes and Hernandez said the same for St. 
Domingo and Mexico. Oviedo^ seems to have seen the 
papaw in Central America, and he gives the common 

* Sloane, Jamaica^ p. 165. • Looreiro, Fl. Coch,, p. 772. 

* Marcgraf, BrasU.f p. 103» and Piso, p. 159, for Brazil ; Ximenes in 
Marograf and Hernandez, ThesatbrtLSf p.. 99, for Mexico j and the last for 
St. Domingo and Mexico. 

* Clusius, CtwflB PosterioreSf pp. 79, 80. 

* Martins, Beitr, 0. Ethnogr., ii. p. 418. 

* P. Browne, Jamaica, edit. 2, p. 360. The first edition ig of 1756. 

' The passage of OWedo is translated into English by CoiTea de 
Mello and Spruce) in their paper on the Pivceedings of the LinrUBan 
Society, z. p. 1. 


name olocoton for Nicaragua. Yet Con*ea de Mello and 
SprucCj in their important article on the FapaydcecB, after 
having botanized extensively in the Amazon region, in 
JPeni and elsewhere, consider the papaw as a native of 
the West Indies^ and do not think it is anywhere wild 
upon the Continents I have seen ^ specimens from the 
mouth of the river Manatee in Florida, from Puebla in 
Mexico^ and from Columbia, but the labels had no remark 
as to their wild character. The indications, it will be 
noticed, are numerous for the shores of the Gulf of Mexico 
and for the West Indies. The habitation in Brazil which 
lies apart is very doubtful: 

Pig — Ficus carica, Linnaeus. 

The history of the fig presents a close analogy with 
that of the olive in point of origin and geographical 
limits. Its area as a wud species may have been extended 
by the dispersal of the seeds as cultivation spread. This 
seems probable, as the seeds pass intact through the 
digestive organs of men and animals. However, countries 
may be cited where the fig has been cultivated for a 
century at least, and where no such naturalization has 
taken place. I am not speaking of Europe north of the 
Alps, where the tree demands particular care and the 
fruit ripens with diflBculty, even the first crop, but of 
India for instance, the Southern States of America, 
Mauritius, and Chili, where, to judge from the silence of 
compilers of floras, the instances of quasi- wildness are 
rare. In our own day the fig tree grows wild, or nearly 
wild, over a vast region of which Syria is about the 
centre ; that is to say, from the east of Pei*sia, or even 
from Afghanistan, across the whole of the Mediterranean 
rerion as far as the Canaries.* From north to south this 
zone varies in width from the 25th to the 40th or 42nd 
parallel, according to local circumstances. As a rule, the 
fig stops like the olive at the foot of the Caucasus and 
the mountains of Europe which limit the Mediterranean 

* De Candolle, Prodr.t xr, part 1, p. 414. 

• Boissier, Fl. Orient, iy. p. 1154; Brandts, Forest Flora of India, 
p. 418; Webb and Bertbelot, Hist. Nat, dea Canaries, Botanique, iii. 
p. 257. 

296 oaiaiK of cultivated plaitts. 

basin, but it grows nearly wild on the south-west coast 
of France, where the winter is very mild.^ 

We turn to historical and philological records to see 
whether the area was more limited in antiquity. The 
ancient Egyptians called the fig teb? and the earliest 
Hebrew books speak of the fig, whether wild or culti- 
vated, under the name teenah,^ which leaves its trace in 
the Arabic tin,^ The Persian name is quite different^ 
unjir; but I do not know if it dates from the Zend. 
Piddington's Index has a Sanskrit name, udumvaray 
which Koxburgh, who is very careful in such matters, 
does not give, and which has left no trace in modem 
Indian languages, to judge from four names quoted by 
authors. The antiquity of its existence east of Persia 
appears to me doubtful, until the Sanskrit name is 
verified. The Chinese received the fig tree from Persia, 
but only in the eighth century of our era.* Herodotus* 
says the Persians did not lack figs, and Beynier, who has 
made careful researches into the customs of this ancient 
people, does not mention the fig tree. This only proves 
that the species was not utilized and cultivated, but it 
perhaps existed in a wild state. 

The Greeks called the wild fig erineos, and the Latins 
caprificua. Homer mentions a fig tree in the Riad which 
grew near Troy.^ Hehn asserts" that the cultivated fig 
cannot have been developed from the wild fig, but all 

• Count Solms Lanbach, in a learned disoassion {Herkunfiy Domestical 
fion, etc.i des Feigenhauma, in 4to, 1882), has himself observed facts of this 
nature already indicated bj various authors. He did not find the seed 
provided with embryos (p. 64), which he attributes to the absence of the 
insect (Blastophaga), which generally lives in the wild fig, and facilitates 
the fertilization of one flower by another in the interior of the fruit. It 
is asserted, however, that feitilization occasionally takes place without 
the intervention of the insect. 

• Chabas, Melanges EgyptoL, 3rd series (1873), vol. ii. p. 92. 

• Rosenmnller, Bibl, Alterth., i. p. 285 j Beynier, £con. PubL des 
Arahea et des JuifSj p. 470. 

• Forskal, FL jEgypto.Arab.f p. 125. Lagarde (Revue Critique d^His^ 
toire^ Feb. 27, 1882) says that this Semitic name is very ancient. 

» Bretschneider, in Solms, uhi supra^ p. 51. • Herodotus, i. 71. 

» Lenz, Botanik der Qriechen, p. 421, quotes four lines of Homerl 
See also Hehn, Cvflturpfianzeuy edit. 3, p. 84. 

• Hehn, Culturpflanzen, edit. 3, p. 613. 


botanists hold a contrary opinion;^ and, without speaking 
of floral details on which they rely, I may say that 
Oussone obtained from the same seeds plants of the form 
caprificua, and other varieties.^ The remark made by 
seveiul scholars as to the absence of all mention of the cul- 
tivated fig awkai in the Iliad, does not therefore prove the 
absence of the fig tree in Greece at the time of the Trojan 
war. Homer mentions the sweet fig in the Odyssey, and 
that but vaguely. Hesiod, says Hehn, does not mention 
it, and Archilochus (700 B.C.) is the first to mention 
distinctly its cultivation by the Greeks of Paros. Accord- 
ing to this, the species grew wild in Greece, at least in 
the Archipelago, before the introduction of cultivated 
varieties of Asiatic ori^n. Theophrastus and Dioscorides 
mention wild and cultivated figa^ 

Romulus and Remus, according to tradition, were 
nursed at the foot of a fig tree called ruminalis, from 
TV/men, breast or udder.* The Latin name, Jicus, which 
Hehn derives, by an effort of erudition, from the Greek 
^t^i,^also argues an ancient existence in Italy, and Pliny's 
opinion is positive on this head. The good cultivated 
varieties were of later introduction. They came from 
Greece, Syria, and Asia Minor. In the time of Tiberius, 
as now, the best figs came from the East. 

We learnt at school how Cato exhibited to the as- 
sembled senators Carthaginian figs, still fresh, as a proof 
of the proximity of the bated country. The Phoenicians 
must have transported good varieties to the coast of 
Africa and their other colonies on the Mediterranean, 
even as far as the Canaries, where, however, the wild fig 
may have already existed. 

For the Canaries we have a proof in the Guanchos 

* No imporfcance should be attached to the exaggerated divisions 
made by Gasparini in Ficua carica, Linnasns. Botanists who have 
studied the fig tree since his time retain a single species, and name 
»evei*al varieties of the wild fig. The cultivated forms are numberless. 

* Gnssone, Enum, PlarU. InarimeTiaiimi, p. 801. 

' For the history of the fig tree and an account of the operation (of 
doubtful utility) which consists in planting insect-bearing Caprijici 
among the cultivated trees (caprification), see Solms' work. 

* Fliny, HisLf lib. xv. cap. 18. ' Hehn, Cvlturi>flan%en, edit. 3, p. 513. 


words, arahormaze and achormaze, green figs; takare- 
Toenen and tekahy/nem&ti, dried figeu Webb and Ber- 
tiielot,^ who quote these names, and who admit ihe 
common origin of the Guanehos and Berbers, would have 
noted with pleasure the existence among the. Touaregs, 
a Berber people, of the word taharty fig tree,' and in we 
French-Berber dictionary, published since their time, 
the names tabeksist, green fig, and tagraurti fig tree. 
These old names, of more ancient and local origin than 
Ambic, bear witness to a very ancient habitation in the 
north of Africa as far as the Canaries. 

The result of our inquiry shows, then, that the 
prehistoric area of the fig tree covered the middle and 
southern part of the Mediterranean basin from Syria to 

We may doubt the antiquity of the fig in the south 
of France, but a curious fact deserves mention. Plan- 
chon found in the quaternary tufa of Mcoitpellier, and 
de Saporta^ in those of Aygalades near Marseilles, 
and in the quaternary strata of La Celle near Paris, 
leaves and even fruit of the wild Ficua cai'ica, with 
teeth of Elephas primigeniua, and leaves of plants of 
which some no longer exist, and others, like Laurvs 
canarieTiais, have survived in the Canaries. So that 
the fig tree perhaps existed in its modem form in this 
remote epoch. It is possible that it perished in the 
south of France, as it certainly did at Paris, and re- 
appeared later in a wild state in the southern region. 
Perhaps the fig trees which Webb and Berthelot had seen 
as old plants in the wildest part of the Canaries were 
descended from those which existed in the fourth epoch. 

Bread-Frnit — Artocarpua indsa, Linnseus. 

The bread-fruit tree was cultivated in all the islands 
of the Asiatic Archipelago, and of the great oceans near 

^ Webb and Berthelot, Hist. Nat. des Canaries Etkno(pr.^ p. 186; 
Phytogr.^ iii. p. 257* 

* Daveyrier, Les Touaregs d/u Nord., p. 193. 

' Planohon, £t/ude sur lee tufs de MoiUpellier, p. 63 ; d« Saporta, 
Laflore des tufs quaJbemaires en Provence, in Co**hptes rendiis de la 82e 
Session du Congris Scientifique de Frances BuU. 8oc. Oeolog.^ 1873-74, 
p. 442. 


the eqiiktor, from Sumatra to the Marquesas Isles, when 
first Europeans began to visit them. Its fruit is con- 
stituted, like the pine-apple, of an assemblage of bracts 
and fruits welded into a fleshy mass^ more or less 
spherical; and as in the pine-apple, the seeds come to 
nothing in the most productive cultivated varieties.^ 

Sonnerat ^ carried the bread-fruit tree to Mauritius, 
where the Intendant Poivre took care to spread it. 
Captain Bligh was commissioned to introduce it into 
the English West Indian Isles. The mutiny of his 
crew prevented his succeeding the first time, but a 
second attempt proved more fortunate. In January, 
1793, he landed 153 plants at St. Vincent, whence the 
species has been diffused into several parts of tropical 

Rumphius* saw the species wild in several of the 
Sunda Isles. Modem authors, less careful, or acquainted 
only with cultivated species, say nothing on this head. 
Seemaun * says for the Fiji Isles, " cultivated, and to all 
appearance wild in some places." On the continent of 
Asia it is not even cultivated, as the climate is not hot 

The bread-fruit is evidently a native of Java, Am- 
boyna, and the neighbouring islands ; but the antiquity 
of its cultivation in the whole of the archipelago, proved 
by the number of varieties, and the facility of propa- 
gating it by buds and suckers, prevent us from knowing 
its history accurately. Iii the islands to the extreme 
east, like Otahiti, certain fables and traditions point to 
an introduction which is not very ancient, and the 
absence of seeds confirms this.® 

Jack-Fruit — Artocarpua integrifolia, Linnaeus. 

The jack-fruit, larger than the bread-fruit, for it 
sometimes weighs as much as eighty pounds, hangs from 

' See the fine plates pablished in Tussac's Flore des Antilles, toI. ii. 
pis. 2 and 3 ; and Hooker, Bot, Mag., t. 2869-2871. 

* Voyages d la Nouvelle OutTide, p. 100. ' Hooker, ubi supra, 

* Bamphins, Herb, Amhoinp i. p. 112, pi. 33. 

* Flora Vitiensis, p. 255. 

* Seemann, Fl. Vit, p. 255 ; Nadeand, Enuin. des PL Indig. de Taiti, 
p. 44} Idemi Pl, usttelles des Taitien^^ p. 24 



the branches of a tree thirty to fifty feet high} The 
common name is derived from the Indian names jaca, or 

The species has long been cultivated in southern 
Asia, from the Punjab to China, from the Himalayas to 
the Moluccas. It has not spread into the small islands 
more to the east, such as Otahiti, which leads us to sup- 
pose it has not been so long in the archipelago as upon 
the continent. In the north-west of India, also, its 
cultivation does not perhaps date from a very remote 
epoch, for the existence of a Sanskrit name is not abso- 
lutely certain. Roxburgh mentions one, punusa, but 
Piddington does not admit it into his Index, The Per- 
sians and the Arabs do not seem to have known the 
species. Its enormous fruit must^ however, have struck 
them if the species had been cultivated near their fron- 
tiers. Dr. Bretschneider does not speak of any Arto- 
carpus in his work on the plants known to the ancient 
Chinese, whence it may be inferred that towards China, 
as in other directions, the jack-fruit was not diffused at 
a very early epoch. The first statement as to its exist- 
ence in a wild state is given by Bheede in ambiguous 
terms: "This tree grows everywhere in Malabar and 
throughout India.** He perhaps confounded the planted 
tree with the wild one. After him, however, Wight 
found the species several times in the Indian Peninsula, 
notably in the Western Ghauts, with every appearance 
of a wild and indigenous tree. It has been extensively 
planted in Ceylon ; but Thwaites, the best authority for 
the flora of this- island, does not recognize it as wild. 
Neither is it wild in the archipelago to the south of 
India, according to the general opinion. Lastly, Brandis 
found it growing in the forests of the district of Attaran, 
in Burmah, but, he adds, always in the neighbourhood of 
abandoned settlements. Kurz did not find it wild in 
British Burmah.* 

^ See Tassac'g plates, Flore des Aniillea, pi. 4; and Hcoker, Bot, Mag^ 
t. 2833, 2834. 

* Rheede^ Malabar, iii. p. 18; Wight, Jcones, ii. No. 678; Brandis, 
Forest Flora qf India, p. 426; Knrz, Forest Flora of Brit. Bwrmah, p. 432. 


The speicies is, therefore, a native of the region lying at 
the foot of the western mountains of the Indian Penin- 
sula, and itd cultivation in the neighbourhood is probably 
not earlier than the Christian era. It was introduced 
into Jamaica by Admiral Rodney in 1782, and thence 
into Sau Domingo.^ It has also been introiluced into 
Brazil, Mauritius, the Seychelles, and Rodriguez Island.^ 

Date-Palm — Phcenix dactylifera, Linnaeus. 

The date-palm has existed from prehistoric times in 
the warm dry zone, which extends from Senegal to the 
basin of the Indus, principally between parallels 15 and 
30. It is seen here and there further to the north, by 
reason of exceptional circumstances and of the aim which 
is proposed in its cultivation. For beyond the limit 
within which the fruit ripens every year, there is a zone 
in which they ripen ill or seldom, and a further region 
within which the tree can live, but without fruiting or 
even flowering. These limits have been traced by de 
Martins, Carl Ritter, and myself* It is needless to repro- 
duce them here, the aim of the present work being to 
study questions of origin. 

As regards the date-palm, we can hardly rely on the 
more or less proved existence of really wild indigenous 
individuals. Dates are easily transported ; the stones 
germinate when sown in damp soil near the source of a 
river, and even in the fissures of rocks. The inhabitants 
of oases have planted or sown date-palms in favourable 
localities where the species perhaps existed before man, 
and when the traveller comes across isolated trees, at a 
distance from dwellings, he cannot know that they did 
not spring from stones thrown away by caravans. 
Botanists admit a variety, aylvestiis, that is to say wild, 
with small and sour fruit ; but it is perhaps the result 
of recent naturalization in an unfavourable soil. His* 
torical and philological data are of more value here, 
though doubtless from the antiquity of cultivation they 
can only establish probabilities. 

* Tassac, Flore de$ Antilles, pi. 4. ' Baker, Fl, ofMaurit, p. 2S2. 

' Martins, Qen. et Spec. Palmarum, in folio, toI. iii. p. 257 ; C Hitter, 
FrdJnmde, xiii. p. 760 ; Alph. de CandoUe, Q^og. BoU Eai8,t p. 843. 


From Egyptian and Assyrian remains^ as well as from ^ 
tradition and the most ancient writings, we find that the 
date-palm grew in abundance in the region lying between 
the Euphrates and the Nile. Egyptian monuments con- 
tain fruits and drawings of the tree.^ Herodotus, in a 
more recent age (fifth century before Christ), mentions 
the wood of the date-palms of Babylonia, and still later 
Strabo used similar expressions about those of Arabia, 
whence it seems that the species was commoner than it 
is now, and more in the condition of a natural forest 
tree. On the other hand, Carl Ritter makes the ingenious 
observation that the earliest Hebrew books do not speak 
of the date-palm as producing a fruit valued as a food 
for man. David, about one thousand years before Christ, 
and about seven centuries aiter Moses, does not mention 
the date palm in his list of trees to be planted in his 
gardens. It is true that except at Jericho dates seldom 
ripen in Palestine Later, Herodotus says of the Baby- 
lonian date-palms that only the greater part produced 
good fruit which was used for food. This seems to indi- 
cate the beginning of a cultivation perfected by the 
selection of varieties and of the transport of male flowers 
into the middle of the branches of female trees, but it 
perhaps signifies also that Herodotus was ignorant of the 
existence of the male plant. 

To the west of Egypt the date-palm had probably 
existed for centuries or for thousands of years when 
Herodotus mentioned them. He speaks of Libya. 
There is no historical record with respect to the oases in 
the Sahai*a, but Pliny ^ mentions the date-palm in the 

The names of the species bear witness to its great -^ 
antiquity both in Asia and in Africa, seeing they are nume- 
rous and very different. The Hebrews called the date- 
palm tamar, and the ancient Egyptians beq.^ The com- 
plete difference between these words, both very ancient, 
shows that these peoples found the species indigenous 
and perhaps alreiady named in Western Asia and in 

* linger, Pflanzen d. Alt. JEgypf.^ p. 38, 
• Plmy, Hist, lib. ri. cap. 37. * Unger, uhi 9upra» 


Egypt. The number of Persian, Arabic, and Berber 
names is incredible.^ Some are derived from the Hebrew 
word, others from unknown sources. They often apply 
to different states of the fruity or to different cultivated 
varieties, which again shows ancient cultivation in 
different countries. Webb and Berthelot have not dis- 
covered a name for the date-palm in the language of the 
Guanchos, and this is much to be regretted. The Greek 
name, phcsnix, refers simply to Phoenicia and the 
Phoenicians, possessors of the date-palm.^ The names 
ddctylua and dcUe are derivations of dachd in a Hebrew 
dialect.® No Sanskrit name is known, whence it may be 
inferred that the plantations of the date-palm in Western 
India are not very ancient. The Indian climate does 
not suit the species.^ The Hindustani name khurma is 
borrowed from the Persian. 

Further to the East the date-palm remained long 
unknown. The Chinese received it from Persia, in the ^ 
third century of our era, and its cultivation was resumed 
at different times, but they have now abandoned it.** As 
a rule, beyond the arid region which lies between the 
Euphrates and the south of the Atlas and the Canaries, 
the date-palm has not succeeded in similar latitudes, or 
at least it has not become an important culture. It might 
be grown with success in Australia and at the Cape, but 
the Europeans who have colonized these regions are not 
satisfied, like the Arabs, with figs and dates for their 
staple food, I think, in fine, that in times anterior to 
the earliest Egyptian dynasties the date-palm already 
existed, wild or sown here and there by wandering tribes, 
in a narrow zone extending from the Euphrates to the 
Canaries, and that its cultivation began later as far as 
the north-west of India on the one hand and the Cape 
de Verde Islands ^ on the other, so that the natural area 

* See Q. Bitter, uhi aupi-a* * Hehn, Culturpjlanzenf edit. 3, p. 234. 

* C. Ritter, ibid., p. 828. * According to Roxburgh, Royle, etc. 

* Bretschneider, Study and Value^ etc., p. 31. 

* According to Schmidt, FL d. Cap^'Vei-d. IsL, p. 168, the date- 
palm is rare in these islands, and is certainly not wild. Webb and 
Berthelot, on the contrary, assert that in some of the Canaries it ia 
apparently indigenous {Hist, Nat, des CaTharies^ Bofantgue, iii. p. 289). 


has remained very nearly the same for about five thou- 
sand years. What it was previously, palaeontoiogical 
discoveries may one day reveal. 

Banana — Musa sapientum and M, paradisiaca, 
Linnaeus ; M, sapientura, Brown. 

The banana or bananas were generally considered 
to be natives of Southern Asia, and to have been carried 
into America by Europeans, till Humboldt threw 
doubts upon their purely Asiatic origin* In his work 
on New Spain ^ he quoted early authors who assert 
that the banana was cultivated in America before the 

He admits, on Oviedo's authority,* its introduction 
by Father Thomas of Berlangas from the Canaries into 
San Domingo in 1516, whence it was introduced into 
other islands and the mainland.® He recognizes the 
absence of any mention of the banana in the accounts of 
Columbus, Alonzo Negro, Pinzon, Vespuzzi, and Cortez. 
The silence of Hernandez, who lived half a century after 
Oviedo, astonishes him and appears to him a remarkable 
carelessness ; ** for," he sajrs,* " it is a constant tradition 
in Mexico and on the whole of the mainland that the 
pldtano arton, and the daminico were cultivated long 
before the Spanish conquest." The author who has 
most carefully noted the different epochs at which 
American agriculture has been enriched by foreign pro- 
ducts, the Peruvian Garcilasso de la Vega,^ says dis- 
tinctly that at the time of the Incas, maize, quinoa, the 
potato, and, in the warm and temperate regions, bananas 
formed the staple food of the natives. He describes the 
Musa of the valleys in the Andes ; he even distinguishes 
the rarer species, with a small fruit and a sweet aromatic 
flavour, the dominico, from the common banana or arton. 

* Humboldt, Nouvelle Espagne, Ist edit., ii. p. 360. 

« Oviedo, Hist. Nat, 1556, p. 112. Oviedo's first work is of 1526. 
He is the earliest nataralist quoted by Drjander {BihL Ba/nks) for 

' I have also seen this passage in the translation of Oriedo by 
Bamnsio, vol. iii. p. 115. 

* Humboldt, Nouvelle Espagne, 2nd edit., p. S85. 

* Garcilasio de la Vega, Commentarios Reales, i. p. 283. 


Father Acosta^ asserts also, although less positively, 
that the Mvsa was cultivated by the Americans before 
the arrival of the Spaniards. Lastly, Humboldt adds 
from his own observation, "On the banks of the Orinoco, 
of the Cassiquaire or of the Beni, between the mountains 
of Esmeralda and the banks of the river Carony, in the 
midst of the thickest forests, almost everywhere that 
Indian tribes are found who have had no relations with 
European settlements, we meet with plantations of 
Manioc and bananas." Humboldt suggests the hypothesis 
that several species or constant varieties of the Banana 
have been confounded, some of which are indigenous to 
the new world. 

Desvaux studied the specific question, and in a really 
remarkable work, published in 1814,^ he gives it as his 
opinion that all the bananas cultivated for their fruits 
are of the same species. In this species he distinguishes 
forty-four varieties, which he arranges in two groups ; 
the large^fruited bananas (seven to fifteen inches long), 
and the small- fruited bananas (one to six inches), 
commonly called fig bananas. R. Brown, in 1818, in his 
work on the Plants of the Ccmgo, p. 51, maintams also 
that no structural dificrence in the bananas cultivated in 
Asia and those in America prevents us from considering 
them as belonging to the same species. He adopts the 
name Mvsa sapieTdwrn, which appears to me preferable 
to that of M, paradisiaca adopted by Desvaux, because 
the varieties with small fertile fruit appear to be nearer 
the condition of the wild Muace found in Asia. 

Brown remarks on the question of origin that aU the 
other species of the genus Muaa belong to the old world ; 
that no one pretends to have found in America, in a 
wild state, varieties with fertile fruit, as has happened 
in Asia; lastly, that Piso and Marcgraf considered that 
the banana was introduced into Brazil from Congo. In 
spite of the force of these three arguments, Humboldt, 
in his second edition of his essay upon New Spain 
(ii. p. 397), does not entirely renounce his opinion. He 

^ Acosta, Eist NaL De Indias, 1608, p. 250. 
' DesYanz, Joum, BoU, It. p. 5. 



says that the traveller Caldcleugh^ found among the 
Puns the tradition that a small species of banana was 
cultivated on the borders of the Prato long before they 
had any communications with the Portuguese. He adds 
that words which are not borrowed ones are found in 
American languages to distinguish the fruit of the Muaa; 
for instance, paruru in Tamanac, etc., arata in Maypur. 
I have also read in Stevenson's travels^ that beds of 
the leaves of the two bananas commonly cultivated in 
America have been found in the huacas or Peruvian 
tombs anterior to the conquest; but as this traveller 
also says that he saw beans ^ in these huacaa, a plant 
which undoubtedly belongs to the old world, his asser- 
tions are riot very trustworthy. 

Boussingault^ thought that the platano arton at 
least was of American origin, but he gives no proof. 
Meyen, who had also been in America, adds no argument 
to those which were already known ;*^ nor does the 
geographer Ritter,® who simply reproduces the fisicts 
about America, given by Humboldt. 

On the other hand, the botanists who have more 
recently visited America have no hesitation as to the 
Asiatic origin. I may name Seemann for the Isthmus of 
Panama, Ernst for Venezuela, and Sagot for Guiana.^ 
The two first insist upon the absence of names for the 
banana in the languages of Peru and Mexico. Piso 
knew no Brazilian name. Martius ^ has since indicated, 
in the Tupi language of Brazil, the names pacoba or 
bacoba. This same word bacove is used, according to 
Sagot, by the French in Guiana. It is perhaps derived 
from the name bala, or palan, of Malabar, from an intro- 
duction by the Portuguese, subsequent to Piso's voyage. 

The antiquity and wild character of the banana in 
Asia are incontestable facts. There are several Sanskrit 

* Caldcleugh, Trav, in 8. Amer,, 1825, i. p. 23. 

* Stevenson, Trav, in 8. Amer,, i. p. 328. 

* Ihid,, p. 363. * Bonssingault, 0. n Acad. 8c, Paris, May 9, 1836. 

* Meyen, Pflanzen Qeog., 1836, p. 383. • Bitter, Erdk,, ir. p. 870. 
' Seemann, Bot. of the Herald, p. 213 ; Ernst, in Seemann's Jounu 

o/Bot, 1867, p. 289; Sagot, Joum. de la 8oc, d*Hort, de Fr,, 1872, p. 22& 

* Martins, Eth, 8pra^ch^mkmde 4fn^«} p* 123. 


namea^ The Greekis^ tjatins, and Arabs have mentioned 
it as a remarkable Indian fruit tree. Pliny ^ speaks of 
it distinctly. He says that the Greeks of the expedi- 
tion of Alexander saw it in India, and he quotes the 
name pcUa which still persists in Malabar. Sages re- 
posed beneath its shade and ate of its fruit Hence 
the botanical name Musa sapimtum. Muaa is from the 
Arabic 'mouz or mauii;^, which we find as early as the 
thirteenth century in Ebn Baithar. The specific name 
paradisifica comes from the ridiculous hypothesis which 
made the banana figure in the story of Eve and of 

It is a curious fact that the Hebrews and the ancient 
Egyptians' did not know this Indian plant. It is a 
sign that it did not exist in India from a very remote 
epoch, but was first a native of the Malay Archipelago. 

There is an immense number of varieties of the-^ 
banana in the south of Asia, both on the islands and on 
the continent; the cultivation of these varieties dates 
in India, in China, and in the archipelago, from an epoch 
impossible to realize; it even spread formerly into the 
islands of the Pacific* and to the west coast of Africa;^ y 
lastly, the varieties bore distinct names in the most^ 
separate Asiatic languages, such as Chinese, Sanskrit, 
and Malay. All this indicates great antiquity of culture, 
consequently a primitive existence in Asia, and a diffu- 
sion contemporary with or even anterior to that of the 
human races. 

The banana is said to have been found wild in several 
places. This is the more worthy of attention since the 
cultivated varieties seldom produce seed, and are 
multiplied by division, so that the species can hardly 
have become naturalized from cultivation by sowing itself. 
Roxburgh had seen it in the forests of Chittagong,^ in 

> Roxbnrph and WalHcli, Fl, Ind., ii. p. 485 ; Piddington, Index, 

• Pliny, flwt., lib. xii. cap. 6. 

' Unger, uhi supra, and Wilkinson, vL p. 403, do not mention it. The 
banana is now caltivaied in Egypt. 
4 Forster, Plant. Eac., p. 28. 

* GlusiuB, Exot.y p. 229 ; Brown, Bot Congo, p. 51. 
' Boxbargh, Corom,, tab. 275 ; Fl, Ind, 


the form of Musa aapientum, Rumphius ^ describes a 
^ wild variety with small fruits in the Philippine Isles. 
Loureiro^ probably speaks of the same form by the 
name M. seminifera agrestis, which he contrasts with M. 
seminifera domestica, which is wild in Cochin-China. 
Blanco also mentions a wild banana in the Philippines/ 
but his description is vague. Finlayson^ found the 
banana wild in abundance in^the little island of Pulo 
Ubi at the southern extremity of Siam. Thwaites * saw 
\the variety M. Bapientwm in the rocky forests of the 
centre of Ceylon, and does not hesitate to pronounce it 
the original stock of the cultivated bananas. Sir Joseph 
Hooker and Thomson ^ found it wild at Khasia. 

The facts are quite different in America. The wild 
banana has been seen nowhere except in Barbados,^ but 
here it is a tree of which the fruit does not ripen, and 
which is, consequently, in all probability the result of 
cultivated varieties of which the seed is not abundant. 
Sloane's vMd plantain^ appears to be a plant very 
different to the mttaa. The varieties which are supposed 
to be possiblj'^ indigenous in America are only two, and 
as a rule far fewer varieties are grown than in Asi& The 
culture of the banana may be said to be recent in the 
greater part of America, for it dates from but little more 
than three centuries. Piso ^® says positively that it was 
imported into Brazil, and has no Brazilian name. He 
does not say whence it came. We have seen that, 
according to Oviedo, the species was brought to San 
Domingo &6m the Canaries. This fact and the silence of 
Hernandez, generally so accurate about the useful plants, 
wild or cultivated, in Mexico, convince me that at the 
time of the discovery of America the banana did not 
exist in the whole of the eastern part of the continent. 

I Bumpliius, Amb., v. p. 139. ■ Loureiro, Fl, Coch., p. 791. 

9 Loureiro, Fl. Coch,, p. 791. ^ Blanco, FlorOy Ist edit., p. 247. 
FinlaysoxL, Jovmey to 8iam, 1826, p. 86, according to Bitter, Erdk,^ 
\v. 878. 

p- Thwaites, Enum. PL Cey,, p. 321. 
' Aitcbison, CataZ, of Punjiib, p. 147. 

* Hughes, Ba/rh., p. 182 ; Mayoock, J^. Ba/rb., p. S96. 

* Sloane, Jamai a, ii. p. 148. >• Fiao, edit. 1648, HUt. NaU, p. 76. 


Did it exist, Hierx, in the western part on the shores 
of the Pacific ? This seems very unlikely when we 
reflect that communication was easy between the two 
coasts towards the isthmus of Panama, and that before 
the arrival of the Eurojpeans the natives had been active 
in diffusing throughout America useful plants like the 
manioc, maize, and the potato. The banana, which they 
have prized so highly for three centuries, which is so 
easily multiplied by suckers, and whose appearance must 
strike the least observant, would not have been forgotten 
in a few villages in the depths of the forest or upon the 

I admit that the opinion of Gareilasso, descendant 
of the Incas, an author who lived from 1530 to 1568, has 
a certain importance when he says that the natives knew 
the banana before the conquest. However, the expressions 
of another writer, extremely worthy of attention, Joseph 
Acosta, who had been in Peru, and whom Humboldt 
quotes in support of Qarcilasso, incline me to adopt the 
contrary opinion.^ He says,^ " The reason the Spaniards 
called it plane (for the natives had no such name) was 
that,, as in the ease of their trees, they found some 
resemblance between them." He goes on to show how 
different was the plane (Flatanus) of the ancients. He 
describes the banana very well, and adds that the tree 
is very common in the Indies (i.e. America), "although 
they (the Indians) say that its origin is Ethiopia. . . . There 
is a small white species of plantain (banana), very delicate, 
which is called in EspagnoUe ^ dominico. There are others 
coarser and larger, and of a red colour. There are none in 
Peru, but they are imported thither from the Indies,* as 

* Hnmboldt qnotea the Spaniali edition of 1608. The first edition is 
of 1591. I have only been able to consult the French translation of 
Begnanlt, published in 1598, and which is apparently accorate. 

' Acosta, trans., lib. iv. cap. 21. 

• That is probably Hispaniola or San Domingo ; for if he had meant 
the Spanish langnage, it would have been translated by castillan aad 
without the capital letter. 

• * This is probably a misprint for AndeSt for the word Incles has no 
sense. The work says (p. 166) that pine-apples do not gvow in Peru, but 
that they are brought thither from the Andes,^and (p. 173) that the cacao 
oomes from the Andes. It seems to have meant hot regions. The wrod 


into Mexico from Cuemavaca and the other valleys. On 
the continent and in some of the islands there are great 
plantations of them which form dense thicketa" Surely it 
is not thus that the author would express himself were 
he writing of a fruit tree of American origin. He would 
quote American names and customs; abo\re all, he would 
not say that the natives regarded it as a plant of foreign 
origin. Its diffusion in the wann regions of Mexico may- 
well have taken place between the epoch of the conquest 
and the time when Acosta wrote, since Hernandez, whose 
conscientious researches go back to the earliest times of 
the Spanish dominion in Mexico (though published later 
in Rome), says not a word of the banana.^ Frescott the 
historian saw ancient books and manuscripts which assert 
that the inhabitants of Tumbez brought bananas to 
Pizarro when he disembarked upon the Peruvian coasts 
and he believes that its leaves were found in the huacas, 
but he does not give his proofs.* 

As regards the argument of the modem native 
plantations in regions of America, remote from European 
settlements, I find it hard to believe that tribes have 
remained absolutely isolated, and have not received so 
useful a tree from colonized districts. 

Briefly, then, it appears to me most probable that the 
species was early introduced by the Spanish and Portu- 
guese into San Domingo and Brazil, and I confess that 
this implies that Garcilasso was in error with regard to 
Peruvian traditions. If, however, later research should 
prove that the banana existed in some parts of America 
before the advent of the Europeans, I should be inclined 
to attribute it to a chance introduction, not very ancient, 
the effect of some unknown communication with the 
islands of the Pacific, or with the coast of Guinea, rather 
than to believe in the primitive and simultaneous existence 

Andes lias since been applied to the chain of moantains bj a Strange 
and unfortunate transfer. 

^ I have read through the entire work, to make sore of this fact. 

• Frescott, Conquest of Peru,, The author has consulted valuable 
records, among others a manuscript of Montesinos of 1527; but he 
does not quote his authorities for each fact, and contents himself with 
vague and general indications, which are verj insufficient. 


of the species in bothi hemispherea The whole of geo- 
graphical botany renders the latter hypothesis improbable, 
I might almost say impossible, to admit, especially in a 
genus which is not divided between the two worlds. 

In conclusion, I would call attention to the remarkable 
way in which the distribution of varieties favours the 
opinion of a single species — ^an opinion adopted, purely 
from the botanical point of view, by Roxburgh, Desvaux, 
and R. Brown, If there were two or three species, one 
would probably be i-epresented by the varieties suspected 
to be of American origin, the other would belong, for 
instance, to the Malay Archipelago or to China, and the 
third to India. On the contrary all the varieties are 
geographically intermixed, and the two which are most 
widely diflfused in America differ sensibly the one from 
the other, and each is confounded with or approaches 
very nearly to Asiatic varieties. 

Fine- Apple — Ananassa eativa, Lindley; Bromelia 
AnaTias, Linnaeus. 

In spite of the doubts of a few writers, the pine- 
apple must be an American plant, early introduced by 
Europeans into Asia and Africa, 

Nana was the Brazilian name,^ which the Portuguese 
turned into anaTias. The Spanish called it pinas, because 
the shape resembles the fruit of a species of pine.* AH 
early writers on America mention it.® Hernandez says 
that the pine-apple grows in the warm regions of Haiti 
and Mexico. He mentions a Mexican name, inatzatli. A 
pine-apple was brought to Charles V., who mistrusted it, 
and would not taste it. 

The works of the Greeks, Romans, and Arabs make no 
allusion to this species, which was evidently introduced 
into the old world after the discovery of America. 
Rheede* in the seventeenth century was persuaded of 
this ; but Rumphius ^ disputed it later, because he said 

* Marcgraf, Brasil,, p. 83. 

' Oviedo, Bamusio's trans., iii. p. 113 ; Jos. Acosta, Hist. Nat, des. 
Indes, French trans., p. 166. 

* Thevet, Piso, etc. ; Hernandez, Thes.f p. 341. 

* Bheede, Hort, Maldb,, zi. p. 6. * Bomphins, Amhoin, r, p. 228. 


the pine-apple was cultivated in his time in every part of 
India, and was found wild in Celebes and elsewhera He 
notices, however, the absence of an Asiatic name. That 
given by Bheede for Malabar is evidently taken from a 
comparison with the jack-fruit, and is in no sense 
original It is doubtless a mistake on the part of 
Piddington to attribute a Sanskrit name to the pine-apple, 
as the name anarush seems to be a corruption of ananas. 
Boxbui^h knew of none, and Wilson's dictionary does 
not mention the word anaruah. Boyle ^ says thisit the 
pine-apple was introduced into Bengal in 1594. Kircher * 
says that the Chinese cultivated it in the seventeenth 
century, but it was believed to have been brought to 
them from Peru. 

Clasius' in 1599 had seen leaves of the pine-apple 
brought from the coast of Guinea. This may be explained 
by an introduction there subsequent to the discovery of 
America^ Bobert Brown speaks of the pine-apple among 
the plants cultivated in Congo; but he considers the 
species to be an American one. 

Although the cultivated pine-apple bears few seeds 
or none at all, it occasionaUy becomes naturalized in 
hot countriea Examples are quoted in Mauritius, the 
Seychelles, and Bodriguez Island,^ in India,^ in the 
Malay Archipelago, and in some parts of America, where 
it was probably not indigenous — ^the West In<Ues^ for 

It has been found wild in the warm regions of Mexico 
(if we may trust the phrase used by Hernandez), in the 
province of Veraguas ^ near Panama, in the upper 
Orinoco valley,^ in Guiana® and the province of Bama.^ 

' Koyle, m., p. 376. 

' Kircher, Chine lUustr^e, trans, of 1670, p. 253. 

' Clnsins, Exotic^ cap. 44. * Baker, Fi. <^MaurU. 

* Boyle, ubi aupreu * Seemann, Bot. of the Herald, p. 215. 
' Hnmboldt, Nouv. Esp., 2nd edit., ii. p. 47S. 

' Gardeners' Chronicle, 1881, toI. i. p. 657. 

* Martins, letter to A. de Gandolle, Gdojr, Bot, Rais , p. 927. 



Article L — Seeds used for Food. 

Cacao — Theobroma Cacao, Linnjeus. 

The genus Theobroma, of the order Byttneriacece, 
allied to the Malvacece, consists of fifteen to eighteen 
species, all belonging to tropical America, principally in 
the hotter parts of Brazil, Guiana, and Central America. 

The common cacao, Tlveohrorria Cacao, is a small tree 
wild in the forests of the Amazon and Orinoco basins ^ 
and of their tributaries up to four hundred feet of alti- 
tude. It is also said to grow wild in Trinidad, which 
lies near the mouth of the Orinoco.^ I find no proof that 
it is indigenous in Guiana, although it seems probable. 
Many early writers indicate that it was both wild and 
cultivated at the time of the discovery of America from 
Panama to Guatemala and Gampeachy; but from the 
numerous quotations collected by Sloane,* it is to be 
feared that its wild character was not sufficiently verified. 
Modem botanists are not very explicit on this head, and 
in general they only mention the cacao as cultivated in 
these regions and in the West India Islands. G, Ber- 
noulli,* who had resided in Guatemala, only says, " wild 

^ Hamboldt, Voy.y ii. p. 511; Knnth, in Humboldt and Bonpland, 
N<yva Qenera, y. p. 316 ; Martins, Ueher den Cacao, in Bdchner, Sepert. 

' Schach, in Grisebach, Flora of Brit, W, Ind, U,, p. 91. 

' Sloane, Jamaica, u. p. 15. 

« G. Bernoulli, UAenicht der ArUn van Theobroma^ p. 5. 


and cultivated throughouttropical America;" andHemsley,^ 
in his review of the plants of Mexico and Central America, 
made in 1879 from the rich materials of the Kew herbarium, 
gives no locality where the species is indigenous. It was 
perhaps introduced into Central America and into the 
warm regions of Mexico by the Indians before the dis* 
covery of America. Cultivation may have naturalized it 
here and there, as is said to be the case in Jamaica.^ In 
support of this hypothesis, it must be observed that 
Triana^ indicates the cacao as only cultivated in the 
warm regions of New Granada, a country situated be- 
tween Panama and the Orinoco valley. 

However this may be, the species was grown in 
Central America and Yucatan at the time of the dis- 
covery of America. The seeds were sent into the high- 
lands of Mexico, and were even used as money, so highly 
were they valued. The custom of drinking chocolate 
was general. The name of this excellent drink is Mexi- 
can. The Spaniards carried the cacao from Acapulco to 
the Philippine Isles in 1674 and 1680,* where it succeeded 
wonderfully. It is also cultivated in the Sunda Isles. I 
imagine it would succeed on the Guinea and Zanzibar 
coasts, but it is of no use to attempt to grow it in 
countries which are not very hot and very damp. 

Another species, Theobroma bicolor, Humboldt and 
Bonpland, is found growing with the common cacao in 
American plantations. It is not so much prized. On 
the other hand, it does not require so high a temperature, 
and can live at an altitude of nearly three thousand feet 
in the valley of the Magdalena. It abounds in a wild 
state in New Granada.^ Bernoulli asserts that it is only 
cultivated in Guatemala, though the inhabitants call it 
mountain cacao. 

Litchi — Nephelium Lifchi, Cambessides. 

The seed of this species and of the two following is 

* Hemsley, Biologia Centrali Americanay part ii. p. 133. 
' Grisebach, uhi supra. 

* Triana and Flanchon, Prodr, Fl, Novo Granatennis, \<. 208. 

* Blanco, Fl. de Filipinasy edit. 2, p. 420. 

* Knnth, in Humboldt and Bonplandj ubi ettpra ; Triana, uhi truprtu 


covered with a fleshy excrescence, very sweet and scented, 
which is eaten with tea. 

Like most of the SapindacecB, the nepheliums are 
trees. This one has been cultivated in the south of China, 
India, and the Malay Archipelago from a date of which 
we cannot be certain. Chinese authors living at Pekin 
only knew the Litchi late in the third century of our 
era.^ Its introduction into Bengal took place at the end 
of the eighteenth century.* Every one admits that the 
species is a native of the south of China, and, Blume ® 
adds, of Cochin-China and the Philippine Isles, but it does 
not seem that any botanist has found it in a truly wild 
state. This is probably because the southern part of 
China towards Siam has been little visited. In Cochin- 
China and in Burmah and at Chittagong the Litchi is 
only cultivated.* 

Longan — Nepheliv/m longana, Cambessides. 

This second species, very often cultivated in Southern 
Asia, like the Litchi, is wild in British India, from Ceylon 
and Concan as far as the mountains to the east of 
Bengal, and in Pegu.*^ The Chinese introduced it into 
the Malay Archipelago some centuries ago. 

Bambutan — Nepheliwm lappdcewn, Linnaeus. 

It is said to be wild in the Indian Archipelago, where 
it must have been long cultivated, to judge from the 
number of its varieties. A Malay name, given by Blume, 
signifies wild tree. Loureiro says it is wild in Cochin- 
China and Java. Yet I find no confirmation for Cochin- 
China in modem works, nor even for the islands. The 
new flora of British India ® indicates it at Singapore and 
Malacca without affirming that it is indigenous, on which 
head the labels in herbaria commonly tell us nothing. 
Certainly the species is not wild on the continent of 
Asia, in spite of the vague expressions of Blume and 

' Bretsohneider, letter of Aug. 28, 1881. 

* Roxburgh, FL Indica, ii. p. 269. • Blnme, Rumphia, lii. p. 106. 

* Loozeiro, Flora Coch,, p. 233 ; Knrz, Forest Fl, of Brit, Burmah, 
p. 293. 

* Boxborgh, Fl.Ind., ii. p. 271 ; Thwaites, Fnum. ZeyL, p. 58 ; Hiern, 
in Fl. of Brit. Ind., i. p. 688. 

* Hiern, in Fl, of Brit, Ind., i. p. 687. 


Miquel,^ but it is more probably a native of the Malay 

In spite of the reputation of the nepheliums, of which 
the fruit can be exported, it does not appear that these 
trees have been introduced into the tropical colonies 
of Africa and Ameriea except into a few gardens as 

Pistachio Nut — Pistada vera, Linnaeus. 

The pistachio^ a shrub belonging to the order Ana- 
cardiacece, grows naturaUy in Syria. Boissier « found it 
to the north of Damascus in Anti-Lebanon, and he saw 
specimens of it brought from Mesopotamia, but he could 
not be sure that they were found wild. There is the 
same doubt about branches gathered in Arabia, which 
have been mentioned by some writers. Pliny and Galen® 
knew that the species was a Syrian one. The former 
tells us that the plant was introduced into Italy by 
Yitellius at the end of the reign of Tiberius, and thence 
into Spain by Flavins Pompeius, 

There is no reason to believe that the cultivation of 
the pistachio was ancient even in its primitive country, 
but it is practised in our own day in the East, as well 
as in Sicily and Tunis. In the south of France and 
Spain it is of little impoi*tance. 

Broad Bean — Faba vvlgaris^ Moench; Yida faha, 

Linnaeus, in his best descriptive work, Hortus cliffar" 
tianvs, admits that the origin of this species is obscure, 
like that of most plants of ancient cultivation. Later, 
in his Species, which is more often quoted, he says, with- 
out giving any proof, that the bean " inhabits Egypt." 
Lercne, a Russian traveller at the end of the last 
century, found it wild in the Mungan desert of the 
Mazanderan, to the south of the Caspian Sea.* Travellers 

* Binme, Rumphia, iii. p. 103 ; Miquel, FL Indo-Batava, i. p. 654; 

* Bossier, Fl, Orient., ii. p. 5. 

' Pliny, Hist. Nat., lib. xiii. cap. 15 j lib. xv. cap. 22; Galen, De Ali- 
Tnentis, lib. ii. cap. 30. 

* Lerofae, Nova Acta Acad. Cesareo.Leopold, vol. v., appendix, p. 203, 
published in 1773. Maximowicz, in a letter of Feb. 24, 1882, tells me 
that Lerche's specimen exists in the hetbarinm ol tlie ImperiiJ Garden 


who have collected in this region have sometimes come 
across it,^ but they do not mention it in their writings,^ 
excepting Ledebour,* and the quotation on which he 
relies is not correct. Eosc * says that Olivier found the 
bean wild in Persia ; I do not find this confirmed in 
Olivier's Voy<ige, and as a rule Bosc seems to have 
been too ready to believe that Olivier found a good 
many of our cultivated plants in the interior of Persia. 
He says it of buckwheat and of oats^ which Olivier does 
not mention. 

The only indication besides that of Lerche which I 
find in floras is a very different locality. Munby 
mentions the bean as wild in Algeria, at Oran. He 
adds that it is rare. No other author, to my knowledge, 
has spoken of it in northern Africa. Cosson, who knows 
the flora of Algeria better than any one, assures me he 
has not seen or received any specimen of the wild bean 
from the north of Africa. I have ascertained that there 
is no specimen in Munby's*^ herbarium, now at Kew. 
As the Arabs grow the bean on a large scale, it may 
perhaps be met with accidentally outside cultivated plots. 
It must not be forgotten, however, that Pliny (lib. xviii. 
c. 12) speaks of a wild bean in Mauritania, but he adds 
that it is hard and cannot be cooked, which throws 
doubt upon the species. Botanists who have written 
upon Egypt and CyrenaXca, especially the more recent,* 
give the bean as cultivated. 

This plant alone constitutes the genus Faba. We 
<»nnot, therefore, call in the aid of any botanical analogy 

at St. Fetersbnrgb. It is in flower, and resembles the cnltiFated bean 
in all points excepting height, which is aboat half a foot. The label 
mentions the locality and its wild character without other remarks. 

* There are Transcancasian specimens in the same herbariom, bnt 
taller, and they are not said to be wild. . 

* Marschall Bieberstein, Flora Caucaso'Tawriea ; 0. A. Meyer, Tcr- 
sieichniss} Hohenacker, Enum. Plant. Talysch ; Boissier, Fl. Orient, 
p. 578, Bahse and Boissier, Plant. Transcaucasios, 

* Ledebonr, Fl. Ross., i. p. 664, quotes de Candolle, Prodromus, n. p. 
354 ; now Seringe wrote the article Faba in Prodromusj in which the 
south of the Caspian is indicated, probably on Lerche's authority. 

* JHct, d^Agric.f v. p. 512. 

* Munby, CaUd. Plant, in Alg^r. sponte nascent., edit. 2, p. 12. 

* Schweinf nrth and Ascherson, AvfzdfUung, p. 256 ; Bohlf s, Kvfra, 


to discover its origin. We mast have recourse to ther 
history of its cultivation and to the names of the species 
to find out the country in which it was originally 

We must first eliminate an error which came from a 
wrong interpretation of Chinese works. Stanislas Julien 
believed that the bean was one of the five plants which 
the Emperor Chin-nong commanded, 4600 years ago, to 
be sown every year with great solemnity.^ Now, accord- 
ing to Dr. Bretschneider,^ who is surrounded at Pekin 
with every possible resource for arriving at the truth, the 
seed similar to a bean which the emperors sow in the 
enjoined ceremony is that of Dolichos soja, and the bean 
was only introduced into China from Western Asia a 
century before the Christian era, at the time of Chang- 
kien's embassy. Thus falls an assertion which it is hard 
to reconcile with other facts, for instance with the 
absence of an ancient cultivation of the bean in India, 
and of a Sanskrit name, or even of any modem Indian 

The ancient Greeks were acquainted with the bean, 
which they called kuamos, and sometimes kuamos 
eUeniJcoa, to distinguish it from that of Egypt, which was 
the seed of a totally different aquatic species, Nelv/m- 
Hum. The Iliad^ already mentions the bean as a culti- 
vated plant, and Yirchow found some beans in the 
excavations at Troy.* The Latins called it faba. We 
find nothing in the works of Theophrastus, Dioscorides^ 
Pliny, etc., which leads us to believe the plant indigenous 
in Greece or Italy. It was early known, because it was 
an ancient Roman rite to put beans in the sacrifices to 
the goddess Cama, whence the name FabaricB Calendce.^ 
The Fabii perhaps took their name from faba, and the 
twelfth chapter of the eighteenth book of Pliny shows, 
without the possibility of a doubt, the antiquity and 
importance of the bean in Italy. 

* Loisclenr Deslongcbamps, Consid. sur Ibs C^r^aZes, pari i. p. 29. 

* Bretscbneider, Study and Valuef eto., pp. 7, 15. 

* Iliad, 13, V. 589. 

* Wittmack, 8itz. hericht Vereina, Brandenburg, 1879. 
f Novitiw Dictionnariwn, at the word Faba, 


The word faha recurs in several of the Aryan lan- 
guages of Europe, but with modifications which philolo- 
gists alone can recognize. We must not forget, however, 
Adolphe Pictet's very just remark,^ that in the cases of 
the seeds of cereals and leguminous plants the names of 
one species are often transferred to another, or that cer- 
tain names were sometimes specific and sometimes generic. 
Several seeds of like form were called kuamoa by the 
Greeks; several different kinds of haricot bean {Pha^ 
8eolu8,Dolicha8) bear the same name in Sanskrit, and /a&a 
in ancient Slav, bobu in ancient Prussian, baho in Armo- 
rican, fav, etc., may very well have been used for peas, 
haricot beans, etc. In our own day the phrase coSee-oean 
is used in the trade. It has been rightly supposed that 
when Pliny speaks o{ fabarice islands, where beans were 
found in abundance, he alludes to a species of wild pea 
called botanically Pisv/ni maritvmum. 

The ancient inhabitants of Switzerland and of Italy 
in the age of bronze cultivated a small-fruited variety of 
Faba vulgaris,^ Heer calls it Celtica naria, because it 
is only six to nine millimetres long, whereas our modem 
field bean is ten to twelve millimetres. He has compared 
the specimens from Montelier on Lake Morat, and St. 
Peter's Islands on Lake Bienne, with others of the same 
epoch from Parma. Mortellet found, in the contem- 
porary lake-dwellings on the Lake Bourget, the same 
small bean, which is, he says, verv like a variety culti- 
vated in Spain at the present day.^ 

The bean was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians.* 
It is true that hitherto no beans have been found in the 
sarcophagi, or drawings of the plant seen on the monu- 
ments. The reason is said to be that the plant was 
reckoned unclean.* Herodotus* says, "The Egyptians 

^ Originea Indo-Europ^ennes, edit. 2, vol. i. p. 353. 

* Heer, PJla/nzen der Pfahlhauten,-p. 22, figs. 44-47. 

* Perrin, J^tude Pr^historique sur la Savoie, p. 2. 

* Delile, Pla/nt, Cult, en J^gypte, p. 12 ; Bejnier, J^eonotnie des Egyjf. 
Hens et CarthaginoiSf p. 840; Unger, Pfian. d. Alt. ^gyp., p. 64; Wilkin- 
son, Man. tmd Cus. qf Anc. Egyptians, p. 402. 

* Bejnier, ubi supra, tries to discover the reason of this. 
' Heiodotas, UisUnre, L»roher'8 trans., Tol. ii. p. 82. 


never sow the bean in their land, and if it grows they do 
not eat it either cooked or raw. The priests cannot even 
endure the sight of it; they imagine that this vegetable is 
unclean." The bean existed then in Egypt, and probably 
in cultivated places, for the soil which would suit it was 
as a nde under cultivation. Perhaps the poor population 
and that of certain districts did not share the prejudices 
of the priests; we know that the superstitions varied 
with the norriea. Plutarch and Diodorus Siculus mention 
the cultivation of the bean in Egypt, but they wrote 
five hundred years later than Herodotua 

The word pol occurs twice in the Old Testament ; ^ it 
has been translated bean because of the traditions pre- 
served by the Talmud, and of the Arabic name fotd, fol, 
orful, which is that of the bean. The first of the two 
verses shows that the Hebrews were acquainted with the 
bean one thousand years before Christ. 

Lastly, I shall mention a sign of the ancient existence 
of the bean in the north of Africa. This is the Berber 
name i&wm, in the plural iahouen, used by the Kabyles of 
the province of Algiera* It has no resemblance to the 
Semitic name, and dates perhaps from a remote antiquity. 
The Berbers formerly inhabited Mauritania, where Pliny 
asserts that the species was wild. It is not known 
whether the Guanchos (the Berber people of the Canaries) 
knew the bean. I doubt whether the Iberians had it, for 
their supposed descendants, the Basques, use the name 
baba,^ answering to the Roman /aba. 

We judge from these facts that the bean was culti- 
vated in Europe in prehistoric terms. It was introduced 
into Europe probably by the western Aryans at the time 
of their earliest migrations (Pelasgians, Kelts, Slavs). It 
was taken to China later, a century before the Christian 
era, and still later into Japan, and quite recently into 

Its wild habitat was probably twofold some thousands 
of years ago, one of the centres being to the south of the 

» 2 Sam. xvii. 28 ; Ezek. iv. 9. 

* Diet. Frai^ais-Berhire, published by tbe French govemmenU 

' Note communicated to M. Glos bj M. d'Abadie. 



Caspian, the other in the north of AMca. This kind of 
area, which I have called disjunctive, and to which I 
formerly paid a good deal of attention,^ is rare in dicoty- 
ledons, but there are examples in those very countries 
of which I have just spoken.^ It is probable that the 
area of the bean has long been in process of diminution 
and of extinction. The nature of the plant is in favour 
of this hypothesis, for its seed has no means of dispersing 
itself, and rodents or other animals can easily make prey 
of it. Its area in Western Asia was probably less limited 
at one time, and that in Africa in Pliny's day was more 
or less extensive. The struggle for existence which was 
going against this plant, as against maize, would have 
gradually isolated it and caused it to disappear, if man 
had not saved it by cultivation. 

The plant which most nearly resembles the bean is 
Vicia narhonensis. Authors who do not admit the genus 
Faha, of which the characters are not very distinct from 
those of Vicia, place these two species in the same section 
Now, Vicia narboTienais is wild in the Mediterranean 
basin and in the East as far as the Caucasus, in the ,* 

north of Persia, and in Mesopotamia.^ Its area is con- ^% 
tinuous, but this renders the hypothesis I mentioned 
above probable by analogy. 

Lentil — Ervura lens, Linnaeus ; LeTia escvZenta, Moench. 

The plants which most nearly resemble the lentil are 
classed by authors now in the genus Ervum, now in a 
distinct genus Lens, and sometimes in the genus Cicer; 
but the species of these ill-defined groups all belong 
to the Mediterranean basin or to Western Asia. This 
throws some light on the origin of the cultivated plant. 
Unfortunately, the lentil is no longer to be found in a 
wild state, at least with certainty. The floras of the 
south of Europe, of Northern Africa, of the East, and of 
India always mention it as cultivated, or as growing in 
fields after or with other cultivated species. A botanist* 

^ A. de Candolle, Oiogr. Bot, Rais., obap. z. 

' Rhododendron ponticum now exists only in Asia Minor and in the 
8< nth of the Spanish peninsula. 

• Boissier, Fl. Orient,, ii. p. 677. 

* C. A. Meyer, VerzeichniM Fl. CaucM., p. 147. 


saw it in the provinces to the south of the Caucasus^ 
"cultivated and nearly wild here and there round vil- 
lages." Another^ indicates it vaguely in the south of 
Russia^ but more recent floras fail to confirm this. 

The history and names of this plant may give clearer 
indications of its origin. It has been cultivated in the 
East, in the Mediterranean basin and even in Switzerland, 
from prehistoric time.. According to Herodotos, Theo- 
phrastus, etc., the ancient Egyptians used it largely. If 
their monuments give no proof of this, it was probably 
because the lentil was, like the bean, considered common 
and coarse. The Old Testament mentions it three times, 
by the name adaschum or adaachim, which must cer- 
tainly mean lentil, for the Arabic name is ads,^ or ada8? 
The red colour of Esau's famous mess of pottage has not 
been understood by most authors. Reynier,* who had 
lived in Egypt, confirms the explanation given formerly 
by Josephus; the lentils were red because they were 
hulled. It is still the practice in Egypt, says Reynier, to 
remove the husk or outer skin from the lentil, and in 
this case they are a pale red. The Berbers have the 
Semitic name adea for the lentil.^ 

The Greeks cultivated the species— /aA:08 or fakai. 
Aristophanes mentions it as an article of food of the 
poor.^ The Latins called it UnSj a name whose origin is 
unknown, which is evidently allied to the ancient Slav 
lesha^ lUyrian lechja, Lithuanian leaszic? The differ- 
ence between the Greek and Latin names shows that the 
species perhaps existed in Greece and Italy before it was 
cultivated. Another proof of ancient existence in Europe 
is the discovery of lentils in the lake-dwellings of St. 
Peter's Island, Lake of Bienne^^ which are of the age of 

' Georgi, in Ledebonr,- Fl, Ross, 

' Forskal, Fl. JEgypU ; Delile, Plant, Cult, en ^gypte, p. 13. 

' Ebn Baithar, ii. p. 134. 

* B^ymer, £eonomie puhlique et ruraZe des Atvihes et desJuifs, Geneve, 
1820, p.'429. 

* Diet. Franf.'BerMrBy in Sfo, 1844. 

* Hehn, Cvlturpfianzen^ etc., edit. 3, vol. ii. p. 188. 

' Ad. Pictet, Originea Indo-EuropSennes, edit. 2, Yol. i. p. 864; 
Hehn, uhi supra, 

* Heer, J^nzen der J^aJilhauten, p. 23, fig. 43. 


bronze. The species may have been introduced from 

According to Theophrastus,^ the inhabitants of Bac- 
triana (the modem Bokkara) did not know the fahos of 
the Greeks. Adolphe Pictet quotes a Persian name, 
wxingu or Tnargw, but he does not say whether it is an 
ancient name, existing, for instance, in the Zend Avesta. 
He admits several Sanskrit names for the lentil, Tnas^ra, 
renuka, mangalya, etc., while Anglo-Indian botanists, 
Roxburgh and Piddington, knew none.^ As these 
authors mention an analogous name in Hindustani and 
Bengali, mussov/Ty we may suppose that masura signifies 
lentil, while mangu in Persian recalls the other name 
Tnangalya. As Roxburgh and Piddington give no name 
in other Indian languages, it may be supposed that the 
lentil was not known in this country before the invasion 
of the Sanskrit-speaking race. Ancient Chinese works 
do not mention the species ; at least, Dr. Bretschneider 
says nothing of them in his work published in 1870, nor 
in the more detailed letters which he has since written 
to me. 

The lentil appears to have existed in western tem- 
perate Asia, in Greece, and in Italy, where its cultivation 
was first undertaken in very early prehistoric time, when 
it was introduced into Egypt. Its cultivation appears 
to have been extended at a less remote epoch, but still 
hardly in historic time, both east and west, that is into 
Europe and India. 

Chiok-Pea — Cicer arietinum, Linnaeus. 

Fifteen species of the genus Cicer are known, all of 
Western Asia or Greece, except one, which is Abyssinian. 
It seems, therefore, most probable that the cultivated 
species comes from the tract of land lying between 
Greece and the Himalayas, vaguely termed the East. 
The species has not been found undoubtedly wild. All 
the floras of the south of Europe, of Egypt, and of 
Western Asia as far as the Caucasus and India, give it as 
a cultivated species, or growing in fields and cultivated 

> Theophraiitiis, Hist, lib, iv, cap. 5. 

* Boxbnrgh, n, Jnd,, edit. 1832, vol. ili. p. 324 $ F|ddiDg^fi, Index. 



grounds. It has soimetinies^ been indicated in the 
Crimea, and to the north, and especially to the south of 
the Caucasus, as nearly wild ; but well-informed modem 
authors do not think so.^ This quasi-wildness can only 
point to its origin in Armenia and the neighbouring 
countries. The cultivation and the names of the species 
may perhaps throw some li^ht on the question. 

The Greeks cultivated this species of pea as early as 
Homer's time, under the name of erebinthoa,^ and also of 
krios,^ from the resemblance of the pea to the head of a 
ram. The Latins caUed it deer, which is the origin of 
all the modem names in the south of Europe. The 
name exists also among the Albanians, descendants of the 
Pelasgiansi under the form kikere.^ The existence of 
such widely different names shows that the plant wa,s 
very early known, and perhaps indigenous, in the south- 
east of Europe. 

The chick-pea has not been found in the lake<-dwell- 
ings of Switzerland, Savoy, and Italy. In the first- 
named locality its absence is not singular ; the climate is 
not hot enough. A common name among the peoples of 
the south of the Caucasus and of the Caspian Sea is, in 
Georgian, nachvda ; in Turkish and Armenian, naekvaSy 
nachunt; in Persian, nochot^ Philologists can tell if this 
is a very ancient name, and if it has any connection with 
the Sanskrit cliennuka. 

The chick-pea is so frequently cultivated in Egypt 
from the earliest times of the Christian era,^ that it is 
supposed to have been also known to the ancient 
Egyptians. There is no proof to be found in the draw- 
ings or stores of grain in their monuments, but it may be 
supposed that this pea, like the bean and the lentil, was 

* Ledebour, Fl, Eoss,^ i. p. 660, according to Panas, Falk, and Koch. 
' Boissier, Fl, Orieid., iL p. 560 ; Steven, VerzeielinU% des TauriacTien 

Hahli'Meln, p. ISi. 

* Biad, bk. 13, verse 589 ; Theophrastiis, Hist^ lib. viii. c. S. 

* Dioscorides, lib. ii. c. 126. 

' Heldreioh, Nutspjlanzen Oiieehenlandsy p. 71. 

* Nemnioh, Polyglott Lex,, i. p^ 1037 ; Buoge, in GoeheU Reise, ii. p. 

' Clement d' Alexandria, Strom., lib. i., quoted from RejDier, J^con, des 
£gyp> et Carthag^ p. 343. 

PLANTS culhyated fob thsir skkds. 325 

eonsidered common or unclean. Reynier* thought that 
the ketsech, mentioned by Isaiah in the Old Testament^ 
was perhaps the chick-pea; but this name is generally 
attributed, though without certainty, to NigeUxi sativa 
or Vicia sativa,^ As the Arabs have a totally different 
name for the chick-pea, omnos, hoToos, which recurs in 
the Kabyl language as hammez,^ it is not likely that 
the ketsech of the Jews was the same plant. These de- 
tails lead me to suspect that the. species was unknown 
to the ancient Egyptians and to tne Hebrews. It was 
perhaps introduced among them from Greece or Italy 
towards the beginning of our era. 

It is of more ancient introduction into India, for 
there is a Sanskrit name, and several others, analogous or 
different, in modem Indian languages.^ Bretschneider 
does not mention the species in China. 

I do not know of any proof of ajitiquity of culture in 
Spain, yet the Castilian name garbanzo, used also by 
the Basques under the form garbantznay and by the 
French as garvance, being neither Latin nor Arabic, may 
date from an epoch anterior to the Roman conquest. 

Botanical, historical, and philological data agree in 
indicating a habitation anterior to cultivation in the 
countries to the south of the Caucasus and to the north 
of Persia. The western Aryans (Pelasgians, Hellenes) 
perhaps introduced the plant into Southern Europe, 
where, however, there is some probability that it was also 
indigenous. The western Aryans carried it into India. 
Its area perhaps extended from Persia to Greece, and the 
species now exists only in cultivated ground, where we 
do not know whether it springs from a stock originally 
wild or from cultivated plants. 

Lupin — Lupinus albua, LinnsBus. 

The ancient Greeks and Romans cultivated this 
leguminous plant to bury it as a green manure, and also 

' Beynier, Aeon, des Arahea et Juifa^ p. 42fO. 

* Bosenmiiller, Bill. Alterth., i. p. 100 ; Hamilton, Bot de la Bible, p. 

' Banwolf, Fl. OriefU,, Hio. 220; Forskal, Fl. ^gypt,, p. 81; Diet 

« Boxburgh, Fl, Ind., iii. p. 824; Fiddington, Index, 

326 osiai2f OF cultivated plants. 

for tlie sake of tlie seeds, -which are a good fodder for 
cattle, and which are also used by man. The expressions 
of Theophrastus, Dioscorides, Cato, Varro, Plmjr, etc., 
quoted by modem writers, refer to the culture or to the 
medical properties of the seeds, and do not show whether 
the species was the white lupin, L, aUms, or the blue* 
flowered lupin, L, hirautus, which grows wild in the 
south of Europe* Fraas says ^ that the latter is grown in 
the Morea at the present day ; but Heldreich says ^ that 
L, aUms grows in Attica. As this is -the species which 
has been long cultivated in Italy, it is probable that it is 
the lupin of the ancients. It was much grown in the 
eighteenth century, especially in Italy,' and de I'Ecluse 
settles the question of the species, as he calls it Licpinua 
Mtivus albo fiore,^ The antiquity of its cultivation in 
Spain is shown by the existence of four different common 
names, according to the province ; but the plant is only 
found cultivated or nearly wild in fields and sandy 
places.* The species is indicated by Bertoloni in Italy, 
on the hills of Sarzana. Yet Camel does not believe 
it to be wild here, any more than in other parts of the 
peninsula.® Gussone ' is very positive for Sicily — " on 
barren and sandy hills, and in meadows (in herbidisy 
Lastly, Grisebach® found it in Turkey in Europe, near 
Buskol', and d'Urville ® saw it in abundance, in a wood 
near Constantinople. Castagne confirms this in a manu- 
script catalogue in my possession. Boissier does not men- 
tion any locality in the East ; the species does not exist 
in India, but Russian botanists have found it to the 
south of the Caucasus, though we do not know with 
certainty if it was really wild.^® Other localities will 
perhaps be found between Sicily, Macedonia, and the 

* Freag, Fl, Clcuis,^ p. 51 ; Lenz., Bot der Alteru, p. 73. 
■ H( Idreioh, Nutzpjlanxen Griechenlands, p. 69. 

» Oltvier de Serres, ThiiUre de VAgi-ic., edit. 1529, p. 88. 

* Clwsitis, Hwf. Plant, ii. p. 228, 

* WillkoniiiL and Lange, FL Hisp., iii. p. 466. • 

* Camel, FL Toacana, p. 136. 

^ Gussone, jP^ SxcuUb Syn,, edit. 2, vJL ii. p. 40(). 

* Griscibach, Spicil. FL Rum$L, p. 11. • D'tTiville, Enum.^ p. f 6. 
*• Ledebour, Fl. Boss,, i. p. 610. 


Egyptian Lupin — Lupinvs termia, Forskal. 

This species of lupin, so nearly allied to L. alhu8 that 
it has sometimes been proposed to unite them/ is largely 
cultivated in Egypt and even in Crete. The most 
obvious dijfference is that the upper part of the flowers 
of L. te/miia is blue. The stem is taUer than that of 
L. alhus. The seeds are used like those of the common 
lupin, after they have been steeped to get rid of their 

L. termia is wild in sandy soil and mountainous dis- 
tricts, in Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica;^ in Syria and 
Egypt, according to Boissier ;® but Schweinfurth and As- 
cherson * say that it is only cultivated in Egypt. Hart- 
mann saw it wild in Upper Egypt* linger* mentions 
it among the cultivated specimens of the ancient Elgyp- 
tians, but he gives neither specimen nor drawing. Wil- 
kinson ^ says only that it has been found in the tombs. 

No lupin is grown in India, nor is there any Sanskrit 
name; its seeds are sold in bazaars under the name 
tourTnus (Royle, JM., p. 194). 

The Arabic name, termia or termiia, is also that of the 
Greek lupin, termoa. It may be inferred that the Greeks 
had it from the Egyptians. As the species was known 
to the ancient Egyptians, it seems strange that it has no 
Hebrew name ; * but it may have been introduced into 
Egypt after the departure of the Israelites. 

Field-Pea — Piavmi arvemae, Linnseus. 

This pea is grown on a large scale for the seed, and 
also sometimes for fodder. Although its appearance and 
botanical characters allow of its being easily distinguished 
from the garden-pea, Greek and Boman authors con- 
founded them, or are not explicit about them. Their 
writings do not prove that it was cultivated in their 
time. It has not been found in the lake-dwellings of 

" Camel, Fl Toao,, p. 136. 

« Gussone, Fl. Sic, Syn., ii. p. 267 ; Moris, Fl. Sardoa^ i. p. 596. 

• Boissier, Fl. Orient., ii. p. 29.. * Aufzdhlurtg, etc., p. 257. 

* Schweinfurth, PlantcB Nilot. a Hartman Coll., p. 6. 

• Unger, Pflanzen d, Alt. JEgyp., p. 65. 

' Wilkioson, Manners amd Custome of the Ancient Egyptians, ii. p. 403. 

* Bosenmuller, Bihl. Alterth., toL i* 


Switzerland, France, and Italy. Bobbio has a legend 
(a.d. 930), in which it is said that the Italian peasants 
called a certain seed herbilia, whence it has been sup- 
posed to be the modem rvhiglia or the Piswni satiw/m of 
botanista^ The species is cultivated in the East, and as 
far as the north of India.^ It is of recent cultivation in 
tiie latter country, for there is no Sanskrit name, and 
Piddington gives only one name in one of the modem 

Whatever may be the date of the introduction of its 
culture, the species is undoubtedly wild in Italy, not only 
in hedges anfnear cultivated grJund, but aJin toresL 
and wild mountainous districts.® I find n6 positive 
indication in the floras that it grows in Uke manner 
in Spain, Algeria, Greece, and the East. The plant is 
said to be indigenous in the south of Russia, but some- 
times its wild character is doubtful, and sometimes the 
species itself is not ceitain, from a confusion with Pisum 
aativum and P. elatius. Of all Anglo-Indian botanists, 
only Boyle admits it to be indigenous in the north of 

Oarden-Pea — Pisfwm satiw/m, Linnaeus. 

The pea of our kitchen gardens is more delicate than 
the field-pea, and sufiers from frost and drought. Its 
natural area, previous to cultivation, was probably more 
to the south and more restricted. It has not hitherto 
been found wild, either in Europe or in the west of Asia, 
whence it is supposed to have come. Biebersteiri's indica- 
tion of the species in the Crimea is not correct, according 
to Steven, who was a resident in the country.* Perhaps 
botanists have overlooked its habitation; perhaps the 
plant has disappeared from its original dwelling ; perhaps 
also it is a mere modification, effected by culture, of 
Pisum arvense. Alefeld held the latter opinion,^ but he 

1 Maratori, Antich, ItaZ,, i. p. 847; Diss., 24, quoted bj Targioni, 
Cenni Storicif p. 31. 

* Boissier, FL Orient, ii. p. 623 ; Eoyle, HI. Himal., p. 200. 

» Bertoloni, FL ItaL, vii. p. 419; Carnel, Fl. Tosc, p. 184 j Gassone, 
Fl. Sic. Synopsis, ii. p. 279 ; Moris, Fl, Sardoa, i. p. 577. 

* Steven, Verzeickniss, p. 134. 

* Alefeld, Bot. Zeitung,, 1860, p. 204. 


has published too little on the subject for us to be able 
to conclude anything from it. He only says that, having 
cidtivated a great number of varieties both of the field 
and garden pea, he concludes that they belong to the 
same species. Darwin ^ learnt through a third person 
that Andrew Knight had crossed the field-pea with a 
garden variety known as the Prussian pea, and that the 
product was fertile. This would certainly be a proof 
of specific unity, but further observation and experi- 
ment is required. In the mean time, in the search for 
geographic origin, etc., I am obliged to consider the two 
folms separately. 

Botimists who distinguish many species in the genus 
Pisum, admit eight, all European or Asiatic. Pisum 
sdtiw/m was cultivated by the Greeks in the time of 
Theophrastua^ They called it pisos, or pison. The 
Albanians, descendants of the Pelasgians, call it pizelle? 
The Latins had pisfwrn} This uniformity of nomencla- 
ture seems to show that the Aryans knew the plant 
when they arrived in Greece and Italy, and perhaps 
brought it with them. Other Aryan languages have 
several names for the generic sense of pea ; but it is 
evident, from Adolphe Pictets learned discussion on the 
subject,'^ that none of these names can be applied to 
Pisv/ra satiw/m in particular. Even when one of the 
modem languages, Slav or Breton, limits the sense to the 
garden-pea, it is very probable that formerly the word 
signified field-pea, lentil^ or any other leguminous plant. 

The gard^i-pea ^ has been found among the remains 
in the lake-dwellings of the age of bronze, in Switzerland 
and Savoy. The seed is spherical, wherein it differs from 
Pisum arvevse. It is smaller than our modem pea. 
Heer says he found it also among relics of the stone age, 

* Darwin, Animals and Plants under Domestieationf p. 826. 
' Theophr&stas, Hist,, lib. viii. c. 3 and 5. 

* Heldreich, Nutzpfianzen Chriechenlandst p. 71. 

* Pliny, Hist, lib. xviii. o. 7 and 12. This is certainly P. sativum, 
for the author says it cannot bear the cold. 

' Ad. Pictet, Origines Indo-Europ^ennes, edit. 2, vol. i. p. 359. 

* Heer, J^jUmtten der PfaMbaiiten, zziii. fig. 4S ; Perrin, ^ttides Vr4^ 
historiques sur la Savoie, p. 22. 


at Moosseedorf ; but he is less positive, and only gives 
figures of the less ancient pea of St Peter's Island. If 
the species dates from the stone age in Switzerland, it 
would be anterior to the immigration of the Aryans. 

There is no indication of the culture of Pisum sativum 
in ancient Egypt or in India. On the other hand, it has 
long been cultivated in the north of India, if it had, as 
Piddington says, a Sanskrit name, harenso^ and if it has 
several names very different to this in modem Indian 
languages.^ It has been introduced into China fi^m 
Western Asia. The Pent-sao, drawn up at the end of 
the sixteenth century, calls it the Mahometan pea.^ In 
conclusion : the species seems to have existed in Western 
Asia, perhaps from the south of the Caucasus to Persia^' 
before it was cultivated. The Aryans introduced it into 
Europe, but it perhaps existed in Northern India before 
the arrival of the eastern Aryans. It no Wer exists in 
a wild state, and when it occurs in fields, half^wild, it is 
not said to have a modified form so as to approach some 
other species. 

Soy — Dolichoa soja, Linnseus ; Glycirie soja, Bentham. 

This leguminous annual has been cultivated in China 
and Japan from remote antiquity. This might be 
gathered from the many uses of the soy bean and from 
the immense number of varieties. But it is also supposed 
to be one of the farinaceous substances called shw in 
Chinese writings of Confucius' time, though the modem 
name of the plant is ta-tou.^ The bean is nourishing, 
and contains a large proportion of oil, and preparations 
similar to butter, oil, and cheese are extracted from it and 
used in Chinese and Japanese cooking.^ Soy is also 
grown in the Malay Archipelago, but at the end of the 
eighteenth century it was still rare in Amboyna,^ and 
Forster did not see it in the Pacific Isles at the time of 
Cook*s voyages. It is of modem introduction in India, 

^ Fiddington, Index, Roxburgh does not g\ve a Sanskrit name. 

* Bretschneider, Study and Valxie, etc., p. 16. 

• Ihid.j p. 9. 

* See Pailleax, in Bull, de la Soc. d'Acdim,^ Sept. and Oct., ISSO. . 

• Eumphius, Amh., vol. ▼. p. 3SS. 


for Roxburgh had only seen the plant in the botanical 
gardens at Calcutta, where it was brought from the Mo- 
luccas.^ There are no common Indian names.^ Besides, 
if its cultivation had been ancient in India, it would 
have spread westward into Syria and Egypt, which is 
not the case. » 

Ksempfer^ formerly published an excellent illustration 
of the soy bean, and it had existed for a century in 
European botanical gardens, when more extensive infor- 
mation about China and Japan excited about ten years 
ago a lively desire to introduce it into our countries. In 
Austria, Hungary, and France especially, attempts have 
been made on a large scale, of which the results have 
been summed up in works worthy of consultation.* It 
is to be hoped these eflTorts may be successful ; but we 
must not digress from the aim of our researches, the 
probable origin of the species. 

Linnaeus says, in his Species^ " habitat in India," and 
refers to Ksempfer, who speaks of the plant in Japan, and 
to his own flora of Ceylon, where he gives the plant as 
cultivated. Thwaitess modem flora of Ceylon makes no 
mention of it. We must evidently go further east to find 
the origin both of the species and of its cultivation. Lou- 
reiro says that it grows in Cochin-China and that it is 
often cultivated in China.*^ I find no proof that it is wild 
in the latter country, but it may perhaps be discovered, as 
its culture is so ancient Bussian botanists * have only 
found it cultivated in the north of China and in the 
basin of the river Amur. It is certainly wild in Japan.^ 
Junghuhn ** found it in Java on Mount Gunung-Gamping, 
and a plant sent also from Java by Zollinger is supposed 
to belong to this species, but it is not certain that the 

* Boxbnrgb, Fl. Ind.j iii. p. 314. * Piddington, Index. 

• Kaempfer, Amer. Exot., p. 837, pi. 838. 

* Haberlandt, Die Sojabohnej in 8vo, Vienna, 1878, quoted by Paillenx, 
ubi 8upra, 

• Loureiro, Fl. Cochin., ii. p. 538. 

• Bunge, Enum. Plant, Chin., 118; Maximowicz, Primit, Fl, Amur., 
p. 87. 

^ 3Iiqnel, Prolusio, in Ann, Mus, Lugd, Bat., iii. p. 52 ; Francbet and 
Savatier, Enum, Plant, Jap., i. p. 108. 

* Janghubn, Plantm Jungh., p. 255. 


specimen was wilcL^ A Malay name, kaddee,^ quite 
different to the Japanese and Chinese common names, is 
in favour of its indigenous character in Java. 

Enownfacts and historical and philological probabilities 
tend to show that the species was wild from Ck>chin*China 
to the south of Japan and to Java when the ancient 
inhabitants of this region began to cultivate it at a very 
remote period/to use it for food in various wavs, and to 
obtain from it varieties of which the number is remark- 
able, especially in Japan. 

Pigeon-Pea — Cajanua indicus, Sprengel ; Cytisus 
Cajan, Linnaeus. 

TUs leguminous plant, often grown in tropical coun- 
tries, is a shrub, but it fruits in the first year, and in 
some countries it is grown as an annuaL I^ seed is an 
important article of the food of the negroes and natives, 
but the European colonists do not care for it unless 
cooked green like our garden-pea. The plant is easily 
naturalized in poor soil round cultivated plots, even in 
the West India Islands, where it is not indigenous.' 

In Mauritius it is called ambrevade ; in the English 
colonies, doU, jpigeon-pea; and in the French Antilles, 
pais d^ Angola, pois de Congo, pois pigeon. 

It is remarkable that, though the species is diffused in 
three continents, the varieties are not numerous. Two 
are cited, based only upon the yellow or reddish colour 
of the flower, which were formerly regarded as distinct 
species; but a more attentive examination has resulted in 
their being classed as one, in accordance with Linnaeus' 
opinion.^ The small number of variations obtained even 
in the organ for which the species is cultivated is a sign 
of no very ancient culture. Its habitation previous to 
culture is uncertain. The best botanists have sometimes 
supposed it to be a native of India, sometimes of tropical 

^ 8oja angiLstifolia, Miqnel ; see Hooker, Fl. Brit. Ind,, ii. p. 184. 

• Bumphias, Amh., vol. ▼. p. 388. 

* Tossac, Flore des Antilles, vol. iv. p. 94, pi. 82 ; Giisebacfat, Fl, of 
Brit. W. Indies, i. p. 191. 

« See Wight and Amott, Prod. Fl. FenMM^ Ind., p. 266 ; Klotzscb, in 
Peters, Reiae ncxh Mozambique, i. p. 86. The yellow variety is figured 
in Tassao, that with the red flowers in the Botanical Register, 1845, pi. 81. 


Africa. Bentham, who has made a careful study of the 
leguminous plants, believed in 1861 in the African origin; 
in 1865 he inclined rather to Asia.^ The problem is, 
therefore, an interesting one. There is no question of an 
American origin. The cajan was introduced into the 
West Indies from the coast of Africa by the slave trade, 
as the common names quoted above show,^ and the 
unanimous opinion of authors or American floras. It 
has also been taken to Brazil, Guiana, and into all the 
warm parts of the American continent. 

The facility with which the species is naturalized 
would alone prevent attaching great importance to the 
statements of collectors, who have found it more or less 
wild in Asia or in Africa; and besides, these assertions are 
not precise, but are usually doubtful. Most writers on 
the flora of continental India have only seen the plant 
cultivated,® and none, to my knowledge, affirms that it 
exists wild. For the island of Ceylon Thwaites says,* 
" It is said not to be really wild, and the country names 
seem to confirm this." Sir Joseph Hooker, in his Flora 
of British India, says, " Wild (?) and cultivated to the 
height of six thousand feet in the Himalayas." Loureiro ^ 
gives it as cultivated and non-cultivated in China and 
Cochin-China. Chinese authors do not appear to have 
spoken of it, for the species is not named by Bretschneider 
in his work On the Study, etc. In the Sunda Isles it 
is mentioned as cultivated, and that rarely, at Amboyna 
at the end of the eighteenth century, according to Rum- 
phius.® Forster had not seen it in the Pacific Isles at the 
time of Cook's voyages, but Seemann says that it has 
been recently introduced by missionaries into the Fiji 
Isles.' All this argues no very ancient extension of cul- 
tivation to the east and south of the continent of Asia. 
Besides the quotation from Loureiro, I find the species 

' Bentham, Mora HongJcongefisuiy p. 89 ; Flora Braf:il., yoI. zy. p. 199; 
Bentham and Hooker, i. p, 541. 

* Tnssac, More des Antilles ; Jacqnin, Obs., p. 1. 
' Bheede, Boxbnrgh, Kurz, Bibrm* M., etc. 

* Thwaites, Env/m^ PI. Ceylan. • Loureiro, FL CocHi., p. 565. 

* Ramphius, Amh., vol. ▼. t. 135. 
' BeemaoD, Fl. Vitiensis, p. 74. 


indicated on the mountain of Magelang, Java ;^ bat, sup- 
posing this to be a true and ancient wild growth in both 
cases, it would be very extraordinary not to find the 
species in many other Asiatic localities. 

The abundance of Indian and Malay names ^ shows 
a somewhat ancient cultivation. Piddington even gives 
a Sanskrit name, arhvJcv,, which was not known to Kox- 
burgh, but he gives no proof in support of his assertion. 
The name may have been merely supposed from the 
Hindu and Bengali names wrwr and orol. No Semitic 
name is known. 

In Africa the cajan is often found from Zanzibar to 
the coast of Guinea.* Authors say it is cultivated, or 
else make no statement on this head, which would seem 
to show that the specimens are sometimes wild. In 
Egypt this cultivation is quite mode]:n, of the nineteenth 

Briefly, then, I doubt that the species is really wild 
in Asia, and that it has been grown there for more than 
three thousand years. If more ancient peoples had known 
it, it would have come to the knowledge of the Arabs and 
Egyptians before our time. In tropical Africa, on the 
contrary, it is possible that it has existed wild or culti- 
vated for a very long time, and that it was introduced 
into Asia by ancient travellers trading between Zanzibar 
and India or Ceylon. 

The genus Cajanus has only one species, so that no 
analogy of geographical distribution leads us to believe it 
to be rather of Asiatic than African origin, or vice versa. 

Carob Tree ^ — Ceratonia sUiqvAi, Linnseus. 

The seeds and pods of the carob are highly prized in 
the hotter parts of the Mediterranean basin, as food for 
animals and even for man. De Gasparin ^ has given in- 

^ Jnnghnhn, PlantoB Jwngh., fasc. i. p. 241. 

• Piddington, Index ; Bheede, Malab.f yi. p. 23, etc. 

• Pickering, Chrori, Arrarig. of Plants, p. 442 ; Peterg, Reise, p. 86 ; 
E. Brown, Bot of Congo, p. 53 ; Oliver, Fl. of Trop. Afr., ii. p. 216. 

* Bulletin de la 8oci4t6 d' Acclimation^ 1871, p. 663. 

' The species is given here in order not to separate it from the other 
legnminons plants cultivated for the seeds alone. 

* De Gasparin, Cours. d'Agric*, iv. p. 328. 


teresting details about the raising, lises, and habitation of 
the species as a cultivated tree. He notes that it does 
not pass the northern limit beyond which the orange 
cannot be grown without shelter. This fine evergreen 
tree does not thrive either in very hot countries, especially 
where there is much humidity. It likes the neighbour- 
hood of the sea and rocky places. Its original country, 
according to Gasparin, is " probably the centre of Africa. 
Denham and Clapperton found it in Bumou/' This 
proof seems to me insufficient, for in all the Nile Valley 
and in Abyssinia the carob is not wild nor even culti- 
vated.^ R. Brown does not mention it in his account of 
Denham and Clapperton's journey. Travellers have seen 
it in the forests of Cyrenaica between the high-lands 
and the littoral ; but the able botanists who have drawn 
up the catalogue of the plants of this country are careful 
to say,^ "perhaps indigenous." Most botanists merely 
mention the species in the centre and south of the Medi- 
terranean basin, from Spain and Marocco to Syria and 
Anatolia, without inquiring closely whether it is indi- 
genous or cultivated, and without entering upon the 
question of its true country previous to cultivation. 
Usually they indicate the carob tree, as " cultivated and 
subspontaneous, or nearly wild." However, it is stated to 
be wild in Greece by Heldreich, in Sicily by Gussone and 
Bianca, in Algeria by Munby ; ® and these authors have 
each lived long enough in the country for which each is 
quoted to form an enlightened opinion. 

Bianca remarks, however, that the carob tree is not 
always healthy and productive in those restricted localities 
where it exists in Sicily, in the small adjacent islands, 
and on the coast of Italy. He puts forward the opinion, 
moreover, based upon the similarity of the Italian name 
carrvho with the Arabic word, that the species was 

^ Scbweinf arth and Ascherson, Aufzahlungt p. 255 ; Bichard, Tentamen 
M. Abyss. 

* Ascherson, etc., in Bobls, Kufra, 1 toI. in Sto, 1881, p. 519. 

' Heldreich, Nutzj^lanzen QriecherUamds, p. 73; Die PAa/nzen der 
Attischen Ebevis, p. 477 ; G-assone, 8yn. Fl, Sic, p. 646 ; Bianca, R CarruhOf 
in the QiomaZe d*Agr%coltura Italiana, 1881 ; Muubj, Catal. PI, in Alg. 
BponL^ p. 13. 


anciently introduced into the south of Europe, the species 
being of Syrian or north African origin. He maintains 
as probable the theory of Hcefer and Bonn^/ that the 
lotus of th3 lotopha^i was the carob tree, of which the 
flower is sweet and the fruit has a taste of honey, which 
agrees with the expressions of Homer. The lotus-eaters 
dwelt in Cyrenaica, so that the carob must have been 
abundant in their coimtry. If we admit this hypothesis 
we must suppose that Pliny and Herodotus did not know 
Homer s plant, for the one describes the lotos as bearing 
a fruit like a mastic berry (Pi8ta4^ lentuctis), the other 
as a deciduous tree.* 

An hypothesis regarding a doubtful plant formerly 
mentioned by a poet can hardly serve as the basis of 
an argument upon facts of natural history. After all, 
Homer's lotus plant perhaps existed only in the fabled 
garden of Hesperides. I return to more serious argu-* 
ments, on which Bianca has said a few words. 

The carob has two names in ancient languages — the 
one Greek, keraunia or kerateia;^ the other Arabic, 
chirnub or char4b. The first alludes to the form of the 
pod, which is like a slightly curved horn ; the oth^ means 
merely pod, for we find in Ebn Baithar's * work that four 
other leguminous plants bear the same name, with a quali- 
fying epithet. The Latins had no special name; they 
used the Greek word, or the expression diliqwa, siliqua 
groBca (Greek pod).** This dearth of names is the sign of a 
once restricted area, and of a culture which probably does 
not date from prehistoric time. The Greek name is still 
retained in Greece. The Arab name persists among the 
Kabyles, who call the fruit kharrovb, the tree takhar^ 
rout,^ and the Spaniards algarrobo. Curiously enough, 

^ Hcefer, Hist Bot, Minir, et Q4ol., 1 yol. in 12mo, p. 20 ; Bonn^, Le 
Carouhierf ou VArhre des Lotophages, Algiers, 1869 (quoted by Hcefer). 
See above, the article on the jujabe tree. 

' Plinjy HUt, lib. i. cap. SO. 

' Theophrastus, Hist Plants lib. i. cap. 11; Dioscoridefl, lib. i. 
cap. 155; Fraas, 8yn. Fl. Class., p. 65. 

^ Ebn Baithar, German trans., i. p. 854 ; Forskal, Fl. JEgypt, p. 77. 

* Columna, quoted bj Lens^ Bot. der AlUn, p. 73; Plinj, Hist, 
lib. xiii. cap. 8. 

' Diet. Frang.'Berh^e, at the word Carouhe, 


the Italians also took the Arab name currabo; cai^io, 
whence the French caroubier. It seems that it must 
have been introduced after the Roman epoch by the 
Arabs of the Middle Ages, when there was another name 
for it. These details are all in favour of Bianca's 
theory of a more southern origin than Sicily. Pliny 
says the species belonged to Syria, Ionia, Cnidos, and 
Bhodes, but he does not say whether it was wild or 
cultivated in these places. Pliny also says that the 
carob tree did not exist in Egypt. Yet it has been 
recognized in monuments belonging to a much earlier 
epo(3i than that of Pliny, and Egyptologists even 
attribute two Egyptian names to it, kontratee or jiri} 
Lepsius gives a drawing of a pod which appears to 
him to be certainly a carob, and the botanist Kotschy 
made certain by microscopic investigation that a stick 
taken fix)m a sarcophagus was made from the wood of 
the carob tree.* There is no known Hebrew name for 
the species, which is not mentioned in the Old Testament. 
The New Testament speaks of it by the Greek name in 
the parable of the prodigal son. It is a tradition of the 
Christians in the East that St. John Baptist fed upon 
the fruit of the carob in the desei-t, and hence came 
the names given to it in the Middle Ages — bread of 
St John, and Johannis brcdbaum. 

Evidently this tree became important at the beginning 
of the Christian era, and it spread, especially through 
the agency of the Arabs, towards the West. had 
prevfously existed in AJg^ria, amon^ the Berbers, and in 
Spain, oldier names would have persisted, and the species 
would probably have been introduced into the Canaries 
by the Phoenicians. 

The information gained on the subject may be 
summed up as follows : — 

The carob grew wild in the Levant, probably on the 
southern coast of Anatolia and in Syria, perhaps also in 

* Lexicon Oxon., quoted by Pickering, Chron. Hist, of Plants^ p. 141. 

• The drawing is reproduced in Unger's PJlanzen des Alten JEgyptens^ 
fig. 22. The observation Tvhich he qaotes from Kotschy needs confirma- 
tion by a special anatomist. 


Cyrenaica. Its cultivation began within historic time. 
The Greeks diffused it in Greece and Italy; but it was 
afterwards more highly esteemed by the Arabs, who 
propagated it as far as Marocco and Spain. In all these 
countries the tree has become naturalized here and there 
in a less productive form, which it is needful to graft to 
obtain good fruit. 

The carob has not been found in the tufa and quater- 
nary deposits of Southern Europe. It is the only one of 
its kind in the genus Geratonia, which is somewhat 
exceptional among the Leguminoace, especially in Europe. 
Nothing shows that it existed in the ancient tertiary or 
quaternary flora of the south-west of Europe. 

Common Haricot Kidney Bean — Phaseolua vulgaris, 

When, in 1855, I wished to investigate the origin of 
the genera Phaseolvs and Dolichos^ the distinction of 
species was so little defined, and the floras of tropical 
countries so rare, that I was obliged to leave several 
questions on one side. Now, thanks to the works of 
Bentham and Georg von Martens,^ completing the previous 
labours of Savi,® the Legv/rm/ruB of hot countries are 
better known ; lastly, the seeds discovered quite recently 
in the Peruvian tombs of Ancon, examined by Wittmack, 
have completely modified the question of origin. 

I will speak first of the common haricot bean, after- 
wards of some other species, without, however, enume- 
rating all those which are cultivated, for several of these 
are still ill defined. 

Botanists held for a long time that the common 
haricot was of Indian origin. No one had found it wild, 
nor has it yet been found, but it was supposed to be of 
Indian origin, although the species was also cultivated in 
Africa and America, in temperate and hot r^ions, at 
least in those where the heat and humidity are not 
excessive. I called attention to the fact that there is 

* A. de CaDdoUe, 04ogr. Bot. Rais., p. 961. 

* Bentbam, in Ann. Wiener Museum^ vol. ii. j MartenR, Die Qarten' 
hohnen, in 4to, Stnttgart, 1860, edit. 2, 1869. 

' Savi, Osserv, sopra PhcLseolus e Dolichos, 1, 2, 3. 


ho Sanskrit name, and thai sixteenth-century gardeners 
often called the species Turkieh bean. Convinced, more- 
over, that the Greeks cultivated this plant under the 
names fasiolos and dolicho8, I suggested that it came 
originally from Western Asia, and not from India. Georg 
von Martens adopted this hypothesis. 

However, the meaning of the words dolichoa of 
Theophrastus, fasiolos of Dioscorides, faseolus and 
phaseolus of the Romans,^ is far from being sufficiently 
defined to allow them to be attributed with certainty to 
Phaseolus vulgaris. Several cultivated Legwminosa^ are 
supported by the trellises mentioned by authors, and 
have pods and seeds of a similar kind. The best argu* 
ment for translating these names by Phaseolus vulgaris 
is that the modem Greeks and Italians have names 
derived from fasiolus for the common haricot. In 
modem Greek it is fasouZia, in Albanian (Felasgic ?) 
fasuU, in Italian fagiolo. It is possible, however, that 
the name has been transferred from a species of pea 
or vetch, or from a haricot formerly cultivated, to our 
modem haricot. It is rather bold to determine a species 
of Phaseolus from one or two epithets in an ancient 
author, when we see how difficult is the distinction of 
species to modem botanists with the plants under their 
eyes. Nevertheless, the dolichos of Theophrastus has 
been definitely referred to the scarlet rvmner, and the 
foMdos to the dwarf haricot of our gardens, which are 
the two principal modem varieties of the common 
haricot, with an immense number of sub-varieties in the 
form of the pods and seed. I can only say it may be so. 

If the common haricot was formerly known in Greece, 
it was not one of the earliest introductions, for the 
faseolos did not exist at Rome in Cato's time, and it is 
only at the beginning of the empire that Latin authors 
speak of it. Virchow brought from the excavations at 
Troy the seeds of several leguminae, which Wittmack ^ 

' Thoophrastns, Hist., lib. Yiii. oap. 3 ; Diosoorides, lib. ii. cap. 130 ; 
Pliny, HisLy lib. zviii. cap. 7» 12, interpreted by Fraas, Syn. Fl. Class^ 
p. 52 ; Lenz, Bot. der Alien, p. 731 ; Martens, Die Qariev^hnen, p. 1. 

' Wittmaok, Bot. YereinB Braiidenhurg, Dec. 19, 1879. 


has ascertained to belong to the following species : broad 
bean {Faha vulgaris), garden-pea (Fievm aativu/m), ervilla 
(Ervum ervilia), and perhaps the flat-podded vetchling 
(Lathyi'us Cicera\ but no haricot. Nor has the species 
been found in the lake-dwellings of Switzerland^ Savoy, 
Austria, and Italy. 

There are no proofs or signs of its existence in 
ancient Egypt No Hebrew name is known answering 
to the PhakeoluB or Dolichos of botanists. A less ancient 
name, for it is Arabic, lovhia, exists in Egypt for Dolichos 
Ivhia, and in Hindustani as loba for Phaseolua tnUgaris.^ 
As regards the latter species, Piddington only gives two 
names in modem languages, and those both Hindustani, 
loba and boMa. This, together with the absence of a 
Sanskrit name, points to a recent introduction into 
Southern Asia. Chinese authors do not mention P. 
vulgaris? which is a further indication of a recent 
introduction into India, and also into Bactriana^ whence 
the Chinese have imported plants from the second 
century of our era. 

All these circumstances incline me to doubt whether 
the species was known in Asia before the Christian era. 
The argument based upon the modem Greek and Italian 
names for the haricot, derived from fasiolos, needs some 
support. It may be said in its favour that it was used 
in the Middle Ages, probably for the common haricot. 
In the list of vegetables which Charlemagne commanded 
to be sown in his farms, we find fasiolurn,,^ without ex^ 
planation. Albertus. Magnus describes under the name 
faseolus a leguminous plant which appears to be our 
dwarf haricot.^ I notice, on the other hand, that writers 

* Delile, Plantes Ctdtivies en £gypte, p. 14 ; Piddington, Indetf* 

* Bretsohneider does not mmition any, either in his pamphlet On the 
Study and Value of Chinese Botanical Works, or in his private letters 
to me. 

' E. Meyer, Geschichte der Botaniqtte, iui p. 404. 

^ " Faseolus est species leguminis et grani, quod est in qu^ntitate parun^ 
minus quam Faha, et in figura est columnare sicut faha, herhaque tjus 
minor est aliquantulum quam herha Fah(R. Et sunt faseoli multoruni 
colorum, sed quodlihet granorwm hahet maculam nigram in loco cotyledonis*' 
(Jessen, Alberti Magni, De Vegetahilihtts, edit, oritica, p. 516). 


in the fifteenth century* such as Pierre Crescenzio* and 
Macer Floridus,* mention no faseolua or similar name. 
On the other hand, after the discovery of America, from 
the sixteenth century all authors publish descriptions 
and drawings of Phaseolus wlgaris, with a number of 

It is doubtful that its cultivation is ancient in tropical 
Africa It is indicated there less often than that of other 
species of the Dolichos and Phaseolus genera. 

It had not occurred to any one to seek the origin of 
the haricot in America till, quite recently, some remark- 
able discoveries of fruits and seeds were made in Peru- 
vian tombs at Ancon, near Lima. Rochebrune » published 
a list of the species of different families from the collection 
made by Cossac and Savatier. Among the number are 
three kinds of haricot, none of which, says the author, is 
Phaseolus vulgaris; but Wittmack,* who studied the 
leguminse brought from these same tombs by Reiss 
and Stubel, says he made out several varieties of the 
common haricot among other seeds belonging to Phaseolus 
lunatus, Linnaeus. He had identified them with the 
varieties of P. vulgaris called by botanists Obt&iigus 
jmrjpnreus (Martens), Ellipticus prcecox (Alefeld), and 
EUipticus atrofuscus (Alefeld), which belong to the cate- 
gory of dwarf or branchless haricots. 

It is not certain that the tombs in question are all 
anterior to the advent of the Spaniards. The work of 
Reiss and Stubel, now in the press, will perhaps give 
some information on this head ; but Wittmack admits, on 
their authority, that some of the tombs are not ancient. 
I notice a fact, however, which has passed without 
observation. The fifty species of Rochebrune are all 
American. There is not one which can be suspected to 
be of European origin. Evidently these plants and seeds 

* P. Gresceog, French trans., 1539. 

* Hacer Floridas, edit. 1485, and Choulant's commentary, 1832. 

' Dd Bochebrane, Actea de la 8oc, Urm, de Bordeatix, vol. xzxiii. Jan., 
1880, of which I saw an analysis in Botaniaches^ Centralblatt, 1830, 
p. 1633. 

* Wittmaolc, Sitzungsherit^t des Bot Vereins Brandtnhurgf Dec. 19, 
1879, and a pri'ate letter. 


Were either deposited before the conqaest^ or^ in certain 
tombs which perhaps belong to a subsequent epoch, the 
inhabitants took care not to put species of foreign origin. 
This was natural enough according to their ideas, for the 
custom of depositing plants in the tombs was not a result 
of the Catholic religion, but was an inheritance from the 
customs and opinions of the natives. The presence of 
the common haricot among exclusively American plants 
seems to me important^ whatever the date of the tomba 

It may be objected that the seeds are insufficient 
ground for determining the species of a phaseolua, and 
that several species of this genus which are not yet 
well known were cultivated in South America before 
the arrival of the Spaniards. Molina ^ speaks of thirteen 
or fourteen species (or varieties ?) cultivated formerly in 
Chili alone. 

Wittmack insists upon the general and ancient use 
of the haricot in several parts of South America. This 
proves at least that seversd species were indigenous and 
cultivated. He quotes the testimony of Joseph Acosta, 
one of the first writers after the conquest, who says 
that 'Hhe Peruvians cultivated vegetables which they 
called frisolea and palares, and which they used as the 
Spaniwls use garhanzos (chick-pea), beans and lentils. 
I have not found," he adds, " that these or other European 
vegetables were found here before the coming of the 
Europeans.** Frisole, fajol, /o^o^r, are Spanish names for 
the common haricot, corruptions of the Latin fctaduSy 
fasolvs, fdseolus. PaUer is American. 

I may take this opportunity of explaining the origin 
of the French name haricot I sought for it formerly in 
vain;* but I noticed that Toumefort® (JnstU.^ p. 415) 
was the first to use it I called attention also to the 
existence of the word arcuhos {apa\o^) in Theophrastus, 
probably for a kind of vetch, and of the Sanskrit word 

* Molina {"Bssai tur VHist Nat du Chilij Frenob trans., p. 101) 
mentions PhaseoU, which he calls paUdr and aseUuSj and CL Ghky's 
Fl. du Chili adds, withonfe mach explanation, Ph. Cumingiif Bentbam, 

' A. de CaDdolle, O^og. Bot, Rata., p. 69L 

• Tooraefort, EUments (1694), i. p. 328; Instit., p. 415. 


karenso (or the common pea. I rejected as improbable 
the notion that the name of a vegetable could come from 
the dish called haricot or laricot of mutton, as suggested 
by an English author, and criticized Bescherelle^ who 
derived the word from Keltic, while the Breton words are 
totally different^ and signify small bean (fa-muTt/no) or 
kind of pea (pia-ram). Lettr^, in his dictionary^ also seeks 
the etymology of the word. Without any acquaintance 
with my article, he inclines to the theory that haricot, the 
plant, comes from the ragout, seeing tiiat the latter is 
older in the language, and that a certain resemblance 
may be traced between the haricot bean and the morsels 
of meat in the ragout, or else that this bean was suitable 
to the making of the dish. It is certain that this 
vegetable was called in Trench faseole or faz^le, from the 
Latin name, until nearly the end of the seventeenth 
century; but chance has led me to discover the real 
origin of the word haricot. An Italian name, araco, 
found in Durante and Matthioli, in Latin Ardcus niger^ 
was given to a leguminous plant which modem botanists 
attribute to Lathyrus ochrus. It is not surprising that 
an Italian seventeenth-century name should be trans- 
ported by French cultivators of the following century to 
another leguminous plant, and that ara should have been 
ari. It is the sort of mistake which is common now. 
Besides, arcucos or arachoa has been attributed by com- 
mentators to several Legv/miTume of the geneiu LoUhyrus, 
Vicia, etc. Durante gives the Greek arachoa as the 
synonym for his araco, whereby we see the etymology. 
Pfere Feuill^e * wrote in French aricot; before him Toume- 
fort spelt it haricot, in the belief, perhaps, that the 
Greek word was written with an aspirate, which is not 
the case, at least in the best authors. 

I may sum up as follows : — (1) Fhaaeolua vulgaris has 
not been long cultivated in India, the south-west of Asia, 
and Egypt ; (2) it is not certain that it was known in 
Europe before the discovery of America; (3) at this epoch 

' Durante, Herhario Jfuovo^ 1585, p. 39 ; Katthioli ed Yalgris, p. 822 ; 
Targioni, JDizion. Bot, Ital,, i. p. IS. 

* Feuill^, HUt. des Plan. Medic, du F4rou, etc., in 4to, 1723, p. 54. 


the number of varieties suddenly increased in European 
gardens, and all authors commenced to mention them ; 
(4) the majority of the species of the genus exist in South 
America ; (5) seeds apparently belonging to the species 
have been discovered in Peruvian tombs of an uncertain 
date, intermixed with many species, all American. 

I do not examine whether Phaseolus vulgaris existed 
in both hemispheres previous to cultivation, because 
examples of this nature are exceedingly rare among 
non-aquatic phanerogamous plants of tropical countries. 
Perhaps there is not one in a thousand, and even then 
human agency may be suspected.^ To open this question 
in the case of Ph. wXgaris, it should at least be found 
wild in both old and new worlds, which has not happened. 
If it had occupied so vast an area, we should see signs 
of it in individuals really wild in widely separate regions 
on the same continent, as is the case with the following 
species, Ph, Iv/rvatus, 

Scimetar-podded Kidney Bean, or Sugar Bean. — Pha- 
seolua lunatvs, Linnseus; Phaseolus lunatus macrocarpus ; 
Bentham, Ph, inriamcBnudy Linnaeus. 

This haricot, as well as that called Lima, is so widely 
diffused in tropical countries, that it has been described 
under different names.^ All these forms can be classed 
in two groups, of which Linnaeus made different species. 
The commonest in our gardens is that which has been 
called since the beginning of the century the Lima 
haricot. It may be distinguished by its height, by the 
size of its pods and beans. It lasts several years in 
countries which are favourable to it. 

Linnseus believed that his Ph. lunatvs came from 
Bengal and the other from Africa, but he gives no 
proo£ For a century his assertions were repeated. 
Now, Bentham,® who is careful about origins, believes the 
species and its vaiiety to be certainly American ; he only 
doubts about its presence as a wild plant both in Africa 

^ A. de Candolle, Q4ogr. Bot. RcUa., chapter on disjunctive Bpeoies. 
' Ph, hipunctatusj Jacqnin ; Ph. inamamus^ LinnaQiis ; Ph. ^uheittku, 
Kunth ; Ph. saccharatust MacFadyen ; etc., etc. 
• B ntham, in Fl. Brasil,, vol. xv. p. 181. 


and Adia. I see no indication whatever of ancient exist- 
ence in Asia. The plant has never been found wild, and 
it has no name in the modern languages of India or 
in Sanskrit.! It is not mentioned in Chinese works. 
Anglo-Indians call it French bean,^ like the common 
haricot, which shows how modem is its cultivation. 

It is cultivated in nearly all tropical Africa. How- 
ever, Schweinfurth and Ascherson^ do not mention it 
for Abyssinia, Nubia, or Egypt Oliver * quotes a number 
of specimens found in Guinea and the interior of Africa, 
without saying whether they were wild or cultivated. 
If we suppose the species of African origin or of very early 
introduction, it would have spread to Egypt and thence 
to India. ''• 

The facts are quite different for South America. 
Bentham mentions wild specimens from the Amazon 
basin and Central Brazil. They belong especially to the 
large variety (Tnacrocarpria), which abounds also in the 
Peruvian tombs of Ancon, accordmg to Wittmack.^ It is 
evidently a Brazilian species, diffused by cultivation, and 
perhaps long since naturalized here and there in tropical 
America. I am inclined to believe it was introduced into 
Guinea by the slave trade, and that it spread thence 
into the interior and the coast of Mozambique. 

Koth, or Aconite-leaved Kidney Bean — Phaseolus 
aconitifoliua, Willdenow. 

An annual species grown in India as fodder, and of 
which the seeds are eatable, though but little valued. 
The Hindustani name is mcmt, among the Sikhs moth. It 
is somewhat like Ph, trUobua, which is cultivated for the 
seed. Ph. aconitifolius is wild in British India from 
Ceylon to the Himalayas.® The absence of a Sanskrit 
name, and of different names in modem Indian languages, 
points to a recent cultivation. 

Three-lobed Kidney Bean — Phuaeolua trilobu8, Will- 

• Roxburgh, Fiddington, etc, • Royle, III. Himalaya, p. 190. 
■ Avjazhhirtg, etc., p. 257. * Oliver, Fl. of Trop. Afr,, p. 192. 

• Wittmack, 8itz. Bot, Vereins Branden., Dec, 19, 1879, 

• Roxburgh, Fl. Ind. edifc, 1832, vol. iii. p. 299 j Aitchison, Catal. of 
Punjab, p. 48; Sir J. Hopker, Fl. of Brit. Ind., ii. p. 202. 


One of the most commonly cultivated species in India;^ 
at least in the last few years^ for Roxburgh,^ at the end 
of the eighteenth century, had only seen it wild. All 
authors agree in considering it as wild from the foot of 
the Himalayas to Ceylon. It also exists in Mubia, 
Abyssinia, and Zambesi ;® it is not said whether wild or 
cultivated. Piddington gives a Sanskrit name, and 
several names in modern ladian languages, which shows 
that the species has been cultivated, or at least known 
for three thousand years. 

Ghreen Oram, or Kfing — Phaseolvs mungo, Linnaeus. 

A species commonly cultivated in India and in the 
Nile Valley. The considerable number of varieties, and 
the existence of three different names in the modem 
languages of India, point to a cultivation of one or two 
thousand years, but there is no Sanskrit name.^ In 
Africa it is probably recent. Anglo-Indian botanists 
agree that it is wild in India. 

Lablaby or Wall — Dolichos Lablab, Linnseua 

This species is much cultivated in India and tropical 
Africa. Koxburgh counts as many as seven varieties 
with Indian names. Piddington quotes in his iTvdex a 
Sanskrit name, schimM, which recurs in modern lan- 
guages. Its culture dates perhaps from three thousand 
years. Yet the species was not anciently diffused in 
China, or in Western Asia and Egypt; at least, I can 
find no trace of it. The little extension of these edible 
LeguminasoB beyond India in ancient times is a singular 
fact. It is possible that their cultivation is not of 
ancient date. 

The lablab is undoubtedly wild in India, and also, it 
is said, in Java.^ It has become naturalized from cultiva- 
tion in the Seychelles.* The indications of authors are 
not positive enough to say whether it is wild in Africa.^ 

* Sir J. Hooker, Fl. of Brit Ind., ii. p. 201. « Roxburgh, Fl, Ind,, p. 299. 
' Schweinfarth, Beitr. 0. Fl, Ethiop., p. 15; Avjzdhlung, p. 257; 

Oliver, Fl. Trap. Afr,^ p. 194. 

* See authors quoted for P. trihoUu. 

* Sir J. Hooker, Fl, Brit, Jnd,, ii. p. 209; Jangbakn, Planta Jwngh., 
fasc ii. p. 240. 

* Baker, Fl, ofKauritius, p. 83. 

» Oliver, Fl, o/Trop. Africa, ii. p. 210. 


Labia — Dolickos Luhia, Forskal. 

This species, cultivated in Europe under the name of 
lubia, loubya, louby^, according to Forskal and Delile/ 
is little known to botanists. According to the latter 
author it exists also in Syria, Persia, and India ; but I 
do not find this in any way confirmed in modem works 
on these two countries. Schweinfurth and Ascherson^ 
admit it as a distinct species, cultivated in the Nile 
Valley. Hitherto no one has found it wild. No Dolichos 
or Fhaaeolvs is known in the monuments of ancient 
Egypt. We shall see from the evidence of the common 
names that these plants were probably introduced into 
Egyptian agriculture after the time of the Pharaohs. 

The name Ivhia is used by the Berbers, unchanged, 
and by the Spaniards as alwbia for the common haricot, 
Phaaeolus wZgaris, Although Phaseolus and Dolichos 
are very similar, this is an example of the little value of 
common names as a proof of species. Loba is, as we 
have seen, one of the Hindustani names for Phaseolus 
vulgaris,^ and lobia that of Dolichos sinensis in the same 
language.* Orientalists should tell us whether lubia is an 
old word in Semitic languages. I do not find a similar 
name in Hebrew, and it is possible that the Armenians or 
the Arabs took lubia from the Greek lobos (Xo/3oc), which 
means any projection, like the lobe of the ear, a fruit of 
the nature of a pod, and more particularly, according to 
Galen, Ph. vulgaris, Lobion (Ao/Btov) in Dioscorides is 
the fruit of PL vulgaris, at least in the opinion of com- 
mentators.^ It remains as loubion in modem Greek, with 
the same meaning.® 

Bambarra Ground Hut — Glydns subterranea, Linnaeus, 
junr. ; Voandzeia subterranea, Petit Thouars. 

' Forskal, Descriptt p. 133 ; Delile, Plant Cvlt. en ^gypte, p. 14. 

' Schweinfurth and Ascherson, Aufzahlung, p. 256. 

■ Diet, Fran^.'Berb^ef at the word haricot; Willkomm and Lange, 
Prod, Fl, Hittp,, iii. p. 324. The common haricot has no less than five 
different names in the Iberian peninsula. 

^ Piddington, Index, 

' Lenz, ^t, der Alt. Or. und Rom., p. 732. 

• Langkavel, Bot. der 8;pateren Oriechen, p. 4; Keldreich, Nutzpjt. 
Qriech^lf^ p. 72, 



The earliest travellers in Madagascar remarked this 
leguminous annual, cultivated by the natives for the pod 
or seed, dressed like peas, French beans, etc. It resembles 
the earth, particularly in that the flower-stem curves 
downwards, and plunges the young fruit or pod into the 
earth. Its cultivation is common in the gardens of 
tropical Africa, and it is found, but less frequently, in 
those of Southern Asia.^ It seems that it is not much 
grown in America,^ except in Brazil^ where it is called 
rruiTidvhi di Angola,^ 

Early writers on Asia do not mention it ; its origin 
must, therefore, be sought in Africa. Loureiro* had 
seen it on the eastern coast of this continent, and Petit 
Thouars in Madagascar, but they do not say that it 
was wild. The authors of the flora of Senegambia^ 
described it as " cultivated and probably wild " in Galam. 
Lastly, Schweinfurth and Ascherson® found it wild on 
the banks of the Nile from Khartoum to Gondokoro. In 
spite of the possibility of naturalization from cultivation, 
it is extremely probable that the plant is wild in tropical 

Buckwheat — Polygonum foLgopyruTrv^IAnnsdiia; Fago^ 
pyruTn esculentum, Moench. 

The history of this species has been completely cleared 
up in the last few years. It grows wild in Mantschuria, 
on the banks of the river Amur,^ in Dahuria, and near 
Lake Baikal.® It is also indicated in China and in the 
mountains of the north of India,' but I do not find that 
in these regions its wild character is certain. Roxburgh 

* Sir J. Hooker, Flora of Brit, Ind,, ii. p. 205; Miqnel, FL Indo- 
Batava, i. p. 175. 

* LinnoBoSj'jnnr., Decad., ii pi. 19, seems to have oonfonnded this 
plant with Arachist and he gives, perhaps becanse of this error, 
Voandzeia as cultivated at his time in Surinam. Modem writers on 
America either have not seen it or have omitted to mention it. 

» QoArdenev's Chronicle, Sept. 4, 1880. 

* Loureiro, FL Cochin,, ii. p. 523. 

' Guillemin, Perottet, Bichard, Fl. Senegamhia Tentamen, p. 254.' 

' Aufzdhlung, p. 259. 

' Maximowicz, PrimitioB Fl. Amur,, p. 236. 

* Ledebonr, FL Boss,, iii. 517. 

* Meissner, in Do GandoUe, Prodr., xiv. p. 143. 


has only seen it in a cultivated state in the north of 
India, and Bretschneider ^ thinks it doubtful that it is 
indigenous in China. Its cultivation is not ancient, for 
the first Chinese author who mentions it lived in the 
tenth or eleventh century of the Christian era. 

Buckwheat is cultivated in the Himalayas under the 
names ogal or ogla and kotUon.^ As there is no Sanskrit 
name for this species nor for the two following, I doubt 
the antiquity of their cultivation in the mountains of 
Central Asia. It was certainly unknown to the Greeks 
and Bomans, The name fagopyrum is an invention of 
modem botanists from the similarity in the shape of the 
seed to a beech-nut, whence also the German biLch- 
weitzen * (corrupted in English into buckwheat) and the 
1 talian faggina. 

The names of this plant in European languages of 
Aryan origin have not a common root. Thus the western 
Aryans did not know the species any more than the 
Sanskrit-speaking Orientals, a further sign of the non- 
existence of the plant in the mountains of Central Asia. 
Even at the present day it is probably unknown in the 
north of Persia and in Turkey, since floras do not men- 
tion it.* Bosc states, in the Dictionnaire (T Agriculture, 
that Olivier had seen it wild in Persia, but I do not find 
this in this naturalist's published account of his travels. 

The species came into Europe in the Middle Ages, 
through Tartary and Bussia. The first mention of its 
cultivation in Germany occurs in a Mecklenburg register 
of 1436.^ In the sixteenth century it spread towards the 
centre of Europe, and in poor soil, as in Brittany, it be- 
came important. Beynier, who, as a rule, is very accurate, 
imagined that the French name sarrasin was Keltic;® 
but M. le Gall wrote to me formerly that the Breton 
names simply mean black wheat or black com, ed-du 

* Bretsobneider, On Study, etc., p. 9. 

■ Madden, Trans, Edinburgh Bot. Soc, v. p. 118. 
' The EDglish. name huckwhetU and the French name of some 
localities, huscail, come from the German. 

* Boissier, Fl, Orient. ; Bahse and Boissier, Pflanzen Transcaucast^n. 

* Fritzel, SHwungsherichtNaturforsch. freunde zu Berlin, May 15, 1866. 

* Beynier, ^conomie des Celtes, p. 425. 


and gwinis-dw. There is no original name in Keltic 
languages, which seems natural now that we know the 
origin of the species.^ 

When the plant was introduced into Belgium and 
into France, and even when it became known in Italy, 
that is to say in the sixteenth century, the name hie 
sarrasin (Saracen wheat) or sarrasi/ri was commonly 
adopted. Common names are often so absurd, and so 
unthinkingly bestowed, that we cannot tell in this par- 
ticular case whether the name refers to the colour of the 
grain which was that attributed to the Saracens, or to 
the supposed introduction from the country of the Arabs 
or Moors. It was not then known that the species did 
not exist in the countries south of the Mediterranean, 
nor even in Syria and Persia. It is also possible that 
the idea of a southern origin was taken from the name 
sarraein, which was given from the colour. This origin 
was admitted until the end of the last and even in the 
present century.^ Reynier was, fifty years ago, the first 
to oppose it. 

Buckwheat sometimes escapes from cultivation and 
becomes quasi- wild. The nearer we approach its original 
country the more often this occurs, whence it results that 
it is hard to define the limit of the wild plant on the 
confines of Europe and Asia, in the Himalayas, and in 
China. In Japan these semi-naturalizations are not 

Tartary Buckwheat — Polygonum tataricwm, Linmeus ; 
Fagopyrwm tataricum, Gaertner. 

Less sensitive to cold than the common buckwheat, 
but yielding a poorer kind of seed, this species is some- 
times cultivated in Europe and Asia — ^in the Himalayas,^ 
for instance ; but its culture is recent. Authors of the six- 
teenth and seventeenth centuries do not mention it, and 
Linnaeus was one of the first to speak of it as of Tartar 

* I have giyen the Temacular names at greater length in Qiogr, BoU 
Bais.t p. 953. 

• Nemnich, PolygloU, Lexicon^-p, 1030 ; Bosc, Diet, ^'il<;nc., zL p. 879. 

* Franchet and Savatier, Enum, Pi, Japon.f i. p. 403 

• Eoyle, III, HinKd,, p. 317. 


origin. Roxburgh and Hamilton had not seen it in 
Northern India in the beginning of this century, and I 
find no indication of it in China and Japan. 

It is undoubtedly wild in Tartary and Siberia, as far 
as Dauria;^ but Russian botanists have not found it 
further east, in the basin of the river Amur.^ 

As this plant came from Tartary into Eastern Europe 
later than tne common buckwheat^ it is the latter which 
bears in several Slav languages the names tatrika, tatarka, 
or tattar, which would better suit the Tartary buck- 

It seems that the Aryan peoples must have known 
the species, and yet no name is mentioned in the ancient 
Indo-European languages. No trace of it has hitherto 
been found in the lake-dwellings of Switzerland or of 

Hotch-seeded Buckwheat — Polygonum emarginatum, 
Roth ; Fagopyrum emargimatum, Meissner. 

This third species of buckwheat is grown in the high- 
lands of the north-east of India, under the name phaphra 
or phaphar,^ and in China.^ I find no positive proof that 
it nas been found wild. Roth only says that it " inhabits 
China," and that the grain is used for food. Don,^ who 
was the first of Anglo-Indian botanists to mention it, 
says that it is hardly considered wild. It is not men« 
tioned in floras of the Amur valley, nor of Japan. 
Judging from the countries where it is cultivated, it is 
probably wild in the Eastern Himalayas and the north- 
west of China. 

The genus Fagopyrum has eight species, all of tem- 
perate Asia. 

Oninoa — Ckenopodium quinoa, Willdenow. 

The quinoa was a staple food of the natives of New 
Granada, Peru, and Chili, in the high and temperate 
])arts at the time of the conquest. Its cultivation has 

' Graelin, Flora Sihirieay iii. p. 64 ; Ledebonr, Fl, Rossica, iii. p. 576. 

* Maximowicz, PrimitioB; Begel, Opit. Flori, efcc. ; Bohmidt, Beisen in 
AmuVf do not mention it. 

* Boyle, ni, HimaL, p. 317 ; Madden, Tram. Bot Soc, Edin , T. p. 118. 

* Both, Catalecta BotanicOf i. p. 48. 

* Don, Prodr. Fl, Nepal,, p. 74. 


persisted in these countries from custom^ and on account 
of the abundance of the product. 

From all time the distinction has existed between the 
quinoa with coloured leaves, and the quinoa with green 
leaves and white seed.^ The latter was regarded by 
Moquin * as a variety of a little known species, believed 
to be Asiatic ; but I believe that I showed conclusively 
that the two American quinoas are two varieties, pro- 
bably very ancient, of a single species.® The less coloured, 
which is also the most farinaceous, is probably derived 
from the other. 

The white quinoa yields a grain which is much 
esteemed at Lima, according to information furnished by 
the Botanical Magazine, where a good drawing may be 
seen (pi. 3641). The leaves may be dressed in the same 
manner as spinach.^ 

No botanist has mentioned the quinoa as wild or 
semi-wild. The most recent and complete work on one 
of the countries where the species is cultivated, the 
Flora of ChUi, by CI. Gay, speaks of it only as a culti- 
vated plant. P^re Feuill^e and Humboldt said the same 
for Peru and New Granada. It is perhaps due to the 
insignificance of the plant and its aspect of a garden 
weed that collectors have neglected to bring back wild 

Eiery — Amarantus frumentaceus, Roxburgh. 

This annual is cultivated in the Indian peninsula for 
its small farinaceous grain, which is in some localities the 
principal food of the natives.*^ Fields of this species, of a 
red or golden colour, produce a beautiful effect.® From 
Roxburgh's account. Dr. Buchanan *' discovered it on the 
hills of Mysore and Coimbatore," which seems to indicate 
a wild condition. ATYiarantus spedosus, cultivated in 
gardens and figured on pi. 2227 of the Botanical Maga- 

^ Molina, HisU Nat. du Chili, p. 101. 

* Moqain, in De Candolle, Prodromua, xiii. pnrt 1, p. 67. 
' A. de Candolle, 06ogr. Bot, Rais,, p. 952. 

* Bon JardinieTf 1880, p. 562, 

* Roxburgh, Fl. Jnd,, edit. 2, rol. iii. p. 609 ; Wight, Icones, pi. 720; 
Aitchison, CaUUogtie of Punjab Plants, p. L30. 

^ Madden, Trans. Edin. Bot. Soc, y. p. 118. 


zine, appears to be the same species. Hamilton found 
it in Nepal.^ A variety or allied species, Amarantua 
aTvardaTta, Wallich,^ is grown on the slopes of the Hima- 
layas^ but has been hitherto ill defined by botanists. 
Other species are used as vegetables (see. p. 100, Ama- 
"iuntus gangeticua). 

Chestnut — Castanea wXgaris, Lamarck. 

The chestnut, belonging to the order CwpvUifercB^ 
has an extended but disjunctive natural area. It 
forms forests and woods in mountainous parts of the 
temperate zone from the Caspian Sea to Portugal, It 
has also been found in the mountains of Edough in 
Algeria, and more recently towards the frontier of Tunis 
(Letoumeux). If we take into account the varieties 
japonica and amerieana, it exists also in Japan and in 
the temperate region of North America.® It has been 
sown or planted in several parts of the south and west of 
Europe, and it is now difficult to know if it is wild or 
cultivated. However, cultivation consists chiefly in the 
operation of grafting good varieties on the trees which 
yield indifferent fruit. For this purpose the variety 
which produces but one large kernel is preferred to those 
which bear two or three, separated by a membrane, which 
is the natural state of the species. 

The Romans in Pliny's time * already distinguished 
eight varieties, but we cannot discover from the text of 
this author whether they possessed the variety with a 
single kernel (Fr. marron). The best chestnuts came 
from Sardis in Asia Minor, and from the neighbourhood 
of Naples. Olivier de Serres,^ in the sixteenth century, 
praises the chestnuts SardonTie and Tuscane, which pro- 
duced the single-kemelled fruit called the Lyons marron,^ 

• Don, Prodr. Fl. Nepal, p. 76. 

■ Wallich, List, No. 6903 ; Moqnin, in D. C, Prodr,i xiii. sect. 2, 
p. 256. 

• For further details, see my article in ProdromuSi vol, xvi. part 2, 
p. 114; and Boissier, Flora Orientalia, iv. p. 1175. 

• Pliny, Hist, NfU,, lib. zix. c. 23. 

• Olivier de Serres, TMAtre de VAgric,, p. 114. 

• Lyons marrons now come chiefly from Danphin4 and Vivarais. 
Borne are also obtained from Luc in the department of Yar (Gasparin, 
Traits d'Agric., iv. p. 744). 


He considered that these varieties came from Italy, and 
Targioni ^ tells us that the name marrone or marone was 
employed in that country in the Middle Ages (1170). 

Wheat and Kindred Species. — The innumerable varie- 
ties of wheat, properly so called, of which the ripened 
grain detaches itself naturally from the husk, have been 
classed into four groups by Vilmorin,^ which form dis- 
tinct species, or modifications of the common wheat 
according to different authors. I am obliged to distin- 
guish them in order to study their history, but this, as 
will be seen, supports the opinion of a single species.® 

1. Common Wheat — Triticum vulgare, Villars ; Triti- 
cwm hybemwn and T. cestivum, Linnseua 

According to the experiments of the Abb^ Eozier, and 
later of Tessier, the distinction between autumn and 
spring wheats has no importance. " All wheats," says the 
latter,* " are either spring or autumn sown, according to 
the country. They all pass with time from the one state 
to the other, as I have ascertained. They only need to 
be gradually accustomed to the change, by sowing the 
autumn wheat a little later, spring wheat a little earlier, 
year by year." The fact is that among the immense 
number of varieties there are some which feel the cold of 
the winter more than others, and it has become the cus- 
tom to sow them in the spring.^ We need take no note 
of this distinction in studying the question of origin, 
especially as the greater number of the varieties thus 
obtained date from a remote period. 

The cultivation of wheat is prehistoric in the old 
world. Very ancient Egyptian monuments, older than 
the invasion of the shepherds, and the Hebrew Scriptures 
show this cultivation already established, and when the 

* Targioni, Cenni Storicif p. 180. 

• Vilmorin, Essai d*un Catalogue M4thodique et Synonymique des Fro- 
ments, Paris, 1850. 

• The best drawings of the different kinds of wheat may be found in 
Metzger's EuropoBtsche Cerealien, in folio, Heidelberg, 1824; and in Host, 
OramincBf in folio, yoI. iii. 

* Tessier, Diet d'Agric^ vi. p. 198. 

' Loiselenr Deslongchamps, Consid. sur lee Ciricdes, 1 Tol. in 8yo, 
p. 219. 


Egyptians or Greeks speak of its origin, they attribute it 
to mythical personages, Isis, Oeres, Triptolemus.^ The 
earliest lake-dwellings of Western Switzerland cultivated 
a small-grained wheat, which Heer^ has carefully 
described and figured under the name Triticurri mdgare 
antiquorum. From various facts, taken collectively, we 
gather that the first lake-dwellers of Robenhausen were 
at least contemporary with the Trojan war, and perhaps 
earlier. The cultivation of their wheat persisted in 
Switzerland until the Roman conquest, as we see from 
specimens found at Buchs. Regazzoni also found it in 
the rubbish-heaps of the lake-dwellers of Varese, and 
Sordelli in those of Lagozza in Lombardy.® Unger found 
the same form in a brick of the pyramid of Dashur, 
Egypt, to which he assigns a date, 3359 B.c. (Unger, Bot 
Streifzuge, vii. ; Ein Ziegel, etc., p. 9). Another variety 
(Triticum vulgar e compactum TnuticuTriy Heer) was less 
common in Switzerland in the earliest stone age, but it 
has been more often found among the less ancient lake- 
dwellei-s of Western Switzerland and of Italy.* A third 
intermediate variety has been discovered at Aggtelek in 
Hungary, cultivated in the stone age.^ None of these is 
identical with the wheat now cultivated, as more profitable 
varieties have taken their place. 

The Chinese, who grew wheat 2700 B.C., considered it 
a gift direct from heaven.® In the annual ceremony of 
sowing five kinds of seed, instituted by the Emperor 
Shen-nung or Chin-nong, wheat is one species, the others 
being rice, sorglium, Setai^ italica, and soy. 

The existence of different names for wheat in the most 
ancient languages confirms the belief in a great antiquity 

* These questiona have been discassed with learning and jadgment by 
four aathors: Link, Ueher die altere Geschichte der Qetreide Arteui in 
AhhandL der Berlin Akad., 1816, vol. xvii. p. 122 ; 1826, p. 67 j and in 
Die Urwelt und doe AltertMim, 2nd edit., Berlin, 1834, p. 399 ; Keynier, 
^conomie dee Celtes et des Oermains, 1818, p. 417 ; Bureau de la Malle, 
Ann. des Sciences Nat., vol. ix. 1826; and Loiseleur Deslonj^champs, 
Cownd. 8ur les CMides, 1812, part i. p. 52. 

* Heer, Pfianzen der P/alUbautenj p. 13, pi. 1, figs. 14-18. 
> Sordelli, Sullepiante delta torbiera di Lagozzaj p. 31. 

* Heer, ibid. ; Sordelli, ibid. * Nyari, quoted by Sordelli, ibid, 

* Bretschneider, Stitdy and Value, etc., pp. 7 and 8. 


of cultivation. The Chinese name is mai, the Sanskrit 
sumana and gddhuma, the Hebrew ckittdh, Egyptian br, 
Guancho yriclien, without mentioning several names in 
languages derived from the primitive Sanskrit, nor a 
Basque name, ogaia or okhaya, which dates perhaps 
from the Iberians/ and several Finn, Tartar, and Turkish 
names, etc.,^ which are probably Turanian. This great 
diversity might be explained by a wide natural area in 
the case of a very common wild plant, but this is far from 
being the case of wheat. On the contrary, it is difficult 
to prove its existence in a wild state in a few places in 
Western Asia, as we shall see» If it had been widely 
diffused before cultivation, descendants would have 
remained here and there in remote countries. The 
manifold names of ancient languages must, therefore, be 
attributed to the extreme antiquity of its culture in the 
temperate parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa — an antiquity 
greater than that of the most ancient languages. We 
have two methods of discovering the home of the species 
previous to cultivation in the immense zone stretching 
from China to the Canaries : first, the opinion of ancient 
authors; second, the existence, more or less proved, of 
wheat in a wild state in a given country. 

According to the earliest of all historians, Berosus, a 
Chaldean priest, fragments of whose writings have been 
preserved by Herodotus, wild 'whea,t{Frwnientu7nagre8te^) 
might be seen gix)^ing in Mesopotamia. The texts of the 
Bible alluding to the abundance of wheat in Canaan 
prove no more than that the plant was cultivated there, 
and that it was very productive. Strabo,* bom 50 B.C., 
says that, according to Aristobulus, a grain very similar 
to wheat grew wild upon the banks of the Indus on the 
25th parallel of latitude. He also says^ that in Hircania 

* Bretschneider, Stvdy and Value, etc. ; Ad. Pictet, Les Origines Indo- 
Euro., edit. 2, vol. i. p. 328 ; Bosenmiiller, Bihl. Naturgesch., i. p. 77 ; 
Pickering, Chronol. AiTang., p. 78; Webb and Berthelot, Canaries^ 
Ethnogr., p. 187; D'Abadie, Notes MSB. eur les Nonis Basques; De 
Charencej, Recherches sur les Noms Basques, in Actes 8oc Fhilolog.f 
March, 1869. 

' Kemnich, Lexicon, p. 1492. 

* G. Syncelli, Chronogr., fol. 1652, p. 28. 

* Strabo, edit. 1707, vol. ii. p. 1017. • thid., rol. i. p. 124; li. p. 776. 


(the modem Mazanderan) the grains of wheat which fell 
from the ear sowed themselves. This may be observed 
to some degree at the present day in all countries, and 
the author says nothing upon the important question 
whether this accidental sowing reproduced itself in the 
same place from generation to generation. According to 
the Odyssey^ wheat grew in Sicily without the help of 
man. But it is impossible to attach great importance to 
the words of a poet, and of a poet whose very existence 
is contested. Diodorus Siculus at the beginning of the 
Christian era says the same thing, and deserves greater 
confidence, since he is a Sicilian. Yet he may easily have 
been mistaken as to the wild character, as wheat was 
then generally cultivated in Sicily. Another passage in 
Diodorus ^ mentions the tradition that Osiris found wheat 
and barley growing promiscuously with other plants at 
Nisa, and Dureau de la Malle has proved that this town 
was in Palestine. Among all this evidence, that of Berosus 
and that of Strabo for Mesopotamia and Western India 
alone appear to me of any value. 

The five species of seed of the ceremony instituted 
by Chin-nong are considered by Chinese scholars to be 
natives of their country,® and Bretschneider adds that com- 
munication between China and Western Asia dates only 
from the embassy of Chang-kien in the second century 
before Christ. A more positive assertion is needed, how- 
ever, before we can believe wheat to be indigenous in 
China ; for a plant cultivated in western Asia two or three 
thousand years before the epoch of Chin-nong, and of 
which the seeds are so easily transported, may have been 
introduced into the north of China by isolated and un- 
known travellers, as the stones of peaches and apricots 
were probably carried from China into Persia in pre- 
historic time. 

Botanists have ascertained that wheat is not wild in 
Sicily at the present day.* It sometimes escapes from 

» Lib. ix. ▼. 109. 

* Diodomg, Terasson's trans., ii. pp. 186, 190. 
' Bretschneider, i&tci., p. 15. 

^ Parlatore, FL Ital., i. pp. 46, 568. His assertion is the more 
worthy of attention that he was a Sicilian. 


cultivation, but it does not persist indefinitely.* Tlie 
plant which the inhabitants call wild wheat, Frumentu 
aarvaggiw, which covers uncultivated ground, is jEgUopa 
ovata, according to Inzenga.* 

A zealous collector, Ealansa, believed that he had 
found wheat growing on Mount Sipylus, in Asia Minor, 
under circumstances in which it was impossible not to 
believe it wild ; * but the plant he brought back is a 
spelt, Triticum Tnonococcum, according to a very careful 
botanist, to whom it was submitted for examination.^ 
Olivier,^ before him, when he was on the right bank of 
the Euphrates, to the north-west of Anah, a country 
unfit for cultivation, " found in a kind of ravine, wheat, 
barley, and spelt, which," he adds, " we have already seen 
several times in Mesopotamia." 

Linnaeus says,^ that Heintzelmann found wheat in the 
country of the Baschkirs, but no one has confiimed this 
statement, and no modem botanist has seen the species 
really wild in the neighbourhood of the Caucasus or 
the north of Persia. Bunge,'' whose attention was drawn 
to this point, declares that he has seen no indication 
which leads him to believe that cereals are indigenous in 
that country. It does not even appear that wheat has a 
tendency in these regions to spring up accidentally outside 
cultivated ground. I have not discovered any mention of 
it as a wild plant in the north of India, in China, or 

It is remarkable that wheat has been twice asserted 
to be indigenous in Mesopotamia, at an interval of twenty- 
three centuries, once by Berosus, and once by Olivier in 
our own day. The Euphrates valley lying nearly in the 
middle of the belt of cultivation which formerly extended 
from China to the Canaries, it is infinitely probable that 
it was the principal habitation of the species in veiy early 

* Strobl, in Flora, 1880, p. 348. • Inzenga, Annali Agric. Sicil, 
" Bull, de la Soc. Bot. de France, 1864, p. 108. 

* J. Gay, Bull. Soc, Bot de France, 1860, p. 30. 

» Olivier, Voy. dans VEmp, Othonum (1807), vol. iii. p. 400. 

* Linnffius, 8p. Plants edit. 2, vol. i. p. 127. 
^ Bange, Bull. Soc. Bot. France, 1860, p. 29. 


prehistoric times. The area may have extended towards 
Syria^ as the climate is very similar, but to the east and 
west of Western Asia wheat has probably never existed 
but as a cultivated plant; anterior, it is true, to all known 

2. Turgid, and Egyptian Wheat — THticum turgidunv 
and T. composituTa, Linnaeus. 

Among the numerous common names of the varieties 
which come under this head, we find that of Egyptian 
wheat. It appears that it is now much cultivated in that 
country and in the whole of the Nile valley. A. P. de 
Candolle says^ that he recognized this wheat amongst seeds 
taken from the sarcophagi of ancient mummies, but he 
had not seen the ears. Unger ^ thinks it was cultivated 
by the ancient Egyptians, yet he gives no proof founded 
on drawings or specimens. The fact that no Hebrew or 
Armenian name ^ can be attributed to the species seems to 
me important. It proves at least that the remarkable forms 
with branching ears, commonly called wheat of miracle, 
wheat of abundance, did not exist in antiquity, for they 
would not have escaped the knowledge of the Israelites. 
No Sanskrit name is known, nor even any modem Indian 
names, and I cannot discover any Persian name. The Arab 
names which Delile* attributes to the species belong 
perhaps to other varieties of wheat. There is no Berber 
name.^ From all this it results, I think, that the plants 
united under the name of TriticuTn turgidum, and 
especially the varieties with branching ears, are not 
ancient in the north of Africa or in the west of Asia. 

Oswald Heer,* in his curious paper upon the plants 
of the lake-dwellers of the stone age in Switzerland, 
attributes to T, turgidum two non-branched ears, the 
one bearded, the other almost without beard, of which 
he gives drawings. Later, in an exploration of the lake- 

* De Candolle, Physiologie Botanique, ii. p. 696. 

' Unger, Die Pflanzen dea Alien ^gyptena, p. 31. 

* See RosenmuUer, Bihl. Naturgesch. ; and Ldw, Aramaische Pflanzen 
Nam&n, 1881. 

* Delile, PI. Cult, en ^gypte^ p. 3 ; Fl. JEgypt. Ulus., p. 5. 

* Diet, Fr,-Berh.f pnblished by the Government. 

* Heer, P/lanzen der PfafUhauten. p. 5, fig. 4 ; p. 52, fig. 20. 


dwellings of Robenhausen, Mesaicommer did not find it^ 
although there was abundant store of grain.^ Strcebel 
and Pigorini said they found wheat with grano graaao 
duro (T. turgidwm), in the lake-dwellings of Pamiesan.* 
For the rest, Heer ^ considers this to be a variety or race 
of the common wheat, and Sordelli inclines to the same 

Fraas thinks that the krithaniaa of Theophrastus was 
T. turgidum, but this is absolutely uncertfun. Accord- 
ing to Heldreich/ the great wheat is of modem intro- 
duction into Greece, rliny'^ spoke briefly of a wheat 
with branching ears, yielding one hundred grains, which 
was most likely our miracu^ma %vheat 

Thus history and philology alike lead us to consider 
the varieties of Triticwm turgidum as modifications of 
the common wheat obtained by cultivation. The form 
with branching ears is not perhaps earHer than Pliny's 

These deductions would be overthrown by the dis- 
covery of the T, turgidv/m in a wild state, which has not 
hitherto been made with certainty. In spite of C. Koch,* 
no one admits that it grows^ outside cultivation, at Con- 
stantinople and in Asia Minor. Boissier's herbarium, so 
rich in Eastern plants, has no specimen of it. It is given 
as wild in Egypt by Schweinfurth and Ascherson, but 
this is the result of a misprint.^ 

3. Hard Wheat — Tritxcum durum, Desfontaines. 

Long cultivated in Barbary, in the south of Switzer- 
land and elsewhere, it has never been found wild. In 
the different provinces of Spain it has no less than 
fifteen names,^ and none are derived from the Arab 
name qv^mah used in Algeria* and Egypt.^*^ The 

* Messicommer, in Florae 1869, p. 820. 

' Quoted from Sordelli, Notizie stUL Lagozza, p. 82. 

* Heer, ubi awpra^ p. 60. 

^ Heldreich, Die Nutzpjlanzen OriechenlandSf p. 5. 

* Pliny, Ht«t.f lib. zviii. cap. 10. • Koch, Linnwa, xri, p. 4-27. 
' Letter from Asoherson, 1881. • Diet M8, of Vernacular Names, 

* Debeanx, Catal, des Plan, de Boghar, p. 110. 

*® Delile says (ubi supra) that wheat is called qamk, and a red 
Variety qamh-ahmar 


absence of names in several other countries, especially of 
original names, is very striking. This is a further indi- 
cation of a derivation from the common wheat obtained 
in Spain and the north of Africa at an unknown epoch, 
perhaps within the Christian era. 

4. Polish Wheat — TriticuTn polonicum^ Linnaeus. 

This other hard wheat, with yet longer grain, culti- 
vated chiefly in the east of Europe, has not been found 
wild. It has an original name in German, Odmer, Oommer, 
Ov/m/mer} and in other languages names which are 
connected only with persons or with countries whence 
the seed was obtained. It cannot be doubted that it is 
a form obtained by cultivation, probably in the east of 
Europe, at an unknown, perhaps recent epoch. 

Conclusion as to the Specific Unity of the Principal 

Races of Wheat, 

We have just shown that the history and the ver- 
nacular names of the great races of wheat are in favour 
of a derivation contemporary with man, probably not 
very ancient, from the common kind of wheat, perhaps 
from the small-grained wheat formerly cultivated by the 
Egyptians, and by the lake-dwellers of Switzerland and 
Italy. Alefeld ^ arrived at the specific unity of T» vul- 
gave, T, turgidwm, and T. durum, by means of an atten- 
tive observation of the three cultivated together, under the 
same conditions. The experiments of Henri Vilmorin* 
on the artificial fertilization of these wheats lead to the 
same result. Although the author has not yet seen the 
product of several generations, he has ascertained that 
the most distinct principal forms can be crossed with 
ease and produce fertile hybrids. If fertilization be 
taken as a measure of the intimate degree of affinity 
which leads to the grouping of individuals into the same 
species, we cannot hesitate in the case in question, 
especially with the support of the historical considera- 
tions which I have given. 

' Nemnich, Lexicon, p. 1488. < Alefeld, Bot. Zettung, 1865, p. 9 
* H. Vilmorin, BuU, Soe, Bot, de France, 1881, p. 356. 


On the supposed Mummy Wheat 

Before concluding this article, I think it pertinent to 
say that no grain taken from an ancient Egyptian 
sarcophagus and sown by horticulturists has ever been 
known to germinate. It is not that the thing is impos- 
sible, for grains are all the better preserved that they are 
protected from the air and from variations of temperature 
or humidity, and certainly these conditions are fulfilled 
by Egyptian monuments ; but, as a matter of fact, the 
attempts at raising wheat from these ancient seeds have 
not been successful The experiment which has been 
most talked of is that of the Count of Sternberg, at 
Prague.^ He had received the grains from a trustworthy 
traveller, who assured him they were taken from a 
sarcophagus. Two of these seeds germinated, it is said , 
but I have ascertained that in Germany well-informed 
persons believe there is some imposture, either on the 
part of the Arabs, who sometimes slip modem seeds into 
the tombs (even maize, an American plant), or on that of 
the employes of the Count of Sternberg. The grain 
known in commerce as mummy wheat nas never had 
any proof of antiquity of origin. 

Spelt and Allied Varieties or Species.^ 

Louis Vilmorin,' in imitation of Seringe's excellent 
work on cereals,* has grouped together those wheats 
whose seeds when ripe are closely contained in their 
envelope or husk, necessitating a special operation to 
free them from it, a character rather agricultural than 
botanical He then enumerates the forms of these wheats 
under three names, which correspond to as many species 
of most botanists. 

1. Spelt — Triticum spdta, Linnaeus. 

Spelt is now hardly cultivated out of south Germany 
and German-Switzerland. This was not the case formerly. 
The descriptions of cereals by Greek authors are so brief 

* Journal, J7ora, 1835, p. 4. 

• See the plates of Metzger and Host, in the works previously quoted. 

• lUssai d'un Catal. MSthod. des Froments^ Paris, 1850. 

* Seringe, Monogr. des Cdri. de la Suiasef in 8yo, Bemc, 1818 


and insignificant that there is always room for hesitation 
as to the sense of the words they use. Yet, judging from 
the customs of which they speak, scholars think * that 
the Greeks first called spelt olyra, afterwards zeia, names 
which we find in Herodotus and Homer. Dioscorides ^ 
distinguishes two sorts of zeia, which apparently answer 
to TritiiMTTi speUa and T. Tnonococcium. It is believed 
that spelt was the semen (com, par excellence) and the 
far of Pliny, which he said was used as food by the Latins 
for 360 years before they knew how to make bread.® As 
spelt has not been found among the lake-dwellers of 
Switzerland and Italy, and as the former cultivated the 
allied varieties called T, dicoccum and T. monococcvmi,^ 
it is possible that the far of the Latins was rather one 
of these. 

The existence of the true spelt in ancient Egypt and 
the neighbouring countries seems to me yet more doubtful. 
The olyra of the Egyptians, of which Herodotus speaks, 
was not the olyra ox the Greeks; some authors have 
supposed it to be rice, oryza.^ As to spelt, it is a plant 
which is not grown in such hot countriea Modem 
travellers from Rauwolf onwards have not seen it in 
Egyptian cultivation,^ nor has it been found in the 
ancient monuments. This is what led me to suppose "^ 
that the Hebrew word kyssemeth, which occurs three 
times in the Bible,® ought not to be attributed to spelt, 
as it is by Hebrew scholars.® I imagined it was perhaps 
the allied form, 1\ Tnonococcu/m, but neither is this grown 
in Egypt. 

> Fraas, 8yn. Fl. Class,, p. 307 ; Lens, BaL der AUen, pu 257. 

* Dioscorides, Mat. Med., ii., 111-115. 

* Pliny, Hist, lib. xviii. cap. 7 ; Targioni, Cermi Storid, p. 6. 

* Heer, Fflanzen der Pfahlhauten, p. 6 ; Unger, Pfianzen des Alien 
^gyptens, p. 32. 

* Delile» PI. CvZt, en j^gypie, p. 5. 

* Reynier, Aeon, dea J^gypUene, p. 337 j Durean de la Malle, Ann. 8c, 
Nat., iz. p. 72; Schweinfarth and Ascheraon, Avfzah, Tr, apelta of 
Forskal is not admitted by any sobsequent author. 

' Q4ogr, Bot. Bats., p. 933. 

' Exod. ix. 32; Isa. xxyiii. 25 ; Ezek. iy. 9. 

* Hosenmiiller, Bihl. AUerth., iv, p. 83; Second, Trana, of Old Teat., 


Spelt has no name in Sanskrit, nor in any modern 
Indian languages, nor in Persian,^ and therefoi*e, of coarse, 
none in Chinese. European names, on the contrary, are 
numerous, and bear witness to an ancient cultivation, 
especially in the east of Europe. Spelta in Saxon, whence 
the English name, and the French, SpeatUre ; Dinkd in 
modem German, orJdss in Polish, pobla in Russian,' are 
names which seem to come from very different roots. 
In the south of Europe the names are rarer. There is 
a Spanish one, however, of Asturia, escandia,^ but I know 
of none in Basque. 

History, and especially philology, point to an origin 
in eastern temperate Europe and the neighbouring 
countries of Asia. We have to discover whether the 
plant has been found wild. 

Olivier,^ in a passage already quoted, says that he 
several times found it in Mesopotamia, in particular 
upon the right bank of the Euphrates, north of Anah, in 
places unfit for cultivation. Another botanist, Andre 
Michaux, saw it in 1783, near Hamadan, a town in the 
temperate region of Persia. Dureau de la Malle says 
that he sent some grains of it to Bosc, who sowed them 
at Paris and obtained the common spelt ; but this seems 
to me doubtful, for Lamarck, in 1786,*^ and Bosc ^himself, 
in the Didionnaire d* Agriculture, article Epeaijubre 
(spelt), published in 1809, says not a word of this. The 
herbariums of the Paris Museum contain no specimens 
of the cereals mentioned by Olivier. 

There is, as we have seen, much uncertainty as to 
the origin of the species as a wild plant. This leads me 
to attribute more importance to the hypothesis that 
spelt is derived by cultivation from the common wheat, 
or from an intermediate form at some not very early 
prehistoric time. The experiments of H. Vilmorin® 
support this theory, for cross fertilizations of the spelt 

* Ad. Picket, Orig, Indo-Europ.f edit. 2, vol. i. p. 348, 
■ Ad. Pictet, ibid. ; Nemnich, Lexicon. 

• Willkomm and Lange, Prodr. Fl, Hisp., L p. 107. 

* Olivier, Voyage, 1807, vol. iii. p. 460. 
A Lamarck, Diet, Encycl., ii. p. 660. 

• H. Vilmorin, BuU, 8oc, Bot. de France, 1881, p. 858. 


by the downy white wheat, and vice versd, yield " hybrids 
whose fertility is complete, with a mixture of the 
characters of both parents^ those of the spelt pre- 

2. Starch Wheat — THticum dicoccv/m, Schrank ; Triti- 
cum aTnyleum, Seringe. 

This form {Emmer, or Aemer in German), cultivated 
for starch chiefly in Switzerland, resists a hard winter. 
It contains two grains in each little ear, like the true 

Heer ^ attributes to a variety of T. dicoccum an ear 
found in a bad state of preservation in the lake-dwellings 
of Wangen, Switzerland. Messicommer has since found 
some at RobenhauseiL 

It has never been found wild; and the rarity of 
common names is remarkable. These two circumstances, 
and the slight value of the botanical characters which 
serve to distinguish it from Tr. apelta, lead to the con- 
clusion that it is an ancient cultivated variety of the 

3. One-grained Wheat — Triticum monococcum, Linnaeus. 
The one-grained wheat, or little spelt, Einkom in 

German, is distinguished from the two preceding by a 
single seed in the little ear, and by other characters which 
lead the majority of botanists to consider it as a reaUy 
distinct species. The experiments of H. Vilmorin con- 
firm this opinion so far, for he has not yet succeeded in 
crossing T, monococcum with other spelts or wheats. This 
may be due, as he says himself, to some detail in the 
manner of operating. He intends to renew his attempts, 
and may perhaps succeed. [In the Bulletin de la 8oci4te 
Botanique de France, 1883, p. 62, Mr. Vilmorin says that 
he has not met with better success in the third and 
fourth years in his attempts at crossing T. Tnonococcum 
with other species. He intends to make the experiment 
with T. bceoticum, Boissier, wild in Servia, of which I 
sent him some seeds gathered by Pancic. As this species 
is supposed to be the original stock of T. monococcum, 
the experiment is an interesting one. — Author's Note, 

^ Heer, lyianz. der, P/ahSb,, p. 6, fig. 23, and p. 15. 


1884.J In the mean time let us see whether this form 
of spelt has been long in cultivation, and if it has any- 
where been found growing wild. 

The one-grained wheat thrives in the poorest and 
most stony soiL It is not very productive, but yields 
excellent meal. It is sown especially in mountainous 
districts, in Spain, France, and the east of Europe, but 
I do not find it mentioned in Barbary^ Egypt, the East, 
or in India or China. 

From some expressions it has been believed to be 
the tiphai of Theophrastus.^ It is easier to invoke 
Dioscorides,^ for he distinguishes two kinds of zeia, one 
with two seeds, another with only one. The latter would 
be the one-grained wheat. Nothing proves that it was 
commonly cultivated by the Greeks and Romans. Their 
modem descendants do not sow it.® There are no Sans- 
krit, Persian, or Arabic names. I suggested formerly 
that the Hebrew word kusseTnetk might apply to this 
species, but this hypothesis now seems to me difficult to 

Marschall Bieberstein* mentions Triticum mono- 
coccwm, or a variety of it, growing wild in the Crimea 
and the eastern Caucasus, but no botanist has confirmed 
this assertion. Steven,^ who lived in the Crimea, 
declares that he never saw the species except cultivated 
by the Tartars. On the other hand, the plant which 
Balansa gathered in a wild state near Mount Sipylus, in 
Anatolia, is T. Tnonococcurriy according to J. Gay,® who 
takes with this form TriUcuw, bosoticwniy Boissier, which 
grows wild in the plains of Boeotia "^ and in Servia.® 

* Praaa, Syn, Fl, CUtsa,, p. 307. 

' Dioscorides, Mat. Med.f 2, c. ill. 155. 

• Heldreich, Nutz. Griech, 

* Bieberstein, Fl. Tauro-Cauetisaica, vol. i. p. 85. 

• Steven, Verzeichnisa Tawr. Halhins. Pflan.f p. 354. 

• BuU. 8oc, Bot, Frm-, I860, p. 30. 

' Boissier, Diagnoses, 1st series, vol. ii. fasc. 13, p. 69. 

* Balansa, 1854, No. 137 in Boissier's Herbarium, in which there is 
also a specimen found in the fields in Servia, and a variety with brown 
beards sent by Panoic, growing in Servian meadows. The same 
botanist (of Belgrade) has just sent me wild specimens from Servia, 
which I cannot distinguish from T. monococcum, which he assures me 
is not cultivated in Servia. Bentham writes to me that T. hoBoHcumf 


Admitting these facts, T. Tnonocdccum is a native of 
Servia, Greece, and Asia Minor, and as the attempts to 
cross it with other spelts or wheats have not been 
successfdl, it is rightly termed a species in the linnaean 

The separation of wheat with free grains from spelt 
must have taken place before all history, perhaps before 
the beginning of agriculture. Wheat must have appeared 
first in Asia, and then spelt, probably in Eastern Europe 
and Anatolia. Lastly, among spelts T, manococcum 
seems to be the most ancient form, from which the others 
have gradually developed in several thousand years of 
cultivation and selection. 

Two-rowed Barley — Hordewm distichon, Linnaeus. 

Barley is among the most ancient of cultivated 
plants. As all its forms resemble each other in nature 
and uses, we must not expect to find in ancient authors 
and in common names that precision which would enable 
us to recognize the species admitted by botanists. In 
many cases the name barley has been taken in a vague 
or generic sense. This is a difficulty which we must 
take into account. For instance, the expression of the 
Old Testament, of Berosus, of Moses of Chorene, 
Pausanias, Marco Polo, and more recently of Olivier, 
indicating "wild and cultivated barley" in a given 
country, prove nothing, because we do not know to 
which species they refer. There is the same obscurity 
in China. Dr. Bretschneider says^ that, according io 
a work published in the year A.D. 100, the Chinese 
cultivated barley, but he does not specify the kind. At 
the extreme west of the old world the Guanchos also 
cultivated a barley, of which we know the name but not 
the species. 

The common variety of the two-rowed barley, in 
which the husk remains attached to the ripened grain, 
has been found wild in Western Asia, in Arabia Petrea,^ 

of which he saw several speoimeiiB, is, he thinks, the same as T. 

* Bretschneider, On the Stndy, etc., p. 8. 

* A specimen determined by Beater in Boissier*s Herbarionu 


near Mount Sinai,^ in ihe ruins of Fersepolis,* near 
the Caspian Sea,' between Lenkoran and Baku, in 
the desert of Chirvan and Awhasia, to the south of the 
Caucasus,^ and in Turcomania.'^ No author mentions it 
in Greece, Egypt, or to the east of Persia. Willdenow* 
indicates it at Samara, in the south-east of Russia ; but 
more recent authors do not confirm this. Its modern 
area is, therefore, from the Bed Sea to the Caucasus and 
the Caspian Sea. 

Hence this barley should be one of the forms 
cultivated by Semitic and Turanian peoples. Yet it 
has not been found in Egyptian monuments. It seems 
that the Aryans must have known it, but I find no proof 
in vernacular names or in history. 

Theophrastus ' speaks of the two-rowed barley. The 
lake-dwellers of Eastern Switzerland cultivated it before 
they possessed metals,® but the six-rowed barley was 
more common among them. 

The variety in which the grain is bare at maturity 
(JJ. distichon nudum, Linnseus), which in France has all 
sorts of absurd names, orge d cafe, orge du Ferou (coffee 
barley, Peruvian barley), has never been found wild. 

The fan-shaped barley {Hordeum Zeocriton, Linnseus) 
seems to me to be a cultivated form of the two-rowed 
barley. It is not known in a wild state, nor has it been 
found in Egyptian monuments, nor the lake-dwellings of 
Switzerland, Savoy, and Italy. 

Crommon Barley — Hordeum, vulgare, Linnseus. 

The common barley with four rows of grain is 
mentioned by Theophrastus,* but it seems to have been 

"^^ Figari and de Kotaris, Agrofftologim JEgypt Frcufm., p. 18. 

* A very starved plant gathered by Kotschy, No. 290, of which I 
possess a specimen. Boissier terms it H. distichony varietas, 

' C. A. Meyer, Verzeichnisa, p. 26, from specimens seen also by 
L»6debour, JPZ. Bosa.t iv. p. 327. 

* Ledebonr, ibid. 

» Kegel, Deacr. Plant, Nov., 1881, fasc. 8, p. 37. 

* Willdenow, 5p. Plant,, i. p. 473. 

' Theophrastus, Hist. Plant., lib. viii. cap. 4. 

* Heer, PJlanzen der Pfahlbautenf p. 13; Messicommer, Flora Bot. 
Zeitung, 1869, p. 320. 

' Theophrastus, Hist., lib. viii. cap. 4. 


less cultivated in antiquity than that with two rows, and 
considerably less than that with six rows. It has not 
been found in Egyptian monuments, nor in the lake- 
dwellings of Switzerland, Savoy, and Italy. 

Willdenow ^ says that it grows in Sicily and in the 
south-east of Russia, at Samara, but the modem floras of 
these two countries do not confirm this. We do not 
know what species of barley it was that Olivier saw 
growing wild in Mesopotamia ; consequently the common 
barley has not yet been found certainly wild. 

The multitude of common names which are attributed 
to it prove nothing as to its origin, for in most cases it 
is impossible to know if they are names of barley in 
general, or of a particular kind of barley cultivated in a 
given country. 

Six-rowed Barley — Hordeum heocaatichon, Linnaeus. 

This was the species most commonly cultivated in 
antiquity. Not only is it mentioned by Greek authors, 
but it has also been found in the earliest Egyptian monu- 
ments,* and in the remains of the lake-dwellings of 
Switzerland (age of stone), of Italy, and of Savoy (age 
of bronze).® Heer has even distinguished two varieties 
of the species formerly cultivated in Switzerland. One of 
them answers to the six-rowed barley represented on 
the medals of Metapontis, a town in the south of Italy, 
six centuries before Christ. 

According to Roxburgh,* it was the only kind of 
barley grown in India at the end of the last century. 
He attributes to it the Sanskrit name yuva, which 
has become jvha in Bengali. Adolphe Pictet* has care- 
fully studied the names in Sanskrit and other Indo- 
European languages which answer to the generic name 

> Willdenow, Spedea Plant, i. p. 472, 

• Un^r, Pflanzen des Alien Egyptens, p. 33 ; Ein Ziegel der Dcuhur 
Pyramided p. 109. 

• Hecr, PJlanzen der Pfdhlhauten, p. 6, figs. 2 and 3 ; p. 13, fig. 9 ; 
Flora Bot Zeitung, 1869, p. 320; de Mortillet, according to Perrin, 
J^tudea prdhistoriques aur la Savoie, p. 23 ; Sordelli, Sulle piante della 
torhiera di Lagozzay p. 33. 

« Boxbnrgh, Fl. Ind,, edit. 1832, Yol. i. p. 358. 

• Ad. Pictet, Originea Jndo-JEurqp., edit. 2, vol. i. p. 333. 


barley, but he has not been able to go into the details of 
each species. 

The six-rowed barley has not been seen in the con- 
ditions of a wild plant, of which the species has been 
determined by a botanist. I have not found it in Bois- 
sier's herbarium, which is so rich in Eastern plants. It 
is possible that the wild barleys mentioned by ancient 
authors and by Olivier were Hordevm, heocastickon, but 
there is no proof of this. 

On Barleys in general. 

"We have seen that the only form which is now found 
wild is the simplest, the least productive, Hordev/m dis- 
tichon, which was, like H, heocoMichon, cultivated in 
prehistoric time. Perhaps H. wlgare has not been so 
long in cultivation as the two others. 

Two hypotheses may be drawn from these facts : 1. 
That the barleys with four and six rows were, in prehis- 
toric agriculture anterior to that of the ancient Egyptians 
who built the monuments, derived from H. distichon. 
2. The barleys with six and four ranks were species 
formerly wild, extinct since the historical epoch. It 
would be strange in this case that no trace of them has 
remained in the floras of the vast region comprised be- 
tween India, the Black Sea, and Abyssinia, where we 
are nearly sure of their cultivation, at least of that of the 
six-ranked barley. 

Eye — Secale cereale, Linnaeus. 

Rye has not been very long in cultivation, unless, 
perhaps, in Russia and Thrace. It has not been found 
in Egyptian monuments, and has no name in Semitic 
languages, even in the modern ones, nor in Sanskrit 
and the modem Indian languages derived from Sanskrit. 
These facts agree with the circumstance that rye thrives 
better in northern than in southern countries, where it 
is not usually cultivated in modem times. Dr. Bret- 
schneider ^ thinks it is unknown to Cliinese agriculture. 
He doubts the contraiy assertion of a modem writer, 

' Bretschneider, On Study and Value, etc., pp 18, 44i. 


and remarks that the name of a cereal mentioned in the 
memoirs of the Emperor Eanghi, which may be sup- 
posed to be this species, signifies Russian wheat. Now 
rye, he says, is much cultivated in Siberia. There is no 
mention of it in Japanese floras. 

The ancient Greeks did not know it. The first 
author who mentions it in the Roman empire is Pliny,^ 
who speaks of the aecale cultivated at Turin at the 
foot of the Alps, under the name of Asia, Qalen,^ 
bom in A.D. 131, had seen it cultivated in Thrace and 
Macedonia under the name briza. Its cultivation does 
not seem ancient, at least in Italy, for no trace of rye 
has been found in the remains of the lake-dwellings of 
the north of that country, or of Switzerland and Savoy, 
even of the age of bronze. Jetteles found remains of rye 
near Olmutz, together with instruments of bronze, and 
Heer,* who saw the specimens, mentions others of the 
Roman epoch in Switzerland. 

Failing archaeological proofs, European languages show 
an early knowledge of rye in German, Keltic, and Sla- 
vonic countries. The principal names, according to 
Adolphe Pictet,* belong to the peoples of the north of 
Europe: Anglo-Saxon, ryge, rig; Scandinavian, rAgr; 
Old High German, roggo ; Ancient Slav, ruji, roji; 
Polish, rez ; Illyrian, raz, eta The origin of this name 
must date, he says, from an epoch previous to the sepa- 
ration of the Teutons from the Lithuano-Slavs. The 
word secede of the Latins recurs in a similar form among 
the Bretons, aegal, and the Basques, cekela, zekhalea ; but 
it is not known whether the Latins borrowed it from the 
Gauls and Iberians, or whether, conversely, the latter 
took the name from the Romans. This second hypo- 
thesis appears to be the more probable of the two, since 
the Cisalpine Gauls of Pliny's time had quite a different 
name. I also find mentioned a Tartar name, aremh^ and 
an Ossete name, ayl^ sU,^ which points to an ancient 
cultivation to the east of Europe. 

jpliny. Hist, lib. xviii. o. 16. 
' Galen, De AlimeniHs, lib. xuim qiioted by Lenz, Bot, de Alten, p. 259. 
• Heer, Die Pfian^en d$r ffdhlh^u^^tnt p, 16. 
^ Ad. Pictet, Origin^ indo^^uriyp,^ edit. 2, vol. i. p. 844. 
i Nemoioh, l/exicon ifaturgesch. 1 Ad. Pictet, uhi supra, 



Thus historical and philological data show that the 
species probably had its origin in the countries north of 
the Danube, and that its cultivation is hardly earlier 
than the Christian era in the Roman empire, but perhaps 
more ancient in Russia and Tartary. 

The indication of wild rye given b^ several authors 
should scarcely ever be accepted, for it has often hap- 
pened that Secede cereale has been confounded with 
perennial species, or with others of which the ear is easily 
broken, wnich modem botanists have rightly dis- 
tinguished.^ Many mistakes which thus arose have been 
cleared up by an examination of original specimena 
Others may be suspected. Thus I do not know what 
to think of the assertions of L. Ross, who said he had 
found rye growing wild in several parts of Anatolia,^ 
and of the Russian traveller Ssaewerzoff, who said he 
saw it in Turkestan.' The latter fact is probable enough, 
but it is not said that any botanist verified the species. 
Kimth* had previously mentioned it in "the desert 
between the Black Sea and the Caspian,** but he does 
not say on what authority of traveller or of specimens. 
Boissier's herbarium has shown me no wild SeccUe cereale^ 
but it has persuaded me that another species of rye 
might easily be mistaken for this one, and that asser- 
tions require to be carefully verified. 

Failing satisfactory proofs of wild plants, I formerly 
urged, in my GSographie Botanique ltaiaonn4e, an argu- 
ment of some value. Secede cereale sows itself from 
cultivation, and becomes almost wild in parts of the 
Austrian empire/ which is seldom seen elsewnere.* Thus 

* 8ecaU fragiley Bieberstein ; £f. am^itoliewMf Boissier ; 8. monianum^ 
Gnssone ; 8» villoaum^ Linnsdus. I explained in my QSogr. BotaniquBf 
p. 936, the errors which result from this conf asion, when rje was said to 
be wild in Sioilj, Crete, and sometimes in Bassia. 

• Flora, Bot. Zeitwng, 1856, p. 520. 

* Flora, Bot. Zeitung, 1869, p. 93. * Ennth, Envm^ i. p. 449. 

• Sadler, Fl. Pesth., i. p. 80; Host, Fl. Austr., i. p. 177; Baaragarten, 
Fl. Transylv., p. 225; Neilreioh, Fl, Wien,, p. 58; Viviani, Fl. Dalmat,, i. 
p. 97 ; Parkas, Fl. Croat., p. 1288. 

' Strobl saw it, however, in the woods on the slopes of Etna, a result 
of its introduction into cultiyation in the eighteenth century {(Ester, Bot. 
Zeit, 1881, p. 159). 


in the east of Europe, where history points to an ancient 
cultivation, rye jSnds at the present day the most favour- 
able conditions for living without the aid of man. It 
can hardly be doubted, from these facts, that its original 
area was in the region comprised between the Austrian 
Alps and the north of the Caspian Sea. This seems 
the more probable that the five or six known species of 
the ^enus Secale inhabit western temperate Asia or the 
south-east of Europe. 

Admitting this origin, the Aryan natives would not 
have known the species, as philology already shows us ; 
but in their migrations westward they must have met 
with it under different names, which they transported 
here and there. 

Commoii Oats and Eastern Oats — Avena aativa, Lin- 
nseus ; Avena orientalis, Schreber. 

The ancient Egyptians and the Hebrews did not 
cultivate oats, but they are now grown in Egypt.^ There 
is no Sanskrit name, nor any in modem Indian languages. 
They are only now and then planted by the English in 
India for their horses.^ The earliest mention of oats 
in China is in an historical work on the period 618 to 907 
A.D. ; it refers to the variety known to botanists as 
Avena sativa nuda? The ancient Greeks knew the 
genus very well ; they called it bromos,'^ as the Latins 
called it avcTia ; but these names were commonly applied 
to species which are not cultivated, and which are weeds 
mixed with cereals. There is no proof that they culti- 
vated the common oats. Pliny's remark*^ that the 
Germans lived on oatmeal, implies that the species was 
not cultivated by the Romans. 

The cultivation of oats was, therefore, practised an- 
ciently to the north of Italy and of Greece. It was 
diffused later and partially in the south of the Roman 
empire. It is possible that it was more ancient in Asia 
Minor, for Galen ^ says that oats were abundant in 

' Scbweinf urth and Ascherson, Beitrage kw Fl, JEthiop , p. 298. 

• Rojle, III., p. 419. 

' Bretschneider, On Study amd Value, etc., pp. 18, 44. 

^ Fraas, 8yn. Fl. Class., p. 803 ; Lenz, Bot. der Alien, p. 243. 

* Plinj, Hist,, lib. zyiii. cap. 17. * Galen, Ve Alimentis, lib. i. cap. 12. 


Mysia, above Pergamus ; that they were given to horses, 
and that men used them for food in years of scarcity. 
A colony of Gauls had formerly penetrated into Asia 
Minor. Oats have been found among the remains of 
the Swiss lake-dwellings of the age of bronze/ and in 
Germany, near Wittenburg, in several tombs of the 
first centuries of the Christian era, or a little earlier.* 
Hitherto none have been found in the lake-dwellings 
of the north of Italy, which confirms the belief that 
oats were not cultivated in Italy in the time of the Roman 

The vernacular names also prove an ancient existence 
north and west of the Alps, and on the borders of Europe 
tewards Tartary and the Caucasus. The most widely 
diffused of these names is indicated by the Latin avena, 
Ancient Slav oviaUf-ovemi, ovsa, Russian ovesu, Lithuanian 
awiza, Lettenian auaas, Ostias abia,^ The English word 
oata comes, according to A. Pictet, from the Anglo-Saxon 
ata or ate. The Basque name, olba or doa* argues a 
very ancient Iberian cultivation. 

The Keltic names are quite difierent:' Irish coirce, 
cuirce, carca, Armorican kerch. Tartar svlu, Georgian 
kari, Hungarian zab, Croat 20b, Esthonian kaer, and 
others are mentioned by Nemnich* as applying to the 
generic name oats, but it is not likely that names so 
varied do not belong to a cultivated species. It is 
strange that there should be an independent Berber name 
zekkoum,'' as there is nothing te show that the species 
was anciently cultivated in Africa. 

All these fiswjts show how erroneous is the opinion 
which reigned in the last century,* that oats were 
brought originally from the island of Juan Fernandez, a 
belief which came apparently from an assertion of the 
navigater Anson.* It is evidently not in the Austral 

' Heer, Pflanzen der PfaMbautenf p. 6, fig. 24. 
' Lenz, Bot der AUen^ p. 245. 

* Ad. Pictet, Orig, Indo.-lEurop.^ edit. 2, vol. i. p. 350. 

* Notes commonioated by M. Gios. * Ad. Pictet, ub%tu,pra. 

* Nemnich, Polyglott. LexieoUy p. 54S. 

' JHcb, Fr,'Berhdre, published by the French Goyemment. 

* Linnsdos, Species, p. 118 ; Lamarck, Diet. Ene,, L p. 431« 

* Phillips, Ctdt, Vegetf ii. p. 4. 


hemispbere that we must seek for the home of the species, 
but in those countries of the northern hemisphere where 
it was anciently cultivated. 

Oats sow themselves on rubbish-heaps, by the way- 
side, and near cultivated ground more easily than other 
cereals, and sometimes persist in such a way as to 
appear wild. This has been observed in widely separate 
places, as Algeria and Japan, Paris and the north of 
China.^ Instances of this nature render us sceptical as 
to the wild nature of the oats which Bov^ said he found 
in the desert of Sinai It has also been said ^ that the 
traveller Olivier saw oats wild in Persia, but he does not 
mention the fact in his work. Besides, several annual 
species nearly resembling oats may deceive the traveller. I 
cannot discover either in books or herbaria the existence 
of really wild oats either in Europe or Asia, and Bentham 
has assured me that there are no such specimens in the 
herbarium at Kew; but certainly the half- wild or 
naturalized condition is more frequent in the Austrian 
states from Dalmatia to Transylvania^ than elsewhere. 
This is an indication of origin which may be added to 
the historical and philological arguments in favour of 
eastern temperate Europe. 

Averux drigosa, Schreber, appears to be a variety of 
the common oats, judging from the experiments in culti- 
vation mentioned by Bentham, who adds, it is true, that 
these need confirmation.^ There is a good drawing of the 
variety in Host, leonea Grcmiinum Avstriacorum, ii. pi. 
56, which may be compared with A, aativa, pi. 59. For 
the rest, Avena strigosa has not been found wild. It 
exists in Europe in deserted fields, which confirms the 
hypothesis that it is a form derived by cultivation. 

Avena orientalis, Schreber, of which the spikeleis 

' Manbj, Catal. Alger., edit. 2, p. 36 ; Franchet and Savatier, Enum, 
PU Jap,, ii. p. 175 ; Cosson, Fl. Pa/ris^ ii. p. 637 j Btinge, Enum, Chin,, 
p. 71t for the variety wudcu 

* Lamarck, Bid, Encycl., i. p. 831. 

» Viviani, Fl, Dalmat,, i. p. 69 ; Host, Fl. Austr., i, p. 138 j Neilreicb, 
FL W%en,f p. 85; Baumgarten, Entim, Transylv,, iii. p. 259; Farkas, 
FL Croatica, p. 1277. 

4 Bentham, Handbook of BrilUh Flora, edit. 4, p. 544. 


lean all to one side, has also been grown in Europe from 
the end of the eighteenth century. It is not known in a 
wild state. Often mixed with common oats, it is not to 
be distinguished from them at a glance. The names it 
bears in Germany, Turkish or Hungarian oats, points to 
a modem introduction from the East. Host gives a good 
drawing of it {Oram. Austr., i. pi. 44). 

As all the varieties of oats are cultivated, and none 
have been discovered in a truly wild state, it is very 
probable that they are all derived from a single pre- 
historic form, a native of eastern temperate Europe and 
of Tartary. 

Common Millet — Panicum mUidceum, Linnaeus. 

The cultivation of this plant is prehistoric in the 
south of Europe, in Egypt, and in Asia. The Greeks 
knew it by the name kegchros, and the Latins by that of 
mUiwnv} The Swiss lake-dwellers of the age of stone 
made great use of millet,^ and it has also been found in 
the remains of the lake-dwellings of Varese in Italy,* 
As we do not elsewhere find specimens of these early 
times, it is impossible to know what was the panicum or 
the sorghum mentioned by Latin authors which was 
used as food by the inhabitants of Gaul, Panonia, and 
other countries. Unger * counts P. miliaceum. among the 
species of ancient Egypt, but it does not appear that he 
had positive proof of this, for he has mentioned no monu- 
ment, drawing, or seed found in the tombs. Nor is there 
any material proof of ancient cultivation in Mesopotamia 
India, and China. For the last-named country it is a 
question whether the shu, one of the five cereals sown by 
the emperors in the great yearly ceremony, is Panicxmi 
mUiaceum, an allied species, or sorghum ; but it appears 
that the sense of the word shu has changed, and that 
formerly it was perhaps sorghum which was sown.*^ 

^ The passages from Theophrastus, Cato, and others, are translated in 
Lenz, Botanik der Alien, p. 232. 

* Heer, P/lanzen der P/ahlhauten, p. 17. 

* Regazzoni, Riv, Arch. Prov, di Conio, 1880, faso. 7. 
« Unger, Pflanzen des Alien JEffyptens, p. 34. 

* Bretschueider, Study and Value of Chinese Botanical Works, pp. 
7, 8, 45. 


Anglo-Indian botanists^ attribute two Sanskrit 
names to the modem species, -drift and vreehih-heda^ 
although the modem Hindu and Bengali name cheena and 
the Telinga name worga are quite different. If the 
Sanskrit names are genuine, they indicate an ancient 
cultivation in India. No Hebrew nor Berber name is 
known ;^ but there are Arab names, dokhn, used in 
Egypt, and kosjcejb in Arabia.® There are various 
European names. Besides the Greek and Latin words, 
there is an ancient Slav name, proso,^ retained in Russia 
and Poland, an old German word hirai, and a Lithuanian 
name sora^ The absence of Keltic names is remarkable. 
It appears that the speciei^ was cultivated especially in 
Eastern Europe, and spread westward towards the end of 
the Gallic dominion. 

With regard to its wild existence, Linnaeus says** that 
it inhabits India, and most authors repeat this; but 
Anglo-Indian botanists "^ always give it as cultivated. It 
is not found in Japanese floras. In the north of China 
de Bunge only saw it' cultivated,® and Maximowicz near 
the Ussuri, on the borders of fields and in places near 
Chinese dwellings.* Ledebour says *® it is nearly wild in 
Altaic Siberia and Central Russia, and wild south of the 
Caucasus and in the country of Talysch. He quotes 
Hohenacker for the last-named locality, who, however, 
says only " nearly wild." ^^ In the Crimea, where it 
furnishes bread for the Tartars, it is found here and there 
nearly wild/^ which is also the case in the south of 
France, in Italy, and in Austria.^ It is not wild in 

' Boxbnrgb, 17. Ivd., edit. 1832, p. 810 ; Piddlng^ton, hidem. 

• Boeenmuller, Bihl. Alterth, ; JHct, Franq.-Berhire. 

• Delile, FU ^gyptyV' ^ J Forskal, Fl, Arab., civ. 

^ Ad. Flctet, Origines Indo-Europ^ennea, edit. 2, vol. i. p. 851« 

• Ibid, • LinnsBUB, Spec, Plant, i. p. 86. 

• Boxburgli, Fl, Ind,, edit. 1832, p. 310; Aitchison, Cat. ofPtmjdb PL, 

p. 159. 

• Bnnge, En/um,, No. 400. • Maximowicz, Primitice Amur,, p. 330. 
*• Ledeboar, Fl, Ross,, iv. p. 469. 

'* Hobenacker, Plant, Talysch,, p. 13. 
" Steven, Verzeich, Halb. Taur,, p. 371. 

" Mutel, Fl, Franq,, iv. p. 20 ; Parlatore, Fl, Ital, \, p. 122 j Viviani, 
Fl. Damat,, i. p. 60 ; Neilreicb, Fl, Nied. (Esterr,, p. 32. 


Greece/ and no one has found it in Persia or in Syria. 
Forskal and Delile indicated it in Egypt, but Ascherson 
does not admit this ; ^ and Forskal gives it in Arabia.* 
The species may have become naturalized in these regions, 
as the result of frequent cultivation from the time of the 
ancient Egyptians. However, its wild nature is so 
doubtful elsewhere, that its Egypto- Arabian origin is 
very probable. 

Italian Millet — PanicuTn Italicum, Linnaeus ; Setaria 
Italica, Beauvois. 

The cultivation of this species was very common in 
the temperate parts of the old world in prehistoric 
times. Its seeds served as food for man, though now 
they are chiefly given to birds. 

In China it is one of the five plants which the 
emperor sows each year in a public ceremony, according 
to the command issued by Chin-nong 2700 B.C.* The 
common name is aiao mi (little seed), the more ancient 
name being kn ; but the latter seems to be applied also to 
a very diflerent species.*^ Pickering says he recognized it 
in two ancient Egyptian drawings, and that it is now 
cultivated in Egypt® under the name dokhn; but that is 
the name of Panyywm miliaceum. It is, therefore, very 
doubtful that the ancient Egyptians cultivated it. It has 
been found among the remains of the Swiss lake-dwell- 
ings of the stone epoch, and therefore d fortim^ among 
the lake-dwellers of the subsequent epoch in Savoy.^ 

The ancient Greeks and Latins did not mention it, or 
at least it has not been possible to certify it from what 
they say of several panicums and millets. . In our own 
day the species is rarely cultivatecl in the south of 
Europe, not at all in Greece,** for instance, and I do not 

1 Heldreich, Nutz, OriechenLf p. 3 j Pflanz. Attisch. EhenCt p. 516. 

* M. Ascherson informs me in a letter that in his Aufzdhlung the 
word cult, has been omitted by mistake after Panicum miliaceum, 

* Forskal, Fl, Arab.y p. civ. 

* Bretschneider, Study and Valuer etc., pp. 7, 8 
' Bretschneider, ihid, 

* According to linger, Pflanz, d. Alt. JEgypt., p. 34. 

* Heer, Pflanzen d, Pfahlhaut., p. 5, fig. 7 ; p. 17, figs. 28, 29 j Perrin, 
Etudes Pi-^historiques sur la Savoie^ p. 22. 

* Heldreich, Nuizpfl. Oriech, 


find it indicated in Egypt, but it is common in Southern 

The Sanskrit names kv/ngil and priyungd, of which 
the first is retained in Bengali,^ are attributed to this 
species. Piddington mentions several other names in 
Indian languages in his Index. Ainslie^ gives a Per- 
sian name, arzun, and an Arabic name ; but the latter is 
commonly attributed to Panicum Tniliaceum, There is 
no Hebrew name, and the plant is not mentioned in 
botanical works upon Egypt and Arabia. The European 
names have no historical value. They are not original, 
and commonly refer to the transmission of the species or 
to its cultivation in a given country. The specific name, 
Ualicvmi, is an absurd example, the plant being rarely 
cultivated and never wild in Italy. 

Rumphius says it is wild in the Sunda Isles, but not 
very positively.* Linnaeus probably started from this 
basis to exaggerate and even promulgate an error, saying, 
" inhabits the Indies." ^ It certainly does not come from 
the West Indies ; and further, Roxburgh asserts that he 
never saw it wild in India. The Graminse have not 
yet appeared in Sir Joseph Hooker's fiora ; but Aitchi- 
Bon® gives the species as only cultivated in the north- 
west of India. The Australian plant which Robert 
Brown said belonged to this species belongs to another.' 
P. italicum appeai-s to be wild in Japan, at least in the 
form called gennanica by different authors,® and the 
Chinese consider tlie five cereals of the annual ceremony 
to be natives of their country. Yet Bunge, in the 
north of China, and Maximowicz in the basin of the 
river Amur, only saw the species cultivated on a large 
scale, in the form of the gernfianica variety.® In 

> Roxburgh, Fl, Ind., edit. 1832, vol.i. p. 302; Bamphins, Amhoin.,y, 
p. 202, t. 75. 

' Boxburgh, tbid, ' Ainslie, Mat. Med. Ind.^ i. p. 226. 

* " Obcorrit in Baleya," etc. {Rumphitis, v. p. 202). 
■ ** Habitat in Indiis " (LinnsBus, Species, i. p. 83). 

• Aitchison, Catcd. of Punjab PI., p. 162. 
' Bentham, Flora AustraLj vii. p. 493. 

* Franchet and Savatier, Enum. Japon., ii. p. 262. 

• Bange, Enum., No. 399 ; Maximowicz, Primitiai Amur., p. 330. • 


Persia,^ the Caucasus Mountains, and Europe, I only 
find in floras the plant indicated as cultivated, or escaped 
sometimes from cultivation on rubbish-heaps, waysides, 
waste ground, etc* 

The sum of the historical, philological, and botanical 
data make me think that the species existed before all 
cultivation, thousands of years ago in China, Japan, and 
in the Indian Archipelago. Its cultivation must have 
early spread towards the West, since we know of Sanskrit 
names, but it does not seem to have been known in Syria, 
Arabia, and Greece, and it is probably through Russia 
and Austria that it early arrived among the lake-dwellers 
of the stone age in Switzerland. 

CSommon Sorghum — Holcua sorghum, Linnaeus; An- 
dropogon sorghum, Brotero ; Sorghum vvZgare, Persoon. 

Botanists are not agreed as to the distinction of 
several of the species of sorghum, and even as to the 
genera into which this group of the Graminse should be 
divided. A good monograph on the sorghums is needed, 
as in the case of the panicums. In the mean time I will 
give some information on the principal species, because 
of their immense impoii;ance as food for man, rearing 
of poultry, and as fodder for cattle. 

We may take as a typical species the sorghum culti- 
vated in Europe, as it is figured by Host in his GrmaincB 
AustridccB (iv. pL 2). It is one of the plants most com- 
monly cultivated by the modern Egyptians, under the 
name of dourra, and also in equatorial Africa, India, and 
China.' It is so productive in hot countries that it is a 
staple food of immense populations in the old world. 

Linnaeus and all authors, even our contemporaries, 
say that it is of Indian origin ; but in the first edition of 
Koxburgh's flora, published in 1820, this botanist, who 
should have been consulted, asserts that he had only seen 
it cultivated. He makes the same remark for the allied 
forms (hicolor, saccliaratua, etc.)i which are often regai'ded 

' Buhse, Aufzdhlungt p. 232. 

* See Parlatore, Fl, Ital., i. p. 113 ; Mntel, Fl, Franq., iv. p. 20, etc 

• Delile, Plantes Cidt, en J^gypte, p. 7 ; Roxburgh, Fl-, Ind,, edit. 1832, 
vol. i. p. 269 ; Aitchison, CataZ, of Punjab PL, p. 175 ; Bretsohnoider, 
Sttidy and Value, etc., p. 9. 


as mere varietiea Aitchison also bad only seen the sor- 
ghum cultivated. The absence of a Sanskrit name also 
renders the Indian origin very doubtful. Bretschneider, 
on the other hand, says the sorghum is indigenous in 
China, although he says that ancient Chinese authors 
have not spoken of it. It is time that he quotes a name, 
common at Pekin, kao-liamg (tall millet), which also 
applies to Holcvs saccharatus, and to which it is better 

The sorghum has not been found among the remains 
of the lake-dwellings of Switzerland and Italy. The 
Greeks never spoke of it. Pliny's phrase ^ about a miliv/m 
introduced into Italy from India in his time has been 
supposed to refer to the sorghum; but it was a taller plant, 
perhaps Holms sdccbxiratua. The sorghum has not been 
found in a natural state in the tombs of ancient Egypt. 
Dr. Hannerd thought he recognized it in some crushed 
seeds brought by Kosellini from Thebes ; * but Mr. Birch, 
the keeper of Egyptian antiquities in the British Museum, 
has more recently declared that the species has not been 
found in the ancient tombs.^ Pickering says he recog- 
nized its leaves mixed with those of the papyrus. He 
says he also saw paintings of it ; and Leipsius has copies 
of drawings which he, as well as Unger and Wilkinson, 
takes to be the dourra of modem cultivation.* The height 
and the form of the ear are undoubtedly those of the 
sorghum. It is possible that this species is the dochan, 
once mentioned in the Old Testament * as a cereal from 
which bread was made; yet the modem Arabic word 
dokhn refers to the sweet sorghum. 

Common names tell us nothing, either from their lack 
of meaning, or because in many cases the same name 
has been applied to the different kinds of panicum and 
sorghum. I can find none which is certain in the 
ancient languages of India or Western Asia, which 

* Pliny, Hist., lib. xviii. c. 7. 

• Qaoted by Unger, Die Pfianzen des Alien Egyptene, p. 84 

' S. Birch, in Wilkinson, Jfan. and Cust, ofAnc. Egyptians, 1S78, yol. ii. 
p. 427. 

* Lepsins' drawings are reproduced by Unger and by Wilkinson. 

• Ezek. iy. 9. 


argues an introduction of but few centuries before tbe 
Christian era. 

No botanist mentions the dcmrra as wild in Egypt 
or in Arabia. An analogous form is wild in equatorial 
Africa, but R. Brown has not been able to identify it/ 
and the flora of tropical Africa in course of publication at 
Kew has not yet reached the order Graminse. There 
remains, therefore, the single assertion of Dr. Bretsch- 
neider, that the tall sorghum is indigenous in China. 
If it is really the species in question, it spread westward 
very late. But it was known to the ancient Egyptians, 
and how could they have received it from China while 
it remained unknown to the intermediate peoples ? It 
is easier to understand that it is indigenous in tropical 
Africa, and was introduced into Egypt in prehistoric 
time, afterwards into India, and finally into China, where 
its cultivation does not seem to be very ancient, for the 
first work which mentions it belongs to the fourth cen- 
tury of our era. 

In support of the theory of African origin, I may quote 
the observation of Schmidt,^ that the species abounds in 
the island of San Antonio, in the Cape Verde group, in 
rocky placea He believes it to be " completely natural- 
ized/' which perhaps conceals a true origin. 

Sweet Sorghum — Holcus sdccharatus, Linnseus ; An- 
dropogon sacckaratus, Roxburgh; Sorghum sacchara- 
turn, Persoon. 

This species, taller than the common sorghum and 
with a loose panicle,^ is cultivated in tropical countries 
for the seed — which, however, is not so good as that of 
the common sorghum — and in less hot countries as fodder, 
or even for the sugar which the stem contains in con- 
siderable quantities. The Chinese extract a spirit from 
it, but not sugar. 

The opinion of botanists and of the public in general 
is that it comes from India ; but Roxburgh says that it 
is only cultivated in that country. It is the same in 

* Brown, Bot, of Congo, p. 544. 

* Schmidt, Beitrdge zur Flora Capverdischen Inselfif p. 15& 

* See Host, Oramince AuatrxaccBj vol. iv. pi. 4. 


the Sunda Isles, where the battari is certainly this 
species. It is the kao-liang, or great millet of the Chinese. 
It is not said to be indigenous in China, nor is it men- 
tioned by Chinese authors who lived before the Christian 
era.^ From these facts, and the absence of any Sanskrit 
name, the Asiatic origin seems to me a delusion. 

The plant is now cultivated in Egypt less than the 
common sorghum, and in Arabia under the name dokhna 
or dokhn^ No botanist has seen it wild in these 
countries. There is no proof that the ancient Egyptians 
cultivated it. Herodotus ® spoke of a " tree-millet " in 
the plains of Assyria. It might be the species in question, 
but it is not possible to prove it. 

The Greeks and Romans were not acquainted with it, 
not at least before the Roman empire, but it is possible 
that this was the millet, seven feet high, which Pliny 
mentions * as having been introduced from India in his 

We must probably seek its origin in tropical Africa, 
where the species is generally cultivated. Sir William 
Hooker ^ mentions specimens from the banks of the river 
Nun, which were perhaps wild The approaching pub- 
lication of the Graminae in the flora of tropical Africa 
will probably throw some light on this question. The 
spread of its cultivation from the interior of Africa to 
Egypt after the Pharaohs, to Arabia, the Indian Archi- 
pela^, and, after the epoch of Sanskrit, to India, lastly 
to China, towards the beginning of our era, tallies with 
historical data, and is not difficult to admit. The inverse 
hypothesis of a transmission from east to west presents 
a number of objections. • 

Several varieties of sorghum are cultivated in Asia 
and in Africa; for instance, cemuiis with drooping 

* Roxburgh, Fl. Ind,y edit. 2, vol. i. p. 271 ; Bamphias, Amboin.^ v, p. 
19^1, pi. 75, fig. 1 ; Miquel, Fl, Indo-Batavay iii. p. 503 ; Bretschneider, 
Study cmd Valuej etc., pp. 9, 46 ; Lonreiro, FL Cochin., ii. p. 792. 

* Forskal, Delile, Schweinfurth, and Ascherson, uhi siipra. 

* Herodotas, lib. i. cap. 193* 

^ Fliny, Hist, lib. xviii. cap. 7* This may also be the variety ox 
species kDown as hicolor, 

* W. Hooker, Niger Flora, 


panicles, mentioned by Roxburgh, and which Prosper 
Alpin had seen in Egypt; bicolor, which in height re- 
sembles the saccharatua ; and niger and rubenSy which 
also seem to be varieties of cultivation. None of these 
has been found wild, and it is probable that a monograph 
would connect them with one or other of the above- 
mentioned species. 

Coracan — Elensine coracana, GsBrtner 

This annual grass, which resembles the millets, is cul- 
tivated especially in India and the Malay Archipelago. 
It is also grown in Egypt ^ and in Abyssinia ; * but the 
silence of many botanists, who have mentioned the plants 
of the interior and west of Africa, shows that its cultiva- 
tion is not widely spread on that continent. In Japan ' 
it sometimes escapes from cultivation. The seeds will 
ripen in the south of Europe, but the plant is valueless 
there except as fodder.* 

No author mentions having found it in a wild state 
in Asia or in Africa. Roxburgh,* who is attentive to 
such matters, after speaking of its cultivation, adds, 
" I never saw it wild." He distinguishes under the 
name Eleaaiiie atricta a form even more commonly 
cultivated in India, which appears to be simply a variety 
of JE, coracaria, and which also he has not found 

We shall discover its country by other means. 

In the first place, the species of the genus Elevusine are 
more numerous in the south of Asia than in other 
tropical regions. Besides the cultivated plant, Royle* 
mentions other species, of which the poorer natives of 
India gather the seeds in the* plains. According to 
Piddington's iTidex, there is a Sanskrit name, rajika, and 
several other names in the modem languages of India. 
That of coracana comes from an old name used in Ceylon, 
kourakhan? In the Malay Archipelago the names 
appear less numerous and less originaL 

^ Schweinfarth and Ascherson, AufzaMwngy p. 299. 

• Bon Jardinier, 1880, p. 585. 

• Franchefc and Savatier, Enum. Plant. Japon.y ii. p. 172. 

• Bon Jardiniery ibid. • Roxburgh, Fl. Indvca^ edit.. 2, vol. i. p. 343. 

• Bojle, lU. Him, Plants, ' Thwaites, Enum, PI. Zeylan,f p. 371. 


In Egypt the cultivation of this species is perhaps 
not very ancient. The monuments of antiquity bear no 
trace of it. Grseco-Roman authors who knew the country 
did not speak of it, nor later Prosper Alpin, Forskal, and 
Delile. We must refer to a modern work, that of 
Schweinfurth and Ascherson, to find mention of the 
species, and I cannot even discover an Arab name.^ 
Thus botany, history, and philology point to an Indian 
origin. The flora of British India, in which the Graminse 
have not yet appeared, will perhaps teU us the plant 
has been found wild in recent explorations. 

A nearly allied species is grown in Abyssinia, ^Zettsinc 
Tocussa, Fresenius,* a plant very little known, which is 
perhaps a native of Africa. 

Bice — Oryza aativa, Linnaeus. 

In the ceremony instituted by the Chinese Emperor 
Chin-nong, 2800 years B.C., rice plays the principal part. 
The reigning emperor must himself sow it, whereas the 
four other species are or may be sown by the princes of 
his family® The five species are considered by the 
Chinese as indigenous, and it must be admitted that this 
is probably the case with rice, which is in general use, 
and has been so for a long time, in a country intersected 
by canals and rivers, and hence peculiarly favourable 
to aquatic plants. Botanists have not sufficiently studied 
Chinese plants for us to know whether rice is often found 
outside cultivated ground; but Loureiro* had seen it in 
marshes in Cochin-China. 

Rumphius and modern writers upon the Malay 
Archipelago give it only as a cultivated plant. The 
multitude of names and varieties points to a very ancient 
cultivation. In British India it dates at least from the 
Aryan invasion, for rice has Sanskrit names, vriki, 

' Several Bjnonyms and the Arabic name in Linnadns, Delile, etc., 
apply to DcLctyloctenium cegyptiacuniy Willdenow, or Eleusine CBgyptiaca 
of some anthors, which is not cnltiyated. 

' Fresenias, CataZ. Bern, Horti. Franco/.^ 1834, Beilr* f. FL Abyss., 
p. 141. 

' Stanislas Jnlien, in Loiselenr, Consid, sur les CMales, part i. p. 29 ; 
Bretscbneider, Study and Value of Chinese Botanical WorkSf pp. 8 and 9. 

^ Looreiro, FL Cochin,, i p. 267. 


artinya} whence come, probably, several names in modem 
Indian languages, and oruza or oruzon of the ancient 
Greeks, rouz or aroua of the Arabs. Theophrastus^ 
mentioned rice as cultivated in India. The Greeks 
became acquainted with it through Alexander's expedi- 
tion. "According to Aristobulus/' says Strabo,' "rice 
grows in Bactriana, Babylonia, Susida;" and he adds, 
" we may also add in Lower Syria." Further on he notes 
that the Indians use it for food, and extract a spirit from 
it. These assertions, doubtful perhaps for Bactriana, 
show that this cultivation was firmly established, at 
least, from the time of Alexander (400 B.C.), in the 
Euphrates valley, and from the beginning of our era 
in the hot and irrigated districts of Syria. The Old 
Testament does not mention rice, but a careful and 
judicious writer, Reynier,* has remarked several passages 
in the Talmud which relate to its cultivation. These 
facts lead us to suppose that the Indians employed 
rice after the Chinese, and that it spread stiU later 
towards the Euphrates — earlier, however, than the Aryan 
invasion into India. A thousand years elapsed between 
the existence of this cultivation in Babylonia and its 
transportation into Syria, whence its introduction into 
Egypt after an interval of probably two or three centuries. 
There is no trace of rice among the grains or paintings of 
ancient Egypt.^ Strabo, who had visited this country 
as well as Syria, does not say that rice was cultivated in 
Egypt in his time, but that the Garamantes ^ grew it, 
and this people is believed to have inhabited an oasis to 
the south of Carthage. It is possible that they received 
it from Syria. At all events, Egypt could not long fail 

* Piddington, Index ; Hehn, Culturpflanzeih edit. 3, p. 437. 

* Theophrastus, Hist., lib. iv. cap. 4, 10. 

' Strabo, OSographie, Tardieu's translation, lib. xy. cap._l» § 18; 
lib. zv. cap. 1, § 53. 

* Rejuier, Economie desArdbes et dea Jmfs (1820), p. 450 ; J^eonomie 
Puhlique et Rurdle dee ^gyptiens et des Carthaginoie (1823), p. 324. 

* finger mentions none ; Birch, in 1878, furnishes a note to Wilkin- 
son's Manners and Cuetome of tlie Ancient EgyptianSt ii. p. 402, " There 
is no proof of the cultiyation of rice, of which no g^ins hare been fonnd,'* 

' fieynier, ibid. 


to possess a crop so well suited to its peculiar conditions 
of irrigation. The Arabs introduced the species into 
Spain, as we see from the Spanish name an^oz. Rice was 
first cultivated in Italy in 1468, near Pisa.^ It is of 
recent introduction into Louisiana. 

When I said that the cultivation of rice in India was 
probably more recent than in China, I did not mean that 
the plant was not wild there. It belongs to a family of 
which the species cover wide areas, and, besides, aquatic 
plants have commonly more extensive habitations than 
others. Rice existed, perhaps, before all cultivation in 
Southern Asia from China to Bengal, as is shown by the 
variety of names in the monosyllabic languages of the, 
races between India and China.^ It has been found 
outside cultivation in several Indian localities, according 
to Roxburgh* He says that wild rice, called Tiewaree by 
the Telingas, grows in abundance on the shores of lakes 
in the country of the Circara Its grain is prized by rich 
Hindus, but it is not planted because it is not very 
productive. Roxburgh has no doubt that this is the 
original plant. Thomson * found wild rice at Moradabad, 
in the province of Delhi. Historical reasons support the 
idea that these specimens are indigenoua Otherwise 
they might be supposed to be the result of the habitual 
cultivation of the species, all the more that there are 
examples of the facility with which rice sows itself and 
becomes naturalized in warm, damp climates.^ In any 
case historical evidence and botanical probability tend to 
the belief that rice existed in India before cultivation,® 

Maize — Zea mays, Linnaeus. 

" Maize is of American origin, and has only been intro- 
duced into the old world since the discovery of the new. 

* Targioni, Cenni Storiei. 

• Crawf urd, in Jourrhol of Botany ^ 1866, p. 324. 

• Roxbnrgh, Fl. Ind,, edit. 1832, vol. ii. p. 200. 

* Aitcliinsoii, Catal. Pv/njah,^ p. 157. 

* Nees, in Martins, FL BrasiL, in Sfo, ii. p. 518; Baker, FL oj 
Ifatiri'iiM, p. 458. 

• Von Mneller writes to me that rice is certainly wild in tropical 
Anstralia. It may ha^e been accidentally sown, and have become 
naturalized. — ^Author's mote, 1884. 


I consider these two assertions as positive, in spite of the 
contrary opinion of some authors, and the doubts of 
the celebrated agriculturist Bonafous, to whom we are 
indebted for the most complete treatise upon maize." ^ 
I used these words in 1855, after having already contested 
the opinion of Bonafous at the time of the publication of 
his work.^ The proofs of an American origin have been 
since reinforced. Yet attempts have been made to prove 
the contrary, and as the French name, bl^ de Tui*quie, 
gives currency to an error, it is as well to resume the 
discussion with new data. 

No one denies that maize was unknown in Europe at 
the time of the Roman empire, but it has been said that 
it was brought from the East in the Middle Ages. The 
principal argument is based upon a charter of the thir- 
teenth century, published by Molinari,* according to 
which two crusaders, companions in arms of Boniface III., 
Marquis of Monferrat, gave in 1204 to the town of Incisa 
a piece of the true cross . . . and a purse containing a 
kind of seed of a golden colour and partly white, unknown 
in the country and brought from Anatolia, where it was 
called meliga, etc. The historian of the crusades, Michaux, 
and later Daru and Sismondi, said a great deal about this 
charter; but the botanist Delile, as well as Targioni- 
tozzetti and Bonafous himself, thought that the seed in 
question might belong to some sorghum and not to maize. 
These old discussions have been rendered absurd by the 
Comte de Riant's discovery * that the charter of Incisa 
is the fabrication of a modem impostor. I quote this 
instance to show how scholars who are not naturalists 
may make mistakes in the interpretation of the names of 
plants, and also how dangerous it is to rely upon an isolated 
proof in historical questions. 

The names ble de Turquie, Turkish wheat (Indian 

^ Bonafous, Hist. Nat, Agric. et J^conomique cbi Mats, 1 vol. in folio, 
Paris and Turin, 1836. 

' A. de CandoUe, Bibliothiquo JJniverseUe de Qen&ve, Aug. 1836, 
O^ogr. Bot, Rats., p. 942. 

• Molinari, Storia d^Iridsa, Asti, 1810. 

* Biant, La Gharte ^Iiicisa, Svo pamphlet, 1877t reprinted from the 
UevvLe des Questions Historiqites. 


com), given to maize in almost all modem European lan- 
guages no more prove an Eastern origin than the charter 
of Incisa. These names are as erroneous as that of coq 
d'lnde, in English turkey^ given to an American bird. 
Maize is called in Lorraine and in the Vosges Roman corn ; 
in Tuscany, Sicilian com ; in Sicily, Indian corn ; in the 
Pyrenees, Spanish corn ; in Provence, Barbary or Guinea 
com. The Turks call it Egyptian com, and the Egyp- 
tians, Syrian dourra. This last case proves at least that 
it is neither Egyptian nor Syrian. The widespread 
name of Turkish wheat dates from the sixteenth century. 
It sprang from an error as to the origin of the plant, 
which was fostered perhaps by the tufts which terminate 
the ears of maize, which were compared to the beard of 
the Turks, or by the vigour of the plant, which may have 
given rise to an expression similar to the French fort 
com/me un turc. The first botanist who uses the name, 
Turkish wheat, is Ruellius, in 1536.-^ Bock or Tragus,^ in 
1552, after giving a drawing of the species which he calls 
Frwmentwm tv/rdcv/m, Wehchkomy in Germany, having 
learnt by merchants that it came from India, conceived 
the unfortunate idea that it was a certain typha of Bac- 
triana, to which ancient authors alluded in vague terms. 
Dodoens in 1583, Camerarius in 1588, and Matthiole^ rec- 
tified these errors, and positively asserted the American 
origin. They adopted the name mays, which they knew 
to be American. We have seen (p. 363) that the zea of 
the Greeks was a spelt. Certainly the ancients did not 
know maize. The first travellers* who described the 
productions of the new world were surprised at it, a clear 
proof that they had not known it in Europe. Hernandez,*^ 
who left Europe in 1571, according to some authorities, 
in 1593 according to others,® did not know that from the 

* Bnellius, De Natura Stirpiunit p. 428, " Hano qnoniam nostromm 
setate e Gnecia vel Asia ▼euerit Turdcum frumentum nominaDt." Fuch- 
sius, p. 824, repeats this phrase in 1543. 

' Tragas, Stirpium^ etc., edit, 1552, p. 650. 

* Dodoens, Pe^nptades, p. 509 ; Camerarius, Ilort., p. 94 ; Hatthiole, 
deit. 1570, p. 305. 

* P. Martyr, Ercilla, Jean de Lery, eto., 1516-'1578. 

■ Hernandez, Thes, M&oic, , p. 242. ' Lasagne, Muii6e Dtleuert, p. 467. 


yeax 1500 maize had been sent to Seville for cultivation. 
This iact, attested by F^, who has seen the municipal 
records/ clearly shows the American origin, which caused 
Hernandez to think the name of Turkish wheat a very 
bad one. 

It may perhaps be urged that maize, new to Europe 
in the sixteenth century, existed in some parts of Asia or 
Africa before the discovery of America. Let us see what 
truth there may be in this. 

The famous orientalist D*Herbelot^ had accumulated 
several errors pointed out by Bonafous and by me, on 
the subject of a passage in the Persian historian Mirkoud 
of the fifteenth century, about a cereal which Rous, son 
of Japhet^ sowed upon the shores of the Caspian Sea, and 
which he takes to be the Indian corn of our day. It is 
hardly worth considering these assertions of a scholar to 
whom it had never occurred to consult the works of the 
botanists of his own day, or earlier. What is more im- 
portant is the total silence on the subject of maize of the 
travellers who visited Asia and Africa before the discovery 
of America; also the absence of Hebrew and Sanskrit 
names for this plant ; and lastly, that Egyptian monu- 
ments present no specimen or drawing of it.* Bifaud, it 
is true, found an ear of maize in a sarcophagus at Thebes, 
but it is believed to have been the trick of an Arab 
impostor. If maize had existed in ancient Egypt, it would 
be seen in all monuments, and would have been connected 
with religious ideas like all other remarkable plants. A 
species so easy of cultivation would have spread into all 
neighbouring countriea Its cultivation would not have 
been abandoned ; and we find, on the contrary, that Prosper 
Alpin, visiting Egypt in 1592, does not speak of it, and 
that Forskal,* at the end of the eighteenth century, men- 
tioned maize as still but little grown in Egypt, where it 
had no name distinct from the sorghums. Ebn Baithar, 

* F^e, Souvenirs de la Ouerre cPEspagnSy p. 128. 

' BihliotMqtte Orientcde, Paris, 1697, at the word Rous. 

' Kunth, Ann. 8c, Nat., ser. 1, vol. viii. p. 418; Baspail, ibid.; Unger, 
PJlamen des Alien JEgyptens ; A. Brann, Pjktnzenreste JEgypt, Mus. in 
Berlin; Wilkinson, Manners and Customs of Ancient Egyptians. 

« Forskal, p. Uii. 


an Arab physician of the thirteenth century, who had 
travelled through the countries lying between Spain and 
Persia, indicates no plant which can be supposed to be 

J, Oawfurd/ having seen maize generally cultivated 
in the Malay Archipelago under a name jarung, which 
appears to be indigenous, believed that the species was a 
native of these islands. But then how is it Rumphius 
makes no mention of it. The silence of this author points 
to an introduction later than the seventeenth century. 
Maize was so little diffused on the continent of India in the 
last century, that Roxburgh * wrote in his flora, which 
was published long after it was drawn up, '* Cultivated 
in different parts of India in gardens, and only as an 
ornament, but nowhere on the continent of India as an 
object of cultivation on a large scala" We have seen 
that there is no Sanskrit name. 

Maize is frequently cultivated in China in modem 
times, and particularly round Pekin for several genera- 
tions,' although most travellers of the last century make 
no mention of it. Dr. Bretschneider, in his work pub- 
lished in 1870, does not hesitate to say that maize is not 
indigenous in China; but some words in his letter of 
1881 make me think that he now attributes some impor- 
tance to an ancient Chinese author, of whom Bonafous 
and afterwards Hance and Mayers have said a great deal. 
This is a work by Li-chi-tchin, entitled PIven-tKaao-hiTig^ 
mou, or Pen-taao-kv/ng-Tnu, a species of treatise on natural 
history, which Bretschneider * says was written at the end 
of the sixteenth century, Bonafous says it was concluded 
in 1578, and the edition which he had seen in the Huzard 
library was of 1637. It contains a drawing of maize 
with the Chinese character. This plate is copied in 
Bonafous' work, at the beginning of the chapter on the 
original country of the maize. It is cleir that it repre- 

* Cmwturd, History of the Indian Archipeiago, Edinbargb, 1820, yoL i.{ 
Journal of Botany, 1866, p. 826. 

* Boxbnrgh, Flwa Indiea, edit. 1832, vol. iii. p. 5G8. 
' Bretschneider, Study and Vaiue, etc., pp. 7, 18. 

* Ibid. 

392 OBioiN or cultivated PLAina 

sents the plant. Dr. Hance^ appears to have based his 
arguments upon the researches of Mayers, who says that 
early Chinese authors assert that maize was imported 
from Sifan (Lower Mongolia, to the west of China) long 
before the end of the iS'teenth century, at an unknown 
date. The article contains a copy of the drawing in the 
Pin-tscuhhu/ng-Tau, to which he assigns the date 1597. 

The importation through Mongolia is improbable to 
such a degree that it is hardly worth speaking of it, and 
as for the principal assertion of the Chinese author, the 
dates are uncertain and late. The work was finished in 
1578 according to Bonafous, in 1597 according to Mayers. 
If this be true, and especially if the second of these dates 
is the true one, it may be admitted that maize was brought 
to China after the discovery of America. The Portuguese 
came to Java in 1496,^ that is to say four years after the 
discovery of America, and to China in 1516.^ Magellan's 
voyage from South America to the Philippine Islands took 
place in 1520. During the fifty-eight or seventy-seven 
years between 1516 and the dates assigned to the Chinese 
work, seeds of maize may have been taken to China by 
navi^tors from America or from Europe. Dr. Bi^i- 
Schneider wrote to me recently that the Chinese did not 
know the new world earlier than the Europeans, and that 
the lands to the east of their country, to which there are 
some allusions in their ancient writings, are the islands of 
Japan. He had already quoted the opinion of a Chinese 
savant, that the introduction of maize in the neighbourhood 
of Pekin dates from the last years of the Ming dynasty, 
which ended in 1644. This date agrees with the other 
facta The introduction into Japan was probably of later 
date, since Ksempfer makes no mention of the species.^ 

From all these facts, we conclude that maize is not a 
native of the old world. It became rapidly diffused in it 

* The article ib in the Phaitnaceutical Journal of 1870 ; I only know 
it from a short extract in Seemann's Journal qf Botany ^ 1871, p. 62. 

* Bnmphiag, Aniboin., yoI. y. p. 525. 

* Halte-Brun, OSographie, i. p. 493. 

* A plant engraved on an ancient weapon which Siebold had taken 
for maize is a sorghum, according to Rein, quoted \>J Wittmack, Uehcr 
Antilcen Mais. 


after the discovery of America, and this very rapidity 
completes the proof that, had it existed anywhere in Asia 
or Africa, it would have played an important part in 
agriculture for thousands of years. 

We shall see that the facts are quite contrary to these 
in America. 

At the time of the discovery of the new continent, 
maize was One of the staples of its agriculture, from the 
La Plata valley to the United States. It had names in 
all the languages.^ The natives planted it round their 
temporary dwellings where they did not form a fixed 
population. The burial-mounds of the natives of North 
America who preceded those of our day, the tombs of 
the Incas, the catacombs of Peru, contain ears or grains of 
maize, just as the monuments of ancient Egypt contain 
grains of barley and wheat and millet-seed. In Mexico, 
a goddess who bore a name derived from that of maize 
(Cintewtl, from Cintli) answered to the Ceres of the 
Greeks, for the first-fruits of the maize harvest were 
offered to her, as the first-fruits of our cereals to the 
Greek goddess. At Cusco the virgins of the sun offered 
sacrifices of bread made from Indian com. Nothing is 
better calculated to show the antiquity and generality of 
the cultivation of a plant than this intimate connection 
with the religious rites of the ancient inhabitants. We 
must not, however, attribute to these indications the 
same importance in America as in the old world. The 
civilization of the Peruvians under the Incas, and that of 
the Toltecs and Aztecs in Mexico, has not the extra- 
ordinary antiquity of the civilizations of China, Chaldea, 
and Egypt. It dates at earliest from the beginning of the 
Christian era; but the cultivation of maize is more 
ancient than the monuments, to judge from the numerous 
varieties of the species found in them, and their dispersal 
into remote regions. 

A yet more remarkable proof of antiquity has been 
discovered by Darwin. He found ears of Indian corn, 
and eighteen species of shells of our epoch, buried in the 
soil of the shore in Peru, now at least eighty-five feet 

' See Martins, Beitrage wwr Ethnographie AmerikaSf p. 127. 

394 oaioiN OF cultivated PLAirra 

above the level of the sea.^ This maize was perhaps not 
cultivated, but in this case it would be yet more 
interesting, as an indication of the oririn of the species. 

Although America has been explored by a great 
number of botanists, none have found maize in the 
conditions of a wild plant. 

Auguste de Saint-Hilaire ' thought he recognized the 
wild type in a singular variety, of which each grain is 
enclosed within its sheath or bract. It is known at 
Buenos-Ayres under the name pinaigaUo, It is Zea Mays 
tunicata of Saint-Hilaire, of which Bonafous gives an 
illustration, pL 5, bia, under the name Zea cryptosperma. 
Lindley' also gives a description and a drawing from 
seeds brought, it is said, from the Rocky Mountoins^ but 
this is not confirmed by recent Californian floras. A 
young Quarany, bom in Paraguay on its frontiers, had 
recognized this maize, and told Saint-Hilaire that it grew 
in the damp forests of his country. This is very in- 
sufficient proof that it is indi&^enoua No traveller to my 
knowledge has seen this plant wild in Pai-aguay or 
Brazil. But it is an interesting fact that it has been 
cultivated in Europe, and that it often passes into the 
ordinary state of maize. Lindley observed it when it 
had been only two or three years in cultivation, and 
Professor Badic obtained from one sowing 225 ears of the 
form tunicata, and 105 of the conmion form with naked 
grains.* Evidently this form, which might be believed a 
true species, but whose country is, however, doubtful, is 
hardly even a race. It is one of the innumerable varieties, 
more or less hereditary, of which botanists who are con- 
sidered authorities make only a single species, because of 
their want of stability and the transitions which they 
frequently present. 

On the condition of Zea Mays, and its habitation in 
America before it was cultivated, we have nothing but con- 

' Darwin, Var. of Plants and Anim. under Domest., i. p. 320. 
' A. de Saixit-Hilaire, Ann. 8c, Nat., xvi. p. 143. 
■ Lindley, Joum. of the Hortic. 8oc., i. p. 114. 

* I quote these facts from Wittmack, Ueher Antiken Mala aus Nord 
und 8ud Amerika, p. 87, in Berlin Anthropol. Qee., Not. 10, 1879. 


jectural knowledge. I will state what I take to be the sum 
of this, because it leads to certain probable indications. 

I remark first that maize is a plant singularly un- 
provided with means of dispersion and protection. The 
grains are hard to detach from the ear, which is itself 
enveloped. They have no tuft or wing to catch the wind, 
and when the ear is not gathered by man the grains fall 
still fixed in the receptacle, and then rodents and other 
animals must destroy them in quantities, and all the 
more that they are not sufficiently hard to pass intact 
through the digestive organs. Probably so unprotected 
a species was becoming more and more rare in some 
limited region, and was on the point of becoming extinct, 
when a wandering tribe of savages, having perceived its 
nutritious qualities, saved it from destruction by culti- 
vating it. I am the more disposed to believe that its 
natuml area was small that the species is unique ; that is 
to say^ that it constitutes what is called a single-typed 
genus. The genera which contain few species, and 
especially the monot3rpes, have as a rule more restricted 
areas than others. Palaeontology wiU perhaps one day 
show whether there ever existed in America several species 
of Zea, or similar Graminae, of which maize is the last 
survivor. Now, the genus Zea is not only a monotype, 
but stands almost alone in its family. A single genus, 
Eucfdcena of Schrader, may be compared with it, of which 
there is one species in Mexico and another in Guatemala ; 
but it is a quite distinct genus, and there are no inter- 
mediate forms between it and Zea. 

Wittmack has made some curious researches in order 
to discover which variety of maize probably represents 
the form belonging to the epoch anterior to cultivation. 
For this purpose he has compared ears and grains taken 
from the mounds of North America with those from Peru. 
If these monuments offered only one form of maize, the 
result would be important, but several different varieties 
have been found in the mounds and in Peru. This is not 
very surprising ; these monuments are uot very ancient. 
The cemetery of Ancon in Peru, whence Wittmack 
obtained his best specimens, is nearly ooi^texnporary with 



the d&covery Of America.^ Now, at that epoch the 
number of varieties was akeady considerable, which 
proves a much more ancient cultivation. 

Experiments in sowing varieties of maize in unculti- 
vated ground several years in succession would perhaps 
show a reversion to some common form which mignt then 
be considered as the original stock, but nothing of this 
kind has been attempted. The varieties have only been 
observed to lack stability in spite of their great 

As to the habitation of the unknown primitive form, 
the following considerations may enable us to guess it. 
Settled populations can only have been formed where 
nutritious species existed naturally in soil easy of 
cultivation. The potato, the sweet potato, and maize 
doubtless fulfilled these conditions in America, and as the 
great populations of this part of the world existed first in 
the high grounds of Chili and Mexico, it is there probably 
that wild maize existed We must not look for it in the 
low-lying regions such as Paraguay and the banks of the 
Amazon, or the hot districts of Guiana, Panama, and 
Mexico, since their inhabitants were formerly less nume* 
rous. Besides, forests are un&vourable to annuals, and 
maize does not thrive in the warm damp climates where 
manioc is grown.' On the other hand, its transmission 
from one tribe to another is easier to comprehend if we 
suppose the point of departure in the centre, than if we 
place it at one of the limits of the area over which the 
species was cultivated at the time of the Incas and the 
Toltecs, or rather of the Mayas, Nahuas, and Chibchas, 
who preceded thesa The migrations of peoples have 
not always followed a fixed course from north to south, 
or from south to north. They have taken diflferent 
directions according to the epoch and the country.^ The 

* Bocbebrune, Recherehes Ethnographiques sur les SSpvZtures P^ruviennes 
^Ancon, from an extract hj Wittmack in Uhlworm, Bot, Central-Blatt., 
1880, p. 1633, where it may be seen that the bnrial-gronnd was used before 
and after the discoTery of America. 

' Sagot, Cult des Cirialea de la Quyane Frang. (Jioum. de la Soe. 
Centr. d'Hortic, de Frwnce, 1872, p. 94). 

* De Kaidaillac, in bis work entitled Lea PrenUera Romme^ et lee 


ancient Feravians scarcely knew the Mexicans, and vice 
versd, as the total difference of their beliefs and customs 
shows. As they both early cultivated maize, we must 
suppose an intermediate point of departure. New 
Granada seems to me to fulfil these conditions. The 
nation called Chibcha which occupied the table-land of 
Bogota at the time of the Spanish conquest, and con- 
sidered itself aboriginal, was an agricultural people. It 
enjoyed a certain degree of civilization, as the menu-* 
ments recently investigated show. Perhaps this tribe 
fii-st possessed and cultivated maize^ It marched with 
Peru, then but little civilized^ on the! one hand, and with 
the Mayas on the other, who occupied Central America 
and Yucatan, These were often at war with the Nahuas, 
predecessors of the Toltecs and the Aztecs in Mexico. 
There is a tradition that Nahualt, chief of the Nahuas, 
taught the cultivation of maize.^ 

I dare not hope that maize will be found wild, although 
its habitation before it was cultivated was probably so 
small that botanists have perhaps not yet come across it. 
The species is so distinct from all others, and so striking, 
that natives or unscientific colonists would have noticed 
and spoken of it. The certainty as to its origin will 
probably come rather from archaeological discoveries. If 
a great number of monuments in all parts of America 
are studied, if the hieroglyphical inscriptions of some of 
these are deciphered, and if dates of migrations and 
economical events are discovered, our hypothesis will be 
justified, modified, or rejected. 

Article II, — Seeds used for Different Purposes. 

Poppy — Papaver somniferumf Linnaeus. 
The poppy is usually cultivated for the oil contained 
in the seed, and sometimes, especially in Asia, for the sap. 

Temps Pr^istoriqueBt giyes briefly the sum of our knowledge of these 
migrations of the ancient peoples of America in general. See especially 
Tol. ii. chap. 9. 

^ De Naidaillao, ii. pu 69, who quotes Bancroft, The Native Baces of ths 
Padfie States, 


extracted by making incisions in the capsules, and froin 
which opium is obtained. 

The variety which has been cultivated for centuries 
escapes readily from cultivation, or becomes almost 
naturalized in certain localities of the south of Europe.^ 
It cannot be said to exist in a really wild state, but 
botanists are agreed in regarding it as a modification of 
the poppy called Papaver eetigerwm, which is wild on 
'the shores of the Mediterranean, notably in Spain, Algeria, 
Corsica, Sicily, Greece, and the island of Cyprus. It has 
not been met with in Eastern Asia,' consequently this is 
really the original of the cultivated form. Its cultivation 
must have begun in Europe or in the north of Africa. 
In support of this theory we find that the Swiss lake- 
dwellers of the stone age cultivated a poppy which is 
nearer to P. aettgerwm than to P. somniferwni. Heer* 
has not been able to find any of the leaves, but the capsule 
is surmounted by eight stigmas, as in P. setigerv/m, and 
not by ten or twelve, as in the cultivated poppy. This 
latter form, unknown in nature, seems therefore to have 
been developed within historic times. P. setigerum is 
still cultivated in the north of France, together with P. 
aomniferum, for the sake of its oil.* 

The ancient Greeks were well acquainted with the 
cultivated poppy. Homer, Theophrastus, and Dioscorides 
mention it. They were aware of the somniferous pro- 
perties of the sap, and Dioscorides^ mentions the variety 
with white seeds. The Romans cultivated the poppy 
before the republic, as we see by the anecdote of Tarquin 
and the poppy-heads. They mixed its seeds with tiieir 
flour in making bread. 

The Egyptians of Pliny's time • used the juice of the 
poppy as a medicament, but we have no proof that this 

* Willkomm and Lange, Prodr. Fl. Hisp., iii. p. 872. 

' Boissier, Fl. Orient.! Tchihatcheff, AHe Mineure; Ledebour, Fl. 
Ro88.f and others. 

* Hedr, I^fiMen der Pfahlhcmfen, p. 32, figs. 65, 66. 

^ De Lanessan, in his translation from Fliickiger and Hanborj, HiS' 
toire des Droguee d* Origins Vigitaley i. p. 129. 

* Diosoorides, Hist. FlanU^ lib. ir. c. 65. 

* Plinj, EUt. Plant., lib. xx. o. 18. 


plant was cultivated in Egypt in more ancient times.^ 
In the Middle Ages ^ and in our own day it is one of the 
principal objects of cultivation in that country, especially 
for the manufacture of opium. Hebrew writings do not 
mention the species. On the other hand, there are one 
or two Sanskrit namea Fiddington gives ckosa, and 
Adolphe Pictet kkaskhaaa, which recurs, he says, in the 
Persian chashchdah, the Armenian chashchash,^ and in 
Arabic. Another Persian name is kovJcnar.^ These 
names, and others I could quote, very different from the 
maikon (MriKwv) of the Greeks, are an indication of an 
ancient cultivation in Europe and Western Asia. If the 
species was first cultivated in prehistoric time in Greece, 
as appears probable, it may have spread eastward before 
the Aryan mvasion of India, but it is strange that there 
should be no proof of its extension into Palestine and 
Egypt before the Roman epoch. It is also possible that 
in Europe the variety called Papaver eetigerum, employed 
by the Swiss lake-dwellers, was first cultivated, and that 
the variety now grown came from Asia Minor, where the 
species has been cultivated for at least three thousand 
years. This theory is supported by the existence of the 
Greek name Tnaikdn, in Dorian makon, in several Slav 
languages, and in those of the peoples to the south of the 
Caucasus, under the form mack.^ 

The cultivation of the poppy in India has been 
recently extended, because of the importation of opium 
into China ; but the Chinese will soon cease to vex the 
English by buying this poison of them, for they are be- 
ginning eagerly to produce it themselves. The poppy is 
now grown over more than half of their territory.® The 
species is never wild in the east of Asia, and even as 
regards China its cultivation is recent.^ 

^ TTnger, Die PJlanze al8 Errerungs und Betauhungsmittel, p. 47 } Die 
I^anzen des Alien ^gyptens, i. p. 60. 

* Ebn Baithar, Grerman trans., i. p. 64. 

* Ad. Pictet, Origines IndoSwropeennea, edit. 8, vol. i. p. 8G6. 

* Ainslie, Mat. Med, Indica, i. p. 326. 

* Nemnich, PolygL Lemicouy p. 848. 

^ ' Martin, in BuLL 8oe, d^Acelimatation, 1872, p. 200. 

' Sir J. Hooker, Flora of Brit, Jnd., i p. 117 ; Bretschneider, Study 
and Valuef etc., 47< 


Tbe name opium given to the drug extracted from 
the juice of tbe capsule is derived from the Greek. Dios- 
corides wrote opo8 (Oiroc) The Arabs converted it into 
ojiun} and spread it eastwards even to China. 

Fluckiger and Hanbury * give a detailed and interest- 
ing account of the extraction, trade> and use of opium 
in all countries, particularly . in China. Yet I imagine 
my readers may like to read the following extracts from 
Dr. Bretschneider's lietters, dated from Pekin, Aug. 23, 
1881, Jan. 28, and June 18, 1882, They give the 
most certain information which can be derived from 
accurately translated Chinese works. 

" The author of the Pent-aao-kang-mou, who wrote in 
1552 and 1578, gives some details concerning the a^fou- 
yong (that is afioun, opiun), a foreign drug produced by 
a species of ying-eoii with red flowers in the country of 
Tien-fang (Arabia), and recently used as a medicament 
in China. In the time of the preceding dynasty there had 
been much talk of the a-fovr-yong. The Chinese author 
gives some details relative to the extraction of opium in 
his native country, but he does not say that it is also pro- 
duced in China, nor does he allude to the practice of 
smoking it. In the Descriptive Dictionary of the Indian 
Idanda, by Crawfurd, p. 312, 1 find the following pas- 
sage : ' The earliest account we have of the use of opium, 
not only from the Archipelago, but also from India and 
China, is by the faithful, intelligent Barbosa.' He rates 
it among the articles brought by the Moorish and G^itile 
merchants of Western India, to exchange for the cargoes 
of Chinese junka' " 

''It is difficult to fix the exact date at which the 
Chinese began to smoke opium and to cultivate the 
poppy which produces it. As I have said, there is much 
confusion on this head, and not only European authors, 
but also the modem CJhinese, apply the name ying-sov, 
to P. soTnniferwm as well as to P. rhceaa. P. somni- 
ferum is now extensively cultivated in all the provinces 

1 Ebn Baitihar, i. p. 64. 

' Fliiokiger and Hanbuiy, Pkarmacographia, p. 4.0. 

* Barboda's work was pablished in 1516. 


of the Chinese empire, and also in Mantchuria and Mon- 
golia, Williamson (Jowimeys in North Ohiria, Mant- 
chwi^y Mongolia, 1868, ii. p. 65) saw it cultivated every- 
where in Mantchuria. He was told that the cultivation 
of the poppy was twice as profitable as that of cereals. 
Potanin, a Russian traveller, who visited Northern Mon- 
golia in 1876, saw immense plantations of the poppy in 
the valley of Kiran (between lat. 47° and 48*), This 
alarms the Chinese government, and still more the Eng- 
lish, who dread the competition of native opium.'* 

•* You are probably aware that opium is eaten, not 
smoked, in India and Persia. The practice of smoking 
this drug appears to be a Chinese invention, and modern. 
Nothing proves that the Chinese smoked opium before 
the middle of the last century. The Jesuit missionaries 
to China in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries do 
not mention it; Father d'Incarville alone says in 1750 
that the sale of opium is forbidden because it was used 
by suicides. Two edicts forbidding the smoking of opium 
date from before 1730, and another in 1796 speaks of the 
progress made by the vice in question. Don Sinibaldo 
di Mas, who in 1858 published a very good book on 
China, where he had lived many years as Spanish 
ambassador, says that the Chinese took the practice 
from the people of Assam, where the custom had long 

So bad a habit, like the use of tobacco or absinth, 
is sure to spread. It is becoming gradually introduced 
into the countries which have frequent relations with 
China. It is to be hoped that it will not attack so large 
a proportion of the peoples of other countries as in Amoy, 
where the proportion of opium-smokers are as fifteen to 
twwity of the adult population.^ 

Aniotto, or Anatto — Bisca oreUana, Linnaeus. 

The dye, called rocou in French, arnotto in English, 
is extracted from the pulp which encases the seed. The 
inhabitants of the West India Islands, of the Isthmus of 
Darien, and of Brazil, used it at the time of the discovery 
of America to stain their bodies red, and the Mexicans 

* Haghes, Trade Report, quoted by Ftuckiger and Hanbury. 


in painting.^ The amotto, a small tree of the order 
Bixacese, grows wild in the West Indies,* and over a 
great part of the continent of America between the 
tropics. Herbaria and floras abound in indications of 
locality, but do not generally specify whether the species 
is cultivated, wild, or naturalized. I note, however, that 
it is said to be indigenous by Seemann on the north- 
west coast of Mexico and Panama, by Triana in New 
Granada, by Meyer in Dutch Guiana, and by Piso and 
Claussen in Brazil.^ With such a vast area, it is not 
surprising that the species has many names in American 
languages ; that of the Brazilians, urucu, is the origin of 

It was not very necessary to plant this tree in order 
to obtain its product ; nevertheless Piso relates that the 
Brazilians, in the sixteenth century, were not content 
with the wild plant, and in Jamaica, in the seventeenth 
century, the plantations of Bixa were common. It was 
one of the first species transported from America to the 
south of Asia and to Africa, It has become so entirely 
naturalized, that Roxburgh* believed it to be indigenous 
in India 

Cotton — Oossypiuin herhacev/m, Linnaeus. 

When, in 1855, 1 sought the origin of the cultivated 
cottons,^ there was still great uncertainty as to the dis- 
tinction of the species. Since then two excellent works 
have appeared in Italy, upon which we can rely ; one by 
Parlatore,® formerly director of the botanical gardens at 
Florence, the other by Todaro,^ of Palermo. These two 

^ Sloane, Jamaica, ii. p. 53. 

' Sloane, ibid, ; Clos, Ann, 8c, Nat., 4tli series, vol. viii. p. 260 ; 
Grisebach, Fl. of Brit W. Ind. Is., p. 20. 

• Seemann, Bot. of Herald., pp. 79, 268 ; Triana and Planchon, Prodr. 
Fl. Novo-Granat, p. 94; Meyer, Esseqiisho, p. 202; Piso, Hist, Nat. 
Brasil, edit. 1648, p. 65 ; Claassen, in Clos, uhi supra, 

* Roxburgh, FL Ind,, ii. p. 581 ; Oliver, Fl, Trop, Africa, i, p. 114. 

• 04ogr. Bot. Rais., p. 971. 

* Parlatore, Le Specie dei Cotoni, text in 4to, plates in folio, Florence, 

' Todaro, Relazione delta Coltura dei Cotoni in Italia, segnita da una 
Monographia dM Oenere Oossypium, text large 8yo, plates in folio, Rome 
and Palermo, 1877-78 ; a work preceded by several others of less im- 
portance, which were known to Parlatore. 


works are illustrated with magnificent coloured plates. 
Nothing better can be desired for the cultivated cottons. 
On the other hand, our knowledge of the true species, 
I mean of those which exist naturally in a wild state, 
has not increased as much as it might. However, the 
definition of species seems fairly accurate in the works 
of Dr. Masters,^ whom I shall therefore follow. This 
author agrees with Parlatore in admitting seven well- 
known species and two doubtful, while Todaro counts 
fifty-four, of which only two are doubtful, reckoning as 
species forms with some distinguishing character, but 
which originated and are preserved by cultivation. 

The common names of the cottons give no assistance ; 
they are even calculated to lead us completely astray as 
to the origin of the species. A cotton called Siamese 
comes from America ; another is called Brazilian or Ava 
cotton, according to the fancy or the error of cultivators. 

We will first consider Gossypium Iierbaceum, an 
ancient species in Asiatic plantations, and now the com- 
monest in Europe and in the United States. In the 
hot countries whence it came, its stem lasts several years, 
but out of the tropics it becomes annual from the efiect 
of the winter's cold. The flower is generally yellow, with 
a red centre; the cotton yellow or white, according to 
the variety. Parlatore examined in herbaria several 
wild specimens, and cultivated others derived from wild 
plants of the Indian Peninsula. He also admits it to be 
indigenous in Burmah and in the Indian Archipelago, 
from the specimens of collectors, who have not perhaps 
been sufficiently careful to verify its wild character. 

Masters regards as undoubtedly wild in Sindh a form 
which he calls Oossypiurri Stocksii, which he says is 
probably the wild condition of Gossypium IierbaceuTn, 
and of other cottons cultivated in India for a long time. 
Todaro, who is not given to uniting many forms in a 
single species, nevertheless admits the identity of this 
variety with the common (?. herbdceum. The yellow 
colour of the cotton is then the natural condition of the 

* Masters, in Oliver, Fl, Trop, Afr., i. p. 210 ; and in Sir J. Hooker, 
Fl. Brit. Ind., i. p. 846. 


species. The seed has not the short down which exists- 
between the longer hairs in the cultivated (?. herbacev/m. 

Cultivation has probably extended the area of the 
species beyond the limits of the primitive habitation. 
This is, I imagine, the case in the Sunda Islands and the 
Malay Peninsula, where certain individuals appear more 
or less .wild. Kurz,^ in his Burmese flora, meQtions 
Q, herbaceu/niy with yellow or white cotton, as cultivated 
and also as wild in desert places and waste ground. 

The herbaceous cotton is called kapase in Bengali, 
kapaa in Hindustani, which shows that the Sanskrit 
word karpasd undoubtedly refers to this species.^ It 
was early cultivated in Bactriana, where the Greeks had 
noticed it at the time of the expedition of Alexander. 
Theophrastus speaks of it ^ in such a manner as to leave 
no doubt. The tree-cotton of the Isle of Tylos, in the 
Persian Gulf, of which he makes mention further on/ 
was probably also O. herbaceum; for Tylos is. not far 
from India, and in such a hot climate the herbaceous 
cotton becomes a shrub. The introduction of a cotton 
plant into China took place only in the ninth or tenth 
century of our era, which shows that probably the area 
of (?, herbacefwm was originally limited to the south and 
east of Indiaw The knowledge and perhaps the cultiva- 
tion of the Asiatic cotton was propagated in the Grseco- 
Roman world after the expedition of Alexander, but 
before the first centuries of the Christian era.* If the 
byssos of the Greeks was the cotton plants as most 
scholars think, it was cultivated at Elis, according to 
Pausanias and Pliny ;• but Curtius and C, Ritter' con- 
sider the word byssos as a general term for threads, 
aiud that it was probably applied in this case to fine 
linen. It is evident that the cotton was never, or very 
rarely, cultivated by the ancients. It is so useful that 
it would have become common if it had been introduced 

* Kurz, Forest Flora of British Burmahy i. p. 129. 

* Piddington, Index. » Theophrastus, Hist, Plant., lib. iv. cap. 5. 

* I6id., lib. iv. cap. 9. * Bretschneider, Study and Value, etc., p. 7. 

* Pausanias, lib. v., cap. 5; lib. yi. cap. 26 j Plinj, lib. xix. cap. 1. 
See Brandes, Baumwolley p. 96. ' 

' C. Bitter, Die Qeographische Verhreitung der BaumwoUe,^: 25. 


into a single locality — in Greece, for instance. It was 
afterwards propagated on the shores of the Mediterranean 
by the Arabs, as we see from the name qutn or kvin} 
which has passed into the modem languages of the south 
of Europe as cotone, coton, algodon, Eben el Awan, of 
Seville, who lived in the twelfth century, describes its 
cultivation as it was practised in his time in Sicily, 
Spain, and the East* 

Oo88ypiwni herbaceum is the species most cultivated 
in the United States." It was probably introduced 
there from Europe. It was a new cultivation a hundred 
years ago, for a bale of North American cotton was 
confiscated at Liverpool in 1774, on the plea that the 
cotton-plant did not grow there * The silky cotton {sea 
island) is another species, American, of which I shall 
presently speak. 

Tree-Cotton — Gossypiv/m arhoreum, Linnaeus. 

This species is taller and of longer duration than the 
herbaceous cotton ; the lobes of the leaf are narrower, 
the bracts less divided or entire. The flower is usually 
pink, with a red centre. The cotton is always white. 

According to Anglo-Indian botanists, this is not, as 
it was supposed, an Indian species, and is even rarely 
cultivated in India. It is a native of tropical Africa. 
It has been seen wild in Upper Guinea, in Abyssinia, 
Sennaar, and Upper Egypt.* So great a number of 
collectors have brought it from these countries, that 
there is no room for doubt; but cultivation has so diffused 
and mixed this species with others that it has been 
described imder several names in works on Southern 

• It is impossible not to remark the resemblance between this name 
and that of flax ia Arabic, Icattan or kittan; it is an example of the con- 
fusion which takes place in names where there is an analogy between 
the prodacts. 

• De Lastejrie, Du Cotormier, p. 290. 

• Torrey and Asa Gray, Flora of North America^ i. p. 230 ; Darling- 
ton, Agriadtwal Botany, p. 16. 

• Schonw, NaturachUderungen, p. 152. 

• Masters, in Oliver, Fl. Trop, AJr,, i. p. 211 ; Hooker, M, ofBriL Ind,, 
i. p. 347 ; Schweinf nrth and Ascherson, Aufzdhlung, p. 265 (under the 
name Qoasypvum nigrvm) ; Parlatore, Specie dei Ootoni, p. 25. 


Parlatore attributed to 0. arhorev/m some Asiatic 
specimens of G, heibaceuTn, and a plant but little known 
which Forskal found in Arabia. He suspected from this 
that the ancients had known G, arhorewm as well as G. 
herbaceum. Now that the two species are better distin- 
guished, and that the origin of both is known, this does 
not seem probable. They knew the herbaceous cotton 
through India and Persia, while the tree-cotton can only- 
have come to them through Egypt. Parlatore himself 
has given a most interesting proof of this. Until his 
work appeared in 1866, it was not certain to what species 
belonged some seeds of the cotton plant which Rosellini 
found in a vase among the monuments of ancient Thebes.^ 
These seeds are in the Florence museum. Parlatore 
examined them carefully, and declares them to belong to 
Gossypium arboreum} Rosellini is certain he was not 
imposed upon, as he was the first to open both the tomb 
and the vase. No archaeologist has since seen or read 
signs of the cotton plant in the ancient times of Egyptian 
civilization. How is it that a plant so striking, remark- 
able for its flowers and seed, was not described nor pre- 
8er\'^ed habitually in the tombs if it were cultivated ? 
How is it that Herodotus, Dioscorides, and Theophrastus 
made no mention of it when writing of Egypt? The 
cloths in which all the mummies are wrapt, and which 
were formerly supposed to be cotton, are always linen 
according to Thompson and many other observers who 
are familiar with the use of the microscope. Hence I 
conclude that if the seeds found by Rosellini were really 
ancient they were a rarity, an exception to the common 
custom, perhaps the product of a tree cultivated in a 
garden, or perhaps they came from Upper Egypt, a 
country where we know the tree-cotton to be wild. 
Pliny * does not say that cotton was cultivated in Lower 
Egypt ; but here is a translation of his very remarkable 
passage, which is often quoted. "The upper part of 
Egypt, towards Arabia, produces a shrub which some 

* BoFellini, Monumenti dell* EgizicLf p. 2 ; Mon, Civ., i. p. 60* 
' Parlatore, Specie dei Cotoni^ p. 16. 
' Pliny, Hist, FUMt,, lib. xix. cap. 1. 


call gossipion and others xylon^ whence the name 
xylina given to the threads obtained from it. It is low- 
growing, and bears a fruit like that of the bearded 
nut, and from the interior of this is taken a wool for 
weaving. None is comparable to tliis in softness and 
whiteness." Pliny adds, *'The cloth made from it is 
used by preference for the dress of the Egyptian priests." 
Perhaps the cotton destined to this purpose was sent 
from Upper Egypt, or perhaps the author, who had 
not seen the fabrication, and did not possess a micro- 
scope, was mistaken in the nature of the sacerdotal 
raiment, as were our contemporaries who handled the 
grave-cloths of hundreds of mummies before suspecting 
that they were not cotton. Among the Jews, the 
priestly robes were commanded to be of linen, and it 
is not likely that their custom was different to that 
of the Egyptians. 

Pollux,^ bom in Egypt a century later than Pliny, 
expresses himself clearly about the cotton plant, of which 
the thread was used by his countrymen ; but he does not 
say whence the shrub came, and we cannot tell whether 
it was Oossypium arhorewni or G. herbacewm. It does 
not even appear whether the plant was cultivated in 
Lower Egypt, or if the cotton came from the more 
southern region. In spite of these doubts, it may be 
suspected that a cotton plant, probably that of Upper 
Egypt, had recently been introduced into the Delta. The 
species which Prosper Alpin had seen cultivated in 
Egypt in the sixteenth century was the tree-cotton. The 
Arabs, and afterwards Europeans, preferred and trans- 
ported into different countries the herbaceous cotton 
rather than the tree-cotton, which yields a poorer product 
and requires more heat 

Regarding the two cottons of the old world, I have 
made as little use as possible of arguments based upon 
Greek names, such as /3u<t<toc, (xtvSov, ^vXov, OOwv, etc., 
or Sanskrit names, and their derivatives, as carbasa, 
car pas, or Hebrew names, scliesch, buz, which are doubt- 
fully attributed to the cotton tree. This has been a 

' Pollux, Onomasticon, quoted by C. Ritter, ubt supra, p. 26. 


fruitful subject of discussion,* but the clearer distinction 
of species and the discovery of their origin greatly 
diminishes the importance of these questions — ^to natu- 
ralists, at least, who prefer facts to words. Moreover, 
Reynier, and after him C. Ritter, arrived in their re- 
searches at a conclusion which we must not forget : that 
these same names were often applied by ancient peoples 
to different plants and tissues — ^to linen and cotton, for 
example. In this case as in others, modem botany 
explains ancient wOrds where words and the com- 
mentaries of philologists may mislead. 

Barbados Cotton — Oossypiv/m barbadense, Linnaeua 
At the time of the discovery of America, the Spaniards 
found the cultivation and use of cotton established from 
the West India Islands to Peru, and from Mexico to 
Bra^ The fact is proved by all the historians of the 
epoch. But it is still very difficult to t§ll what were the 
species of these American cottons and in what countries 
they were indigenous. The botanical distinction of the 
American species or varieties is in the last degree con- 
fused. Authors, even those who have seen lai^ collec- 
tions of growing cotton plants, are not agreed as to the 
characters. They are also emban^ssed by the difficulty 
of deciding which of the specific names of Linna&us should 
be retained, for the original definitions are insufficient. 
The introduction of American seed into African and 
Asiatic plantations has given rise to further complica- 
tions, as botanists in Java, Calcutta, Bourbon, etc., have 
often described American forms as species under different 
names. Todaro admits ten American species ; Parlatore 
reduced them to three, which answer, he says, to Gossy- 
pium hirsviwm, O. barbadense, and O, rdigioswnh of 
Linnaeus; lastly, Dr. Masters unites all the American 
forms into a single species which he calls G. barbadense, 
giving as the chief character that the seed bears only 

* Beynier, £conomie dee Arahes et des Juify.j p. 863 ; Bertoloni, Nov, 
Act. Acad. Bonon.f ii. p. 213, and Miscell, Bot., 6 ; Viviani, in Bihl, ItaZ., 
vol. Ixxxi. p. 94 ; C. Ritter, G4ogr. Verbreitung der Baumwolle, in 4fco. ; 
Targioni, Cenni 8torici, p. 93 ; Brandis, Der Baumwolle in Alterthum^ 
in 8vo> 1880. 


long hairs, whereas the species of the old world have a 
short down underneath the longer hairs.^ The flower is 
yellow, with a red centre. The cotton is white or yellow. 
Parlatore strove to include fifty or sixty of the cultivated 
forms under one or other oi the three heads he admits, 
from the study of plants in gardens or herbaria. Dr. 
Masters mentions but few synonyms, and it is possible 
that certain forms with which he is not acquainted do 
not come under the definition of his single species. 

Where there is such confusion it would be the best 
course for botanists to seek with care the Gossypia, which 
are wild in America, to constitute the one or more species 
solely upon these, leaving to the cultivated species their 
strange and often absurd and misleading names. I state 
this opinion because with regard to no other genus of 
cultivated plants have I felt so strongly that natural 
history should be based upon natural facts, and not upon 
the artificial products of cultivation. If we start from 
this point of view, which has the merit of being a truly 
scientific method, we find unfortunately that our know- 
ledge of the cottons indigenous in America is still in a 
very elementary state. At most we can name only one 
or two collectors who have found Oossypia really 
identical with or very similar to certain cultivated forms. 

We can seldom trust early botanists and travellers 
on this head. The cottoii plant grows sometimes in the 
neighbourhood of plantations, and becomes more or less 
naturalized, as the down on the seeds facilitates accidental 
transport. The usual expression of early writers — such a 
cotton plant grows in such a country — often means a. 
cultivated plant. Linnseus himself in the eighteenth 
century often says of a cultivated species, "nabUat" 
and he even says it sometimes without good ground.^ 
Hernandez, one of the most accurate among sixteenth- 
century authors, is quoted as having described and 
figured a wild Gossypium in Mexico, but the text 

* Masters, in Oliver, Flora of Trop. Africa, i. p. 822 j and in Hooker, 
Flora of Brit, India, i. p. 347. 

■ He says, for instance, of Qossypium l^erhacewm, which is certainly of 
the old world, as facts known before his time show, ** hahittU in Am^ca," 


suggests some doubts as to the wild condition of this 
plant/ which Parlatore believes to be G. hirautuTn, 
Linnaeus. Hemsley,^ in his catalogue of Mexican plants, 
merely says of a Gossypium which he calls barbadeTise, 
*' wild and cultivated " He gives no proof of the former 
condition. Macfadyen * mentions three forms wild and 
cultivated in Jamaica. He attributes specific names to 
them, and adds that they possibly all may be included 
in LinnsBUs' G, hirevium. Grisebach * admits that one 
species, G, barbadeTise, is wild in the West Indies. As 
to the specific distinctions, he declares himself unable to 
establish them with certainty 

With regard to New Grenada, Triana^ describes a 
Gossypiv/m which he calls O. barbadenae, Linnaeus, and 
which he says is "cultivated and half wild along the 
Rio Seco, in the province of Bogota, and in the valley of 
the Cauca near Call ; " and he adds a variety, hirautuTn, 
growing (he does not say whether spontaneously or no) 
along the Rio Seco. I cannot discover any similar asser- 
tion for Peru, Guiana, and Brazil ; • but the flora of Chili, 
published by CI. Gay,''^ mentions a Gossypium, "almost 
wild in the province of Copiapo," which the writer 
attributes to the variety G. peruvianwm, CavaniUes. 
Now, this author does not say the plant is wild, and 
Parlatore classes it with G» religiosum, Linnaeus. 

An important variety of cultivation is that of the 
cotton with long silky down, called by Anglo-Americans 
sea island, or l^g staple cotton, which Parlatore ranks 
with G. barbadense, Linnaeus. It is considered to be of 
American origin, but no one has seen it wild. 

In conclusion, if historical records are positive in all 
that concerns the use of cotton in America from a time 
far earlier than the arrival of Europeans, the natural 

' Nascitur in calidia humidisqtie cultis prcedpue locia (Hernandez, 
NovcB HiapanicB Thesaurus f p. 308) . 

■ Hemsley, Biologia Centrali- Americana, i. p. 123. 

• Macfadyen, Flora of Jamaica, p. 72. 

* Grisebach, Flora of Brit. W, India !«., p. 86. 

• Triana and Planchon, Prodr, Ft. Novo.Qranatensis, p. 170. 

* The Malvaceae have not yet appeared in the Flora Braailiensie, 
7 CI. Gay, Flora Chilena, i. p. 812. 


wild habitation of the plant or plants which yield this 
product is yet but little known. We become aware on 
this occasion of the absence of floras of tropical America, 
similar to those of the Dutch and English colonies oiF 
Asia and Africa. 

Handubi, Pea-nut, Honkey-nut — Arachis hypogcea, 

Nothing is more curious than the manner in which 
this leguminous plant matures its fruits. It is cultivated 
in all hot countries, either for the seed, or for the oil 
contained in the cotyledons.^ Bentham has given, in 
his Flora of Brazil, in folio, vol. xv. pi. 23, complete 
details of the plant, in which may be seen how the 
flower-stalk bends downwards and plunges the pod into 
the earth to ripen. 

The origin of the species was disputed for a century, 
even by those botanists who employ the best means to 
discover it It is worth while to show how the truth 
was arrived at, as it may serve as a guide in similar 
cases. I will quote, therefore, what I wrote in 1855,^ 
giving in conclusion new proofs which allow no possi- 
bility of further doubt. 

" Linnaeus® said of the Arachis, 'it inhabits Surinam, 
Brazil, and Peru/ As usual with him, he does not specify 
whether the species was wild or cultivated in these 
countries. In 1818, R. Brown* writes: 'It was pro- 
bably introduced from China into the continent of India, 
Ceylon, and into the Malay Archipelago, where, in spite 
of its now general cultivation, it is thought not to be 
indigenous, particularly from the names given to it. I 
consider it not improbable that it was brought from 
Africa into different parts of equatorial America, although, 
however, it is mentioned in some of the earliest writings 
on this continent, particularly on Peru and Brazil. Ac- 
cording to Sprengel, it is mentioned by Theophrastus as 

^ The Qardenei's Chronicle of Sept. 4, 1880, g^ves details about the 
caltivation of this plant, the use of its seeds, and the extensive exporta- 
tion of them from the west coast of Africa, Brazil, and India to Europe. 

' A. de CandoUe, O^ographie Botanique Raisonnee, p. 962. 

• Linnssas, Species Plantarum, p. 1040. 

.* H. Brown, Botany of Congo, p. 53. 


cultivated in Egypt, but it is not at all evident that tlie ' 
Arachis is the plant to which Theophrastus alludes in 
the quoted passage. If it had been formerly cultivated 
in Egypt it would probably still exist in that country, 
whereas it does not occur in Forskal's catalogue nor in 
Delile's more extended flora. There is nothing very- 
unlikely/ continues Brown, ' in the hypothesis that the 
Arachis is indigenous both in Africa and America; but 
if it is considered as existing originally in one of these 
continents only, it is more probable that it was brought 
from China through India to Africa, than that it took 
the contrary direction/ My father in 1825, in the Pro- 
droTYius (ii. p. 474), returned to Linnseus' opinion, and 
admitted without hesitation the American origin. Lot 
us reconsider the question " (I said in 1855) " with the 
aid of the discoveries of modem science. 

"Arachis hypogcea was the only species of this singular 
genus known. Six other species> all Brazilian, have 
since been discovered.* Thus, applying the rule of pro- 
bability of which Brown first made great use, we incline 
d priori to the idea of an American origin. We must 
remember that Marcgraf ^ and Piso ® describe and figure 
the plant as used in Brazil, under the name maTidiibi, 
which seems to be indigenous. They quot^ Monardes, a 
writer of the end of the sixteenth centiiry, as having 
indicated it in Peru under a different name, arichic. 
Joseph Acosta* merely mentions an American name, 
Tnani, and speaks of it with other species which are not 
of foreign origin in America. The Arachis was not 
ancient in Guiana, in the West Indies, and in Mexico. 
Aublet ^ mentions it as a cultivated plant, not in Guiana, 
but in the Isle of France. Hernandez does not speak of 
it. Sloane® had seen it only in a garden, grown from 
seeds brought from Guinea. He says that the slave- 
dealers feed the negroes with it on their passage from 

* Bentham, in Trans. Linn. Soc., xviii. p. 159 ; Walpers, Repertorium, 
i. p. 727. 

• Marcgt-af and Piso, BraaiL, p. 37, edit. 1648, 

• Ibid., edit. 1658, p. 256. 

* Acosta, Hist Nat Ind., French, trans., 1698, p. 165. 

^ Aublet, PL Quyan, p. 765. - * Bloane, JamaicOf p. 164. 


Africa, which indicates a then very general cultivation 
in Africa. Pison, in his second edition (1658, p. 256), 
not in that of 1648, gives a figure of a similar fruit im- 
ported from Africa into Brazil under the name rrw/adohi, 
very near to the name of the Arachis, mundubi. From 
the three leaflets of the plant it would seem to be the 
Voandzeia, so often cultivated; but the fruit seems to 
me to be longer than in this genus, and it has two or 
three seeds instead of one or two. However this may 
be, the distinction drawn by Piso between these two 
subterranean seeds, the one Brazilian, the other Africat?, 
tends to show that the Araxihis is Brazilian. 

" The antiquity and the generality of its cultivation 
in Africa is, however, an argument of some force, which 
compensates to a certain degree its antiquity in Brazil, 
and the presence of six other J. racAi^ in the same country. 
I would admit its great value if the Arachia had been 
known to the ancient Egyptians and to the Arabs ; but 
the silence of Greek, Latin, and Arab authors, and the 
absence of the species in E^pt in Forskal's time, lead 
me to think that its cultivation in Guinea, Senegal,^ and 
the east coast of Africa* is not of very ancient date. 
Neither has it the marks of a great antiquity in Asia. 
No Sanskrit name for it is known,® but only a Hindu- 
stani one. Bumphius * says that it was imported from 
Japan into several iidands of the Indian Archipelago. It 
would in that case have borne only foreign names, like 
the Chinese name, for instance, which signifies only 
' earth -bean.' At the end of the last century it was 
generally cultivated in China and Cochin-China. Yet, in 
spite of Rnmphius's theory of an introduction into the 
islands from China or Japan, I see that Thunberg does 
not speak of it in his Japanese Flora, Now, Japan has 
had dealings with China for sixteen centuries, and culti- 
vated plants, natives of one of the two countries, were 
commonly early introduced into the other. It is not 
mentioned by Forster among the plants employed in the 

* Gaillemin and Perrottet, Fl» Senegal, ■ Lonreiro, Fl, Cochin. 

• * Koxbargh, Fl,Ind., iii p. 280; Piddington, Index. 
^ Bamphius, Uerh, ^mb., t. p. 42J^ 


small islands of the Pacific. All these facts point to an 
American, I might even say a Brazilian, origin. None 
of the authors I have consulted mentions having seen 
the plant wild, either in the old or the new world. 
Those who indicate it in Africa or Asia are careful to 
say the plant is cultivated. Marcgraf does not say 
so, writing of Brazil, but Piso says the species is 

Seeds of Arachis have been found in the Peruvian 
tombs at Ancon,^ which shows some antiquity of existence 
in America, and supports the opinion I expressed in 
1855. Dr. Bretschneider s study of Chinese works * over- 
sets Brown's hypothesis. The Arachis is not mentioned 
in the ancient works of this country, nor even in the 
Pent-aacf, published in the sixteenth century. He adds 
that he believes the plant was only introduced in the 
last century. 

All the recent floras of Asia and Africa mention the 
species as a cultivated one, and most authors believe it 
to be of American origin. Bentham, after satisfying 
himself that it had not been found wild in America or 
elsewhere, adds that it is perhaps a form derived from 
one of the six other species wild in Brazil, but he does 
not say which. This is probable enough, for a plant 
provided with an efficacious and very peculiar manner 
of germinating does not seem of a nature to become 
extinct. It would have been found wild in Brazil in 
the same condition as the cultivated plant, if the latter 
were not a product of cultivation. Works on Guiana 
and other parts of America mention the species as a 
cultivated one; Grisebach* says, moreover, that in 
several of the West India islands it becomes naturalized 
from cultivation. 

A genus of which all the well-known species are thus 
placed in a single region of America can scarcely have 
a species common to both hemispheres ; it would be too 

' Bochebrane, from the extract in the Botanisches CerUraXhlattf 1880, 
p. U3i. 

* Study and Value of Chinese Botanical WorkSf p. 18. 

• Grisebach, Fl. Brit W. Ind. Is,, p. 189. 


great an exception to the law of geographical "botany. 
But then how did the species (or cultivated variety) pass 
from the American continent to the old world ? This 
is hard to guess, but I am inclined to believe that the 
first slave-ships carried it from Brazil to Guinea, and the 
Portuguese from Brazil into the islands to the south of 
Asia, in the end of the fifteenth century. 

Coffee — Cofea arabica, Linnaeus. 

This shrub, belonging to the family of the Rubiacese, 
is wild in Abyssinia? in the Soudan,^ and on the coasts 
of Guinea and Mozambique.® Perhaps in these latter 
localities, so far removed from the centre, it may be 
naturalized from cultivation. No one has yet found it 
in Arabia, but this may be explained by the difficulty 
of penetrating into the interior of the country. If it 
is discovered there it will be hard to prove it wild, for 
the seeds, which soon lose their faculty of germinating, 
often spring up round the plantations and naturalize the 
species. This has occurred in Brazil and the West India 
Islands,* where it is certain that the coffee plant was 
never indigenous. 

The use of coffee seems to be very ancient in Abys- 
sinia. Shehabeddin Ben, author of an Arab manuscript 
of the fifteenth century (No. 944; of the Paris Library), 
quoted in John Ellis's excellent work,*^ says that coffee 
had been used in Abyssinia from time immemorial. Its 
use, even as a drug, had not spread into the neighbouring 
countries, for the crusaders did not know it, and the 
celebrated physician Ebn Baithar, bom at Malaga, who 
had travelled over the north of Africa and Syria at the 
beginning of the thirteenth century of the Christian 
era, does not mention coffee.* In 1596 Bellus sent to 
de TEcluse some seeds from which the Egyptians ex- 

* Richard, Tentamen Fl. Abyss., i. p. 349 ; Oliver, FL Trop, Afr.j iii. 
p. 180. 

* Bitter, quoted in Flora, 1846, p. 704. 

' Meyen, Qiogr, Bot, Eaglish trans., p. 384 ; Grisebacb, Fl, of Brit. 
W, Ind. Is., p. 338. 

* H. Welter, Essai sur VHistoire du Cafi, 1 vol. in 8vo, Paris, 1868. 

* Ellis, An Historical Account of Coffee, 1774. 

* Ebn Baithar, Sondtheimer's trans., 2 vols. 8vo, 1842. 


iracted tibe diink cav^} Ne&rly at the- sltine time Prosp^ 
Alpin became acquaiated with coffee in Egypt itself. He 
speaks of ike plant as the *' arbor bon, cum f ructu suo 
bwna" The name bon recurs also in early authors under 
the forms bimnu, buncko, bunca^ The names oahue, 
cahua, chavh4^ cav^^^ refer rather in Egypt and Syria to 
the prepared drink, whence the French word cafe. The 
name bunnu, or something similar, is certainly the primi- 
tive name of the plant which the Abyssinians still call 

If the use of coffee is more anci^t in Abyssinia than 
elsewhere, that isno proof that its cultivation is very 
ancient. It is very possible, that for centuries the berries 
were sought in the forests, where they were doubtless very 
common. According to the Arabian author quoted above, 
it T^as a mufti of Aden, nearly his contemporary, who, 
having seen coffee drunk in Persia, introduced the prac- 
tice at Aden, whence it spread to Mocha, into Egypt, etc. 
He says that the coflfee plant grew in Arabia.** Other 
fables or traditions exist, according to which it was 
always an Arabian priest or a monk lyho invented the 
jdrink,^ but they all leave us in uncerteinty as to the 
date of the first cultivation of the plant However this 
may be, the use of coffee having been spread first in 
the east, afterwards in the west, in spite of a number 
of pi^ohibitions and absurd conflicts,^ its production 
became important to the colonies. Boerhave tells us 
that the Burgermeister of Amsterdam, Nicholas Witsen, 
director of the East India Company, urged the Governor 
of Batavia, Van Hoom, to import coffee berries fSrom Arabia 
to Batavia. This was done, and in 1690 Van Hoorn sent 
some living plants to Witsen. These were placed in the 
Botanical Gardens of Amsterdam, founded by Witsen, 
where they bore fruit. In 1714, the magistrates of the 

' Bellas, Epist, ad Clus.y p. 309, ■ Ramwolf, Clnsitui. 

* Baawolf ; Bauhin, jffi«t., i. p. 422. * Bellas, uhi supra, 

* Biohard, Tentamen Fl, Abyss,, p. 350. 

* An extract from the same aathor in Playfair, Hist. qf_ Ardbia 
FeliXf Bombay, 1S59, does not mention thid assertion.. 

^ Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Ned,, iv. p. 552. 

* Ellis, uhi swprcL} Nouv, Diet., ibid. 


town sent a BouHshitag jJant covered with fruit to Louis 
XIV., who placed it in his garden at Marly. Coffee 
was also grown in the hothouses of the kind's garden 
in Paris. One of the professors of this establishment, 
Antoine de Jussieu^ had already published in 1713, in 
the Memoires de VAcademie dee Sciences^ an interesting 
description of the plant from one which Pancras, director 
of the Botanical Garden at Amsterdam, had sent to him. 
The first coffee plants ot^owu in America were intro- 
duced into Surinam by, the Dutch in 1718. The Governor 
of Cayenne, de la Motte-Aigron, having been at Suri- 
nam, obtained some plants in secret and multipUed them 
in 1725.^. The coffee plant was introduced into Mar-r 
tinique by de Clieu,^ a naval officer^ in 1720, according 
to Deleuze ;* in 1723, according to the Notices Statiatiques 
8ur les Coloniee Franqaises.^ Thence it was introduced 
into the other French islands, into Guadaloupe, for in- 
stance, in 1730.'^ Sir Nicholas Lawes first grew it in 
Jamaica.^ From 1718 the French East India Company 
had sent plants of Mocha coffee to Bourbon ;'' others say ® 
that it was even in 1717 that a certain Dufougerais- 
Grenier had coffee plants brought from Mocha into this 
island. It is known how the cultivation of this shrub 
has been extended in Java, Ceylon, the West Indies, and 
Brazil. Nothing prevents it from spreading in nearly 
all tropical countries, especially as the coffee plant thrives 

* Thid detail is borrowed from Ellis, TXss, Caf., p. 16. In the Notices 
Btatistiqvsa sv/r lea Colonies Franqaisea (ii. p. 46) I find : " Abont 1716 op 
1721, fresh seeds of the coffee haying been brought secretly from 
Surinam, in spite of the precautions of the Dutch, the cultiTation of 
this colonial product became naturalized at Cayenne." 

* The name of this sailor has been spelt in several ways — Declienx, 
Duclienx, Desclienx. From the information supplied me at the minis- 
tire de la guerrey I learn that de Clieu was a gentleman, and a connec- 
tion of the Comte de Haurepas. He was born in Normandy, went into 
the navy in 1702, and retired in 1760, after a distinguished career. He 
died in 1775. The official reports have not neglected to mention the 
important fact that he introduced the coffee plant into the French 

* Deleuze, Hist, du Musdunij i. p. 20. 

* Not. Stat. Col, Franf., i. p. 30. • Ihid., i. p. 209. 

* Martin, Stat. Col. Brii. Emp. ' Nouv, Diet. Hist, Nat., iv. p. 135. 

* Not, Stat. Col. Franf., ii. p. S4. 


on sloping ground and in poor soils where other crops 
cannot flourish. It corresponds in tropical agriculture to 
the vine in Europe and tea in China. 

Further detaus may be found in the volume published 
by H. Welter^ on the economical and commercial history 
of coffee. The author adds an interesting chapter on 
the various fair or very bad substitutes used for a com- 
modity which it is impossible to overrate in its natural 

Liberian Coffee — Coffea liberica, Hiem.* 

Plants of this species have for some years been sent 
from the Botanical Gardens at Kew into the English 
colonies. It grows wild in Liberia^ Angola, Golungo 
Alto,' and probably in several other parts of western 
tropical Africa. 

It is of stronger growth than the common coffee, and 
the berries, whicn are larger, yield an excellent product 
The official reports of Kew Gardens by the learned 
director, Sir Joseph Hooker, show the progress of this 
introduction, whicn is very favourably received, especially 
in Dominica. 

Madia — Madia aativa, Molina. 

The inhabitants of Chili before the discovery of 
America cultivated this annual species of the Composite 
family, for the sake of the oil contained in the seed. 
Since the olive has been extensively planted, the madia 
is despised by the Chilians, who only complain of the 
plant as a weed which chokes their gardens.^ The 
Europeans began to cultivate it with indifferent success, 
owin^ to its bad smell. 

The madia is indigenous in Chili and also in Cali- 
fornia.* There are other examples of this disjunction of 
habitation between the two countries.^ 

> H. Welter, Essai sur VHistoire du Cafi, 1 vol. 8fo, Paris, 1868. 

' In Hiem, Trans, Linn. 8oc., 2nd Beries, vol. i. p. 171, pi. 24. This 
plate is reproduced in the Beport of the Boyal Botanicfil Gardens at 
Kew for 1876. 

* Oliver, Fl. Trop. Ajr., iii. p. 181. 
< CI. Gay, Fl. Chilena, iv. p. 268. 

* Asa Gray, in Watson, Bot, of California, i. p. 859. 

* A. de CanduUe, Q4ogr. Bot, Bais,, p. 1017. 


Hutmeg — Myristwa fragrdna, Houttuyn. 

The nutmeg, a little tree of the order MyristicecB, is 
wild in the Moluccas, principally in the Banda Islands.^ 
It has long been cultivated there, to judge from the 
considerable number of its varieties, Europeans have 
received the nutmeg by the Asiatic trade since the 
Middle Ages, but the Dutch long possessed the monopoly 
of its cultivation. When the English owned the 
Moluccas at the end of the last century, they carried 
live nutmeg trees to Bencoolen and into Prince Edward's 
Islands.^ It afterwards spread to Bourbon, Mauritius, 
Madagascar, and into some of the colonies of tropical 
America, but with indifferent success from a commercial 
point of view. 

Sesame — Sesamv/m indicv/m, de Candolle ; 8. indicwm 
and S, orientaJe, Linnaeus. 

Sesame has long been cultivated in the hot regions 
of the old world for the sake of the oil extracted from 
the seeds. 

The order Pedalinece to which this annual belongs 
is composed of several genera distributed through the 
tropical parts of Asia, Africa, and America. Each genus 
has only a small number of speciefs. Sesamum, in the 
widest sense of the name,^ has ten, all African except 
perhaps the cultivated species whose origin we are about 
to seek. The latter forms alone the true genus Sesamum, 
which is a section in Bentham and Hooker's work. 
Botanical analogy points to an African origin, but the 
area of a considerable number of plants is known to 
extend from the south of Asia into Africa. Sesame has 
two races, the one with black, the other with white seed, 
and several varieties differing in the shape of the leaf. 
The difference in the colour of the seeds is very ancient, 
as in the case of the poppy. 

The seeds of sesame often sow themselves outside 
plantations, and more or less naturalize the species. This 
has been observed in regions very remote one from the 

' Rnrnphms, Amboin., ii. p. 17 ; Blame, Rumphia, L p. 180. 

' Roxburgh, M. Indica^ iii. p. 845. 

8 Bentham and Hooker, Genera PZ., il. p. 1059. 



other; for instance, in India, the Sunda Isles, 'Egypty and 
even in the West India Islands, where its cultivation is 
certainly of modem introduction.^ This is perhaps the 
reason that no author asserts he has found it in a wild 
state except Blume,* a trustworthy observer, who men- 
tions a variety with redder flowers than usual growing 
in the mountains of Java. This is doubtless an indica^ 
tion of origin, but we need others to establish a proof. I 
shall seek them in the history of its cultivat'on. The 
country where this began should be the ancient habitation 
of the species, or have had dealings with this ancient 

That its cultivation dates in Asia from a very early 
epoch is clear from the diversity of names. Sesame is 
called in Sanskrit tUa,^ in Malay widjin, in Chinese woa 
(Rumphius) or chi-Tna (Bretschneider), in Japanese 
koba.^ The name seaam is common to Greek, Latin, 
and Arabic, with trifling variations of letter. Hence it 
might be inferred that its area was very extended, and 
that the cultivation of the plant was begun independently 
in several diflerent countries. But we must not attribute 
too much importance to such an argument. Chinese 
works seem to show that sesame was not introduced into 
China before the Christian era. The first certain mention 
of it occurs in a book of the fifth or sixth century, 
entitled Tai-min^yao^kou,'^ Before this there is confu- 
sion between the name of this plant and that of flax, of 
which the seed also yields an oil, and which is not very 
ancient in China.® 

Theophrastus and Dioscorides say that the Egyptians 
cultivated a plant called sesame for the oil contained in 
its seed, and Pliny adds that it came from India.^ He 

* Pickering, Chronol. History of Plants^ p. 223 ; Bnmphins, Herb. 
Arnh.f v. p. 204 ; Miqael, Flora Indo'Batava, ii. p. 760; Sohweinfarth and 
Ascherson, Avjzahlungy p. 273 ; Griaebach, Fl. BriU W, Ind. Is., p. 458. 

* Blume, Bijdragen, p. 778. 

» Eoxburgh, Fl. Ind,, edit. 1832, vol. iii. p. 100 j Piddington, Inde», 

* Thnnberg, Fl, Jap,, p. 254. 

* Bretschneider, letter of Aug. 23, 1801. 

* Ibid,, On Study J etc., p. 16. 

' Theophrastus, lib. viii. cap. 1, 6 ; Dioscorides, lib. ii. cap. 121 ; 
Vlinj, Hist,, lib. xviii. cap. 10. 


also speaks of a sesame wild in Egypt from which oil 
was extracted, but this was probably the castor-oil plant.^ 
It is not proved that the ancient Egyptians before the 
time of Theophrastus cultivated sesame. No diuwing or 
seeds have been found in the monuments. A drawing 
from the tomb of Rameses III. show the custom of mixing 
small seeds with flour in making pastry, and in modem 
times this is done with sesame seeds, but others are also 
used, and it is not possible to recognize in the drawing 
those of the sesame in particular.^ If the Egyptians had 
known the species at the time of the Exodus, eleven 
hundred years before Theophrastus, there would probably 
have been eome mention of it in the Hebrew books, 
because of the various uses of the seed and especially of 
the oil. Yet commentators have found no trace of it in 
the Old Testament. The name semsem or simaim is 
clearly Semitic, but only of the more recent epoch of the 
Talmud,® and of the agricultural treatise of Alawwam,* 
compiled after the Christian era began. It was perhaps 
a Semitic people who introduced the plant and the name 
semseTn (whence the sesam of the Greeks) into Egypt 
after the epoch of the great monuments and of the 
Exodus. They may have received it with the name from 
Babylonia, where Herodotus says^ that sesame was 

An ancient cultivation in the Euphrates valley agrees 
with the existence of a Sanskrit name, tilxiy the tUu of 
the Brahmans (Rheede, Malabar, i., ix., pp. 105-107), a 
word of which there are traces in several modem 
languages of India, particularly in Ceylon.® Thus we are 
carried back to India in accordance with the origin of 
which Pliny speaks, but it is possible that India itself 
may have received the species from the Sunda Isles before 
the arrival of the Aryan conquerors. Bumphius gives 

' Pliny, Bistf lib. xr. cap. 7. 

' Wilkinson, Maniiera and Customs of Ancient Egyptians, toI. ii. ; 
Un^r, Pflanzen des Alien JEgyptenSf p. 45. 

* Beynier, Aeon, Pub* des Arahes et des Jui/s, p. 431 ; Ldw, AramUeische 
Pflanzennamen, p. 376. 

* E. Meyer, Qeschichte der BotaniJCf iii. p. 75. 

' Herodotus, lib. i. cap. 193. * Thwaites, Enuin»t P* 209. 


three names for the sesame in these islands, very different 
one from the other, and from the Sanskrit word, whidb 
supports the theory of a more ancient existence in the 
archipelago than, on the continent. 

In conclusion, from the fact that the sesame is wild in 
Java, and from historical and philological arguments, 
the plant seems to have had its origin in the Sunda Islea 
It was introduced into India and the Euphrates valley 
two or three thousand years ago, and into Egypt at a less 
remote epoch, from 1000 to 500 B.C. It was transported 
from the Guinea coast to Brazil by the Portuguese,^ but 
it is unknown how long it has been cultivated in the rest 
of Africa. 
* Castor-oil Plant — Ridnus communis, Linnseus. 

The most modern works and those in highest repute 
consider the south of Asia to be the original home of this 
Euphorhiacea ; sometimes they indicate certain varieties 
in Africa or America without distinguishing the wild 
from the cultivated plant. I have reason to believe that 
the true origin is to be found in tropical Africa, in 
accordance with the opinion of Ball* 

The difficulties with which the question is attended 
arise from the antiquity of cultivation in different 
countries, from the facility with which the plant sows 
itself and becomes naturalized on rubbish-heaps and in 
waste ground, lastly from the diversity of its forms, which 
have often been described as species. This latter point 
need not detain us, for Dr. J. MUller's careful monograph * 
proves the existence of sixteen varieties, scarcely heredi- 
tary, which pass one into the other by many transitions, 
and constitute, therefore, but one species. 

The number of varieties is the sign of a very ancient 
cultivation. They differ more or less as to capsules, 
seeds, inflorescence, etc. Moreover, they are small trees 
in hot countries, but they do not endure frost, and 
become annuals north of the Alps and in similar regions. 
They are in such cases planted in gardens for ornament, 

> Piso, Brazil., edit. 1658, p. 211. 

' Ball, Flora Marocca/nce Spicilegium, p. 664. 

* HiilJer, Argov., in D.C., Prodromus, vol. xt. part 2, p. 1017. 


while in the tropics, and even in Italy, they are grown 
for the sake of the oil contained in the seed. Tins oil, 
which is more or less purgative, is used for lamps in 
Bengal and elsewhere. 

In no country has the species heen found wild with 
such certainty as in Abyssinia, Sennaar, and the Kordofan. 
The expressions oi authors and collectors are distinct on 
this head. The castor-oil plant is common in rocky 
places in the valley of Chir^, near Goumalo, says Quartin 
Dillon ; it is wild in those parts of Upper Sennaar which 
are flooded during the rains, says Hartmann.^ I have 
a specimen from Kotschy, No. 243, gathered on the 
northern slope of Mount Kohn, in the Kordofan. The 
indications of travellers in Mozambique and on the coast 
of Guinea are not so clear, but it is possible that the 
natural area of the species covers a great part of tropical 
Africa. As it is a useful species, and one very conspicuous 
and easily propagated, the negroes must have early 
difiused it However, as we draw near the Mediterranean, 
it is no longer said to be indigenous. In Egypt, Schwein- 
furth and Ascherson ^ say the species is only cultivated 
and naturalized. Probably in Algeria, Sardinia, and 
Morocco, and even in the Canaries, where it is principally 
found in the sand on the sea-shore, it has been naturalized 
for centuries. I believe this to be the case with Bpeci-> 
mens brought from Djedda, in Arabia^ by Schimper, 
which were gathered near a cistern. Yet Forskal* 

f lathered the caster-oil plant in the mountains of Arabia 
elix, which may signify a wild station. Boissier* 
indicates it in Beluchistan and the south of Persia, 
but as '^ subspontaneous,'* as in Syria^ Anatolia, and 

Kheede ^ speaks of the plant as cultivated in Malabar 
and growing in the sand, but modem Anglo-Indian 
authors do not allow that it is wild. Some make no 

* Bichard, Tentamen FL Abyss. ^ ii. p. 250; Schweinfurtb, PlantCB 
NiloticcB a Hartmann, etc., p. 13. 

* Sohweinfnrth and Ascherson, A'uftahlungf p. 262. 

* Forskal, Fl» Ardbica, p. 71. * Boissier, FU Orient^ ir. p. 1143. 

* Bheede, Maldbar, ii. p. 57) t. 32. 


mention of the species. A few speak of the facility with 
which the species becomes naturalized from cultiva- 
tion. Loureiro had seen it in Cochin-China and in 
China ** cultivated and uncultivated," which perhaps 
means escaped from cultivation. Lastly, for the Sunda 
Islands, Bumphius^ is as usual one of the most 
interesting authorities. The castor-oil plant, he says, 
grows especially in Java, where it forms immense fields 
and produces a great quantity of oiL At Amboyna, it is 
planted here and there, near dwellings and in fields, 
rather for medicinal purposes. The wild species grows 
in deserted gardens {in desertia hortia) ; it is doubtless 
sprung from the cultivated plant (sine dvhio degeneratio 
domestica). In Japan the castor-oil plant grows among 
shrubs and on the' slopes of Mount Wuntzen, but 
Franchet and Savatier add,^ "probably introduced." 
Lastly, Dr. Bretschneider mentions the species in his 
work of 1870, p. 20; but what he says here, and in 
a letter of 1881, does not argue an ancient cultivation 
in China. 

The species is cultivated in tropical America. It 
becomes easily naturalized in clearings, on rubbish-heaps, 
etc. ; but no bolanist has found it in the conditions of 
a really indigenous plant. Its introduction must have 
taken place soon after the discovery of America, for a 
common name, lamourou, exists in the West India 
Islands; and Piso gives another in Brazil, nhambu- 
guacw, figuero inferno in Portuguese. I have received 
the largest number of sj^ecimens from Bahia ; none are 
accompanied by the assertion that it is really indigenous. 

In Egypt and Western Asia the culture of the species 
dates from so remote an epoch that it has given rise to 
mistakes as to its origin. The ancient Egyptians practised 
it extensively, according to Herodotus, Pliny, I>iodorus, 
etc. There can be no mistake as to the species, as its 
seeds have been found in the tombs.' The Egyptian 
name was kilci. Theophrastus and Dioscorides mention 

* Ramphias, Herb. Amh,t vol. iv. p. 93. 

* Franchet and Savatier, Enum, Japon,, i. p. 424. 

* Unger, PJlanzen des Alien ^gyptens, p. 61, 


it, and it is retained in modem Greek/ while the Arabs 
have a totally different name, kerua, kerroa, charua.^ 

Roxburgh and Piddington quote a Sanskrit name, 
eranda, erunda, which has left descendants in the modem 
languages of India. Botanists do not say from what 
epoch of Sanskrit this name dates ; as the species belongs 
to hot climates, the Aryans cannot have known it before 
their arrival in India, that is at a less ancient epoch than 
the Egyptian monuments. 

The extreme rapidity of the growth of the castor-oil 
plant has suggested different names in Asiatic language, 
and that of WuTiderbaum in German. The same circum- 
stance, and the analogy with the Egyptian name kUci, 
have caused it to be supposed that the kikajon of the 
Old Testament,^ the growth, it is said, of a single night, 
was this plant. 

I pass a number of common names more or less 
absurd, as palma Christi, girasole, in some parts of 
Italy, etc., but it is woi*th while to note the origin of the 
name castor oU, as a proof of the English habit of accept- 
ing names without examination, and sometimes of dis- 
torting them. It appears that in the last century this 
plant was largely cultivated in Jamaica, where it was 
once called agno casto by the Portuguese and the 
Spaniards, being confounded with Vitex agnua castus, a 
totally different plant. From casto the English planters 
and London traders made castor,^ 

Walnut — Juglans regia, Linnaeus. 

Some years ago the walnut tree was known to be 
wild in Armenia, in the district to the south of the 
Caucasus and of the Caspian Sea, in the mountains of 
the north and north-east of India, and in Burmah.^ 

* Theophrastos, Hiaty lib. i. cap. 19 ; Dioscorides, lib. iy. cap. 171 ; 
Fraas, Syn. Fl. Class., p. 92. 

* Kemnich, Polyglott, Lexicon ; Forskal, Fl, JEgypt.^ p. 75. 

' Jonah iv. 6. Pickering, Chron, Hist, Plants j p. 225, writes hykwyn. 

* Fliickiger and Hanburj, Pharma4:ographiaf p. 511. 

* A. de CandoUe, Prodr,, xvi. part 2, p. 136; Tcbihatcheff, Asie 
Mineure, i. p. 172 ; Ledebour, Fl, Ross,, i. p. 507 ; Bozburgb, FL Ind,, in. 
p. 630; BoisBier, Fl, Odent,, iv. p. 1160; Brandis, Forest Flora of N,W. 
India, p. 498 ; Kui-z, Forest Flora of Brit. Bur^mah, p. 390. 


C. Eoch^ denied that it was indigenous in Armenia and 
to the south of the Caucasus, but this has been proved 
by several travellers. It has since been discovered wild 
in Japa n.^ which renders it probable that the species 
exists also in the north of China, as Loureiro and Bunge 
said,® but without particularizing its wild character. 
Heldreich ^ has recently placed it beyond a doubt that 
the walnut is abundant in a wild state in the mountains 
of Greece, which agrees with pcissages in Theophrastus ^ 
which had been overlooked. Lastly, Heufiel saw it, also 
wild, in the mountains of Banat.^ Its modem natural 
area extends, then, from eastern temperate Europe to 
Japan. It once existed in Europe further to the west, 
for leaves of the walnut have been found in the quater- 
nary tufa in Provence.^ Many species of Juglans existed 
in our hemisphere in the tertiary and quaternary epochs ; 
there are now ten, at most, distributed throughout North 
America and temperate Asia. 

The use of the walnut and the planting of the tree 
may have begun in several of the countries where the 
species was found, and cultivation extended gradually and 
slightly its artificial area. The walnut is not one of 
those trees which sows itself and is easily naturalized. 
The nature of its fruit is perhaps against this; and, 
moreover, it needs a climate where the frosts are not 
severe and the heat moderate. It scarcely passes the 
northern limit of the vine, and does not extend nearly so 
far soutL 

The Greeks, accustomed to olive oil, neglected the 
walnut until they received from Persia a better variety, 
called Icaruon bdsUilcon,^ or Persikon? The Bomans 

* 0. Koch, Dendrologie^ i. p. 584. 

* Franchet and Savatier, Enum. Plant. Jap.j i. 453. 

* Loareiro, Fl. Cochin,, p. 702 ; Bunge, JE7nu»i., p. 62. ^ 

* Heldreich, Verhandl, Bot, Vereins Brandenh., 1879, p. 147. 

* Theophrastus, Hist. Plant., lib. iii. cap. 3, 6. These passages, and 
others of ancient writers, are quoted and interpreted by Heldreich better 
than by Hehn and other scholars. 

* HenfFel, Ahhandl. Zool. Bot. Qes. in Wien, 1853, p. 194. 
' De Saporta, 33rcl 8e8S. du Congres ScienU de France, 

* Diofcorides, lib. i. cap. 176. 

» rilny. Hist. Plant,, lib. xt. cap. 22. 


cultivated the walnut from the time of their kings ; they 
considered it of Persian origin.^ They had an old custom 
of throwing nuts in the celebration of weddings. 

Archaeology confirms these details. The only nuts 
which have hitherto been found under the lake-dwellings 
of Switzerland, Savoy, or Italy are confined to a single 
locality near Parma, called Fontinellato, in a stratum of 
the iron age.* Now, this metal, very rare at the time 
of the Trojan war, cannot have come into general use 
among the agricultural population of Italy until the fifth 
or sixth century before Christ, an epoch at which even 
bronze was perhaps still unknown to the north of the 
Alps. In the station at Lagozza, walnuts have been 
found in a much higher stratum, and not ancient.^ 
Evidently the walnuts of Italy, Switzerland, and France 
are not descended from the fossil plants of the quater- 
nary tufa of which I spoke just now. 

It is impossible to say at what period the walnut was 
first planted in India. It must have been early, for 
there is a Sanskrit name, aJcschSda, akhoda, or akhdta. 
Chinese authors say that the walnut was introduced 
among them from Thibet, under the Han dynasty, by 
Chang-kien, about the year 140-150 B.C.* This was per- 
haps a perfected variety. Moreover, it seems probable, 
from the actual records of botanists, that the wild walnut 
is rare in the north of China, and is perhaps wanting in 
the east. The date of its cultivation in Japan is un- 

The walnut tree and walnuts had an infinite number 
of names among ancient peoples, which have exercised the 
science and imagination of philologists,^ but the origin of 
the species is so clear that we need not stay to consider 

Areca — Areca Catechu, Linnaeus, 

' Hiny, Hist, Plant., lib. xv. cap. 22. 

• Heer, Fflanzen der Pfahlhauten, p. 31. 

' Sordelli, Sulle piante della torbiera, etc., p. 39. 

• firetschneider, Study and Value, etc., p. 16 ; and letter of Ang. 23, 

• Ad. Pictet, Originea Indo-Europ., edit. 2, vol. L p. 2£9 ; Hehn, Ci*Z- 
turpfianxen und Hausthiere, edit. 3, p. 311. 


The areca palm is much cultivated in the countries 
where it is a custom to chew betel, that is to say through- 
out Southern Asia. The nut, or rather the almond which 
forms the principal part of the seed contained in the fruit, 
is valued for ite aromatic taste ; chopped, mixed with 
lime, and enveloped in a leaf of the pepper-betel, it forms 
an agreeable stimulant, which produces a flow of saliva 
and blackens the teeth to the satisfaction of the natives. 

The author of the principal work on the order Palm- 
acesB, de Martins,^ says of the origin of this species, 
" Its country is uncertain {non constat) ; probably the 
Sunda Isles." We may find it possible to affirm some- 
thing positive by referring to more modem authors. 

On the continent of India, in Ceylon and Cochin-China, 
the species is always indicated as cultivated.^ So in 
the Sunda Isles, the Moluccas, etc., to the south of Asia. 
Blume,* in his work entitled Rumphia, says that the 
" habitat " of the species is the Malay Peninsula, Siam, 
and the neighbouring islands. Yet he does not appear 
to have seen the indigenous plants of which he speaks. 
Dr. Bretschneider* believes that the species is a native 
of the Malay Archipelago, principally of Sumatra, for he 
says those islands and the Philippines are the only places 
where it is found wild. The first of these facts is not 
confirmed by Miquel, nor the second by Blanco,^ who 
lived in the Philippines. Blume's opinion appears the 
most probable, but we must still say with Martins, 
" The country is not proved." The existence of a num- 
ber of Malay names, pinang, jambe, etc., and of a San- 
skrit name, gouvaka, as well as very numerous varieties, 
show the antiquity of cultivation. The Chinese received 
it, 111 B.C., from the south, with the Malay name, pin-lang. 

* Martins, Hist. Nat, Pcdmai'umj in folio, vol. iii. p. 170 (published 
without date, but before 1851). 

* Roxburgh, FL Ind.^ iii. p. 616 ; Braudis, Forest Fl, of India^ p. 551 ; 
Kurz, Forest FL of Brit. Bwmahf p. 537 ; Thwaites, Enum. Zeylan,^ p. 327 ; 
Loureiro, Fl. Cochiu'Ch,, p. 695. 

* Blume, Rumphiaj ii. p. 67 ; Miquel, Fl, Indo-Batava., iii. p. 9 ; 
tippl. de Sumntra, p. 253. 

* Bretschneider, Study and Value, etc., p. 23. 

* Blanco, Fl, di FilipinaSf edit. 2. 


The Telinga name, areh, is the origin of the botanical 
name Areca. 

Elfldis — Elcds guineeTisis, Jacquin. 

Travellers who visited the coast of Guinea in the first 
half of the sixteenth century ^ already noticed this palm, 
from which the negroes extracted oil by pressing the 
fleshy part of the fruit. The tree is indigenous on all 
that coast.^ It is also planted, and the exportation of 
palm-oil is the object of an extensive trade. As it is 
also found wild in Brazil and perhaps in Guiana,^ a doubt 
arose as to the true origin. It seems the more likely to 
be American that the only other species which with this 
one constitutes the genus Elceis belongs to New Granada.^ 
Robert Brown, however, and the authors who have 
studied the family of palms, are unanimous in their belief 
that Elceis guineeTisis was introduced into America by 
the negroes and slave-traders in the traffic between the 
Guinea coast and the coast of America. Many facts 
confirm this opinion. The first botanists who visited 
Brazil, Piso and Marcgraf and others, do not mention the 
Elseis. It is only found on the littoral, from Rio di 
Janeiro to the mouth of the Amazon, never in the interior. 
It is often cultivated, or has the appearance of a species 
escaped from the plantations. Sloane,*^ who explored 
Jamaica in the seventeenth century, relates that this 
tree was introduced in his time into a plantation which 
he names, from the coast of Guinea. It has since become 
naturalized in some of the West India Islands.^ 

Cocoa-nut Palm — Cocos mud/era, Linnaeus. 

The cocoa-nut palm is perhaps, of aU tropical trees, the 
one which yields the greatest variety of products. Its 

* Da Mosto, m Bamusio, i. p. 101-, quoted by B. Brown. 

• Brown, Bot, of GongOf p. 55. 

• Martins, Siat, Nat. Patmarum, ii. p. 62 j Drade, in Fl, Brast^,fasc. 
85, p. 457. I find no author who asserts that this palm is wild in Guiana, 
as Martias affirms it to be in Brazil. 

* Elceis melanocarpoy Gsertner. The fruit also contains oil, bot it 
does not appear that the species is cultivated, as the number of oleaginous 
plants is considerable in all countries. 

' Sloane, Nat, Hist of Jamaica, ii. p. 11 3, 
« Giisebach, Flora of Brit. W, Ind. Is., p. 522. 


wood and fibres are utilized in various ways. The sap 
extracted from the inner part of the inflorescence yields a 
much-prized alcoholic drink. The shell of the nut forms 
a vessel, the milk of the half-ripe fruit is a pleasant drink, 
and the nut itself contains a great deal of oiL It is not 
surprising that so valuable a tree has been a good deal 
planted and transported. Besides, its dispersion is aided 
by natural causes. The woody shell and nbrous envelope 
of the nut enable it to float in salt water without injury 
to the germ. Hence the possibility of its transportation 
to great distances by currents and its naturalization on 
coasts where the temperature is favourable. Unfortu- 
nately, this tree requires a warm, damp climate, such as 
exists only in the tropics, or in exceptional localities just 
without them. Nor does it thrive at a distance from 
the sea. 

The cocoa-nut abounds on the littoral of the warm 
regions of Asia, of the islands to the south of this con- 
tinent, and in analogous regions of Africa and America ; 
but it may be asserted that it dates in Brazil, the West 
Indies, and the west coast of Africa from an introduction 
which took place about three centuries ago. Piso and 
Marcffraf ^ seem to admit that the species is foreign to 
Brazil without saying so positively. De Martius,^ who 
has published a very important work on the Palmaceae, 
and has travelled through the provinces of Bahia, Per- 
nambuco, and others, where the cocoa-nut abounds, does 
not say that it is wild. It was introduced into Guiana 
by missionaries.^ Sloane* says it is an exotic in the 
West Indies. An old author of the sixteenth century. 
Martyr, whom he quotes, speaks of its introduction. This 
probably took place a few years after the discovery of 
America, for Joseph Acosta** saw the cocoa-nut palm 
at Porto Rico in the sixteenth century. De Martius 
says that the Portuguese introduced it on the coast of 
Guinea. Many travellers do not even mention it in this 

* Piso, Brasil.j p. 65 ; Marcgraf, p. 138. 

' Martius, Hist. Nat, Palmarumy 3 vols, in folio; see yoI. ii. p. 125. 

• Aublet, Quyane, snppl., p. 102. * Sloane, Jamaica^ ii. p. 0. 
' J. Acosta, Hiat. Nat. des Jndea, French trans., 1598, p. 178. 


region, where it is apparently of no great importance. 
More common in Madagascar and on the east coast, it 
is not, however, named in several works on the plants of 
Zanzibar, the Seychelles, Mauritius, etc., perhaps because 
it is considered as cultivated in these parts. 

Evidently the species is not of African origin, nor of 
the eastern part of tropical America. Eliminating these 
countries, there remain western tropical America, the 
islands of the Pacific, the Indian Archipelago, and the 
south of Asia, where the tree abounds with every appear- 
ance of being more or less wild and long established. 

The navigators Dampier and Vancouver ^ found it 
at the beginning of the seventeenth century, fonning 
woods in the islands near Panama, not on the mainland, 
and in the isle of Cocos, situated at three hundred miles 
from the continent in the Pacific At that time these 
islands were iminhabited. Later the cocoa-nut palm was 
found on the western coast from Mexico to Peru, but 
usually authors do not say that it was wild, excepting 
Seemann,^ however, who saw this palm both wild and 
cultivated on the Isthmus of Panama. According to 
Hernandez,® in the sixteenth century the Mexicans called 
it coyolli, a word which does not seem to be native. 

Oviedo,* writing in 1526, in the first years of the con- 
quest of Mexico, says that the cocoa-nut palm was abun- 
dant on the coast of the Pacific in the province of the 
Cacique Chiman, and he clearly describes the species. 
This does not prove the tree to be wild. In southern 
Asia, especially in the islands, the cocoa-nut is both wild 
and cultivated. The smaller the islands, and the lower 
and the more subject to the influence of the sea air, the 
more the cocoa-nut predominates and attracts the atten- 
tion of travellers. Some take their name from the tree, 
among others two islands close to the Andamans and one 
near Sumatra. 

* Vafer, Voyage de Dampier, edit. 1705, p. 1S6 ; Vancouver, FreDch 
edit., p. 325, quoted by de Martins, Hist, Nat. Palmarum, i. p. 188. 

* Seemann, Bot, of Herald., p. 204. 

' Hernandeas, Thesaurus Mexic, p. 71. He att) ibates the same iiame, 
p. 75, to the cocoa.nut palm of the Philippine Islands. 

* Oviedo, Ramusio's trans., iii. p. 53. 


The cocoa-nut occurring with every appearance of an 
ancient wild condition at once in Asia and western 
America, the question of origin is obscure. Excellent 
authors have solved it differently. De Martius believes 
it to have been transported by currents from the islands 
situated to the west of Central America, into those of the 
Asiatic Archipelago. I formerly inclined to the same 
hypothesis,* since admitted without question by Grise- 
bach ; ^ but the botanists of the seventeenth century often 
regarded the species as Asiatic, and Seemann,® after a 
careful examination, says he cannot come to a decision. 
I will give the reasons for and against each hypothesis. 

In favour of an American origin, it may be said — 

1. The eleven other species of the genus Cocos are 
American, and all those which de Martius knew well 
are Brazilian.^ Drude,'' who has studied the Palmacese, 
has written a paper to show that each genus of this 
family is proper to the ancient or to the new world, 
excepting the genus Elseis, and even here he suspects a 
transport of the E. guineensis from America into Africa, 
which is not at all probable. (See above, p. 429.) The 
force of this argument is somewhat diminished by the 
circumstance that Cocos nucifera is a tree which grows 
on the littoral and in damp places, while the other species 
live under different conditions, frequently far from the 
sea and from rivers. Maritime plants, and those which 
grow in marshes or damp places, have commonly a more 
vast habitation than others of the same genus. 

2. The trade winds of the Pacific, to the south and yet 
more to the north of the equator, drive floating bodies 
from America to Asia, a direction contrary to that of the 
general currents.® It is known, moreover, from the un- 

• A. de Gandolle, Q6ogr. Bot. Raisonn^e, p. 970, 

• Grisebach, Vegetation der Erde, pp. 11, 323. 

• Seemann, Flora Fifienm, p. 275. 

• The cocoa-nnt called Maldive belongs to the genus Lodoicea. 
Coco mamillarist Blanco, of the Philippines is a variety of the culti. 
vated Cocos nudfera, 

• Drade, in Bot. Zeitung, 1876, p. 801 j and Flora BrasUiensia^iase, 85, 
p. 405. 

' Stieler, Hcmd Atlas, edit. 1867, map 8. 


expected arrival of bottles containing papers on different 
coasts, that chance has much to do with these transports. 
The arguments in favour of an Asiatic, or contrary to 
an American origin, are the following : — 

1. A current between the third and fifth parallels, 
north latitude, flows from the islands of the Indian 
Archipelago to Panama.^ To the north and south of this 
are currents which take the opposite direction, but they 
start from regions too cold for the cocoa-nut, and do not 
touch Central America, where it is supposed to have been 
long indigenous. 

2. The inhabitants of the islands of Asia were far 
bolder navigators than the American Indians. It is very 
possible that canoes from the Asiatic Islands, containing 
a provision of cocoa-nuts, were thrown by tempests or 
false manoeuvres on to the islands or the west coast of 
America. The converse is highly improbable. 

3. The area for three centuries has been much vaster 
in Asia than in America, and the difference was yet more 
considerable before that epoch, for we know that the 
cocoa-nut has not long existed in the east of tropical 

4. The inhabitants of the islands of Asia possess an 
immense number of varieties of this tree, which points to 
a very ancient cultivation. Blume, in his Rumphia, 
enumerates eighteen varieties in Java and the adjacent 
islands, and thirty-nine in the Philippines. Nothing 
similar has been observed in America. 

5. The uses of the cocoa-nut are more varied and more 
habitual in Asia. The natives of America hardly utilize 
it except for the contents of the nut, from which they do 
not extract the oil. 

6. The common names, very numerous and original in 
Asia, as we shall presently see, are rare, and often of 
European origin in America. 

7. It is not probable that the ancient Mexicans and 
inhabitants of Central America would have neglected to 
spread the cocoa-nut in several directions, had it existed 
among them from a very remote epoch. The trifling 

* Stieler, ibid., map 9. 


breadth of the Isthmus of Panama would have facilitated 
the transport from one coast to the other^ and the species 
would soon have been established in the West Indies, at 
Guiana, etc., as it has become naturalized in Jamaica, 
Antigua,^ and elsewhere, since the discovery of America. 

8. If the cocoa-nut in America dated from a geological 
epoch more ancient than the pleiocene or even eocene 
deposits in Europe, it would probably have been found on 
both coasts, and the islands to the east and west equally. 

9. We cannot iind any ancient date of the existence 
of the cocoa-nut in America, but its presence in Asia three 
or four thousand years ago is proved by several Sanskrit 
names. Piddington in his index only quotes one, narikda. 
It is the most certain, since it recurs in modem Indian 
languages. Scholars count ten of these, which, according 
to their meaning, seem to apply to the species or its 
fniit.^ Narikda has passed with modifications into 
Arabic and Persian.® It is even found at Otahiti in the 
form ari or haari,^ together with a Malay nama 

10. The Malays have a name widely diffused in the 
archipelago — kaldpa^ kldpa,, Iddpo. At Sumatra and 
Nicobar we find the name njior, nieor ; in the Philippines, 
niog ; at Bali, niuh, njo; at Tahiti, niuh; and in other 
islands, nu, nidju, ni ; even at Madagascar, imuxrniv,.^ The 
Chinese have ye, or ye-taw (the tree is ye). With the 
principal Sanskrit name this constitutes four different 
roots, which show an ancient existence in Asia. How- 
ever, the uniformity of nomenclature in the archipelago 
as far as Tahiti and Madagascar indicates a transport by 
human agency since the existence of known languages. 

The Chinese name means head of the king of Yue, 
referring to an absurd legend of which Dr. Bretschneider 
speaks.® This savant tells us that the first mention of 
the cocoa-nut occurs in a poem of the second century before 

^ Grisebach, Flora of Brit. W, Indies, p. 553. 

' Eugdiie Foamier has indicated to me, for instance, drdapala (with 
hard fruit), paiakecara (with hairj fruit)* jcUakajka (water-holder), etc. 
' Blume, Rumphiaf iii. p. S2. 

* Forster, De Plantis Eeculentis, p. 4S ; Nadeand, Enum, des Plantes 
de Taiti, p. 41. 

* Blnme, ubi sv^ra,* Bretschneider, Study and Value, etc., p. 24. 


Christ, but the most unmistakable descriptions are in 
works later than the ninth century of our era. It is true 
that the ancient writers scarcely knew the south of 
China, the only part of the empire where the cocoa-nut 
palm can live. 

In spite of the Sanskrit names, the existence of the 
cocoa-nut in Ceylon, where it is well established on the 
coast, dates from an almost historical epoch. Near Point 
de Galle, Seemann tells us may be seen carved upon a 
rock the figure of a native prince, Kotah Baya, to whom 
is attributed the discovery of the uses of the cocoa-nut, 
unknown before him ; and the earliest chronicle of Ceylon, 
the Marawansa, does not mention this tree, although it 
carefully reports the fruits imported by different princes. 
It is also noteworthy that the ancient Greeks and Egj^p- 
tians only knew the cocoa-nut at a late epoch as an Indian 
curiosity. Apollonius of Tyana saw this palm in Hin- 
dustan, at the beginning of the Christian era.^ 

From these facts the most ancient habitation in Asia 
would be in the archipelago, rather than on the continent 
or in Ceylon; and in America in the islands west of 
Panama. What are we to think of this varied and 
contradictory evidence? I formerly thought that the 
ai'guments in favour of Western America were the 
strongest. Now, with more information and greater 
experience in similar questions, I incline to the idea of an 
origin in the Indian Archipelago. The extension towards 
China, Ceylon, and India dates from not moi*e than three 
thousand or four thousand years ago, but the transport 
by sea to the coasts of America and Africa took place 
perhaps in a more remote epoch, although posterior to 
those epochs when the geographical and physical 
conditions were different to those of our day. 

> Seemazuii 17, VitiensiSf p. 270; Pickering, Chronol. Arrangement, 
p. 428. 


Snminary and Concliudon. 


The following table includes a few species of which a 
detailed account has not been given, because their origin 
is well known, and they are of little importance. 

Explanation of the signs used in the table: (1) 
annual, (2) biennial, 7 perennial, 5 small shrub, 8 shrub, 
5 small tree, 5 tree. The letters indicate the certain 
or probable date of earliest cultivation. For the species 
of the old world : A, a species cultivated for more than 
four thousand years (according to ancient historians, the 
monuments of ancient Egypt, Chinese works, and botanical 
and phSological indications) ; B, cultivated for more than 
two thousand years (indicated in Theophrastus, found 
among lacustrine remains, or presenting various signs, such 
as possessing Hebrew or Sanskrit names); C, cultivated for 
less than two thousand years (mentioned by Dioscorides 
and not by Theophrastus, seen in the frescoes at Pompeii, 
introduced at a known date, etc.). For American species : 
D, cultivation very ancient in America (from its wide 
area and number of varieties); E, species cultivated 
before the discovery of America, without showing signs 
of a great antiquity of culture ; F, species only cultivated 
since the discovery of America. 





Name and duration. 

Badisli — BapliannB sativus (I). 
Hoxse-Badiflh — Cochlearia Armora- 

oia, f. 
Turnip — Brassica Kapa (2). 
Bape — Brassica Napus (2). 
Carrot— BaucuB Carota (2). 

Parsnip— Pastinaca sativa (2). 
Tuberous Chervil — ChoBropbyllam 

balbosom (2). 
Skirret — Sium Sisanun, 7. 

Kadder — Bnbia tiDotomm, f 

Salsify — Tragopogon porrifolium (2). 
Soorsonera — Scorzonera hispanica. 

Bampion — Campanula Bapnncnlng 


i Vegetable. 
Garllo — ^Allium satMrom, f. 

Onion — Allium Cepa (2). 
Welsh Onion — ^Allium fistulosum, f. 
Shallot — Allium ascalonicnm, 7. 
Booambole — ^Allium Scorodoprasum 
Chiyes — ^Allium Scheenoprasnm, f. 

Taro— Colocasia antiquoram, f. 















Temperate Asia.^ 

Eastern temperate Earopc. 

Europe, western Siberia (?) . 
Europe, western Siberia (?). 
Earope, western temperalo 

Asia (?). 
Central and southern Europe. 
Central Europe, Caucasus. 

Altaic Siberia, northern 

Western temperate Asi.^, 

soath.ea8t of Europe. 
South-east of £ arope, Algeria . 
South-west of Europe, south 

of the Caucasus. 
Temperate and southern 

Canaries, Mediterranean 

basin, western temperate 

A result of cultivation. 
Desert of the Kirghis, in 

western temperate Asia. - 
Persia, Afghanistan, Belu- 

cbistan, Palestine (?). 
Siberia (from the land of 

the Kirghis to Baikal). 
Modification of A, cepa (?), 

unknown wild. 
Temperate Europe. 

Temperate and northern 
Europe, Siberia, Kbanis- 
chatka, North America 
(Lake Huron). 

India, Malay Archipelago, 

^ Dr. Bretschneider writes to me from Pekin, Dec. 22, 1882, th:it 
the species is mentioned in the Rydf a work of the year 1100 B.C. I do 
not know if we must suppose the original habitat to be China or 
western Asia. 



Name and duration. 

Api — Alocasia macrorrhiza, f. 

Koiqak — ^Amorphophallus Konjak, f, 
/DioBCorea sativa, f. 

IDioecorea Batatas, 7* 
Dioscorea japonica, f. 
Dioscorea alata, f» 






Ceylon, Malaj Archipelago, 

Japan (?). 

Southern Asia [especially 
Malabar (?), Ceylon (?), 
(Java (?)]. 

China (?). 

Japan (?). 

East of the Asiatic Archipe- 

Cultivated vob the Stems ob Leaves. 
1. Vegetables. 

Cahhage — Brassica oleracea (I), 

(^h 5. 
Chinese Cabbage— Brassica chinensis 

Water-Cren—Nastortiam officinale, 

Oarden-Craas — ^Lepidiam sativum (1). 
Bea Kale — Crambe maritima, f. 
Fnnlane — Fortulaca oleracea (I). 

Hew Zealand Bplnaeh — Tetragonia 

ezpansa (1). 
Garden Celery — Apiam graveolens 

Chervil — Ai i'lriscns cerefolinm (1). 

Fariloy — Pciroselinam sativnm (2). 

Alezanden — Smyrnimn Olus-atmm 

Com Salad — Valerianella olitoria (1). 

Artichoke— CynaraCardon- J C*^;^<?«°- 

cuius (2), y. j ^t;t. 

Lettuce— Latnca Soariola (1), (2). 

Wild Chicory— Cicborium Intybos, 

£ndiYe — Cichorium Endivia (I). 

Spinach — Spinacia oleracea (1). 
Orach — ^Atriplez hortensis (1). 














China (?), Japan (r). 

Europe, northern Asia. 

Persia (?). 

Western temperate Europe. 

From the western Hima- 
layas to southern Hnssia 
and Greece. 

New Zealand and New Hol- 

Temperate and southern 
Europe, northern Africa^ 
western Asia. 

South-east of Russia, west- 
em temperate Asia. 

Southern Europe, Algeria^ 

Southern Europe, Algeria, 
western temperate Asia. 

Sardinia, Sicily. 

Southern Europe, northern 
Africa, Canaries, Madeira. 

Derived from the cardoon. 

Southern Europe, northern 
Africa, western Asia. 

Europe, northern Africa, 
western temperate Asia. 

Mediterranean basin, Cau- 
casus, Turkestan. 

Persia (?). 

Northern Europe andSiberia 



Name and duration. 

Axnaranth — Amarantus gangeticus 


Sorrel — ^Bumez aoetosa, f (1). 

Patienee Book — ^Bnmez patientia, 7. 
Asparagui — ^AsparagtiB officinalis, 7. 

Loek — ^Allium ampeloprasum, f. 






2. Fodder. 

Lueem — ^Hedicago Bativa, f. 
Sainfoiii — Qnobrychis sativa, f, 

Trenek HoneTBoekle — Hedysarum 

coronarium, ^T. 
Fnrple doyer — TrifolinmprateiiBe,^. 

Aliike CloTer — Trifolium bybridam 

Italian dover — ^Trifoliam incarna- 

tnm (1). 
Egyptian Clorer — TrifoliDm alex- 

andrinnm (1). 
ErTillar-Ervnin Ervilia (1). 
Yetek — Vicia sativa (1). 

Zlst-podded Pea — ^Lathyras Gicera 

Ckiekling Yetek — Lathyros satiyiis 

Oekms — ^Lathyras ochras (1). 

7enngreak — Trigonella foennm- 

groBcnm (1). 

Bird's-7oot— Ornithopns sativtis (1). 

Vonsndi — Hedicagolnpnlina (1), (2). 

Com Spnrry — Spergula arvensis (1). 
Guinea Orawi ' Ptoicnm maximam, ^. 














Tropical Africa, India (?}. 

Europe, northern Asia, 
monntains of India. 

Turkey in Europe, Persia. 

Enrope, western temperate 

Mediterranean basin. 

Western temperate Asia. 

Temperate Europe, south of 
the Caucasus. 

Centre and west of the Medi- 
terranean basin. 

Europe, Algeria, western 
temperate Asia. 

Temperate Europe. 

Southern Europe. 

Syria, Anatolia. 

Mediterranean basin. 
Enrope, Algeria, south of the 

From Spain and Algeria to 

South of. the Caucasus. 

Italy, Spain. 

North-east of India and 

western temperate Asia. 
Portugal, south of Spain, 

Enrope, north of Africa (?), 

temperate Asia^ 
Tropical Africa. 

8. Various Uses, 

Tea — ^Thea sinensis, S* 

71ax anciently eidtivated — Linnm 

angnstifolium, Tfl (2), (1). 
naz now enltiTated — Linum nsita. 

tissimum (1). 
Jute— Corchorus oapsularis (1). 




Assam, China, Mantschuria. 
Mediterranean basin. 

Western Asia (?), derived 

from the precedhig (?). 
Java, Ceylon. 



Name and duration. 



Jutt— Gorchoms oUtorias (1). 

North-west of India, Geylon. 


Mediterranean basin, -west- 
ern temperate Asia. 

Kh&t — Celastrns edalis, S* 


Abjssinia, Arabia (?). 

Indigo — Indigofera tinctoria, J. 


India (?). 

BilYurlndigo— lodigoferaargentea^S. 


Abyssinia, Nubia, Kordofan, 
Senear, India (?). 

HttuiA— Lawsonia alba, S. 


Western tropical Asia, i 
Nubia (?). 

Blue Oum — EaoalTptns globalns, 5< 


New Holland. 


Geylon, India. 

onm, ^. 

Cadna Gms ->B<Bbmeria nivea, f, J. 


Ghina, Japan. 

Hemp — Gannabis sativa (1). 


Dahuria, Siberia. 

White Kvlbeny— Morufl alba, 5. 


India, Mongolia. 

Blaek Kvlbeny— Moras nigra, 5. 


Armenia, northern Persia. 

Sngar-Oane — Saooharam offioina- 


Gochin-Ghina (?), south. 

nuD, ^. 

west of Ghina. 



OloYe — GarophylliiR aromatiooSi 5* 



Hop — Hnmnlns Inpnlas, f. 


Europe, western temperate 
Asia, Siberia. 

Carthamine — Garthamns tinctorins 


Arabia (?). 


8ainon — Grocus sativnR, Z. 


Southern Italy, Greece, Asia 






Pacific Islands, to the east of ' 

Citron, Lemon— Gitrns medioa, 5. 



Bitter Orange — Gitrns Aurantium 


East of India. 

Bigaradia, 5- 

Sweet Orange — Gitrns Aurantium 


Ghina and Gochin-Ghina. 

siDeuse, 5* 


Ghina and Gochin-Ghina. 

Mangoflteen — Garcinia mango- 


Sunda Islands, Malay Penin- 

stana, 5. 


Ochro — Hibiscus esculentus (1). 


Tropical Africa. 

Vine— Vitis vinifera, $. 


Western temperate Asia, 
Mediterranean basin. 

Common Ji^jnbe— ^izjphus yulgaris, 
Lotus Jujube — Zizjpbus lotus, 5. 




Egypt to Maroooo. 



Name and duration. 





Indian Jvjube — Zizyplins Jnjuba, 5. 

Bnrmah, India. 

Mango — Mangifera indica, 5* 



Society, Friendly, and Fiji 

Baspberry — ^Bubos idsBiis, J. 


Temperate Europe and Asia. 

Strawberry— Eragaria veBca,|:. 


Temperate Europe and west- 
ern Asia, east of North 

Bird-Obeny — ^Pnxntis ayinm, 5* 


Western tempeitite Asia, 
temperate Europe. 

Common Oberry — Franns cerasus, 5- 


From the Caspian to west- 
em Anatolia. 

Plnm — Praniis domestioa, 5* 


Anatolia, south of the Cau- 
casus, uortb of Persia. 

Flom — Pranns iusititia, S* 


Southern Europe, Armenia, 
south of the Caucasus, 

Aprioot — ^Pmnns Armeniaca, 5* 



Abnond— Amygdalus commuius, 5* 


Mediterranean basin, west- 
ern temperate Asia. 

Peaob — ^Amygdalns Fersica, 5* 



Common Pear — Pyms comtnnnis, g. 


Temperate Europe and Asia. 

Cbinese Pear — Pjrus sinenBis, 5* 


Mongolia, Mantschuria. . 

Apple — ^Fyms Kalas, 5* 


Europe, Anatolia, south of 
the Caucasus. 

Qninoe — Cydonia valgaris, 5. 


North of Persia, south of the 
Caucasus, Anatolia. 

Loqnat — ^Eriobotrya japonica, 5* 




Persia, Afghanistan, Belu- 

Boie Apple — Jambosa yalgaris, 5. 


Malay. Archipelago, Cochin- 


China, Burmah, north-east 
of India. 

Xalay Apple — ^Jambosa malaccensis, 

Bottte Ck>nrd — Cucorbita lagenaria 

Bpanisb Gonrd— G. iDaxima (I). 



Malay Archipelago, Malacca. 


India, Moluccas, Abyssinia. 



Kelon — Cuonmis Melo (1). 


India, Belnchistan, Guinea. 

Water-Kelon-^CitraUos vulgaris (1). 


Tropical Africa. 

Cnenmber— Cncnmis Bativas (I). 



West Indian Oberkin— Cacamis An- 


Tropical Africa (?). 

garia (1). 

WMte Oonrd-Kelon— Benincasa bis- 


Japan, Java. 

pida (1). 

Towel Ctonxd — Lnffa cylindrica (1). 



Angular LaStL — Luifa aontang^la (1) . 


India, Malay Archipelago. 

Bn2ce Gk>nrd— Tricbosanthes anguiua 


India (?). 



Kaae md doratloiL 



GooMbiRj— Bibes groasiilaria, )• 

Temperate Earope, north of 

Africa, Cancaaua, weatem 


Bod Oimuit— Bibes rubram^ $. 


Northern and temperate 
Europe, Siberia, Gancasns, 
Himalayas, north-east of 
the United Statea. 


Northern and central 
Europe, Armenia, Siberia, 
KantBchnria^ western 

Kaki— DioBpTTM Kaki, g. 


Japan, northern China. 

Data FlvB— Dioapyroa lotoa, 5> 


China, India, Afghaniataii, 
Persia, Armenia, Anatolia. 

OliTa-— Olea eoropea, 5- 


Syria, southern Anatolia and 
neighbouring islands. 

Anbargina-^Solannm melongena (1). 



ng— Fiona Carioa, 5. 


Centre and south of the 
Mediterranean basin, from 
Syria to the Canaries. 

Braad-Tniit — Artocarpns inoiaa, 5- 


Snnda Isles. 

Jadc-Fniit — ^Anocarpiia integrifolia, 
SataMm— Fhoeniz dactyllfera, 5* 




Western Asia and Africa^ 

from the Euphrates to the 


Banaaa — ^Mnsa Bapientanii 5* 


Southern Asia* 

Oil Palm— £l»i8 gaineeiuis, 5. 




1. Nutritive, 

Utdii— Nephelium Litchi, 5* 

LoBgan — Nephelium longana, 5* 
Bambutan— Nephelium lappaceum,5 
Piataohio — Pistacia vera, $. 
Bean— Faba vulgaris (1). 
Lentil — Ervum lens (1). 

Chldk-Pea — Cicer arietinum (1). 

Lupin — Lnpinus albus (1). 

Egyptiaa Lupin — Lupinus termis 


Biald-Paa — ^Pisnm arvense (1). 










Southern China^ Cochin- 

India, Pegu. 
India, Pegu. 

South of the Caspian (?). 
Western temperate Asia, 

Greece, Italy. 
South of the Caucasus and 

of the Caspian. 
Sicily, Macedonia, south of 

the Caucasus. 
From Corsica to Syria. 




Name and dura^'on. 

Garden-Pea — Pisnm satlvam (1). 

Boy — Dolicbos 8oja (1). 
Pigeon-Pea — Cajanas indicns, J. 
Carob — Ceratonia siliqua, 5* 

Moth — ^Pbaseolns aconitifolius (1). 
Three-lobed Kidney Bean — Fhaseolus 

trilobas, ^ (1). 
Green Gram — Phaseolus Munji^o (1). 
Wall — Phaseolus Lablab, ^T (1). 
Lnbia — Phaseolus Lnbia (1). 
Bambarra Ground Nnt— *Voandze!a 

subterranea (1). 
Bnekwheat — Fagopymm escolen- 

turn (I). 
Tartary Bnekwlieat — Fagopynim 

tartaricum (1). 
Notch-seeded Bnokwheat— Fagopy- 

rum emarginatum (I). 
Xiery — ^Amarantas framentaoens 


Chestnut — Castanea vulgaris, J. 

Wheat — • Triticnm vnlgare and 

Tarieties (?), (1). 
Spelt — Triticum spelta (I). 

One-grained Wheat — Triticnm mono- 
cocoum (1). 

Two-rowed Barley — Hordenm dis. 

tichon (1). 
Common Barley — Hordenm ynlgare 


Siz-rowed Barley — Hordenm hezas- 

tichon (1). 
Bye — Secale cereale (1). 
Common Oats — Avena satiya (1). 
Eastern Oats — Avena orientalis (1). 
Common Hillet — ^Panicnm miliacenm 

Italian Millet— Panicomitalicnm (1). 

Sorghnm — Holcus sorghum (1). 




















From the south of the 
Caucasus to Persia (?) 
northern India (?). 

Cochin-China, Japan, Java. 

Equatorial Africa. 

Southern coast of Anatolia, 
Syria, Gjrenaica (?). 


India, tropical Africa, 



Western Asia (?). 

Intertropical Africa. 

Hantschnria, central Siberia. 

Tartary, Siberia to Dahuria. 

Western China, eastern 


From Portugal to the Cas- 
pian Sea, eastern Alpreria. 
Varieties : Japan, North 

Begion of the Euphrates. 

Derived from the preced- 
ing (?). 

Servia, Greece, Anatolia 
(if the identity with the 
Triticum hoBoticum be ad- 

Western temperate Asia. 

Derived from the preceding 

Derived from the preceding 

Eastern temperate Europe(?). 
Eastern temperate E uropc( ?). 
Western Asia (?). 
Egypt, Arabia. 

China, Japan, Indian Archi. 

pelago (?) 
Tropica} Afripft (?). 



N«in(> nnd duration. 



Sweet Sorghum— HolouB sacchara- 

Tropical Africa (P). 

tUB (1). 

Ooraoan — Eleusine ocracana (1). 



Biee— Oryza eatiya (1). 


India, southern China (?). 

2. Various Uses: 

Poppj — Papayer ■omnifenim (1). 


Derired from P. setiferum of 
the Mediterranean basin. 

White Mvitard— SinapiB alba (1). 


Temperate and sonthem 

Black Mvitard— Sinapis nigra (1). 


Europe, north of Africa, 
western temperate Asia. 

Gold of Pleasure— Camelina sativa 


Temperate Europe, Cau- 


casus, Siberia. 

Herbaoeoni Cotton —Gossypium her- 



baconm, 5 (I). 

Tree Cotton — Gossy pium arboreum , 5 


Upper Egypt. 

Arabian Coffee— Coffea arabica, 5. 


Tropical Africa, Mozam- 
bique, Abyssinia, Guinea. 

Liberian Coffee — Coffea liberica, 5. 


Guinea Angola. 

Sesame — Sesamum indicum (1). 


Snnda Isles. 

Nutmeg— Myrietica fra^jfranB, 5- 



Castor-OU Plant — Kicinas com- 


Abyssinia, Sennaar, Kordo. 

munis, 5. 


Walnut -Juglans regia, 5. 


Eastern temperate Europe, 
temperate Asia. 

Black Pepper— Piper nigrum, J- 



'Long Pepper— Piper longum, 5. 
Medioinal Pepper — Piper officina- 
lis, 5. 
Betel Pepper— Piper Betle, S- 




Malay Archipelago. 


Malay Archipelago. 

Areca Nut— Areca Catechu, 5. 


Malay Archipelago. 

Cocoa Nut— Cooes nucifera, §. 


Malay Archipelago (?), Poly- 
nesia (P). 

Cultivated for the Underground Parts. 

New Granada (?). 

Arraoacha — Arracacha esculenta, T 
, (I). ^ 

Jerusalem Artichoke — Helianthna 
tuberoaua, y. 

Swee^VJ^'i*'''*"' tuberosum, ip. 
oweei Potato— Convolvulus batatas, 

J^^^Manihot utilissima, $. 
'WTowroot^Maranta arundinacea, y. 





North America (Indiana). 

Chili, Peru (?). 

Tropical America (where ?). 

East of tropical Brazil. 
Tropical (continental ?) 





Name and duration. 

Mate — Ilex paraguariensis, 5* 

Coca— Erythroxylon Coca, 5- 
Quinine — Cinchona Calisaya, 5» 
Crown 9ftrk — Cinchona officinalis, 5* 
Bed Cincliona Bark — Cinchona snc- 
cirabra, 5* 

• jNicoiiana Tabacnm (1). 

Tobaeco— I 

(Nicotiana mstica (1). 

American Aloe — Agave americana, 5* 







Paraguay and western 

East of Pern and Bolivia. 
Bolivia, southern Pern. 
Ecuador (province of Loxa) . 
Ecuador (province of 

Ecuador and neighbouring 

Mexico (?), Texas (?), Cali. 
- fornia (?). 

Cultivated for the Fruits. 

Sweet Sop — Anona squamosa, 5* 
Sonr Sop — Anona muricata, 5* 
Custard ApB^e — Anona reticulata, 5- 

Chirimoya — Anona Cherimolia, 5« 

Hammee Apple — Mammea ameri- 
cana, §. 

Cashew Nut — Anacardium occiden- 
tal e, 5* 

Virginian Strawberry — Fragaria vir- 
giniana, ^. 

Chili Strawberry — Fragaria chiloen- 
sis, :gr. 

Gnaya — ^Psidium guayava, 5. 

Pumpkin and Sqnadi — Cucurbita 
Pepo and Melopepo (1). 

Prickly Pear — Opuntia ficus in. 
dica, 5* 

Chocho — Sechium edule (1). 

Star-Apple — Chiysophyllum Cainito, 

Caimito — Lucuma Caimito, 5« 
Marmalade Plnm — Lucuma mam- 

mosa, 5* 
Sapcdilla — Sapota achras, 5< 

Persimmon — D iospyros virginiana, 

Annnal Capskmm — Capsicum annuu m 

Shrubby Capsicum— Capsicum f rutes 
cens, 5. 













West India Islos. 
West India Isles. 
West India Isles, 

Ecuador, Peru (?). 
West India Isles. 


Tropical America. 

Temperate North America. , 


Continental tropical America. 
Temperate North America. 


Mexico (?), Central America. 
West India Isles, Panama. 


Valley of the Orinoco. 

Campeachy, Isthmus of 

Panama, Venezuela. 
Eastern States of America. 

Brazil (?). 

From the east of Peru to 



Name and duration. 

Tomato— Lycopersicam escalentam 

AYOcado Pear — Per83a gratissima, 5* 
Papaw — Papaya vulgaris, 5« 
PinO'Apple--- A ti anasaa sativa, f. 






West IndieSjCentral Americn. 

Mexico, Central Americn, 
Panama, New Granada, 
Gaiana (?), Bahia (?). 

Cultivated ros ths Skeds. 
1. NiUritious^ 

Ca0M — ^Theobroma Cacao, 5* 

Sugar Bean- -Phaseolas lanatas, f. 
Qninoa — Chenopodiom quinoa (ij. 

Xaise— Zea mays (I). 




Amazon and Orinoco Yalley, 
Panama (?), Yucatan (?). 


New Granada, Pern (?), 
Chili (?). 

New Granada (?). 

2. Vai'totis Uses. 

Amotto — Bixa orellana. 

Barbados Cotton — Gossypinm barba- 

dense, §• 
Earth Nats — Arachis hypogsea (1). 
Madia — Madia sativa (1). 





Tropical America. 

New Granada (?), Mexico (?), 

West Indies. 
Brazil (P). 
Chili, California. 

Cbtptooah cultivated job the Whole Plant. 
Mushroom — Agaric us campestrisi ip. \ C. | Northern hemisphere. 

Bpscies or Unknown or entirelt Uncertain Origin. 

Common Earicot—Phaseolns vulgaris (1). 
Musk Oonrd — Cucurbita moschata (1). 
Fig-leaved Gourd— Cucurbita ficifolia, f. 


gjlNebal observations and conclusions. 

Article J. — Begions where Cultivated Plants originated. 

In the beginning of the nineteenth century, the origin 
of most of our cultivated species was unknown. Linnaeus 
made no efforts to discover it, and subsequent authors 
merely copied the vague or erroneous expressions by 
which he indicated their habitations. Alexander von 
Humboldt expressed the true state of the science in 1807, 
when he said, " The origin, the first home of the plants 
most useful to man, and which have accompanied him 
from the remotest epochs, is a secret as impenetrable as 
the dwelling of all our domestic animals. . . . We do 
not know what region produced spontaneously wheat, 
barley, oats, and rye. The plants which constitute the 
natural riches of all the inhabitants of the tropics, the 
banana, the papaw, the manioc, and maize, have never 
been found in a wild state. The potato presents the 
same phenomenon." ^ 

At the present day, if a few cultivated species have 
not yet been seen in a wild state, this is not the case with 
the immense majority. We know at least, most fre- 
quently, from what countiy they first came. This was 
already the result of my work of 1855, which modem 
more extensive research has confirmed in almost all 
points. This research has been applied to 247 species,^ 

* Easai sur la Qdographie des Plantes, p. 28. 

• Coanting two or three forms which are perhaps rather yerj distinct 


cultivated on a large scale by agriculturists, or in 
kitchen gardens and orchards. I might have added a 
few rarely cultivated or but little known, or of which 
the cultivation has been abandoned ; but the statistical 
results would be essentially the same. 

Out of the 247 species which I have studied, the old 
world has furnished 199, America 45, and three are still 

No species was common to the tropical and austral 
regions of the two hemispheres before cultivation. 
AUiv/m 8chcB7iopra8v/m, the hop {Huiriidus lupvZivs), 
the strawberry {Fragaria visca), the currant (Ribes 
nthruTn), the chestnut {Castanea vulgaris), and the 
mushroom {Agaricua campestris), were common to the 
northern regions of the old and new worlds. I have 
reckoned them among the species of the old world, since 
their principal habitation is there, and there they were 
first cultivated. 

A great number of species originated at once in 
Europe and Western Asia, in Europe and Siberia, in the 
Mediterranean basin and Western Asia, in India and 
the Asiatic archipelago, in the West Indies and Mexico, 
in these two regions and Columbia, in Peru and Brazil, 
or in Peru and Columbia, etc., etc. They may be counted 
in the table. This is a proof of the impossibility of sub- 
dividing the continents and of classing the islands in 
well-defined natural regions. Whatever be the method 
of division, there will always be species common to two, 
three, four, or more regions, and others confined to a 
small portion of a single country. The same facts may 
be observed in the case of uncultivated species. 

A noteworthy fact is the absence in scms countries 
of indigenous cultivated plants. For instance, we have 
none from the arctic or antarctic regions, where, it is 
true, the floras consist of but few species. The United 
States, in spite of their vast territory, which will soon 
support hundreds of millions of inhabitants, only yields, 
as nutritious plants worth cultivating, the Jerusalem 
artichoke and the gourds. Zizana cequatica, which 
the natives gathered wild, is a grass too inferior to. 


our cereals and to rice to make it worth the trouble of 
planting it. They had a few bulbs and edible berries, 
but they have not tried to cultivate them, having early 
received the maize, which was worth far more. 

Patagonia and the Cape have not furnished a single 
speciea Australia and New Zealand have furnished one 
tree, EuccUyptus globvZus, and a vegetable, not very 
nutritious, the Tetrdgonia. Their floras were entirely 
wanting in graminse similar to the cereals, in leguminous 
plants with edible seeds, in Cruciferse with fleshy roots.^ 
In the moist tropical region of Australia, rice and 
Alocasia viacrorliiza have been found wild, or perhaps 
naturalized, but the greater part of the country suffers 
too much from drought to allow these species to become 
widely diffused. 

In general, the austral regions had very few annuals, 
and among their restricted number none offered evident 
advantages. Now annual species are the easiest to cul- 
tivate. They have played a great part in the ancient 
agriculture of other countries. 

In short, the original distribution of cultivated species 
was very unequal It had no proportion with the needs 
of man or the extent of territory. 

Article IL — ^N