. The natural history of the farm; a guide to the practical study of the sources of our living in wild nature. Natural history. THE EDIBLE WILD ROOTS OP THE FARM 6i would have received more attention axnong us had it been adapted by nature to ordinary field conditions. But it grows in moist or even wet soil and in partial shade. The Indian cucumber-root (Fig. 34) bears another sort of tuber that might weU qualify it for a place among oiu- salad plants, were the plant adapted to fields; but it grows in leaf mold in the shade of dense thickets. The wUd bulbs of the scaly sort that are edible, ar

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. The natural history of the farm; a guide to the practical study of the sources of our living in wild nature. Natural history. THE EDIBLE WILD ROOTS OP THE FARM 6i would have received more attention axnong us had it been adapted by nature to ordinary field conditions. But it grows in moist or even wet soil and in partial shade. The Indian cucumber-root (Fig. 34) bears another sort of tuber that might weU qualify it for a place among oiu- salad plants, were the plant adapted to fields; but it grows in leaf mold in the shade of dense thickets. The wUd bulbs of the scaly sort that are edible, are the wild onion and a few of its relatives, the wild leeks and garlics. These are valued not for nutritive value, but for flavoring. Here, again, the cultivated exotic varieties are superior to the wUd native ones. There are a number of interesting wUd aroids, producing solid bulbs or corms, which were food for the red man, but which we do not use. They grow mostly in wet soil. They are the arrow arum, the skunk cabbage, the Jack-in-the-pulpit, etc. The related taro is a valuable food plant in the Hawaiian Islands and throughout the South Seas. Like these, it is somewhat coarse, and does not keep well after gathering. So it gets into our markets only after being dried and ground into flour. The fierce acridity of the Jack-in- the-pulpit, which renders it inedible when raw, is entirely removed by cook- ing. Among the aroids is another that is worthy to be mentioned not as a food plant, but as one that has been valued for its pungency, and for the magic powers widely believed to inhere in its root. It is the sweet flag {Acorus calamus,. Fig. 34. Indian cucum- ber-root {Medeola), an excellent salad plant.. Please note that these images are extracted from scanned page images that may have been digitally enhanced for readability - coloration and appearance of these illustrations may not perfectly resemble the original work.. Needham, James G. (James George), 1868-1956. Ithaca, N. Y

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