Wild Calla. Calla pallustris. Cold bogs. Nova Scotia to Minn., south to Va., Wis., Iowa. May-June.
"Missen bread is made in Lapland from roots of this plant, which are acrid when raw. They are taken up in spring when the leaves come forth, are extremely well washed, and then dried. The fibrous parts are removed, and the remainder dried in an oven. This is then bruised and chopped into pieces as small as peas or oatmeal, and then ground. The meal is boiled slowly, and continually stirred like mush. It is then left standing for three or four days, when the acridity disappears." (Lankester).
Orobanche Ludovi-ciana (Aphyllon L.). Sandy soil. 111. to Manitoba, south to Texas, Ariz., Cal. June-Aug.
"All the plant except the bloom grows under ground, and consequently nearly all is very white and succulent. The Pah Utes consume great numbers of them in summer. . . .Being succulent they answer for food and drink on these sandy plains, and, indeed, are often called sand-food." (Palmer).
Mat-rush. Tule-root. Scir-pus lacustris. Ponds and swamps. Throughout North America: also in Old World. June-Sep.
Roots resemble artichokes, but are much larger. Eaten raw, they prevent thirst and afford nourishment. Flour made from the dried root is white, sweet and nutritious. A great favorite with the western Indians, who pound the roots and make bread of them. When the fresh roots are bruised, mixed with water, and boiled, they afford a good sirup.
Wild Hyacinth. Quamasia hyacynthia (Camassia Fraseri). In meadows and along streams. Pa. to Minn., south to Ala. and Texas. Apr.-May.
Root is very Ľnutritious, with an agreeable mucilaginous taste.
Orontium aquaticum. Swamps and ponds. Mass. to Pa., south to Fla. and La., mostly near coast. Apr.-May.
The Taw-kee of coast Indians who liked the dried seeds when cooked like peas. The raw root is acrid, but becomes edible when cooked like arrow-arum Grass, Drop-seed* Sand Drop-seed. Spor-obolus cryptandrus. Also Barnyard or Cockspur Grass (Panicum Crusgalli).
When the seeds, which are gathered in great quantities by western Indians, are parched, ground, mixed with water or milk and baked or made into mush, they are of good flavor and nutritious. Also eaten dry.
Panicum, several species.
The ripe seeds are collected, like the above, cleaned by winnowing, ground into flour, water added and the mass is kneaded into hard cakes, which, when dried in the sun are ready for use. Also made into gruel and mush.
Panicularia fluitans (Glyceria //).
The seeds are of agreeable flavor and highly nutritious material for soups and gruels.
Stretch-berry. S?nilax Bona-nox. Thickets. Mass. and Kansas, south to Fla. and Texas. Apr-July.
The large, tuberous rootstocks are said to have been used by the Indians, who ground them into meal and made bread or gruel of it.
In the South a drink is made from them.
Smilax Pseudo-China. Dry or sandy thickets. Md. to Neb., south to Fla. and Texas. March-Aug.
Bartram says that the Florida Indians prepared from this plant "a very agreeable, cooling sort of jelly, which they call conte [not to be confounded with coontie or wild sago] ; this is prepared from the root of the China brier (Smilax Pseudo-China) . . They chop the roots in pieces which are afterwards well pounded in a wooden mortar, then being mixed with clean water, in a tray or trough, they strain it through baskets. The sediment, which settles to the bottom of the second vessel, is afterwards dried in the open air, and is then a very fine reddish flour or meal. A small quantity of this, mixed with warm water and sweetened with honey when cool, becomes a beautiful, delicious jelly, very nourishing and wholesome. They also mix it with fine corn flour, which being fried in fresh bear's oil makes very good hot cakes or fritters".