This month Bruce writes about the Anacardiaceae family which include cashews, mangoes and pistachios. In our FPI database there are 315 edible species in 44 genera in this family.
Species mentioned in the genera Anacardium, Antrocaryon, Buchanania, Campnosperma, Dracontomelon, Lannea, Mangifera, Rhus, Searsi,; Semecarpus, Spondias
Bruce writes that the Food Plants International database now includes 28, 770 edible plants. This month he writes on edible palms.
Plant photographs: Areca catechu; Attalea cohune; Bactris gasipaes; Borassus flabellifer; Calamus caryotoides; Hyphaene coriacea; Metroxylon sagu; Nypa fruticans; Raphia farinifera; Salacca zalacca
Bruce writes: We should be giving far greater attention to the bean family or legumes. There are 1,850 species in the bean family (Fabaceae – sometimes still called Leguminosae) that have been recorded as being used for human food (out of about 18,000 species in this family).
Edible plants mentioned: Acacia seed; Cajanus cajan Pigeon pea; Ceratonia siliqua Carob; Inga spectabilis Ice cream bean; Pachyrhizus erosus Yam bean; Vigna radiata Green gram; Psophocarpus tetragonolobus Winged bean; Pueraria lobate Kudzu; Vigna mungo Mung bean; Vigna subterranean Bambara groundnut; Vigna unguiculata subsp. Sesquipedalis Snake bean
“Many young children around the world forage daily for food and snacks. What interests me is that many small berries and nuts are considered by adults to be not large enough to sell in local markets.”
Plants mentioned: Panama berry (Muntingia calabura); Coastal almond (Terminalia catappa)
This month Bruce highlights the Sapindaceae or soapberry family of plants which has several popular fruits. Plants in this family can grow in temperate to tropical locations.
Plants mentioned: Aesculus hippocastanum, Blighia sapida, Cupaniopsis anacardioides, Dimocarpus longan, Diploglottis smithii, Lansium parasiticum, Lepisanthes alata, Litchi chinensis, Nephelium lappaceum, Nephelium ramboutan-ake, Pometia pinnata, Talisia esculenta
Places mentioned: Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Jamaica, Pacific, Papua New Guinea, South-East Asia, South America