Family Index | Genus Index | References | Famine Foods | NewCROP Homepage
Famine Foods
Compiled by Robert Freedman


Abrus precatorius, L. India: seeds boiled and eaten. This plant is regularly cultivated in Egypt. Chemical composition (amino acids per 16g nitrogen): Histidine = 3.29g. Proline = 8.6g. Vernacular name (India): Rati seed. Ref. VAN ETTEN et al., WATT.

Acacia albida, DeLile. Africa: seeds detoxified before eating. Ref. SCUDDER. Nigeria (Kano State, northern): unspecified part of plant eaten. Vernacualar name - Hausa: Gawo. Kanuri: Karau. Ref. MORTIMORE.

Acacia arabica, Willd. India (Bombay Presidency): seeds eaten, but reported to be very deleterious; (Deccan): gum, and powdered bark eaten. A common belief is that only seed in pods eaten and voided by goats will germinate readily. Vernacular name - Bombay Presidency: Babhúl. Ref. GAMMIE; GUPTA & KANODIA, PANT, PRASAD, WATT.

Acacia ataxacantha, DC. Nigeria (Kano State, northern): unspecified part of plant eaten. Vernacular names - Hausa: Kwandariya, Kwandari. Kanuri: Karau. Ref. MORTIMORE.

Acacia Cambagei, R.T. Baker. South Australia: gum eaten. Vernacular name: Gidgee, Bitter Gum. Ref. IRVINE.

Acacia decora, Reichb. Australia (North Queensland): gum eaten. Ref. IRVINE.

Acacia homalophylla, A.Cunn. ex Benth. in Hook. Australia (North Queensland): gum eaten. Vernacular name: Gidya Tree. Ref. IRVINE.

Acacia jacquemontii, Benth. India: this plant yields a small quantity of gum. Although of inferior quality [sic], it is used in times of scarcity and will sustain life for days when no other edibles are available. Vernacular name - Rajasthan, Jaisalmer district: Boo-banwali. Ref. BHANDARI.

Acacia leiophylla, Benth. in Hook. Australia (Musgrave Ranges): gum eaten. Ref. IRVINE.

Acacia leucoplhoea, Willd. [Bhandari (1974) writes that King's (1869) identification is incorrect and that this is, in fact, Prosopis cineraria (L.) Macbride]. India (Bombay Presidency): the grey bark and young pods are ground, mixed with bajra (millet) flour and eaten. Ground bark made into bread - with or without the addition flour; (Rajasthan, western): pods eaten as vegetable but reportedly this use is rare; seeds fried and eaten separately or mixed with jowar or bajra (millet). Soil types favored by plant (Rajasthan, western): dry múrúm piedmont soils; rocky, gravelly pediments. Vernacular names - Rajasthan (western): Urojio, Rhionja, Safed -kikar, Khejra. Ref. BHANDARI, GAMMIE; GUPTA & KANODIA, SAXENA; SHANKARNARAYAN & SAXENA, WATT.

Acacia nilotica, Delile. India (Rajasthan, western): pods used as vegetable; seeds fried and eaten alone or mixed with jowar or bajra (millet) flour. Bark used medicinally for coughing by the Mbeere in the Embu district of Kenya. Vernacular names - Rajasthan (western): Babool. Mbeere: mu -Cemeri. Ref. BROKENSHA & RILEY, SAXENA; SHANKARNARAYAN & SAXENA.

Acacia nilotica, ssp. indica (Benth.) Brenan. India (Rajasthan): seeds eaten roasted or raw, in times of very acute scarcity. Regardless of how they are cooked, these seeds have been found deleterious to health in the long run. Pods used as a vegetable. Soil types favored by plant: medium heavy with good moisture status. Vernacular names - Jaisalmer district, Rajasthan: Banvalia. Western Rajasthan: Babul, Kikar. Ref. BHANDARI, FAGG.

Acacia pennatula, Mexico (area not specified): fruit and seeds eaten. Vernacular name: Palo Garabo. Ref. ALTSCHUL, MINNIS.

Acacia senegal (L.) Willd. Kenya (Mbeere division, Embu district): soft, inner bark chewed (?). Vernacular name - Kikuyu: mu -Nyua. Ref. BROKENSHA & RILEY, COSSALTER, RILEY & BROKENSHA. India (Rajasthan, western ): seeds fried and eaten separately or mixed with jowar or bajra (millet). Used as vegetable [sic]. Soil type favored by plant: stabilised sand dunes. Vernacular names: Kumut /Kumat. Ref. SAXENA; SHANKARNARAYAN & SAXENA.

Adenanthera pavonina, L. India (Orissa): seeds and leaves eaten. Seeds may require boiling to neutralize toxicity. Vernacular name: Barricarri. Ref. WATT.

Aeschynomena aspera, L.; Wall.; Muhl. ex Willd. India (Bengal): young leaves eaten. (Madras Presidency): leaflets [sic] eaten as greens. Vernacular names - Tamil: Sudday keeray. Telugu: Jilugu benda. Ref. SHORTT, WATT.

Agati grandiflora, Desv. (syn. Sesbania grandiflora, Poir.) India (Madras Presidency): leaves, flowers, and tender legumes [sic] eaten. Reported to cause diarrhoea. Vernacular names - Tamil: Aghati keeray. Telugu: Agisi, Bakapushpam. Ref. SHORTT.

Albizia julibrissin, Durazz. China: leaves boiled and eaten with oil and salt. Vernacular name: Mimosa. Ref. READ.

Alysicarpus glumaceus, DC.; Wall. India (Rajasthan, western): seeds mixed with bajra (millet) grains to increase bulk. Soil type favored by plant: sandy plains. Vernacular name: Mordi. Ref. SAXENA.

Alysicarpus rugosus, DC. India: seeds eaten, mixed with other cereals. Ref. GAMMIE, GUPTA & KANODIA, WATT.

Alysicarpus vaginalis, DC.; Hochst. ex Baker; Wall. India: herb eaten. Ref. WATT.

Amblygonocarpus andogensis (Welw. ex Oliv.) Exell. ex Torr. Tanzania (Ngindoland): pods gathered as windfalls. The seeds are roasted and eaten whole, or pounded into a dry powder and usually seasoned with salt. Chemical composition (seed acids [Rhodesian sample]): Oil = 12%. Component esters (wt. %): 16:0 = 4%. 18:0 = 4%. 18:1 = 22%. 18:2 = 576%. 18:3 = 2%. 20:0 = 3%. 20:1 = 1%. 22:0 = 5%. 24:0 = 2%. Vernacular name - Ngindo: Njekere. Ref. CROSS-UPCOTT.

Apios Fortuni, Max. China: tuber eaten. Chemical composition: Protein = 4.2%. Fat = 0.2%. Carbohydrate (starch) = 18.3%. Carbohydrate (other) = 6%. Ash = 1.3%. Vernacular name: Ground Pear. Ref. READ.

Arachis hypogæa, L. Sudan (western ): after oil is extracted, the residual meal is eaten. Chemical composition (per 100g): Protein = 42.5g. Fat = 9.9g. Calcium = 60mg. Iron = 9.0mg. Vitamin B1 = .54mg. Vitamin B2 = .54mg. Niacin = 30.7mg. Kcal = 387. Vernacular names - Groundnut, Peanut, Umbaz. Ref. BERRY- KOCH

Argyrolobium marginatum, Bolus. Zululand (Ubombo district): roots eaten cooked or uncooked. Vernacular name - Zulu: Izi ntondo. Ref. HELY-HUTCHINSON.

Astragalus fraxinifolius, DC. France: starch of root recommended as a famine food for extending bread flour, after removal of bitter element. Ref. PARMENTIER.

Astragalus hoantchy, French. China; shoots and leaves eaten. Vernacular name: Yellow Vetch. Ref. READ.

Astragalus Henryi, Oliv. China: shoots and leaves eaten. Ref. READ.

Astragalus sinicus, L. (syn. Astragalus lotoides, Lam.) China: leaves and seeds eaten. Vernacular name: Chinese Milk Vetch. Ref. READ.

Bauhinia Carronii, F. von Muell. Australia: flowers produce a clear nectar which may be expressed or sucked up. The flowers are also steeped in water which is then drunk. Ref. IRVINE.

Bauhinia malabarica, Roxb. India (Deccan): leaves eaten. Ref. WATT.

Bauhinia purpurea, L. India (Garhwal Himalayas): buds and flowers cooked and pickled. Ref. GUPTA.

Bauhinia racemosa, L.; Lam.; Vahl. India: seeds dried and ground [into flour] for making bread. (Deccan): flowers eaten. Vernacular names - Bardoli, Surat district, Bombay Presidency: Asitranaparda. Dangs, Surat District, Bombay Presidency: Asintro. Mandvi, Surat district, Bombay Presidency: Asitra. Marathi: Apta. Ref. GAMMIE, WATT.

Bauhinia retusa, Roxb. India (Garhwal Himalayas): buds and flowers cooked, and pickled. Ref. GUPTA.

Bauhinia vahlii, Wight & Arn. India (Garhwal Himalayas): seeds fried in butter and eaten. Ref. GUPTA.

Bauhinia variegata, L. India (Garhwal Himalayas): buds and flowers cooked and pickled. Vernacular name: Mountain Ebony. Ref. DARLINGTON & AMMAL, GUPTA.

Butea frondosa, Roxb.; Wall. India: roots toasted and eaten. Vernacular name - Dangs, Surat district, Bombay Presidency: Khakhar. Ref. GAMMIE, WATT.

Butea monosperma, Taub. in Engl. et Prandl.; Kuntze. India (Rajasthan, western): succulent young roots roasted or boiled and eaten [raw (sic)] with salt. Soil types favored by plant: gravels on medium heavy plains soils. Vernacular names - Dhak, Palas. Ref. GUPTA & KANODIA, SAXENA; SHANKARNARAYAN & SAXENA.

Canavalia ensiformis, DC. India: pods eaten. Chemical composition (acid content) (Nigerian sample): oil = 1%; component esters (wt. %): 16:0 = 17%. 16:1 = 2%. 18:0 = 2%. 18:1 = 49%, 18:2 = 18%. 18:3 = 7%. 20:0 = 1%. 22:0 = 1%. 24:0 = 2%. Reported to have a high Threonine value. Vernacular names - Mandvi, Surat district, Bombay Presidency: Mavi. English: Jack Bean, Chickasaw Lima, Horse Bean, Broad Bean, Sword Bean, Cut-Eye, One-Eye Bean, Overlook. Ref. GAMMIE, VAN ETTEN et al (1963).

Caragana chamlagu, Lam. China: flowers thoroughly boiled, washed, and eaten with oil and salt. Also dried and infused for beverage. Vernacular name: Chamlagu Pea Tree. Ref. READ.

Cassia auriculata, L. India (Deccan): leaves eaten. Vernacular names: Tarwar, Aral. Ref. GAMMIE, WATT.

Cassia fistula, L.; Herb. ex Oliver; Naves in Blanco. India: flowers eaten by Santal people. Ref. WATT.

Cassia Hookeriana, Gill. Peru (Vilcanota Valley): flowers boiled and eaten. Vernacular name - Quechua: Mutuy. Ref, GADE.

Cassia latepetiolata, Domb. ex Vog. Peru (Vilcanota Valley): flowers boiled and eaten. Vernacular name - Quechua: Mutuy. Ref. GADE.

Cassia mimosoides, L. China: young, tender legumes boiled and eaten. When fully ripe, the extracted seeds are boiled. Vernacular name: Sensitive Senna. Ref. READ.

Cassia obtusa,Close in C. Gay; Roxb. (syn. Cassia Tora, L.) India (Rajasthan, western): leaves eaten. Ref. SHANKARNARAYAN & SAXENA.

Cassia occidentalis, Hort. ex Steud.; Naves.; L. India (Bombay Presidency, Deccan): leaves eaten. (Rajasthan, western): leaves boiled and used as vegetable. Chemical composition (Indian sample): moisture = 9.98%. Protein (N x 6.25) = 31.67. Fat (ether extract) = 4.51%. Carbohydrate (soluble) = 5.52%. Ash = 4.20%. Fe = 3.10%. Phosphorus = 1.80%. Amino acids (mmole/100 mg): a.Alanine = 15.10. Arginine = - . Asparagine = 21.3. Cysteine = - . Glutamine = 37.2. Glycine = 14.9. Histidine = 4.4. isoLeucine = 8.4. Leucine = 14.9. Lysine = 10.8. Methionine = 2.4. Methionine sulphonide = - . Phenylalanine = 7.9. Proline = 8.2. Serine = 15.9. Threonine = 9.3. Tyrosine = 4.1. Valine = 12.4. Unidentified = 1.4 Vernacular names - Bombay Presidency: Thorta tacala. Rajasthan (western): Kesudo, Kasondi. Ref. GAMMIE; GUPTA & KANODIA, RADHA PANT & KAPUR, SAXENA; SHANKARNARAYAN & SAXENA, WATT.

Cassia pumila, Lam.; Mort. & Gal.; F. von Mueller. India (Deccan): herb eaten. Ref. WATT.

Cassia siamea, Lam. India (Deccan): leaves eaten. Ref. WATT.

Cassia sieberiana, DC. Nigeria (Kano State, northern): sweet extract of stems eaten. Vernacular name - Hausa: Marga. Kanuri: Kiskatigrai. Ref. MORTIMORE.

Cassia sophera, L.; Wall. China: shoots, seeds, leaves and flowers may be eaten. Bitter elements are removed by washing. Leaves contain senna and chrysophanic acid, which are purgative. India (area unspecified): leaves eaten after boiling to remove disagreeable smell and flavor; (Madras Presidency): fruit eaten (?). Leaves eaten as greens; Vernacular names - Poona district, Bombay Presidency: Kashawada. Tamil: Poonaverie. Telugu: Pydee tanghadu. English: Sophera Senna. Ref. GAMMIE, READ, SHORTT, WATT.

Cassia tomentosa, L. Peru (Vilcanota Valley): flowers boiled and eaten. Vernacular name - Quechua: Mutuy. Ref. GADE.

Cassia tora, L. (syn. Cassia obtusifolia (L.) Irwin & Bary. India: seeds eaten in times of scarcity; (Rajasthan): leaves used in preparation of bread, being mixed with bajri (millet) or jowari flour. Plant is reported to have a disagreeable aroma; (Garhwal Himalayas): young stems cooked in curry; a sort of tea made from leaves. Rajasthan (western): leaves eaten. Nigeria (Kano State, northern): seedlings eaten. Chad (central): leaves eaten. Africa (west): leaves cooked together with Tribulus terrestris, L. [ZYGOPHYLLACEAE]. Chemical composition: Moisture = 11.64%. Protein (N x 6.25) = 32.36%. Fat (ether extract) = 5.75%. Carbohydrate (soluble) = 5.56%. Ash = 4.84%. Iron = 1.43%. Phosphorus = 1.50%. Amino acids (mmole/100 mg.): a .Alanine = 17.0. Arginine = 12.0. Asparagine 25.1. Cysteine = 2.2. Glutamine = 36.1. Glycine = 19.7. Histidine = 7.9. Isoleucine = 8.8. Leucine = 17.2. Methionine = 0.2. Methionine sulphonide = - . Phenylalanine = 8.9. Proline = 10.0. Threonine = 10.4. Tyrosine = 5.0. Valine = 12.0. Unidentified = 1.6. Vernacular names - Hausa: Tafasa. Kanuri:Tafasa. Vernacular names - India: Rahuri, Ahmednagar district, Bombay Presidency: Kasoda. Satara district, Bombay Presidency: Takla. Oplad, Surat district, Bombay Presidency: Sekto. Rajasthan (western): Chakunda. Chad (central) - Arabic: Kaoal. English: Sickle Senna. Ref. CRÉAC'H, DUTHIE, GAMMIE, GUPTA; GUPTA & KANODIA, IRVINE, MORTIMORE, RADHA PANT (1963), UPHOF, WATT.

Cathartocarpus Fistula, Pers. (syn. Cassia Fistula, L.; Herbb. ex Oliver.) India (Madras Presidency): mucilaginous pulp from pods eaten. Vernacular names - Tamil: Koonna. Telugu: Rela. Ref. SHORTT.

Ceratonia siliqua, L. Chad (central): fruit eaten. Sudan (Kordofan): pods harvested when ripe, and eaten fresh or dried for later consumption. A beverage is prepared by soaking the pods in water. Chemical composition: Protein (crude) = 6.1% (dry). Fat = 2.6% (dry). Fibre (crude) = 2.2% (dry). Ash (insoluble) = 5.1% (dry). Carbohydrate (insoluble): Starch = 1.4% (dry). Sucrose = 0.8% (dry). D-glucose = 0.4% (dry). D-fructose = 0.2% (dry). Amino acids (g [16g N]-1): Aspartic acid = 5.9g. Threonine = 2.5g. Serine = 3.0g. Glutamic acid = 7.8g. Proline = 11.6g. Glycine = 7.4g. Alanine = 3.3g. Cysteine = 1.0g. Methionine = 0.7g. Isoleucine = 2.2g. Leucine = 3.8g. Tyrosine = 2.3g. Phenylalanine = 2.5g. Lysine = 3.0g. Histidine = 1.7g. Arginine = 4.3g. Minerals: Sulphur = 0.10% (dry). Potassium = 0 .09% (dry). Magnesium = 0.09% (dry). Calcium = 0.23% (dry). Na = 0.01% (dry). K = 1.48% (dry). Zinc = 17mg/kg-1 (dry). Iron = 203mg/kg -1 (dry). Manganese = 16mg/kg-1 (dry). Copper = 7mg/kg-1 (dry). Aluminum = 128mg/kg-1 (dry). Vernacular names - Chad (central) (Arabic): Karroub. Sudan (Arabic): Alkharoub. Ref. ABDELMLUTI, CRÉAC'H.

Ceratonia siliqua fruit (photo credit Dr. Omar Mohammed Salih Abdelmuti, Ph.D)

Ceratonia siliqua

Cicer arietinum, L. India: leaves and stalks eaten. Ref. WATT.

Crotolaria juncea, L.; Willd. India (Deccan): leaves and pods eaten. Chemical composition (g/100g of seed powder): Moisture = 10.2. Ash = 4<.0. Ether extractives = 3.9. Nitrogen-free extract = 59.6. Protein (crude) (N x 6.25) = 30.1. Fibre (crude) = 8.7. Calcium (mg/100 g) = 20. Phosphorus (mg/100 g) = 371.0. Iron (mg/100g) = 28.9. Nacin (mg/100g) = 2.95. Ascorbic acid (mg/100 g) = 1.39. Total soluble carbohydrates and total reducing substances (27° (+/-3°C ): total water soluble carbohydrates = 14.9. Total benzoic acid soluble carbohydrates = 18.1. Total 5% TCA soluble carbohydrates = 26.7. Total reducing substances = 0.13. (100°C): total water soluble carbohydrates = 17.2. Total benzoic acid soluble carbohydrates = 23.8. Total 5% TCA soluble carbohydrates = 31.5. Total reducing substances = - . A new amino acid - strongly nihydrin positive - has also been found in the seeds. Ref. RADHA PANT et al., (1969), RADHA PANT et al., (1974), RADHA PANT & FALES, RADHA PANT et al., (1981-82), WATT.

Crotolaria orixensis, Rottb. India (Bombay Presidency): plant pods bear red seeds used for baking bread. Vernacular name - Newasa, Ahmednagar district, Bombay Presidency: Lagad. Ref. GAMMIE.

Dalbergia hupeana, Hance. China: leaves and shoots eaten. Vernacular name: Dalbergia. Ref. READ.

Dalbergia paniculata, Roxb.; Wall. India (Deccan): leaves eaten. Ref. WATT.

Desmanthus natans, Willd. India (Madras Presidency): leaves eaten as greens. Vernacular names - Tamil: Sunday keera. Telugu: Niru talvapu.. Ref. SHORTT.

Desmodium japonicum, Miq. China: seeds eaten. Vernacular name: Tick Trefoil. Ref. READ.

Desmodium velutinum (Willd.) [syn. Desmodium velutinum (Willd.) DC. var. lasciocarpum (P. Beauv.) S.S. Ying.] Nigeria (Kano State, northern): leaves eaten. Vernacular name - Hausa: 'Danka ' dafi, Damgere. Ref. MORTIMORE.

Deterium senegalense, J.F. Gmel. Nigeria (Kano State, northern): fruit and kernels eaten. Vernacular names - Hausa: Taura. Kanuri: Gatabo. Ref. MORTIMORE.

Dolichos biflorus, L. India: fruit eaten as vegetable. Australia (North Queensland): rootstock roasted and eaten. Vernacular names - Nawapur, Khandesh district, Bombay Presidency: Papadi.Dhagalpur: Kurthi. Ref. GAMMIE, IRVINE, WATT.

Dolichos ensiformis, L.; Thunb. India (Madras Presidency): pods cooked into curries; ripe seeds eaten boiled. Vernacular names - Tamil: Kaat Thumbuten kai. Telugu:Tamma. Ref. SHORTT.

Dumasia truncata, Sieb. & Zucc. China: leaves, legumes [pods] and beans [seeds] eaten. Vernacular name: Wild Black Bean. Ref. READ.

Eriosema psoracloides (Lam.) Don. Tanzania (Ngindoland): pods picked when mature or later when they have begun to shrivel. The seeds are lightly boiled before eating. Vernacular name - Ngindo: Uhangwa. Ref. CROSS-UPCOTT.

Gleditschia japonica, Miq. China: seeds roasted, and husks removed; seeds are then soaked until soft, then boiled and eaten with sugar. The leaves of the plant are also eaten. Ref. READ.

Gleditschia sinensis, Lamb. (syn. Gleditschia horrida, Willd.). As for Gleditschia japonica. Vernacular name: Soap Bean Tree. Ref. READ.

Inga dulcis, Mart.; Willd. India (Madras Presidency): ripe fruit eaten. Vernacular names - Tamil: Coorkapooly. Telugu: Sima chinta. Ref. SHORTT.

Indigofera cordifolia, Heyne ex Roth. India: the plant is threshed and yields a white seed which is used for making bread, being mixed with other seeds such as jowari or bajri (millet) and made into flour. When eaten unmixed, it is reported that edema and death may occur. The minute seed is noted to be highly nitrogenous, but somewhat unpleasant in taste. It grows with grass at the commencement of the monsoon and is ripe in the month of November. Of the edible it is reported to be the least consumed of the least. Soil types favored by plant: light múrúm soil, sandy plains, dunes, interdunes, rocks and gravelly soils. Chemical composition (after Church 1898): Water = 6.1%. Oil = 1.3%. Albumenoids = 30.8%. Carbohydrates (soluble) = 46.0%?. Fibre = 11.2%. Ash = 4.6%. Vernacular names - Bombay Presidency ("universally") [sic]: Godadi ; also: Godadi bodaga, Botsaka. Malegaon, Nasik district, Bombay Presidency: Potre. Jaisalmer district, Rajasthan: Bakereya. Marwara [sic], Rajputana: Vekriavas. Rajasthan(western): Bekrio, [Godali ?]. Ref. BHANDARI, CHURCH (1898), GAMMIE; GUPTA & KANODIA, SHAKARNARAYAN, WATT.

Indigofera decora, Lindl. China: seed boiled and eaten or made into flour. Ref. READ.

Indigofera enneaphylla, L.; Eckl. & Zeyh. India (Deccan): seeds eaten. Ref. WATT.

Indigofera gerardiana, R. Grah. in Wall. India (Kumaon region, Western Himalayas): flowers dried and kept for emergency periods; (Garhwal Himalayas): flowers eaten. Vernacular name - Kumaon region: Sakina. Ref. BHARGAVA, GUPTA.

Indigofera glandulosa, Roxb.; Wend.; Willd. (syn. Indigofera frumentacea, Roxb. ex Wight. & Arn.). India (central [Bhil group]): the crop is cut, stacked, dried, threshed and winnowed. The seeds are then ground into flour for bread, however, the flour is so sticky that it has to be mixed with flour of Panicum colonum, L. [GRAMINEAE]] before being baked. There should be more P. colonum flour than I. glandulosa in the mixture or, at least half to half, before good bread can be produced. The seeds are also eaten boiled, like rice. They are considered a 'hot' food. It is reported seldom, if ever, eaten alone. The Bhils "do not like it, and fall back on it only when there is nothing else to eat in the house." Chemical composition (seeds) (after Church ): Water = 8.2%. Albuminoids = 31.9%. Carbohydrate (soluble) = 46.7%. Oil = 2.2%. Fibre = 7.8%. Ash = 3.2%. (after Paton & Dunlop): Protein = 36.12% (available = 29.9%. Carbohydrate (available) = 10.9%. Relative available energy = 167. Soil type favored by plant (Panch Mahals area): black Vernacular names - (area unspecified): Zinjroo. Marathi:Vekheariyo. Bombay (area not specified): Gavacha, malmandi, Kaladgi. Telgugu: Vekhariyo, Baragadam, Barapatálu, Boomidapu. Berar: Barbati, Jungli -Methi. Newasa, Ahmednagar district, Bombay Presidency: Divali. Kopargaon, Ahmednagar district, Bombay Presidency: Ranmetha. Purandhar, Poona district, Bombay Presidency: Borbada. Nandgaon, Nasik district, Bombay Presidency: Barbada. Sholapur district, Bombay Presidency: Barbed. Anklesvar, Broach district, Bombay Presidency: Pahudi. Nawapur, Khandesh district, Bombay Presidency: Fronju. Mandvi, Surat district, Bombay Presidency: Peodi. Wagra, Broach district, Bombay Presidency: Defri. Ref. CHURCH (1898, 1901), GAMMIE; PATON & DUNLOP, SAXENA, WATT.

Indigofera linifolia, Retz. India: plant is threshed. and the seeds ground into flour for making bread - either unmixed or combined with other cereals e.g. bajra (millet) or jowar. Unmixed, the bread is reported bitter and is eaten with vegetables or hot condiments. It is also reported that if bread is prepared without first pounding, the grain, and it is eaten for several day, swelling of the mouth or body occur. Seeds are reported rich in nitrogen. Chemical composition (after Church): Water = 9.3%. Albuminoids: 34.3%. Carbohydrate (soluble): 43.4%. Oil = 3.0%. Fibre = 6.5%. Ash = 3.5%. Soil types favored by plant: sandy plains and dunes. Vernacular names - Hindi, Punjabi: Torki. Bengali: Bhangra. Santal: Tandi, Khode baha. Bombay (area[s] not specified): Pandhari pale/Pandhariphali, Bhangra, Torki. Jawarich malmandi, Kaladgi. Nasik [district, Bombay Presidency]: Pandhi. Newasa, Ahmednagar district, Bombay Presidency: Barbada. Jaisalmer district, Rajasthan: Sidio, Bakereya, Bhur -bhura. Rajasthan (western): Bekria, Torki. English = Wild Indigo. Ref. BHANDARI, GAMMIE; GUPTA & KANODIA, SAXENA, WATT.

Indigofera pseudo-tinctoria, Matsum. China: flowers eaten. Vernacular name: False Indigo. Ref. READ.

Kraunhia floribunda, Taub. China: flowers thoroughly boiled, washed and eaten with oil and salt. Ref. READ.

Kummerovia striata (Thb.) Shindl. Manchuria: whole plant eaten. Ref. BARANOV.

Lathyrus maritimus (L.) Bigelow, var. Thunbergiana, Miq. China: 'pea' eaten. Vernacular names: Beach Pea, Sea Pea. Ref. READ, UPHOF.

Lathyrus palustris, L. China: the entire legume is boiled, or the seeds may be eaten separately. If eaten extensively, paralysis of the legs known as lathyrism may occur. Vernacular name: Wild Pea. Ref. FERRO-LUZZI, READ.

Lathyrus sativus, L. Eritrea (Highlands): the plant is successfully drought resistant. Although eaten in small quantities normally, during times of famine, it is added in large quantities to 'curries,' with the result that lathyrism is thereby produced. Ref. FERRO- LUZZI.

Lathyrus tuberosus, L. France: root recommended as a famine food cooked, or dried and reduced to flour for use in baking bread. Its improvement through selective cultivation is suggested. Ref. PARMENTIER.

Lespedeza bicolor, Turcz. China: leaves and seeds eaten. Ref. READ.

Ledpedeza juncea, Pres. China: shoots and leaves eaten. Vernacular name: Red Clover. Ref. READ.

Lespedeza macrocarpa, Bunge. China: leaves and seeds eaten. Vernacular name: Bush Clover. Ref. READ.

Lespedeza sericea, Miq. China: shoots and leaves eaten. Ref. READ.

Lespedeza striata, Hook. & Arn. China: seeds made into a porridge, gruel or flour. Chemical composition: ash = 4.3%. Rich in lime. Vernacular name: Japanese Clover. Ref. READ.

Lotus siloquosus, L. France: farinaceous root recommended as a famine food. Ref. PARMENTIER.

Mucuna glabra, RT. Brazil (northeast): flour is made from both the seeds and roots. The seeds are placed in a clay pot and roasted in hot ashes or hot sand, until they pop. They are then hulled and pulverized in a mortar. The flour is then sifted and washed in successive changes of water to remove the toxic element. The wet flour is then squeezed to remove excess moisture and, finally, dried over a fire. Flour is made from the root in a similar manner. The roots are quite large, often reaching the size of 30 centimeters in length. Occasionally, a single root may produce more than a ton of flour. The flour or starch thus obtained is made into a variety of Brazilian foods including farofa, in which the meal is sautéed and mixed with bits of meat, crisp fat, chopped egg, &tc.; boijus, which are small, sweet cakes; and angus, which are dumplings, the flour being merely boiled in water. Chemical composition (seeds): Protein = 28.50%. Total carbohydrate = 54.57% (as starch = 48.5%). Moisture = 8.3%. Ether extract = 1.46%. Minerals = 2.23%. Fibre (crude, etc.) = 4.91%. Ash: CaO = 6.55% (0.416% in flour). Fe2O = 0.3% (0.007% in flour). Thiamine = 430mcg per 100g (N.B. this is 29% higher than meat). Calcium = 110mg%. (Root): Protein = 8.8%. Total carbohydrate = 52.1% (as starch 38.0%). Moisture = 12.0%. Minerals = 4.3%. Fibre (crude, etc.) = 22.8%. Ash: Si0 = 39.2% (1.68% in flour). CaO = 17.1% (0.74% in flour). Fe2O3 = 0.5 (0.02% in flour). Thiamine = 154mcg per 100g. Riboflavin = negative. Ref. DE CASTRO.

Mucuna pruriens, DC. India (Deccan): seeds eaten. Chemical composition (seeds - dry weight basis): Moisture g/100g) = 7.29. Ash = 3.87. Fat (ether extractive) = 8.96. Protein (crude) (N x 6.25) = 29.32. Ether extractives =9.0. Nitrogen free extract = 53.7. Fibre (crude) = 4.1. Total ash = 3.9. Calcium (mg/100g) = 218. Phosphorus (mg/100g) = 159. Iron (mg/100g) = 13.52. Niacin (mg/100g) = 3.64. Ascorbic acid (mg/100g) = 4.78. Amino acids: Histidine = 2.8. Lysine = 1.7. Methionine = 0.3. Cysteine = - . Phenylalanine = 1.3. Tyrosine = 0.63. Phenylalanine = 1.93. Isoleucine = 7.5. Valine = 2.9. Threonine = 1.3. T.p. = 1.3. RADHA PANT et al., (1974), RADHA PANT & TULSIANI, WATT.

Neptunia oleracea, Lour. India: herb and pods eaten. Ref. WATT.

Orobus tuberosus, L. France: boiled root recommended as a famine food. Ref. PARMENTIER.

Pachyrhizus angulatus, Rich. ex DC. India: root eaten. Ref. WATT.

Parkia biglobosa (Jacq.) Benth. (syn. Parkia clappertoniana, Keay.; Parkia filicoides, Welw.) Nigeria (Kano State, northern): pod pulp, seeds, and lowers eaten. Vernacular names - Hausa: 'Dorawa. Kanuri: Runo. Ref. MORTIMORE.

Pentaclethra macrophylla, Benth. in Hook. Zaire (Lake Tumba area): seeds prepared like cassava [sic], after steeping, grinding and cooking in leaves. Vernacular name - Twa: Bobala. Ref. PAGEZY.

Phaseolus adenanthus, G.F.W. Mey. India: root eaten. Ref. WATT.

Phaseolus rostratus, Wall. India (Madras Presidency): tuberous roots eaten cooked. Vernacular names - Tamil: Karalsona [sp.?]. Telugu: Karalasana, Karu alachandra. Ref. SHORTT.

Phaseolus trilobus, Ait.; Mitch.; Wall. India (Bombay Presidency): seeds eaten. (Western Rajasthan): pods and seeds eaten raw. [Also used for making bread ?] Seeds reported to be rich in nitrogenous matter. Vernacular names - Walha Parincha Road, Poona district, Bombay Presidency: Ranmatki. Yeola, Nasik district, Bombay Presidency: Mathan. Sangamner, Ahmednagar district, Bombay Presidency: Mataki. Western Rajasthan: Mugni. Ref. GAMMIE; GUPTA & KANODIA, WATT.

Phaseolus trinervius, Heyne ex Wall. India: seeds eaten. Reportedly rich in nitrogen. Vernacular name - Walha Parincha Road, Poona District, Bombay Presidency: Chamdadi. Ref. GAMMIE, WATT.

Piliostigma Thonningii (K. Schum.) Milne-Redhead. (syn. Bauhinia reticulata, DC.; Bauhinia Thonningii, Schum.). Kenya (Mbeere division, Embu district): fruit eaten. A tea may also be prepared from the bark of the plant. Sometimes dried and withered leaves, in part, are subsituted, either singly or together. These are usually steeped in boiling water. Nigeria (Kano State, northern): leaves, pods, sometimes stems and bark eaten. Vernacular name - Mbeere mu -Kuura. Hausa: Kargo. Kanuri: Kaghril, Kalur. Ref. BROKENSHA & RILEY.

Pisum arvense, L.; Moris. France: seeds recommnded as a famine food, to be eaten as other legumes. Ref. PARMENTIER.

Pithecolobium dulce (Roxb.) Benth. India: fruit eaten; (Rajasthan, western ): ripe fruit (pulp) eaten. Vernacular name - Rajasthan (western): Jangal jalebi. Ref. BREWBAKER, SAXENA; SHANKARNARAYAN & SAXENA, WATT.

Prosopis cineraria (L.) Macbride. (syn. Mimosa cineraria, L.) India (Rajasthan): the bark of this tree was eaten during the severe famines of 1899 and 1939. The bark was stripped off, dried, and ground with any available coarse grain. Bread is reported made from the ground bark with or without the addition of other flour. Dried seeds and leaves also ground and mixed with flour for making bread. The bark has an astringent, bitter taste and is reported to cause grippeing. (Rajasthan, western ): unripe pods used as vegetable, being boiled and stored for lean periods. Fresh unripe pods also used as vegetable. Light brown to deep brown ripe pods eaten raw. Dried pods eaten raw. Boiled and dried pods used in Panchkut - a mixture of five fruits and seeds (e.g. Acacia senegal, Capparis decidua, Cordia myxa, Cucumis melo and Prosopis cineraria) - prepared in Marwar - which are harvested semi-ripe, boiled, dried and stored for use in times of famine. Soil types favored by plant: sandy plains, sand dunes, and interdunal areas. Vernacular names - Rajasthan (Jaisalmer district) (whole plant): Khejra. Rajasthan (western): Jant, Khejri. (Ripe pods): Khaka /Khokha, Sangri. Ref. BHANDARI; GUPTA & KANODIA, KING, SANDISON & HARRIS, SAXENA; SHANKARNARAYAN & SAXENA.

Prosopis glandulosa, Torr. North America (Arizona): seeds eaten by Pima, (Hopi ?) and Yuma Native American groups. Vernacular name: Mesquite. Ref. BELL & CASTETTER, MINNIS.

Prosopis pubescens, Benth. North America (Arizona, Sonoran Desert): fruit eaten by Native American (Pima and Papago ?), Yuma, and Seri groups. Vernacular name: Screwbean. Ref. BELL & CASTETTER, FELGER & MOSER, MINNIS.

Prosopis spicegera, L. India (Deccan): pods eaten; (Madras Presidency): leaves and tender shoots cooked and eaten as greens. The meals [sic] from the pods are also eaten. Vernacular names - Tamil: Parumbay. Telugu: Chamee, Jammi chettu . Ref. SHORTT, WATT.

Pterocarpus marsupium, Roxb. India (Deccan): seeds and flowers eaten. Ref. WATT.

Pueraria hirsuta, Schnied.; Kurz. China: root is steamed and eaten. Japan: processed into flour during the period of scarcity immediately following World War II. Chemical composition (peeled root): Protein = 2.13%. Fat = 0.1%. Carbohydrate = 27.1%. Ash = 1.45%. Vernacular name: Kudzu Vine. Ref. READ, S.C.A.P., UPHOF.

Pueraria Thunbergiana, Benth. China: as for Pueraria hirsuta. New Caledonia: fibres eaten. Ref. CURREY, READ.

Pueraria tuberosa, DC. India (Kumaon region, Western Himalayas): tuberus roots eaten. Ethnomedical uses: considered demulcent and refrigerant in fevers; useful as cataplasm for swollen joints. Vernacular names: Bilai-Kand, Biralu, Birali panwa, Sural. Ref. BHARGAVA, GUPTA.

Robinia pseudacacia, L. China: fruit (i.e., cereal grains) eaten. Chemical composition (dry): Protein = 19.39%; (wet) = 16.97%. Vernacular names - Chinese: Huai Tzu. English: Locust Seed, False Acacia. Ref. EMBREY & WANG.

Rothia trifolata, DC. India: leaves and pods eaten. Ref. WATT. Pers. India; leaves and pods eaten. Ref. GAMMIE.

Rynchosia comosa, Baker. Central Tanzania: roots chewed for juices. Vernacular name - Sandawe: L 'indo. Ref. NEWMAN.

Sesbania aculeata, Poir. Australia (North Queensland): seeds made into bread [sic]. India (place not specified): seeds eaten. Vernacular name - Australia: Nardoo. Ref. IRVINE, WATT.

Sesbania aegyptiaca, Poir.; Buch.-Ham. West Africa: flowers of a wild and sometimes cultivated species eaten. India: (Bombay Presidency; Western Rajasthan): seeds eaten. Chad (central ): leaves eaten. Noted to be highly nitrogenous. Vernacular names - Bombay Presidency: Shevri. Western Rajasthan: Ekad, Jayanti. Chad (central) Arabic: Torero. Ref. CRÉAC'H, GAMMIE; GUPTA & KANODIA, IRVINE; SHANKARNARAYAN & SAXENA, UPHOF.

Sesbania grandiflora (L.) Poir. (syn. Aeschynomene grandiflora, L.). Africa: large, fleshy flowers eaten. India: leaves, flowers and young pods eaten. Vernacular names -Dangs, Surat district, Bombay Presidency: Agthio. Western Rajasthan: Basna. Ref. GAMMIE; GUPTA & KANODIA, IRVINE, RADHA PANT, UPHOF.

Sesbania procumbens, Wight. & Arn. India (Deccan): seeds eaten. Ref. WATT.

Sesbania sesbam, (L.). Merr. Nigeria (Kano State, northern): flowers and fruit eaten. Vernacular nameS: Alambu, Zamarke, Checheko. Ref. MORTIMORE.

Smithia sensitiva, Ait.; Wight. & Arn.; Zoll. & Mor. India (Bombay Presidency): leaves eaten; (Deccan): herb eaten. Vernacular names: - Akola, Ahmednagar district, Bombay Presidency: Kawale. Igatpuri, Nasik district, Bombay Presidency: Kawala. Ref. GAMMIE, WATT.

Sophora japonica, L. China: flowers eaten. Leaves recommended cooked with rice. Shoots sun-dried, and boiled three times to remove the bitter element, before eating. Vernacular names: Yellow Berry, Pagoda Tree. Ref. READ, UPHOF.

Swainsonia salsula, Taub. China: leaves and seeds eaten. Vernacular name: Winter Pea. Ref. READ.

Tamarindus indica, L. India (Bombay Presidency): leaves and seeds eaten. Unspecified part of plant reported mixed with Arisæma Murrayi, Hook. and Arisæma tortuosum, Schott. [ARACEAE] while cooking; (unspecified area): seeds roasted, ground into flour, and baked into bread; (Madras Presidency): leaves, young shoots, and fruit eaten. Seeds converted into meal; (Rajasthan, western): leaves, fruit and flowers eaten. Fruit used for making juice. Seeds fried and eaten separately or mixed with Jowar or Bajra (millet) [or other coarse grains](sic)]. Seeds and leaves eaten raw of pounded and mixed with other grains. Sudan (especially southern Darfur and southern Kordofan): fruit pulp eaten, and mixed with porridge; fruit pulp also used a base for a beverage; green leaves mixed with ground sesame or groundnut [peanut] and used as a salad. Nigeria (Kano State, northern): pods, leaves, fruits, seeds and flowers eaten. Chemical composition: Protein (crude) = 4.8% (dry). Fat = 0.4% (dry). Fibre (crude) = 6.6% (dry). Ash (insoluble) = 3.8% (dry). Carbohydrate (soluble): Starch = 12.7% (dry). Sucrose = 0.4% (dry). D-glucose = 12.7% (dry). D-fructose = 11.1% (dry). Amino acids (g [16g N]-1: Aspartic acid = 6.2g. Threonine = 2.7g. Serine = 3.5g. Glutamic acid = 5.6g. Proline = 33.1g. Glycine = 3.1g. Alanine = 3.1g. Valine = 3.7g. Cysteine = 0.8g. Methionine = 1.0g. Isoleucine = 2.9g. Leucine = 4.3g. Tyrosine = 3.1g. Phenylalanine = 3.7g. Lysine = 3.7g. Histidine = 2.3g. Arginine = 2.5g. Minerals: Sulphur = 0.03% (dry). Potassium = 0.10% (dry). Magnesium = 0.14% (dry). Calcium = 0.26% (dry). Na = 0.01% (dry). K = 1.32% (dry). Zinc = 9mg/kg-1 (dry). Iron = .73mg/kg-1 (dry). Manganese = 2mg/kg-1 (dry). Copper = 5mg/kg-1 (dry). Aluminum = 44mg/kg-1 (dry). Soil types favored by plant (Rajasthan, western): alluvial and sandy plains. Chad (central): fruit eaten. Ethnomedical uses - Sudan: fruit pulp beverage used for reducing fevers, and a laxative. Vernacular names - India: Bombay Presidency Bijapur district, Bilgi : Chinch, Amli, Hanshi. Rajasthan, Jaisalmer district: Imli. Rajasthan (western): Imli. Tamil: Poolia marum. Telugu: Chinta chettu. Chad (central) (Arabic): Aedep. Sudan (Arabic): Aradeib. Nigeria (Hausa): Tsamiya. (Kanuri) Tamzu, Tamsugu. Ref. ABDELMUTI, BHANDARI, CRÉAC'H, GAMMIE, MORTIMORE, SAXENA; SHANKARNARAYAN & SAXENA, SHORTT, WATT.

Tamarindus indicus fruit (photo credit Dr. Omar Mohammed Salih Abdelmuti, Ph.D)

Tamarindus indicus

Tephrosia purpurea, Pers. India (Deccan): seeds eaten. Chemical composition (acid composition of seeds, Singhalese sample): Oil = 7%. Component esters (wt. %): 16:0 = 16%. 18: = 7%. 18:1 = 25%. 18:2 = 24%. 18:3 = 24%. 20:0 = 2%. Ref. GUNSTONE et al., WATT.

Trifolium amabile, H. B. K. Peru (Vilcanota Valley): used as potherb. Ref. GADE.

Trifolium arvense, L.; Walt. France: seeds recommended as a famine food [made into flour] and mixed with ordinary cereal flour. Ref. PARMENTIER.

Trigonella cærulea, Lam. (syn. Melilotus cærulea, Lam.). China: shoots and leaves eaten. Vernacular name: Blue Fenugreek. Ref. READ.

Vicia unijuga, A. Br. China: leaves eaten with oil and salt. Vernacular name: Crooked Broad Bean. Ref. READ.

Vigna trilobata, L. (Verd.) India (Western Rajasthan): seeds cooked separately or mixed with bajra (millet) grain. Pods eaten as vegetable. Vernacular names - Arak [Ark ?] moth, Jangli moth. Ref. SAXENA; SHANKARNARAYAN & SAXENA.

Vigna vexillata, Benth.; A. Rich. India (Bombay Presidency): tubers eaten. Africa (west): root stock eaten. Australia (North Queensland): roots roasted and eaten. Vernacular names - Shirpur, Khandesh district, Bombay Presidency: Chaoli. Chandor, Nasik district, Bombay Presidency: Halgia. Ref. GAMMIE, IRVINE 1952, 1957.

Vigna unguiculata, Walp. (syn. Vigna Catjang, Walp.) Sudan (Kordofan, Darfur): this is the wild form of the cowpea. The seeds are eaten; and also finely ground, shaped into balls, and fried. Leaves steamed, boiled, or fried alone, or in combination with other vegetables. Chemical composition: Protein (crude) = 28.0% (dry). Fat = 1.4% (dry). Fibre (crude): 3.1% (dry). Ash (insoluble) = 3.4% (dry). Carbohydrate (soluble): Starch = 33.4% (dry). Sucrose = 6.8% (dry). D-glucose = 0.2% (dry). D-fructose = 0.4% (dry). Amino acids (g [16g N]-1): Aspartic acid = 13.1g. Threonine = 4.2g. Serine = 4.8g. Glutamic acid = 17.5g. Proline = 3.7g. Glycine = 4.2g. Alanine = 4.7g. Valine = 6.1g. Cysteine = 0.8g. Methionine = 1.4g. Isoleucine = 5.0g. Leucine = 8.3g. Tyrosine = 3.6g. Phenylalanine = 6.4g. Lysine = 8.2g. Histidine = 3.5g. Arginine = 8.9g. Minerals: Sulphur = 0.16% (dry). Potassium = 0.47% (dry). Magnesium = 0.15% (dry). Calcium = 0.08% (dry). Na = 0.01% (dry). K = 1.43% (dry). Zinc = 28mg/kg-1 (dry). Iron = 90mg/kg-1 (dry). Manganese = 20mg/kg-1 (dry). Copper = 6mg/kg-1 (dry). Vernacular names - Arabic: Lubia sikhail. English: Wild Cowpea. Ref. ABDELMUTI.

Wistaria sinensis, DC. China: flowers thoroughly boiled, washed and eaten with oil and salt. The flowers are [also] a common addition to cakes [sic] around Peking. Vernacular name: Wistaria. Ref. READ.