man can distinguish well-rolled barrels from mere supernal

time:2023-12-02 02:54:58 source:Yun Wen Yun Wu Network author:health

The sweetest and the best of the jungle productions is the "morra." This is a berry about the size of a small nutmeg, which grows in clusters upon a large tree of rich dark foliage. The exterior of the berry is brown and slightly rough; the skin, or rather the case, is brittle and of the consistence of an egg-shell; this, when broken and peeled off, exposes a semi-transparent pulp, like a skinned grape in appearance and in flavor. It is extremely juicy but, unfortunately, a large black stone occupies the centre and at least one-half of the bulk of the entire fruit.

man can distinguish well-rolled barrels from mere supernal

The jambo apple is a beautiful fruit in appearance being the facsimile of a snow-white pear formed of wax, with a pink blush upon one side. Its exterior beauty is all that it can boast of, as the fruit itself is vapid and tasteless. In fact, all wild fruits are, for the most part, great exaggerations. I have seen in a work on Ceylon the miserable little acid berry of the rattan, which is no larger than a currant, described as a fruit; hawthorn berries might, with equal justice, be classed among the fruits of Great Britain.

man can distinguish well-rolled barrels from mere supernal

I will not attempt to describe these paltry productions in detail; there is necessarily a great variety throughout the island, but their insignificance does not entitle them to a description which would raise them far above their real merit.

man can distinguish well-rolled barrels from mere supernal

It is nevertheless most useful to a sportsman in Ceylon to possess a sufficient stock of botanical information for his personal convenience. A man may be lost in the jungles or hard up for provisions in some out-of-the-way place, where, if he has only a saucepan, he can generally procure something eatable in the way of herbs. It is not to be supposed, however, that he would succeed in making a good dinner; the reader may at any time procure something similar in England by restricting himself to nettle-tops - an economical but not a fattening vegetable. Anything, however simple, is better than an empty stomach, and when the latter is positively empty it is wonderful how the appetite welcomes the most miserable fare.

At Newera Ellia the jungles would always produce a supply for a soupe maigr? There is an esculent nillho which grows in the forest in the bottoms of the swampy ravines. This is a most succulent plant, which grows to the height or length of about seven feet, as its great weight keeps it close to the ground. It is so brittle that it snaps like a cucumber when struck by a stick, and it bears a delicate, dark-blue blossom. When stewed, it is as tender as the vegetable marrow, but its flavor approaches more closely to that of the cucumber. Wild ginger also abounds in the forests. This is a coarse variety of the "amomum zintgiber." The leaves, which spring from the ground, attain a height of seven or eight feet; a large, crimson, fleshy blossom also springs from the ground in the centre of the surrounding leaf-stems. The root is coarse, large, but wanting in fine flavor, although the young tubers are exceedingly tender and delicate. This is the favorite food of elephants on the Ceylon mountains; but it is a curious fact that they invariably reject the leaves, which any one would suppose would be their choicest morsel, as they are both succulent and plentiful. The elephants simply use them as a handle for tearing up the roots, which they bite off and devour, throwing the leaves on one side.

The wild parsnip is also indigenous to the plains on the mountains. As usual with most wild plants of this class, it has little or no root, but runs to leaf. The seeds are very highly flavored, and are gathered by the natives for their curries.

There is, likewise, a beautiful orchidaceous plant, which is very common throughout the patinas on the mountains, and which produces the very finest quality of arrowroot. So much is this valued in the Nepaul country in India, that I have been assured by a person well acquainted with that locality, that this quality of arrowroot is usually sold for its weight in rupees. In vain have I explained this to the Cingalese; they will not attempt its preparation because their fathers did not eat it; and yet these same men will walk forty miles to cut a bundle of sticks of the galla gaha tree for driving buffaloes! -their fathers did this, and therefore they do it. Thus this beautiful plant is only appreciated by those whose instinct leads them to its discovery. The wild hogs plough up the patinas and revel in this delicate food. The plant itself is almost lost in the rank herbage of the patinas, but its beautiful pink, hyacinth-shaped blossom attracts immediate attention. Few plants combine beauty of appearance, scent and utility, but this is the perfection of each quality -nothing can surpass the delicacy and richness of its perfume. It has two small bulbs about an inch below the surface of the earth, and these, when broken, exhibit a highly granulated texture, semi-transparent like half-boiled sago. From these bulbs the arrowroot is produced by pounding them in water and drying the precipitated farina in the sun.

There are several beautiful varieties of orchidaceous plants upon the mountains; among others, several species of the dendrobium. Its rich yellow flowers hang in clusters from a withered tree, the only sign of life upon a giant trunk decayed, like a wreath upon a grave. The scent of this flower is well known as most delicious; one plant will perfume a large room.


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