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Plants (domesticated)

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Plants (domesticated)

This page contains questions about plants, that don't come under Natural History.  It's mainly about plants that are used for food or other purposes.

Gum arabic (used as a stabiliser, particularly in food) comes from Click to show or hide the answer
Poison obtained from(also an alternative name for) wolfs–bane Click to show or hide the answer
The dried, unripe fruit of the Pimenta dioica tree, native to the Caribbean and Central America; also known as Jamaica pepper; a key ingredient of Jamaican jerk seasoning; name dates to 1621 and reflects the idea that its flavour combines those of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves Click to show or hide the answer
Plant of the carrot family, stems crystallised and used in baking and cake decoration (bright green colour) Click to show or hide the answer
Costard is an archaic term for an Click to show or hide the answer
Name given to two distinct, unrelated types of vegetable (globe and Jerusalem) Click to show or hide the answer
Arrows, and cricket stumps, are traditionally (most commonly) made from Click to show or hide the answer
Formerly known as sparrowgrass Click to show or hide the answer
Occurs naturally in the bark of the white willow tree (Salix alba) Click to show or hide the answer
Fruit: name is a native American word for a testicle, and also the Spanish word for a lawyer Click to show or hide the answer
Tree native to South America, whose wood is very light but strong; used by Thor Heyerdahl to make his raft Kon–Tiki, also for the frame of the De Havilland Mosquito WWII combat aircraft Click to show or hide the answer
Individual fruits known as fingers, bunches as hands Click to show or hide the answer
The plantain used as a vegetable is a hybrid variety of Click to show or hide the answer
Fig (tree) growing on another plant Click to show or hide the answer
Grain used to make whisky Click to show or hide the answer
Pinto, borlotti, canneline, mung, lima (or butter), velvet: types of Click to show or hide the answer
Windsor chairs – generally made from Click to show or hide the answer
Used to dilate the pupils for cosmetic purposes Click to show or hide the answer
Hybrid citrus fruit (of obscure origin) – sometimes described as a type of orange: inedible, but extracts have been used to scent food, drinks (most famously tea), perfumes, and cosmetics Click to show or hide the answer
More common name for the areca nut (the seed of the areca palm tree) Click to show or hide the answer
Common name shared by various plants, originating in Africa or North America but now widely cultivated, having orange or yellow petals and black, brown or purple centres Click to show or hide the answer
Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts: family Click to show or hide the answer
Fava beans are more commonly known in the UK as Click to show or hide the answer
Common name for Anthemis nobilis – a plant that can be used in lawns and beverages, and whose finely dissected leaves and daisy–like flowers are used medicinally Click to show or hide the answer
Strong–smelling, oily, crystalline substance distilled from a far–eastern species of laurel, used in medicines and insect repellents Click to show or hide the answer
Product of the rattan palm, used to make furniture Click to show or hide the answer
National flower of Spain, Monaco and Slovenia Click to show or hide the answer
Mediterranean shrub: the flesh of its seed pods is used as a healthier alternative to chocolate (contains less fat and no psychoactive substances); also known as St. John's Bread Click to show or hide the answer
Obtained by pressing the seeds of the plant Ricinus communis (to which it gives its English name); the name comes from the Latin name for the beaver, probably via that of a perfume base made from the dried perineal glands of the beaver, for which it's used as a substitute; also used as a food additive, and for various medical purposes, including as a laxative Click to show or hide the answer
Red Indian seaweed from which agar is made Click to show or hide the answer
Made from chicle (the dried fruit of saspodilla tree) mixed with sugar and starch Click to show or hide the answer
Said to be the smallest edible member of the onion family Click to show or hide the answer
Tree of the laurel family, native of Sri Lanka: its spicy bark is used in cooking Click to show or hide the answer
Cross between an orange and a tangerine Click to show or hide the answer
Any of four cultivated plants in the family Erythroxylaceae, native to western South America, from which cocaine is obtained; its leaves are chewed as a stimulant or made into tea Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Major fruit crop: the drupe is known as a cherry, with (usually) two seeds covered in a 'silver skin' and an outer 'parchment coat'; the seeds are known as Click to show or hide the answer
The dried kernel of the coconut – used to extract coconut oil Click to show or hide the answer
Obtained from Quercus suber (a variety of oak tree) Click to show or hide the answer
The boll weevil is a pest that lives on Click to show or hide the answer
The fenberry is the traditional English name for (more familiar name that evolved in the American colonies) Click to show or hide the answer
Saffron is obtained from a species of Click to show or hide the answer
Spiky–leaved top of the pineapple Click to show or hide the answer
Amygdalin – a substance found in apple pips and the stones of cherries, peaches and apricots – is a source of (a poison that prevents the blood from carrying oxygen and thereby causes death by asphyxiation) Click to show or hide the answer
Atropine – used to dilate the pupils, for medical and cosmetic purposes (sometimes administered in a preparation called belladonna, which is also the technical and alternative name for the plant) is obtained from Click to show or hide the answer
Known in South East Asia as "the King of Fruits", but banned in some public places (e.g. on public transport) because of its pungent odour Click to show or hide the answer
National flower of Switzerland and Austria Click to show or hide the answer
Wood used for canal lock gates because of its water–resistance, and butchers' blocks because of its hardness; also traditionally for coffins Click to show or hide the answer
Common name for the oenothera genus of plants (the type genus of the Onagracea family), which produces an oil traditionally used to treat eczema and pre–menstrual symptoms, and to reduce the duration of pregnancy and labour (although scientific evidence is scant) Click to show or hide the answer
Balkan species of hazel, or its nut Click to show or hide the answer
Linen and linseed oil are obtained from Click to show or hide the answer
Source of digitalis, and the heart drug Digoxin Click to show or hide the answer
Fragrant gum obtained from the genus Boswellia; a.k.a. olibanum; used in the Bible (as one of the gifts of the three wise men) to symbolise divinity Click to show or hide the answer
Dark yellow pigment obtained from the Hanbury's garcinia (tree); name derived from the Latin name for Cambodia Click to show or hide the answer
One of the oldest living tree species, and the only living species in its order, all others being extinct; native to China, but cultivated all around the world; also known as the maidenhair tree, it's one of the best–selling herbal supplements in the USA and Europe Click to show or hide the answer
Calabash: West African drinking vessel, made from a Click to show or hide the answer
Reine Claude Verte is the original cultivar – still available in France, where it was first cultivated – of the Click to show or hide the answer
Created in 1868 by Maria Ann Smith of Ryde, New South Wales Click to show or hide the answer
Believed to be a natural cross between an orange and a pomelo, or shaddock (both of which were imported to the West Indies from the East Indies in the 17th century) Click to show or hide the answer
Viticulture is the cultivation of Click to show or hide the answer
The insect phylloxera (related to aphids) attacks
Noble rot affects
Fruit of the may tree Click to show or hide the answer
Divining rods are traditionally made from Click to show or hide the answer
Filbert and cobnut are alternative names for, or varieties of Click to show or hide the answer
Poison obtained from a plant of the family Umbelliferae (of the same name) Click to show or hide the answer
Tree from which the pecan nut is obtained Click to show or hide the answer
Latin name humulus; closely related to cannabis; Goldings, Fuggles and Challenger are varieties of Click to show or hide the answer
Wandering Sailor Click to show or hide the answer
The world's largest tree–borne fruit – seldom less than 10" in diameter Click to show or hide the answer
The shamouti is an alternative name for the Click to show or hide the answer
Flowering plant of the sunflower family, native to North America, its tuber used as a root vegetable; name is a double misnomer Click to show or hide the answer
Shrub or small tree, whose berries (strictly cones) are used to give gin its distinctive flavour Click to show or hide the answer
Corchorus capsularis or oliturus — tropical plant, cultivated for strong fibres of the same name, used to make sacks, ropes etc. Click to show or hide the answer
Edible seed of a nut or fruit Click to show or hide the answer
Chinese gooseberry: original name (prior to the 1950s, when it began to be exported in large quantities from New Zealand) for the Click to show or hide the answer
Tree of the genus Fortunella, or its fruit, which is like a small oval orange (not a citrus fruit – Citrus is a separate genus – and therefore not a type of orange) Click to show or hide the answer
Garden shrub with yellow flowers, all parts poisonous, sometimes known as "golden chain tree" Click to show or hide the answer
Milky fluid obtained from rubber trees, which coagulates to form rubber Click to show or hide the answer
Mixture of dyes, extracted from lichens, absorbed onto filter paper and used to test for pH (turns red in acid, blue in alkali) Click to show or hide the answer
Cross between a raspberry and a blackberry (or American dewberry) – named after the American lawyer who created it (accidentally) in 1883 – see also tayberry Click to show or hide the answer
Fruit of the vine–like plant Luffa aegyptiaca, of the family Cucurbitacea – same family as cucumbers, pumpkins etc. (Nothing to do with the sea cucumber – that's an animal) Click to show or hide the answer
Spice obtained from the seed covering of nutmeg Click to show or hide the answer
Principal wood used by Thomas Chippendale Click to show or hide the answer
Processed germinated barley Click to show or hide the answer
Plant of the nightshade family, perceived to resemble the shape of the human body and used in magic and witchcraft; said to shriek in pain when pulled from the ground Click to show or hide the answer
Wood traditionally used to make violins, and other members of the violin family Click to show or hide the answer
Species of grass introduced in places to combat sand erosion; also used as thatch Click to show or hide the answer
Cantaloupe and Honeydew are types of Click to show or hide the answer
Pennyroyal (used in aromatherapy) is a type of (member of the genus) Click to show or hide the answer
Believed to be the Golden Bough of classical mythology; used in solstitial rites by the Druids Click to show or hide the answer
Dried gum of the commiphora tree, native to Yemen, Somalia and Ethiopia; used by the ancient Egyptians in embalming, and in the Bible (as one of the gifts of the three wise men) to symbolise mortality. Said to be literally worth its weight in gold Click to show or hide the answer
Garden plant whose name means literally "nose–tweaker"; flowers can be used in salads, unripe seed pods can be pickled and used instead of capers Click to show or hide the answer
Cross between a plum and a peach Click to show or hide the answer
A full Cornish Yarg cheese is covered with or wrapped in Click to show or hide the answer
The so–called Golden Triangle, comprising parts of Burma, Thailand and Laos, is notorious for the cultivation of Click to show or hide the answer
Natural vanilla flavouring comes from a genus of (family of flowering plants) Click to show or hide the answer
Powdered root of the white Florentine iris, smells of violets, used in perfumes and some medicines Click to show or hide the answer
Shrub closely related to the willow, used for making wicker (baskets, etc.) Click to show or hide the answer
Acid found in wood sorrel, rhubarb and other plants, used in dying and bleaching Click to show or hide the answer
Word derived from Malay, for rice where grain is still in the husk Click to show or hide the answer
Sago is a starch obtained from (the pith of the stem of) a specific type of Click to show or hide the answer
Developed from wild viola tricolour or heartsease; name is derived from the French word for 'thought' Click to show or hide the answer
Granadilla is an alternative name (in some parts of the English–speaking world, e.g. Australia and South Africa) for Click to show or hide the answer
The largest edible fruit that's indigenous to the USA Click to show or hide the answer
The jargonelle is an early–ripening, originally very gritty variety of Click to show or hide the answer
Stinking Bishop cheese (made famous by Wallace and Gromit) is named after a variety of Click to show or hide the answer
Nut of the North American hickory tree – from its Native American name Click to show or hide the answer
Turpentine is obtained from Click to show or hide the answer
Native to Mexico, and named after the US Minister to Mexico who introduced it to the USA in 1825 Click to show or hide the answer
Name used for some flowering forms of primula – those that aren't primroses: from the Latin, meaning "many flowers" Click to show or hide the answer
Name means "seeded apple"; the French version (pomme–grenade –; from which the English word is derived) also gives us the word "grenade" Click to show or hide the answer
The largest citrus fruit (15 to 25 cm in diameter): similar to a grapefruit, but sweeter and milder Click to show or hide the answer
Opium (hence laudanum, morphine and codeine) is/are obtained from a species of Click to show or hide the answer
Crop attacked by the Colorado beetle (a notifiable pest in the UK) Click to show or hide the answer
Fruit – similar to a pear – known in Portuguese as the marmelo, from which marmalade was originally made Click to show or hide the answer
Anti–malarial drug extracted from the bark of the cinchona tree Click to show or hide the answer
Toxin derived from the seeds of the castor oil plant Click to show or hide the answer
Grown nowadays as a vegetable but originally for its flowers Click to show or hide the answer
Has purple or white flowers, but gives its name to an orange or yellow dye; also the source of one of the world's most valuable spices Click to show or hide the answer
Hypericum perforatum, also known as Tipton's Weed or Klamath weed, used by herbalists to treat depression Click to show or hide the answer
Citrus fruit, named after a former province of Japan Click to show or hide the answer
Commonly known as the spring onion or green onion; also a dialect name for a shallot, leek or defective onion – from the Latin for onion Click to show or hide the answer
Alternative (original) name for the pomelo, after the sea captain who introduced it to the West Indies around 1700 Click to show or hide the answer
Fruit of the blackthorn Click to show or hide the answer
World's most commonly–grown bean Click to show or hide the answer
Poison obtained from the seeds of the nux vomica tree Click to show or hide the answer
Tree, native to south–eastern Canada and the north–eastern United States: famous for its bright orange–red autumn (fall) foliage, and a principal source of maple syrup; the state tree of New York, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin Click to show or hide the answer
Tree, native to tropical Africa: produces edible, pod–like fruit, used extensively in cuisines around the world – also for traditional medicine and metal polish. The wood can be used in carpentry. Name often confused with that of a small new–world monkey Click to show or hide the answer
Cereal obtained from the root of the cassava plant Click to show or hide the answer
The process of getting latex from a rubber tree Click to show or hide the answer
Cross between a tangerine and a pomelo (or grapefruit) – similar to an orange, but has a characteristic 'knob' at the top. See also UGLI fruit Click to show or hide the answer
Fruit named after a Moroccan port on the Straits of Gibraltar (Tangiers) – a variety of mandarin orange Click to show or hide the answer
Cross between a blackberry and a raspberry, patented by Derek L. Jennings of Dundee in 1979 and named after a Scottish river – said to be larger and sweeter than a loganberry but difficult to harvest (too soft), therefore not produced commercially Click to show or hide the answer
The manuka tree, native to New Zealand, whose nectar produces an aromatic honey, is also known as the Click to show or hide the answer
Sometimes (formerly) known as the love apple Click to show or hide the answer
Trade name for a cross between a grapefruit, an orange and a tangerine –; described in Wikipedia as a "Jamaican tangelo" Click to show or hide the answer
Plashing: collecting or gathering Click to show or hide the answer
Also known as Japanese horseradish – used to produce a strong condiment Click to show or hide the answer
Cricket bats are traditionally made from Click to show or hide the answer
Rayon is made from; lignum vitae is the hardest and densest known type of Click to show or hide the answer
English longbows are traditionally made from; traditionally grows in churchyards Click to show or hide the answer
Small flower of the cananga tree, native to the Philippines and Indonesia, yielding a highly fragrant essential oil Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2018