Treebeard's Homepage : Stumpers

Treebeard's Stumpers
World Food Origins

This is my list of the world's food plants and where they came from. I don't include mushrooms or meat. I tried to restrict this to important economic plants and cultivated crops and staple foods that I know about or want to try. It's an impossible task. I know 50+ local Santa Barbara wild plants that are edible, and some of them like miner's lettuce and wild onions and huckleberry are delicious and I hunt them out, but I didn't list them all here. Even a city is edible if you take it one piece at a time!

Some of this is confused between place of origin and place of domestication and place of use. Tomatoes are native to the Andes, but they were domesticated in Central America, and we wouldn't have spaghetti without them. This is all very tentative.

I searched most of these on the Web one by one. These sites kept popping up:


North America
Sugar Maple Aceraceae Acer saccharum tree sap link
Indian Hemp, Dogbane Apocynaceae Apocynum cannabinum perennial stems link
Ginseng Araliaceae Panax quinquefolius perennial root link
Sunflower Asteraceae Helianthus annuus annual seed link
Jerusalem Artichoke, Sunchoke, Girosol Asteraceae Helianthus tuberosus perennial root link
Sumpweed, Marsh Elder Asteraceae Iva annua var. macrocarpa annual seed link link
Pawpaw Annonaceae Asimina triloba tree fruit link
Hazelnut, Filbert Betulaceae Corylus spp. Tree nut link
Elderberry Caprifoliaceae Sambucus mexicana, etc. shrub fruit link
Goosefoot Chenopodiaceae Chenopodium berlandieri, C. bushianum annual seeds, leaves link
Summer Squash, Acorn Squash, Pumpkin Cucurbitaceae Cucurbita pepo, etc. annual flower, fruit, seed link link
Calabazilla, Buffalo Gourd Cucurbitaceae Cucurbita foetidissma perennial seed link
Bottle Gourd Cucurbitaceae Lagenaria siceraria annual fruit link
Persimmon Ebenaceae Diospyros virginiana tree fruit link
Blueberry, Huckleberry Ericaceae Vaccinium spp. shrub fruit link
Cranberry Ericaceae Vaccinium macrocarpon shrub fruit link link
Tepary Bean Fabaceae Phaseolus acutifolius perennial fruit link
Chestnut Fagaceae Castanea dentata tree nut link
Tanoak, Tanbark Oak Fagaceae Lithocarpus densiflorus tree nut, bark link
Acorn Fagaceae Quercus spp. tree, shrub nut link link link link
Hickory Juglandaceae Carya spp. tree nut link
Butternut Juglandaceae Juglans cineria tree nut link
Pecan Juglandaceae Carya illinoensis tree nut link
Black Walnut Juglandaceae Juglans nigra, J. californica, etc. tree nut link
Sassafras Lauraceae Sassafras albidum shrub bark link
Camas Liliaceae Camassia quamash perennial root link link
Pine Nut Pinaceae Pinus edulis, etc. tree nut link link
Little Barley Poaceae Hordeum pusillum annual grain link
Maygrass Poaceae Phalaris caroliniana annual grain link
Wild Rice Poaceae Zizania palustris perennial grain link
Knotweed Polygonaceae Polygonum erectum annual seed link
Chile (chiltepin, tepin) Solanaceae Capsicum annuum perennial fruit link
Tobacco (?) Solanaceae Nicotiana Tabacum, etc. herb leaf link
Concord Grape Vitaceae Vitis labrusca shrub fruit link
Muscadine Grape Vitaceae Vitis rotundifolia shrub fruit link
 
Mexico, Mesoamerica, and Caribbean
Cherimoya, Custard Apple Annonaceae Annona cherimola tree fruit link
Ceriman, Monstera Araceae Monstera deliciosa perennial vine fruit link
Tuna, Nopales Cactaceae Opuntia ficus-indica, etc. shrub fruit, stems link
Papaya Caricaceae Carica papaya tree fruit link
Pumpkin, Winter Squash, Cushaw Cucurbitaceae Cucurbita argyrosperma annual flower, fruit, seed link
Pumpkin, Winter Squash Cucurbitaceae Cucurbita maxima annual flower, fruit, seed link
Pumpkin, Winter Squash Cucurbitaceae Cucurbita moschata annual flower, fruit, seed link
Summer Squash, Acorn Squash, Pumpkin Cucurbitaceae Cucurbita pepo, etc. annual flower, fruit, seed link
Chayote Cucurbitaceae Sechium edule perennial fruit link
Jamaican Yam, Cushcush Dioscoreaceae Dioscorea trifida perennial root link link
Jicama, Yam Bean Fabaceae Pachyrhizus erosus perennial root link
Scarlet Runner Bean Fabaceae Phaseolus coccineus perennial root, fruit link
Lima Bean, Butter Beans Fabaceae Phaseolus lunatus annual fruit link
String Bean, French Bean Fabaceae Phaseolus vulgaris annual fruit link
Avocado Lauraceae Persea americana tree fruit link
Sisal Liliaceae Agave sisalana shrub stalk link
Blue Agave, Maguey Liliaceae Agave tequilana shrub flower stalk link
Barbados Cherry, Acerola Malpighiaceae Malpighia punicifolia tree fruit link
Cotton Malvaceae Gossypium hirsutum perennial (?) seed fiber link
Ramon, Maya Breadnut Moraceae Brosimum alicastrum, etc. tree fruit link
Allspice Myrtaceae Pimenta dioica tree fruit link
Guava Myrtaceae Psidium guajava shrub fruit link
Vanilla Orchidaceae Vanilla planifolia vine seed pod link
Corn, Maize Poaceae Zea mays annual grain link
Capulin Cherry Rosaceae Prunus salicifolia tree fruit link
Sapote Rutaceae Casimiroa edulis tree fruit link
Sapodilla Sapotaceae Manilkara zapota tree fruit link
Chile (bell, wax, jalapeno, paprika) Solanaceae Capsicum annuum annual fruit link
Chile (chiltepin, tepin) Solanaceae Capsicum annuum annual fruit link
Chile (aji) Solanaceae Capsicum baccatum annual fruit link
Chile (habanero and scotch bonnet) Solanaceae Capsicum chinense annual fruit link
Chile (tabasco) Solanaceae Capsicum frutescens annual fruit link
Chile (rocoto and manzano) Solanaceae Capsicum pubescens annual fruit link
Cherry Tomato Solanaceae Lycopersicon esculentum annual fruit link
Tomatillo Solanaceae Physalis ixocarpa annual fruit link
Chocolate, Cacao, Cocoa Sterculiaceae Theobroma cacao tree seed link
Mexican Oregano Verbenaceae Lippia graveolens perennial leaves link
 
South America
Amaranth Amaranthaceae Amaranthus cruentus annual seed link link
Cashew Anacardiaceae Anacardium occidentale tree nut link
Yerba Mate Aquifoliaceae Ilex paraguariensis shrub leaf link
Cocoyam, Malanga, Yautia Araceae Xanthosoma sagittifolium perennial root link
Ulluco Basellaceae Ullucus tuberosus perennial root link
Annatto, Achiote Bixaceae Bixa orellana shrub seed link link
Malabar Chestnut, Saba Nut Bombacaceae Pachira aquatica tree nut link
Maca Brassicaceae Lepidium meyenii perennial root link
Pineapple Bromeliaceae Ananas comosus perennial fruit link
Quinoa Chenopodiaceae Chenopodium quinoa annual seed link link link
Sweet Potato Convolvulaceae Ipomoea batatas perennial root link
Coca Erythroxylaceae Erythroxylum coca shrub leaf link link
Rubber Tree Euphorbiaceae Hevea brasiliensis tree sap link
Cassava, Yuca, Manioc, Tapioca Euphorbiaceae Manihot esculenta perennial root link
Peanut, Groundnut Fabaceae Arachis hypogae annual seed link link
Brazil Nut Lecythidaceae Bertholletia excelsa tree nut link
Cotton Malvaceae Gossypium barbadense perennial (?) seed fiber link
Arrowroot Marantaceae Maranta arundinacea, etc. perennial root link
Pineapple Guava, feijoa Myrtaceae Feijoa sellowiana shrub fruit link
Jaboticaba Myrtaceae Myrciaria cauliflora, etc. tree fruit link
Strawberry Guava Myrtaceae Psidium cattleianum tree fruit link
Oca, Ysaño Oxalidaceae Oxalis tuberosa annual root link
Passion Fruit, Granadilla Passifloraceae Passiflora edulis, etc. perennial fruit link
Paraná Pine, Pinhoes Pinaceae Araucaria angustifolia, A. araucana tree nuts link
Quinine, Cinchona Rubiaceae Cinchona succirubra tree bark link
Angostura Rutaceae Cusparia febrifuga tree bark link
Guarana, Zoom Sapindaceae Paullina cupana shrub seeds link link
Tamarillo, Tree Tomato Solanaceae Cyphomandra betacea shrub fruit link
Tomato Solanaceae Lycopersicon esculentum perennial fruit link
Tobacco (?) Solanaceae Nicotiana Tabacum perennial leaf link
Cape Gooseberry Solanaceae Physalis peruviana perennial fruit link
Potato Solanaceae Solanum tuberosum perennial root link
Chocolate, Cacao, Cocoa Sterculiaceae Theobroma cacao tree seeds link
Mashwa Tropeolaceae Tropaeolum tuberosum perennial root link
Lemon Verbena Verbenaceae Lippia citriodora shrub leaves link
 
Europe (incl. Mediterranean)
Burdock, Gobo Asteraceae Arctium lappa perennial leaves, roots link link
Angelica Apiaceae Angelica archangelica, etc. perennial stems, seeds, roots link
Celery Apiaceae Apium graveoens biennial stems link
Caraway (Kummel) Apiaceae Carum carvi annual seeds link
Coriander, Cilantro Apiaceae Coriandrum sativum annual leaves, seeds link
Cumin Apiaceae Cuminum cyminum annual seeds link
Fennel Apiaceae Foeniculum vulgare perennial stems, seeds link
Lovage Apiaceae Levisticum officinale perennial seeds, stems link
Parsnip Apiaceae Pastinaca sativa biennial root link
Parsley Apiaceae Petroselinum crispum annual leaves, root link
Anise Apiaceae Pimpinella anisum annual seeds link
Asparagus Asparagaceae Asparagus officinalis perennial stems link
Chamomile Asteraceae Anthemis nobilis perennial flowers link
Endive Asteraceae Cichorium endivia perennial leaves link
Chicory Asteraceae Cichorium intybus perennial roots, leaves link
Cardoon Asteraceae Cynara cardunculus perennial leaves, stems link link
Globe Artichoke Asteraceae Cynara scolymus perennial flowers link link
Lettuce Asteraceae Lactuca sativa annual leaves link link
Hazelnut & Fibert Betulaceae Corylus avellana tree nuts link
Comfrey Boraginaceae Symphytum officinale annual leaves link
Horseradish Brassicaceae Armoracia rusticana perennial root link link
Rutabaga Brassicaceae Brassica napobrassica annual root link
Rape Seed, Canola Brassicaceae Brassica napus annual seed link link
Mustard Brassicaceae Brassica nigra, B. alba, etc. annual seed, leaves link
Cabbage, Brocoli, Kale, Brussels Sprouts, Collards, Kale, Kohlrabi, etc. Brassicaceae Brassica oleracea annual leaves, flowers link link
Turnip Brassicaceae Brassica rapa annual root link
Arugula, Rocket Brassicaceae Eruca sativa annual leaves link
Radish Brassicaceae Raphanus sativus annual root link
Hops Cannabaceae Humulus Lupulus perennial vine fruit link link link
Caper Capparaceae Capparis spinosa shrub flower buds link link
Beets, Chard, Sugar Beet Chenopodiaceae Beta vulgaris biennial root, leaves link link
Sorrel Chenopodiaceae Rumex acetosa perennial leaves link
Juniper Cupressaceae Juniperus communis tree fruit link
Licorice (?) Fabaceae Gylcerhiza glabra perennial roots link link
Fava Bean Fabaceae Vicia faba annual seeds link
Blue Fenugreek Fabaceae Trigonella coerulea annual leaves link
Chestnut Fagaceae Castanea sativa tree nuts link
Currant Grossulariaceae Ribes rubrum, R. sativum etc. shrub fruit link link
Saffron Iridaceae Crocus sativus perennial flowers link link
Walnut Juglandaceae Juglans regia tree nuts link
Spearmint, Peppermint, Pennyroyal, etc. Lamiaceae Mentha spicata, M. piperita, M. pulegium, etc. perennial leaves link
Basil Lamiaceae Ocimum basilicum, etc. perennial leaves link
Marjoram Lamiaceae Origanum majorana perennial leaves link
Oregano Lamiaceae Origanum vulgare perennial leaves link
Rosemary Lamiaceae Rosmarinus officinalis, etc. shrub leaves link
Sage Lamiaceae Salvia officinalis shrub leaves link
Savory Lamiaceae Satureja hortensis, S. montana perennial leaves link
Thyme Lamiaceae Thymus vulgaris perennial leaves link
Bay Leaf Lauraceae Laurus nobilis tree leaves link
Leek Liliaceae Allium porrum perennial root, stem link
Poppy Papveraceae Papaver somniferum annual seed, sap link
Spelt Wheat (?) Poaceae Triticum spelta annual grain link
Olive Oleaceae Olea europaea tree fruit link
 
Africa
African Oil Palm Arecaceae Elaeis guineensis tree fruit link link
Muskmelon, Cantaloupe, Honeydew Cucurbitaceae Cucumis melo annual fruit link link link
Watermelon, Citron Cucurbitaceae Citrullus lanatus annual fruit link link link
Bottle Gourd Cucurbitaceae Lagenaria siceraria annual fruit link link
Air Potato Dioscoreaceae Dioscorea bulbifera perennial aerial tuber link link
Yellow Yam Dioscoreaceae Dioscorea cayenensis perennial root link
Elephant's Foot, Hottentot's Bread Dioscoreaceae Dioscorea elephantipes perennial root link
White Yam Dioscoreaceae Dioscorea rotundata perennial root link
Castor Bean Euphorbiaceae Ricinus communis shrub seed (oil) link
Tamarind Fabaceae Tamarindus indica tree seed pod link
Cowpea, Black-eyed Pea Fabaceae Vigna unguiculata annual seeds link
Gooseberry Grossulariaceae Ribes grossularia     link link
Okra Malvaceae Abelmoschus esculentus annual fruit link
Kenaf, Meshta Malvaceae Hibiscus cannabinus annual stems link
Sesame Pedaliaceae Sesamum indicum annual seeds link link
T'ef, Teff Poaceae Eragrotis tef annual grain link
African Rice Poaceae Oryza glaberrima annual grain link link
Pearl Millet Poaceae Pennisetum americanum annual grain link
Sorghum Poaceae Sorghum bicolor annual grain link
Coffee Rubiaceae Coffee arabica, etc. shrub seeds link
Akee Sapindaceae Blighia sapida tree fruit link
Cola Nut, Kola Sterculiaceae Cola nitida, etc. tree nut link link
 
Near East, Central Asia
Pistacio Anacardiaceae Pistacia vera tree nut link
Chervil Apiaceae Anthriscus cerefolium annual leaves link link
Carrot Apiaceae Daucus carota annual, biennial root link
Asafoetida Apiaceae Ferula asafoetida perennial root link
Date Palm Arecaceae Phoenix dactylifera tree fruit link
Tarragon Asteraceae Artemisia dracunculus perennial leaves link
Safflower Asteraceae Carthamus tinctorius annual seeds link
Garden Cress Brassicaceae Lepidium sativum annual leaves link
Hemp Cannabaceae Cannabis sativa, etc. annual seeds, leaves, stems link
Spinach Chenopodiaceae Spinacia oleracea annual leaves link
Muskmelon, Cantaloupe, Honeydew Cucurbitaceae Cucumis melo annual fruit link link link
Carob, St. John's Bread Fabaceae Ceratonia siliqua tree seed pod link link
Chickpea, Garbanzo Fabaceae Cicer arietinum annual seeds link
Lentil Fabaceae Lens culinaris annual seed link
Alfalfa, Lucerne Fabaceae Medicago sativa   sprouts link
Pea Fabaceae Pisum sativum annual seed link link link
Fenugreek Fabaceae Trigonella foenum-graecum annual seeds, leaves link
Onion, Shallot Liliaceae Allium cepa perennial bulb, leaves link
Garlic Liliaceae Allium sativa perennial bulb link
Chive Liliaceae Allium schoenoprasum perennial leaves link
Flax, Linseed Linaceae Linum usitatissimum annual seeds, stems link link
Henna Lythraceae Lawsonia inermis shrub leaves link link
Fig Moraceae Ficus carica tree fruit link link
Oats Poaceae Avena sativa annual grain link
Barley Poaceae Hordeum vulgare annual grain link
Rye Poaceae Secale cereale annual grain link
Bread wheat Poaceae Triticum aestivum annual grain link
Emmer Wheat Poaceae Triticum dicoccum annual grain link
Duram Wheat (pasta) Poaceae Triticum duram annual grain link
Einkorn Wheat Poaceae Triticum monococcum annual grain link
Spelt Poaceae Triticum spelta annual grain link
Pomegranate Punicaceae Punica granatum shrub seeds link
Quince Rosaceae Cydonia oblonga tree fruit link
Apple Rosaceae Malus domestica tree fruit link
Sweet Cherry Rosaceae Prunus avium tree fruit link
Sour Cherry Rosaceae Prunus cerasus tree fruit link
Plum Rosaceae Prunus domestica, etc. tree fruit link
Almond Rosaceae Prunus dulcis tree fruit link
Pear Rosaceae Pyrus communis, etc. tree fruit link
Grape Vitaceae Vitis vinifera vine fruit link
 
China, Japan, Temperate East Asia
Kiwi Actinidiaceae Actinidia deliciosa, etc. vine, shrub fruit link
Ginseng Araliaceae Panax ginseng perennial root link
Rice Paper Plant Araliaceae Tetrapanax papyriferus shrub stems link
Chinese Cabbage, Bok Choy, etc. Brassicaceae Brassica chinensis annual leaves link
Wasabi Brassicaceae Wasabia japonica peremmial root link
Rhubarb Chenopodiaceae Rheum rhaponticum perennial stems link
Greater Yam Dioscoreaceae Dioscorea alata perennial root link
Chinese Yam Dioscoreaceae Dioscorea esculenta perennial root link
Persimmon Ebenaceae Diospyros kaki tree fruit link
Tung Oil Euphorbiaceae Vernicia fordii tree seeds link
Soybeans Fabaceae Glycine max annual seeds link link link
Chinese Chestnut Fagaceae Castanea mollissima tree nuts link
Perilla, Shiso Lamiaceae Perilla frutescens annual seeds, leaves link
Camphor Lauraceae Cinnamomum Camphora tree wood link link
Lotus Root Nelumbonaceae Nelumbo nucifera perennial root link
Paper Mulberry Moraceae Broussonetia papyrifera tree bark link link
Mulberry Moraceae Morus alba, M. nigra, etc. tree fruit link
Bamboo Shoots Poaceae (many species) perennial stems link link
Rice Poaceae Oryza sativa annual, perennial grain link
Buckwheat Polygonaceae Fagopyrum esculentum annual seeds link link
Jujube Rhamnaceae Ziziphus jujuba tree fruit link
Apricot Rosaceae Prunus armeniaca tree fruit link
Peach Rosaceae Prunus persica tree fruit link
Asian Pear Rosaceae Pyrus pyrifolia , etc. tree fruit link
Citrus Fruit (lemon, orange etc.) Rutaceae Citrus spp. tree fruit link
Lime Rutaceae Citrus aurantifolia tree fruit link
Sour Orange Rutaceae Citrus aurantium tree fruit link
Pummelo, Shaddock Rutaceae Citrus grandis tree fruit link
Lemon Rutaceae Citrus limon tree fruit link
Citron Rutaceae Citrus medica tree fruit link
Grapefruit Rutaceae Citrus paradisi tree fruit link
Tangerine, Mandarin, Satsuma Rutaceae Citrus reticulata tree fruit link
Sweet Orange Rutaceae Citrus sinensis tree fruit link
Kumquat Rutaceae Fortunella spp. tree fruit link
Litchi, Lychee Sapindaceae Litchi chinensis tree fruit link
Tea Theaceae Camellia sinensis shrub, tree leaves link link link
Ramie Urticaceae Boehmeria nivea perennial stems link
 
Tropical Asia (incl. India, Indo-Malaysia)
Mango Anacardiaceae Mangifera indica tree fruit link
Betel Nut, Areca Arecaceae Areca catechu tree fruit link
Coconut, Copra Arecaceae Cocos nucifera tree fruit link
Taro, etc. Araceae Colocasia antiquorum perennial root link
Durian Bombaceae Durio zibethinus tree fruit link
Wax Gourd Cucurbitaceae Benincasa hispida annual fruit link link
Cucumber Cucurbitaceae Cucumis sativus annual fruit link
Luffa Cucurbitaceae Luffa cylindrica, etc. annual fruit link
Balsam-Apple, Bitter Melon Cucurbitaceae Momordica charantia annual fruit link
Snake Gourd Cucurbitaceae Trichosanthes anguina, etc. annual fruit link
Water Chestnut Cyperaceae Eleocharis tuberosa, E. dulcis perennial root link
Greater Yam Dioscoreaceae Dioscorea alata perennial root link link
Pigeon Pea Fabaceae Cajanus cajan annual fruit, seeds link link
Star Anise Illiciaceae Illicium verum tree fruit link
Cinnamon, Cassia Lauraceae Cinnamomum zeylanicum, etc. tree bark link
Cotton Malvaceae Gossypium arboreum perennial (?) seed fiber link
Breadfruit Moraceae Artocarpus altilis tree fruit link link
Jackfruit Moraceae Artocarpus heterophyllus tree fruit link
Banana, Plantain Musaceae Musa acuminata tree fruit link
Nutmeg, Mace Myristicaceae Myristica fragrans tree fruit link
Rose Apple, Malabar Plum Myrtaceae Syzygium jambos tree fruit link link
Malay Apple Myrtaceae Syzygium malaccense tree fruit link link
Carambola, Starfruit Oxalidaceae Averrhoa carambola tree fruit link
Black Pepper Piperaceae Piper nigrum tree fruit link
Lemon Grass Poaceae Cymbopogon citriodora perennial leaves link
Rice Poaceae Oryza sativa annual, perennial grain link
Sugar Cane Poaceae Saccharum officinarum perennial stems link
Loquat Rosaceae Eriobotrya japonica shrub fruit link
Curry Leaf Rutaceae Murraya koenigii tree leaves link
Eggplant, Aubergine Solanaceae Solanum melongena annual fruit link link
Jute Tiliaceae Corchorus capsularis, etc. annual stems link link
Galanga, Kha Zingiberaceae Alpinia galanga perennial root link
Turmeric Zingiberaceae Curcuma domestica perennial root link
Cardamom Zingiberaceae Elettaria cardamomum perennial seeds link
Ginger Zingiberaceae Zingiber officinalis perennial root link
 
Australia, Fiji, etc.
Sago Palm Arecaceae Metroxylon sagu tree stem link
Bunya-Bunya Pine Pinaceae Araucaria bidwelli tree nuts link
Kava Piperaceae Piper methysticum shrub root link link
Macadamia Proteaceae Macadamia integrifolia etc. tree nut link
 
Multiple areas (maybe different species, maybe unknown)
Water Cress Brassicaceae Nasturtium officinale perennial leaves link
Pine Nuts Pinaceae Pinus spp. tree nut link link
Blackberry, Raspberry, etc. Rosaceae Rubus spp perennial fruit link
Strawberry Rosaceae Fragaria spp. perennial fruit link


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Copyright © 2002 by Marc Kummel / mkummel@rain.org