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3890Re: [Apicius] Re: Oleander

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  • jdm314@aol.com
    Dec 1, 2006
      Ricinus communis is usually called the "Caster Oil Plant" in
      English--Somewhat odd that the oil has the primary name, not the plant.

      When European explorers wrote home about the new flora they found in
      the Americas, often by comparing them (sometimes aptly, sometimes less
      so) to European plants. I saw somewhere a reference to the chile pepper
      as a "ricinus americanus" -- though peppers and caster oil are not
      particularly close, taxonomically.


      -----Original Message-----
      From: luciaclark@...
      To: Apicius@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Fri, 1 Dec 2006 6:08 PM
      Subject: Re: [Apicius] Re: Oleander

      Probably the drought tolerance had something to do with it. A
      bush in
      a public garden that does not require water in the summer months has
      its advantages. Another plant widely used was the ricino, ricinus
      communis, quite beautiful but even more poisonous.
      Buzzy honey, eh? Those monks! The honey must have been quite safe,
      except for the hangover. I wonder....Can we see if the villas that
      had Oleanders in the gardens had also beehives and mead equipment?


      At 10:22 AM 12/1/2006, you wrote:

      > From Lepella, to All Salvete!
      >Someone asked 'why put poisonous oleander in a garden?'. I grew up in
      >California, where it was planted extensively along roads during the
      >depression. My mother, a Calif. native who was a child at the time,
      >told me that oleander was put in to keep the dustbowel refugees and
      >hoboes from stopping for the night. It's a very draught tolerant plant
      >and can be quite spectacular when you are passing miles of 7 foot
      >blooming bushes along the freeway.
      >I have also heard that there was a mead made by Spanish monks in which
      >some oleander honey was used that gave a heady buzz. It sounds no
      >crazier than toxic blowfish sushi.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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