You are on page 1of 25

Figure 42. A box fall trap . Photo(}raph shows details of triy(}er 4 device.

~cies of Mango
are native to agent. The mango tree grows to a height be eaten raw but should be cooked like a
md today are of about 35 feet. It has dark green, some- vegetable when green. The center of the
I wild state in
what leathery leaves, from 4 to 6 inches fruit is hollow with many black, rough
rId. They are long. Figure 54 shows a type mango. seeds clinging to the inside wall of the
t differ in size, 1,'11 Papaya. The Papaya (Carica Papaya) pulp. The papaya is found cultivated and
,ill weigh from grows on a tree-like plant which is soft- wild . The wild variety usually has very
und and vary stemmed and unbranched. The tree grows small fruits measuring about 2 to 3 inches
sh, yellowish, to a height of from 6 to 20 feet. The large, in diameter. Although the papaya is native
It is possible dark green, many fingered, rough edged to the New World tropics, in recent years
ination of col- leaves are clustered at the top of the plant. it has spread throughout the tropics. Sol-
rith a yellow / The fruit grows on the stem clustered under diers should be extremely careful while
a very large the leaves. There are several varieties picking or preparing papaya. The slightest
which differ in size, shape, and flavor. The cut wiiJ cause a milky sap to flow from the
taste that sug-
most common are similar in shape to a rind as well as the plant itself. The com-
fhe thick peel-
small watermelon. The fruit averages from mercial meat tenderizer and digestive en-
e it contains a. zime (Papain) is derived from the milky
two to eight pounds, but some species grow
orne people to much larger. The skin varies from a green- sap. If this sap should get into the eyes,
lition, peelings ish to a yellow color. The meat or pulp it could cause temporary or permanent
,in a purgative can be orange or red when ripe, and can blindness. Some natives wrap meat in the
Fig ure 43. Wild sweet orange . This fmit, in common with
must wild fmits, hfls a thick skin. Figure 44. Tangerine .

leaves of the papaya taking advantage of the pale brown bark that is smooth and
its tenderizing qualities. The papaya is peels off in thin sheets like paper. Its
appreciated as a dessert, a salad, and spe- leaves are light green with fine hairs under-
cifically for its digestive and laxative qual- neath . The venation is deep on top and
ities. Figure 55 shows the papaya fruit. raised to prominent veins underneath. lea\'e~
(6) Guava. The Guava (Psidium Guajava) is Some natives claim that a tea made from 57).
famous for the jelly made from the fruit. the leaves of the guava tree is a good cure
for dysentery (fig 56) .
(8) Su'eet
It is a yellow, tough skinned fruit with a
whitish or pinkish meat containing an (7) Sour Sop. The Sour Sop (Annona Muri- small
abundance of seeds. It grows on a large cata) is a very curious looking fruit. It is a fru
spreading shrub or small tree. The tree green in color, very spiny and grows as pinec(
attains a height from 10 to 20 feet. The large as a man's head. It may weigh up scales
fruit is about the size and shape of a large to 12 pounds. When ripe the sour BOp can when
crab apple. The fruit can be eaten raw be eaten raw. The chief use is for making seeds
when ripe if one ignores the musky odor. a beverage by crushing the pulp and then colore
When the guava is green it should be adding water or milk and sugar. The sour is alw
cooked. The tree is easily recognized by sop is a good water substitute. The leaves
Figure 4.5. Sour orange. Figure 46. Lime.

of the tall, sparse tree are smooth, dark like the sour sop, is a native to the Ameri-
s smooth and
green, and approximately 4 to 6 inches can tropics and can be found from Florida
:e paper. Its
long growing opposite each other. The in the United States to the northern and
,e hairs under-
leaves have a strong scent when crushed. eastern South American tropics. It has
p on top and
Some natives brew a tea made from the been introduced into many places in the
leaves as a cure for an upset stomach (fig Old World tropics.
ea made from
57). (9) Other sops. There are two other fruits that
is a good cure
(8) Sweet Sop. The Sweet Sop (Annona Squa- are kin to the sops. They are the Cheri-
mosa) is a cousin to the sour sop. This moya (Annona Cherimola) and the Cus-
tnnona Muri-
small tree with simple, oblong leaves has tard Apple (Annona Reticulata) . The
ng fruit. It is
a fruit shaped roughly like a long, blunt Chcrillloya, native to the mountain valleys
lnd grows as
pinecone with thick grey-green or yellow of Peru, looks similar to the sour sop, but
Jay weigh up
scales. The fruit is easily split or broken the skin is much smoother. The pulp is
sour sop can
when ripe, exposing numerous dark brown less cottony, and more creamy in consist-
is for making
seeds which are imbedded in the cream ency when it is ripe. It has fewer seeds
'ulp and then
colored, very sweet pulp. The sweet sop than the sour sop. The fruit varies in
;ar. The sour
is always eaten raw and is used in the same weight from 4 to 16 pounds. It is the best
) The leaves
manner as the sour sop. The sweet sop, tasting fruit of the Sour Sop family . The

F i glll'e 47. Wild lemon ..

Custard Apple is an excellent and substan- bedded in a brownish, granular pulp. The
tial fruit of a small tree native to the 'Vest grayish or brownish skin is smooth and
Indies, Mexico, and Northern South Amer- slightly rough in texture. The tree grows
ica. It may be called under the local name up to 60 feet tall and has dark green
"bullocks heart" suggesting its shape and leaves. The sap is milky but not poisonous.
appearance. When ripe it begiils (0 dis- The sap of the nispero is not a good substi-
color and blacken like the sour sop. At tute for water. The nispero fruit is eaten
this stage the white or cream colored flesh fresh only.
becomes sweet and aromatic. It has nu- (11) lee Cream Bean. The Ice Cream Bean
merous large brown seeds and is always (Inga Spectobilis, Inga Ingridea) is often
eaten raw. There are ma.ny hybrids and referred to as Inga. It is quite common in
varieties derived from the custard apple.
wet tropics . The leaves are 6 to 8 inches
(10) Nispero. The Nispero or Sapodilla (Man-
long, are dark green underneath and light
ilkara Sapodill a-Arches Sapota) is one of
green and hairy on top . The leaves grow
the most common of the tropical American
opposite each other. The fruit is a bean
fruits. It originally came from the Yucatan
Valley where the wild trees are tarped for type pod, about 15 inches long, greenish
their white sap which gives Chicle for brown in color. When the pod is broken
chewing gum. Cultivated fruits vary in open numerous sections of whitish soft pulp
size, but are usually shaped like a ball covering the large seeds can be seen. The
about 2 inches in diameter. There are from white pulp is eaten raw and tastes like
3 to 6 glossy, blackish-brown seeds im- watered down vanilla ice cream.

54 TAGO 55l1A
- -- - - - -

lIar pulp. The

s smooth and
'he tree grows
,s dark green
not poisonous.
a good substi-
fruit is eaten

Cream Bean
idea) is often
'te common in
6 to 8 inches
:at.h and light
e leaves grow
uit is a bean
ong, greenish
lod is broken
itish soft pulp
be seen. The
d tastes like
Figure 48. Stalk oj cultivated banana.s. Th e purple terminal at the end oj the stalk is edible.
TAGO ~511A
TAGO 5511A 55

Fig w'e .1.9. The plantain. The la rye size of this .<;pccie of the blll/(//j(/ family i.$ OIiC of il.~ most di.stinctive characteristics.

Figui'(' /ill . ronll

(12 ) Malay Apple. The Malay Apple (Sy- fruits are round and are from one to two flil/ i lli mli .
zygium Malaccensis) has its origin, as its inrhes in diameter. They are usually whit-
name indicates, in Malaya. It has since ish or ivory colored. The crisp, white flesh a SIlHJ
been introduced into the Hawaiian Islands is thin and there is usually a hollow cavity pineal
and tropical America . The tree attains a between the meat and the large seed.
height of from 30 to 60 feet and has large (15 ) Star
oval leaves. On the naked branches of the (14) Pineapple. Contrary to popular belief, the comm,
tree a great profusion of flowers form and Pineapple (Ananus Comosus) is not native Ameri
are followed by egg or pear shaped frui ts. to Hawaii but to tropical America. It has 60 fee
The fruits, waxy in appearance, are rose, berome one of the most important tropical and h,
striped or white in color, depending upon fruits and is grown in almost all tropical bottol]
the amount of sunshine that reaches the or ph.;
areas. The plant is basically a rosette of
fruit. The meat is somewhat dry, insipid, long, stiff, spiny leaves. The fruit is borne
white, and rose-scented. They may be on a leafy stalk up the center of the plant.
made into desserts and jellies (fig 58). The basic difference between the wild and figure
(13) Rose Apple. The Rose Apple (Syzgium the domestic fruit is the size, the wild fruit I": ~\\'('I

J ambos) is often confused with the Malay being considerably smaller. The wild pine- {'ut th
apple. The rose apple is a small garden apple plant also has spiny edges on the leaf, tree. (
tree native to Indo-China or Java. The where the much cultivated varieties have whi('h

TAGO 55\1,\ TAGO 5:;11.\


Figl/J'/' 51/ . ('mnm('rcifl! brllWltfi. Com pore wilh figu re .j!) and J/ote lhe ,' Ilblie differen ce, from alld simi!arilie, with the
)m one to two 1,lnin/nill.
~ usually whit-
sp, white flesh
a smooth edge. Figure 59 shows a wild ( 16) Sapote. The Sapote or Zapote (Calo-
hollow cavity pineappl e. carpum Mammosum) is one of the best
irge seed. known fruits of tropical America and
(I5) Star Apple. The Star Apple (Caimito) is
ular belief, the common in the tropica.l forests of the closely resembles the mamey. It is culti-
) is not native Americas. The tree grows up to a, height of vated and is sometimes found wild. It is a
llcrica . It has 60 feet. The leaves are dark green on top milky-sapped tree which sometimes attains
)rtant tropical and have sh iny , silky, brown hairs on the the height of 100 feet. The fruit is shaped
st all tropica.l bottom , The fruit looks like a small apple lik e a ball, 4 to 8 inches in diameter, with
y a rosette of or plum with smooth greenish or purple rough , brownish skin and pink or reddish
:'kin. The lllcat is greenish colored and meat in which there are imbedded several
fruit is borne
llJilky in texture. When cut through the large, brown , shiny seeds. The fruit is
r of the plant.
center the brown elongated seeds make a usually eaten raw but is sometimes made
the wild and
figure like a 6 to 10 pointed star. The fruit into a preserve. The Zapote has a scent of
the \vild fruit bitter almonds and is used for fl avoring
i" ~\\'e('t and eaten only when fresh . \Vhen
fhe wild pine- cut the rind will, like other parts of the purposes. The tree is easily recognized by
ies on the leaJ, tree , ell1it a W'- fte sticky juice or latex its size and shape of the fruit. The leaves
~arieties have which is not )i ol.~onous. cluster at the end of the branches, are
TAGO 5511A T.\GO 55l1A

.5 " b 8 q 10

Figure 51 . Apple banana. Thi.s /)1/.-iL'l-y of the specie is qtLite delic ioll s. The .~p/ c/men shown is unllsuall-y large.

slender and light green in color and are world. It has a sweet juice which is the
from 6 to 12 inches long. common source of sugar. It is normally
(17) Jackfruit. The J ackfruit (Artocarpus found growing in clumps in secondary
Heteraphylla) is a large, handsome tree growth areas. The soft, juicy stalks can be
native to India and has long been grown chewed to obtain the juice. Sugar cane has
in the Malayan tropics. The J ackfruit has green to reddish leaves , often striped sil-
since been introduced into the America.n very. It is best to remove the ha.rd outer the ft
tropics. It has a simple, dark green, shiny layer before chewing (fig 61) . outsi
(19) Hogplum . The hogplum (Spondias) can
('an I
leaf and produces a rough or prickly com-
pounded fruit the size of a large water- be found in cultivated and uncultivated spoon
melon. The fruit grows on a short stalk areas in the tropics. Usually its color as a
directly from the branches or on the trunk varies from yellow to red and in size from affect
proper. The large , brown seeds are edible Yz inch to 1Yz inches . It grows on trees nut p
when roasted. The fleshy, sweetish, yellow from 15 to 30 feet high . The fruit has a firm J
pulp about the seeds is boiled . The pulp sweet pungent smell similar to normal used
itsel f has a very musky odor (fig 60). plums (fig 62). the 11
The J
(18) Sugar Cane . Sugar cane (Saccharum e. Edible Nuts. plent'
Officinalis) is a well known giant grass (1) Coconut . The largest and probably the good
grown throughout tropical regions of the most common nut found in wet tropics is cocon

58 TAGO S511A TAGO 5511.\

l, 5 c ' 11 , . I 12\

ual/y UzTge.
Figure 52. R ed bananas.

i which is the
:t,is normally the coconut. The coconut has three stages meat has fallen awa.y from the inside of
in secondary of deye lopment. It is edible in all three the shell and has absorbed the water. Th e
T stalks can be stagei' but its use will vary depending on mea t is then found in a spongy ball. The
;ugar cane has the state of its growth. When green, the nut has started to grow with shoots pro-
en striped sil- coconut is an excellent source of water; truding from the coconut hull. The meat
,he hard outer the fluid is al ways cool regardless of the of the coconut is edible in the sponge state;
). outside temperature. The meat is soft and however, there is no water. (Figure 63
~pondias) can can be scooped out of the shell with a shows the coconut in the three stages of
I uncultivated spoon. The green coconut and its water act development.) To husk a coconut, cut a
ally its color as a mild laxative and may adversely length of hard wood (iron wood or guava
d in size from affect susceptible persons. The ripe coco- are exce ll ent ) about 3% feet long and 2
:rows on trees nut produces the copra of commerce. The inches in diameter, sharpen one end a.n d
he fruit has a firm meat is most commonly shredded and place the dull end firmly in the ground.
u~ed in pastries and candies. In this stage Hold the coconut horizontally by two ends
u to normal
the meat of the coconut is firm or hard . and drive it down on the husking stick
The milk or water of the coconut is less fo rcin g the coconut downward until all the
plentiful, stronger in taste, but it is still outer husk is off (the dry husks make
probably the good to drink. The germinating or sponge excellent tinder). The nut can then be
wet tropics is coconut is less desirable. In this stage the opened by punching a hole or by hitting

TAGO 551lA TAGO 5511A 59

because the steam or smoke can cause
temporary or permanent blindness (fig 64) .
(3) Almond. The Indian or Tropica'i Almond
(Tcrminalia C utuppa) i widely dispersed
in all tropical countries and is primarily
found in cultivated and secondary growth
areas . T he tree attains a height from 50
to 60 feet. In some area , it may be as
high as 100 feet. The leaves are dark
green, shiny and are somewhat tear-drop
sha ped. Some of the lea yes may be red in
color. The nut is inside the fruit which
forms a fibrous exterior hull. When ripe,
the ~ull can be chewed tD provide some
nourishment. The seed inside the shell can
be eaten raw or roasted. Although this is
not the almond of commerce, it is a cousin
to the commercial almond and has a simi-
lar flavor. The nut is borne on the end of
the branch amid a cluster of leaves. When
ripe the hull turns a yellowish color. The
tree is deciduous and bears two crops annu-
ally just prior to dropping the leaves (fig
(4) Black Palm. The Black Palm (Asira-
caryum Standleyanum) is quite prevalent
in most wet tropical areas. The tree is
easily identified in that it has uniform
bands of stiff black, needle-like spines pro-
truding from the trunk. It produces an
edible fruit and nut. The fruit is ball
Figure 5."1. Another view of the red banana.
shaped, roughly 11/2 inches in diameter and (6) Corozo.
is orange or red-orange in color. The fruit one of
firmly in the center with a blunt instru- is sweet and, although stringy, it can be Ameri('
ment such as the back of a machete. eaten. The nut is oily and is flavored like and 11
(2) Cashew. The Cashew (Anacardium Occi- a coconut. The black palm nut can be bling a
dentale) is a peculiar fruit. It is pear or eaten raw only. The nut is inside an ex- over 30
bell-pepper shaped, reddish when ripe. It tremely hard protective shell (figs. 66 and d roopinl
is soft, sweet and edible in the raw state. 67). long an
It bears, at the tip, a hard, kidney-shaped (5) Canna Brava. Another common palm is orange (
nut which is smooth, shiny and green or the Canna Brava (Bactris Minor). This nuts (til
brown in color (according to its stage of plant is a small palm with stems from 1Yz be SfJUCC
maturity). In this kidney-shaped pod is to 2 inches in diameter. It usually grows iog. Lil
found a seed which is the cashew nut of in clumps and has long, thin, needle-like fo I led, :
commerce. The nut is edible only after spines on the stalk. These spines, or o f the
being boiled or roasted until all its oil is needles, grow on the trunk as well as on (ookcd.
gone. Troops should avoid the green or the palm fronds and are usually brown in cri'p en
brown hull surrounding the nut as it con- color. It is often confused with the black good ye~
tains an irritant poison which will blister palm. One sure distinction is the fruit. The f. Pota to 8ub
the skin like poison ivy. Caution must be fruit of the canna brava is purple when (1) General.
taken when roasting or boiling the cashew ripe , and the clusters are quite small as er, d. i
60 TAGO 5511A TAGO 5511.\
Ike can cause
Idness (fig 64).
opical Almond
.dely dispersed
d is primarily
Dndary growth
ieight from 50
it. may be as
yes are dark
I'hat tear-drop
may be red in
1e fruit which
II. When ripe,
provide some
Ie the shell can
!though this is
~ . . .
Ind has a simi-
; on the end of
! leaves. When
;ish color. The
\Yo crops annu-
the leaves (fig

Figu,'c 64. The mango.

Palm (Asira-
quite prevalent
l. The tree is compared to the long, hanging bunches of The potato is not common in the wet trop-
~ has uniform the black palm . The fruit and nut can be ics; however, potato substitutes take its
like spines pro- eaten raw. Both the fruit, which is fibrous, place in the basic diet of native peoples.
t produces an and the nut, which is coarse, are of poor One of the most common of the potato sub-
fruit is ball quality and taste (fig 68). stitutes is the plaintain or cooking banana
n diameter and (6) Carozo. The Corozo (Scheeles Zonensis) is (para 29d) .
olor. The fruit one of the most common palms in the (2) Breadfruit. The Breadfruit (Artocarpus
ngy, it can be American jungles. The trunk may be thick Communis) tree is from 30 to 40 feet high
is flavored like and short or it may be very high, resem- and has enormous dark green, shiny, leath-
m nut can be bling a royal palm. The fronds may be ery, many fingered leaves. The fruit, borne
s inside an ex- over 30 feet long and up to 6 feet wide. The on the branches, are green, somewhat scaly
It (figs. 66 and drooping bunches of fruit are 4 to 6 feet and from 4 to 6 inches in diameter. The
long and grow very close together. The breadfruit is normally cooked and eaten
mmon palm is orange colored fruit looks like small coco- the same as the white potato but the core
Minor). This nuts (fig 69) . The oil from the nuts must and seeds are not eaten. It can also be
;tems from 11/2 be squeezed out and is excellent for cook- eaten in its raw state when ripe; simply
usually grows ing. Like most palms, it has a "heart" or peel or scrape the outer skin off, separate
lin, needle-like folded, young, unborn leaves near the top the pulp from the core and seeds and eat it.
ese spmes, or of the tree which can be eaten raw or The breadfruit is native to the East Indies
as well as on cooked . This "heart of palm" resembles (fig71).
ually brown in crisp cabbage or heart of lettuce and is a
(3) Taro. Taro is one of the most common
with the black p;ood vegetable substitute (fig 70).
potato substitutes found growing in the
i the fruit. The f. Potato 8ubs6tutes. wild state in wet tropics. However, it is
s purple when (1) General. Probably the most basic food called by many names. There are almost
quite small as served, in the western world , is the potato. as many varieties of taro as there are
TAGO 5511A T.lCO 5.\11A


Figure 66. Th e papaya. are
names. Discussion here will be confined to are poisonous but are destroyed by cook- spo
the most common species. ing. The calcium oxalate or oxalate of the
(a) Dasheen. The Dasheen (Colocasia Escu- lime crystals will cause a sharp, hot, II's!
lenta) is grown for its potato-like tuber . burning sensation in the mouth. The (b) Otl
It is eaten in a manner similar to the crystals are broken down and disappear for
potato and must be cooked. Dasheen when heat is applied. The tender leaves pot
grows wild; however, it is also widely of the plant can be boiled and eaten. son
cultivated . The lea.ves and the tubers The plant is from 1Vz to 3 feet high with \\'h
contain calcium oxalate crystals which the leaf stem growing from the base of Th

62 TAGO 5511.\ TAGO 5511A


Figure 56. The guava.

the plant. The leaves of the dasheen are The tubers of the Oto are much smaller
shaped like an arrow with the part of than the dasheen and grow off the side
the V at the base slightly filled in and of the main root whereas the dasheen
rounded. The leaf stem joins the leaf tuber grows straight down . The leaf is
towards its center. The dasheen lea.ves shaped like an arrow and is very similar
are dark green with a purple tinge along to the elephant ear. The leaf stem joins
the leaf stem. There is usually a purple the leaf at the apex of the V. However,
!troyed by cook- spot on the upper part of the leaf where the leaf is on the same plane as the
te or oxalate of the stem joins. The green leaf is luster- ground. The leaf and leaf stem are dark
e a sharp, hot, less (figs 72 and 73). green and lusterless. The edges of the
) mouth. The (b) Ota. The Oto is a Latin American name leaf also have the purple coloration (figs
n and disappear for a variety of Taro. The Oto is a 74 and 75) .
be tender leaves potato substitute and also contains poi- (4) Yams. The Yams and Yampi (Discorea
oiled and eaten. sonous, stinging oxalate crystals of lime alta, bulbifera, esculerta) are excellent
3 feet high with which are rendered harmless by cooking. potato substitutes. The yam grows on a
'om the base of This edible tuber also must be cooked. twisting vine and is common in the culti-
Figw'e 67. Th e .sour sop.

vated and the wild state (fig 76). Most (b) Coat with ashes .
yams grow under the ground like sweet (c) Soak in a stream or salt ,,'ater for 3 to
potatos. Some will weigh up to 30 pounds. 4 days.
The color of the flesh will vary from white (d) Dry in the sun.
to purple. The vine leaves of yams can be (e) Cook them changing the water a felf
distinguished by their heart or arrow shape. times.
Some yams have leaves which are small (f) Eat a little of the yam and wait for about
and pointed with each leaf having 3 or 5 3 hours. If you have no ill effects, ea
points. The vines of the yam resemble the remainder of the tuber.
creeping vines and normally dry up when (5) Yuca, Cassava OT Tapioca (ivlanihot Escu
the yams are ready to be taken from the teTto). These can be eaten only wh~
ground. Some yams are poisonous in their cooked. The stalk-like leaves are deeply wh n
raw state and since the soldier cannot nor- divided into numerous (3 to 7) Ion a la
mally distinguish between the safe and the pointed sections or fingers. The woody bi ttc
poisonous, all yams should be thoroughly stem is slender and at points appears to be ('ate
prepared. To prepare yams that are not sectioned like a bamboo. Yuca grows to I digc
definitely known as safe, use the following height of 7 feet. The brown tubers a cate
proced ures: white inside. The yuca can be boiled, baked ( bitt
(a) Cut the yam in thin slices. or roasted and eaten like potatoes. The obsd

64 1'AOO 35I1A

225 - 02 9 0 ~ 65 - 5
It water for 3 to Fig /II(' .58. The malay apple.

white meat of the tuber can be grated, g. Vegetables and Vegetable Substitutes.
;he water a few dried, and powdered into flour. This is the (1) Akee (Blighia Sapida). A tree of West
('ommercial source of tapioca . There arc African origin and cultivated throughout
nd wait for about two clif'tinct varieties, the sweet and the most of the tropics, the tree is small (ap-
:10 ill effects, eat bitter. There i" no sure way to tell the proximately 20-30 feet high) and has dou-
ber. varieties apart without ta:5ting them. Both ble leaves and about 10 large, oblong leaf-
(Manihot Escu- vnrieties contain poisonous Hydrocyanic lets. The fruit is three-celled, colored from
atcn only when Acid, which breaks down and disappears H range of yellow to a reddish or reddish
m\'('s are deeply when cooked. The bitter variety contain!:) orange, and shaped somewhat like a bell
(3 to 7) long, a larger quantity of the acid giving it a pepper. The Akee fruit contains three
'.1'8. The woody bitter, burning tu:;te. Th e sweet variety, if large, black, shiny seeds that are located
Ilts appears to be eaten raw, may not have any effect on the at the end of the white pulpy mass. The
Yuca grows to a digestive system; however, it should be seeds and hull are poisonous and must
rown tubers are eaten only after cooking as the poisonous NEVER be eaten . The white meat, shaped
be boiled, baked (bittcr) variety cannot be distinguished by like a half walnut or brain, is the only
e potatoes. The obseJ'\'ation or smell (fig 77). part that is edible. The white meat is
2Z5 ~0 29 0 - 66 - 5

Fig ltre liO . Thf

Figure 69. Th e wild pineapple. maturity.



.fi J'! 1Vw.

10 spun ad 09 SD 1(J1!W sv 1{thiJQt f/.vw. pliO 1iJ<Jf b .'ana f a 1{7(JUiJ"! v SiJ1{JDiJ., V~Ptl l fa iJlHlOli ''1.1{,L 1l11 .lf Jpv( 1l{,L 0.9 Jmt!.']

the j

are a
I figs
(2) Avoc
is als(
to tn
in otf
Fi(Jure 61 . Sugar cane. This tropical member of the grass family may be found in cultivated areas or tn secondary growth. mcnt.
It may also be fo und growing wild in some swampy areas. yellov

68 TAGO MilA TAOO 5511.-1.

l'/Ijl/ iIIMI fll/I/I/IJI JIgllffJf~Jl}u:!!:Uip~rrr

Figure 6f2. Hog plum. 7'h~ ver y small fruit has a 8weet tast e and smell.

usually boiled in salt water and fried; flavor and is extremely tasty in salads.
however , it can be eaten raw. When ripe, The large nut or seed can be eaten; how-
the fruit opens naturally, exposing the ever, it is of poor flavor. The avocado has
black seeds and a portion of the white been nicknamed "Soldiers Butter" because
meat. The fruit must be gathered at the it is soft when ripe and has been used as a
right time, because if it is unopened or spread for use on bread (fig 80).
overripe (opened too long) it is DEFI- (3) Heart of Palm. Every palm tree, regard-
NITEL Y POISONOUS. If other foods less of size, has a "heart". The heart is
are available, the Akee should be avoided merely the "unborn leaves" (underdevel-
(figs 78 and 79) . oped leaves) of the tree. It is found at the
(2) Avocado (Persea Americana). The fruit top of the tree, just under the base of the
is also called the alligator pear. It is native fronds, in the top center portion of the
to tropical America but is widely grown trunk. The heart may be used as a lettuce
in other tropical areas. The avocado tree or cabbage substitute and makes an excel-
grows to a height of about 60 feet. It has lent salad. It is also called "Swamp Cab-
dark green, leathery leaves which are ap- bage" (fig 70).
proximately 6 inches long. The peeling is (4) Bamboo . Bamboo shoots may be cooked
green in color during all stages of develop- and eaten. They are wrapped in protective
condaTY (JTowth . ment. The meat varies from a yellow to sheaths which are tough and coated with
yellow green when ripe. It has an excellent tawny or red hairs. If eaten, these hairs
TAGO 05IlA HGO 5511A 69
Fig ~

of ban
tions c
an excl
boo se
SI\'e C(

h. Poisonous
(1) H1levo
the 111(
in the
colore ~
Figure 63. The cocon'ut is shown here in the thl'ee distinct 8tages of deve lopment. At the top is a green coconut, in the grown
center is a ripe n'u t and at the bottom i.~ a germinating or ""!Junge" cuconut. dispen,

Figure 64. The ca.~he-w . The nut Us the smail, kidney-shaped appelldflge at the end of the fruit .

cause much irritation of the throat. Re- the 12 to 15 foot shrub are leathery, light
move these outer sheaths carefully before green and oval shaped and are about 8 to
eating the shoots. Bamboo deserves special 10 inches long. The stem, when cut or
mention because of its many uses to the broken, also emits the white milky sap. It
soldier in the jungle. Two or three sections is commonly found along the roadsides
of bamboo can be fashioned into excellent and in other secondary growth areas. It is
canteens that will carry almost a gallon of dangerously called the "wild tomato" by
water. By poking through the inner sec- some people.
tions of the bamboo, a soldi er can fa.shion (2) The Sand Box Tree (Hura Crepitans) .
an excellent waterproof map carrier. Bam- This is a common jungle tree found in the
boo sections split and packed with plastic American tropics as fa.r north as Mexico.
explosive make excellent expedient explo- The tree is usually medium in size but it
sive con tainers. is not uncommon to find one that is over
h. Poisonous Plants. 100 feet high . The trunk is densely covered
(1) Huevo de Gato (Thevita Nitida) . One of with short, sharp, rose-like thorns. The
the most common poisonous plants found trunk is usually a gray-ta.n co lor while the
in the American tropics, it has a scarlet light green leaves are usually clu stered at
colored fruit that looks like two fruits the top of the tree and usually form a
coconut, in the grown together. When cut, the fruit will canopy. The fruit of the Sand Box is 2 to
dispense a white milky sap. The leaves of 4 inches wide and is shaped like a pump-
TAGO 5511A
kin , (
of an
seed ~
are p
sap (
Oll:; i
In co
(3) Elep
POl S(
of 0
Figure 65. T he I ndian almond.


Fl:gurl' UU. Black palm nuts.

kin, turning brownish in color when ripe. dasheen, oto or other varieties of taro. The
Inside the fruit there are about 15 one- leaves are shaped like an elephant's ear or
seeded, woody cells that look like sections an arrow. The leaves vary from a light
of an orange. When ripe, the fruit explodes green to a dark green in color and have a
violently with a loud report throwing the yellowish leaf stem. The leaf is very waxy
seeds a considerable distance. The seeds in appearance. The leaf joins the leaf stem
are poisonous and contain an oil which is at the apex of the V. However, the axis of
violently purgative. Death is sometimes the leaf is on the same plane as the leaf
caused from eating these seeds. The milky stem. There is no edible tuber; however,
sap of the tree is also poisonous and seri- since it is a member of the Arum family,
ous inflammation is caused when it comes as is the Oto and Dasheen, its young, ten-
in contact with the skin. If the sap comes der leaves can be eaten in an emergency if
into contact with the eyes, it can cause boiled and the water changed often. The
temporary or permanen t blindne:,;s (fig 81) . resulting product will resemble spinach
(3) Elephant Ear (Alocasia M acrorhiza). This (fig 82).
poisonous plant has a heavy concentration (4) Strychnos. There are at least two distinct
of oxalate of lime crystals. It is used species, the Strychnos Toxifera and the
mainly for ornamental purposes but is dis- Strychnos Panamanthis. Both are poison-
cus!:'cd here because it is very similar to the ous with similar properties. The Strychnos

TAGO 5511A TAGO 55IIA 73

Fig lire b7. A section of the black palm tree. The spines, or needles, of this tree are very hard, extremely brittle and punc-
ture the skin quite easily.

Toxifera is a slender, woody vine or shrub tom of the kettle. It has been used by the
which has opposite growing leaves with South American Indians (Jivaro) for poi-
green veins; one vein runs down the center soning their arrows and darts.
of the leaf and two are located on each i. Distinguishing Edible and Inedible Plants.
side of the center vein paralleling the out-
There is no absolute method that can be used to
side edge of the leaf. The two outer veins determine whether an unidentified plant or fruit is
are not prominent in a young leaf and, at
edible or poisonous. However, an expedient method,
times, are obscure in a matured leaf. The which is not positive, will probably suffice in an
plant stem as well as the leaves are easily extreme emergency. If the plant or food in question
recognized by th e numerous brown hairs
emits a white milky sap, it should be discarded. If
that give it a wooly, soft appearance. The
the plant has no milky sap but emits an unpleasant
nickname "Cat's Paw" is derived from the
odor, it is unsafe. If the fruit or plant passes these
shape of the soft, wooly leaves. The fruit
first two tests satisfactorily, it should then be tasted
is shaped like a ball and is usually two by placing the tongue on a very small portion of
inches or so in diameter and has a hard,
the substance. If the taste is agreeable, the plant
green or yellow skin. The fruit has several
should then be peeled and cooked. The water should
large seeds. This plant is famous as one
be changed three or four times. A very small portion
of the sources of CURARE, one of the
of the food should then be eaten and the consumer
deadliest poisons known. A small quantity
should wait three or four hours before a decision is
in the blood stream will soon cause death
made to eat the remainer.
as the motor nerves are paralyzed almost
instantly. If curare were injected into any j. Preparation of Rice for Consumption. In most
part of the body, death would occur in a tropical areas of the world the cereal grain rice is a
matter of seconds. Curare is obtained from staple food. This is especially true in the Orient.
the bark and roots by mashing them in The individual soldier should know how to prepare
water and boiling until a small a.mount of this food properly either in small portions or in
brownish colored paste remains in the bot- quantity. To prepare rice for one soldier utilizing a

TAGO 5511A TAGO 55\1A

I brit.tle and punc-

een used by the

/ivaro) for poi-

U!dible Plants.
can be used to
llant or fruit is
)edient method,
y suffice in an
ood in question
e discarded. If
I an unpleasant
Int passes these
I then be tasted
nail portion of
able, the plant
Ie water should
y small portion
I the consumer
re a decision is

pti on. In most

grain rice is a
in the Orient.
10\\' to prepare

portions or in
:lier utilizing a Figure us. Conno b roVQ nu t s.

TAGO 5511A 75