Recipes starting with A

  • Botanical: Acokanthera schimperi
  • Family: Apocynaceae
  • Known as: Schöngift


Much-branched, evergreen tree, sometimes a shrub, up to 9(–10) m tall, with short trunk; bark brown, soft; crown dense, rounded; young branches glabrous or hairy, conspicuously angled and ribbed.

Leaves decussately opposite, simple and entire; stipules absent; petiole 1–6(–9) mm long; blade elliptical to ovate or broadly ovate, 2–10 cm × 1.5–6.5 cm, base cuneate or rounded, apex acute, obtuse or rounded, with hard mucro, leathery, glossy, glabrous or shortly hairy, pinnately veined, lateral veins obscure, with looping connections.

Flowers bisexual, regular, 5-merous, fragrant; sepals free, ovate to lanceolate, (1–)1.5 –2.5 mm long, apex acuminate to acute, shortly hairy or glabrous outside, ciliate; corolla tube cylindrical, 8–12.5 mm long, glabrous or shortly hairy outside, inside sparsely hairy in the upper half and wrinkled below, pink or red, lobes ovate, 2.5–5 mm long, apex acute, glabrous above, glabrous to shortly hairy below, ciliate, white; stamens inserted at 7–10 mm from the base of the corolla tube, slightly exserted; ovary superior, ellipsoid, 2-celled, style slender, 7–10 mm long, stigma minutely bifid.

Fruit an ellipsoid berry 1–2.5 cm long, purple when ripe, pulp green to deep red, 1–2-seeded.

Seeds ellipsoid, plano-convex, 6–13 mm long, smooth, glabrous.

African Oil Palm
  • Botanical: Elaeis guineensis Jacq.
  • Family: Arecaceae
  • Known as: Ölpalme, Oil palm, African oil palm, mchikichi, mjenga (Kiswahili), mubira, munazi (Luganda)
  • Old Use: medical, culinary, industry

African Oil Palm

Oil palm tree has an erect trunk reaching a height of 4 to 10 meters. Leaves are numerous, 3 to 4.5 meters long. Petioles are broad, armed on the sides with spinescent, reduced leaves. Leaflets are numerous, linear-lanceolate, nearly 1 meter long, 2 to 4 centimeters wide. Male inflorescence is dense, having numerous, cylindric spikes which are 7 to 12 centimeters long and about 1 centimeter in diameter; the rachises excurrent as a stout awn. Female inflorescence is dense, branched, 20 to 30 centimeters long, the flowers densely disposed. Fruit is borne in large dense masses.

African Redwood
  • Botanical: Hagenia abyssinica
  • Family: Rosaceae
  • Known as: African redwood, East African Rosewood, brayera, cusso, hagenia, kousso, Kosobaum, Kossobaum
  • Old Use: medical

African Redwood

Dioecious, small to medium-sized tree, up to 20 m tall; bole rarely straight, up to 60(–220) cm in diameter; bark pale red-brown, flaky; crown wide, umbrella-shaped; young branches densely covered with short, villous hairs and long, erect, silvery, soft, often glandular hairs turning reddish-green, with ring-like, long persisting leaf scars. Leaves alternate, imparipinnate, up to 50 cm long; petiole up to 15 cm long, with 2, up to 1.5 cm wide, thin, leafy lateral wings (adnate stipules) at base surrounding the twig as a sheath; leaflets up to 17, alternate to subopposite, subsessile, narrowly oblong to elliptical, 9–15 cm × 2–5 cm, obliquely obtuse at base, acuminate at apex, margin serrate and long silky hairy, the teeth usually ending in a thickened gland, pinnately veined with veins prominent below and having long silky hairs; much smaller, suborbicular leaflets up to 2.5 cm in diameter may occur alternating with the normal leaflets. Inflorescence a terminal, drooping, much-branched, many-flowered panicle up to 60 cm × 30 cm, yellowish, often bright red tinged; branches villous to long silky hairy, sticky, subtended by leafy bracts, rachis usually zigzag. Flowers unisexual, regular; pedicel up to 3.5 mm long, densely hairy, subtending bracts clasping the pedicel at base, bracteoles reniform; hypanthium a conical, silky hairy tube 2–3 mm long, with 2 whorls of (4–)5 green or reddish tinged lobes (epicalyx and calyx), in male flowers epicalyx lobes smaller than calyx lobes, in female flowers larger and enlarging up to 10 mm long in fruit; petals (4–)5, vestigial, up to 1.5 mm long, alternating with the calyx lobes; stamens 15–20, filaments up to 3 mm long in male flowers, in female flowers rudimentary; pistils usually 2, free within the hypanthium, ovary with a tuft of hairs at top, style subfiliform, stigma capitate, usually only one ovary per female flower developing to fruit, in male flowers functionally sterile. Fruit a globose to ovoid achene up to 2.5 mm in diameter, with a thin, papery, pale to brown pericarp, white-hairy at top, enclosed by the dry persistent hypanthium with the epicalyx serving as wings. Seed subglobose to subovoid, only slightly smaller than the fruit, usually with a wrinkled, brown, glabrous testa.

  • Known as: Später Prinzessinapfel, Alant Apple,


  • Botanical: Pimenta dioica
  • Family: Myrtaceae
  • Known as: Allspice, Jamaica pepper, kurundu, myrtle pepper, pimenta, newspice, Nelkenpfeffer, Jamaikapfeffer, Neugewürz, Englisches Gewürz, Viergewürz, Wunderpfeffer, Gewürzkorn
  • Old Use: culinary; medicinal


A tropical, evergreen tree, usually 7-10 m tall, but sometimes reaching 20 m, with a smooth, grey bark. Individual trees are functionally dioecious (plants are either male or female) although individual flowers are structurally hermaphrodite (have male and female parts within the same flower). The small, white flowers are held in compound inflorescences and are followed by green berries that turn purple when ripe. 

  • Botanical: Prunus dulcis
  • Family: Rosaceae, Amygdalus communis,
  • Known as: Sweet Almond, Bitter Almond, Mandel, Bitter Mandel
  • Old Use: culinary


The almond is a deciduous tree, growing 4–10 m (13–33 ft) in height, with a trunk of up to 30 cm (12 in) in diameter. The young twigs are green at first, becoming purplish where exposed to sunlight, then grey in their second year. The leaves are 3–5 inches long, with a serrated margin and a 2.5 cm (1 in) petiole. The flowers are white to pale pink, 3–5 cm (1–2 in) diameter with five petals, produced singly or in pairs and appearing before the leaves in early spring.

Almond Java
  • Botanical: Canarium commune
  • Known as: Protium, Amyris elemifera, Boswellia frereana, Bursera elemifera, Bursera penicillata, Bursera tomentosa, Canarium indicum, Canarium mauritianum, Protium icicariba
  • Old Use: Burseraceae
  • Aroma: smoky, woody

Almond Java

They grow up to large evergreen trees of 40–50 m (130–160 ft) tall, and have alternately arranged, pinnate leaves.

Manila elemi, when recent, occurs in transparent, soft, granular masses, consisting of a solution of solid resin in essential oil. Externally it has a light, canary-yellow color, and, as found in commerce, is largely solidified, presenting an opaque and granular fracture, due to the crystallization of the resin. Chips and other foreign substances are often found in the solid fragments. When wetted with a little alcohol, elemi readily disintegrates, showing a multitude of small, crystalline needles. It melts easily, a transparent fluid resulting. It has an aromatic, warm, acrid taste, and a fragrant odor, resembling that of the terebinthinates, the drug in many respects closely resembling the latter class of substances. It is insoluble in water, partly soluble in cold, and completely soluble in hot alcohol; easily soluble also in oil of turpentine and ether.

  • Botanical: Aloe succotrina
  • Family: Asphodelaceae
  • Known as: Aloe, Aloe succotrina, Aloe bardadensis, Aloe capensis, Aloe Fynbos, Wüstenlilie, Aloe vera, Aloe vera, Synonyme: Aloe barbadensis, Aloe perfoliata, Aloe vulgaris, Aloe indica, Aloe chinensis,
  • Old Use: medicinal
  • Aroma: balsamic


The Aloe succotrina plant forms clusters of between 1–2 metres (3.3–6.6 ft) diameter, with its leaves forming dense rosettes. In winter when it flowers it produces a tall raceme, bearing shiny red flowers that are pollinated by sunbirds.

  • Botanical: Pimpinella anisum
  • Family: Apiaceae
  • Known as: Pimpinella anisum L., anise burnet saxifrage, Anise, Anis,
  • Old Use: culinary; medicinal
  • Aroma: spicy, sweet


Anise is a herbaceous annual plant growing to 1 m (3 ft) or more tall. The leaves at the base of the plant are simple, 1–5 cm (⅜-2 in.) long and shallowly lobed, while leaves higher on the stems are feathery pinnate, divided into numerous leaves. The flowers are white, approximately 3 mm in (⅛ in.) in diameter, produced in dense umbels. The fruit is an oblong dry schizocarp, 3–6 mm (⅛-¼ in.) long, usually called "aniseed".

Anise is a food plant for the larvae of some Lepidoptera species (butterflies and moths), including the lime-speck pug and wormwood pug.

  • Botanical: Pirus Malus
  • Family: Pomaceae
  • Known as: Wild Apple. Malus communis.
  • Old Use: medical, culinary, industry
  • Aroma: floral, sweet


Apple trees are typically 4–12 m (13–39 ft) tall at maturity, with a dense, twiggy crown. The leaves are 3–10 cm (1.2–3.9 in) long, alternate, simple, with a serrated margin. The flowers are borne in corymbs, and have five petals, which may be white, pink or red, and are perfect, with usually red stamens that produce copious pollen, and a half-inferior ovary; flowering occurs in the spring after 50–80 growing degree days (varying greatly according to subspecies and cultivar). Apples require cross-pollination between individuals by insects (typically bees, which freely visit the flowers for both nectar and pollen); all are self-sterile, and (with the exception of a few specially developed cultivars) self-pollination is impossible, making pollinating insects essential. Several Malus species, including domestic apples, hybridize freely. They are used as food plants by the larvae of a large number of Lepidoptera species; see list of Lepidoptera that feed on Malus. The fruit is a globose pome, varying in size from 1–4 cm (0.39–1.57 in) diameter in most of the wild species, to 6 cm (2.4 in) in M. sylvestris sieversii, 8 cm (3.1 in) in M. domestica, and even larger in certain cultivated orchard apples. The centre of the fruit contains five carpels arranged star-like, each containing one or two seeds.

Arar Tree
  • Botanical: Tetraclinis articulata
  • Family: Cupressaceae
  • Known as: Tetraclinis, Araar, Thuja articulata, Sandarac, Sandarac Tree, Barbary Thuja, Sandarakbaum, Gliederzypresse, Berberthuja
  • Old Use: medical

Arar Tree

It is a small, slow-growing tree, to 6–15 m (rarely 20 m) tall and 0.5 m (rarely 1 m) trunk diameter, often with two or more trunks from the base. The foliage forms in open sprays with scale-like leaves 1–8 mm long and 1–1.5 mm broad; the leaves are arranged in opposite decussate pairs, with the successive pairs closely then distantly spaced, so forming apparent whorls of four. The cones are 10–15 mm long, green ripening brown in about 8 months from pollination, and have four thick scales arranged in two opposite pairs. The seeds are 5–7 mm long and 2 mm broad, with a 3–4 mm broad papery wing on each side

  • Botanical: Arnica Montana
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Known as: Arnika, Mountain Arnica, Bergdotterblume, Engelkraut, Fallkraut, Johannisblume, Kraftrose, Kraftwurz, St-Luzianskraut, Stichwurzel, Wohlverleih, Wundkraut, Wolferley, Wolffelei, Wolfsblume, Wolfsbann, Wolfsdistel, Bergwurz, Gemswurz, Kraftwurzel, Bergweg


Arnica plants have a deep-rooted, erect stem that is usually unbranched. Their downy opposite leaves are borne towards the apex of the stem. The ovoid, leathery basal leaves are arranged in a rosette.

They show large yellow or orange flowers, 6–8 cm wide with 10–15 long ray florets and numerous disc florets. The phyllaries (a bract under the flowerhead) has long spreading hairs.

  • Botanical: Ferula assafoetida
  • Family: Apiaceae or Umbelliferae
  • Known as: Ferula scorodosma, Asafetida, Ferula assa-foetida, Asant, Stinkasant, Teufelsdreck


A coarse umbelliferous plant growing up to 7 feet high, large fleshy root covered with bristly fibres, has been for some time successfully cultivated in Edinburgh Botanical Gardens; stem 6 to 10 feet, numerous stem leaves with wide sheathing petioles; flowers pale greeny yellow, fruit oval, flat thin, foliaceous, reddish brown with pronounced vittae, it has a milky juice and a strong foetid odour; These high plains are arid in winter but are thickly covered in summer with a luxuriant growth of these plants. The great cabbage-like folded heads are eaten raw by the natives. 

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