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Plants | Plant Lexica

Recipes starting with J

  • Botanical: Pilocarpus pennatifolius
  • Family: Rutaceae
  • Known as: Arruda do Mato. Arruda brava. Jamguarandi. Juarandi.
  • Old Use: medical


The shrub grows from 4 to 5 feet high; the bark is smooth and greyish; the flowers are thick, small, and reddish-purple in colour, springing from rather thick, separate stalks about 1/4 inch long. The leaves are large, compound, pinnate with an odd terminal leaflet, with two to four pairs of leaflets. They are chiefly exported from Ceara and Pernambuco, and only the leaflets are officinal, though they arrive mixed with petioles and small fruits. The colour is brownish-green, the margin entire, with a notch cut out at the blunt tip of the leaf, which except in the case of the terminal leaflet, is unequal at the base. They are hairless, leathery, with large oil-glands, from 2 1/2 to 4 inches long, and when crushed have a slightly aromatic odour. The taste is bitter and aromatic, becoming pungent. The powder is dark green or greenish brown.

  • Botanical: Ipomoea purga
  • Family: Convolvulaceae
  • Known as: Mexikanische Purgierwinde
  • Old Use: medical


Ipomoea purga is described as a vine that can reach heights of 12 feet. When fresh, the root is black externally, white and milky within, and varies in size according to its age. It has heart shaped flowers and purple trumpet like leaves. Ipomoea purga is rather difficult to break down, but if triturated with cream of tartar, sugar of milk, or other hard salts, the process of pulverization is much easier, and the powder rendered much finer. When in powder form in order to ingest, the color is a pale grayish-brown

Japanese Star Anise
  • Botanical: Illicium anisatum
  • Family: Schisandraceae
  • Known as: Japanischer Sternanis, Shikimifrucht,
  • Aroma: camphorus

Japanese Star Anise

The plant bearing star-anise is a small tree or shrub, indigenous to southwestern China, growing in the mountainous elevations of Yunnan. The shrub attains a height of from 8 to 12 feet, and has entire, lanceolate, evergreen leaves, which are pellucid-punctate. The flowers are polypetalous and of a greenish-yellow color. The fruit is described below. This plant was introduced into Japan by the followers of Buddha, and planted near their temples.

  • Botanical: Abrus precatorius
  • Family: Leguminosae
  • Known as: Crab's Eye, Rosary Pea, Precatory Pea, John Crow Bead, Indian licorice, Akar Saga, Gidee Gidee, Jumbie Bead, Paternostererbse, Paternosterbohne, Krabbenaugenwein


The root of an Indian leguminous plant, Abrus precatorius (Linn.), under the native names of Gunga or Goonteh, has been used as a demulcent. It contains Glycyrrhizin, and has been termed Indian Liquorice and used as a substitute for true Liquorice. Acrid resins, however, render the root irritant and poisonous.

Jimson Weed
  • Botanical: Datura stramonium
  • Family: Solanaceae
  • Known as: Datura, Gemeiner Stechapfel, Weiße Stechapfel
  • Old Use: medical

Jimson Weed

D. stramonium is a foul-smelling, erect, annual, freely branching herb that forms a bush up to 2 to 5 ft (60 to 150 cm) tall. The root is long, thick, fibrous and white. The stem is stout, erect, leafy, smooth, and pale yellow-green. The stem forks off repeatedly into branches, and each fork forms a leaf and a single, erect flower. The leaves are about 3–8 in (8–20 cm) long, smooth, toothed, soft, and irregularly undulated. The upper surface of the leaves is a darker green, and the bottom is a light green. The leaves have a bitter and nauseating taste, which is imparted to extracts of the herb, and remains even after the leaves have been dried. D. stramonium generally flowers throughout the summer. The fragrant flowers are trumpet-shaped, white to creamy or violet, and 2 1⁄2–3 1⁄2 in (6–9 cm) long, and grow on short stems from either the axils of the leaves or the places where the branches fork. The calyx is long and tubular, swollen at the bottom, and sharply angled, surmounted by five sharp teeth. The corolla, which is folded and only partially open, is white, funnel-shaped, and has prominent ribs. The flowers open at night, emitting a pleasant fragrance, and are fed upon by nocturnal moths. The egg-shaped seed capsule is 1–3 in (3–8 cm) in diameter and either covered with spines or bald. At maturity, it splits into four chambers, each with dozens of small, black seeds

  • Botanical: Juniperus communis
  • Family: Cupressaceae
  • Known as: Juniperus communis L., Wacholder, Gemeiner Wacholder, Genevrier commun, Juniper
  • Old Use: Digestive problems, disease of the kidney and bladder
  • Aroma: fresh, fruity, forest, sweet, woody


Juniperus communis L. is a coniferous evergreen shrub or a small columnar tree, multistemmed, decumbent or rarely upright. The crown is generally depressed. It grows very slowly. The morphological characteristics including growth form differ somewhat according to variety. Adventitious root development can occur when branches come in contact with the ground become buried. Juniper has a thin, brown, fibrous bark which exfoliates in thin strips.

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