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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1002: XI International Symposium on Flower Bulbs and Herbaceous Perennials

EDIBLE FLOWERING GEOPHYTES OF TURKEY

Authors:   I. Baktır, G. Yılmaz, R.S. Göktürk, O. Karagüzel
Keywords:   culinary herbs, edible, geophytes, spice, vegetables
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2013.1002.38
Abstract:
Some species of flowering geophytes are used for various purposes such as spices, vegetables, culinary herbs, additive to food and confectionaries, appetizer, alternative medicine and so forth beside their ornamental merits. Saffron and salep are two well-known ones and they have been in use for centuries to flavor drinks and thicken ice cream mainly in Middle Eastern countries. Corms of some Crocus species (e.g., C. ancyrensis and C. chrysanthus) and tubers of Geranium tuberosum have been consumed fresh after being peeled in the countryside of Turkey. Crocus corms are also added to rice and some other food. Along with Eremurus spectabilis, young leaves of some Ornithogalum and Arum species are used as vegetable by local people in many parts the country including the Western Taurus Mountains.
Almost all wild Allium species are edible and some of them are used as substitutes for cultivated garlic and onion. Young leaves of many wild alliums have been traditionally added to cheese in eastern parts of Turkey. The most pronounced Allium species in certain markets is A. tuncelianum which is an endemic one in eastern Turkey and it has been collected from the wild for years and is facing extinction. A. rotundum and A. zebdanense are two other important Allium species of which the young leaves are eaten as appetizer or added to salads.

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