The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 1: Gardening in the Ancient World

Historic vegetable cultivation

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34.The first roots, or root-like parts, of plants made use of must have been some of the surface bulbs, as the onion. (Numb., xi. 5.) Under-ground bulbs and tubers, as the edible crocus (C. aureus Fl. Grï¾µc.) of Syria, the orchis, the Ornithogalum, which, under the name of doves' dung, was eaten in Persia, and the earth nut, would probably be next discovered; but such under-ground plants as the turnip and the carrot must have been of much later discovery, as they are only produced in an eatable state by culture.