Eleusine aegyptiaca, Eleusine coracana, Eleusine tocussa.
Eleusine aegyptiaca Desf. Gramineae. Eleusine.
Cosmopolitan tropics and subtropics. This grass grows most abundantly on waste ground, also on the flat roofs of the Arab houses in Unganyembe. The natives gather the ears, dry them in the sun, beat out the grain on the rocks, grind and make a stir-about of it. Its grain is used in southern India. It has a small seed, covered in part with a bearded husk through which the shining seed is seen.
Eleusine coracana Gaertn. Eleusine. Natchnee. Ragee.
South America, East Indies and Egypt. This grass is cultivated on a large scale in many tropical countries. It is the most productive of all the Indian cereals, says Elliott, and is the staple grain of the Mysore country. In Sikkim, says Hooker, the seeds are fermented to make a drink called murwa. On the Coromandel coast, writes Ainslie, it is a useful and most valuable grain, which is eaten and prized by the natives. The grain is of the size of a mustard seed and is dark in color; it is either made into cakes, or is eaten as a porridge; it is pleasant to the taste and in its nature aperient. It is enumerated by Thunberg among the edible plants of Japan. Grant found this grass cultivated everywhere along his route through central Africa. Its flour, if soaked for a night in water, makes a very fair unleavened bread. A coarse beer, tasting pleasantly bitter, is also made from this grain mixed with that of durra. Schweinfurth says it is called telaboon by the Arabians, by the Abyssinians tocusso and is grown only in the poorest soils. It has a disagreeable taste and makes only a wretched sort of pop. It has been grown in small quantities at the Michigan Agricultural College.
Eleusine tocussa Fresen.
Abyssinia. This plant furnishes a bread corn and is called dagussa. Parkyns, who ate of the bread in Abyssinia, says its taste is unpleasant as it leaves a gritty, sandy taste in the mouth and passes through the stomach with but little change. Its native country is given by Unger as the East Indies.
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World, 1919, was edited by U. P. Hedrick.