Fraxinus excelsior, Fraxinus ornus.
Fraxinus excelsior Linn. Oleaceae. Ash.
Temperate regions of the Old World. The keys of the ash were formerly pickled by steeping in salt and vinegar and were eaten as a condiment, a use to which they are still put in Siberia. The leaves are sometimes used to adulterate tea.
Fraxinus ornus Linn. Manna Ash.
Mediterranean region and the Orient. The manna ash is indigenous and is cultivated in Sicily and Calabria. When the trees are eight or ten years old, one cut is made every day from the commencement of July to the end of September, from which a whitish, glutinous liquor exudes spontaneously and hardens into manna. Manna is collected during nine years, when the tree is exhausted and is cut down and only a shoot left, which after four or five years becomes in turn productive. Once a week the manna is collected. The yield is about 5 pounds of select and 70 pounds of assorted manna per acre. This tree is the melia of Dioscorides, the meleos of modern Greece. The seeds are imported into Egypt for culinary and medicinal use and are called bird tongues. Fraxinus excelsior Linn. furnishes a little manna in some districts of Sicily.
The manna of Scripture is supposed to be a Lichen, Parmelia esculenta, a native of Asia Minor, the, Sahara and Persia. Some believe manna to be the exudation found on the stems of Alhagi maurorum Medic., a shrubby plant which covers immense plains in Arabia and Palestine and which now furnishes a manna used in India. In Kumaun, as Madden states, the leaves and branches of Pinus excelsa Wall., become covered with a liquid exudation which hardens into a kind of manna, sweet, not turpentiny, which is eaten. Tamarisk manna is collected in India from the twigs of Tamarix articulata Ehr. and T. gallica Ehr., and is used to adulterate sugar as well as for a food by the Bedouin Arabs. Pyrus glabra Boiss., affords in Luristan a substance which, according to Haussknecht, is collected and is extremely like oak manna. The same traveller states that Salix fragilis Linn., and Scrophularia frigida Boiss., likewise yield in Persia saccharine exudations. A kind of manna was anciently collected from Cedrus libani Linn. Australian manna is found on the leaves of Eucalyptus viminalis LabilL, E. mannifera Mudie and E. dumosa A. Cunn.; that from the second species is used as food by the natives. This latter manna is said to be an insect secretion and is called lerp. In Styria, Larix europaea DC., exudes a honeyed juice which hardens and is called manna. In Asiatic Turkey, diarbekir manna is found on the leaves of dwarf oaks. Pinus lambertiana Dougl., of southern Oregon, yields a sort of exudation used by the natives, which resembles manna.
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World, 1919, was edited by U. P. Hedrick.