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Trigonella foenum-graecum
Illustration Trigonella foenum-graecum0.jpg
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[[{{{domain}}}]] > [[{{{superregnum}}}]] > Plantae > [[{{{subregnum}}}]] > [[{{{superdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{superphylum}}}]] > Magnoliophyta > [[{{{phylum}}}]] > [[{{{subdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{subphylum}}}]] > [[{{{infraphylum}}}]] > [[{{{microphylum}}}]] > [[{{{nanophylum}}}]] > [[{{{superclassis}}}]] > Magnoliopsida > [[{{{subclassis}}}]] > [[{{{infraclassis}}}]] > [[{{{superordo}}}]] > Fabales > [[{{{subordo}}}]] > [[{{{infraordo}}}]] > [[{{{superfamilia}}}]] > Fabaceae > [[{{{subfamilia}}}]] > [[{{{supertribus}}}]] > [[{{{tribus}}}]] > [[{{{subtribus}}}]] > Trigonella {{{subgenus}}} {{{sectio}}} {{{series}}} foenum-graecum {{{subspecies}}} var. {{{cultivar}}}

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Fenugreek (Trigonella Foenum-Graecum, literally Greek hay). An annual legume indigenous to western Asia, cultivated for human food, forage, and for medicinal qualities; widely naturalized in Mediterranean countries; little grown in America.

Fenugreek is an erect little-branched plant with 3- foliolate leaves. The seeds are 1 or 2 lines long, brownish yellow and marked with an oblique furrow half their length. They emit a peculiar odor, and contain starch, mucilage, a bitter extractive, a yellow coloring matter, and 6 per cent of fixed and volatile oils. As human food they are used in Egypt, mixed with wheat flour, to make bread; in India, with other condiments, to make curry powder; in Greece, either boiled or raw, as an addition to honey; in many oriental countries, to give plumpness to the female human form. The plant is used as an esculent in Hindustan; as an early fodder in Egypt, Algiers, France, and other countries bordering the Mediterranean. Formerly the seed was valued in medicine; now it is employed only in the preparation of emollient cataplasms, enemata, ointments and plasters, never internally. In veterinary practice it is still esteemed for poultices, condition powders, as a vehicle for drugs, and to diminish the nauseating and griping effects of purgatives. It is commonly used by hostlers to produce glossy coats upon their horses and to give a temporary fire and vigor; by stockmen to excite thirst and digestion in fattening animals; by manufacturers of patent stock foods as a flavoring ingredient.

Fenugreek does not succeed on clays, sands, wet or sour soils. It yields most seed upon well-drained loams of medium texture and of moderate fertility; most fodder upon rich lands. For seed-production, potash and phosphoric acid should be applied; for forage, nitrogenous manures. Deep plowing and thorough harrowing are essential. Ten to twenty pounds of seed should be used broadcast, or seven to ten pounds in drills 18 inches apart. Thinning when the plants are 2 or 3 inches tall, and clean culture throughout theseason until blossoming time, are necessary for a seed crop. The crop may be mown, dried andthreshed four or five months after seeding. An average yield should be about 950 pounds an acre. As a green manure, fenugreek is inferior to the clovers, vetches and other popular green manures of this country. It possesses the power of obtaining nitrogen from the air by means of root-tubercles. For description of the plant, see Trigonella. CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


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