A True & Exact History of the Island of Barbados p. 99-100 (1657) (1763 edition)
Richard Ligon

One other Plant we have, and that is the Sensible plant, which closes the leavs upon any touch with your hand, or that end of your staff by which you hold, and in a little time will open again.

There are very few flowers in the Iland, and none of them sweet; as, the white Lilly, which growes in the woods, and is much a fairer flower than ours; as also a red Lilly, of the same bignesse; but neither of them sweet. The St. Jago flower is very beautifull, but of a nauseous flavour. One more we have, and that must not be forgotten for the rarity, because it opens, when all else close, when the Sun goes down; and for that reason we call it, the flower of the Moon: it growes in great tuffs, the leaves almost in the form of a Heart, the point turning back, the flower somewhat bigger than a Primrose, but of the purest purple that ever I beheld. When this flower falls off, the seed appears, which is black, with an eye of purple; shap'd, and of the size of a small button, so finely wrought, and tough withall, as it might serve very well to trim a suit of apparell.

I know no herbs naturally growing in the Iland, that have not been brought thither from other parts, but Purcelane; and that growes so universally, as the over-much plenty makes it disesteemed; and we destroy it as a Weed that cumbers the ground.

Rosemary, Time, Winter Savory, sweet Marjerom, pot Marjerom, Parsley, Penniroyall, Camomille, Sage, Tansie, Lavender, Lavender-Cotten, Garlick, Onyons, Colworts, Cabbage, Turnips, Redishes, Marigolds, Lettice, Taragon, Southernwood. All these I carried with me in seeds, and all grew and prospered well. Leek Seed I had, which appeared to me very fresh and good; but it never came up. Rose trees we have, but they never bear flowers.

There is a Root, of which some of the Negres brought the Seeds, and planted there, and they grew: 'Tis a very large Root, drie, and well tasted; the manner of planting it is, to make little hills, as big as Mole-hills, and plant the seed a top, and as soon as it puts forth the stalks they turn down to the ground, on either side, and then as they touch it, they thrust up a stalk, not unlike an Asparagus, but of a purple colour. These being gathered, and eaten as a Sallet, with oyle, vinegar, and salt, will serve an ordinary pallet, where no better is to be had: But the root truly is very good meat, boyl'd with powdred pork, and eaten with butter, vinegar, and pepper. Most of these roots are as large, as three of the biggest Turnips we have in England. We carried divers of them to Sea, for our provision, which stood us in good stead, and would have serv'd us plentifully in our great want of victualls; but the Rats (of which we had infinite numbers aboard) rob'd us of the most part.


CybeRose note: The Maracot was known to the Spanish as "Granadilla" or "la Flor de las cinco ilagas" (the flower of the five wounds). Aldini (Hortus Farnesianus, 1625) wrote that it was called "Fior della Passione" in Italian, which became "Love in a Mist" in England, possibly referring to the foul scent described by Ligon.