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Could Captain John Smith’s Mattoume Have Been Wild Rice?

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Title:Could Captain John Smith’s Mattoume Have Been Wild Rice?
Authors:LaRoche, Germain
Smith, John, 1580-1631
Agrostis stolonifera
Arundinaria gigantea
Hordeum pusillum
show 13 morePhalaris caroliniana
Phragmites australis
Secale cereale
Spartina alterniflora
Zizania aquatica
wild rice
wild foods
American Indians
literature reviews
geographical distribution
show less
Date Issued:2007
Publisher:University of Hawaii at Manoa
Citation:LaRoche G. 2007. Could Captain John Smith’s mattoume have been wild rice? Ethnobotany Research & Applications 5:179-184.
Abstract:An early English explorer of North America, Captain John Smith reported use of a wild food called mattoume by native inhabitants of Virginia. Botanical identification of mattoume has been a mystery. In an attempt to solve the mystery of which plant species Captain Smith observed, I compare the botanical descriptions of wild rice and several other possible species that were mentioned either in scholarly journals or in ethnobotanical literature as likely identifications of mattoume. It seems most likely that mattoume is maygrass, Phalaris caroliniana Walter, as the facts do not support an identification as wild rice.
Appears in Collections: 2007 - Volume 5 : Ethnobotany Research and Applications

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