Flowering Plant Ericales / Heath - Order

Ericales is a large order, containing more than 8000 species in around 30 families. There are several significant culinary families, each of which has its own page. While those family pages will usually be accessed directly, this page serves to organize them and show the diversity of the order. Surprisingly, I did not find any culinary species that did not belong to a significant family. The photo is of Common Heather (Calluna vulgaris), the most common heather in Europe. It is not strictly a culinary variety, but traditionally used to make brooms to sweep the kitchen floor.   Photo by Aqwis distributed under license Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported.

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Brazil Nut Family   -   [Lecythidaceae]

The Brazil Nut family (Lecythidaceae) is a fairly sizeable family and of great importance in some tropical regions. Described here are the varieties I have found sufficient detail on, but there are surely a number of similar varieties producing edible fruit and seeds. The Brazil Nut Family has its own page.   Illustration of Paradise Nut Pod and Seed by William Rhind, copyright expired.

Heather Family   -   [Ericaceae]

The Heather Family (Ericaceae) is a very large family, containing over 4000 species in 126 genera. It includes a great many flowering plants used as decoratives and landscaping, but also a few culinary species, most notably blueberries and cranberries. The Heather Family has its own page.

Ebony Family   -   [Ebenaceae]

Ebony is a modest size family of tropical and subtropical trees (Ebenaceae) best known for hard wood of dark color, ranging all the way to jet black. The family includes two genera, Euclea, noted for hard dark wood, and Diospyros, noted for hard dark wood, but also for a few species producing edible fruit, most notably persimmons. The Ebony Family has its own page.

Sapote Family   -   [Sapotaceae]
Whole Fruit

Sapotes have long been important trees in the tropical Americas, Africa and Southeast Asia. They have provided sap of industrial importance, fruit, and wood - hard to extremely hard wood. They range from small to rather large trees. The Sapote Family has its own page.

Kiwi / Chinese Gooseberry Family   -   [Actinidiaceae]
Whole Fruit

This modest size family of 3 genera and some 360 species of vines shrubs and trees native to temperate and subtropical environments has only a few members of culinary and commercial interest, the Kiwi Fruit. There are also varieties of interest to cats. The Kiwi Family has its own page.

Camellia / Tea Family   -   [Theaceae]
Red Flower

Camellias are well known as decorative flowering shrubs and trees, but they are also of tremendous economic value, particularly to China and India, for both tea and cooking oil. Worldwide, tea is the second most consumed beverage, second only to water. The Camellia Family has its own page.

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