Citrullus lanatus is a plant species in the family Cucurbitaceae, a vine-like flowering plant originating in West Africa. It is cultivated for its fruit; the subdivision of this species into two varieties and citron melons, originated with the erroneous synonymization of Citrullus lanatus Matsum. & Nakai and Citrullus vulgaris Schrad. by L. H. Bailey in 1930. Molecular data including sequences from the original collection of Thunberg and other relevant type material, show that the sweet watermelon and the bitter wooly melon Citrullus lanatus Matsum. & Nakai are not related to each other. Since 1930, thousands of papers have misapplied the name Citrullus lanatus Matsum. & Nakai for the watermelon, a proposal to conserve the name with this meaning was accepted by the relevant nomenclatural committee and confirmed at the International Botanical Congress in Shenzhen in China in 2017. The bitter South African melon first collected by Thunberg has become naturalized in semiarid regions of several continents, is designated as a "pest plant" in parts of Western Australia where they are called pig melon.
Watermelon is a trailing vine in the flowering plant family Cucurbitaceae. The species was long thought to have originated in southern Africa, but this was based on the erroneous synonymization by L. H. Bailey of a South African species with the cultivated watermelon; the error became apparent with DNA comparison of material of the cultivated watermelon seen and named by Linnaeus and the holotype of the South African species. There is evidence from seeds in Pharaoh tombs of watermelon cultivation in Ancient Egypt. Watermelon is grown in tropical and subtropical areas worldwide for its large edible fruit known as a watermelon, a special kind of berry with a hard rind and no internal division, botanically called a pepo; the sweet, juicy flesh is deep red to pink, with many black seeds, although seedless varieties have been cultivated. The fruit can be eaten raw or pickled and the rind is edible after cooking. Considerable breeding effort has been put into disease-resistant varieties. Many cultivars are available.
In Botswana, this is known as an ingredient in the local dish bogobe jwa lerotse. Tswana: Lekatane, Makatane Afrikaans: Karkoer, Bitterwaatlemoen, Kolokwint, etc. English: Tsamma melon, Wild watermelon, etc. Nama: T’sama Zulu: Ikhabe, etc. Southern Sotho: Lehapu, etc. Former names: Kaffir melon The watermelon is an annual that has a prostrate or climbing habit. Stems are up to 3 m long and new growth has yellow or brown hairs. Leaves are 40 to 150 mm wide; these have three lobes which are themselves lobed or doubly lobed. Plants have both male and female flowers on 40-mm-long hairy stalks; these are yellow, greenish on the back. This plant is listed on the Threatened Species Programme of the South African National Biodiversity Institute; the watermelon is a large annual plant with long, trailing or climbing stems which are five-angled and up to 3 m long. Young growth is densely woolly with yellowish-brown hairs; the leaves are large, hairy pinnately-lobed and alternate. The plant has branching tendrils.
The white to yellow flowers grow singly in the leaf axils and the corolla is white or yellow inside and greenish-yellow on the outside. The flowers are unisexual, with male and female flowers occurring on the same plant; the male flowers predominate at the beginning of the season. The styles are united into a single column; the large fruit is a kind of modified berry called a pepo with a thick fleshy center. Wild plants have fruits up to 20 cm in diameter; the rind of the fruit is mid- to dark green and mottled or striped, the flesh, containing numerous pips spread throughout the inside, can be red or pink, yellow, green or white. The bitter wooly melon was formally described by Carl Peter Thunberg in 1794 and given the name Momordica lanata, it was reassigned to the genus Citrullus in 1916 by Japanese botanists Jinzō Matsumura and Takenoshin Nakai. The sweet watermelon was formally described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753 and given the name Cucurbita citrullus, it was reassigned to the genus Citrullus in 1836 by the German botanist Heinrich Adolf Schrader.
The bitter wooly melon is the sister species of Citrullus ecirrhosus Cogn. from South African arid regions, while the sweet watermelon is closer to Citrullus mucosospermus Fursa from West Africa and populations from Sudan. The watermelon is a flowering plant that originated in northeast Africa, where it is found growing wild. Citrullus colocynthis has sometimes been considered to be a wild ancestor of the watermelon. Evidence of the cultivation of both C. lanatus and C. colocynthis in the Nile Valley has been found from the second millennium BC onward, seeds of both species have been found at Twelfth Dynasty sites and in the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun. In the 7th century, watermelons were being cultivated in India, by the 10th century had reached China, today the world's single largest watermelon producer; the Moors introduced the fruit into Spain and there is evidence of it being cultivated in Córdoba in 961 and in Seville
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus Gossypium in the mallow family Malvaceae. The fiber is pure cellulose. Under natural conditions, the cotton bolls will increase the dispersal of the seeds; the plant is a shrub native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world, including the Americas, Africa and India. The greatest diversity of wild cotton species is found followed by Australia and Africa. Cotton was independently domesticated in the New Worlds; the fiber is most spun into yarn or thread and used to make a soft, breathable textile. The use of cotton for fabric is known to date to prehistoric times. Although cultivated since antiquity, it was the invention of the cotton gin that lowered the cost of production that led to its widespread use, it is the most used natural fiber cloth in clothing today. Current estimates for world production are about 25 million tonnes or 110 million bales annually, accounting for 2.5% of the world's arable land.
China is the world's largest producer of cotton. The United States has been the largest exporter for many years. In the United States, cotton is measured in bales, which measure 0.48 cubic meters and weigh 226.8 kilograms. There are four commercially grown species of cotton, all domesticated in antiquity: Gossypium hirsutum – upland cotton, native to Central America, the Caribbean and southern Florida Gossypium barbadense – known as extra-long staple cotton, native to tropical South America Gossypium arboreum – tree cotton, native to India and Pakistan Gossypium herbaceum – Levant cotton, native to southern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula The two New World cotton species account for the vast majority of modern cotton production, but the two Old World species were used before the 1900s. While cotton fibers occur in colors of white, brown and green, fears of contaminating the genetics of white cotton have led many cotton-growing locations to ban the growing of colored cotton varieties; the word "cotton" has Arabic origins, derived from the Arabic word قطن.
This was the usual word for cotton in medieval Arabic. The word entered the Romance languages in the mid-12th century, English a century later. Cotton fabric was known to the ancient Romans as an import but cotton was rare in the Romance-speaking lands until imports from the Arabic-speaking lands in the medieval era at transformatively lower prices; the earliest evidence of cotton use in the Indian subcontinent has been found at the site of Mehrgarh and Rakhigarhi where cotton threads have been found preserved in copper beads. Cotton cultivation in the region is dated to the Indus Valley Civilization, which covered parts of modern eastern Pakistan and northwestern India between 3300 and 1300 BC; the Indus cotton industry was well-developed and some methods used in cotton spinning and fabrication continued to be used until the industrialization of India. Between 2000 and 1000 BC cotton became widespread across much of India. For example, it has been found at the site of Hallus in Karnataka dating from around 1000 BC.
Cotton bolls discovered in a cave near Tehuacán, have been dated to as early as 5500 BC, but this date has been challenged. More securely dated is the domestication of Gossypium hirsutum in Mexico between around 3400 and 2300 BC. In Peru, cultivation of the indigenous cotton species Gossypium barbadense has been dated, from a find in Ancon, to c. 4200 BC, was the backbone of the development of coastal cultures such as the Norte Chico and Nazca. Cotton was grown upriver, made into nets, traded with fishing villages along the coast for large supplies of fish; the Spanish who came to Mexico and Peru in the early 16th century found the people growing cotton and wearing clothing made of it. The Greeks and the Arabs were not familiar with cotton until the Wars of Alexander the Great, as his contemporary Megasthenes told Seleucus I Nicator of "there being trees on which wool grows" in "Indica"; this may be a reference to "tree cotton", Gossypium arboreum, a native of the Indian subcontinent. According to the Columbia Encyclopedia: Cotton has been spun and dyed since prehistoric times.
It clothed the people of ancient India and China. Hundreds of years before the Christian era, cotton textiles were woven in India with matchless skill, their use spread to the Mediterranean countries. In Iran, the history of cotton dates back to the Achaemenid era; the planting of cotton was common in Merv and Pars of Iran. In Persian poets' poems Ferdowsi's Shahname, there are references to cotton. Marco Polo refers to the major products including cotton. John Chardin, a French traveler of the 17th century who visited Safavid Persia, spoke approvingly of the vast cotton farms of Persia. During the Han dynasty, cotton was grown by Chinese peoples in the southern Chinese province of Yunnan. Egyptians spun cotton in the first seven centuries of the Christian era. Handheld roller cotton gins had been used in India since the 6th century, was introduced to other countries from there. Between the 12th and 14th centuries, dual-roller gins appeared in China; the Indian version of the dual-roller gin was preval
Taiwan the Republic of China, is a state in East Asia. Neighbouring states include the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the northeast, the Philippines to the south. Taiwan is the most populous state and largest economy, not a member of the United Nations; the island of Taiwan was inhabited by indigenous peoples for thousands of years before the 17th century, when Dutch colonialists opened the island to mass Han immigration. After a brief rule by the Kingdom of Tungning, the island was annexed in 1683 by the Qing dynasty of China, ceded to Japan in 1895. Following the surrender of Japan in 1945, the Republic of China, which had overthrown and succeeded the Qing in 1911, took control of Taiwan; the resumption of the Chinese Civil War led to the loss of the mainland to the Communists and the flight of the ROC government to Taiwan in 1949. Although the ROC government continued to claim to be the legitimate representative of China, since 1950 its effective jurisdiction has been limited to Taiwan and several small islands.
In the early 1960s, Taiwan entered a period of industrialisation. In the 1980s and early 1990s, it changed from a one-party military dictatorship to a multi-party democracy with a semi-presidential system; as a founding member, the ROC represented China in the UN until it was replaced by the PRC in 1971. The PRC has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan and refused diplomatic relations with any country that recognises the ROC; as of 2019, Taiwan maintains official ties with 16 out of 193 UN member states. Most international organisations in which the PRC participates either refuse to grant membership to Taiwan or allow it to participate only as a non-state actor. Most major powers maintain unofficial ties with Taiwan through representative offices and institutions that function as de facto embassies and consulates. In Taiwan, the major political division is between parties favouring eventual Chinese unification and promoting a Chinese identity contrasted with those aspiring to independence and promoting a Taiwanese identity, though both sides have moderated their positions to broaden their appeal.
Taiwan is a high-income advanced economy, with a skilled and educated workforce. It has the 22nd-largest economy in the world, its high-tech industry plays a key role in the global economy, it is urbanised, is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with most of the population concentrated on the western coast. The state is ranked in terms of civil and political liberties, health care and human development. Various names for the island of Taiwan remain in use today, each derived from explorers or rulers during a particular historical period; the name Formosa dates from 1542, when Portuguese sailors sighted an uncharted island and noted it on their maps as Ilha Formosa. The name Formosa "replaced all others in European literature" and remained in common use among English speakers into the 20th century. In the early 17th century, the Dutch East India Company established a commercial post at Fort Zeelandia on a coastal sandbar called "Tayouan", after their ethnonym for a nearby Taiwanese aboriginal tribe Taivoan people, written by the Dutch and Portuguese variously as Taiouwang, Teijoan, etc.
This name was adopted into the Chinese vernacular as the name of the sandbar and nearby area. The modern word "Taiwan" is derived from this usage, seen in various forms in Chinese historical records; the area occupied by modern-day Tainan represented the first permanent settlement by both European colonists and Chinese immigrants. The settlement grew to be the island's most important trading centre and served as its capital until 1887. Use of the current Chinese name became official as early as 1684 with the establishment of Taiwan Prefecture. Through its rapid development the entire Formosan mainland became known as "Taiwan". In his Daoyi Zhilüe, Wang Dayuan used "Liuqiu" as a name for the island of Taiwan, or the part of it closest to Penghu. Elsewhere, the name was used for the Ryukyu Islands in general or Okinawa, the largest of them; the name appears in the Book of Sui and other early works, but scholars cannot agree on whether these references are to the Ryukyus, Taiwan or Luzon. The official name of the state is the "Republic of China".
Shortly after the ROC's establishment in 1912, while it was still located on the Chinese mainland, the government used the short form "China" to refer to itself, which derives from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne, the name was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state during the Qing era. During the 1950s and 1960s, after the government had withdrawn to Taiwan upon losing the Chinese Civil War, it was referred to as "Nationalist China" to differentiate it from "Communist China", it was a member of the United Nations representing "China" until 1971, when it lost its seat to the People's Republic of China. Over subsequent decades, the Republic of China has become known as "Taiwan", after the island that comprises 99% of the territory under its control. In some contexts ROC government publications, the name is written as "
Rice is the seed of the grass species Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima. As a cereal grain, it is the most consumed staple food for a large part of the world's human population in Asia, it is the agricultural commodity with the third-highest worldwide production, after sugarcane and maize. Since sizable portions of sugarcane and maize crops are used for purposes other than human consumption, rice is the most important grain with regard to human nutrition and caloric intake, providing more than one-fifth of the calories consumed worldwide by humans. There are many varieties of rice and culinary preferences tend to vary regionally. Rice, a monocot, is grown as an annual plant, although in tropical areas it can survive as a perennial and can produce a ratoon crop for up to 30 years. Rice cultivation is well-suited to countries and regions with low labor costs and high rainfall, as it is labor-intensive to cultivate and requires ample water. However, rice can be grown anywhere on a steep hill or mountain area with the use of water-controlling terrace systems.
Although its parent species are native to Asia and certain parts of Africa, centuries of trade and exportation have made it commonplace in many cultures worldwide. The traditional method for cultivating rice is flooding the fields while, or after, setting the young seedlings; this simple method requires sound planning and servicing of the water damming and channeling, but reduces the growth of less robust weed and pest plants that have no submerged growth state, deters vermin. While flooding is not mandatory for the cultivation of rice, all other methods of irrigation require higher effort in weed and pest control during growth periods and a different approach for fertilizing the soil; the name wild rice is used for species of the genera Zizania and Porteresia, both wild and domesticated, although the term may be used for primitive or uncultivated varieties of Oryza. First used in English in the middle of the 13th century, the word "rice" derives from the Old French ris, which comes from the Italian riso, in turn from the Latin oriza, which derives from the Greek ὄρυζα.
The Greek word is the source of all European words. The origin of the Greek word is unclear, it is sometimes held to be from the Tamil word, or rather Old Tamil arici. However, Krishnamurti disagrees with the notion that Old Tamil arici is the source of the Greek term, proposes that it was borrowed from descendants of Proto-Dravidian *wariñci instead. Mayrhofer suggests that the immediate source of the Greek word is to be sought in Old Iranian words of the types *vrīz- or *vrinj-, but these are traced back to Indo-Aryan. P. T. Srinivasa Iyengar assumed that the Sanskrit vrīhí- is derived from the Tamil arici, while Ferdinand Kittel derived it from the Dravidian root variki; the rice plant can grow to 1–1.8 m tall more depending on the variety and soil fertility. It has long, slender leaves 50–100 cm long and 2–2.5 cm broad. The small wind-pollinated flowers are produced in a branched arching to pendulous inflorescence 30–50 cm long; the edible seed is a grain 5–12 mm long and 2–3 mm thick. The varieties of rice are classified as long-, medium-, short-grained.
The grains of long-grain rice tend to remain intact after cooking. Medium-grain rice is used for sweet dishes, for risotto in Italy, many rice dishes, such as arròs negre, in Spain; some varieties of long-grain rice that are high in amylopectin, known as Thai Sticky rice, are steamed. A stickier medium-grain rice is used for sushi. Medium-grain rice is used extensively in Japan, including to accompany savoury dishes, where it is served plain in a separate dish. Short-grain rice is used for rice pudding. Instant rice differs from parboiled rice in that it is cooked and dried, though there is a significant degradation in taste and texture. Rice flour and starch are used in batters and breadings to increase crispiness. Rice is rinsed before cooking to remove excess starch. Rice produced in the US is fortified with vitamins and minerals, rinsing will result in a loss of nutrients. Rice may be rinsed until the rinse water is clear to improve the texture and taste. Rice may be soaked to decrease cooking time, conserve fuel, minimize exposure to high temperature, reduce stickiness.
For some varieties, soaking improves the texture of the cooked rice by increasing expansion of the grains. Rice may be soaked for 30 minutes up to several hours. Brown rice may be soaked in warm water for 20 hours to stimulate germination; this process, called germinated brown rice, activates enzymes and enhances amino acids including gamma-aminobutyric acid to improve the nutritional value of brown rice. This method is a result of research carried out for the United Nations International Year of Rice. Rice is cooked by boiling or steaming, absorbs water during cooking. With the absorption method, rice may be cooked in a volume of water equal to the volume of dry rice- plus any evaporation losses. With the rapid-boil method, rice may be cooked in a large quantity of water, drained before serving. Rapid-boil preparation is not desirable with enriched rice, as much of the enrichment additives are l
Benincasa hispida, the wax gourd called ash gourd, white gourd, winter gourd, tallow gourd, ash pumpkin, winter melon and “Chinese preserving melon” is a vine grown for its large fruit, eaten as a vegetable when mature. It is the only member of the genus Benincasa; the fruit is fuzzy. The immature melon has thick white flesh, sweet when eaten. By maturity, the fruit loses its hairs and develops a waxy coating, giving rise to the name wax gourd, providing a long shelf life; the melon may grow as large as 80 cm in length. It has broad leaves; the taste is rather bland. It is native to Southeast Asia; the wax gourd is grown throughout Asia, including Java and Japan, the places where it is thought to have originated. The name “winter melon”, sometimes given to this plant is based on the Chinese name dōngguā, the character 瓜 can mean “gourd” or “squash”, it is that the name “melon” is given because this gourd is sometimes candied or made into a sweet tea. It is grown in well drained loam and sandy soils, in warm mild climates, but will not tolerate frosts.
The crops are grown in riverbeds or furrows, needs constant irrigation during the growing season. The wax gourd requires warm weather to grow but can be stored for many months much like winter squash. Ash gourds of the Indian subcontinent have a white coating with rough texture. South East Asian varieties have a smooth waxy texture, it is one of the few vegetables available during winter in areas of deciduous vegetation, hence its Chinese name means'winter gourd'. The Wax Gourd can be stored for 12 months. In India, the wax gourd is recognized for its medicinal properties in the Ayurvedic system of medicine, it is has significance in spiritual traditions of India and Yoga, where it is identified as a great source of Prana. In Vietnamese cuisine, it is called bí đao, used to make soup or stew; when cooked with pork short ribs, the resulting soup is traditionally thought to help produce more milk for breastfeeding mothers. In Chinese cuisine the gourds are used in stir fry or combined with pork or pork/beef bones to make winter gourd soup served in the scooped out gourd, carved by scraping off the waxy coating.
It is chopped and candied as wintermelon candy to be eaten at New Year festivals, or as filling for Sweetheart cake. It has been used as the base filling in Chinese and Taiwanese mooncakes for the Moon Festival. In the Philippines it is used as a pastry filling for bakpia, it is an ingredient in some savory soups and stir-fries. In Indian cuisine this gourd is traditionally used to prepare a wide variety of dishes. In northern India it is used to prepare a candy called Petha. In South Indian cuisine, it is traditionally used to make a variety of curries, including a stew made with a yogurt base; the juice of raw ash gourd is used by the Mizo community of North-East India as a natural remedy to treat mild to severe dysentery. In north India in middle Himalayas it is paired with pulses such as moong which when squashed along with winter gourd results in the making of a dish locally called as'BARI', dried in the cool sunlight of Winters and after it become somewhat hard this bari is used as a curry dish and eaten along with rice or chapati.
This practice is done in Himalayas for quite a long time as people in mountains depends upon the nature to help them survive in harsh winter. This bari eaten diversely in the mountains. In Andhra Pradesh, its called "boodidi gummidikaya", it is used to stir fry and vadialu. Vadialu are made by mixing with yogurt and spices. To eat, vadiams are a deep fried in oil and eaten as an accompaniment to rice and Sambar or lentil stews. In Nepal, where it is called Kubhindo, it is cooked as a vegetable when young, but the ripe gourds are popular in making preserves or crystallized candied sweet known as "murabba" or "petha", it is used to produce a fruit drink with a distinctive taste. It is sweetened with caramelized sugar. In Southeast Asia, the drink is marketed as wax gourd tea or wax gourd punch; the shoots and leaves of the plant may be eaten as greens. Media related to Benincasa hispida at Wikimedia Commons
A pitaya or pitahaya the fruit of several different cactus species indigenous to the Americas. Pitaya refers to fruit of the genus Stenocereus, while pitahaya or dragon fruit refers to fruit of the genus Hylocereus, both in the Cactaceae family; the dragon fruit is cultivated in Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and throughout tropical and subtropical world regions. These fruits are known in English as "dragon fruit", a name used since around 1993 resulting from the leather-like skin and prominent scaly spikes on the fruit exterior; the names pitahaya and pitaya derive from Mexico, pitaya roja in Central America and northern South America relating to pitahaya for names of tall cacti species with flowering fruit. The fruit may be known as a strawberry pear or thang. Pitahaya-producing cacti of the genus, are native to a region including Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, northern South America; the dragon fruit is cultivated in Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and throughout tropical and subtropical world regions.
Stenocereus fruit are a variety, eaten in the arid regions of the Americas. They are more refreshing, with juicier flesh and a stronger taste; the sour pitaya or pitaya agria in the Sonoran Desert has been an important food source for indigenous peoples of the Americas. The Seri people of northwestern Mexico still harvest the fruit, call the plant ziix is ccapxl "thing whose fruit is sour"; the fruit of related species, such as S. queretaroensis and the dagger cactus, are locally important foods. The fruit of the organ pipe cactus is the pitaya dulce "sweet pitaya", it still has a more tart aroma than Hylocereus fruit, described as somewhat reminiscent of watermelon. Sweet pitayas come in three types, all with leathery leafy skin: Hylocereus undatus has pink-skinned fruit with white flesh; this is the most seen "dragon fruit". Hylocereus costaricensis has red-skinned fruit with red flesh. Hylocereus megalanthus has yellow-skinned fruit with white flesh; the fruit weighs from 150 to 600 grams. Early imports from Colombia to Australia were designated Hylocereus ocampensis and Cereus triangularis.
It is not quite certain. After thorough cleaning of the seeds from the pulp of the fruit, the seeds may be stored. Ideally, the fruit is overripe. Seeds grow well in a compost or potting soil mix – as a potted indoor plant. Pitaya cacti germinate after between 11 and 14 days after shallow planting; as they are cacti, overwatering is a concern for home growers. As their growth continues, these climbing plants will find something to climb on, which can involve putting aerial roots down from the branches in addition to the basal roots. Once the plant reaches a mature 10 pounds in weight, the plant may flower. Commercial plantings can be done at high density with between 1350 plants per hectare. Plants can take up to five years to come into full commercial production, at which stage yields of 20 to 30 tons per hectare can be expected. Pitaya flowers bloom overnight and wilt by the morning, they rely on nocturnal pollinators such as moths for fertilization. Self-fertilization will not produce fruit in some species, while cross-breeding has resulted in several "self-fertile" varieties, cross-pollinating with a second plant species increases fruit set and quality.
This limits the capability of home growers to produce the fruit. However, the plants can flower between three and six times in a year depending on growing conditions. Like other cacti, if a healthy piece of the stem is broken off, it may take root in soil and become its own plant; the plants can endure temperatures up to 40 °C and short periods of frost, but will not survive long exposure to freezing temperatures. The cacti may survive outdoors in zone 9a or 9b. Hylocereus has adapted to live in dry tropical climates with a moderate amount of rain; the dragon fruit sets on the cactus-like trees 30–50 days after flowering and can sometimes have 5-6 cycles of harvests per year. In numerous regions, it has escaped cultivation to become a weed and is classified as an invasive weed in some countries. Overwatering or excessive rainfall can cause the flowers to fruit to rot. Extended over-watering can cause maturing fruit to split on the branch. Birds can be a nuisance; the bacterium Xanthomonas. Dothiorella fungi can cause brown spots on the fruit.
Other fungi known to infect pitaya include Botryosphaeria dothidea, Colletotrichum gloesporioides and Bipolaris cactivora. The fruit's texture is sometimes likened to that of the kiwifruit because of its black, crunchy seeds; the flesh is mildly sweet and low in calories. The seeds have a nutty taste; the seeds are rich in lipids. Dragon fruit is used to flavor juices and alcoholic beverages, such as "Dragon's Blood Punch" and the "Dragotini"; the flowers can be steeped as tea. The red and purple colors of Hylocereus fruits are due to betacyanins, a family of pigments that includes betanin, the same substance that gives beets, Swiss chard, amaranth their red color; as the nutrient content of raw pitaya has not been thorough
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land, surrounded by water. Small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or a lake island may be called an eyot or ait, a small island off the coast may be called a holm. A grouping of geographically or geologically related islands is called an archipelago, such as the Philippines. An island may be described despite the presence of an artificial land bridge; some places may retain "island" in their names for historical reasons after being connected to a larger landmass by a land bridge or landfill, such as Coney Island and Coronado Island, though these are speaking, tied islands. Conversely, when a piece of land is separated from the mainland by a man-made canal, for example the Peloponnese by the Corinth Canal or Marble Hill in northern Manhattan during the time between the building of the United States Ship Canal and the filling-in of the Harlem River which surrounded the area, it is not considered an island.
There are two main types of islands in the sea: oceanic. There are artificial islands; the word island derives from Middle English iland, from Old English igland. However, the spelling of the word was modified in the 15th century because of a false etymology caused by an incorrect association with the etymologically unrelated Old French loanword isle, which itself comes from the Latin word insula. Old English ieg is a cognate of Swedish ö and German Aue, related to Latin aqua. Greenland is the world's largest island, with an area of over 2.1 million km2, while Australia, the world's smallest continent, has an area of 7.6 million km2, but there is no standard of size that distinguishes islands from continents, or from islets. There is a difference between continents in terms of geology. Continents are the largest landmass of a particular continental plate. By contrast, islands are either extensions of the oceanic crust, or belong to a continental plate containing a larger landmass. Continental islands are bodies of land.
Examples are Borneo, Sumatra, Sakhalin and Hainan off Asia. A special type of continental island is the microcontinental island, created when a continent is rifted. Examples are Madagascar and Socotra off Africa, New Caledonia, New Zealand, some of the Seychelles. Another subtype is an island or bar formed by deposition of tiny rocks where water current loses some of its carrying capacity; this includes: barrier islands, which are accumulations of sand deposited by sea currents on the continental shelves fluvial or alluvial islands formed in river deltas or midstream within large rivers. While some are transitory and may disappear if the volume or speed of the current changes, others are stable and long-lived. Islets are small islands. Oceanic islands are islands; the vast majority are volcanic in origin, such as Saint Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean. The few oceanic islands that are not volcanic are tectonic in origin and arise where plate movements have lifted up the ocean floor above the surface.
Examples are Saint Paul Rocks in the Atlantic Ocean and Macquarie Island in the Pacific. One type of volcanic oceanic island is found in a volcanic island arc; these islands arise from volcanoes. Examples are the Aleutian Islands, the Mariana Islands, most of Tonga in the Pacific Ocean; the only examples in the Atlantic Ocean are some of the Lesser Antilles and the South Sandwich Islands. Another type of volcanic oceanic island occurs. There are two examples: Iceland, the world's second largest volcanic island, Jan Mayen. Both are in the Atlantic. A third type of volcanic oceanic island is formed over volcanic hotspots. A hotspot is more or less stationary relative to the moving tectonic plate above it, so a chain of islands results as the plate drifts. Over long periods of time, this type of island is "drowned" by isostatic adjustment and eroded, becoming a seamount. Plate movement across a hot-spot produces a line of islands oriented in the direction of the plate movement. An example is the Hawaiian Islands, from Hawaii to Kure, which continue beneath the sea surface in a more northerly direction as the Emperor Seamounts.
Another chain with similar orientation is the Tuamotu Archipelago. The southernmost chain is the Austral Islands, with its northerly trending part the atolls in the nation of Tuvalu. Tristan da Cunha is an example of a hotspot volcano in the Atlantic Ocean. Another hotspot in the Atlantic is the island of Surtsey, formed in 1963. An atoll is an island formed from a coral reef that has grown on an eroded and submerged volcanic island; the reef forms a new island. Atolls are ring-shaped with a central lagoon. Examples are the Line Islands