Documentation of folk knowledge on underutilized wild edible plants of Southern Rajasthan
An ethnobotanical study was conducted during 2010-12 in Southern Rajasthan with local indigenous communities. Structured interviews, field observations and group discussions with the informants were used to gather the data. A total of 46 plant species belonging to 27 families were reported from the study area. Poaceae was the dominant family with 7 species. Herbs were used primarily as leafy vegetable and grains of several grasses were used during famine. About 81 % of the recorded underutilized wild edible plant species are rarely used, while the 19 % are commonly used. The study showed that the majority (72 %) of the species are edible and eaten after cooking while 28 % were eaten raw. Wild edible plant species of Ceropegia have become endangered due to excessive harvesting. Unless efforts are made to make the younger generations aware about the importance of these plants, the related traditional knowledge may be lost. The study suggests that these underutilized plants may play an important role in national food security policy and health care.
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