Taxonomic Significance of Some Vernacular names of Okra Accessions (Abelmoschus Spp.) in Ghana

  • M.K Essilfie
  • I.K Asante
  • L Enu-Kwesi
  • C.M Markwei

Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine the folk criteria used by farmers to name their local okra varieties and also to assess the taxonomic significance of vernacular names in the identification and classification of these okra varieties in Ghana. Forty two okra accessions and their vernacu-lar names were obtained from PGRRI, Bunso for the study. The various vernacular names of okra accessions were taxonomically analysed by determining their linguistic meanings, their folk criteria and their folk classification. The folk classification of the different okra accessions were then compared with numerical classification of the same set of accessions of another study based on their quantitative and qualitative morphological characteristics. Based on the taxonomic analyses, the 42 vernacular names of okra accessions in Ghana consisted of languages like Twi, Ewe, Dagbani and Krobo and were also based on folk criteria such as morphology, fruit charac-ters, names of persons or locality, maturity periods and culinary properties. Folk classification of the 42 okra accessions produced 8 different taxonomic groupings which contrasted with numerical classification of the same set of okra accessions. Thus, vernacular names of okra accessions in Ghana could not be used as the sole criterion in the identification and estimation of okra diversity because of the low degree of consistency between the two different methods of classification.
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