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Ethnobotany and Germplasm Collection of Two Genera of Cocoyam (Colocasia [Schott] and Xanthosoma [Schott], Araceae) in Edo State Nigeria

ME Osawaru, MC Ogwu


Ethnobotany describes the realm between human interactions with plant in their environment. Colocasia [Schott] and Xanthosoma [Schott] (Araceae) are important staples in Nigeria. This study aims to document the traditional knowledge base of these crops amongst tribes in Edo state. Using random stratified sampling technique, fifty respondents were selected and primary data obtained through semi structured questionnaire. Fifty-four cocoyam (61.11 % Xanthosomaand and 38.89 % Colocasia) germplasm were collected and documented. Respondents were mostly between 41-50 years (29.63 %) while farming (33.33 %) is the dominant occupation. The dominant ethnic groups encountered were Bini (22.22 %) and Esan (25.93 %). Status of cocoyam collected was 94.44 % and 5.55 % for cultivated and wild respectively. Local names were significant with over twenty recorded. Food use (94.26 %) is higher than non-food use (5.74 %). Use for medicine is the dominant non-food use. Preference is related to uses, adaptation and palatability. More study is recommended to characterize these germplasm.

Keywords: Ethnobotany Colocasia and Xanthosoma Plant Germplasm Traditional Knowledge Plant Genetic Resources Edo state

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