Ethnobotanical studies of west african okra [Abelmoschus caillei (a. Chev) stevels] from some tribes of south western Nigeria

  • M.E Osawaru
  • F.M Dania-Ogbe
Keywords: Ethnobotany, Indigenous Knowledge, West African

Abstract

West African Okra [Abelmoschus caillei (A. Chev) Stevels] is a multipurpose annual, biennal herb sometime perennial woody crop plant common in the humid West African subcontinent. It is produced in traditional agriculture especially when other vegetables are not in season and an important cash crop in the local economy. This study is aimed at generating information and documenting the ethnobotany of A. caillei via the indigenous knowledge among tribes of Delta, Edo and Ondo States of Nigeria). Primary information was collected from randomly selected respondents through survey using structured questionnaires and guided walks within 54 sites. A total of 540 persons were surveyed aged between 18-87 years old. Of this number, 259 (48%) were males and 281 (52%) females. Nine ethnic tribes were recorded in the 3 States. The tribes varied in their socio-cultural and economic characteristics and local knowledge about the crop. One-two local names of the crop was recorded with one related “type”. Traditional uses of the crop include food (100%) and nonfood purposes. The information from non-food uses include medicine (27%), myth/religion (32%), soil fertility indicate (19%), rainy season indicator (8%), dry season/harvest time indicator (100%), fuel (15%) and sponge (11%). These sets of information indicate that the crop plant is of prime importance in the area. Keywords: Ethnobotany, Indigenous Knowledge, West African Okra, Traditional Uses, Ethnotaxonomy.
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eISSN: 1597-6343