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Study on the Diversity and Use of Wild Edible Plants in Bullen District Northwest Ethiopia.

1. Background and Justification

The rural communities of developing countries depend on wild edible plants to meet their food requirements during periods of food shortage. Studies conducted by [1] indicated that the wild edible plants are mostly serving as supplementary foods in different parts of Africa. Wild edible plants are nutritionally rich [2] and can supplement especially vitamins and micronutrients [3]. These show that wild edible plants are essential components of many African diets, especially in period of seasonal food shortage.

The Ethiopian flora has approximately 6000 species of higher plants of which about 10% are endemic [4, 5]. The country is known as the biodiversity hotspot and center of origin and diversification for a significant number of food plants and their wild relatives [6]. The wide range of climatic and edaphic conditions permitted the growing of a variety of wild food plants [7].

Some studies in Ethiopia indicated that many rural people are endowed with deep knowledge on how to use plant resources. This is particularly true with regard to the use of medicinal plants [8] and wild edible plants that are consumed at times of famine and other hardships [3]. In this regard, the elder community members are mostly the key sources of knowledge about plants [3].

The consumption of wild plants seems more common in food insecure areas of the country as compared to relatively food sufficient areas [9]. Thus, many rural people of Ethiopia usually feed on wild food plants for survival during food shortage [10]. Although wild edible plants play an important role during periods of food shortage, little attention has been given to conservation of wild edible plant species.

Available published studies on the ethnobotany of wild food plants are limited to specific area [11]. In northwestern Ethiopia, the consumption of wild food plants seems to be one of the important local survival strategies and appears to have intensified due to the repeated climatic shocks hampering agricultural production and leading to food shortages [2]. In Bullen district of Benshanguel-Gumez region, the noncultivated plants provide considerable amount of supplementary food and have significant contribution to generating additional income for many households. However, there has not been sufficient research carried out about the indigenous knowledge of wild edible plants in Bullen district. Therefore, this study was designed to (1) identify and document wild edible plant species, (2) identify and record the parts of wild edible plants which are edible to humans, (3) evaluate the exploitation and conservation status of wild edible plants, and (4) assess threats on the wild edible plant species and recommend the possible management scenarios for their conservation.

2. Materials and Methods

2.1. Description of Study Area. Bullen district, the study area, is located in northwestern Ethiopia lying within 10[degrees]00' to n[degrees]07' N and 35[degrees]45' and 36[degrees]07' E (Figure 1). The altitude varies from 900 to 2300 m.a.s.l. According to the traditional agroecological zonation of Ethiopia, 85% is Kola (lowlands, warm), 10% Woina dega (mid-altitude moist, cool), and 5% Dega (highland, cool). The mean annual rainfall of the district ranges from 700 to 1000 mm. The average annual temperature ranges from 23.5 to 35.5[degrees]C. Diverse soil types exist in the areas, of which Acrisols and Nitisols that occur on the gentler slopes and Vertisols in the valley bottoms are the dominant ones [12].

2.2. Methodology

2.2.1. Reconnaissance Survey and Site Selection. A reconnaissance survey was conducted from August 10 to 25, 2010, to depict the different vegetation types, natural resource management, and indigenous knowledge associated with the use of wild edible plant species. Following the survey, focus group discussion was carried out in one of the study sites. After the discussion, five villages were systematically selected as study sites out of the total 15 villages of the district (Figure 1). The study villages were chosen based on proximity to the existing remnant forest resources and representativeness of the different agroecologies.

2.2.2. Ethnobotanical Data Collection. Seventy-two informants (40 males and 32 females) from different age groups were chosen from five villages of the study site based on the recommendations given from elders, Development Agents (DAs), and kebele (village) administration leaders. The ages of the informants were between 15 years and 60 years. The key informants were chosen based on traditional knowledge of wild edible plants following the suggestion made by [13]. Semistructured interviews, field observation, and focus group discussions (FGDs) were employed for data collection. Focus group discussions were employed for wild edible plants investigation to help in comparison of patterns evident among individual interviews and to reject contradictory information. Accordingly, FGDs were undertaken in groups consisting of six to eight people in five selected kebeles. Interviews were conducted in "Shinashegna, Gumuzegna, and Amharic" languages with the help of local translators.

2.2.3. Plant Specimen Collection and Identification. Based on the ethnobotanical information obtained from informants, specimens with their vernacular names were collected, numbered, pressed, and dried for identification. Preliminary identification was done in the field based on published guides of useful trees and shrubs of Ethiopia [4]. The identification was done mainly based on the works of [4,14-16]. All voucher specimens of the wild edible plants labeled with scientific and vernacular names were stored in Biology department herbarium, Bahir Dar University.

2.3. Data Analysis. Descriptive statistics that are percentage and frequency were used to analyze the ethnobotanical data of the reported wild edible plants and their associated indigenous knowledge. Preference ranking was computed to assess the degree of preference of wild edible fruit and leafy vegetables based on taste, edibility quality, and importance of species at different seasons. Priority ranking was employed to determine threats of wild edible plants based on their level of destructive effects. To recognize threats of wild edible plant species, values from 1-5 were given: 1 is the least destructive threat and 5 is the most destructive threat. Use diversity ranking was carried out to identify the multipurpose use of wild edible plants which were commonly reported by the key informants.

3. Results and Discussions

3.1. Indigenous Knowledge (IK) Transfer and Practice. Out of the 72 respondents, 70 (93.5%) reported that their knowledge of wild food plants was acquired through observation, imitation, and oral history, while 2 (26.5%) reported that they acquired knowledge secretly from elders, when they became very old. Moreover, the respondents reported that the knowledge of wild food plants was transferred through songs, folklore, and riddles in local languages at different times especially when the people are at rest especially during the night time.

3.2. Taxonomic Diversity. A total of 77 wild edible plant species belonging to 61 genera and 39 families were recorded in the study area (Table 1). The relative high number of wild edible plants in the study area may be due to the more intensive utilization of plants by the local communities and diverse agroecology. Of the reported 39 families, Tiliaceae, Euphorbiaceae, and Moraceae had the highest number of species (5, 4, and 4), respectively. But the remaining families were represented by 1 to 3 species. The reported plant species were comparable with those reported elsewhere in Ethiopia [5, 7, 17].

3.3. Growth Forms, Parts Used, and Mode of Consumption/Preparation. The largest numbers of edible wild plant species were found to be trees, followed by herbs, shrubs, and climbers (Figure 2). This result also concurs with the works of [17, 18]. Regarding parts used, a total of 6 edible parts were recorded. Of these, 63.6% were fruits, 20.8% leaves, and 6.5% roots and tubers, while the remaining 9.1% were flowers, nectar, stem barks, and seeds (Figure 3). This implies that more than one part of a plant species was consumed by humans. The result concurs with [19]. As regards the mode of consumption, 57.1% are consumed raw, 16.9% boiled, 6.5% in juice form, 9.1% either raw or boiled, and 5.2% as porridge/sauce (Figure 4).

3.4. Preference of Edibility of Parts. In the study area preference of wild food plants parts varied. For example, plants consumed during famine were not consumed during normal periods. As informants reported, the roots of Dioscorea cayenensis Lam. and the young stem of Phoenix reclinata Jacq. are only consumed during times of food shortage. Moreover, the results of pairwise ranking in Table 2 indicated that the fruits of Vitex dodoniaa Sweet are the most preferred wild food fruits over the other reported wild food fruits (Table 2). This is due to them being well known by all communities. Preference of wild leafy vegetables indicates that Portulaca quadrifida L. ranks first (Table 3). This is due to their easy accessibility and palatability. These results concur with [10].

3.5. Traditional Medicinal and Other Uses of Wild Edible Plants. In the study area informants reported that of the identified plant species sixteen (20.7%) plant species including parts such as leaves, fruit, stem bark, root, and seeds were mentioned as useful to treat one or more human health problems (Table 4). The number of these plants against the specific human ailment ranged from 1% to 18.7%. Of the 16 species mentioned, the leaves and roots of Balanites aegyptiaca got priority by the local communities to relive abdominal pain. The fruit of Cordia africana is also mentioned as treatment for diarrhea; the leaves of Solanum nigrum are used to treat abdominal pain and the roots of Carissa spinarum for remedying tape worm.

Most of the plant remedies used by the people of Bullen district are obtained from herbs (37.5%) followed by trees (31.2%) (Table 4). Data analysis showed that the majority (20.7%) of medicinal plants in the wild are herbs and are used in the treatment of different kinds of diseases, in addition to their food value. This result indicates that people rely more on herbs and trees because they are relatively common in the area compared to shrub species. This finding agrees with the findings of [17, 20] in southern Wello Chefa area and Debub Omo Zone.

The most widely sought plant parts in the preparation of remedies are roots (56.2%). The popularity of these parts has grave consequences, from both ecological point of view and the survival of the wild edible species point of view [21]. On the other hand, collecting leaves alone could not pose a lasting danger to the continuity of an individual plant compared with the collection of roots, bark, stem, or whole plant.

3.6. Multipurpose Use of Wild Edible Plants. Apart from their food and medicinal values, the reported wild edible plants are used for different purposes. Direct matrix ranking was undertaken in order to evaluate multipurpose use of tree species and their relative importance to the local people and the extent of the existing threats related to their use values (Table 5). The result of use diversity indicates that Syzygium guineense are ranked 1st because they are used for different purposes such as construction, firewood, fence, and so forth in the study area. This shows that the local people harvest the wild edible plants not only for food but mostly for construction, firewood, and furniture (Table 5).

3.7. Threats to Wild Edible Plants. Currently some of the remnant forests with large numbers of the wild edible plants in the study area are subjected to frequent deforestation by the local community. This is attributed mainly to human population pressure and its associated effects. Agricultural land expansions, wild fire, fuel wood collection, overgrazing, and overharvesting are the main reasons for the destruction of wild edible plants. Of these factors, agricultural land expansion ranks first followed by overgrazing and fuel wood collection (Table 6).

The level of threats of wild edible plants varies among the different studied villages of the district. Accordingly, informants from Aygal Mozanbus and Azemna Bansh rated agricultural land expansion as the principal threat to wild edible plant species. This is mainly due to increasing demand for arable land due to increasing human population. In the Baruda village, overgrazing uncontrolled fire setting followed by agricultural land expansion is the major factor that threatens the wild edible plants' diversity. The introduction of new grazing land due to high livestock density has possibly resulted in the overgrazing of large areas of the Baruda village. Similarly, in Doshna Moch, informants claimed fuel wood collection to be equally hazardous as overgrazing in threatening wild edible plants species. Uncontrolled fire setting was also another major threat to wild plant in Chilanqo village. It was observed that many woody species were severely affected by such fires where the tree and shrub stands decline and some are completely burned. Others are dried and collected as fire wood and the newly grown vegetative parts of woody species are further overbrowsed and trampled by overgrazing, causing considerable damage to the species. The same result was reported by [19] in Derashe and Kucha districts of southern Ethiopia, indicating that uncontrolled fire affects many woody plants including fire tolerant species when the duration of fire is too long.

3.8. Conservation of Wild Edible Plants and Associated Knowledge. Agricultural land expansion, fuel wood collection, and uncontrolled fire setting are the major threats to the conservation of wild edible plants in the study area. Despite the understanding of the local people about the importance of conserving the wild edible plants, only some in situ (in original/natural habitat) conservation methods like planting in the form of fences and protected pasture land in different worship areas (churches, mosques) and in their farm field/farm margins are being practiced in the study area. This indicates that the necessary conservation measures are not being taken in the area, and hence the wild edible plants are not free from threats.

4. Conclusion

The knowledge of wild food plants was transferred through songs, folklore, and riddles in local languages at different times especially when the people are at rest especially during the night time. The study revealed that all household members of the study area were involved in the collection and consumption of wild edible plant species. This helps to ensure the maintenance of indigenous knowledge associated with wild edible plant species. However, there is a decline in the consumption of some wild edible plant species that were used during periods of drought and famine such as the young seedling of Borassus aethiopum and the young stem of Phoenix reclinata which gradually lead to the fade-away of the indigenous knowledge associated with them. The local knowledge about the nutritional composition and side effects of the wild edible plant species is very scanty and little is known about undesirable side effects such as toxicity originating from the wild edible plants. Apart from their food and medicinal value, most of the identified wild edible plant species in the study area are used by the community for other different purpose. The local people harvest the wild edible plants not only for food but also for construction, fire wood, and furniture. Particularly, wild edible plant species such as Syzygium guineense and Cordia africana are multipurpose plant species widely used by the local communities. Thus, this has led to a high level of threats to the wild edible plant species in the study area. In addition, many of the wild edible plants found in the study area are found to be under growing pressure, due to anthropogenic and socioeconomic factors. This has resulted in the dwindling of the species of wild edible plants and the associated indigenous knowledge.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors have not declared any conflicts of interest.


The authors are grateful to the informants and local communities of Bullen district for sharing their incredible accumulated knowledge of the wild edible plants in the field. Without their contribution, this study would have been impossible.


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Tariku Berihun (1) and Eyayu Molla (2)

(1) Department of Biology, Dilla University, P.O. Box 419, Dilla, Ethiopia

(2) Department of Biology, BahirDar University P.O. Box79, BahirDar, Ethiopia

Correspondence should be addressed to Tariku Berihun;

Received 9 January 2017; Accepted 16 April 2017; Published 15 May 2017

Academic Editor: Muhammad Iqbal

Caption: FIGURE 1: Location map of the study area (Woreda is an administrative unit almost equivalent to a district and kebele to village).

Caption: FIGURE 2: Number and habit of wild edible plants used by the local people.

Caption: FIGURE 4: Number of wild edible plant parts used by the local people. FO = fruit only, Lo = leaf only, FL & Ne = flower and nectars, SB = stem bark, RT & TU = root and tuber, and OP = other part.
TABLE 1: List of the reported wild edible plants in study
area based on family name, scientific name, local name,
habit, part used, and mode of consumption and preparation.
Growth habit: T = tree, H = herb, S = shrub, and C = climber
local name: GU = Gumuzegna, SH = Shinashegna; habitat:
WL = wood land, FL = farm land, HG = home garden, DR = dry
river bed, RV = riverine forest, RS = road side, FM = forest
margin, FE = fences, RC = rocky or dry forest TB = Tariku
Berihun, and Co. No = collection number.

Family                Scientific names          Local name      Habit

                   Acanthus sennii Chiove      Koshosha (SH)      H

Acanthaceae        Justica ladanoides Lam.      Kakim (GU)        H
                    Justicia schimperiana       Dumuga (SH)       S
                       Hochst. ex Nees
Amaranthaceae       Amaranthus caudata L.       Darka (GU)        H
                  Amaranthus cruentus Thell      Lama (SH)        H
                   Amaranthus hybridus L.       Dahka (GU)        H
                   Rhus retinorrhoea Oliv.    Kefijanga (SH)      T
Anacardiaceae       Rhus vulgaris Meikle       Bakitela (SH)      S
                    Rhus ruspolii Engle.         Qamo (SH)        T
Annonaceae          Annona cherimola Mill      Gishita (SH)       T
                  Annona senegalensis Pers.    Bambuta (SH)       T
Apocynaceae       Carissa spinarum (Forssk)      Soha (GU)        S
                   Saba comorensis (Boji.)       Fuya (SH)        C
Apiaceae          Anethum graveolens (Mill)    Lubicha (GU)       H
                  Foeniculum vulgare (Mill)    Qushuwa (SH)       H
Asteraceae         Vernonia amygdalina Del     Banjaga (GU)       H
                      Bidens pilosa L.         Tsetsega (SH)      H
Araceae              Colocosa esculanta         Kompha (SH)       H
Arecaceae         Borassus aethiopum Mart.       Goha (SH)        T
                   Phoenix reclinata Jacq        Wola (SH)        S
Balanitaceae        Balanites aegyptiaca         Qota (SH)        T
                          (L.) Del.
Boraginaceae        Cordia africana Lam.        Banja (SH)        T
Celastraceae        Maytenus senegalensis       Tisha (GU)        S
                       (Lam.) Excell.
                     Salacia congolensis        Tsera (SH)        S
Commelinaceae       Commelina africana L.       Echaya (GU)       T
                      Cucurbita pepo L.        Maximara (SH)      C
Cucurbitaceae         Gladiolus candies         Engula (SH)       C
                      Momordica foetida         Badha (SH)        C
Dioscoreaceae       Dioscorea cayenensis        Egera (GU)        C
                          Dioscorea              Anga (GU)        C
                      prehensilis Benth
Ebenaceae                 Diospyros            Maranta (SH)       T
Erythroxylaceae         Erythroxylon            Tiriga (GU)       H
                       fischeri Engle
                     Bridelia micrantha         Yejega (GU)       T
                    Croton macrostachyus      Shekeshek (SH)      T
Euphorbiaceae       Bridelia scleroneura        Ajega (GU)        T
                    Sepium ellipticum L.      Andirgago (SH)      S
                  Clutia lanceolata Hoechst     Doguha (SH)       S
Fabaceae           Senna obtusifolia (L.)      Bamdisa (GU)       H
                       Irwan & Barneby
                   Piliostigma thonningii       Mac'a (SH)        T
                    Tamarindus indica L.        Dogha (SH)        T
Flacourtiaceae     Oncoba spinosa Forssk.        Ula (SH)         S
Loganiaceae        Strychnos innocua Del.        Oola (SH)        T
                    Strychnos spinosa L.       Merenza (GU)       T
                   Abelmoschus esculentus       Andeha (GU)       H
Malvaceae           Abelmoschus ficulneus     Andha yiza (SH)     H
                         (L.) Monch
                   Hibiscus cannabinus L.       Tisha (GU)        H
                     Ficus vasta Forssk          Bowa (GU)        T
Moraceae              Ficus sur Forssk           Essa (SH)        T
                     Ficus sycomorus L.          Fuqa (GU)        T
                        Moras alba L.           Injor (SH)        S
Moringaceae          Moringa stenopetala       Sheferwu (SH)      S
Musaceae             Ensete Ventricosum        Echecha (SH)       T
                     Eugenia uniflora L.      Badirbonga (SH)     S
Myrtaceae            Syzygium guineense         Daguwa (GU)       T
                      Dc. sp. guineense
                     Syzygium guineense          Diwa (SH)        T
                         (Wild.) Dc.
                      ssp. macrocarpum
Poaceae           Oxytenanthera abyssinica       Soha (GU)        H
                      (A. Rich.) Munro
Polygonaceae       Rumex abyssinicus Jacq       Ambata (SH)       H
Olacaceae           Ximenia americana L.         Meyo (GU)        T
Portulacaceae      Portulaca quadrifida L.       Kiwa (SH)        H
Sapotaceae          Mimusops kummel A.DC.      Shemiya (SH)       T
                        Lycopersicon           Komidira (SH)      H
                       esculentum Mill
Solanaceae          Physalis peruviana L.       Bosiya (SH)       H
                      Solanum nigrum L.         Func'a (SH)       H
Rhamnaceae           Ziziphus abyssinica        Anguga (GU)       T
                   Ziziphus spina-christi       Sirah (Gu)        T
                          (L.) Wild
Sapindaceae       Lepisanthes senegalensis      Bekuda (SH)       S
Rubiaceae            Gardenia ternifolia         Gaaba(GU)        T
                     Schummach & Thonn.
                      Pavetta crassipes         Munqa (SH)        S
                   Vangueria apiculata L.        Hawa (SH)        S
                     Grewia bicolor Juss        Somoya (SH)       S
Tiliaceae             Grewia ferruginea       Galqoriya (Sh)      S
                      Hochst. ex A.Rich
                     Grewia mollis Juss         Qoriya (GU)       S

                    Grewia schweinfurthii      Badiriya (GU)      S
                   Corchorus olitorius L.       Laliaq (SH)       H
Verbenaceae          Vitex doniana Sweet        Kokor (SH)        T
Ulmaceae           Celtis africana Brum.f.       Qawo (GU)        T
Zingiberaceae      Etlingera littoralis L.    Zingibila (GU)      H

Family                Scientific names           Part used

                   Acanthus sennii Chiove      Flower nectar
Acanthaceae        Justica ladanoides Lam.         Leaves
                    Justicia schimperiana      Flower nectar
                       Hochst. ex Nees
Amaranthaceae       Amaranthus caudata L.      Leaves & young
                  Amaranthus cruentus Thell    Leaves & seed
                   Amaranthus hybridus L.          Leaves
                   Rhus retinorrhoea Oliv.         Fruit
Anacardiaceae       Rhus vulgaris Meikle           Fruit
                    Rhus ruspolii Engle.           Fruit
Annonaceae          Annona cherimola Mill          Fruit
                  Annona senegalensis Pers.        Fruit
Apocynaceae       Carissa spinarum (Forssk)        Fruit
                   Saba comorensis (Boji.)         Fruit
Apiaceae          Anethum graveolens (Mill)        Leaves
                  Foeniculum vulgare (Mill)        Leaves
Asteraceae         Vernonia amygdalina Del         Leaves
                      Bidens pilosa L.             Leaves
Araceae              Colocosa esculanta            Tubers
Arecaceae         Borassus aethiopum Mart.      Fruit &young
                   Phoenix reclinata Jacq      Fruit and stem
Balanitaceae        Balanites aegyptiaca           Fruit
                          (L.) Del.
Boraginaceae        Cordia africana Lam.           Fruit
Celastraceae        Maytenus senegalensis          Fruit
                       (Lam.) Excell.
                     Salacia congolensis         Stem bark
Commelinaceae       Commelina africana L.          leaves
                      Cucurbita pepo L.            Leaves
Cucurbitaceae         Gladiolus candies         Young shoot
                      Momordica foetida       Leaves and fruit
Dioscoreaceae       Dioscorea cayenensis        Tubers/root
                          Dioscorea             Root/tubers
                      prehensilis Benth
Ebenaceae                 Diospyros                Fruit
Erythroxylaceae         Erythroxylon               Leaves
                       fischeri Engle
                     Bridelia micrantha            Fruit
                    Croton macrostachyus           Leaves
Euphorbiaceae       Bridelia scleroneura           Fruit
                    Sepium ellipticum L.           Fruit
                  Clutia lanceolata Hoechst        Fruit
Fabaceae           Senna obtusifolia (L.)           Seed
                       Irwan & Barneby
                   Piliostigma thonningii          Fruit
                    Tamarindus indica L.           Fruit
Flacourtiaceae     Oncoba spinosa Forssk.          Fruit
Loganiaceae        Strychnos innocua Del.          Fruit
                    Strychnos spinosa L.           Fruit
                   Abelmoschus esculentus          Fruit
Malvaceae           Abelmoschus ficulneus          Fruit
                         (L.) Monch
                   Hibiscus cannabinus L.          Leaves
                     Ficus vasta Forssk            Fruit
Moraceae              Ficus sur Forssk             Fruit
                     Ficus sycomorus L.            Fruit
                        Moras alba L.              Fruit
Moringaceae          Moringa stenopetala            Y, L
Musaceae             Ensete Ventricosum            Fruit
                     Eugenia uniflora L.           Fruit
Myrtaceae            Syzygium guineense            Fruit
                      Dc. sp. guineense
                     Syzygium guineense            Fruit
                         (Wild.) Dc.
                      ssp. macrocarpum
Poaceae           Oxytenanthera abyssinica          Yse
                      (A. Rich.) Munro
Polygonaceae       Rumex abyssinicus Jacq           Root
Olacaceae           Ximenia americana L.           Fruit
Portulacaceae      Portulaca quadrifida L.         Leaves
Sapotaceae          Mimusops kummel A.DC.          Fruit
                        Lycopersicon               Fruit
                       esculentum Mill
Solanaceae          Physalis peruviana L.          Fruit
                      Solanum nigrum L.       Fruit and leaves
Rhamnaceae           Ziziphus abyssinica           Fruit
                   Ziziphus spina-christi          Fruit
                          (L.) Wild
Sapindaceae       Lepisanthes senegalensis         Fruit
Rubiaceae            Gardenia ternifolia           Fruit
                     Schummach & Thonn.
                      Pavetta crassipes            Fruit
                   Vangueria apiculata L.          Fruit
                     Grewia bicolor Juss           Fruit
Tiliaceae             Grewia ferruginea            Fruit
                      Hochst. ex A.Rich
                     Grewia mollis Juss          Stem bark
                    Grewia schweinfurthii          Leaves
                   Corchorus olitorius L.          Leaves
Verbenaceae          Vitex doniana Sweet           Fruit
Ulmaceae           Celtis africana Brum.f.         Fruit
Zingiberaceae      Etlingera littoralis L.         Tuber

Family                Scientific names         Preparation and mode
                                                  of consumption

                   Acanthus sennii Chiove        Juice of flower
                                                nectars is sipped
                                                      by lip
Acanthaceae        Justica ladanoides Lam.       Flesh leaves are
                                                 boiled and eaten
                    Justicia schimperiana      Juice of nectars is
                       Hochst. ex Nees            sipped by lip
Amaranthaceae       Amaranthus caudata L.        Young leaves and
                                               shoots of plants are
                                                eaten after being
                                              cooked with Phaseolus
                                                   vulgaris L.
                  Amaranthus cruentus Thell      Leaves are eaten
                                               cooked and the seed
                                                    is grinded
                                               and eaten when it is
                                               changed to porridge
                   Amaranthus hybridus L.        Leaves are eaten
                   Rhus retinorrhoea Oliv.      Fruit is eaten raw
Anacardiaceae       Rhus vulgaris Meikle        Fruit is eaten raw
                    Rhus ruspolii Engle.       Fruit is soaked with
                                                straw until it is
                                                ripe and eaten raw
Annonaceae          Annona cherimola Mill       Fruit is eaten raw
                  Annona senegalensis Pers.     Fruit is eaten raw
Apocynaceae       Carissa spinarum (Forssk)     Fruit is eaten raw
                           Vahil.                  and as juice
                   Saba comorensis (Boji.)      Fruit is eaten raw
Apiaceae          Anethum graveolens (Mill)    Leaves are eaten raw
                                              or after being cooked
                                               with Cucurbita pepo
                  Foeniculum vulgare (Mill)    Leaves are squeezed
                                               with Allium sativum
                                                  L. and used as
Asteraceae         Vernonia amygdalina Del       Leaves are eaten
                                               either raw or cooked
                      Bidens pilosa L.           Leaves are eaten
                                                after being boiled
Araceae              Colocosa esculanta          The tuber is cut
                          (Hochst)              off, dried for one
                                               day, and eaten after
                                              being properly boiled
Arecaceae         Borassus aethiopum Mart.    Germinating parts are
                                                eaten after being
                                               boiled and the fruit
                                                is eaten raw after
                                                   soaking with
                                                straw for a month
                   Phoenix reclinata Jacq      External surface of
                                                 the young stem i
                                                 removed by sharp
                                               materials and boiled
                                                for two days until
                                               toxic substances are
                                              removed and then after
                                                  staying for 30
                                                  minutes before
                                                 eating. Fruit is
                                                eaten raw or after
                                                soaking with straw
                                               until it is ripened
Balanitaceae        Balanites aegyptiaca        Fleshy exocarp of
                          (L.) Del.            the fruit is removed
                                                first and then the
                                                stony mesocarp is
                                                  broken and the
                                                endocarp fruit is
                                               roasted and is eaten
                                                  after getting
                                              immersed with alcohol
                                              for sexual excitement
                                              and to neutralize the
                                                alcoholic effects
Boraginaceae        Cordia africana Lam.      The fruit is eaten raw
Celastraceae        Maytenus senegalensis     The fruit is eaten raw
                       (Lam.) Excell.
                     Salacia congolensis       The internal part of
                           (Wild.)             stem bark is removed
                                               carefully ground and
                                               the extracted juice
                                                 is used as sauce
Commelinaceae       Commelina africana L.        Leaves are eaten
                                                  after cooking
                      Cucurbita pepo L.          Young leaves are
                                               eaten after cooking
Cucurbitaceae         Gladiolus candies          Young shoots are
                          (Rendle)             eaten after cooking
                      Momordica foetida          Young leaves are
                          Schumach.            eaten after cooking
                                                  and the fruit
                                              endocarp is eaten raw
Dioscoreaceae       Dioscorea cayenensis       The poisonous parts
                            Lam.                  of tubers are
                                                 removed and the
                                               remaining parts are
                                               eaten after cooking
                          Dioscorea           Boiled tuber is eaten
                      prehensilis Benth
Ebenaceae                 Diospyros             Fruit is eaten raw
Erythroxylaceae         Erythroxylon           The leaves are eaten
                       fischeri Engle                  raw
                     Bridelia micrantha       The fruit is eaten raw
                    Croton macrostachyus       Young cooked shoots
                            Del.                      eaten
Euphorbiaceae       Bridelia scleroneura      The fruit is eaten raw
                    Sepium ellipticum L.      The fruit is eaten raw
                  Clutia lanceolata Hoechst   The fruit is eaten raw
Fabaceae           Senna obtusifolia (L.)     Endocarp is eaten raw
                       Irwan & Barneby
                   Piliostigma thonningii       Fruit is eaten raw
                    Tamarindus indica L.        Fleshy exocarp is
                                                    eaten raw
Flacourtiaceae     Oncoba spinosa Forssk.       Fleshy endocarp is
                                                    eaten raw
Loganiaceae        Strychnos innocua Del.     The fruit is eaten raw
                    Strychnos spinosa L.      The fruit is eaten raw
                   Abelmoschus esculentus     The fruit is eaten raw
Malvaceae           Abelmoschus ficulneus     The fruit is eaten raw
                         (L.) Monch
                   Hibiscus cannabinus L.       Leaves are burned
                                               until they form ash
                                               and are used as salt
                     Ficus vasta Forssk       The fruit is eaten raw
Moraceae              Ficus sur Forssk        The fruit is eaten raw
                     Ficus sycomorus L.       The fruit is eaten raw
                        Moras alba L.         The fruit is eaten raw
Moringaceae          Moringa stenopetala       Cooked young leaves,
                             Lam               eaten with Phaseolus
                                               vulgaris L. and rice
Musaceae             Ensete Ventricosum       The fruit is eaten raw
                     Eugenia uniflora L.      The fruit is eaten raw
Myrtaceae            Syzygium guineense       The fruit is eaten raw
                           (Wild.)            or drunk in juice form
                      Dc. sp. guineense
                     Syzygium guineense       The fruit is eaten raw
                         (Wild.) Dc.
                      ssp. macrocarpum
Poaceae           Oxytenanthera abyssinica      The young seedling
                      (A. Rich.) Munro        boiled and eaten with
Polygonaceae       Rumex abyssinicus Jacq     Root grinded by mortar
                                              and the squeezed part
                                              used as food decoction
Olacaceae           Ximenia americana L.      The fruit is eaten raw
Portulacaceae      Portulaca quadrifida L.      The shoot part is
                                               ground together with
                                                 Allium sativum,
                                               Foeniculum vulgare,
                                               and Ruta chalepensis
                                                to form sauce and
                                               eaten with porridge
                                                and injeria (local
Sapotaceae          Mimusops kummel A.DC.     The fruit is eaten as
                        Lycopersicon          The fruit is eaten raw
                       esculentum Mill
Solanaceae          Physalis peruviana L.     The fruit is eaten raw
                      Solanum nigrum L.       The fruit is eaten raw
                                                and the leaves are
                                                raw together with
                                                   green pepper
Rhamnaceae           Ziziphus abyssinica      The fruit is eaten raw
                   Ziziphus spina-christi     The fruit is eaten raw
                          (L.) Wild
Sapindaceae       Lepisanthes senegalensis    The fruit is eaten raw
Rubiaceae            Gardenia ternifolia      The fruit is eaten raw
                     Schummach & Thonn.
                      Pavetta crassipes       The fruit is eaten raw
                   Vangueria apiculata L.     The fruit is eaten raw
                     Grewia bicolor Juss      The fruit is eaten raw
Tiliaceae             Grewia ferruginea       The fruit is eaten raw
                      Hochst. ex A.Rich
                     Grewia mollis Juss         The inner parts of
                                               stem bark are safely
                                               and soaked with hot
                                              water and grinded and
                                              collecting juice used
                                                     as sauce
                    Grewia schweinfurthii      The fruit eaten raw
                   Corchorus olitorius L.       Young leaves eaten
                                                raw or after being
Verbenaceae          Vitex doniana Sweet        The fruit is eaten
Ulmaceae           Celtis africana Brum.f.    The fruit is eaten raw
Zingiberaceae      Etlingera littoralis L.    The fruit is eaten raw

Family                Scientific names        Habitat   Co. No

                   Acanthus sennii Chiove     WL, FL    TB 069
Acanthaceae        Justica ladanoides Lam.     RV EL    TB 046
                    Justicia schimperiana       FE      TB 014
                       Hochst. ex Nees
Amaranthaceae       Amaranthus caudata L.     HG, RS    TB 034
                  Amaranthus cruentus Thell   HG, WL    TB 063
                   Amaranthus hybridus L.     HG, RS    TB 031
                   Rhus retinorrhoea Oliv.      WL      TB 009
Anacardiaceae       Rhus vulgaris Meikle      RV, WL    TB 015
                    Rhus ruspolii Engle.        WL      TB 002
Annonaceae          Annona cherimola Mill     WL, FE    TB 060
                  Annona senegalensis Pers.     WL      TB 043
Apocynaceae       Carissa spinarum (Forssk)   WL, RV    TB 068
                   Saba comorensis (Boji.)      RV      TB 050
Apiaceae          Anethum graveolens (Mill)   RS, RV    TB 045
                  Foeniculum vulgare (Mill)     HG      TB 037
Asteraceae         Vernonia amygdalina Del     WL DR    TB 070
                      Bidens pilosa L.          RS      TB 057
Araceae              Colocosa esculanta       RV, HG    TB 004
Arecaceae         Borassus aethiopum Mart.      WL      TB 038
                   Phoenix reclinata Jacq     FM, WL    TB 003
Balanitaceae        Balanites aegyptiaca        WL      TB 071
                          (L.) Del.
Boraginaceae        Cordia africana Lam.      WL, FM    TB 051
Celastraceae        Maytenus senegalensis       WL      TB 012
                       (Lam.) Excell.
                     Salacia congolensis        WL      TB 036
Commelinaceae       Commelina africana L.       WL      TB 047
                      Cucurbita pepo L.         HG      TB 053
Cucurbitaceae         Gladiolus candies         RV      TB 001
                      Momordica foetida         RV      TB 028
Dioscoreaceae       Dioscorea cayenensis      WL, RV    TB 010
                          Dioscorea             WL      TB 040
                      prehensilis Benth
Ebenaceae                 Diospyros           RV, FL    TB 072
Erythroxylaceae         Erythroxylon            HG      TB 030
                       fischeri Engle
                     Bridelia micrantha       WL, FL    TB 062
                    Croton macrostachyus        WL      TB 076
Euphorbiaceae       Bridelia scleroneura      WL, FL    TB 044
                    Sepium ellipticum L.        RC      TB 065
                  Clutia lanceolata Hoechst     WL      TB 067
Fabaceae           Senna obtusifolia (L.)     HG, RS    TB 011
                       Irwan & Barneby
                   Piliostigma thonningii       WL      TB 033
                    Tamarindus indica L.        WL      TB 008
Flacourtiaceae     Oncoba spinosa Forssk.       WL      TB 059
Loganiaceae        Strychnos innocua Del.     WL, DR    TB 035
                    Strychnos spinosa L.        WL      TB 047
                   Abelmoschus esculentus       HG      TB 024
Malvaceae           Abelmoschus ficulneus     Hg, FM    TB 058
                         (L.) Monch
                   Hibiscus cannabinus L.     HG, FL    TB 032
                     Ficus vasta Forssk        RV, F    TB 021
Moraceae              Ficus sur Forssk          RV      TB 013
                     Ficus sycomorus L.       WL, FL    TB 067
                        Moras alba L.           FE      TB 019
Moringaceae          Moringa stenopetala        HG      TB 016
Musaceae             Ensete Ventricosum       RV, HG    TB 066
                     Eugenia uniflora L.        WL      TB 064
Myrtaceae            Syzygium guineense         RV      TB 061
                      Dc. sp. guineense
                     Syzygium guineense       WL, FL    TB 018
                         (Wild.) Dc.
                      ssp. macrocarpum
Poaceae           Oxytenanthera abyssinica    WL, HG    TB 007
                      (A. Rich.) Munro
Polygonaceae       Rumex abyssinicus Jacq       HG      TB 073
Olacaceae           Ximenia americana L.      WL, FL    TB 017
Portulacaceae      Portulaca quadrifida L.    HG, FL    TB 006
Sapotaceae          Mimusops kummel A.DC.     WL, FL    TB 040
                        Lycopersicon             R      TB 048
                       esculentum Mill
Solanaceae          Physalis peruviana L.     Rs, DA    TB 023
                      Solanum nigrum L.       HG, RS    TB 054
Rhamnaceae           Ziziphus abyssinica        WL      TB 055
                   Ziziphus spina-christi       WL      TB 049
                          (L.) Wild
Sapindaceae       Lepisanthes senegalensis      W1      TB 052
Rubiaceae            Gardenia ternifolia      WL, FL    TB 016
                     Schummach & Thonn.
                      Pavetta crassipes       WL, FL    TB 020
                   Vangueria apiculata L.       FM      TB 056
                     Grewia bicolor Juss       FE.FL    TB 074
Tiliaceae             Grewia ferruginea         WL      TB 039
                      Hochst. ex A.Rich
                     Grewia mollis Juss       WL, FL    TB 025
                    Grewia schweinfurthii      RV.FL    TB 077
                   Corchorus olitorius L.     FL, DR    TB 027
Verbenaceae          Vitex doniana Sweet        WL      TB 005
Ulmaceae           Celtis africana Brum.f.      DR      TB 07
Zingiberaceae      Etlingera littoralis L.      RV      TB 026

TABLE 2: Pairwise ranking based on taste of seven edible
fruits in study area.

Plant species                   Respondents          Score   Rank

                         1   2   3   4   5   6   7

Annona senegalensis      4   5   2   3   4   5   2    25     2nd
Balanites aegyptiaca     3   2   4   2   3   1   2    17     4th
Vitex doniana            5   4   2   3   5   5   4    28     1st
Tamarindus indica        2   3   4   5   2   3   1    20     3rd
Syzygium guineense       2   1   3   4   3   1   2    16     5th
Ziziphus spina-christi   1   1   2   1   2   3   4    14     6th
Oncoba spinosa           2   3   3   2   2   1   1    13     7th

TABLE 3: Pairwise ranking based on taste of seven green leafy
vegetables in study area.

Plant species                 Respondents          Score   Rank

                       1   2   3   4   5   6   7
Portulaca quadrifida   4   1   4   4   5   5   1    24     1st
Corchorus olitorius    3   2   4   5   1   2   4    21     2nd
Amaranthus hybridus    1   1   1   1   2   2   3    11     6th
Solanum nigrum         4   5   1   3   3   2   2    20     3rd
Vernonia amygdalina    2   2   1   1   1   3   2    12     5th
Bidens pilosa          2   3   1   1   1   1   1    10     7th
Rumex abyssinica       3   4   2   3   1   4   4    21     4th

TABLE 4: Traditional medicinal importance of some wild edible
plants for human in the study area (N = 48).

Scientific name             Treated health          Part used
                            problem symptom

Balanites aegyptiaca        Abdominal pain          Leaf/root
                                Malaria               Root
                       A kind of dermal swelling      Root
                             Hypertension             Root
                               Bichawoba              Root
Bidens pilosa                 Tanea pedis             Leaf
Amaranthus hybridus            Tape worm              Leaf
                               Tape worm              Root
Carissa spinarum             Constipation             Fruit
                               Gonorrhea              Fruit
                               Diarrhea               Fruit
Cordia africana              Constipation             Fruit
                            Abdominal ache            Fruit
Corchorus olitorius            Diarrhea               Leaf
Grewia bicolor             Venereal disease           Fruit
                             Constipation             Root
                             Liver disease            Root
Gardenia ternifolia      Abdominal ache (coli)        Root
                         Abdominal distension         Root
Momordica foetida             Bronchitis              Leaf
Ficus sur                      Ring worm               Sap
                               Diarrhea            Aerial part
Portulaca quadrifida     Abdominal distension      Aerial part
                          Abdominal ache coli      Aerial part
Vernonia amygdalina         Abdominal pain            Leaf
Solanum nigrum              Abdominal pain            Leaf
                                Malaria               Leaf
Tamarindus indica           Abdominal pain            Fruit
                            Abdominal pain            Fruit
Ximenia americana              Gastritis              Fruit
                          Wound (as ointment)         Fruit
Ziziphus abyssinica            Diarrhea               Root
                             Abdominal pan            Root

Scientific name             Treated health          Habit
                            problem symptom

Balanites aegyptiaca        Abdominal pain
                       A kind of dermal swelling    Tree
Bidens pilosa                 Tanea pedis           Herb
Amaranthus hybridus            Tape worm            Herb
                               Tape worm
Carissa spinarum             Constipation           Shrub
Cordia africana              Constipation           Tree
                            Abdominal ache
Corchorus olitorius            Diarrhea             Herb
Grewia bicolor             Venereal disease         Shrub
                             Liver disease
Gardenia ternifolia      Abdominal ache (coli)      Shrub
                         Abdominal distension
Momordica foetida             Bronchitis           climber
Ficus sur                      Ring worm            Tree
Portulaca quadrifida     Abdominal distension       Herb
                          Abdominal ache coli
Vernonia amygdalina         Abdominal pain          Herb
Solanum nigrum              Abdominal pain          Herb
Tamarindus indica           Abdominal pain          Tree
                            Abdominal pain
Ximenia americana              Gastritis            Tree
                          Wound (as ointment)
Ziziphus abyssinica            Diarrhea             Shrub
                             Abdominal pan

Scientific name             Treated health         Number of
                            problem symptom        citations

Balanites aegyptiaca        Abdominal pain             9
                                Malaria                1
                       A kind of dermal swelling       1
                             Hypertension              1
                               Bichawoba               1
Bidens pilosa                 Tanea pedis              1
Amaranthus hybridus            Tape worm              12
                               Tape worm               3
Carissa spinarum             Constipation              1
                               Gonorrhea               3
                               Diarrhea               10
Cordia africana              Constipation              2
                            Abdominal ache             1
Corchorus olitorius            Diarrhea                1
Grewia bicolor             Venereal disease
                             Constipation              1
                             Liver disease             1
Gardenia ternifolia      Abdominal ache (coli)
                         Abdominal distension          1
Momordica foetida             Bronchitis               1
Ficus sur                      Ring worm               1
Portulaca quadrifida     Abdominal distension          1
                          Abdominal ache coli          1
Vernonia amygdalina         Abdominal pain
Solanum nigrum              Abdominal pain
                                Malaria                1
Tamarindus indica           Abdominal pain             1
                            Abdominal pain             1
Ximenia americana              Gastritis               1
                          Wound (as ointment)          1
Ziziphus abyssinica            Diarrhea                1
                             Abdominal pan             1

Scientific name             Treated health         Participants
                            problem symptom         cited for
                                                     use (%)

Balanites aegyptiaca        Abdominal pain            18.75
                                Malaria                2.08
                       A kind of dermal swelling       2.08
                             Hypertension              2.08
                               Bichawoba               2.08
Bidens pilosa                 Tanea pedis              2.08
Amaranthus hybridus            Tape worm                25
                               Tape worm               6.25
Carissa spinarum             Constipation              2.08
                               Gonorrhea               6.25
                               Diarrhea                20.8
Cordia africana              Constipation              4.1
                            Abdominal ache             2.08
Corchorus olitorius            Diarrhea                2.08
Grewia bicolor             Venereal disease            4.1
                             Constipation              2.08
                             Liver disease             2.08
Gardenia ternifolia      Abdominal ache (coli)         4.1
                         Abdominal distension          2.08
Momordica foetida             Bronchitis               2.08
Ficus sur                      Ring worm               2.08
                               Diarrhea                8.3
Portulaca quadrifida     Abdominal distension          2.08
                          Abdominal ache coli          2.08
Vernonia amygdalina         Abdominal pain             4.1
Solanum nigrum              Abdominal pain             6.25
                                Malaria                2.08
Tamarindus indica           Abdominal pain             2.08
                            Abdominal pain             2.08
Ximenia americana              Gastritis               2.08
                          Wound (as ointment)          2.08
Ziziphus abyssinica            Diarrhea                2.08
                             Abdominal pan             2.08

Note. Based on growth habit, the total number of medicinal
wild edible plants in the study area: herb = 6, tree = 5,
shrub = 4, and climber = 1.

TABLE 5: Average score for direct matrix ranking of the
11 wild edible plant species on eight use criteria (use
given from 0 to 4, 0 = not used, 1 = least used, 2 = good,
3 = very good, 4 = excellent).

                        Edible plant species and ranking *

                        1    2    3    4    5    6    7

Edibility               2    0    2    1    2    1    3
Medicine                0    4    2    0    0    3    0
Construction/building   1    3    4    3    3    4    3
Furniture               4    0    3    3    3    3    4
Agricultural tools      0    0    1    0    4    1    0
Fuel wood collection    2    2    3    1    2    4    2
Fodder                  2    1    1    4    3    3    1
Fencing                 0    0    4    0    4    3    3
Total score             11   10   20   12   21   22   16
Rank                    8    9    2    7    3    1    5

                           Edible plant     Total   Rank
                           species and
                           ranking *
                        8    9    10   11

Edibility               1    1    3    1     17     6th
Medicine                1    0    0    0     10     8th
Construction/building   3    3    2    0     29     1th
Furniture               2    0    0    0     22     3rd
Agricultural tools      0    2    3    1     12     7th
Fuel wood collection    1    2    3    2     24     2nd
Fodder                  2    0    4    0     21     4th
Fencing                 3    0    3    0     20     5th
Total score             13   8    18   4
Rank                    6    10   4    11

* 1 = Annona senegalensis, 2 = Carissa spinarum, 3 = Cordia
africana, 4 = Piliostigma thonningii, 5 = Ficus sur,
6 = Syzygium guineense, 7 = Vitex doniana, 8 = Ximenia
americana, 9 = Ziziphus abyssinica, 10 = Balanites aegyptiaca,
and 11 = Ziziphus spina-christi.

TABLE 6: Priority ranking of threats to wild food plants
used on their degree of destructive effects/values of 1-5
that were given: 1 is the least destructive threat and 5
is the most destructive threat.

Factors                          Respondents of each village

                              A1   A2   A3   Dm1   Dm2   Dm3   B1

Agricultural land expansion   4    3    4     2     2     1    3
Uncontrolled fire setting     1    2    1     3     1     1    3
Fuel wood collection          3    2    3     2     3     2    1
Overgrazing                   2    2    3     1     4     2    3
Overharvesting                2    3    1     3     1     3    0

Factors                       Respondents of each village   Total

                              B2   Ch1   Ch2   Ab1   Ab2

Agricultural land expansion   2     1     1     3     3      29
Uncontrolled fire setting     2     1     3     2     1      21
Fuel wood collection          2     2     1     1     2      24
Overgrazing                   3     2     2     1     1      26
Overharvesting                1     1     2     0     1      18

Factors                       Rank

Agricultural land expansion   1st
Uncontrolled fire setting     4th
Fuel wood collection          3rd
Overgrazing                   2nd
Overharvesting                5th

A = Aygal mozanbus; Dm = Doshna Moch; B = Bardud; Ch = Chilanqo;
Ab = Azemina Banosh.

FIGURE 3: Mode of consumption.

Porridge        5%
Boiled or raw   9%
Ash salt        1%
Juice           7%
Boiled          14%
Condiment       5%
Decoration      3%
Raw             56%

Note: Table made from pie chart
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Research Article
Author:Berihun, Tariku; Molla, Eyayu
Publication:Journal of Botany
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:6ETHI
Date:Jan 1, 2017
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