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Innerhofer, S; Bernhardt, KG.
(2011): Ethnobotanic garden design in the Ecuadorian Amazon
BIODIVERS CONSERV. 2011; 20(2): 429-439. FullText FullText_BOKU

This study focuses on the documentation of traditional plant usage among Kichwa, the indigenous people from Canton Loreto, Ecuador. The relationship between people, plants and the natural environment is demonstrated in an ethnobotanical garden at the Capacity Building Centre of the town. The construction site for the ethnobotanical garden is a 1.5 ha secondary forest. The forest was analyzed with a local key informant and 150 different useful species were found. The plant species recorded are mainly used for medicinal purposes, followed by edible plants, and finally by food sources for animals. Open-ended interviews were conducted with the aim of identifying the most commonly used plant species among the Kichwas. The results showed that Ilex guayusa ranked most popular, followed by Myroxylon balsamum, Cedrela odorata, Banisteriopsis caapi, and Urera caracasana. Focus groups were held and the most important plant applications were evaluated. The collected data illustrated that Kichwas attach great importance to medicinal and ritual plants, followed by plants used for handcraft. Edible plants rank afterwards, followed by dye plants and plants used for hunting. The above findings serve as the backbone of the design for the ethnobotanical garden. The garden acts as a tool to preserve and promote the knowledge of plants, focusing mainly on medicinal plants. The growing areas for the plant species were determined according to their importance to the Kichwas. The concept of the ethnobotanical garden conveys the holistic picture drawn from the investigation on people and plants of the Kichwas.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Bernhardt Karl Georg

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
Garden design
Medicinal plants

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