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Ethnobotany of the wild edible plants gathered in Ulleung Island, South Korea

Ong, Homervergel G., Chung, Jae-Min, Jeong, Hye-Ran, Kim, Young-Dong, Choi, Kyung, Shin, Chang-Ho, Lee, You-Mi
Genetic resources and crop evolution 2016 v.63 no.3 pp. 409-427
Allium, Anthriscus sylvestris, Aruncus dioicus, Asteraceae, Lilium, Vitis coignetiae, bulbs, diet, ethnobotany, food plants, fruits, infrastructure, leaves, modernization, parboiling, questionnaires, shoots, spring, steaming, tourism, South Korea
Documentation of diversity and assessment of cultural importance of wild edible plants gathered and consumed in Ulleung Island, South Korea was conducted in this research by asking 83 key informants (average age 70) using semi-structured interview questionnaire, and utilizing quantitative ethnobotanical indices such as use value (UV) and fidelity level (FL). A total of 66 taxa in 36 families of wild food plants were recorded, 10 of which, endemic. Asteraceae and Rosaceae were the most represented families with 10 taxa for each. Leaves, young shoots and fruits were the most collected plant parts especially in spring. The plants which recorded high UVs were Allium ochotense (0.627), Aster pseudoglehnii (0.398) and Aruncus dioicus var. kamtschaticus (0.349), indicating that these plants are considered the most important by the informants. This study also recorded 29 wild edible plant taxa with 100 % FL values. Notable plants (and their preparation) with relatively high FL and use-mentions are Vitis coignetiae (89.47 %), Anthriscus sylvestris (86.67 %) and Lilium hansonii (86.67 %) which are consumed as fruit, prepared by parboiling the shoots and by steaming the bulbs, respectively. Category 5 “Cooked” (COO) was the most preferred mode of preparation when taken as a whole recording 49 % of the total, implying that wild edible plants play a big role in the informants’ regular diet despite growing modernization in the island brought about by government-led tourism and infrastructure development programs. Some social, cultural, nutritional and ecological aspects were also discussed in this paper.