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Indigenous fruit plants species of the Mapulana of Ehlanzeni district in Mpumalanga province, South Africa

Mashile, S.P., Tshisikhawe, M.P., Masevhe, N.A.
South African journal of botany 2019 v.122 pp. 180-183
Anacardiaceae, Rhamnaceae, foods, fruits, indigenous knowledge, interviews, livelihood, product development, South Africa
The indigenous communities around Africa and most parts of the world rely on indigenous knowledge systems in identification of edible indigenous foods that supplement their livelihood. This is a practice that has been there since time immemorial. Information on edible indigenous fruit plants was documented among the Mapulana through semi-structured interviews. Eighty-two informants were interviewed on their knowledge of edible indigenous fruit plants. Fifty-two fruit plants species were reported to be part of dietary supplements of the Mapulana. The species belonged to 26 plant families with Anacardiaceae and Rhamnaceae being the dominant families. Native and naturalized fruit species shared unequal preference within the communities, with native fruits being highly preferred than naturalized. The high preference of native fruit plants species shows the potential of unexplored product development. The development of products should be encouraged by the fact that the Mapulana are already cultivating some of these edible indigenous fruit plants in the backyards of their homesteads.