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Ethnobotany of Food Plants in the High River Ter Valley (Pyrenees, Catalonia, Iberian Peninsula): Non-Crop Food Vascular Plants and Crop Food Plants with Medicinal Properties

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The present study reports a part of the findings of an ethnobotanical research project conducted in the Catalan region of the high river Ter valley (Iberian Peninsula), concerning the use of wild vascular plants as food and the medicinal uses of both wild and cultivated food plants. We have detected 100 species which are or have been consumed in this region, 83 of which are treated here (the remaining are the cultivated food plants without additional medicinal uses). Some of them, such as Achillea ptarmica subsp. pyrenaica, Convolvulus arvensis, Leontodon hispidus, Molopospermum peloponnesiacum and Taraxacum dissectum, have not been previously reported, or have only very rarely been cited or indicated as plant foods in very restricted geographical areas. Several of these edible wild plants have a therapeutic use attributed to them by local people, making them a kind of functional food. They are usually eaten raw, dressed in salads or cooked; the elaboration of products from these species such as liquors or marmalades is a common practice in the region. The consumption of these resources is still fairly alive in popular practice, as is the existence of homegardens, where many of these plants are cultivated for private consumption.
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Keywords: edible plants; functional foods; marginal; neglected or underutilised crops; non-crop food plants; wild crop relatives

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Laboratori de Botanica, Facultat de Farmacia, Universitat de Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain 2: Institut Botanic de Barcelona, CSIC-Ajuntament de Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Publication date: 2009-07-01

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