Plant Diversity ›› 2013, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (4): 479-486.DOI: 10.7677/ynzwyj201313063

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An Ethnobotanical Study of Traditional Edible Plants Used by Naxi People in Northwest Yunnan, China——A Case Study in Wenhai Village

 ZHANG  Ling-Ling-1、2, ZHANG  Yu-1, WANG  Li-1、2, WANG  Yu-Hua-1   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory of Economic Plants and Biotechnology, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences,
    Kunming 650201, China; 2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2013-03-25 Online:2013-07-25 Published:2013-06-04


 Knowledge of edible plants used traditionally by ethnic groups is in danger of being lost in fast changing societies, despite the threat of food shortages worldwide. Thus, it is of major importance to conduct ethnobotanical studies of traditional edible plants as still used. The Naxi people are native to Northwest Yunnan and have accumulated abundant traditional botanical knowledge during their existence as an ethnic group. During the whole of 2012, we conducted an ethnobotanical study of edible plants used by Naxi living in Wenhai Village, located at the foot of Yulong Snow Mountain. The investigation involved a literature research and interviews of 89 informants and 30 key informants. A total of 146 species of edible plants belonging to 48 families and 67 genera were documented as in use. The diversity of edible plants encompassed species diversity, collection time diversity, edible part and consumption diversity, and edible function diversity. It was estimated that 22% of plant families and 7.4% of plant genera that comprise the flora of the surrounding area of Yulong Mountain, each contain at least one species of edible plant. Edible plants are collected throughout the year, with 20.44% of them collected in spring, 22.63% in summer, 48.18% in autumn and 8.76% in winter. Traditional edible plants vary according to the part that is edible (eight different types) and consumed (15 types). In addition, 66 edible plants have a medicinal function for preventing or treating 18 different kinds of diseases. The diversity of traditional edible plants used by Naxi people is a rich resource and provides a material basis for avoiding food shortages.

Key words:  Ethnobotany, Naxi nationality, Edible plants diversity

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