Hominin, tubers and corms

Aqua Flora aquaflorasa@telkomsa.net
Fri, 04 May 2007 14:02:19 PDT
Hi Joe & List,

Joe asked: What USO's are consumed today in Africa south of the equator?

Well, pretty much everything! Open Elsa Pooley's Field Guide to the Wild
Flowers of Kwazulu-Natal on any page and you are bound to find something
that is either eaten or used for medicine, i.e. Gloriosa superba, "used in
traditional medicine to treat intestinal worms, skin problems, sprains,
bruises, impotence and infertility", Scadoxus multiflorus subsp. katharinae,
"used to make love charms", Clivia miniata, "used in traditional medicine to
treat fever and snakebite, ease childbirth and as a protective charm against
lightning" and the list goes on.

On a more alarming note, vast quantities is terrestrial orchid bulbs are
being consumed annually in Zambia and Tanzania. Included an excerpt from an
article which appeared in the June 2006 issue of Africa Geographic.

"Wild orchids are objects of desire for their exotic beauty, their colours
and their fascinating structure. Many Zambians, however, covet orchid
tubers, which are cooked into a nutritious, cheap dish called chikanda.
Aisling Irwin explores what has become a national obsession and finds that
these striking plants are being eaten into extinction."

If you would like to read the entire article, send me a private email and I
will forward it to you.

Kind regards,

Pieter (South Africa)

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