Open Access

Plant use in Odo-Bulu and Demaro, Bale region, Ethiopia

  • Rainer W Bussmann1Email author,
  • Paul Swartzinsky2,
  • Aserat Worede3 and
  • Paul Evangelista4
Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine20117:28

https://doi.org/10.1186/1746-4269-7-28

Received: 29 June 2011

Accepted: 24 September 2011

Published: 24 September 2011

Abstract

This paper reports on the plant use of laypeople of the Oromo in Southern Ethiopia. The Oromo in Bale had names/uses for 294 species in comparison to 230 species documented in the lower reaches of the Bale area. Only 13 species was used for veterinary purposes, or as human medicine (46). Plant medicine served mostly to treat common everyday ailments such as stomach problems and diarrhea, for wound treatment and as toothbrush-sticks, as anthelmintic, for skin infections and to treat sore muscles and. Interestingly, 9 species were used to treat spiritual ailments and to expel demons. In most cases of medicinal applications the leaves or roots were employed.

Traditional plant knowledge has clearly declined in a large part of the research area. Western style health care services as provided by governments and NGOs, in particular in rural areas, seem to have contributed to a decline in traditional knowledge, in part because the local population simply regards western medicine as more effective and safer.

Keywords

Oromo Ethiopia Ethnobotany Plant use traditional knowledge utilization

Introduction

Plants have been an integral part of life in many indigenous communities, and Africa is no exception [1, 2]. Apart from providing building materials, fodder, weapons and other commodities, plants are especially important as traditional medicines. Many tribes and cultures in Africa have an elaborated plant knowledge-base [3]. Most of this knowledge is still entirely transferred orally within the family unit or community [4]. Western influences have, however, led to an accelerating decline of this tradition. For example, Western style healthcare supplied by some governments has been expanded in the last decades, but it is still often not readily available and many regions remain completely underserved. Subsequently, most rural communities still use herbal remedies as readily and cheaply available alternatives. This knowledge is however, rapidly dwindling due to desired changes towards a more Western lifestyle, and the influence of modern tourism and other agents of globalization.

During the last decades, a vast array of ethnobotanical studies from Ethiopia has been published. Most of these focused however on the northern regions [512], as well central and southern Ethiopia [1326].

Various studies report on the toxicity and efficacy of Ethiopian traditional medicine [8, 2734].

The study area

Our study was conducted in the eastern reaches of the Bale Mountains in the southern highlands of Ethiopia (approximately 6° 9'N, 40° 22'W) [35]. The study area covers an area approximately 380 km2 with elevations ranging from 1,500 m to 3,300 m (Figure 1). Mean minimum and maximum temperatures are 10.2 C° and 21.3 C°, respectively; while mean annual precipitation ranges from 68 to 93 mm largely occurring during two rainy seasons. The majority of the study area is mountainous with intact forest ecosystems [36, 37]. Most anthropogenic activities are centered on honey gathering and the collection of wood and bamboo (Sinarundinaria alpina). Some livestock grazing occurs, but generally at small scales. The study area has remained relatively preserved for two primary reasons: the topography is largely prohibitive to cultivation and there are two controlled hunting concessions (called Odu Bulu and Demaro) that provide legal protection to the forest. Trophy hunting within the hunting concessions generally occurs within a three-month period; however, both concessions maintain permanent camps and guards to protect the wildlife and habitat. Just beyond the northern edges of the study area, the landscape is heavily populated with people and livestock. The forests here have long been cleared, and barley cultivation is extensive. The southern edge of the study area drops sharply in elevation before transforming into semi-arid plains that stretch into Somalia. The steep slopes act as a barrier to human and livestock encroachment providing further protection to the study area [38]. Although the study area has significantly less anthropogenic impact than nearby Bale Mountains National Park, increasing human and livestock pressure within the study area is becoming evident.
Figure 1

Study area.

The Oromo

The Oromo are the main ethnic group in southern Ethiopia, including the Bale region, although members of many other peoples have settled in the area. Smaller populations are found in Somalia and northern Kenya. Barley and wheat cultivation provide most sustenance and income in Bale, with some areas receiving enough rainfall to support two harvests a year. Livestock keeping is also important to Oromo people, but occurs to a lesser extent than most areas in Ethiopia. During the time when crops are cultivated, livestock are grazed in the forest and Afro-alpine of higher elevations. Because some areas can support two harvests annually, livestock may spend as long as ten months in natural areas. During the last decades, Bale has seen profound changes, from increased access and governmental health care entering during the communist era of the 1970s and 80s, to an increase in tourism in the 1990s and a large influx of Chinese development aid in the last few years. These years have also marked a dramatic increase in human and livestock populations, and consequently land-use and conversion of the landscape. Throughout the 1980s and early 90s, Ethiopia's communist government regularly relocated people from northern regions to Bale as a means to disrupt civil opposition [39]. Since then, the current government has continued the practice on a voluntary basis as an effort to provide people access to natural resources, which have been depleted in other parts of the country. Collectively, these events have put an enormous strain on forests in the Bale Mountains, and are changing the local economy and traditional customs profoundly.

The ethnobotany of various subgroups of the Oromo has been focal point of a few recent studies [4042].

Materials and Methods

Ethnobotanical data and plant collections

Fieldwork was carried out between 2009 by Bussmann and collaborators. To obtain information on plants used traditionally, interviews were conducted using semi-structured questionnaires [43]. Random sampling technique was applied in distributing the questionnaires. Before carrying out the interviews, an oral prior informed consent was sought from every respondent. All communities involved showed the same acceptance of the researchers, and similar in-field times were involved in the study in order to avoid possible errors in data depth.

A total of 12 lay respondents were interviewed. Access to female informants was not possible. In order to get a more detailed inventory of plant use, ethnobotanical data were collected by conducting interviews directly in the field during collection trips, and by discussing the freshly collected specimens with informants, after seeking oral consent from each respondent. This method was preferred over pure questionnaires to also get an indication for species that are not used by the community, and which are normally not mentioned during traditional interviews. All interviews were carried out in local language by native speakers, and then translated into English. Voucher specimens were collected and are preserved at the National Herbarium of Ethiopia (ADD). The identification of plant material followed the Flora of Ethiopia and Erithrea [4450], as well as [5153]. Plant nomenclature follows TROPICOS http://www.tropicos.org.

Results and Discussion

The Oromo in Bale had names/uses for 294 species encountered (Table 1.), in comparison to 230 species documented in the lower reaches of the Bale area [23], and 101 species in the highlands [41]. The latter study did however interview health experts, while the present work focused on the knowledge of laypeople. One hundred and sixty two species encountered in this study were classified as having no uses whatsoever, although many of them were named. Many of the identified species had multiple uses or were known provide important direct or indirect services to the community (Figure 2). Most species named (172 species) were used for livestock grazing (mostly cattle). The vernacular name "Marga" for many Poaceae simply translates to "grass", and underlines the importance of this resource. It is important to note however that 42 of these were also indicated to be important for the endemic and endangered mountain nyala (Tragelaphus buxtoni), illustrating a potential conflict between pastoralist use and wildlife conservation. A further 27 species were used as fodder for both domestic animals and eaten by wildlife. Again the vernacular names often pointed to that specific use. Argemone mexicana and similar spiny species were all called "Korehare" which translates to "spiny donkey", and all serve as fodder for donkeys. Nine species were used as poisons against carnivores. Fifty-one tree species were used as firewood, while only two served to produce charcoal. Traditional houses are to a large extent built using material from the forest, and it is not astonishing that 15 tree species were used for timber, 17 species provided material to make ropes, mostly used to tie the house posts and roof beams, and 10 species were used as thatch. A wide variety of plants was found to be employed for the fabrication of tools and household implements (3 for brooms, 4 to make beehives, 3 for tanning, 11 to make ploughs, 2 served as detergent to wash clothes). In addition forest species were an important source of nutrients, with 28 species collected as food, and 23 explicitly used for honey production.
Table 1

Plants encountered in Odo Bulu and Demaro, Bale, Ethiopia

Voucher

Oromifa

Family

Scientific name

Uses and notes

16191

Sokoro

Acanthaceae

Acanthus sp.

No use.

16011

Sokoro

Acanthaceae

Acanthus eminens C.B. Clarke

Flowers for honey.

16011

Sokoro

Acanthaceae

Acanthus eminens C.B. Clarke

NOT eaten by animals.

16011

Sokoro

Acanthaceae

Acanthus sennii Chiov.

Medicine; leaves are dried, ground, mixed with butter and applied to wounds.

16236

Sokoru

Acanthaceae

Acanthus sennii Chiov.

Flowers for honey.

16223

Dergu

Acanthaceae

Dicliptera laxata C.B. Clarke

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

NOTE: "Flower is different from place to place".

16210

Dergu

Acanthaceae

Dicliptera sp.

Eaten by cattle.

16210

Dergu

Acanthaceae

Dicliptera sp.

Flowers for honey.

15999

Dergu

Acanthaceae

Hypoestes forskaolii (Vahl.) R. Br.

Eaten by animals.

16293

Gurbi

Acanthaceae

Hypoestes sp.

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16220

Dergu

Acanthaceae

Hypoestes triflora (Forssk.) Roem. & Schult.

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16046

Dergu

Acanthaceae

Justicia diclipteroides Lindau

Eaten by cattle, bushbuck and mountain nyala.

16263

Gurbi

Acanthaceae

Justicia diclipteroides Lindau

Eaten by cattle.

16336

Umuga

Acanthaceae

Justicia schimperiana (Hochst. Ex Nees) T. Anderson

Rope; bark peeled and used as rope for construction to attach the wall fragments.

16288

Gurbi

Acanthaceae

Justicia sp.

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16040

Herraye

Acanthaceae

Minulopsis solmsii Schweinf.

Flowers for honey.

NOTE:

"This flowers only once in seven years. I have seen it twice in my lifetime (the speaker was about 55 years old). The last flowering was about 10 years ago when the great rain stopped. (El Niño 1998). It also flowered before the king was replaced (around 1973).

16237

Anano

Acanthaceae

Thunbergia alata Bojer ex Sims

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16294

Gurbi

Acanthaceae

 

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16313

Gurbi

Acanthaceae

 

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16397

No name

Acanthaceae

 

No use.

16408

No name

Acanthaceae

 

No use.

16228

Hacho

Amaranthaceae

Achyranthes aspera L.

Eaten by cattle.

16228

Hacho

Amaranthaceae

Achyranthes aspera L.

Veterinary; crush the root, boil it in water and give the animals to drink against rabies.

16144

Rafu

Amaranthaceae

Amaranthus sp.

Eaten by cattle.

16144

Rafu

Amaranthaceae

Amaranthus sp.

Food; cooked like cabbage in time of drought.

16153

Ch'okene

Amaranthaceae

Amaranthus sp.

Medicine; as remedy for spiritual pain. Inhaling the smell brings out the evil.

NOTE: Name translates to "tall".

16153

Ch'okene

Amaranthaceae

Amaranthus sp.

NOT eaten by livestock.

16153

Ch'okene

Amaranthaceae

Amaranthus sp.

Veterinary; crushed and smeared on cattle for spiritual protection and "highsight".

16355

Rafu

Amaranthaceae

Amaranthus sp.

Eaten by cattle.

16379

Rafu

Amaranthaceae

Amaranthus sp.

No use.

16303

Gurbi

Amaranthaceae

Celosia anthelminthica Aschers.

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16007

Hacho

Amaranthaceae

Cyathula cylindrica Moq.

Eaten by cattle.

16007

Hacho

Amaranthaceae

Cyathula cylindrica Moq.

Veterinary; crush the root, boil it in water and give the animals to drink against rabies.

16247

Hacho

Amaranthaceae

Cyathula polycephala Baker

Eaten by cattle.

16127

Hacho

Amaranthaceae

Cyathula uncinulata (Schrad.) Schinz

Eaten by cattle.

16127

Hacho

Amaranthaceae

Cyathula uncinulata (Schrad.) Schinz

Veterinary; crush the root, boil it in water and give the animals to drink against rabies.

16216

Hacho

Amaranthaceae

Cyathula uncinulata (Schrad.) Schinz

Eaten by cattle.

16216

Hacho

Amaranthaceae

Cyathula uncinulata (Schrad.) Schinz

Veterinary; crush the root, boil it in water and give the animals to drink against rabies.

16297

No name

Amaranthaceae

 

No use.

16376

Komudu

Amaranthaceae

 

No use.

16289

Tadesa

Anacardiaceae

Rhus sp.

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16289

Tadesa

Anacardiaceae

Rhus sp.

Food; children eat the sweet fruits.

16213

No name

Apiaceae

Agrocharis incognita (C. Norman) Heyw. & Jury

Eaten by cattle.

16213

No name

Apiaceae

Agrocharis incognita (C. Norman) Heyw. & Jury

Medicine; root is crushed and eaten for stomach problems.

16213

No name

Apiaceae

Agrocharis incognita (C. Norman) Heyw. & Jury

Veterinary; root is crushed and given to livestock for stomach problems.

15986

No name

Apiaceae

Carum sp.

No use.

16182

No name

Apiaceae

Hydrocotyle mannii Hook.f.

Eaten by baboons.

16010

Informant does not remember name

Apiaceae

Pimpinella oreophila Hook. f.

Eaten by livestock and wildlife.

16010

Informant does not remember name

Apiaceae

Pimpinella oreophila Hook. f.

Medicine; roots are ground and prepared as tea for stomach problems.

15987

No name

Apiaceae

Sanicula elata Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don.

No use.

15993

Informant does not remember name

Apiaceae

Torilis arvensis (Huds.) Link

Eaten by animals.

16088

No name

Apiaceae

 

No use.

16115

No name

Apiaceae

 

No use.

16171

No name

Apiaceae

 

Eaten by baboons.

16326

Hagamsa

Apocynaceae

Carissa edulis (Forssk.) Vahl

Eaten by goats.

16326

Hagamsa

Apocynaceae

Carissa edulis (Forssk.) Vahl

Food; fruit eaten by humans.

16027

Homba

Apocynaceae

Oncinotis tenuiloba Stapf.

Eaten by livestock and mountain nyala.

NOTE: The latex is very sticky but not poisonous.

16027

Homba

Apocynaceae

Oncinotis tenuiloba Stapf.

Rope.

NOTE: The latex is very sticky but not poisonous.

16423

Bulala

Apocynaceae

Oncinotis tenuiloba Stapf.

Rope for construction.

16330

Diki

Apocynaceae

 

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala (leaves).

16330

Diki

Apocynaceae

 

Rope; bark peeled and used as rope for construction.

16333

Gidila

Apocynaceae

 

Poison; used to kill carnivores (mainly hyenas and lions); dry plant, crush and put on meat.

16400

Anano

Apocynaceae

 

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16422

Anano

Apocynaceae

 

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16031

Abeye

Aquifoliaceae

Ilex mitis (L.) Radkl.

Food; women use the leaves to roll the dough in before putting it in the oven so that it does not burn. The seeds are crused and the oil is used to grease the baking plate before baking.

16414

Arfatu

Araliaceae

Cussonia holstii Harms ex Engl.

Beehives (wood).

16214

Gatami

Araliaceae

Schefflera abyssinica (Hochst. ex Rich.) Harms

Firewood.

16214

Gatami

Araliaceae

Schefflera abyssinica (Hochst. ex Rich.) Harms

Flowers for honey.

16214

Gatami

Araliaceae

Schefflera abyssinica (Hochst. ex Rich.) Harms

NOT eaten by cattle.

16025

Ansha

Araliaceae

Schefflera volkensii (Harms) Harms

Eaten by cattle and colobus monkeys.

16025

Ansha

Araliaceae

Schefflera volkensii (Harms) Harms

Firewood.

16041

Ansha

Araliaceae

Schefflera volkensii (Harms) Harms

Firewood.

16043

Meti

Arecaceae

Phoenix reclinata Jacq.

Weave wedding baskets and floor mats.

16134

Seriti

Asparagaceae

Asparagus africanus Lam.

Eaten by cattle and wildlife.

16134

Seriti

Asparagaceae

Asparagus africanus Lam.

Medicine; crush the plant, extract the juice and put on pimples.

16337

Sariti

Asparagaceae

Asparagus africanus Lam.

Making brooms.

16135

Seriti

Asparagaceae

Asparagus falcatus L.

Eaten by cattle and wildlife.

16135

Seriti

Asparagaceae

Asparagus falcatus L.

Medicine; crush the plant, extract the juice and put on pimples.

16202

No name

Asparagaceae

Chlorophytum ducis-aprutii Chiov.

No use.

15990

Kokosa

Aspleniaceae

Asplenium friesiorum C. Chr.

No use.

16017

Kokosa

Aspleniaceae

Asplenium monanthes L.

Sometimes eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16013

Kokosa

Aspleniaceae

Asplenium sp.

Sometimes eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16014

Kokosa

Aspleniaceae

Asplenium sp.

Sometimes eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16099

Kokosa

Aspleniaceae

Asplenium sp.

No use.

16120

Kokosa

Aspleniaceae

Asplenium sp.

No use.

16196

Kokosa

Aspleniaceae

Asplenium sp.

No use.

16197

Kokosa

Aspleniaceae

Asplenium sp.

No use.

16198

Kokosa

Aspleniaceae

Asplenium sp.

No use.

16206

No name

Aspleniaceae

Asplenium sp.

No use.

16207

Kokosa

Aspleniaceae

Asplenium sp.

No use.

16012

Kokosa

Aspleniaceae

Asplenium theciferum (Kunth.) Mett.

Sometimes eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16244

Gurbi

Asteraceae

Ageratum conyzoides L.

No use.

16382

Kore'apata

Asteraceae

Arctium lappa L.

No use.

16147

Ch'okone

Asteraceae

Artemisia absinthium (Mill.) DC.

Medicine; as remedy for spiritual pain. Inhaling the smell brings out the evil.

NOTE: Name translates to "tall".

16147

Ch'okone

Asteraceae

Artemisia absinthium (Mill.) DC.

NOT eaten by livestock.

NOTE: Name translates to "tall".

16147

Ch'okone

Asteraceae

Artemisia absinthium (Mill.) DC.

Veterinary; crushed and smeared on cattle for spiritual protection and "highsight".

NOTE: Name translates to "tall".

16354

Informant does not remember name

Asteraceae

Artemisia absinthium (Mill.) DC.

No use.

16113

Hada

Asteraceae

Bidens sp.

Eaten by cattle.

16190

Korehare

Asteraceae

Carduus nyassanus (S. Moore) R.E. Fr.

Eaten by donkeys.

NOTE: Name translates to "spiny donkey".

16125

No name

Asteraceae

Centaurea sp.

No use.

16039

No name

Asteraceae

Cineraria deltoidea Sond.

Eaten by cattle.

16122

Korehare

Asteraceae

Cirsium dender Friis

Eaten by donkeys.

NOTE: Name translates to "spiny donkey".

16368

Korehare

Asteraceae

Cirsium vulgare (Savi) Ten.

Eaten by donkeys. They prefer the heads.

NOTE: Name translates to "spiny donkey".

15998

Informant does not remember name

Asteraceae

Crassocephalum sp.

Eaten by cattle.

16038

No name

Asteraceae

Crassocephalum sp.

Eaten by cattle.

16409

No name

Asteraceae

Crepis cf. rueppellii Sch. Bip.

No use.

16052

Korehare

Asteraceae

Echinops hoehnelii Schweinf.

Eaten by donkeys.

16204

No name

Asteraceae

Galinsoga parviflora Cav.

No use.

16108

No name

Asteraceae

Gnaphalium sp.

Eaten by cattle.

16145

Informant does not remember name

Asteraceae

Haplocarpha rueppellii (Sch. Bip.) K. Lewin

Eaten by cattle.

16176

No name

Asteraceae

Helichrysum formosissimum Sch. Bip.

No use.

16093

No name

Asteraceae

Helichrysum sp.

No use.

16094

No name

Asteraceae

Helichrysum sp.

No use.

16142

No name

Asteraceae

Helichrysum sp.

No use.

16357

Hariti

Asteraceae

Helichrysum sp.

No use.

16055

Hatawi

Asteraceae

Inula confertiflora A. Rich.

Poison; this is NOT eaten by animals. The leaves look like nice toilet paper but should not be used because they will cause swellings.

15988

No name

Asteraceae

Mikania sp.

Eaten by cattle.

16002

Karkora

Asteraceae

Mikaniopsis clematoides Milne-Redh.

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16205

No name

Asteraceae

Mikaniopsis sp.

Medicine;. "eye medicine" for better spiritual view (chewed root). The root is also chewed to protect against Evil Eye.

16161

Anono

Asteraceae

Prenanthes subpeltata Stebbins

Medicine; leaves are boiled and then put on swellings and bruises.

16165

Anono

Asteraceae

Prenanthes subpeltata Stebbins

Medicine; leaves are boiled and then put on swellings and bruises.

16037

Hagedena

Asteraceae

Senecio sp.

Flowers for honey.

16089

No name

Asteraceae

Senecio sp.

Eaten by cattle.

16095

Adado

Asteraceae

Senecio sp.

Rope; to tie the main pole of the house. Very durable.

16095

Adado

Asteraceae

Senecio sp.

Firewood.

16114

No name

Asteraceae

Senecio sp.

No use.

16174

No name

Asteraceae

Senecio sp.

No use.

16175

No name

Asteraceae

Senecio sp.

No use.

16430

Buritaro

Asteraceae

Senecio sp.

No use.

16131

Rafu

Asteraceae

Solanecio angulatus (Vahl) C. Jeffrey

Medicine; the leaves are boild and the steam inhaled for spiritual cleansing and to expel spirits in crazy people.

16131

Rafu

Asteraceae

Solanecio angulatus (Vahl) C. Jeffrey

NOT eaten by cattle.

16132

Galesimbira

Asteraceae

Sonchus bipontini Asch.

Eaten by cattle (given to calves to strengthen them).

NOTE: Name translates to "birdvine".

16132

Galesimbira

Asteraceae

Sonchus bipontini Asch.

Eaten by cattle.

NOTE: Name translates to "birdvine".

16132

Galesimbira

Asteraceae

Sonchus bipontini Asch.

Medicine; used for swellings.

NOTE: Name translates to "birdvine".

16132

Galesimbira

Asteraceae

Sonchus bipontini Asch.

Veterinary; used for swellings.

NOTE: Name translates to "birdvine".

16166

No name

Asteraceae

Sonchus oleraceus L.

No use.

16243

Hada

Asteraceae

Tagetes erecta L.

Poison; kills cattle when they eat it.

16243

Hada

Asteraceae

Tagetes erecta L.

Poison; very bad for humans. If it gets in a wound it will expand.

16243

Hada

Asteraceae

Tagetes erecta L.

Veterinary; used to treat cattle. Crush the leaves and put in the hole a worm made to kill the worms (botfly remedy).

16320

Sojom

Asteraceae

Vernonia amygdalina Delile

No use.

16338

Ebicha

Asteraceae

Vernonia amygdalina Delile

Construction (timber).

16338

Ebicha

Asteraceae

Vernonia amygdalina Delile

Eaten by cattle.

16338

Ebicha

Asteraceae

Vernonia amygdalina Delile

Firewood.

16338

Ebicha

Asteraceae

Vernonia amygdalina Delile

Veterinary; smash leaves and feed to cattle for stomach problems.

16021

Regi

Asteraceae

Vernonia sp.

Flowers for honey.

16021

Regi

Asteraceae

Vernonia sp.

Veterinary; the leaves are fed to cattle who have stomach problems to fatten them.

16032

Gadarra

Asteraceae

Vernonia sp.

Eaten by cattle.

16053

Kadara

Asteraceae

Vernonia sp.

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16053

Kadara

Asteraceae

Vernonia sp.

Poison; the hairs can cause eye problems.

16212

No name

Asteraceae

Vernonia sp.

No use.

16230

Hevicha

Asteraceae

Vernonia sp.

Eaten by cattle.

16230

Hevicha

Asteraceae

Vernonia sp.

Veterinary; crush the leaves and make an extract. Give cattle to drink when they are bloated.

16065

Hadda

Asteraceae

 

Eaten by cattle.

16091

No name

Asteraceae

 

No use.

16133

No name

Asteraceae

 

Flowers for honey.

16133

No name

Asteraceae

 

NOT eaten by animals.

16168

No name

Asteraceae

 

No use.

16229

Informant does not remember name

Asteraceae

 

No use.

16296

No name

Asteraceae

 

No use.

16328

Sojoma

Asteraceae

 

No use.

16358

No name

Asteraceae

 

No use.

16361

Hada

Asteraceae

 

Eaten by cattle.

16361

Hada

Asteraceae

 

Flowers for honey.

16377

Anamale

Asteraceae

 

No use.

NOTE: Name translates to "only me" and classifies this as invasive species.

16383

Kore'apata

Asteraceae

 

Weed.

16384

No name

Asteraceae

 

No use.

16440

Hada

Asteraceae

 

Eaten by cattle.

16440

Hada

Asteraceae

 

Flowers for honey.

16442

No name

Asteraceae

 

No use.

16104

Ch'afara

Balsamiaceae

Impatiens tinctoria A. Rich.

No use.

16000

Tschafara

Balsamiaceae

Impatiens tinctoria A. Rich. ssp. abyssinica (Hook. f. ex Oliv.) Grey-Wilson

Eaten by porcupine (roots, look like potatos).

16105

Ch'afara

Balsamiaceae

Impatiens walleriana Hook. f.

Eaten by pigs, especially the root.

16105

Ch'afara

Balsamiaceae

Impatiens walleriana Hook. f.

Medicine; women use the potato like root to strengthen their hair.

16222

No name

Basellaceae

Basella alba L.

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16322

W'odes

Boraginaceae

Cordia africana Lam.

Beehives.

16322

W'odes

Boraginaceae

Cordia africana Lam.

Construction (timber).

16322

W'odes

Boraginaceae

Cordia africana Lam.

Firewood.

16322

W'odes

Boraginaceae

Cordia africana Lam.

Food; fruits eaten by baboons and humans.

16162

Korsamichi

Boraginaceae

Cynoglossum amplifolium Hochst. ex A. DC.

Medicine; leaves are crushed, mixed with a little water to make an extract, which is drunk or put in the nose to treat colds.

16054

Korichi Michi

Boraginaceae

Cynoglossum coeruleum A. DC. ssp. geometricum (Baker & C.H. Wright) S. Edwards

Medicine; leaves are crushed and put in water to make an extract. That is applied to cold sores and can also be drunk for stomach problems.

NOTE: Name translates to "spiny donkey".

16139

Korichi Michi

Boraginaceae

Cynoglossum lanceolatum Forssk.

Medicine; the plant is crushed and applied to cold sores and afts, and also crushed and inhaled for headache.

16139

Korichi Michi

Boraginaceae

Cynoglossum lanceolatum Forssk.

NOT eaten by animals.

16143

Informant does not remember name

Boraginaceae

Lithospermum officinale L.

Eaten by cattle when flowering.

NOTE: "This came with the wheat given for aid during the Derg government".

16150

Carchapa

Boraginaceae

Myosotis abyssinica Boiss. & Reut.

Eaten by cattle.

16136

Saro

Brassicaceae

Brassica sp.

Eaten by cattle.

16136

Saro

Brassicaceae

Brassica sp.

Veterinary; seeds are roasted and crushed and then fed to bloated cattle.

16141

Saro

Brassicaceae

Brassica sp.

Eaten by cattle.

16141

Saro

Brassicaceae

Brassica sp.

Veterinary; seeds are roasted and crushed and then fed to bloated cattle.

16186

No name

Brassicaceae

Cardamine hirsuta L.

No use.

16152

Saro

Brassicaceae

 

Eaten by cattle.

16152

Saro

Brassicaceae

 

Veterinary; seeds are roasted and crushed and then fed to bloated cattle.

16241

No name

Brassicaceae

 

No use.

16398

No name

Burseraceae

Boswellia rivae Engl.

No use.

16308

Matakoma

Cabnnabaceae

Celtis africana Burm. f.

Firewood.

16308

Matakoma

Cabnnabaceae

Celtis africana Burm. f.

Tools; wood used to make ploughs.

16388

Bireliko

Cabnnabaceae

Celtis gomphophylla Baker

Firewood.

16419

Matacoma

Cabnnabaceae

Celtis sp.

Firewood.

16061

No name

Campanulaceae

Lobelia cf erlangeriana Engl.

Eaten by baboons.

16073

No name

Campanulaceae

Wahlenbergia silenoides Hochst. ex A. Rich

Eaten by cattle.

16441

No name

Campanulaceae

Wahlenbergia sp.

No use.

16155

Informant does not remember name

Caryophyllaceae

Arenaria serpyllifolia L.

Eaten by cattle.

16155

Informant does not remember name

Caryophyllaceae

Arenaria serpyllifolia L.

Medicine; for spiritual things.

16350

Ch'oge

Caryophyllaceae

Cerastium hirsutum Crantz

Eaten by cattle.

NOTE: Informants specifically mention small flower and fruit.

16110

No name

Caryophyllaceae

Cerastium indicum Wight & Arn.

No use.

16238

No name

Caryophyllaceae

Drymaria cordata (L.) Willd. ex Roem. & Schult.

Eaten by cattle.

16111

Dukusha

Caryophyllaceae

Stellaria sennii Chiov.

To soften leather. Crush the plant and apply to leather to make leather ropes soft.

16077

No name

Caryophyllaceae

 

Eaten by baboons.

16026

Kombocha

Celastraceae

Maytenus arbutifolia R. Wilczek

Eaten by livestock and mountain nyala.

16235

Kombolcha

Celastraceae

Maytenus arbutifolia R. Wilczek

Eaten by cattle.

16235

Kombolcha

Celastraceae

Maytenus arbutifolia R. Wilczek

Firewood.

16344

Kombolcha

Celastraceae

Maytenus senegalensis (Lam.) Exell

Eaten by goats and mountain nyala

16344

Kombolcha

Celastraceae

Maytenus senegalensis (Lam.) Exell

Firewood.

16344

Kombolcha

Celastraceae

Maytenus senegalensis (Lam.) Exell

NOT eaten by cattle.

16195

Kombolcha

Celastraceae

Maytenus sp.

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16195

Kombolcha

Celastraceae

Maytenus sp.

Firewood.

16266

Kombolcha

Celastraceae

Maytenus sp.

Eaten by goats.

16266

Kombolcha

Celastraceae

Maytenus sp.

Flowers for honey.

16407

Jima

Celastraceae

 

Firewood.

16146

Bucha

Chenopodiaceae

Chenopodium sp.

Eaten by cattle, but if they eat it in the morning they get bloated.

16148

Bucha

Chenopodiaceae

Chenopodium sp.

Eaten by cattle, but if they eat it in the morning they get bloated.

16353

No name

Chenopodiaceae

Chenopodium sp.

NOT eaten by animals.

16033

Garramba

Clusiaceae

Hypericum revolutum Vahl

Construction; timber used for house posts.

16033

Garramba

Clusiaceae

Hypericum revolutum Vahl

Medicine; leaves boiled and given to babies with stomach problems and to make babies stop crying.

16076

Sedisa

Clusiaceae

Hypericum sp.

Eaten by cattle.

NOTE: Informants were not completely sure about the name.

16404

Tantefensa

Combretaceae

Combretum sp.

Charcoal.

16404

Tantefensa

Combretaceae

Combretum sp.

Firewood.

16209

No name

Commelinaceae

Commelina imberbis Ehrenb. ex. Hassk.

No use.

16366

K'aio

Commelinaceae

Commelina sp.

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16393

K'aio

Commelinaceae

Commelina sp.

Eaten by cattle.

16078

No name

Commelinaceae

Cyanotis polyrrhiza Hochst. ex Hassk.

Eaten by baboons.

16048

Hananu

Convolvulaceae

Convolvulus kilimandschari Engl.

Eaten by cattle and especially fed to calves.

16239

Anano

Convolvulaceae

Convolvulus sp.

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16349

No name

Convolvulaceae

Dichondra repens J.R. Forst. & G. Forst.

Construction; used to build fences because of the spines.

16311

Anamo

Convolvulaceae

Ipomoea sp.

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16410

No name

Convolvulaceae

Ipomoea sp.

No use.

16173

No name

Crassulaceae

Crassula alba Forssk.

Eaten by baboons (root).

16081

No name

Crassulaceae

Crassula cf schimperi Fisch. & A. Mey.

Eaten by baboons.

NOTE: "This grows on rocks."

16086

An'chura

Crassulaceae

Kalanchoe petitiana A. Rich.

Medicine; heat the leaves over the fire and apply to relax sore muscles.

16086

An'chura

Crassulaceae

Kalanchoe petitiana A. Rich.

Veterinary; if cattle break their legs, warm the plant or leaves over the fire and rub on the broken bone.

16068

No name

Crassulaceae

Sedum baleensis M. Gilbert

No use.

16090

Angudula

Crassulaceae

Sedum cf churchillianum Robyns & Boutique

Poison; in former times used to poison Hyenas. The plant material is crushed and out in meat. This makes the Hyena weak and intoxicated so that it can be killed.

15996

No name

Crassulaceae

Umbilicus botryoides A. Rich.

No use.

NOTE: "It grows on trees."

16444

No name

Crassulaceae

 

No use.

16359

Han'chote

Cucurbitaceae

Cucumis ficifolius A. Rich.

Medicine; fruits are warmed in the fire and then smeared on infected wound etc. This will extract the pus.

16359

Han'chote

Cucurbitaceae

Cucumis ficifolius A. Rich.

Medicine; the roots are crushed and drunk with coffee for sudden illness, e.g. when someone colapses or has sudden stomach problems.

16117

Alola

Cucurbitaceae

Zehneria scabra (L.f.) Sond.

Eaten (fed especially to calves).

16117

Alola

Cucurbitaceae

Zehneria scabra (L.f.) Sond.

To make ink. In former times crushed and mixed with charcoal.

16335

Haloa

Cucurbitaceae

 

Eaten by cattle.

16424

Hindesa

Cupressaceae

Juniperus procera Hochst. ex Endl.

Construction.

16424

Hindesa

Cupressaceae

Juniperus procera Hochst. ex Endl.

Firewood.

16250

No name

Cuscutaceae

Cuscuta kilimanjari Oliv.

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

NOTE: Recognized as parasite.

16250

No name

Cuscutaceae

Cuscuta kilimanjari Oliv.

Flowers for honey.

NOTE: Recognized as parasite.

16219

D'jafa

Cyperaceae

Carex cf simensis Hochst. ex A. Rich.

Eaten by cattle.

16219

D'jafa

Cyperaceae

Carex cf simensis Hochst. ex A. Rich.

Thatch.

16006

Mata

Cyperaceae

Carex johnstonii Boeck.

Eaten by animals.

16006

Mata

Cyperaceae

Carex johnstonii Boeck.

Thatch.

16084

Ch'afa

Cyperaceae

Cyperus cf bracheilema (Steud.) Mattf. & Kük.

Eaten by cattle.

16218

Arbagadda

Cyperaceae

Cyperus dichroostachyus Hochst. ex A. Rich.

Eaten by cattle.

16218

Arbagadda

Cyperaceae

Cyperus dichroostachyus Hochst. ex A. Rich.

Weave floor mats.

16345

Bidara

Cyperaceae

Cyperus sp.

Eaten by cattle.

16085

No name

Cyperaceae

Isolepis cf omissa J. raynal

Eaten by baboons.

16023

Gwemagni/Talandu

Cyperaceae

Isolepis setacea (L.) R. Br.

Eaten by cattle.

16023

Gwemagni/Talandu

Cyperaceae

Isolepis setacea (L.) R. Br.

Thatch.

16292

Aneno

Dioscoreaceae

Dioscorea sp.

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala. Cattle really like this.

16179

No name

Dipsacaceae

Dipsacus pinnatifidus Steud. ex A. Rich.

No use.

16123

No name

Dipsacaceae

Scabiosa columbaria L.

No use.

16024

No name

Dracaenaceae

Dracaena afromontana Mildbr.

No use.

16412

Kokosa

Dryopteridaceae

Doryopteris concolor (Langsd. & Fisch.) Kuhn

No use.

16016

Kokosa

Dryopteridaceae

Dryopteris sp.

Sometimes eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16100

Kokosa

Dryopteridaceae

Dryopteris sp.

No use.

16199

Kokosa

Dryopteridaceae

Dryopteris sp.

No use.

16269

Kokosa

Dryopteridaceae

Dryopteris sp.

No use.

16019

Kokosa

Dryopteridaceae

Polystichum fuscopaleaceum Alston

No use.

NOTE: "At high altitude it is red, at low altitude white."

16270

Kokosa

Dryopteridaceae

 

No use.

16096

Sato

Ericaceae

Erica arborea L.

Eaten by cattle.

16096

Sato

Ericaceae

Erica arborea L.

Firewood.

16096

Sato

Ericaceae

Erica arborea L.

Flowers for honey.

16194

Tula

Ericaceae

Myrsine melanophloeos (L.) R. Br.

Construction (Timber).

16194

Tula

Ericaceae

Myrsine melanophloeos (L.) R. Br.

Firewood.

16221

No name

Euphorbiaceae

Acalypha volkensii Pax

No use.

16138

F'eo

Euphorbiaceae

Clutia abyssinica Jaub. & Spach.

No use.

16251

Makanisa

Euphorbiaceae

Croton macrostachyus Hochst. ex Delile

Medicine; sometimes the bark is mixed with Hanku to produce better stomach medicine.

16188

Guri

Euphorbiaceae

Euphorbia dumalis S. Carter

Medicine; crush a little of the root, mix with coffee and honey and drink against Syphilis.

16188

Guri

Euphorbiaceae

Euphorbia dumalis S. Carter

NOT eaten by cattle.

16116

Guri

Euphorbiaceae

Euphorbia schimperiana Scheele

Medicine; crush a little of the root, mix with coffee and honey and drink against Syphilis.

16378

No name

Euphorbiaceae

Euphorbia sp.

No use.

15992

No name

Euphorbiaceae

Phyllanthus cf ovalifolius Forssk.

No use.

16312

No name

Euphorbiaceae

Phyllanthus cf ovalifolius Forssk.

No use.

16416

Kobo

Euphorbiaceae

Ricinus communis L.

Eaten by cattle.

16416

Kobo

Euphorbiaceae

Ricinus communis L.

Food; seeds are crushed and the oil extracted to grease the pans for baking bread.

16416

Kobo

Euphorbiaceae

Ricinus communis L.

To soften leather. Fruits crushed and applied to leather to soften.

16369

Dadetsha

Fabaceae

Acacia abyssinica Hochst. ex Benth.

Charcoal (preferred species).

16369

Dadetsha

Fabaceae

Acacia abyssinica Hochst. ex Benth.

Eaten by camels and goats.

16369

Dadetsha

Fabaceae

Acacia abyssinica Hochst. ex Benth.

Firewood.

16347

Tshe'kata

Fabaceae

Caesalpinia sp.

Tools; wood used to make ploughs.

16413

Chekata

Fabaceae

Caesalpinia sp.

Firewood.

16035

Shashamane

Fabaceae

Crotalaria rosenii (Pax) Milne-Redh. ex Polhill

Eaten by goats and sheep. They really like this.

15989

No name

Fabaceae

Desmodium repandum (Vahl) DC.

No use.

16232

Walena

Fabaceae

Erythrina brucei Schweinf.

Food; leaves used to wrap dough when making bread.

16232

Walena

Fabaceae

Erythrina brucei Schweinf.

Tools; wood used to make the pestle for large mortars.

15991

Sedisa

Fabaceae

Medicago sp.

Eaten by cattle.

16149

Kumudo

Fabaceae

Medicago sp.

Eaten by cattle.

NOTE: This name applied to samples without fruits.

16343

Dadatu

Fabaceae

Millettia ferruginea (Hochst.) Baker

Construction (timber).

16343

Dadatu

Fabaceae

Millettia ferruginea (Hochst.) Baker

Firewood.

16034

Sedisa

Fabaceae

Parochetus communis Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don.

Eaten by cattle.

16387

Shiko

Fabaceae

Senna sp.

No use.

15994

Sedisa

Fabaceae

Trifolium semipilosum Fresen.

Eaten by cattle.

16060

No name

Fabaceae

Trifolium simense Fresen.

Eaten by baboons.

16157

No name

Fabaceae

Trifolium sp.

Eaten by cattle.

16242

Anano

Fabaceae

 

Eaten by livestock and wildlife.

16284

No name

Fabaceae

 

Eaten by cattle.

16285

Anjakere

Fabaceae

 

Eaten by cattle.

16348

Gorsana

Fabaceae

 

Construction; used to build fences because of the spines.

16364

No name

Fabaceae

 

No use.

16385

Sidika

Fabaceae

 

No use.

16411

No name

Fabaceae

 

No use.

16439

Anjakere

Fabaceae

 

Making brooms.

16406

Dembi

Flacourtiaceae

Casearia sp.

Firewood.

16208

Koshimo/Koshima

Flacourtiaceae

Dovyalis abyssinica (A. Rich.) Warb.

Eaten by cattle.

16208

Koshimo/Koshima

Flacourtiaceae

Dovyalis abyssinica (A. Rich.) Warb.

Firewood.

16208

Koshimo/Koshima

Flacourtiaceae

Dovyalis abyssinica (A. Rich.) Warb.

Food; fruits eaten, but they are very sour.

16321

Riga

Flacourtiaceae

 

Toothbrush.

16346

Diki

Flacourtiaceae

 

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16346

Diki

Flacourtiaceae

 

Rope; used to hang beehives.

16399

No name

Flacourtiaceae

 

No use.

16074

No name

Gentianaceae

Sebaea brachyphylla Griseb.

No use.

16062

No name

Gentianaceae

Swertia sp.

Eaten by baboons.

16126

No name

Gentianaceae

Swertia sp.

No use.

16170

No name

Gentianaceae

Swertia sp.

No use.

16109

No name

Geraniaceae

Geranium aculeolatum Oliv.

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16080

No name

Geraniaceae

Geranium arabicum Forssk.

Eaten by cattle.

16373

No name

Geraniaceae

Geranium arabicum Forssk.

No use.

16438

No name

Iridaceae

 

No use.

16102

Ch'afa

Juncaceae

Luzula johnstonii Buchenau

Eaten by cattle when the plant is very young.

16102

Ch'afa

Juncaceae

Luzula johnstonii Buchenau

Thatch.

16295

Sukaiahareti

Lamiaceae

Achyrospermum schimperi (Briq.) Perkins

No use.

16160

Tosin

Lamiaceae

Becium cf obovatum (E. Mey. ex Benth.) N.E. Br.

Food; used to make tea, as spice for butter, and as spice for baso (roasted and ground barley).

16310

Burasisa

Lamiaceae

Clerodendrum myricoides (Hochst.) R. Br. ex Vatke

Eaten by cattle.

16137

Informant does not remember name

Lamiaceae

Leonotis nepetifolia (L.) R. Br.

Food; children like to suck the nectar from the flowers.

16137

Informant does not remember name

Lamiaceae

Leonotis nepetifolia (L.) R. Br.

Medicine; crush the plant and take as tea for stomach ailments.

16225

Urgo

Lamiaceae

Leucas martinicensis (Jacq.) R. Br.

Eaten by cattle.

16316

Korichi Michi/Damakase

Lamiaceae

Ocimum sp.

Medicine; for intestinal infections like cold or flu. Crush the leaves, add a little water, inhale juice or smear on body or drunk with coffee.

16332

Urgohare

Lamiaceae

Ocimum sp.

No use.

16128

Tunto

Lamiaceae

Otostegia tomentosa A. Rich.

Birds get nectar.

16128

Tunto

Lamiaceae

Otostegia tomentosa A. Rich.

NOT eaten by cattle.

16079

Burri

Lamiaceae

Plectranthus sp.

Eaten by cattle and baboons.

16087

No name

Lamiaceae

Plectranthus sp.

No use.

16097

Burri

Lamiaceae

Plectranthus sp.

Eaten by cattle.

16286

Damakasi

Lamiaceae

Plectranthus sp.

Eaten by cattle.

16286

Damakasi

Lamiaceae

Plectranthus sp.

Medicine; leaves are crushed and the extract drunk for colds, or leaves are crushed and stuck in the nose to treat colds.

16287

Urgo

Lamiaceae

Plectranthus sp.

Eaten by cattle.

16287

Urgo

Lamiaceae

Plectranthus sp.

Medicine; leaves crushed and put on wounds.

16356

Ocota

Lamiaceae

Salvia merjamie Forssk.

Eaten by cattle.

16356

Ocota

Lamiaceae

Salvia merjamie Forssk.

Medicine; leaves crushed and smeared on the body to treat any unknown or undiagnosed illness.

16001

Ocota

Lamiaceae

Salvia nilotica Juss. ex Jacq.

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16098

No name

Lamiaceae

Satureja sp.

No use.

16177

No name

Lamiaceae

Satureja sp.

No use.

15997

Informant does not remember name

Lamiaceae

Stachys aculeolata Hook. f.

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16178

No name

Lamiaceae

Stachys sp.

No use.

16163

No name

Lamiaceae

Thymus schimperi Ronniger

Eaten by cattle.

15995

Burri

Lamiaceae

 

Flowers for honey.

15995

Burri

Lamiaceae

 

NOT eaten by anything.

16389

Abaye

Lauraceae

Ocotea kenyensis (Chiov.) Robyns & R. Wilczek

Firewood.

16391

Apeyu

Lauraceae

 

Construction (house).

16391

Apeyu

Lauraceae

 

Firewood.

16066

No name

Liliaceae

 

Eaten by baboons who really like it, especially the roots. Fruit smells like garlic.

16215

No name

Loranthaceae

Englerina woodfordioides (Schweinf.) Balle ex M.G. Gilbert

No use.

16187

No name

Lycopodiaceae

Huperzia dacrydioides (Baker) Pic. Serm.

No use.

16268

Danisa

Malvaceae

Dombeya kirkii Mast.

Eaten by cattle.

16268

Danisa

Malvaceae

Dombeya kirkii Mast.

Flowers for honey.

16268

Danisa

Malvaceae

Dombeya kirkii Mast.

Rope. Bark peeled for rope used in construction.

16323

Danisa

Malvaceae

Dombeya sp.

Eaten by cattle.

16323

Danisa

Malvaceae

Dombeya sp.

Firewood.

16323

Danisa

Malvaceae

Dombeya sp.

Flowers for honey.

16058

Danisa

Malvaceae

Dombeya torrida Bamps.

Eaten by cattle.

16118

Danisa

Malvaceae

Dombeya torrida Bamps.

Flowers for honey.

16331

Matakoma

Malvaceae

Grewia sp.

Firewood.

16267

Ishini

Malvaceae

Hibiscus sp.

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16267

Ishini

Malvaceae

Hibiscus sp.

Rope; bark peeled for rope used in construction.

16318

No name

Malvaceae

Hibiscus sp.

No use.

16003

Amoja/Amocha

Malvaceae

Kosteletzkya adoensis (Hochst. ex A. Rich.) Mast.

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16003

Amoja/Amocha

Malvaceae

Kosteletzkya adoensis (Hochst. ex A. Rich.) Mast.

Toothbrush.

16130

Lita

Malvaceae

Malva sp.

Eaten by cattle.

16130

Lita

Malvaceae

Malva sp.

Medicine; in the past used to stimulate hair growth. Plant crushed and applied to the hair.

16317

Ishini

Malvaceae

Pavonia sp.

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16317

Ishini

Malvaceae

Pavonia sp.

Rope. Bark peeled and used as rope for construction.

16067

Hamoja

Malvaceae

Sparmannia ricinocarpa (Eckl. & Zeyh.) Kuntze

Eaten by Giant forest hog.

16224

Amoja

Malvaceae

Triumfetta rhomboidea Jacq.

Eaten by mountain nyala, but NOT eaten by cattle.

16211

No name

Malvaceae

 

No use.

16245

Ishini

Malvaceae

 

Flowers for honey.

16245

Ishini

Malvaceae

 

Rope; bark peeled for rope used in construction.

16298

Injin

Malvaceae

 

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16298

Injin

Malvaceae

 

Rope. Bark peeled and used as rope for construction.

16324

Anunu

Meliaceae

Ekebergia capensis Sparm.

Firewood.

16234

Harambe

Meliaceae

Lepidotrichilia volkensii (Gürke) J.-F. Leroy

Firewood.

16234

Harambe

Meliaceae

Lepidotrichilia volkensii (Gürke) J.-F. Leroy

Tools; wood to make ploughs.

16259

Hacho

Meliaceae

Lepidotrichilia volkensii (Gürke) J.-F. Leroy

Firewood.

16390

Hacho

Meliaceae

Trichilia dregeana Sond.

Firewood.

16309

Bulala

Meliaceae

Turraea holstii Gürke

No use.

16029

Arambye

Melianthaceae

Bersama abyssinica Fresen.

Tools; wood to make ploughs.

16342

Oroka

Melianthaceae

Bersama abyssinica Fresen.

Firewood.

16183

Kalala

Menispermaceae

Stephania abyssinica (Quart.-Dill. & A. Rich.) Walp.

Rope; to tie houseposts.

16183

Kalala

Menispermaceae

Stephania abyssinica (Quart.-Dill. & A. Rich.) Walp.

Tools; to make containers for miliking.

16203

No name

Moraceae

Dorstenia soerensenii Friis

No use.

16341

Dembi

Moraceae

Ficus sp.

Firewood.

16403

Lint'o

Moraceae

Ficus sp.

Firewood.

16340

Oda

Moraceae

Ficus sur Forssk.

Beehives (wood).

16340

Oda

Moraceae

Ficus sur Forssk.

Food; fruits eaten by humans.

16340

Oda

Moraceae

Ficus sur Forssk.

NOT eaten by cattle

16402

Oda

Moraceae

Ficus sycomorus L.

Beehives (wood).

16402

Oda

Moraceae

Ficus sycomorus L.

Food; fruits eaten by monkeys, baboons and humans.

16306

No name

Moraceae

 

No use.

16028

Hanku

Myrsinaceae

Embelia schimperi Vatke

Eaten by goats, sheep, cattle, mountain nyala and baboons.

16028

Hanku

Myrsinaceae

Embelia schimperi Vatke

Medicine; the fruits and stems are used as anthelmintic. Eat what fits in the bowl of a hand.

16260

Hanku

Myrsinaceae

Embelia schimperi Vatke

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16260

Hanku

Myrsinaceae

Embelia schimperi Vatke

Medicine; crush fruits and drink liquid to cure tapeworm.

16022

Abeye

Myrsinaceae

Myrsine africana L.

Food; women use the leaves to roll the dough in before putting it in the oven so that it does not buirn. The seeds are crused and the oil is used to grease the baking plate before baking.

16272

Badesa

Myrtaceae

Syzygium guineense (Willd.) DC.

Firewood.

16272

Badesa

Myrtaceae

Syzygium guineense (Willd.) DC.

Flowers for honey.

NOTE: Main honey source.

16272

Badesa

Myrtaceae

Syzygium guineense (Willd.) DC.

Food; fruits eaten by humans.

16278

Badesa

Myrtaceae

Syzygium guineense (Willd.) DC.

Firewood.

16278

Badesa

Myrtaceae

Syzygium guineense (Willd.) DC.

Flowers for honey.

NOTE: Main honey source.

16278

Badesa

Myrtaceae

Syzygium guineense (Willd.) DC.

Food; fruits eaten by humans.

16405

Badesa

Myrtaceae

Syzygium guineense (Willd.) DC.

Construction (house).

16405

Badesa

Myrtaceae

Syzygium guineense (Willd.) DC.

Firewood.

16405

Badesa

Myrtaceae

Syzygium guineense (Willd.) DC.

Food; fruit eaten by humans.

16374

No name

Nyctaginaceae

Boerhavia sp.

No use.

16375

No name

Nyctaginaceae

Boerhavia sp.

No use.

16112

T'orso

Oleaceae

Jasminum abyssinicum Hochst. ex. DC.

Eaten (especially fed to calves).

16112

T'orso

Oleaceae

Jasminum abyssinicum Hochst. ex. DC.

Eaten by cattle.

16112

T'orso

Oleaceae

Jasminum abyssinicum Hochst. ex. DC.

Rope; used in house construction.

16112

T'orso

Oleaceae

Jasminum abyssinicum Hochst. ex. DC.

Toothbrush (young stems).

16329

Badesa

Oleaceae

Olea hochstetteri Baker

Construction (timber).

16329

Badesa

Oleaceae

Olea hochstetteri Baker

Food; fruit eaten by humans.

16329

Badesa

Oleaceae

Olea hochstetteri Baker

NOT eaten by cattle.

16124

No name

Orobanchaceae

Orobanche minor Sm.

No use.

16106

No name

Oxalidaceae

Oxalis sp.

Eaten by cattle.

16386

Korehare

Papaveraceae

Argemone mexicana L.

Eaten by donkeys.

NOTE: Name translates to "spiny donkey".

16121

Endode

Phytolaccaceae

Phytolacca dodecandra L.Hér.

Detergent; fruits crushed and used to wash cloths.

16121

Endode

Phytolaccaceae

Phytolacca dodecandra L.Hér.

Medicine; roots chewed for stomach problems. The fruits kill water animals and can be used to prevent Bilharzia.

16121

Endode

Phytolaccaceae

Phytolacca dodecandra L.Hér.

Toothbrush (twigs).

16301

No name

Phytolaccaceae

 

Eaten by cattle.

16008

Kontuyesa

Piperaceae

Peperomia abyssinica Miq.

Medicine; boil the leaves and apply the steam to pimples and abscesses.

16314

No name

Piperaceae

Peperomia tetraphylla (G. Forst.) Hook. & Arn.

No use.

16193

Ara

Pittosporaceae

Pittosporum abyssinicum Delile

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16193

Ara

Pittosporaceae

Pittosporum abyssinicum Delile

Firewood.

16193

Ara

Pittosporaceae

Pittosporum abyssinicum Delile

Toothbrush (small branches).

16352

Name unknown

Plantaginaceae

Plantago lanceolata L.

Eaten by cattle.

16428

No name

Plantaginaceae

Plantago palmata Hook. f.

No use.

16005

Garaba

Poaceae

Acritochaete volkensii Pilg.

Eaten by livestock and wildlife.

16434

Tuta

Poaceae

Avenula sp.

Eaten by cattle.

16050

Garaba

Poaceae

Bromus leptoclados Nees

Eaten by cattle.

16050

Garaba

Poaceae

Bromus leptoclados Nees

Thatch.

16103

Mata

Poaceae

Calamagrostis epigejos (L.) Roth.

NOT eaten by cattle.

16103

Mata

Poaceae

Calamagrostis epigejos (L.) Roth.

Thatch.

16249

Korcha

Poaceae

Digitaria sp.

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16253

Hat'aua

Poaceae

Elymus sp.

Eaten by cattle.

16253

Hat'aua

Poaceae

Elymus sp.

Thatch.

16082

Marga

Poaceae

Eragrostis cilianensis (Bellardi) Vignolo ex. Janch.

Eaten by cattle.

NOTE: Marga simply translates to grass.

16264

Garaba

Poaceae

Oplismenus compositus (L.) P. Beauv.

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16299

Marga

Poaceae

Panicum sp.

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16248

Chokorsa

Poaceae

Paspalum sp.

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16290

Babala/Babela

Poaceae

Paspalum sp.

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16351

Marga

Poaceae

Poa annua L.

Eaten by cattle.

NOTE: This plant had to be examined very closely before consent could be reached.

16004

Marga

Poaceae

Poa leptoclada A. Rich.

Eaten by cattle.

16262

Babala/Babela

Poaceae

Stipa dregeana Steudl.

Eaten by cattle.

16049

Garaba

Poaceae

Streblochaete longiarista (A. Rich.) Pilg.

Eaten by cattle.

16049

Garaba

Poaceae

Streblochaete longiarista (A. Rich.) Pilg.

Thatch.

16265

Garaba

Poaceae

Streblochaete longiarista (A. Rich.) Pilg.

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16083

Marga

Poaceae

 

Eaten by cattle.

NOTE: Marga simply translates to grass.

16252

Mata

Poaceae

 

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16252

Mata

Poaceae

 

Thatch.

16291

Babala/Babela

Poaceae

 

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16300

Marga

Poaceae

 

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16433

Mata

Poaceae

 

Eaten by cattle.

16433

Mata

Poaceae

 

Thatch.

16246

Bosoka

Polygonaceae

Polygonum afromontanum Greenway

No use.

16227

Berberisa

Polygonaceae

Rumex abyssinicus Jacq.

No use.

16009

Shabee

Polygonaceae

Rumex nepalensis Spreng.

Eaten by cattle.

16009

Shabee

Polygonaceae

Rumex nepalensis Spreng.

Medicine; roots are crushed and eaten for stomach problems.

16009

Shabee

Polygonaceae

Rumex nepalensis Spreng.

Veterinary; leaves are crushed and given to livestock for stomach problems.

16360

Haberira

Polygonaceae

Rumex sp.

Medicine; root is crushed, and water added and drunk when somebody "feels that something is worng," i.e. has an undiagnosed illness.

16189

Kokosa

Polypodiaceae

Drynaria volkensii Hieron.

No use.

16018

No name

Polypodiaceae

Loxogramme abyssinica (Baker) M.G. Price

No use.

NOTE: "At high altitude it is red, at low altitude white."

16392

No name

Portulacaceae

Portulaca oleracea L.

No use.

16070

No name

Primulaceae

Ardisiandra wettsteinii R. Wagner

Eaten by mountain nyala.

16154

Matane

Primulaceaea

Anagallis arvensis L.

Eaten by cattle.

NOTE: "There are two kinds in the area."

16154

Matane

Primulaceaea

Anagallis arvensis L.

Medicine. Applied to the eye to improve "fat yellow thing" in the eye.

NOTE: "There are two kinds in the area."

16119

No name

Pteridaceae

Adiantum capillus-veneris L.

No use.

16101

Kokosa

Pteridaceae

Cheilanthes farinosa (Forssk.) Kaulf.

No use.

16200

Kokosa

Pteridaceae

Cheilanthes farinosa (Forssk.) Kaulf.

No use.

16217

No name

Pteridaceae

Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn

No use.

16015

Kokosa

Pteridaceae

Pteris catoptera Kunze

Sometimes eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16271

Kokosa

Pteridaceae

Pteris catoptera Kunze

No use.

16261

Kokosa

Pteridaceae

Pteris dentata Forssk.

No use.

16201

Kokosa

Pteridaceae

Pteris flabellata Thunb.

No use.

16420

Kokosa

Pteridaceae

Pteris sp.

No use.

16396

Kokosa

Pteridaceae

 

No use.

16047

Fidy

Ranunculaceae

Clematis bracteata (Roxb.) Kurz

Medicine; used for "lung cancer" and cancer in general. The plant is crushed and mixed with butter and applied to wounds, haemorrhoids and burns.

16282

Hacho

Ranunculaceae

Clematis hirsuta Guill. & Perr.

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16304

Fidy

Ranunculaceae

Clematis simensis Fresen.

Rope; bark peeled and used as rope for construction.

16059

No name

Ranunculaceae

Delphinium wellbyi Hemsl.

No use.

16427

No name

Resedaceae

Caylusea abyssinica Fisch. & C.A. Mey.

No use.

16325

No name

Rhamnaceae

Helinus integrifolius (Lam.) Kuntze

No use.

16431

Gesho

Rhamnaceae

Rhamnus prinoides L'Hér.

Food; leaves used to flavor beer and mead. Only used by Christians. Very bitter.

16365

Bitana

Rhamnaceae

Rhamnus staddo A. Rich.

Construction (house).

16045

Thelo

Rhizophoraceae

Cassipourea malosana (Baker) Alston

Firewood.

16045

Thelo

Rhizophoraceae

Cassipourea malosana (Baker) Alston

Tools; wood used to make ploughs.

16169

Sedisa

Rosaceae

Alchemilla fischeri Engl.

Eaten by cattle and baboons.

16181

Sedisa

Rosaceae

Alchemilla kiwuensis Engl.

Eaten by cattle.

16057

Heto

Rosaceae

Hagenia abyssinica J.F. Gmel.

Eaten by cattle.

16057

Heto

Rosaceae

Hagenia abyssinica J.F. Gmel.

Medicine; fruits are dried, ground and eaten before a meal as anthelmintic. Better taken early in the morning with some food.

16226

Suke

Rosaceae

Prunus africana (Hook. f.) Kalkman

Rope; used to hang beehives.

16192

Gora

Rosaceae

Rubus steudneri Schweinf.

Eaten especially by mountain nyala.

16192

Gora

Rosaceae

Rubus steudneri Schweinf.

Food; Fruit eaten by people.

16030

Coralla

Rubiaceae

Canthium oligocarpum Hiern

Eaten by cattle and mountain nyala.

16030

Coralla

Rubiaceae

Canthium oligocarpum Hiern

Food; fruits eaten by children.

16275

Coralla

Rubiaceae

Canthium sp.

Firewood.

16275

Coralla

Rubiaceae

Canthium sp.

Food; fruits eaten by humans.

16276

Gagama

Rubiaceae

Canthium sp.

Tools; wood used to make ploughs.

16305

Buna

Rubiaceae

Coffea arabica L.

Food; fallen leaves roasted for tea, seeds coffee.

16180

Matane

Rubiaceae

Galium aparinoides Forssk.

Eaten by cattle.

16164

No name

Rubiaceae

Oldenlandia monanthos (Hochst. ex A. Rich.) Hiern

Eaten by cattle.

16051

No name

Rubiaceae

Pentas schimperiana (A. Rich.) Vatke

Eaten by cattle.

16283

No name

Rubiaceae

Pentas sp.

Eaten by cattle and other animals.

16415

Bulala

Rubiaceae

Psydrax sp.

Firewood.

16258

Farangasa

Rubiaceae

Rhytigynia sp.

Firewood.

16426

No name

Rubiaceae

Rubia cordifolia L.

Medicine for "snake spit that causes wounds." Root and leaves are chewed and then spit on the affected area.

16255

Sugurgura

Rubiaceae

Vangueria sp.

Construction; to link the main poles and the roof beams.

16307

Arbo

Rutaceae

Citrus aurantium L.

Food; fruits eaten by baboons and humans.

16233

H'adesa

Rutaceae

Teclea nobilis Delile

NOT used for firewood.

16233

H'adesa

Rutaceae

Teclea nobilis Delile

Tools; wood to make ploughs.

16257

Adesa

Rutaceae

Teclea sp.

Firewood.

16274

Adesa

Rutaceae

Teclea sp.

Firewood.

16315

Harira

Rutaceae

Teclea sp.

Firewood.

16417

Sadiqua

Rutaceae

Toddalia asiatica (L.) Lam.

No use.

16273

Harera

Rutaceae

Vepris dainellii (Pic. Seerm.) Miziray

Firewood.

16401

Gagama

Rutaceae

 

Tools; wood used to make ploughs.

16436

Bitana

Rutaceae

 

Firewood.

16339

Deerto

Santalaceae

Viscum triflorum DC.

No use.

16044

Habarra

Sapindaceae

Allophylus abyssinicus (Hochst.) Radkl.

Food; Fruits eaten by children.

16044

Habarra

Sapindaceae

Allophylus abyssinicus (Hochst.) Radkl.

Medicine; Flowers for Honey; This honey has medicinal properties and is good for stomach problems.

16277

Aberra

Sapindaceae

Allophylus abyssinicus (Hochst.) Radkl.

Eaten by cattle.

16277

Aberra

Sapindaceae

Allophylus abyssinicus (Hochst.) Radkl.

Food; Fruits eaten by humans and baboons.

16256

Guduba

Sapotaceae

Aningeria adolfi-friederici (Engl.) Robyns & G.C.C. Gilbert

Firewood.

16072

No name

Saxifragaceae

Saxifraga sp.

Eaten by baboons.

16075

No name

Saxifragaceae

Saxifraga sp.

No use.

16167

No name

Scrophulariaceae

Bartsia petitiana (A. Rich.) Hemsl.

No use.

16437

No name

Scrophulariaceae

Bartsia sp.

No use.

16092

Bulchana

Scrophulariaceae

Buddleja polystachya Fresen.

Firewood.

16158

Kankarasho

Scrophulariaceae

Craterostigma pumilum Hochst.

Eaten by baboons (root).

16158

Kankarasho

Scrophulariaceae

Craterostigma pumilum Hochst.

Food; Roots chewed by humans for taste (like a sweet carrot)

16071

No name

Scrophulariaceae

Craterostigma sp.

Eaten by baboons.

16156

Bilike

Scrophulariaceae

Cycniopsis humilis A. Bacjklund, Asfaw & Långström

Eaten by baboons (root).

16159

No name

Scrophulariaceae

Hebenstretia angolensis Rolfe

No use.

16064

No name

Scrophulariaceae

Rhabdotosperma sp.

No use.

16429

Ashishira

Scrophulariaceae

Verbascum sinaiticum Benth.

Making brooms.

16069

No name

Scrophulariaceae

Veronica abyssinica Fresen.

No use.

16107

Da'ta

Scrophulariaceae

Veronica glandulosa Hochst. ex Benth.

Eaten by cattle.

16443

Hada

Scrophulariaceae

 

Eaten by cattle.

16443

Hada

Scrophulariaceae

 

Flowers for honey.

16445

No name

Scrophulariaceae

 

No use.

16140

Ironto

Simaroubaceae

Brucea antidysenterica J.F. Mill.

NOT eaten by animals, not even by ants. The smoke and the plant smell bad. Can be used as insect repellent.

16363

Banji

Solanaceae

Datura stramonium L.

Medicine; Leaves are crushed and applied to abscesses with pus, deep thorns, infected swollen wounds etc. This will extract the thorn/pus.

NOTE: The name translates to "plant from the east" in Amharic: Atafaris. It is also used as generic name for "drug".

16363

Banji

Solanaceae

Datura stramonium L.

Poison. Seeds might acidentially get mixed with barley. If that is eaten one gets intoxicated, the mouth gets dry, and the mind gets confused. The effect starts as soon as the digestion has happened.

16042

Marraro

Solanaceae

Discopodium penninervium Hochst.

Eaten by horses.

16381

Benjisaria

Solanaceae

Physalis sp.

Weed.

16319

Hiddi

Solanaceae

Solanum incanum L.

Eaten by cattle and goats.

16319

Hiddi

Solanaceae

Solanum incanum L.

Medicine; roots chewed for stomach health and sudden pain.

16319

Hiddi

Solanaceae

Solanum incanum L.

Poison; fruits are toxic.

16370

Hiddi

Solanaceae

Solanum incanum L.

Eaten by cattle (leaves).

16370

Hiddi

Solanaceae

Solanum incanum L.

Medicine; root is eaten for stomach problems of sudden onset. Very bitter.

16231

Hiddi

Solanaceae

Solanum macracanthum A. Rich.

Medicine; root chewed for stomach problems.

16231

Hiddi

Solanaceae

Solanum macracanthum A. Rich.

NOT eaten by cattle.

16362

Mijilo

Solanaceae

Solanum nigrum L.

Eaten by cattle.

16362

Mijilo

Solanaceae

Solanum nigrum L.

Food; children eat the fruits.

16371

Mishilo Huarabesa

Solanaceae

Solanum sp.

No use.

NOTE: Name translates as "Hyena tomato".

16372

Hiti'arbo

Solanaceae

Solanum sp.

Detergent; fruits were formerly boiled and used as detergent to wash cloths.

16129

Unso

Solanaceae

Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal

Medicine; roots are smashed or chewed like a carrot to treat stomach problems. The leaves are burnt as incense as spiritual medicine.

16129

Unso

Solanaceae

Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal

NOT eaten by cattle.

16380

Hunso

Solanaceae

 

Veterinary. When the yoke hurts the back of the oxen and produces a swelling, crush the leaves and put on the swelling.

16118

Danisa

Sterculiaceae

Dombeya torrida Bamps.

Rope; bark peeled and used in construction. "They pull the water transport system for rope".

16367

Bitana

Stilbaceae

Nuxia congesta R. Br. ex Fresen.

Construction (house).

16367

Bitana

Stilbaceae

Nuxia congesta R. Br. ex Fresen.

Firewood.

16367

Bitana

Stilbaceae

Nuxia congesta R. Br. ex Fresen.

Flowers for honey.

16302

Kokosa

Tectariaceae

Tectaria gemmifera (Fée) Alston

No use.

16394

Kokosa

Thelypteridaceae

Thelypteris sp.

No use.

16395

Kokosa

Thelypteridaceae

Thelypteris sp.

No use.

16432

Didisa

Thymeleaceae

Gnidia glauca (Fresen.) Gilg

Firewood.

16432

Didisa

Thymeleaceae

Gnidia glauca (Fresen.) Gilg

Rope; bark used to make rope.

16184

No name

Urticaceae

Pilea johnstonii Oliv.

No use.

16185

No name

Urticaceae

Pilea rivularis Wedd.

Eaten by baboons.

16240

No name

Urticaceae

Pilea sp.

Eaten by cattle.

16056

Halila

Urticaceae

Urera hypselodendron Wedd.

Eaten by cattle and wildlife.

16254

Halila

Urticaceae

Urera hypselodendron Wedd.

No use.

16334

Lalesa

Urticaceae

 

No use.

16281

Sukai

Verbenaceae

Lantana sp.

Eaten by cattle.

16281

Sukai

Verbenaceae

Lantana sp.

Food; spice for butter, milk etc.

16425

No name

Verbenaceae

Verbena sp.

No use.

16280

No name

Verbenaceae

 

No use.

16327

Ulaga

Verbenaceae

 

Firewood.

16327

Ulaga

Verbenaceae

 

Tools; wood used to make ploughs.

16435

Dukunsha

Violaceae

Viola abyssinica Steud. ex Oliv.

To soften leather. Leaves are crushed to extract the juice, which is applied to hard leather.

16020

Lelecha

Vitaceae

Cyphostemma sp.

Poison; this burns your bowels when you eat it. NOT eaten by animals.

16418

No name

Vitaceae

Rhoicissus sp.

NOT eaten by cattle.

16063

No name

Xanthorrhoeaceae

Asphodelus fistulosus L.

Eaten by baboons.

16172

Lela

Xanthorrhoeaceae

Kniphofia foliosa Hochst.

No use.

16151

Ch'amare

Zygophyllaceae

Tribulus terrestris L.

Eaten by all animals.

16151

Ch'amare

Zygophyllaceae

Tribulus terrestris L.

Toothbrush (root).

16036

Seriti

  

Eaten sometimes by goats.

16149

Sedisa

  

Eaten by cattle.

NOTE: This name applied to samples WITH fruits

16279

Wayebosa

  

Eaten by cattle.

16279

Wayebosa

  

Flowers for honey.

16421

Diki

  

Eaten by cattle.

16421

Diki

  

Rope.

Figure 2

Number of plant species used in each use category.

A very limited number of species was used for veterinary purposes (13 species), or as human medicine (46 species). Many species however had multiple uses. Plant medicine served mostly to treat common everyday ailments such as stomach problems and diarrhea (9 species), for wound treatment and as toothbrush-sticks (6 species), as anthelmintic, for skin infections and to treat sore muscles and swellings (4 species each), or to foster hair growth, to treat colds, and syphilis (2 species each). One species was employed for female illnesses, and one to treat cancer. Interestingly, 9 species were used to treat spiritual ailments and to expel demons. In most cases of medicinal applications the leaves (26 species) or roots (15 species) were employed, while fruits (4 species), flowers (1 species) and bark (1 species) did not play a significant role.

Traditional plant knowledge has clearly declined in a large part of the research area. The most traditional groups still retain the highest knowledge of plant use for human purposes, although acculturated societies are shown to retain a much higher plant usage in order to treat common "modern" diseases such as sexually transmitted disease, as well as veterinary problems that are either stigmatized, for which western treatment does not prove effective, or for which cheap treatment cannot be found. Western style health care services as provided by governments and NGOs, in particular in rural areas, seem to have contributed to a decline in traditional knowledge, in part because the local population simply regards western medicine as more effective and safer, or as one of our Oromo informants put it "Sick people go to the clinic or cultural practitioner who prepares medicine from plants. Nowadays people mostly go to the clinic. The head of household knows herbs and they might use these, but nowadays most people prefer to go to the clinic. Traditional herbalists are already very old. The tradition is normally passed from the father to the son. Formerly people came from far like from Addis, and there is still a woman healer who is famous for treatments for example for parasites. Western medicine is more scientific and thus more reliable. Traditional medicine is often very painful, and can cause harm. Sometimes people die of traditional medicine. For their animals people prefer to go to the animal hospital. Traditional remedies are only used for rabies."

The knowledge of the Oromo population in both the highlands of Bale and the lower areas south of the massif were comparable. However, some profound differences were encountered. The Oromo of the Bale highlands did not use preparations for malaria for the simple fact that malaria does not exist in their area. Thirteen species were used as veterinary medicine by the Oromo in the study area. This is rather surprising, because [42] reported 74 veterinary medicinal plant species from the study region. Plants for the cure of venereal diseases such as Gonorrhea, Syphilis and others, were almost negligible in the present study in the Oromo area. Previous records indicate that venereal diseases were amongst the most frequently treated with plants amongst the Oromo [23, 41].

These differences might indicate a clear difference in plant knowledge between traditional healers and laypeople. Experts clearly had a much more profound knowledge than the non-experts interviewed. We must also consider disparities in floral composition and availability between the Oromo people inhabiting our study area and those that inhabit different regions and ecosystems. In the worst case scenario, the Oromo in Bale may have already lost much of the plant knowledge that previous generations relied on for centuries.

Declarations

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank all their colleagues in Ethiopia for their tireless support. We would like to thank in particular Sebsebe Demissew and Ensermu Kelbessa at the National Herbarium of Ethiopia for facilities to deposit specimens, help with identification, and literature. The financial support for this work by the Murulle Foundation, and the William L. Brown Center at Missouri Botanical Garden is acknowledged. Most of all, thanks to the population of Bale for sharing their tremendous ethnobotanical knowledge.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
William L. Brown Center, Missouri Botanical Garden
(2)
The Murulle Foundaion
(3)
Rift Valley Safaris
(4)
Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University

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© BUSSMANN, RW et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2011

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