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Table 4 Comparison of Sheko and Bench folk classification of yams with the formal divisions

From: Indigenous biosystematics of yams (Dioscorea spp.) in Southwest Ethiopia: folk taxonomy, ethnolinguistic analysis, and folk descriptors

Scientific ranks Formally recognized ranks Ranks recognized by Sheko and Bench farmers Number of taxa identified in each ranks No. of descriptors used to classify and name the taxa assigned to each ranks
Characters Character states
Family Life form - - - -
Genus Generic Folk generic 4 individual labels 1 2
Species Sub-generic Supra-variety 9 labeled groups 11 (19) 29 (54)
Variety Varietal Variety 37 individual labels 5 (14) 14 (43)
- Sub-varietal Sub-variety 21 individual labels 1 4
Overlapping descriptors   
 1 Between generic and supra-varietal ranks 1 2
 2 Between generic and varietal ranks 1 2
 3 Between supra-varietal and varietal ranks 7 23
 4 Between varietal and sub-varietal ranks 1 4
Summary of overall descriptors 26 74
  1. NB numbers in the parenthesis refers to the total number of characters and character states of the respective ranks