Brief Note

A survey of plants sold by traders at Zululand muthi markets, with a view to selecting popular plant species for propagation in communal gardens


A survey of medicinal plants sold at muthi markets of northern KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa was conducted by questioning 63 plant traders to identify unthreatened and threatened plants for cultivation purposes. From a total of 163 plants sold at local markets, 32 are reported based on their inclusion in four categories, namely (1) scarce and not threatened, (2) abundant and not threatened, (3) scarce and threatened and (4) abundant and threatened. Species that were scarce and threatened include Ansellia africana, Bauhinia bowkeri, Encephalartos natalensis, Encephalartos villosus, Eucomis autumnalis, Haworthia limifolia, Huernia hystrix, Mondia whitei and Warburgia salutaris. A workshop was held with plant traders, government officials and researchers at the University of Zululand to disseminate information on the propagation of selected species for conservation purposes. Plant traders undertook to propagate medicinal plants in collaboration with researchers and establish medicinal gardens in communal areas.

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