Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 55, Issue 8, pp 1359–1370 | Cite as

On Sidama folk identification, naming, and classification of cultivated enset (Ensete ventricosum) varieties

  • Tesfaye Bizuayehu
Research Article


An ethnobotanical study was carried out in Sidama to document and analyze the local system of naming, identification and classification of the cultivated varieties of enset used by farmers. The results revealed much information of biological and cultural value which can aid the botanical and genetic study and improvement of enset. Farmers recognized a total of 119 different infra-specific units of enset. The locally perceived biotas are partitioned into three well-recognized groups, namely sub-variety, variety, and supra-variety. Taxa assigned to the three groups have nomenclatural and ethnobotanical features that mark them as members of a separate group. A description and analysis of the nomenclatural and ethnobotanical features of taxa assigned to each of the three groups is presented with emphasis on the nature of the characters used for identification and grouping. A folk biological classification system of enset consisting of four taxonomic levels is proposed. The study has the potential for furthering our understanding of the ways traditional farming communities in centres of crop diversity perceive and organize biological diversity.


Ensete ventricosum Ethiopia Folk taxonomy Nomenclature 



The source of fund for the project is Norwegian Agency for Development and Cooperation (NORAD) administered at Hawassa University. The author wishes to acknowledge with thanks Mr. Bitu Biru, Mr. Tunsisa Tafe, Mr. Tilahun Genene and the farmers in the study sites whose contribution was vital for the successful completion of the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of AgricultureHawassa UniversityAwassaEthiopia

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