The knowledge pertaining to uses of indigenous wild plants and their conservation methods by the rural communities of the Limpopo Province (South Africa) is not fully reconnoitered. The available data highlighting these aspects are scattered in general ethnobotanical literatures. The current study therefore sought to collate, analyze, and describe such information. Search engines and local libraries were used to document information. A total of 50 useful wild plant species belonging to 32 botanical families, mainly the Fabaceae (28%, n = 9) and Cucurbitaceae (13%, n = 4), were harvested by rural communities inhabiting the Limpopo Province. These species were mainly exploited wholly for medicinal (62%, n = 31) and food (20%, n = 10) purposes. Leaves, bark, fruits, and roots, respectively, were the most commonly used plant parts. Overall, the traditional conservation approaches employed by the indigenous people to ensure continual supply of these organs for different livelihoods encompass traditional beliefs and taboos, sustainable harvesting practices as well as domestication of plants. However, not all these approaches promote effective conservation and sustainable utilization of wild plant resources.
Part of the book: Natural Resources Management and Biological Sciences