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Acta Botanica Brasilica

Print version ISSN 0102-3306


EICHEMBERG, Mayra Teruya; AMOROZO, Maria Christina de Mello  and  MOURA, Leila Cunha de. Species composition and plant use in old urban homegardens in Rio Claro, Southeast of Brazil. Acta Bot. Bras. [online]. 2009, vol.23, n.4, pp.1057-1075. ISSN 0102-3306.

This study, based on the ethnobotanical approach, looked for to characterize the ancient urban home gardens in Rio Claro, municipality located in the Southeast of Brazil, carrying out a survey of the wealth of vegetal species and their uses, in 17 households selected randomly. The data had been collected by means of semistructured and structured interviews and by the gathering of plants. It was verified a total of 410 species, distributed in 97 botanical families, evidencing a high diversity of ligneous species, such as trees and shrubs (H' = 1,66 and J = 0.86). There were surveyed 257 species for ornamental use, as well as 98 for alimentary and 93 for medicinal uses. Considering the great number of species found for the main categories of use, it can be inferred that the home gardens play important functions for the interviewed families, contributing for the food and medicine production destined for the consumption by the families themselves, and also playing an important esthetic function thanks to the variety of their ornamental plants. The wealth of these home gardens may be related to the rural origin and to the culture of the owners, who still keep a cultivation tradition. It was found that the products obtained from the home gardens contributed for the diet's variety of the informants, representing a promising potential for the improvement of the population alimentation.

Keywords : home garden; ethnobotany; diversity.

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