BIOL 472.05
Ethnobotany - Economic Botany Seminar
Spring 2018, 1 credit, meeting W 5-5:50 pm






Final Exam Study Guide

PDF, Key


Main Topics

Topic 01 - Defining the Disciplines

  • McClatchey W, A Paul, T Flaster, V McClatchey. 1999. An evaluation of educational trends in economic and ethnobotany. Centre for International Ethnomedicinal Education and Research Ethnobotany Ecuational Publication Series 1: 1-21. (focus on the definitions of ethno- and economic botany from the second column of p. 4 through the first column of p. 5).

  • McClatchey W. 2007. Two ethnobotanists. Journal of Ethnobotany Research and Applications 5: 95-96.

Topic 02 - Taxonomy & Classification of Plants

Topic 03 - Field Work

  • Bye RA. 1986. Voucher specimens in ethnobiological studies and publications. Journal of Ethnobiology 6: 1-8.

    Considers the essential role of voucher specimens in ethnobotanical studies and of the conceptual requisites for properly making voucher specimens for deposition in a herbarium. Does not, however, discuss specific techniques for preserving plant material or actually making the voucher specimen.

  • Nguyen MLT. 2005. Cultivated plant collections from market places. Ethnobotany Research & Applications 3: 5-15.

    Starts with a literature review motivating marketplace inventories as valuable avenues of ethnobotanical research and then goes on to focus on the importance of making voucher specimens and how to properly record field data to support such studies. It considers the particular challenges of making voucher specimens with products found in the market, which may only be parts of a plant, lack diagnositic characters for the species, and which may be bulky or fleshy (e.g. large fruits). It draws upon previous literature and the author's experience to provide practical tips and photographs on how to prepare vouchers of marketplace fruits and vegetables in particular.

Topic 04 - Herbarium Work

  • Anonymous. 2002. The importance of herbaria. The Plant Press 5 (3): 6-7. (article link here)
  • Dirig R. 2005. Preparing herbarium specimens. Published by the author. Ithaca, New York. (handed out in class).

    A broad consideration of the importance of herbaria.

Topic 05 - Research Ethics

  • Vandebroek I. 2017. Ethical aspects of working with local communities and their biological resources. Chapter 33 (pp 645-651) in Badal S and Delgoda R (eds) Pharmacognosy: Fundamentals, Applications and Strategy. Elsevier, New York.

Topic 06 - Medicinal Plants

  • Outline
  • PowerPoint
  • Smith-Hall C, H Overgaard, M Pouliot. 2012. People, plants and health: a conceptual framework for assessing changes in medicinal plant consumption. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 8: 43.



Plant Profiles

Aloe (outline, PowerPoint)

Bananas (outline, PowerPoint)

The Coconut Palm (outline, PowerPoint)




Marketplace Assignment

Voucher Specimen Assignment

Useful Links

1. James C. Parks Herbarium (Millersville University)
2. NatureAtlas Plants