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Scientia Agriculturae Bohemica

The Journal of Czech University of Life Sciences Prague

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Traditional Use of Plants by the Disappearing Czech Diaspora in Romanian Banat

M. Vlková
  • Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Department of Crop Sciences and Agroforestry, Prague, Czech Republic
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ E. Kubátová / P. Šlechta
  • Palacký University Olomouc, Faculty of Arts, Olomouc, Czech Republic
  • University of Granada, Faculty of Philosophy and Literature, Granada, Spain
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Z. Polesný
  • Corresponding author
  • Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Department of Crop Sciences and Agroforestry, Prague, Czech Republic
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  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2015-07-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sab-2015-0016


Most of the ethnobotanical research is dedicated to food and medicinal plants, while the other categories, such as plants used as materials, veterinary remedies or fodder remain neglected. This trend dominates in East Europe where linguistic approach prevails, while ethnographical one stays under-explored, though the heritage of the 19th century was impressive. Field data were collected through in-depth individual semi-structured interviews with the last remaining ethnic Czechs living in Romanian Banat and triangulated with extensive participant observation. The aims of this study were to document and preserve local knowledge pertaining to the use of traditional cultivated and wild plants. The study focused on under-documented use categories, hence, food and medicinal plants were excluded. In total, 56 plant species were cited by informants. The paper also highlights vernacular names, phytonyms, and particularly interesting uses of plant resources or related aspects not described previously or under-reported in the literature. The authors conclude that the ethnobotanical knowledge still survives as a part of the cultural heritage of the Czech diaspora. However, several interesting uses are only practiced by elderly people, the knowledge is ageing, and is likely to vanish fairly soon.

Keywords: agrobiodiversity; Balkans; ethnic minorities; ethnobotany; traditional knowledge


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About the article

Received: 2014-10-15

Accepted: 2015-02-01

Published Online: 2015-07-01

Published in Print: 2015-06-01

Citation Information: Scientia Agriculturae Bohemica, Volume 46, Issue 2, Pages 49–56, ISSN (Online) 1805-9430, ISSN (Print) 1211-3174, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sab-2015-0016.

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© 2015. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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