Useful plants referenced by the naturalist Richard Spruce in the 19th century in the state of Pará, Brazil

Dyana Joy dos Santos-Fonseca, Márlia Coelho-Ferreira, Viviane Stern da Fonseca-Kruel
2019 Acta Botânica Brasílica  
The present work sought to study the biocultural collections made by the naturalist Richard Spruce in the 19 th century while in the state of Pará, Brazil. The material is largely deposited in the Herbarium and the Museum of Economic Botany at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK. Complementary studies were undertaken in Brazilian institutions to gather more information about the useful plants cited by Spruce for Pará and their respective vernacular names and uses in the 19 th century.
more » ... century. Information was also gathered concerning the current uses of the plants by analyzing contemporary ethnobotanical studies. A total of 54 vernacular names of useful plants were recovered, including 51 native species of which 33 are used for construction purposes, 18 as food resources, eight for medicinal purposes, and one species as an ichthyotoxin. It is interesting to note that 80 % of the uses described for these plants in the 19 th century in Pará continue into the present day. It is hoped that the present work will serve to promote future studies involving biocultural collections that document the history of local populations and recognize the importance of traditional knowledge in the Amazon region.
doi:10.1590/0102-33062018abb0344 fatcat:hjbkjni4w5fknezsaex2ifrjfe