Research Article: Ethnobotanical assessment of Hazar Nao Hills, District Malakand, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
Keywords:Ethno-botanical uses, Plant conservation, Hazar Nao hills, Malakand KPK
An ethno-botanical study was carried out to consolidate knowledge on folk uses of plant resources of Hazar Nao Hills, District Malakand, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Pakistan. Data were recorded from February 2019 to March 2020 by collecting old information from the local inhabitants including old age males, females and herbalists about different uses of plant resources. Data were collected through a well-structured questionnaire by interviewing 150 local men, women, and herbalists. As per our data, 72 vascular plant species, belonging to 45 different families and 56 genera were used by the local people for diverse native uses. Of all families recorded in this study, except two, all belong to Spermatophyta, a major division of plant kingdom. With regard to the habits of plant species recorded in the area, 36 were herbs, 10 shrubs, 25 trees and one pteridophyte. On a percentage basis, the total plant species (72) collected from the study area comprised 49% herbs, 14% shrubs, 34% trees, and 1% pteridophyte. The highest numbers of species recorded were from families Lamiaceae (5 spp.) and Poaceae (5 spp.) followed by families Euphorbiaceae (4 spp.), Moraceae (4 spp), and Polygonaceae (4 spp). Overall, the field scrutiny showed that overgrazing, deforestation, unscientific collection and agricultural expansion, as well as their considerable use for feed or medicinal purposes are the factors causing a significant decline of native vegetation. Thus, continuous work on plant resources and conservation of Hazar Nao Hills is imperatively needed.
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