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versión impresa ISSN 1405-2768


BALCAZAR-QUINONES, A.; WHITE-OLASCOAGA, L.; CHAVEZ-MEJIA, C.  y  ZEPEDA-GOMEZ, C.. The edible tender plants: species richness and traditional knowledge in the otomí community of San Pedro Arriba, Temoaya, State of Mexico. Polibotánica [online]. 2020, n.49, pp.219-242.  Epub 20-Jun-2020. ISSN 1405-2768.


The rural communities of Mexico take advantage of more than 500 species of edible plants. Among these vegetables are the quelites, which are defined as plants whose leaves, stems and flowers are consumed tender. Quelites have been part of Mexican diet since pre-Hispanic times, particularly among ethnic groups such as the Otomíes, also known as hñähñus. In order to analyze the floristic richness, use and management of the quelites in hñähñus population from the State of Mexico, free listings, semi-structured interviews and botanical collections were made in markets, milpas and forested areas adjacent to San Pedro Arriba town, Temoaya. Sixty-eight species and 5 varieties of quelites were registered, from 29 botanical families. Asteraceae, Amaranthaceae, Apiaceae and Brassicaceae stood out because they presented more than four species. The use of quelites with herbaceous habit (89%) and developed in terrestrial habitats (88%) predominated. Thirty-seven species and a variety are Mexican native plants, the rest are introduced species and only Sicyos microphyllus (Chayotillo) is endemic to Mexico. All species of quelites are incorporated into the diet, especially cooked (72%). Twenty-eight species are also used as medicinal plants, especially for digestive and respiratory diseases. The quelites with the highest values ​​of use, importance and intensity of handling were Chenopodium berlandieri, C. berlandieri var. nuttaliae, Brassica rapa and Medicago polymorpha. Wild plant collections were the main form of management (30%). The acquisition of knowledge is mainly at a very young age (6 to 12 years) and its protection is especially maintained in women between 23 and 55 years (69%). The use and consumption of quelites by the Otomí community from San Pedro Arriba is extensive and must be promoted, documented and applied before globalization processes lead to their extinction and to the species that support them.

Palabras llave : weeds; ethnobotany; uses; hñähñu; management; wild edible plants.

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