Ethnobotany of Karak

Topics: Ethnobotany, North-West Frontier Province, Plant Pages: 11 (3801 words) Published: March 19, 2011
*Senior Scientific Officer, Arid Zone Research Institute, Ratta Kulachi, Dera Ismail Khan,(NWFP)Pakistan ** WNESAM College, Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan, (NWFP) Pakistan

An ethnobotanical study of important wild plants of Bahadur Khel Tract (Tehsil Banda Daud Shah) in Karak District was conducted to understand the human-plants relationship in the area. Field surveys and interviews of local people were conducted to document ethnobotanical uses of plants. In total 37wild plants species belonging to 23 families were identified which are used for various purposes. The plants are Acacia modesta, Acacia nilotica, Achyranthus aspera, Aerva javanica, Alhagi maurorum, Asphodelus tenuifolius, Capparis decidua, Capparis spinosa, Calotropis procera, Convolvulus arvensis,Crotalaria burhia, Desmostachya bipinnata, Echinops echinatus, Euphorbia dracunculoides, Fagonia cretica, Grewia tenax, Heteropogon contortus, Juncus maritimus, Kickxia ramossissima, Kochia indica, Maytenus royleana, Monotheca buxifolia, Otostegia limbata, Peganum hermala, Periploca aphylla, Rhazya stricta, Salvadora oloides, Salvia santoliniaefolia var. pumila , Solanum surratense, Sueda fruticosa, Tamarix aphylla, Taraxacum officinale, Taverniera nummularia, Withania coagulans, Withania somnifera, Zizyphus maurtiana and Zizyphus nummularia. Among these 37 plants are medicinal, 19 are browsed by animals, 14 are fuel wood species, 8 are honey bee species, 8 species are used for fencing and hedging, 7 species are used as timber wood, 6 species are used in making of agricultural tools and 5 species yield edible fruits. The surveys of the area indicated that the wild plants or their products were collected usually for the domestic use of the local people.

INTRODUCTION Bahadur Khel Tract is situated in Karak District, NWFP (Pakistan). It lies between 33. 4 N and 33. 12 N latitude and 70.5 and 71.0 E longitude. The investigated area is about 600 sq. kms. It is bounded by Hangu District in the North West, Kohat District in the North East, Tribal Adjoining Area in the South West and Karak Tehsil in the South. The area has a number of fair weathered roads which lead in the interior of the area. It is connected with Bannu and Kohat by all weathered and metal led roads. Topographically the area is a part of Kohat – Potwar Plateau, characterized by almost parallel ridges and valleys. Generally the valleys are narrow, except those of Karak and Laughar algad. The mountains are of moderate height and they can be approached at any place. In the North, the highest top is 2060 the north eastern corner, in the middle, it is 2585 ft. in the southern corner, and 2752ft in the south western area. The area is dry, there is no river flowing through it, except a few perennial streams of saltish water which

could not be used for irrigation or drinking purposes. The climatic condition is of mediterranian type. The summers are hot and the winters are cold. The range of temperature varies between the highest recorded 51.66 c (June - July) and lowest 3.33 c (December - February) reaching upto 37.77 c frequently. The summer rainfall is monsoonal. It is confined to the months of July and August. Average rainfall of area is about 29.5cm. (Anon, 1998). Ethnobotany studies the relationship between a given society and its environment and in particular the plant world (Aumeeruddin, 1996). Since the prehistoric time man has always dependant upon the plants for his food, shelter and health, so the relationship between man and plants is as old as history of mankind and indigenous knowledge about the plants is as old as human civilization. The study of direct interaction between human and plant population through its culture, each human population classified plants, develops attitudes and beliefs and learns the use of

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