Legumes traditionnels du Cameroun, une etude agro-botanique

J.M.C. Stevels

    Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


    <p>Cameroon has a remarkable abundance of vegetable species. A great variety of local and introduced vegetable crops are grown and together with a significant number of wild and semi-wild plants, occasionally cultivated, form a valuable complementary food in the daily diet.<p>Primarily the aim of this study is to present an inventory of traditional vegetable species in Cameroon, indicating their importance in local agriculture, their significance as food and their nutritional value. The second objective is a taxonomical study of these vegetable crops, in order to expose, and where feasible eliminate, the existing widespread confusion in their scientific nomenclature. Botanical descriptions and practical differential keys, based on those parts of the plants that are actually used, are provided. This study deals with 67 traditional vegetables, 20 species of which are discussed in greater detail. The materials and data were gathered mainly in Cameroon during the period 1975 - 1979, and subsequently elaborated upon at the Department of Plant Taxonomy of the Agricultural University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.<p>Chapter I contains a general introduction. The working plan (chapter 2) clarifies the selection of the 20 primary species (paragraph 2.1). Further detailed information is supplied regarding the materials used and the applied methods of investigation (paragraph 2.2).<p>Chapter 3 presents the five agro-ecological regions into which Cameroon can be divided (paragraph 3. 1). A review is given of the physical and biological environment (paragraph 3.2) and of the agriculture and animal husbandry (paragraph 3.3). Various aspects pertaining to vegetables are discussed, such as the different types of vegetable crops (paragraph 3.4. 1), local and introduced vegetables (paragraph 3.4.2), the inventory of the vegetables in the different agro- ecological regions (paragraph 3.4.3) and a classification of wild and/or cultivated species (paragraph 3.4.4). Finally the various types of vegetable production are dealt with (paragraph 3.5).<p>Chapter 4 is based on nutritional research and surveys which have been carried out in Cameroon since 1953. The first part is devoted to a survey of food and nutrition in the different agro-ecological regions (paragraph 4. 1). In the second part an account is given of the preparation and utilisation of vegetables including their nutritional value (paragraph 4.2).<p>Chapter 5 deals with the botanical study of the vegetable species. Differential keys to groups of species (paragraph 5. 1. 1) and to individual species (paragraph 5.1.2), based on characteristics of the edible product, are supplied. In the next paragraph (5.2) all 67 species are arranged in alphabetical order, primarily in family order and subsequently according to the genera and species. This paragraph also provides concise information concerning the 47 secondary species.<p>The 20 primary species are considered in a final paragraph (5.3), also in alphabetical order.<br/>The format of the text in the paragraphs 5.2 and 5.3 is essentially similar for each species. In paragraph 5.2 the author and the original publication of the species are cited, along with the current synonyms, pertinent literature, vernacular names, the occurrence in each of the five agro-ecological regions, a concise botanical description, a few relevant notes, representative herbarium specimens from Cameroon and finally the applicability as a vegetable. Furthermore paragraph 5.3 provides an etymological explanation of the scientific name and the typification, while synonymy, literature, geographic distribution and botanical description are discussed at length. Notes in this paragraph elaborate the typification. Any other relevant questions are subsequently dealt with, such as the recurring confusion with other species of the same genus, infraspecific variation and the distinction of cultivar-groups or cultivars, some cytogenetic and evolutionary aspects, and the use as a vegetable. Finally all the herbarium material examined from Cameroon is listed.<p>Each species is accompanied by a botanical drawing of the edible parts of the plant in paragraph 5.2. Species dealt with in paragraph 5.3 are fully illustrated. In some cases a photograph is added. In conclusion a general bibliography and indices of scientific and vernacular plant names are provided.
    Original languageFrench
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • van der Maesen, L.J.G., Promotor
    • Flach, M., Promotor, External person
    • Breteler, F.J., Co-promotor
    Award date16 Mar 1990
    Place of PublicationWageningen
    Print ISBNs9789067541510
    Publication statusPublished - 1990


    • angiosperms
    • wild plants
    • gardening
    • vegetable growing
    • ornamental plants
    • cameroon
    • botany
    • economic botany

    Cite this

    Stevels, J. M. C. (1990). Legumes traditionnels du Cameroun, une etude agro-botanique. Wageningen: Agricultural University.