• Montserrat Rios
  • Michael J. Koziol
  • Henrik Borgtoft Pedersen
  • Gabriela Granda

Useful plants of Ecuador: applications, challenges, and perspectives

  • Resultados de 18 años de investigación científica
  • Breve historia de las plantas útiles del Ecuador
  • 514 referencias bibliográficas de plantas útiles
  • Descripción de 1.191 especies de plantas útiles
  • Edición bilingüe: español - inglés
  • Results of 18 years of scientific research
  • Concise history of useful plants
  • 514 bibliographical references of useful plants
  • Description of 1191 species of useful plats
  • Bilingual edition: English-Spanish


Plantas útiles del Ecuador

Ecuador has 1,191 plant species that have been registered as useful. However it has been estimated that between 8,000 to 10,000 plant species have potential use. The book entitled “Useful Plants of Ecuador: applications, challenges, and perspectives” descibres the uses of the registered plant species.
This book stresses the vital value of indigenous population ancestral wisdom and oral memory. Thus, ancestral wisdom regarding plant diversity should be studied and catalogued from rural communities and also urban populations. What’s more, this ancestral wisdom of the plant kingdom has been accumulated and transmitted throw generations, and is studied and systematized by Ethnobotany.

Ethnobotany is a scientific discipline that emphasizes equally both social culture and the plant kingdom. It studies the denomination, perception, and classification of plants from people’s point of view. Generally, the most important plant uses are: food, medicine, clothing, tools, rituals, weapons, and house-building, among others.

In Ecuador, studies in Ethnobotany allow us to differentiate cultures among the Pacific coast, Andean highlands and Amazonia, distinguishing each human group by the use of plants. Ethnobotany characterized each human group according to their own system of utilization of plant species, especially when these proceed from their settlement sites and surrounding environment.

In our current time, there is an urgency to intensify ethnobotanical research given the accelerated rates of acculturation and environmental devastation. The impact of these come from the loss of ancestral wisdom, misuse of plant resources and changes in food, medicine, clothing, housing and traditional cosmovision patterns.

The research described in the book, which revitalizes Ecuadorian culture, was carried out over 18 years by the Ecuadorian researchers Montserrat Rios and Gabriela Granda, and by Michael J. Koziol and Henrik B. Pedersen, from the United States and Denmark, respectively.