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Gathered food plants in the Northern of Morocco

Gathered food plants are not domesticated species, but consumed by the local populations. Besides the food and economic interest, they have an important socio cultural value as traditional knowledge. An ethnobotanic study was done to contribute to the knowledge of these plants, the know-how associated with their uses and their marketing. The inventory of the species used for the research was taken, as well as the recognition and typology of the uses by the local population. Research was conducted in the popular markets of the northwest zone of Morocco. Culturally and ethnically this region is a part of the country Jbala. Research schedule consisted of the following two different timetables: i) Weekly follow-up which lasted one year for an urban souk (Saniat Rmel, Tétouan) ii) Seasonal follow-up for urban and rural souks covering a wide territory. The results obtained showed an important floristic diversity. Indeed, we have identified 37 species consumed and which are distributed among 19 botanical families; mainly Asteraceae and Lamiaceae. These plants are mainly weeds harvested from cultivated fields (68%), the rest is harvested in natural formations (32%). A typology of uses has been made; the species are consumed in four forms: fruit (17%), vegetable (59%), salad (12%) or condiment (12%). The commercial and cultural aspects are discussed.

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