Species Diversity and Ethnobotanical Uses of Family Moraceae in District Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh (India)

Author(s): Sanjeev Kumar

Ethnobotany is the study of past and present interrelationships between human cultures and the plants. An ethnobotanical survey of rural areas of Bilaspur district was carried out to enumerate the species di-versity and traditional uses of family Moraceae.The district Bilaspur lies between 31° 12' 30" and 31° 35' 45" North latitudes and between 76° 23' 45" and 76° 55' 40" East longitudes in the Shivalik hills of the Himalayas next to Punjab plains in the basin of river satluj. In present study 22 species belonging to 4 genera ofthefamily,Moraceae have been recorded in district Bilaspur. Genus Ficushas represented by 15 species, Morusby 4, Artocarpusby 2 and Broussonetiaby one species. As per ethnobotanical uses 15 species edible, 12 fodder, 8 timber, 8 medicinal, 5 ornamental/avenue and 3 sacred plants have been documented. Each plant species has been pro-vided with information on botanical names, common names, habit, availability status, parts used and ethnobotanical uses. Ficus religiosa and F. benghalensis are considered as sacred plants and no one can cut them for their individual interest. This study also indicates that the district Bilaspur has rich floraldiversity and inhab-itants still rely on plants for their livelihood. Butdue to gradual socio-cultural transformation, the rural inhabit-ants losing the traditional knowledge which is a cause of neglect of conservation of floral diversity. Hence, there is an urgent need to conserve traditional knowledge as well as invaluable plant resources.


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