Original Research

A preliminary survey of primitive crops cultivated in the northern Transvaal of South Africa

T. H. Arnold, K. J. Musil
Bothalia | Vol 14, No 3/4 | a1214 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v14i3/4.1214 | © 1983 T. H. Arnold, K. J. Musil | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 November 1983 | Published: 06 November 1983

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T. H. Arnold, Botanical Research Institute, Department of Agriculture, South Africa
K. J. Musil, Botanical Research Institute, Department of Agriculture, South Africa

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The different tribal economies of South Africa rely extensively on a number of primitive crop taxa which are cultivated as a primary food source. The most important of these include  Sorghum bicolor,  Pennisetum americanum, Citrullus lanatus, Lagenaria siceraria, Vigna unguiculata, Voandzeia subterranea and  Hibiscus esculentus.

Morphological variation within these and a number of less important crops is discussed. The frequency with which each crop is grown and preference ratings allotted to them by individual tribal families are compared between the three major ethnic regions of the northern Transvaal. Factors which determine preferences are also discussed and suggestions made relating to germ plasm conservation.


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