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Select African Diaspora Plant Inventory (Part 3)

Updated: Jun 26



Welcome to the third installment of our Select African Diaspora Plant Inventory. We have assembled more than 100 plants from various sources - books, publications, prototype gardens and conferences in order to identify plants that inextricably connected to the descendants of the Middle Passage and the peoples of West Africa.


The enslavement of West Africans to provide labor for the economic engine for European nations and the colonization of the Americas and the Caribbean. Africans who landed on these shores adapted their agricultural knowledge to newfound conditions - on large-scale agricultural productions on plantations, on plantation subsistence gardens they created to supplement their own food needs and in villages of freed slaves who fled from their captors and created their own agricultural economies to sustain their maroon communities.


Our select African Diaspora plant inventory is currently North American and Caribbean-centric.  We will eventually add more plants from the gardening scene in West Africa, the Caribbean and South America.


Select African Diaspora Plant Inventory - Part 3 (H - P)


Local vendors with their wares.  Commune of Adjamé, Abidjan (Cote d'Ivoire)
Abidjan, Ivory Coast – Local vendors with their products in the commune of Adjamé, Abidjan.

PLANT

CLASS

BACKGROUND / ORIGINS

SOURCE

Hibiscus (Sorrel): Doc's North, Florida, Roselle, Red

Hibiscus sabdariffa

Roselle, Hibiscus, Bissau

NYBG-African-American; In the Shadow of Slavery - 2009 (J. Carney); NYBG-Caribbean; Truelove Seeds

Hibiscus (Sorrel):   Shoeblack Hibiscus

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

Choeblack;  rose cayenne

Hibiscus (Sorrel):  White

Hibiscus albus

Senegal

Farming While Black  - 2018 (L. Penniman);  In the Shadow of Slavery - 2009 (J. Carney)

Jamaican vervain

Stachytarpheta jamaicensis

Grows in Caribbean and  Central America;  commonly used for medicinal purposes and tea

Jute Mallow:  ewedu

Corchorus Olitorius

West Africa;  Leafy green vegetable (soups/sauces)

Melon:  Georgia Rattlesnake Watermelon

Citrullus lanatus

West Africa

Truelove SeedsNYBG-African-American;  Farming While Black - 2018 (L. Penniman)

Melon:  Muskmelon

Cucumis melo L.

West Africa

In the Shadow of Slavery - 2009 (J. Carney)

Melon:  Egusi melon

Cucumeropsis edulis (cucurbitaceous)

West Africa

In the Shadow of Slavery - 2009 (J. Carney);   Colonial Williamsburg Sankofa Heritage Garden

Millet:   Dragon’s Claw

Eleusine coracana

Finger Millet

Millet:  Pearl Millet; Guinea Millet

Pennisetum glaucum; Cenchrus americanus;  Brachiaria deflexa


NYBG-African-American; In the Shadow of Slavery - 2009 (J. Carney); Colonial Williamsburg Sankofa Heritage Garden

Nut:  Peanut (Goober nut), Carolina Runner, Peanut Black Runner;  Black Pindar Peanut

Arachis hypogaea

Native to South America

NYBG-African-American; Farming While Black - 2018 (L. Penniman); NYBG-Caribbean; 100 Vegetables - 2000 (W.W. Weaver);  Colonial Williamsburg Sankofa Heritage Garden

Nut:  Bambara Groundnut, Goober pea, Zimbabwe Red Bambara

Vigna subterranea (formerly Voandzia subterranean)

Africa - Ethiopia, Mali Angola, Northern Nigeria/Caneroon; Bambara nut, Pindar

NYBG-African-American; Farming While Black - (L. Penniman); In the Shadow of Slavery - 2009 (J. Carney);  Ujamaa Cooperative Farming AllianceColonial Williamsburg Sankofa Heritage Garden

Nut:  Kola nut

Cola nitida;  Cola acuminata

West Africa

In the Shadow of Slavery - 2009 (J. Carney)

Okra:  Alabama Red, Burgundy, Cowtown, Hill Country Red, Puerto Rico Everblush, Sea Island Red, White Velvet; Catawba Freedman Okra 

Abelmoschus esculentus;  Hibiscus esculentus

Sea Island Red (Gullah Geechee community);  White Velvet (variety provided to William Woys Weaver in the. Mid-1990s)

NYBG-African-American;  Farming While Black - (L. Penniman);  Truelove SeedsSistah Seeds;  The Whole Okra - 2019 (Chris Smith);  In the Shadow of Slavery - 2009 (J. Carney);  Heirloom Vegetable Gardening - 2018 (W.W. Weaver);  Ujamaa Cooperative Farming Alliance

Okra:  Moody Family Okra

Abelmoschus caillei

West Africa

Onion:  Alisa Craig, New York Early, Red Wethersfield, Figaro Rodriguez

Allium cepa;  Allium cepa var. Aggregatum


Onion:  Chives

Allium schoenoprasum


Onion (Scallions):   Evergreen White Bunching

Allium fistulosum


NYBG-Caribbean;  Heirloom Vegetable Gardening - 2018 (W.W. Weaver)

Palm:  Coconut Palm

Cocos nucifera


Palm:  Oil Palm

Elaeis guineensis

Guinea, West and Southwest Africa

In the Shadow of Slavery - 2009 (J. Carney)


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