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Select African Diaspora Plant Inventory (Part 4)

Updated: Jun 26

Welcome to the fourth 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.

Small heirloom peper that was popular in seasoning white fish sauces in the Mid-Atlantic .
Fish Pepper - Capsicum annuum

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 4 (P - R)

Inventory of  100 plants  connected to the Middle Passa
Abidjan, Ivory Coast – Local vendors with their products in the commune of Adjamé, Abidjan.





Pepper (hot):    Buena Mulata, Fish Pepper;  Ole Pepperpot

Capsicum annuum

Collected and preserved by painter Horace Pippin and reintroduced by William Woys Weaver.

NYBG-African-American; Truelove SeedsSistah Seeds; 100 Vegetables and Where They Came From - 2000 (W.W. Weaver)

Pepper (hot):   Aji Dulce, Chocolate seven pot, Scotch Bonnet, Tobago, Trinidad seven pot, West Indies Red

Capsicum chinense 

NYBG-African-AmericanNYBG-Caribbean;  100 Vegetables - 2000 (W.W. Weaver)

Pepper (hot):   Mboga, Tabasco;  Piri Piri Pepper Mix (African Bird’s Eye Chili)

Capsicum frutescens

Vegetable pepper Zanzibar

Farming While Black - 2018 (L. Penniman);  NYBG-CaribbeanSistah Seeds

Pepper (hot):  Melegueta Pepper

Aframomum melegueta

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

Pepper (low heat):  Trinidad Seasoning Pepper

Capsicum Chinese

Popular cooking pepper in Trinidad and Tobago

Parsley:  Giant of Italy

Petroselinum crispum

Pea:  Red peas, Sea Island;  Purple Hull Pinkeye,  Sea Island Rice Pea; Ezell Family Fish Eye Blackeyed Pea, Brown Crowder, Iron and Clay, First Lady Northern, Whippoorwill 

Vigna unguiculata

West Africa; Gullah Geechee variety;  Beecher red pea

Truelove SeedsSistah Seeds; Farming While Black - 2018 (L. Penniman);  NYBG-African-AmericanNYBG-Caribbean;  Heirloom Vegetable Gardening - 2018 (W.W. Weaver);   Colonial Williamsburg Sankofa Heritage Garden

Pea:  Pigeon peas, Gandules, Gungo peas

Cajanus cajan

Gandules in Spanish;  Gungo peas in Jamaica


Plantago major

Plantain:  Dwarf Puerto Rican


Potato:  Irish Potato

Solanum tuberosum

Potato:  Dazo/Fingerling

Plectranthus esculentus

West Africa

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

Potato:  Hausa potato/piasa

Solenostemon rotundifolius

West Africa;  Edible underground 

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

Potato, Sweet Potato:   Beauregard, Boniato, Pumpkin yam sweet potato

Ipomoea batatas

“Diasporic King of Crops”;  in North America, sweet potatoes became a substitute for true yams from Africa;  Boniato is a sweet potato with dry, white flesh

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

Pumpkin:   Calabaza, Haitian pumpkin

Cucurbita moschata

Joumou pumpkin

NYBG-Caribbean;  Farming While Black - 2018 (L. Penniman);  Heirloom Vegetable Gardening - (W.W. Weaver)

Pumpkin:  Fluted pumpkin

Telfairia occidentalis

West Africa

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


Portulaca oleracea

Rabbits tobacco:  Sweet everlasting

Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium


Oryza Glaberrima

Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas - 2001 (J. Carney)

Rice:  Buffalo, Carolina Gold, Djubuh, M’Bale, WAB 56-104

Oryza Sativa

NYBG-Caribbean;  Black Rice - 2001 (J. Carney)


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