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Plants traditionally used to make brooms in several European countries.

Nedelcheva AM, Dogan Y, Guarrera PM - J Ethnobiol Ethnomed (2007)

Bottom Line: The data are collected mainly from Bulgaria and Italy and are compared with those from Macedonia and Romania.Collected data show how ecological, geographical features and different cultures are related with the variety of plants traditionally used as brooms as well as details for their uses.The data about the variety of plants traditionally used to make brooms and the ways in which they are used according to the specific characteristics of the areas are important for ethnobotanical knowledge.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Botany, Faculty of Biology, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, 8, Dragan Tsankov Blvd,, 1164, Sofia, Bulgaria. anely@biofac.uni-sofia.bg

ABSTRACT

Background: The research was carried out within the course of two years (2005-2006) in four countries from southern, southeast and eastern parts of Europe: Bulgaria, Italy, Macedonia and Romania. The data are collected mainly from Bulgaria and Italy and are compared with those from Macedonia and Romania.

Methods: The information was gathered largely from literature as well as field collected data and interviewed informants. A brief questionnaire, referring to the vernacular name, plant description, providing specimens from the plants and brooms, details on their use has been prepared and applied.

Results: The total number of species as brooms in the study areas is about 108. The list includes two fungi taxa which caused the so-called "Witches' brooms". A high species diversity of 106 taxa of vascular plants, belonging to 37 families and 74 genera, is established in the research area. The investigation includes data about scientific name, family, vernacular name, life form, status (wild or cultivated), used parts and place of use. The relations between the plant characteristics and broom specific shape and working qualities, details of the traditionally broom planting and making, the broom as a part of folklore, traditions and religious rituals are discussed.

Conclusion: Collected data show how ecological, geographical features and different cultures are related with the variety of plants traditionally used as brooms as well as details for their uses. The data about the variety of plants traditionally used to make brooms and the ways in which they are used according to the specific characteristics of the areas are important for ethnobotanical knowledge.

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Brooms from Sorghum bicolor in the street market in Sofia, Bulgaria.
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Figure 6: Brooms from Sorghum bicolor in the street market in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Mentions: Sorghum bicolor is used for industrial manufacture only (Figs. 6, 7, 8). The part used is the panicle. In Bulgaria, it is miscalled "metlov klas" (panicle ear) in practice. The same name is used in some official documents. The panicle branches are called "zhitzi" (wires). Some broom-makers break the panicle stem (axis) under the first internodes, this causes faster blossoming and seed maturing – which results in better quality panicles for brooms. The gathering of the panicles with mature seeds determines the typical colour of the glumes (in the first half of September). People know that reddish colour of panicles is caused by plant louses (Aphis sp.) or that it is the natural colour of some varieties, brownish is a result of fungi diseases, etc. [19].


Plants traditionally used to make brooms in several European countries.

Nedelcheva AM, Dogan Y, Guarrera PM - J Ethnobiol Ethnomed (2007)

Brooms from Sorghum bicolor in the street market in Sofia, Bulgaria.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC1884134&req=5

Figure 6: Brooms from Sorghum bicolor in the street market in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Mentions: Sorghum bicolor is used for industrial manufacture only (Figs. 6, 7, 8). The part used is the panicle. In Bulgaria, it is miscalled "metlov klas" (panicle ear) in practice. The same name is used in some official documents. The panicle branches are called "zhitzi" (wires). Some broom-makers break the panicle stem (axis) under the first internodes, this causes faster blossoming and seed maturing – which results in better quality panicles for brooms. The gathering of the panicles with mature seeds determines the typical colour of the glumes (in the first half of September). People know that reddish colour of panicles is caused by plant louses (Aphis sp.) or that it is the natural colour of some varieties, brownish is a result of fungi diseases, etc. [19].

Bottom Line: The data are collected mainly from Bulgaria and Italy and are compared with those from Macedonia and Romania.Collected data show how ecological, geographical features and different cultures are related with the variety of plants traditionally used as brooms as well as details for their uses.The data about the variety of plants traditionally used to make brooms and the ways in which they are used according to the specific characteristics of the areas are important for ethnobotanical knowledge.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Botany, Faculty of Biology, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, 8, Dragan Tsankov Blvd,, 1164, Sofia, Bulgaria. anely@biofac.uni-sofia.bg

ABSTRACT

Background: The research was carried out within the course of two years (2005-2006) in four countries from southern, southeast and eastern parts of Europe: Bulgaria, Italy, Macedonia and Romania. The data are collected mainly from Bulgaria and Italy and are compared with those from Macedonia and Romania.

Methods: The information was gathered largely from literature as well as field collected data and interviewed informants. A brief questionnaire, referring to the vernacular name, plant description, providing specimens from the plants and brooms, details on their use has been prepared and applied.

Results: The total number of species as brooms in the study areas is about 108. The list includes two fungi taxa which caused the so-called "Witches' brooms". A high species diversity of 106 taxa of vascular plants, belonging to 37 families and 74 genera, is established in the research area. The investigation includes data about scientific name, family, vernacular name, life form, status (wild or cultivated), used parts and place of use. The relations between the plant characteristics and broom specific shape and working qualities, details of the traditionally broom planting and making, the broom as a part of folklore, traditions and religious rituals are discussed.

Conclusion: Collected data show how ecological, geographical features and different cultures are related with the variety of plants traditionally used as brooms as well as details for their uses. The data about the variety of plants traditionally used to make brooms and the ways in which they are used according to the specific characteristics of the areas are important for ethnobotanical knowledge.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus