Traditionally used wild edible greens in the Aegean Region of Turkey

Yunus Dogan


Turkey has the largest coastal area in the Mediterranean, possesses an extraordinarily rich flora, and a great traditional knowledge. This diversity of plants naturally affects the traditional use of plants and is reflected in the rich Turkish cuisine. Consequently, the Mediterranean Diet (whose typical components are wild greens) constitutes one of the important elements of Turkish cuisine. For this reason, the aim of this study was to determine the consumption of wild edible green plants for the Aegean Region of Turkey and to establish the similarities to or differences from consumption in other regions and other cuisine in the Mediterranean Basin. This study compiles and evaluates the ethnobotanical data currently available. There were 111 taxa that were identified as wild edible greens in the study area belonging to 26 different families. Asteraceae (21 taxa) were the most commonly consumed as food. It was followed by Boraginaceae with 19 taxa, Apiaceae with 15 taxa and Lamiaceae with 7 taxa, respectively. Rumex and Erodium were the most represented genera with 4 species. Tamus communis and Asparagus acutifolius, Mediterranean elements and distributed in all of the Mediterranean Basin, are among the most widely consumed wild plants in the area. Wild edible plants are consumed in a variety of ways. The most common type of consumption (79 taxa) was in salads. The fact that the majority of the plants used in the area are consumed in salads shows the close relationship between the local diet and the concept of the Mediterranean Diet. As a result, very promisingly, there is a renewed or increasing interest in consuming wild food plants as part of this diet.


wild edible greens; ethnobotany; traditional knowledge; consumption; Mediterranean Diet; Aegean; Turkey

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