African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6638

Full Length Research Paper

Utilization of wild vegetables in four districts of northern KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa

FB Lewu1* and S Mavengahama2
1Agriculture Department, Faculty of Science and Agriculture, University of Zululand Kwa-Dlangezwa 3886, South Africa. 2Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agrisciences, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1 Matieland, 7602, South Africa.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 26 May 2011
  •  Published: 05 September 2011


A study was conducted in northern KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa to gather information on the availability and extent of utilization of wild vegetables within some communities. The study revealed that wild vegetables were important in the diets of most rural people in northern KwaZulu – Natal. They were consumed as relish, although they were not being cultivated. The method of acquiring these vegetables was by gathering them from homesteads and the wild. These vegetables were also believed to be medicinal. The local names of wild vegetables varied among villages in the same district such that one vegetable in one village was given to a different species of vegetable in another village. They were reportedly abundant during summer and there was a decrease in availability off-season leaving vulnerable families who rely on them with a food shortage.


Key words: Northern KwaZulu-Natal, wild vegetables, respondents, poverty, malnutrition, domestication, cultivation.