keywords: Lagos, markets, medicinal, Solanaceae, spices, vegetables, Zingiberaceae
A survey of spices and vegetables in four markets in Lagos metropolis was carried out. Sixteen species of spice plants belonging to nine Families were recorded. The Family Zingiberaceae had three species (18.75%). The Families Annonaceae, Liliaceae, Solanaceae, Lamiaceae and Piperaceae had two species (12.5%) each while Myrirsticaceae, Myrtaceae and Fabaceae Families had one species (6.25%) each. Nineteen species of vegetables belonging to ten Families were recorded from the markets. These were dominated by The Families Solanaceae and Curcubitaceae with four species (21%) each. The Family Asteraceae had three species (15.7%) while Amaranthaceae had two species (10.5%). The Families Apiaceae, Cruciferae, Gnetaceae, Malvaceae, Portulacaceae and Tiliaceae had one species (5.2%) each. Most of these vegetables were leafy vegetables (52.6%) while 42.1% were fruits while 5.2% was a root tuber. One of the leafy vegetable Gnetumafricanum is overexploited hence the need to domesticate and cultivate it. The medicinal properties are documented. Marketing of vegetables contributes to family upkeep as women dominate the processing and marketing. The increasing population of Lagos will result in higher demand and this requires that conservation action must be put in place to ensure future availability.
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