Rare and funny, Lady’s slipper (or Cuckoo’s slipper) is good at playing hide and seek. From the eighteenth century it appeared in botanical publications to then vanish into a long silence denying its existence in the Pyrenees.
Family orchards and vegetable plots in the Catalan Pyrenees play a key role in conservation and management of biodiversity and preservation of traditional knowledge. They also help enhance social cohesion and welfare while, at the same time, affirming cultural identity.
The main goal of the study presented here is to compile traditional knowledge about plants in Formentera and Mallorca, with a focus on medicinal and food uses, before it is too late and such knowledge is lost.
The habit of gathering leaves, flowers, roots, fruits of wild plants and mushrooms for cooking traditional dishes is dying out in parts of Alicante, although in other –mostly rural– areas these traditional recipes are still in use. Ethnobotanical studies conducted in the province of Valencia identify more than 110 wild species used as food.
The global debate on biodiversity has inevitably led us to consider traditional knowledge of plants, ethnobotany’s basic corpus, as an inseparable part of this discipline. This fact was amply recognised by the Convention on Biodiversity. Furthermore, ethnobotanical knowledge can and should be used to achieve sustainable development that is compatible with the conservation of biodiversity.