Medicinal and aromatic plants (MAP) are valuable sources of herbal products and they are used in local traditional medicine. Intensive collection of the MAP may threaten the conservation of globally significant MAP biodiversity rapidly. This paper discusses efforts to assess the traditional uses of MAPs by local people and the diversity status, including: Simpson’s diversity index, relative abundance, frequency and density of the medicinal plants in the Northern West Bank in Palestine. The study is based on the data collected from seven representative sites of the northern part of the Palestinian West Bank using the belt transect survey method. In total 16 plant species were observed in the selected sites. Herbs are the most common plant spp. in all sites followed by shrubs and bushes. The site in the village of Sanour was considered the most diverse site with 0.79 D followed by the village of Hashemia with 0.73 D. The frequency of MAP spp. is ranged from 10 to 80%. Teucrium capitatum and Chiliadenus iphionoides were the most frequent spp. in the Taloza site. The relative abundance of different MAP plant species in all sites found that Urtica pilulifera have the highest frequency with 26.67%. This was followed by Chiliadenus iphionoides and Teucrium capitatum with 14.98% and 13.19%, respectively. Paronychia argentea was reported to have the least with 0.44%. The density of different plant species in all sites found that Urtica pilulifera have the highest with 960 plant/ha followed by Cenchrus ciliaris and Salvia dominica with 192 and 112, respectively. Crataegus aronia was reported to have the least with eight plant/ha. The surveyed MAP plant species were distributed among 12 families. Nine of the plants are chemophytes where two are shrubs and two hemicryptophytes and the other three plants are Geophytes tree and annual. The surveyed MAP plant species are well known for their medicinal properties and broadly used in traditional medicine in the target sites, in Palestine and in neighbouring countries. The traditional knowledge gathered through this research project can be used for effective in situ conservation of MAPs.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.