Ethnobotany in China

  • Georges Métailié
Reference work entry

Ethnobotany is the study of the links that human beings, as individuals or societies, have maintained and maintain with plants. China is a country with more than 50 different national minorities, with very different traditional cultures, languages, food habits, etc. Chinese ethnobotany could thus be the juxtaposition of the different ethnobotanies of all the ethnic groups living in China. On the other hand, one generally understands “Han” when one says “Chinese.” This term, which is the name of the second dynasty after unification of the empire (206 BCE–AD 220) is also the name of the main ethnic group in China, with about 96% of the population. It is the ethnobotany of the Han Chinese that we are going to present here.

With 3,692,000 square miles, China is about the same size as the United States. Its relief can be roughly compared to stairs going down from the western plateaux to the plains of the east and the south. Its climate is under the double influence of a huge continental...

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 2008

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  • Georges Métailié

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