KOROUS KHOSHBAKHT1, KARL HAMMER2
1University of Shahid Beheshti, ESRI, Department of Ecological Agriculture, Iran
2University of Kassel, Agro-Biodiversity, Germany
More than 6040 plant species are included in the last edition (3rd) of Mansfeld's Encyclopedia of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops. The plant species that are included in these entries are (or have been) cultivated for food, forage, medicinal, oil, fibre, spice, green manure and other purposes. However plant species that are cultivated as forest trees and ornamental plants are not entered in these encyclopedias. In addition, most plant species that are used by marginalized families are also not documented. These ``neglected'' crops have been ignored by science and development but are still being used in areas where they are well adapted and are competitive. There is now renewed interest for the conservation, domestication and use of these existing wide range of so-called ``neglected'' crops. One particular species of interest is Allium paradoxum (M.B.) G. Don., which is a cultivated vegetable and spice used in home gardens. The genus Allium contains 600 to 700 species, but only a few species have been domesticated so far as vegetables, spices or ornamental plants. Allium paradoxum is not included in the last (3rd) edition of Mansfeld's Encyclopedia of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops. In this study, a field work was conducted in Northern Iran to investigate the domestication processes and contribution of local agricultural systems in the domestication and conservation of Allium paradoxum. This species, which is locally called ``Alezi'', was found as a cultivated vegetable and spice in home gardens of Paland region (36o10''N and 52o57''E, 1550masl.). The plant is used to prepare a variety of local and special foods. The contribution of home gardens to the domestication process of Allium paradoxum were highlighted
Keywords: Conservation, domestication, home gardens, Iran, Allium sp.