Using the At-Risk Tool to Assess the Vulnerability of Native Edible Plants to Over Harvest

Poster Session
CLASSEN, Zella - Southwestern Oklahoma State University
Lisa CASTLE - Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Five edible plant species native to the United States were scored using the United Plant Savers’ At-Risk Tool to determine their vulnerability to over-harvest.  The species chosen, Tomatillo Physalis longifolia, Persimmon Diospyros virginiana, Pawpaw Asimina triloba, Chokecherry Prunus virginiana, and Prairie Turnip, Pediomelum esculentum all have traditional uses as both food and medicine.  These species have been the subject of recent investigations into their promising chemical compounds and medicinal properties.  Scores from the At-Risk Tool will help determine if wild harvest can be sustained if one of these species becomes the next “anti-cancer super-food”.