African Names for American Plants

One of the many skills that helped enslaved Africans survive in the Americas was their in-depth knowledge of plant life. Modern linguists and ethnobotanists working together have revealed the importance of African names in revealing the breadth and depth of this collective naturalist knowledge. Ethnobotanist Tinde van Andel describes how such work has spawned new collaborations between botanists and linguists. (And you can read the original paper, published in PNAS, here.)