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Ethnobotany Fair at PHS

On April 11, students in teacher Tom Talarico's ELL Foundations of Science Class at Portland High School shared their research projects on plants native to their heritage countries. Students from neighboring classes walked through the gallery presentations and asked the presenters questions geared to build on their English skills from class. Students educated their peers on various plants, like fumbwa, also known as African spinach; mukwa, the fruit of the “upside down” baobab tree; ocote, a pine tree with sacred smoke; and sauce, a species of willow from Central America that substitutes for aspirin. Ethnobotany is the scientific study of the traditional knowledge and customs a people have around the plants they use.