Introduction. Black plum (Vitex doniana) is an indigenous fruit tree species important for the livelihoods of rural populations. Currently, there is renewed national and international interest in black plum, and it has emerged as a priority species for domestication in Africa. The present work addressed farmers’ indigenous knowledge of the use and management of the species among different socio-cultural groups in Benin, taking into account gender differences. The specific objective of this work was to study the knowledge, uses, local gathering practices and management systems of V. doniana that are part of the traditions of the communities in Southern Benin. Materials and methods. A total of 150 participants randomly selected from three socio-cultural groups provided survey responses. Information collected mainly referred to the motivation of respondents to conserve black plum trees on their land, the local uses and the management practices to improve the regeneration and production of the black plum. Results and discussion. The study showed that knowledge of black plum is well distributed in the community. However, people have different interests in using black plum and there is variable knowledge of use and management practices. The food and medicinal categories were the most important uses. There were no significant differences in knowledge of the management and utility of black plum between men and women, or across socio-cultural groups. Conclusion. Given its value to the communities in southern Benin, black plum should be prioritized for domestication.
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