is a creeping plant with alternate acuminate leaves. Stems light green. Young
shoots spreading into the air with long internodes. The leaves are up to 10cm
long, mostly ovate, light green. The flowers are cream or yellowish green. The
fruits are two-valved, conical, dehiscing to release cottony winged seeds. When
crushed, the plant exudes sticky sap.
preparation methods and palatability
are edible. Young
leaves are collected, washed and cooked before consumption. Local key
informants in Hamer-Bena woreda stated that ‘people who don’t have money
rely on the leaves of this plant for survival’. This means that the species is
considered a real famine food when poor and destitute people rely on the plant
for survival. Poor people even collect and consume the leaves in normal times.
In Alduba village, Hamer-Bena woreda, South-Omo, farmers grow the species on the
homestead fence so that they have the food ready available if needed.
leaves are rich in vitamin A.
in lowland bush, riverine bushland and forests
in southern Ethiopia. The plant prostrates in open area or climbs on
bushes in altitudes ranging 500 - 1,500m.
Jarso Kebele, Konso; (2) Alduba
village, Hamer-Bena Woreda (South Omo)
in normal years the poor are dependent on this plant as a vegetable. In Konso
Special woreda the species is marketed. One bundle of leaves goes for 20 cents
(January 2001). The sap from the stem is applied to wounds and the leaves are an
important camel, goat and cattle fodder.