Caralluma sprengeri (Damm.), Pachycymbium
sp. (new name)
Ango Shahay (Tigrigna)
sp. are small stick-like drought tolerant plants 'without leaves' of soft
and plastic-like constitution. It is purposely grown between the stones
of the walls of the field terraces. There are three species of Pachycymbium
sp varying in colour and length. The first variety is of brown colour and
reaches up to 25cm in length (see picture below on the right), the second
is green and slightly longer (in the middle of the picture), the third
is grey, short and thick, approx. 10cm (on the right in the picture below).
The plant is without true leaves but rather has got rudimentary spine looking
like structures on its shoot.
preparation methods and palatability
Farmers explained that baqibaqa tastes
relatively good without unpleasant side effects when boiled and consumed.
In Konso it is mostly eaten together with kurkufa (in Konso language),
locally prepared sorghum balls. Pregnant women prefer it for the purpose
of satisfying their strange needs. Otherwise, it is consumed only in hungry
period. The plant is boiled without being chopped and when its ready, it
and planted in the lowlands and midlands of Konso special Woreda.
cuttings. Farmers say it is easy to multiply and cultivate.
Dokatu Kebele, Konso; (2) Debla Se'et Kebele, Ganta Afesum, Eastern Tigray.
The Pachycymbium sp species are typical
famine food plants cultivated and kept on-farm for food emergency situations.
The species might have a high potential for further domestication and improvement
of the germplasm.
Baqibaqa' from Konso.
Fresh 'Ango Shahay' from
in Buso Kebele, Konso growing in a terraced farm field (top) and on the
stone wall of the terraces for not competing with other crops (below).