Akakima (Amargna), Kurumshit (Oromugna-Arsi), puncture vine (English)
is a tap-rooted annual herb with hairy, prostrate, branches up to 90cm long
spreading from central axis. Leaves are pinnately compound in opposite pairs
with a linear stipule. The lanceolate leaflets are in 4-8 pairs along a hairy
rachis. The 5-petaled, yellow flowers, highly variable in size (from 0.5-2.0cm
diameter), are solitary in the axis of breaking into 5 triangular-shaped, spiny
(2 at the tip and smaller ones down the sides) sections when ripe. These are
painful to human and animal feet.
preparation methods and palatability
leaves are edible. The plant grows abundantly after the first rains and all
along the rainy season. Animals also eat the plant. But farmers observed that
when animals consume too much, their stomachs might blow. The leaves taste ok
for human consumption. But nevertheless they are only consumed during hardship
periods when other foodstuff gets scarce. Therefore, the plant is considered a
typical famine food.
The plant is
found in the Central and Northern Highlands, Northeast, Southern Rift Valley,
Western Lowlands and Chercher Highlands between 750 - 1,600m.
propagates by ...
Woreda (North Omo)
Traditional insults go with the name
of this plant; 'ary kuenti' and 'kuenti lacani', translated as 'kuenti
eaters', which means being as poor as having to eat 'kuenti' instead of
any other farmed crop such as barley or teff.
of the following description have been taken from Stroud A, Parker C, 1989:
'Qumputia' species in a farm field
during the dry season in Humbo Woreda, North Omo (left).
Flowering T. terrestris (Photograph
from Stroud A, Parker C, 1989: p. 229; right).