pallida (variety) (Sands), glabra (Mildbr. & Schlecht.), rotundifolia
(van Tieghem, Blatter)
Hankalta (Konsogna), Baddanno (Oromiffaa),
Badana, Guasa (Amargna), Kullan (Somali)
It is a small evergreen woody tree
(10 m) with snarled mass of barbed branches. It is a slow-growing tree
with a capacity of coppicing. The tree is an important species for dry
areas. Thorns are up to 8cm, soft at first, then woody. The leaves are
distinctive pairs of grey-green colour and ovate shape. Flowers are fragrant
yellow-green clusters. Fruits are oblong to 5cm with both ends round, yellow
when ripe with a hard pointed seed inside.
preparation methods and palatability
Fruits and young shoots are edible.
Ripe fruits are picked for their bitter-sweet fruit flesh. But the hard
skin has to be pealed before consuming the inner part (see picture). B.
aegyptiaca is a typical representative of the 2. 'wild-food' plant
category. Its fruits are eaten any time when ripe by children and in food
shortage periods also by adults. Fresh new shoots, which are always growing
during the dry season, are commonly used as animal forage. But in periods
of food shortage people cut the newly growing succulent shoots with the
leaves and cook and eat them like cabbage.
The fruit is rich in vitamin A
the kernel of B. aegyptiaca has a calorific range of 514kcal/100gr to
The pulp of the fruits contains on average 10.9% moisture, 2.7% ash,
1.4% protein, 0.29% oil, 36% sugars, 18% alcohol-insoluble solids, 93mg/100mg
calcium, 15mg/100mg iron, 57mg/100mg phosphorus.
The species is common in dry and moist
lowlands in the Rift Valley, Gamo-Gofa, Konso and Darashe and Burji Special
Woredas, Sidamo, Shewa, Gojam and in the Hararghe midlands (700 - 1,800m).
Propagates by seeds, seedlings, direct
sowing and root suckers.
Kindo-Koyisha (North Omo), (2) Gamo-Gofa (South Omo), (3) Humbo (North Omo), (4)
Damot-Weyede (North Omo), (5) Konso Special Woreda, (6) Belessa (North Gonder)
The tree is tolerant to termites and
good for construction purpose. Potentially the extracts of the fruit and
bark could be used against guinea worm and the snails harboring bilharzias.
The tree is also used for fuel wood, charcoal, poles and timber production.
1 Parts of the following
description have been taken from Bekele-Tesemma et al., 1993: p. 102/103, Hedberg I, Edwards S
p.433-436 and Maundu et al., 1999: p. 69