Qud, Quda (Somali), Yeheb nut (English)
is a stiff erect evergreen shrub or small tree up to 2m with red glands on stems
and leaves. The leaves are leathery, compound and with 1 to 6 pairs of leaflets,
each one to 3cm long, oval-oblong, the underside covered with red glands. The
flowers are made of buds with glands and 5 yellow petals that are ~ 1cm long.
Fruit pods are 4 to 6cm long with a thing upturned beak. Inside are 1 to 4 oval
seeds, the 'nuts', each 2 to 4cm long.
preparation methods and palatability
nuts are commonly used as food by pastoralists and the leaves can be infused as
tea. They are dried and taste nicely, a bit like almond nuts. They are also of
high economic value and are considered a 'famine food' in times of exceptional
drought conditions, even though the plant needs some rain in order to develop
its fruits. In 'Mervelle' settlement in Boh Woreda (Warder Zone, Somali Region),
a tin full of nuts sold for 4000 Somali Shillings (~ 0.25 US $) in July 2001. As
the nuts have a nice taste and are on top very nutritious,
the tree has a considerable potential as a food crop in the driest of the
semi-arid areas in the Horn of Africa.
Unfortunately, the species has been over-exploited much during past famine times
and has therefore become rare nowadays. Nevertheless, the Somali people know of
the species' usefulness and some have started to grow it and produce tree
seedlings (in Boh, Warder Zone, Somali Region).
nuts are of high nutritional value.
edulis grows in semi-arid bushland and scrub on sandy soils of the Bereha
agroclimatic zones in eastern Somali Region (Warder Zone) and across the border
in Puntland and Somalia (0 to 600m). The roots go deep to tap underground water
by seeds, seedlings, self-seeding once established. Seeds are susceptible to
insect attack and should therefore not be stored for long.
near Degob village, Warder Zone, Somali Region
leaves have high tannin content. It used to be a common tree in Somalia and in
the border areas to Ethiopia and Puntland. A red dye is easily extracted from
Parts of the following description have been taken
from Bekele-Tesemma et al., 1993: p.