Syzigium guineense1 (Willd.)
Donke (Arigna), Dokma (Amargna), Baddessa
(Oromiffa), Ocha (Wolayetgna), Waterberry, Water Pear (English)
S. guineense is densely leafy forest
tree, usually 10 - 15m but up to 25m. The trunk is broad and fluted and
the crown rounded and heavy. The branches are dropping, the stems are thick
and angular. The bark is smooth when young, but becomes rough and black
with age, flaking and producing a red watery sap if cut. Young leaves are
purple-red, but mature leaves are dark green, in opposite pairs, shiny
and smooth on both surfaces, the tip is long but rounded, on a short grooved
stalk. The leaves can be variable in shape. Flowers are white, showy stamens,
in dense branched heads 10cm across, the honey-sweet smell attracts many
insects. The stalks are angular and square. The fruits are oval to 3cm,
purple-black and shiny, one-seeded, in big bunches of 20-30.
preparation methods and palatability
Fruits and leaves are edible.
pulp and the fruit skin are sucked and the seed discarded.Children
eat the fruits in all the surveyed locations. In addition in South Omo,
the nomadic Ari pastoralists collect and consume also the young leaves
that are cooked in food shortage periods.
S. guineense a large tree widely distributed
in Africa. There
are several subspecies occurring from sea level to 2,100m. It prefers moist
soils with high water table beside rivers, but will also grow in open woodland.
Does very well in moist and wet low- and midland. In Koindo-Koyisha the tree
grows along rivers but has been domesticated in the home garden.
Seedlings, wildlings, direct sowing.
(1) Alduba, Hamer-Bena (South Omo),
(2) Kaissa Kebele, Bako-Gazer (South Omo), (3) Bele, Koindo-Koyisha (North
It is a much-appreciated shade tree
for the home stead and the home garden.
1 Parts of the following
description have been taken from Bekele-Tesemma et al., 1993: p. 424/425