Capparis decidua1 (Forssk.)
Maluza, Yomonoxe (Amargna) = C. decidua?; Gumero(Amargna)
= C. tomentosa
decidua: A climbing shrub with vine-like branches hanging in bundles.
The bark is greeish-yellow and smooth. The thorns are paired, pale brown,
straight or hooked and to 0.5cm. There are only leaves on young shoots
that are small and narrow and soon fall off. Leaves only appear during
short rains. Flowers are pink-red, single or in threes beside leaves and
about 1cm across. Flowers appear at the beginning of the dry season. Fruits
are red and rounded, about 1cm across, black when ripe and dry.
tomentosa: A thorny shrub to 3m or a climber reaching 10m. Thorns are
small and curved back in pairs beside the leaves. Leaves are long and oval
to 3 - 9cm, grey-green, thick and leathery on a short stalk that may be
hairy below and slightly pink. Flowers can be 5cm across with very many
white stamens, 4 small petals and 4 sepals. The ovary is on a stalk. Flowers
are usually in groups. The fruits hang down on long stalks to 5cm and are
rounded 1- 5cm across. They are shiny orange-red and become black when
dry, persisting on the bush.
preparation methods and palatability
decidua: Fruits are edible. The skin of the fruit has to be removed
and the flesh can be eaten. Everybody collects and eats the fruits.
tomentosa: The fruits are said to be mixed with garlic and roots of
schimperi to form a juice which is believed to ward off the evil.
fruit is of high nutritional value. The edible fruits are rich in protein and
minerals and have a high seed fat content. Seed contents 20% oil, 1.7% sugar
and 8.6% protein4.
decidua: A plant of very arid regions of the Sahara, the Sudan, East
and South Africa, Arabia to India. Sometimes in dense stands, it prefers
loamy clay and is very drought resistant. Grows in lowland areas, e.g.
the Tekeze River lowlands, sea level to 1,200m.
tometosa: A shrub widespread in tropical Africa from the Sahel to Ethiopia,
East Africa to South Africa, occurring in semi-arid and humid lowland,
highland woodlands, forest edges and scrub in dry and moist low- and midlands,
1,200 - 2,300m.
by seedlings, wildlings and cuttings.
Siska Kebele, Zequala Woreda (Wag
decidua: The leaves of the tree are eaten by goats, sheep, cattle and
camels. The Amharic name of the tree means ‘stick of a monk’.
tomentosa: Further uses are for firewood, live fence and fencing in
general. The species may become a serious weed unless controlled. The roots
can be very poisonous.
of the description have been taken from Bein et al., 1996 et al., 1993:
of the description have been taken from Bekele-Tesemma et al., 1993: p.
reason why the two species are described together is that we are not sure
of the species on the pictures.
et al., 1987 & Chauhan et al., 1986 in Scoones et al., 1992 The Hidden
Harvest: p. 127 & p. 138