Scientific name
Cordia sinensis1 (Lam.) 

Cordia gharaf Ehreneb. ex Aschers. (Synonym)

Similar species are: Cordia somalinesis Bak., Cordia crenata Del.

Family name
Boraginaceae

Local name(s)
Maderta (Konsogna), Mareer, Marer (Somali), Harores, Mader-boor, Madeer-qoowe, Madee'r (Borena)

General description
A low leafy shrub or bush, rarely a small tree up to 6m high, often multi-stemmed. The bark is finely fissured longitudinally, or smooth, dark grey on branches. Leaves are variable, smooth or slightly rough, narrow and long, ovate to obovate or broadly so. Flowers are of cream colour, browning when over. Fruits are conical, bright red or orange when ripe, produced in masses. Seed hard, rough, yellowish cream.

Edible part(s), preparation methods and palatability
Fruits and gum are edible. The sweet and sticky tasty pulp of the fruit is eaten fresh. The fruit cover and the seeds are discarded. In Kenya (Turkana) large quantities of fruits are gathered, pounded to a sticky mass, sun-dried and stored in a wooden container. Whenever needed, water is added to soften it, then served. The fruit pulp is sometimes used to brew local beer. The fresh fruits are squeezed in water to dissolve the pulp. This is mixed with tamarind (Tamarindus indica) juice and fermented. The fresh juice may also be drunk. The clear gum from the tree is also edible. Children consume fruits whenever they are ripe. When food shortage occurs adults also eat the fruit.

Agroecology
C. sinensis grows in the Middle East, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and in Africa from West Africa to Ethiopia, Somalia and Egypt, south to Namibia and north-east South Africa. The species is found in dry riverine vegetation, usually with Salvadora persica, or in open bushland, usually from sea level to 1,400m in alluvial, sandy, red loam and rocky soils.

Propagation method(s)
Propagates by seeds that are best sown directly on site.

Sample location(s)
(1) Jarso Kebele, Konso; (2) Shagana village, Konso

Remarks
The species is a very important plant in dry areas as a source of food, fodder and wood for building. Most of the Cordia species have edible fruits. A source of fodder for goats, sheep, cattle and camels. Stems can be used for walking sticks, wooden spoons and stirrers.
 
1 Parts of the following description have been taken from Maundu et al., 1999: p. 104

Back to top 

 

Maderta_tree_Shagana_konso.jpg (70519 bytes)
C. sinensis tree with ripe fruits in Shagana village, Konso, January 2001.
CMaderta.jpg (84109 bytes)

Maderta_fruits_leavesShaganakonso.jpg (49982 bytes)
Maderta bush with ripe fruits in Jarso Kebele, Konso Special Woreda