Akamba (Bena), Agamita (Konsogna),
Agam (Amargna), Agamssa (Oromiffa), Adishawel (Somali)
The plant is spiny evergreen shrub
or small tree to 5 m. The bark is gray, smooth with straight woody spines
to 5cm, often in pairs, rarely branching. Milky latex. Leaves are opposite,
leathery, shiny dark green to 5cm, tip pointed, base rounded, stalk very
short. The flowers are fragrant in pink-white terminal clusters. Each flower
is to 2cm and the lobes overlap to the right. The berries are round approx.
1cm and purple-black when ripe.
preparation methods and palatability
are edible. The rounded berries, about 1 cm and purple-black when ripe,
are consumed raw both unripe and ripe (the fleshy part) by children in
normal times and by every hungry people in food shortage periods. The ripe
fruits are sweet, although a little bit sour and taste like unripe cherries.
The unripe fruits taste tart. They contain 2-4 seeds. Another consumption
pattern explained by Bena people is to collect the unripe berries and boil
them in hot water and make porridge. The fruits have small seeds inside.
Ripe fruits when consumed leave the consumers’ teeth dark red.
is widespread in many parts of Africa. It grows at forest edges, in forests
and woodlands where Euphorbia, Acacia, and Croton commonly occur, especially
on rocky hillsides, on clay soils, especially black cotton soils, in dry
and moist low- and midlands (1500-2500 m).
Propagates by seeds; seedlings, wildlings
(1) Alduba, Hamer-Bena Woreda (South
Omo); (2) Jana Mora Woreda (North Gonder); (3) Dible Seat, Ganta Afesum
plant is said to be an important food and medical species in Ethiopia and
also outside in other parts of Africa. Sheep and goats also eat the leaves.
Also used for hedges.
1 Parts of the following
description have been taken from Bekele-Tesemma et al., 1993: p. 130/131and
Maundu et al., 1999: p. 85/86
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