Scientific name
Dovyalis abyssinica1 (A. Rich.) Warb.

Aberia abyssinica Clos (Synonym)

Family name
Flacourtiaceae

Local name(s)
Koshim (Amargna), Ankakute (Oromiffa), Ongolatz (Somalgna), Aihada (Tigrigna)

General description
An evergreen spiny shrub or tree to 8m with a rounded crown. The bark is grey with spines up to 4cm long. Branchlets with very clear dotted breathing pores (lenticles). The leaves are shiny dark green and oval to 5cm diameter with a blunt tip and unevenly rounded edge. The flowers are green sepals. The female flowers are single but the male flowers are in clusters with many stamens. The fruits are round berries of 2cm diameter, surrounded by the calyx, green and hairy at first then smooth orange-yellow flesh around the seeds.

Edible part(s), preparation methods and palatability
Fruits are edible. The fruits are collected and eaten raw. In normal times mostly children enjoy the sweet-sour taste with a tingling sensation on the teeth of the fruits. In food shortage periods, everybody is consuming the fruit when available. Fruits are also liked and consumed by baboons and monkeys. It is said that the fruits are excellent for making jam and for souring porridge.

Agroecology
D. abyssinica grows in Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia Tanzania and Malawi. In Ethiopia the species is usually found along river courses in humid lower highland forests of moist and wet Mimusops forest in moist and wet midland (1,600 2,200m).

Propagation method(s)
Propagates by seedlings.

Sample location(s)
Jana Mora Woreda, North Gonder

Remarks 
The species is sometimes used for fencing and as fodder for goats and sheep.

1 Parts of the following description have been taken from Bekele-Tesemma et al., 1993: p. 200/201and Maundu et al., 1999: p. 123
 
 

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