Scientific name
Flueggea virosa (Willd.) Voight1

Family name

Local name(s)
Hepata (Konsogna), Snow berry (English)

General description
F. virosa is a deciduous small shrub or tree, 1 - 6m high. the trunk is grey-brown, smooth, rough or fissured. Twigs virgate and slender. The petiole of the leave is narrowly winged, 3 - 6mmm long. The male flowers are is dense clusters, the female flowers are only few together. The fruit is white 3 x 5mm and rather fleshy when ripe. The seeds are 2mm long and shining yellowish-brown.

Edible part(s), preparation methods and palatability
The fruits are available (in April/May) for not more than a week and then shed off quickly. Seeds are as small as the seeds of field peas. Predominately eaten by children but also consumed by adults during food shortage periods.

Mostly found in open Acacia - Combretum woodland or riverine forest on alluvial flats, black cotton soil and well drained rocky slopes, often locally abundant (400 - 2,050m). Throughout tropical Africa, Madagascar, Arabia and from India east to Japan and Indonesia.

Propagation method(s)
Propagates by seeds?

Sample location(s)
Aba Roba Kebele, Konso

Also used for forage and live fencing due to its spikes.

1 Parts of the following description have been taken from Edwards et al., (eds) 1995: p.272/273/274

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Hepata.jpg (118392 bytes)
F. virosa in Konso during the dry season. The plant does not carry many leaves and the fruits are small or have dried.