Manilkara butugi (Chiov.)1
M. butugi is a tall forest tree species
to 50m of height, with a straight and slender bole, buttressed at the base,
the crown dense and sparking. The bark is rough, grey-brown and grooved.
A cut shows bright red fibres and white latex slowly drips out, becoming
sticky. The leaves are at the end of the branchlets, ovate, narrow or wide
7 - 20cm long, lathery, dull above and grey below where the midrib alone
stands out, tip rounded or notched, edge wavy, narrowed to a stalk 2- 3cm
long. The flowers are white and fragrant, quite small, in groups besides
leaves, calyx and stalks with white hairs. Petals and sepals appear numerous,
in whorls of 3 (typical Manilkara). The fruits are small to 2cm across,
yellow-brown when ripe with 4 - 5 brown seeds inside.
preparation methods and palatability
The fruits are edible. The fruits
are said to be consumed by children in normal times and also by adults
during food shortage periods. Fruits ripen during the difficult time in
May/June and this coincides with the normal food shortage or most difficult
time of the year. Hence the fruits are always a welcomed addition in the
daily diet of this time of the year.
A tree that grows in lower forest
with Olea spp. and in humid highland forest with Aningeria spp. in the
top storey. Found in all midland and lower moist and wet highland areas
(1,600 - 2,600m). Farmers in Bedessa Woreda domesticated the species for
its shading value in the homestead and garden.
Propagates by seedlings and wildlings.
Bedessa Woreda (North Omo)
Other popular uses of the tree species
are firewood, timber for heavy constructuions, farm tools and tool handles.
The wood is very hard to saw and often has rot in the heartwood, tending
to split with nailing, but very strong and durable. It has been used for
flooring, spear shafts, building and electric poles. As it does not rot
in water, it has also been used for boat and bridge construction.
1 Parts of the following
description have been taken from Bekele-Tesemma et al., 1993: p. 298/299