(Amargna), Silanri (Ari), Black Plum (English)
deciduous tree, usually 4-8m high, occasionally up to 15m, with a dense
rounded crown. Its bark is light grey with numerous vertical fissures.
Branchlets not hairy. Leaves are long stalked with 5-7 leaflets. Leaflets
are usually widest towards the tip, more or less hairless. Flowers are
numerous, white, tinged purple, usually borne in short, stout axillary
cymes on a long stalk. Calyx and pedicels densely hairy. The fruits are
ellipsoid to oblong, up to 2.5cm long, clasped by a calyx cup, green turning
black on ripening .
preparation methods and palatability
are edible. The ripe black fruit pulp is eaten raw. It has a sweet taste.
Mostly children collect and consume the fruit but adults may also come
in as consumers during food shortage periods. In certain areas the fruits
are cooked before consumption but this process is only undertaken during
food shortage periods.
species is found in coastal woodlands and savannah, at low altitude in
wetter areas and in upland grassland, and is also riverine. It is found
in dry, moist and wet lowlands (0 - 1,800m).
wildlings, direct sowing. Seeds need to be treated, i.e. the fleshy part
has to be removed. Germination takes a long time even when sown fresh.
the vicinity of Jinka Town (South Omo)
species regenerates naturally by seed and root suckers. Monkeys may disperse
the seeds. Forest fires may help break the seed coat before germination.
The tree produces a teak-like, termite resistant timber that is used as
poles and other purposes in house building. The species is further used
as a source for firewood, livestock fodder (leaves & fruits), as bee
forage, for shading. The bark can be used as a dye. Bark, leaves, roots
and fruits have medicinal value.
of the following description have been taken from Bekele-Tesemma et al.,
1993: p. 444/445 & Maundu et al., (1999): p. 241