Scientific name
Ximenia americana1

Family name

Local name(s)
Hastee (Gamo), Bolahanica (Gamo), Kutata (Konsogna),Astie=Mulahua (Wolayetgna), Kus (Hamer-Bena)

General description
Thorny little tree with small leaves, 5 - 7 m height. The bark is brown-black. Twigs bear small scales, spines, 1cm, thin and strait. Leaves alternate, simple or tufts, oblong, up to 7 x 3cm, blue-gray-green, folding upwards along midrip, tip round or notched. Flowers are very fragrant, small green-white (white hairs in throat in small, branched clusters. Fruits are oval to 2.5cm, thin skin red, yellow to orange pulp, around one large seed containing oil.

Edible part(s), preparation methods and palatability
Fruits are eaten fresh/raw. Remove the skin and eat/chew the flesh and kernels altogether. Farmers report that the fruits bulge, inflate the belly. Children normally consume the fruit, but for adults it is regarded as a typical famine food, consumed only in food shortage periods. Only the flesh of the fruit tastes sweetish and attractive (something between cherry and dates?). When the flesh and the kernel are eaten together the taste is becoming bitter and the tongue will become temporarily numb.

Occurs in almost all regions in dry, moist and wet low- and midlands (500 - 2,100m). Rarely it may be found in places up to 2,450m. The tree grows in bushland, especially on riverbanks.

Propagation method(s)
Seedlings and wildlings.

Sample location(s)
Konso, Gamo Gofa, Humbo, Kinda-Koyisha.

The species is multipurpose and useful for arid and semi-arid areas as it is drought resistant. The wood is heavy, hard and very durable. The seed contains a non-drying oil suitable for soap and lubrication. It has also been used as body and hair oil and for softening leather. Furthermore the species' roots, bark and leaves are used for medicinal purposes.

1 Parts of the following description have been taken from Bekele-Tesemma et al., 1993: p. 450/451

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Kutata Tree.jpg (107278 bytes)
Kutata’tree with ripe fruits, Segen River, Konso

Kutata Detail.jpg (60093 bytes)

Ximenia_am_Kutata_flowers_konso.jpg (17659 bytes)
Flower of 
X. americana and ripe fruits on branch

Kutata Fruits in Hand.jpg (34333 bytes)
Ripe fruits ready for consumption