Vangueria madagascariensis1 (Gmel.)
V. acutiloba Robyns, V. edulis Lam., V. floribunda Robyns
Modhukaantaa (Konsogna), Buriri (Borena)
V. madagascariensis is a deciduous, usually multi-stemmed shrub or, less often, a small tree rarely exceeding 6m. The bark is smooth, grey to dark grey. Leaves are opposite, large, dark green, more or less without hairs, with conspicuous greenish white veins. Flowers are to 8mm long, green or greenish white borne on a branched inflorescence. Fruits are shiny dark green, round and narrowed to one end and up to 4.5cm across. Ripe fruits are greenish brown and soft. The dried fruit is grooved like a pumpkin.
Edible part(s), preparation methods and palatability
Fruits are edible. Fruits are sweet and delicious with a slight acid taste. The fruit skin is tough. Therefore, it is removed and the pulp together with the seeds sucked. Seeds are then discarded. The fruit is eaten raw in normal times by children and by any people in food shortage periods. Each fruit contains 3-4 stones/seeds inside.
It grows from Ethiopia to Nigeria and south to South Africa. The plant is also cultivated in India, northern Australia and Trinidad. It grows in riverine bushland, bushland, evergreen forest, bushed grassland, sometimes on rocky outcrops and termite mounds, sea level to 2,400m. Preferred soils are rocky, sandy red clay or sandy clay.
Propagates by seeds.
Jarso Kebele, Konso
Other uses of the species are handles for hoes, fuelwood, stirrers, poles (centre pole for huts). The fruits are also eaten by elephants. Furthermore, the species is a useful multipurpose agroforestry tree species.
Drawings in Maundu et al., 1999: p. 231
1Parts of the following description have been taken from Maundu et al., 1999: p. 231