Scientific name
Ziziphus mucronata1

Family name

Local name(s)
Koopta (Konsogna), Ado kurkura, Foch (Amargna), Gammo-gadie (Wolayetgna)

General description
Z. mucronata is a semi-deciduous shrub or tree up to 15m of height, sometimes scrambling over other plants. The plant has strong spines, paired with one straight and one recurved spine. The bark is dark grey-brown and only smooth when young. The leaves are hairless and shiny and alternate. The edge of the leave has regular rounded teeth to a pointed tip, the base is rounded and often very unequal. Flowers are very small, yellow-green, crowded in heads by leaves. Fruits are round (~ 2cm) with dark red-brown skin when ripe, arranged in stalk bunches.

Edible part(s), preparation methods and palatability
The fruits are collected and eaten (flesh part) by children in normal times. But in severe food shortage time adults also consume the fruits. The pulp of the fruit is very acidic and not much liked under normal circumstances.

Nutritional value
Fruits of ziziphus species contain an extremely high vitamin C portion: Oranges contain ~ 57mg/100g, whereas ziziphus species contain up to 1000mg/100g (Grosskinsky, 1999: p. 23).

The species grows in Acacia-Teminalia, Acacia-Balanites and Boswellia woodlands and bushlands, on alluvial soils, and in dry riverine forests in all regions of Ethiopia. The plant does well in arid and dry, moist and wet mid- and lowlands (100 - 2,100m). The tree is widespread in dry tropical Africa and is adaptable to a variety of soils.

Propagation method(s)
Propagates by seeds as well as by cuttings.

Sample location(s)
Dokatu Kebele, Konso

Also used for forage, construction, firewood and for medicinal purposes. There are three species of the tree reported to be edible in Konso. Seeds are also edible when dried.

1 Parts of the following description have been taken from Bekele-Tesemma et al., 1993: p. 454/455

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Ziziphus mucronata on a farm field near Konso town

Branch with ripe fruits of Ziziphus mucronata