Grewia tenax (ferruginea1) (Forssk) Fiori
Fo (Afargna), Lenkoata (Amargna), Bururi, Dhoqonu, Lensa (Oromiffa), Quetata (Agonia)
A shrub or small tree up to 7m. The young shoots and the flowers are covered with red-brown hairs. The leaves are oval and the tip is pointed or rounded. The edge of the leave is toothed. The vein network is very clear below. The flowers are yellow, purple or white, solitary or in twos or fours, in a terminal head about 5cm long, the central flowers opening first, many stamens in the center. The fruit is in 4 parts, each rounded and fleshy about 5mm across.
Edible part(s), preparation methods and palatability
Fruits are edible. The ripe fruits are collected and eaten raw. The fruits are sweet and may be eaten either as a whole or chewed and only the sweet juice is swallowed. If large amounts of seeds are ingested they may cause severe constipation. Fruits may be pounded, died and stored. Shepherds and children are the primary consumer category of this type of fruits (Wag Hamra). Mostly children collect and consume the fruits in normal times, but adults may consume as well in food shortage periods (Afar). The fruits are always collected and consumed between September and April, and everybody enjoys its taste also in good times. G .tenax - ferruginea can give fruits three times a year, provided there is sufficient rain. If the main crop harvest is delayed its fruits help to fill the food gap.
G. tenax or ferruginea (?) is a widespread shrub, found in semi-arid woodland in dry and moist mid- and lowlands (1,000 - 2,300m).
Propagates by seedlings.
(1) Talalak River, Dewe Woreda, Zone 5, Afar; (2) Siska Kebele, Zequala Woreda (Wag Hamra)
The leaves are also used as animal fodder and the wood can be used as firewood and for construction purposes (local construction & farm tools). The bark is sometimes used to produce local ropes for construction purposes.
1 Parts of the following description have been taken from Bekele-Tesemma et al., 1993: p. 264/265 and Maundu et al., 1999: p. 140
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