Scientific name
Strychnos innocua1 (Del.) 

Family name

Local name(s)
Ugugia (Wolayetgna)

General description
‘Ugugia’ is a much-branched tree up to 10 - 15m high. The species looses its leaves during the dry season. The bark is pale grey. Leaves are elliptic, glossy green, opposite, shortly stalked or stalkless. The fruit is round, 4 - 7cm in diameter green when unripe (see picture below) with a hard cover, turning orange-yellow when ripening. The seeds are tetrahedral.

Edible part(s), preparation methods and palatability
Fruits are edible. To eat the fruit it has to be opened and inside there are like seed compartments that can be eaten (see picture below). The ripe fruit is eaten and the pulp-covered seeds sucked. The pulp can also be dissolved in water and made into a juice which has a sweet-acid taste. The seeds are discarded. Children eat the fruits in normal times and most adults only when there is food shortage.

The plant is found in rocky low- and midland bushland areas in Koindo-Koyisha Woreda.

Propagation method(s)
Propagates by seeds.

Sample location(s)
Koindo-Koyisha (North Omo)

A similar species, S. madagascariensis (Poir.) grows in Kenya, Tanzania south to Mozambique and South Africa.  
1 Description of a similar species is found in Maundu et al., 1999: p. 217

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‘Ugugia’ tree with unripe fruits

An unripe open fruit with its visible edible parts (Koindo - Koyisha Woreda, North Omo).