Scientific name
Lannea triphylla1 (A.Rich) Engl., rivae (Chiov.) Sacleux


Local name(s)
Fachoka (Agonia), Baaror, Anri, Anthri, Wankhri, Waanri (Somali)

General description
L. triphylla is a deciduous spreading shrub or small tree to about 5m high. The branches are flexible and the bark is fleshy, smooth, grey to dark grey on the surface. The leaves are softly hairy, often divided into 3 leaflets. Flowers are of cream colour, arranged in spikes. Fruits are dirty green, softly hairy, turning dirty red on ripening. Seeds are red.

Edible part(s), preparation methods and palatability
Roots are edible. The roots become succulent and white after rains. They are then dug out of the ground and eaten raw.  Its taste is sweet and succulent. No side effects have been mentioned concerning its consumption. In Jana Mora interviewed farmers said that parent are against children eating this wild root and that children do only so out of boredom while herding. Mostly children and shepherds do collect and consume this wild root. In Arba Zekuar the tree is popular with the locals, who dug out the roots during the dry season. Fruits are also edible but are less important then the roots.

Grows in Ethiopia, Uganda, North-Eastern Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia and Arabia. In Ethiopia found in lowlands of the Tekeze River water shed. Grows whenever there is rain otherwise in the dry season without leaves. Grows on Acacia-Commifora bushland, 300 - 1,400m. Common on red clay, sandy clay and in rocky areas.

Propagation method(s)
Propagates by stem cuttings and probably by seeds too.

Sample location(s)
(1) Siska Kebele, Zequala Woreda (Wag Hamra); (2) Mekane Birhan Kebele, Jana Mora Woreda (North Gonder), (3) Arba Zekuar, Belessa Woreda, (South Gonder), (4) Kelafo (Somali Region) 

The plant easily confused with L. rivae which it resembles in habit. The leaves are a distinguishing feature. In Jana Mora Woreda, North Gonder, cattle eat the leaves.

1Parts of the following description have been taken from Maundu et al., 1999: p. 163 & 165 

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'Fachoka'  tree & branches without leaves in Arba Zekuar, Belessa Woreda February 2001.  

'Fachoka' tree in the Tekeze River lowlands, rainy season July 2000 (Photo by Anna Barnett, Ethiopian Venture Project)

Uprooting the root of 'Fachoka' (top) and root detail of the red juicy inner part (top). Below a villager of Arba Zekuar in Belessa Woreda is chewing the inner part of the root.