Guizotia scabra1(Vis.) Chiov.
Hadaa, udda (Oromiffa), Mechi (Amargna), Nehuka (Tigrigna)
Guizotia species are probably the most important of all broad leaved weeds in Ethiopia, almost universally distributed at middle and higher elevations. Erect, fast-growing to 1-2m (even to 4m in some localities), but may mature and seed profusely when only 30cm high in poor soils. Stems are usually covered in short glandular hairs. Opposite leaves, 3 - 15cm long, are lanceolate, toothed and softly sticky to the touch. The related crop Guizotia abyssinica , noug or niger seed, has rigid, smooth leaves. Flower heads 2 -5cm across, have an involucre of broad, obtuse bracts, yellow ray florets, 1 - 2cm long (without the orange spots of Bidens spp.), and yellow, tubular disc florets.
Edible part(s), preparation methods and palatability
Young leaves and tender upper parts of the branches are edible. The plant begins to grow at beginning of the main rains and edible parts can be harvested as long as they do not get too fibrous. This usually happens after flowering, when the biomass of the plant is reduced. The edible parts are prepared like cabbage or spinach, i.e. boiled in water and salted. If there is any other foodstuff available, the edible parts can also be mixed. No negative side-effects are known concerning palatability.
Grows in the in many parts of Ethiopia in mid- and highlands from 1,400m to 2,800m. Distribution: Central highlands, Chercher highlands, Arsi & Bale highlands, Western highlands, Northeast & Northern highlands, Southern Rift valley, Tana basin.
Jimma & Illubabor Zones (Oromiya Region)
1 See also in Stroud A, Parker C, 1989: p. 78/79 for Guizotia sp. description.
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