Species Name
Erucastrum arabicum (?)1


Local Name(s)
Nechelo (Amargna)

General description
The plant is a creeper on the ground with green-grey rosette of leaves and yellow flowers (see picture below).

Edible part(s), preparation methods and palatability
Leaves and stalk are edible. The plant is considered a typical famine food and is eaten by everybody. Women and children do the collection. It usually grows after the first 'meher' rains and can be harvested in August to feed before the crop harvest. The root has to be removed and the stalk together with the leaves are chopped and boiled in salty water for about one hour. If available, spices and pepper may be added to the soupy meal. The species has side effects such as drowsiness and the drying of the skin, i.e. the loss of natural oils in the body.

Has been found in the highlands.

Propagation method(s) 
Propagates by ... 

Sample location(s)
Mekane Birhan, Jana Mora, North Gonder

The plant's name is also used for an insult; 'nechelochari' (the one who has to dig with his bare hands 'nechelo', that means he is so poor he neither can afford to own nor to rent an ox. He is a destitute).

1The following description has been made by Anna Barnett, Ethiopian Venture Project.

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Nechelo.jpg (59904 bytes)
'Nechelo' around Mekane Birhan, Jana Mora, North Gonder