Acacia albida1 (Faidherbia albida)
Kertor (Gamogna), Grar (Amargna), Gerbi, Derot (Oromiffa), Apple-ring acacia (English)
A large leafy tree of 15 - 30m heights with a wide rounded crown when mature, sometimes deciduous. The bark is grey-brown and rough. The thorns are 2cm long. The leaves are compound, 3 - 10 pairs pinnae, leaflets are round tipped, grey-green, little dot glands just visible where the pinnae grows out of the leaf stalk. Flowers are arranged in dense creamy spikes about 10cm long, very fragrant. The fruit pods are conspicuous bright orange to red-brown, twisted and curled, thick, hard and shiny, to 35cm long by 5cm wide, containing 10 - 20 seeds, which ripen at the end of the dry season. Pods do not split open but rot on the ground to releases seed. Seedlings have leaves like those of mature trees - an aid to identification.
Edible part(s), preparation methods and palatability
Pods for flavouring and seeds are edible. Fallen pods are rich in protein and can be eaten at the beginning of the rains when other food is scarce. The seeds are boiled before consumption.
Widespread in semi-arid Africa on a wide range of soil types and in different climates, preferring dry, moist and wet midlands. It can do well on occasionally water logged land. It grows up to 2,600m in Eritrea, Tigray, Gonder, Shewa, Arsi, Hararghe, Sidamo, and Gamo-Gofa.
Propagates by seedlings and direct sowing.
The species is now called Faidherbia albidia because so many of its parts are unlike those of any other Acacia. It is intercropped with sorghum and millet in West Africa. Deep-rooted so does not compete with food crops. Leaves are good forage for livestock and are available throughout the year. Leaves are also used for mulching cropped fields.
1 Parts of the following description have been taken from Bekele-Tesemma et al., 1993: p. 38/39.
Back to top