|Traditional Food Plants of Kenya (National Museum of Kenya, 1999, 288 p.)|
Borana: pika English: jackal plum Kamba: kiva, mba (fruit) Kikuyu: ndirikumi Kipsigis: ngohyet, engongaat Luhya (Bukusu): kumurinda (tree), kamarinda (fruits), sinyamanyama, bunyamanyama (fruit) Luhya (Tachoni): omurinda (tree) amarinda (fruit) Luo: okuoro (Siaya), omaange (Homa Bay) Maa: oltimigomi, orkisikong'o, natua-ekong'u, natwa-ong'o Marakwet: kipiriokwa, kibiriokwo (singular), piriak (plural) Mbeere: mubaa Meru: ntirikomi, dilikoni Pokot: puriokwo, priokwo, priak (plural) Samburu: loposeta, lopisedi, lgurugu, lgurong'ui, leroongo Somali: asel, adadak Taita: mndendele, ndendele (fruit), mkongori Tugen: biriokwo Turkana: etolerh
Description: An evergreen tree, normally small (4-6 m) but sometimes attaining 10 m or more. Crown usually dense. Branches low, often drooping, young branches usually ascending. BARK: Grey-white to dark grey, smooth except for lower parts of trunk which are corky. LEAVES; Entire or serrate, usually borne from short shoots. FLOWERS: Yellowish green in long racemes. FRUITS: Small, 7-10 mm across, round and borne in clusters. At maturity the skin bursts splitting the fruit into two and exposing juicy orange-to-pink flesh. Seed globose, dark red, smooth, shiny.
Ecology: From Kenya and Uganda to southern Africa. Widespread in Kenya, e.g. at Kisamis (Magadi Road), Iikerin (Loita), Juja, Thika, Churo (Baringo), Chepareria (West Pokot), Makueni, Machakos and Kitui, especially in the wetter and higher parts of the semi-arid zones on rocky hillsides and sandy lowlands. Found in bushland and wooded or bushed grassland, 1,050-2,400 m in black clay, sandy soil, sloping rocky ground with clay or sand. Zones II-V.
Uses: FOOD: The pinkish yellow or orange flesh of the fruit is eaten (++). Seed may be discarded but are often swallowed. Both ripe and unripe fruits are eaten. Fruits have a sweet acid taste. Unripe ones are sour. Inner bark is dried and grated to make tea (Maasai, Loita).
MEDICINAL: The bark is boiled to make a kind of soup which is taken for stomach disorders (Maasai) and roots or stems are boiled in soup by Maasai warriors. Leaves are used for stomach-ache and diarrhoea (Kamba).
OTHER: Wood very strong and durable. Source of excellent firewood (+++) and charcoal (+++). Used for making forked and hooked sticks for hanging beehives, bows (Kamba), handles, mortars and pestles, traditional sticks for cooking ugali, yokes (very durable), building poles, stools, and bows. Ripe fruits liked by birds. Forage for bees. Dye. Fodder for cattle and goats during dry periods (++). Shade (+++).
Season: Flowers in February-March in Narok, June in Makueni and Machakos, August in Homa Bay, November-December in Baringo and Marsabit. Fruits in February-March in Laikipia, August-September in Kajiado, Machakos, Kitui and Samburu.
Management: Propagated by seeds. Coppices well. A slow-growing tree.
Status: Locally common.
Remarks: A useful tree in agroforestry.