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close this bookTraditional Food Plants of Kenya (National Museum of Kenya, 1999, 288 p.)
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View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAcacia drepanolobium Sjöstedt
View the documentAcacia hockii De Wild.
View the documentAcacia nilotica (L.) Del.
View the documentAcacia senegal (L.) Willd.
View the documentAcacia seyal Del.
View the documentAcacia tortilis (Forssk.) Hayne
View the documentAcokanthera schimperi (A. DC.) Schweinf.
View the documentAdansonia digitata L.
View the documentAerva lanata (L.) Schultes
View the documentAlbizia amara (Roxb.) Boivin
View the documentAmaranthus blitum L.*
View the documentAmaranthus dubius Mart. ex Thell.*
View the documentAmaranthus graecizans L.
View the documentAmaranthus hybridus L.*
View the documentAmaranthus sparganiocephalus Thell.
View the documentAmaranthus spinosus L.*
View the documentAnnona senegalensis Pers. ssp. senegalensis
View the documentAntidesma venosum Tul.
View the documentAsystasia gangetica (L.) T. Anders.
View the documentAsystasia mysorensis (Roth) T. Anders.
View the documentAzanza garckeana (F. Hoffm.) Exell & Hillcoat
View the documentBalanites aegyptiaca (L.) Del.
View the documentBalanites pedicellaris Mildbr. & Schlecht.
View the documentBalanites rotundifolia (Van Tiegh.) Blatter
View the documentBasella alba L.
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View the documentBoscia coriacea Pax
View the documentBoswellia neglecta S. Moore
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View the documentBridelia taitensis Vatke & Pax
View the documentCajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.
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View the documentCatha edulis Forssk.
View the documentCitrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Mansf.
View the documentCleome gynandra L.
View the documentCoccinia grandis (L.) Voigt
View the documentCoffea arabica L.
View the documentCommelina africana L.
View the documentCommelina benghalensis L.
View the documentCommelina forskaolii Vahl
View the documentCommiphora africana (A. Rich.) Engl.
View the documentCommiphora rostrata Engl.
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View the documentCorchorus olitorius L.
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View the documentCordia monoica Roxb.
View the documentCordia sinensis Lam.
View the documentCrotalaria brevidens Benth.
View the documentCrotalaria ochroleuca G. Don
View the documentCucumis dipsaceus Spach
View the documentCyperus blysmoides C. B. Cl.
View the documentCyphia glandulifera A. Rich.
View the documentDactyloctenium aegyptium (L.) Willd.
View the documentDactyloctenium giganteum Fischer & Schweick.
View the documentDialium holtzii Harms
View the documentDialium orientale Bak. f.
View the documentDigera muricata (L.) Mart.
View the documentDioscorea bulbifera L.
View the documentDioscorea dumetorum (Kunth) Pax
View the documentDioscorea minutiflora Engl.
View the documentDiospyros mespiliformis A. DC.
View the documentDobera glabra (Forssk.) Poir.
View the documentDovyalis abyssinica (A. Rich.) Warb.
View the documentDovyalis macrocalyx (Oliver) Warb.
View the documentEleusine coracana Gaertn.
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View the documentEriosema shirense Bak. f.
View the documentErucastrum arabicum Fisch. & Meyer
View the documentEuclea divinorum Hiern
View the documentFicus sycomorus L.
View the documentFicus thonningii Bl.
View the documentFlacourtia indica (Burm. f.) Merr.
View the documentFlueggea virosa (Willd.) J. Voigt
View the documentGarcinia livingstonei T. Anderson
View the documentGrewia bicolor Juss.
View the documentGrewia tembensis Fres.
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View the documentHoslundia opposita Vahl
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View the documentHyphaene compressa H. Wendl.
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View the documentIpomoea aquatica Forssk.
View the documentIpomoea lapathifolia Hall. f.
View the documentIpomoea longituba Hall. f.
View the documentIpomoea mombassana Vatke
View the documentIpomoea oenotherae (Vatke) Hall. f.
View the documentKedrostis pseudogijef (Gilg) C. Jeffrey
View the documentKigelia pinnata (Jacq.) DC.
View the documentLablab purpureus (L.) Sweet
View the documentLagenaria siceraria (Molina) Standley
View the documentLandolphia buchananii Stapf
View the documentLandolphia kirkii Dyer
View the documentLannea alata (Engl.) Engl.
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View the documentLannea rivae (Chiov.) Sacleux
View the documentLannea schimperi (A. Rich.) Engl.
View the documentLannea triphylla (A. Rich.) Engl.
View the documentLantana trifolia L.
View the documentLaunaea cornuta (Oliv. & Hiern) Jeffr.
View the documentLeptadenia hastata (Pers.) Decne.
View the documentLippia carviodora Meikle
View the documentLippia kituiensis Vatke
View the documentMaerua decumbens (Brongn.) De Wolf
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View the documentMeyna tetraphylla (Hiern) Robyns
View the documentMimusops fruticosa Bojer
View the documentMimusops kummel A. DC.
View the documentMomordica rostrata A. Zimm.
View the documentMondia whitei (Hook. f.) Skeels
View the documentMoringa oleifera Lam.
View the documentMyrianthus holstii Engl.
View the documentNymphaea nouchali Burm. f. var. caerulea (Savigny) Verdc.
View the documentOxygonum sinuatum (Meisn.) Dammer
View the documentPachystigma schumannianum (Robyns) Bridson & Verdc.
View the documentPappea capensis Eckl. & Zeyh.
View the documentParinari curatellifolia Planch. ex Benth.
View the documentPennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.
View the documentPhoenix reclinata Jacq.
View the documentPiliostigma thonningii (Schum.) Milne-Redh.
View the documentPortulaca oleracea L.
View the documentRhus natalensis Krauss
View the documentRhus tenuinervis Engl.
View the documentRhus vulgaris Meikle
View the documentRubus apetalus Poir.
View the documentRubus pinnatus Willd.
View the documentRubus volkensii Engl.
View the documentRumex usambarensis (Damm.) Damm.
View the documentSaba comorensis (Bojer) Pichon
View the documentSalacia madagascariensis (Lam.) DC.
View the documentSalvadora persica L.
View the documentSclerocarya birrea (A. Rich.) Hochst.
View the documentScutia myrtina (Burm. f.) Kurz
View the documentSesamum calycinum Welw.
View the documentSesamum orientale L.
View the documentSolanum nigrum L.
View the documentSorghum bicolor (L.) Moench
View the documentSorindeia madagascariensis DC.
View the documentStathmostelma propinquum (N. E. Br) Schltr.
View the documentStrychnos henningsii Gilg
View the documentStrychnos madagascariensis Poir.
View the documentStrychnos spinosa Lam.
View the documentSyzygium cordatum Krauss
View the documentSyzygium guineense (Willd.) DC.
View the documentTamarindus indica L.
View the documentThylachium thomasii Gilg
View the documentTylosema fassoglense (Schweinf.) Torre and Hillc.
View the documentUrtica massaica Mildbr.
View the documentUvaria acuminata Oliv.
View the documentUvaria scheffleri Diels.
View the documentVangueria apiculata K. Schum.
View the documentVangueria infausta Burch. ssp. rotundata (Robyns) Verdc.
View the documentVangueria madagascariensis Gmel.
View the documentVangueria volkensii K. Schum. var. volkensii
View the documentVatovaea pseudolablab (Harms) J. B. Gillett
View the documentVernonia cinerea Less.
View the documentVigna friesiorum Harms var. angustifolia Verdc.
View the documentVigna membranacea A. Rich.
View the documentVigna subterranea (L.) Verdc.
View the documentVigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.
View the documentVitex doniana Sweet
View the documentVitex ferruginea Schum. & Thonn.
View the documentVitex mombassae Vatke
View the documentVitex payos (Lour.) Merr.
View the documentXimenia americana L
View the documentZanthoxylum chalybeum Engl. var. chalybeum
View the documentZiziphus abyssinica A. Rich.
View the documentZiziphus mauritiana Lam.
View the documentZiziphus mucronata Willd.
View the documentTermitomyces-mushrooms (edible fungi)

Amaranthus hybridus L.*

Amaranthaceae

syn: A. patulus Bertol.

Chonyi: chiswenya, English: amaranth, Chinese spinach, spiny amaranth, spleen amaranth Giriama: kiswenya Kamba: w'oa, terere (Mwingi), telele-nene Kambe: chiswenya Keiyo: chepkerte, chepkerta Kikuyu: terere Kipsigis: cheptokdogan Kisii: emboga Luhya (Bukusu): litoto, liola, edodo, tsimboga Luhya (Kisa): tsimboka tsia navanyolo Luhya (Marachi): lidodo Luhya: tsimboga, edodo, litoto (plant) Luhya (Tachoni): litoto Luo: ododo, omboga, alikra Maa: enyaru-olmuaate, enyaru-nanyokie, nanyi, nyani Marakwet: chepkerte, chepkarta Mbeere: terere Meru: terere, rwoga Sanya: kiswenya Somali: dargo sagar, daargo-warabe Swahili: mchicha Taita: chanya (mbale) Teso: eboga

Description: An erect or prostrate branched herb usually 40-80 cm but occasionally attaining the height of a Mandera, especially in cultivation. Stems green or tinted red, ridged. LEAVES: Simple, alternate, green or tinted red with a lamina to 15 cm or more and a long petiole. FLOWERS: Borne in clusters in green, yellow, red or occasionally purple axillary and terminal spikes. FRUITS: Seeds shiny black or cream.

Ecology: Widespread in tropical and subtropical regions of the world and widely distributed in humid to sub-humid areas in Kenya, mainly as a weed of cultivation, in degraded land and built-up areas, along rivers, roadsides and forest edges, 900-2,600 m. Commonest in the middle altitudes and highlands (1,400-2,400 m). Zones I-V.

Uses: FOOD: Leaves and young shoots used as a vegetable (+++). This is the commonest and the most widely used species in the wetter regions. Much of it is picked from the wild or occasionally it is spared when found growing as a weed. In some parts of Kenya, especially in the west, the species is cultivated in small home gardens. The vegetable is very tasty and its large leaves make it a very popular amaranth.

COMMERCIAL: Leaves, and occasionally seeds, sold in Nairobi and some other markets throughout the country.

Season: Rainy season and soon thereafter.

Management: A. hybridus grows easily from the small hard black seeds. Prepare the ground to loosen the soil and to get rid of weeds. The seeds may be sowed by broadcasting or in lines made at 30 cm intervals. As the seeds are tiny, they can be mixed with sand to ensure a more even distribution. Seeds germinate after a few days. Thin out the plants leaving the appropriate distance between neighbouring plants. These will be your first vegetables! Weed as often as necessary. Seed harvesting: At maturity, the flowering head will start losing its natural green colour (or whichever was the original colour). Mature seeds are black, while immature ones are red or pale. Whole heads may be cut, dried in the sun on a polythene sheet and beaten with light sticks to release the seeds. Rubbing between the palms may release more seeds. The seeds and chaff are then winnowed on a tray.

Status: Very common.


Figure


Figure

Remarks: Two related species are found in Kenya:

· A. hypochondriacus L. (syn. A. patulus Bertol.) has a prominent terminal spike, a more "spiny" look and often has a prostrate habit. It is more common in the higher altitudes.

· A. cruentus L. (syn. A. paniculatus L.) has a more branched flowering head, with a less "spiny" appearance. It is not as common at high altitudes. The red form of this species is also cultivated as an ornamental. These two species are often treated as subspecies of A. hybridus. Ethnobotanical surveys have confirmed that this is one of the introduced amaranth species in Kenya. A. hybridus is of Central American origin.


Amaranthus cruentus