|Traditional Food Plants of Kenya (National Museum of Kenya, 1999, 288 p.)|
Borana: wanreh, kumude Giriama: manga, mnthungu Kamba: kikolya (Makueni), kitungu (Mwingi), ngolya (fruit), ndungu (fruit) Malakote: sufi-bara Orma: kumudhe Rendille: bejelo Samburu: lkinoi Somali: waareh, kumudhe (Tana River), waanreh Taita: mushiga, ngariso Tharaka: mituungu
Description: Much-branched spreading deciduous shrub usually 1.5-4.0 m high, with drooping branches and a spiky appearance. BARK: Dark grey, smooth. Stem base and main roots normally covered with brown, thread-like growths resembling cotton wool. LEAVES: Usually clustered on short shoots and divided into tiny leaflets which are bluntly toothed towards the apex. The leaf rachis is often winged. FLOWERS: Borne in inflorescences arising together with leaves from the short shoots, greenish yellow, small, inconspicuous. FRUITS: Up to 2 cm across, fleshy, green turning yellow to orange or reddish brown on ripening. Seeds green with a rough surface.
Ecology: Grows in Somalia, coastal, eastern and northeastern parts of Kenya and northern Tanzania. In Kenya may be found at El Wak (Wajir), Mtito Andei, Kurawa (Tana River), Mutwang'ombe (Kitui). Found on rocky hillsides, in Acacia-Commiphora bushland, often associated with Delonix alata, Lannea triphylla, Adansonia digitata. Acacia tortilis, Sterculia stenocarpa and Grewia species in light red clay and in rocky areas, 0-1,200 m. Rainfall: 400-600 mm. Zones V-VI.
Uses: FOOD: Fruits edible and much liked (+++) (Samburu, Somali, Rendille, Boran, Kamba, Taita). These are sweet but also with a rather sour taste. With good rains fruits are juicy.
MEDICINAL: Used for fever, malaria, snakebite, fractures and injuries (Samburu).
OTHER: Goat and camel fodder (++). Fruits eaten by goats. Fuelwood (+). Wool from roots used for stuffing pillows and mattresses (Somali, Tharaka, Kamba, Mbeere).
COMMERCIAL: Fruits sold in Mwingi District.
Season: Flowers in September-October in Makueni, Tharaka, Kitui and Taita, in December in Tana River. Fruits in February-March in Makueni, Tharaka, Kitui, Taita and Wajir, in May in Mandera, in July-August in Kilifi and Kwale and in December in Garissa.
Status: May be locally common.
Remarks: An excellent fruit tree for dry lands. Needs good management to control the poor spreading habit. Fruits of many Kenyan species of Lannea are edible. They are deciduous shrubs, rarely trees, often with thick bark. Leaves are pinnately compound. Flowers normally have 4 floral parts. The fruit has one hard seed, often with persistent style.
L. schweinfurthii (Engl.) Engl. syn: L. stuhlmannii (Engl.) Engl. (Swahili: mnyumbu, Chonyi: mnyumbu, Digo: mnyumbu, Giriama: mnyumbu, Kamba: kyuasi, Mbeere: muracu, Luo: kuogo Maa: orpande, Marakwet: monwo (singular), Pokot: moino, Samburu: lapurori, Sanya: hadaraku, Somali: deen, Tharaka: muthuchi) is a tree to 15 m high with a rounded usually dense crown. Ripe fruits are reddish brown and edible but unimportant as a food source. Like most other Lannea species it has soft fleshy bark which is used for tea (Maasai, Pokot), medicine for fever (Mbeere). The inner bark is a source of string (Maasai). Fibre from bark used to make grain containers and baskets, syondo (Kamba). The brown dye obtained from bark was used to decorate the baskets. A brown wool used for stuffing mattresses is obtained from roots just below the ground surface (Kamba, Tharaka, Mbeere). The large trunk is carved into stools, beehives, mortars, and drums for storing honey (Kamba, Tharaka). A good shade tree and bee forage. Grows fast. A widespread tree in Kenya and in Africa from Sudan to South Africa. Season: Flowers in December-January (Kitui). Fruits in February-March (Kitui).