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close this bookTraditional Food Plants of Kenya (National Museum of Kenya, 1999, 288 p.)
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(introduction...)

Patrick M. Maundu

Grace W. Ngugi and Christine H.S. Kabuye

ILLUSTRATIONS BY LUISE GULL AND NICHOLAS S. MUEMA

Kenya Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge (KENRIK)

NATIONAL MUSEUMS OF KENYA

Published by Kenya Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge (KENRIK)
National Museums of Kenya
P.O. Box 40658
Nairobi, Kenya

© 1999 National Museums of Kenya

ITK: All rights reserved

Be advised that the indigenous traditional knowledge contained in this volume has been given in good faith as a contribution to the common good and the furtherance of mutual understanding and the preservation of all life on our planet and not to be used for personal or commercial gain and must be treated with respect and used only for the purpose for which it was gifted. Anyone who reads this volume assumes the moral and ethical obligations implied by this statement.

Editing: Caroline Agola, P.O. Box 21582, Nairobi

Design, layout and typesetting: Graeme Backhurst, P.O. Box 15194, Nairobi

Cover photographs (clockwise from top left): Vangueria infausta, Acokanthera oppositifolia, Uvaria scheffleri, Citrullus lanatus, Nymphaea nouchali, Thylachium thomasii

Photographs: All by Patrick Maundu except Hyphaene compressa, plate 3, which is by David Lowe

Cataloguing-in-publication data
Traditional food plants of Kenya/Patrick M. Maundu, Grace W. Ngugi and Christine H.S. Kabuye-
Nairobi, Kenya: National Museums of Kenya, 1999
Index
Bibliography: p.

ISBN 9966-9861-4-6

This publication may be reproduced in whole or in part, and in any form, for educational or non-profit purposes without special permission of the copyright holder provided due acknowledgement of the source is made.

Reproduction for sale or other commercial purposes is prohibited without prior written permission from the copyright holder.

Additional copies of this book are available from:

The Library
National Museums of Kenya
Museum Hill
P.O. Box 40658
Nairobi, Kenya

Printed by: English Press Limited, Enterprise Road, P.O. Box 30127, Nairobi, Kenya

Foreword

This book is a result of four years' research on indigenous food plants of Kenya. The original data was obtained from the plant collections in the East African Herbarium at the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) and was expanded through extensive ethnobotanical fieldwork carried out during the Indigenous Food Plants Programme (IFPP), 1989-1992.

The programme was implemented by the National Museums of Kenya in collaboration with the Kenya Freedom From Hunger Council (KFFHC) and Worldview International Foundation (WIF) (Kenya), covering Kajiado, Baringo, Turkana, Siaya, Nyandarua and Kilifi Districts.

During the final year, the programme also covered Machakos, Kitui, Mwingi and Makueni Districts, through a contract with World Neighbors.

The IFPP set up an Indigenous Food Plants Database, now at KENRIK in the NMK, which has data on over 800 indigenous plant species used for food in one way or another. Of these, fruits form about 50%, leafy vegetable 25%, tubers and roots 12.5%, gums, resins, spices, herbs and those used for tea, and other minor food products making up the rest. However, this book deals with 175 species, which are of particular importance, especially among the communities the programme worked with. The book also covers in less details about 130 other closely related species traditionally used for food in Kenya or elsewhere. Some of these species are little known because of their localized use or distribution but still have the potential to be used more widely. Many are collected from the wild, a few are in transition to domestication, while even fewer are well-established crops.

The book aims at helping the user appreciate the wealth of food-plant resources traditionally used in Kenya and how to recognize and utilize them for the well-being of society at large and particularly the local communities who are the custodians of the resources and information presented. Besides food use, other uses are mentioned. Of particular interest are medicinal uses where the distinction from food uses may sometimes be unclear, especially among pastoral communities who rely heavily on wild species. Ethnoveterinary, cultural, household and a host of other uses are also listed in an attempt to show the value of each species to the communities concerned, as well as its potential for use elsewhere. A salient characteristic of foods obtained from indigenous plants is their relatively high nutritional value, an important point for nutritionists in extension work.

Although this book deals with both naturally occurring and cultivated species, the emphasis is on the relatively less known but locally important species that are indigenous to Kenya. The book also includes a few cosmopolitan exotic species of cultural and nutritional importance, such as some Amaranthus species, and a few traditional food plants whose specific origins are still debatable - Solanum nigrum being a good example.

Information on the status of the species and their distribution will be useful not only in decision making but also in efforts to encourage the sustainable use of food and other plant resources. The awareness created by this book will lead to increased use, more respect and appreciation for these valuable foods as well as conservation of the species, their various forms and the preservation of the associated indigenous knowledge.

The book will be useful to researchers, social and development workers, those working in conservation and others interested in the subjects covered. It is my hope that it will also contribute to development, conservation of cultures and the associated plant resources.

Mohamed Isahakia
Director-General, National Museums of Kenya

Acknowledgements

The production of any ethnobiological work involves an enormous number of people. A few of those involved in the production of this book are mentioned here, but all those who are not should feel that their role was also important and is appreciated.

Work of the Indigenous Food Plants Programme (IFPP) which led to this book would not have been possible without the generous grant from the Ford Foundation for which we are deeply grateful. In this connection special thanks go to Dianne Rocheleau and Eric Rusten, Program Officers at the Ford Foundation's Eastern and Southern Africa Office in Nairobi, for their great interest and encouragement throughout the IFPP period.

We are grateful to the Canadian Organization for Development through Education (CODE) for providing funds through their Eastern Africa Regional Office in Dar-es-Salaam for production education and extension materials. In this Scott Walter, and later Julie Holder, were very helpful. In addition, the programme received seed money from Nog Meer Binding Foundation and Columbine Foundation of the Netherlands.

We are grateful to Richard L. Leakey former Director and later Mohamed Isahakia Director National Museums of Kenya for their encouragement given to IFPP.

In nutritional research, we are indebted to S. Mbugua and J. Imungi of the Department of Food Science, University of Nairobi for their support and permission to use laboratory facilities for food-value analyses.

Of particular mention and appreciation is the contribution made by the management and staff of IFPP in implementing the programme: Moses Mbugua, Secretary General, Kenya Freedom From Hunger Council (KFFHC); Grace Kanyua, Director, Worldview International Foundation Kenya (WIF); Joe Kuhn who initiated the programme and worked tirelessly to get it off the ground; Matthijs de Vreede who assisted in the programme design and continued to provide advice; David Lowe and later Bernard Muchiri, Coordinators; Abbey Olendi, Nutritionist; Gatonye Gathura, Communications officer; Jane Makumi, Programme Secretary; Nicholas Maina, Driver; and the late Peter Olala, Gardener.

The success of IFPP depended highly on local leaders and committed field collaborators who took the programme as their own, and to the local communities contained in this book and to whom much of it belongs. We are deeply indebted to them all.

Kajiado: J. Kimani of Maasai Rural Training Centre (MRTC) and the staff of the Elang'ata Wuas Ecosystem Management Programme, especially Charles Samperu, Ezekiel Roimen, Irene Katete and David Moile.

Baringo and Koibatek: Justus Kumu of the Food Security Programme and Fr Sean McGovern of the Kositei Catholic Mission.

Turkana: Mr Karanja of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock Development and Marketing (MALD&M);Turkana, KEFRI staff, especially Rosina Auren; the staff of the former Turkana Cultural Heritage Project (TCHP) and especially Sammy Emekwi Nalukoowoi, John Rigano, Geoffrey Clarfield, Dominic Akeno, John Ekales, Pauline Lokuruka, and Christopher Eweikar of Kaputir Community Health Clinic.

Kilifi and Malindi: the staff of the Malindi NGO programme in Magarini Division. Special thanks go to Shida Kaplanga, Shadrack Magambo, Mary Ngonyo, Charles Nzai, Rachael Kafedha, Esther Gona, Samson Chengo and the late Edward Jeffwa for their commitment to the programme.

Nyandarua: the extension staff of the MAL&D and Olkalou Council. Special thanks go to Marion Kaniu, Kennedy, and Jane Mathenge.

Siaya: the staff of the Lake Victoria Programme I and II, and especially Justo Oremo.

Machakos, Makueni and Mwingi: Elkanah Odembo, Director, World Neighbors, and the staff of the World Neighbors Ukambani Programme, Arnold Maingi and F.S. Musembi.

Kitui: World Neighbors staff in Kitui, Alexander Mutiso and J. Syombua.

Some additional information which benefited the book was obtained in Kitui during the project on Indigenous Agricultural Knowledge Systems (INDAKS) implemented by Kenya Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge 1994 - 1997 and funded by the European Union through the Leiden Ethnosystems and Development Programme of Leiden University.

Final stages of the book and printing were made possible by funds provided by the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI), the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (SIDA) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO); for this we are particularly grateful to Frank Attere, Dr Luigi Guarino and Henry Kamau (IPGRI), Christine Holding (RELMA, SIDA) and Robert Hoft (UNESCO) for their interest in seeing the book published. We are also most grateful for the invaluable contributions of Bo Tengnas, Caroline Agola, Graeme Backhurst and Christine Holding in editing, formatting and seeing the publication through the printers.

We are indebted to the following for checking the local names in their various languages with great care: Boran and Gabra: Hassan Gurancha Wario: Chonyi: Joshua Buni Mturi; Daasanach: Richard Rogono, Eric J. Ness, Haira Makoro, J. Yeragalech Komoi, Gosh Kuanyang; Embu: Esther Njiro; Giriama: Joshua Buni Mturi, Kikuyu: G.M. Mungai, S. Mathenge; Kisii: David Nyakundi; Luhya: P. Masinde, P. Namachanja, S. Simiyu, Pius Ndinyo, Dinah Khayota; Maasai: Joyce Nasieku, Charles Ole Saitabau; Luo: Alfred Odhiambo, the late Peter Olala, H. Omondi Odongo; Marakwet: J. Kasagam; Mbeere: Ephantus Mwangi Ndiritu: Meru: Faith Njeru, J. M. Ruthiiri, Rendille: John Rigano; Somali: Abdirahman I. Yusuf, Suleiman, Ibrahim Serar; Sanya: Komoro Badula, Baloni Badula, Bini Baloni, Safo Badula, Godana Badula; Taita: G. Mwachala, Teso: P. Ipulet; Turkana: Sammy Emekwi Nalukoowoi.

We are grateful to Abede Kifetew of Ethiopian Curio Centre in Nairobi for providing useful information on teff and coffee, Jacob Muhando for plotting species distribution on the maps, Pius Namachanja for preparing the agro-climatic zone map, and to Yasuyuki Morimoto, Geoffrey Kilili and Patrick Kobai for their input on the final layout. We are also grateful to Joshua Muasya who drew some last-minute illustrations.

Last but not least, our most sincere thanks go to Bettina Ng'weno, J. Nyokabi Oteba, Francis Sikuku, the late Joseph Musyoka Kavisa and Benedetta Nthenya who carefully entered the original work in WordPerfect and AskSam database, Jane M Macharia and Phyllis Karanja for carrying out corrections, Joyce Chege for entering data on late records and L. Sojah for painstakingly matching the local names in the index with those in the main text.


Map 1. Distribution of the major ethnic groups in Kenya

Introduction

Background

Botanical and ecological diversity in Kenya

Plants are essential for human existence. They are the direct source of the world's staple foodstuffs in the form of their seeds, fruits, leaves and tubers, for example, or as less important products such as edible gums. Other species provide products or services that people depend on directly or indirectly, e.g. medicine, fodder for livestock, fibre, materials for construction, shade-the list is a long one!

Ecologically, there is a great deal of variation within Kenya which has extremes of environments (see Map 3). Land rises from the coastal zone and the lowlands of the north and north-east-where day temperatures exceed 40°C - to the cool highlands and mountain tops in the centre of the country, including Mt Kenya with a summit at 5,199 m, which is permanently snow covered. This great altitudinal range significantly influences rainfall and temperatures in various areas of the country, which in turn dictate the dominant vegetation types. Precipitation ranges from 150 mm annually in the dry low-lying deserts of the north and north-east to over 2,500 mm on the slopes of Mt Kenya. Likewise, vegetation ranges from almost bare rock and sand dunes in the deserts through Acacia-Commiphora bushland to grassland with scattered trees, dry highland forests, tropical rain forests and to alpine vegetation. This wide ecological range has resulted in a rich flora of about 7,100 distinct plant species and several thousand subspecies and varieties. Some of these species have a wide, almost world-wide distribution (e.g. some weedy species such as Amaranthus spp.), while others, or their subspecies or varieties, may have a more limited distribution. Some, for example Bridelia taitensis, are only found within the country (that is, they are endemic to Kenya), and others occur in even more restricted areas; for example the yet-to-be-described Salacia sp. = ndendela, Thui Hill, has only been reported from a single hill that covers an area of less than 4 hectares.

Ethnic diversity

The population of Kenya is also characterized by high diversity. Kenya is a meeting point of three major groups of people: Bantu, Nilotic and Cushitic speakers, each with a diversity of ethnic groups (see Map 1 and Table 1). Altogether, there are over 55 distinct languages and several hundred dialects. Some of these ethnic groups, such as the Kikuyu and Luo, comprise many millions of people, but others, like the Suba and El Molo, are small and their languages are on the verge of extinction. These original inhabitants of Kenya were later joined by people from other continents, e.g. the Arabian peninsular, India and Europe, thus further diversifying the linguistic and cultural situation. With the passage of time, and through observation and trial and error, a wealth of knowledge and experience about the environment, its resources and how best to exploit them was accumulated-for example, knowledge about the uses of plants as food, medicine and as poisons. This deep-rooted indigenous knowledge is necessary for the survival and well-being of a community in its environment. The Mijikenda, for example, use over 80 local species of plants as leafy vegetables, while the Turkana exploit over 140 species of edible plants obtained from their arid environment.

Historical and cultural change

The last century has brought more change for the people of Kenya than perhaps any other before. Western culture and modern science and technology are encroaching on traditional practices and eroding local knowledge. Modern times have brought new food habits and even several new crops. The plants from which traditional foods were obtained are now suffering a double tragedy: genetic erosion and loss of traditional knowledge on how to grow and use them. Many traditional cultivars, which evolved with the cultures concerned as they were consciously selected to meet specific cultural roles, have disappeared within the lifespan of the present generation. In many areas, even outside towns and cities, diets are based on fewer and fewer plant species: one in particular-maize-is becoming an increasingly dominant and widespread staple to the detriment of the health of families and national food security. This, coupled with low incomes and a misguided preference for expensive exotic foods, has contributed significantly to poverty in the country. Traditional farming systems, which are associated with specific traditional crops, varieties and technologies, are being abandoned, also resulting in increasingly monotonous diets and the loss of food-plant resources and indigenous knowledge about them. Specialized habitats such as indigenous forests and wetlands are being destroyed, similarly endangering specific forms and varieties of plants and sometimes resulting in the loss of entire species.

The role of food from the wild

Food from the wide range of traditional food plants makes supplemental, seasonal and emergency contributions to household food supplies.

Supplements to the staple food add flavour, which enhances the appetite. Some foods increase the absorption of vitamins, e.g. gum arabic (from Acacia senegal), and may help maintain the normal intestinal flora.


Table 1. Linguistic classification of the communities of Kenya

Many traditional plant foods are characteristically energy rich and play a crucial nutritional role during hunger periods. They may be equally important during periods when people have less time for food preparation, such as during peak agricultural seasons, or in arid regions where seasonal food-supply fluctuations are particularly acute. Commelina spp., for example, are strategically available at the beginning of the rainy season before other species can be harvested.

Perhaps the most common use of food from the wild is as snacks. Traditionally, people ate fruit between meals while herding cattle or working in the fields. Snack foods are especially important for children since they need to eat more frequently than adults. In addition, these wild fruit may supply micronutrients that are very important for the healthy growth of children but may be deficient in the bulky cereal-based diet in the home. Grewia spp., for example, are a major nutritional resource for pastoralists in dry zones.

Leafy vegetables collected from the wild play an important role in traditional diets in rural areas. In some cultures such as the Luhya, Kisii, Luo and Mijikenda, traditional indigenous vegetables are a common food in the diet. While some may be collected from the wild, a sizeable number have now been cultivated, including Cleome gynandra, and Crotalaria, Solarium, and Amaranthus species.

Nutritional value of traditional food plants

If hunger periods lead to actual starvation, or if other calamities such as war cause emergencies, a range of food plants, although sometimes requiring complex preparation to avoid toxicity, can provide a life-saving buffer, as is the case with Balanites pedicellaris and Boscia coriacea among the Turkana of north-western Kenya.

Although malnutrition and famine did also occur in the past, the nutritional benefits that resulted from the consumption of a wide variety of plants in the olden days were undoubtedly great and have been lost in modern times. If these traditional food plants could be promoted through extension work, better nutrition and better health could be achieved (see Appendix 1).

Nutritional problems in Kenya

The main nutritional problems that occur currently in Kenya can be summarized as follows:

Low energy and protein intake

People do not eat enough food of all kinds. In many areas food shortages are seasonal, being most severe at the end of the dry season and at the beginning of the rains. In addition, eating habits are changing-tea, for example, is replacing the more nutritious millet porridge for breakfast among many communities, a habit that is particularly detrimental for children's nutrition.

A number of traditionally used wild plants are good sources of unsaturated fats which, even in small quantities, can play a vital role in increasing the energy content of staple foods while making them more palatable and less bulky for children to eat.

Lack of variety in the diet

A varied diet is likely to be a well-balanced one. More important, the use of different foods, even in small quantities (snack foods), improves the flavour of the staple food and thus tends to increase overall consumption of the staple. Dietary deficiencies and food insecurity are strongly related to the decreasing diversity of traditional diets.

Vitamins

Vitamins are essential for the body's metabolic processes to take place normally.

Lack of Vitamin A: Vitamin A deficiency can lead to dry-eye disease (xerophthalmia), night-blindness and eventually complete blindness. Children who are deficient in vitamin A are more likely than healthy children to die from infectious diseases. Yellow fruits and green vegetables, as well as dark green leaves, are good sources of this vitamin. Fats, protein and zinc help the body to absorb and use vitamin A, thus a diet low in these nutrients can contribute to vitamin A deficiency. Nuts and oil seeds, in addition to fruit and vegetables, help to meet this nutritional shortfall.

Low levels of riboflavin (Vitamin B): Riboflavin deficiency is responsible for eye and skin disorders. Many wild foods, especially leaves, are good sources of this vitamin, and wild leafy vegetables have sometimes been found to have significantly higher riboflavin levels than cultivated varieties.

Other vitamins: Several other vitamins are essential for a healthy body. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is readily obtainable from fruits and fresh vegetables. Fruits such as baobab (Adansonia digitata) and morula (Sclerocarya birrea) are exceptionally rich in the vitamin. Vitamin E is abundant in vegetables such as purslane (Portulaca oleracea).

Iron and iodine deficiency

Iron is essential for the manufacture of haemoglobin, the red pigment in the blood. Low levels of iron lead to anaemia which is a major health problem in many parts of eastern Africa, particularly for women. Many traditional foods, especially dark green leaves, are good sources of iron.

In some areas of Kenya, the soils are deficient in iodine and therefore the diet is also deficient in this mineral. Iodine deficiency causes goitre and mental retardation in children. This deficiency can be prevented by importation of foodstuffs grown in other areas where there is no iodine deficiency and by use of iodized salt.

Table 2. Marketed species

Type/species

Common name

Areas commonly sold




Leafy vegetables



Adansonia digitata

baobab

Kitui, Coast

Amaranthus hybridus

amaranth

countrywide

Amaranthus dubius

amaranth

countrywide

Amaranthus lividus

amaranth

Kisii, Kericho, Nyanza, Western, central Rift Valley

Amaranthus spinosus

spiny amaranth

Nyanza, countrywide

Asystasia mysorensis


Nairobi, West Pokot, Western, Nyanza

Asystasia gangetica


Nyanza, Western

Basella alba

vine spinach

Nairobi, Coast, Western, Nyanza, central Rift Valley

Brassica carinata

kandhira

Nyanza, Western

Cleome (Gynandropsis) gynandra

spider herb

Kisii, Nyanza, Western, Coast, Central and northern Rift Valley, Nairobi

Corchorus trilocularis


Nairobi, Coast, Western, Nyanza, central Rift Valley

Corchorus olitorius

jute

Nairobi, Coast, Western, central Rift Valley, Nyanza

Crotalaria ochroleuca


Nairobi, Western, Nyanza, central Rift Valley

Crotalaria brevidens


Nairobi, Western, Nyanza, central Rift Valley

Digera muricata


northern Rift Valley, Coast

Ipomoea aquatica


Coast, Malindi

Kedrostis pseudogijef


Voi

Launaea cornuta


Western, Nyanza, Coast

Sesamum calycinum

onyulo

Nyanza, Western

Solanum nigrum

black nightshade

Nairobi, Nyanza, Western, Coast, central Rift Valley, countrywide

Vigna unguiculata

cowpea

countrywide




Cucurbits



Citrullus lanatus

water melon

large towns countrywide

Coccinia grandis

ivy gourd

northern Rift Valley, other parts of the world

Cucumis metuliferus

spiny cucumber

Nairobi

Lagenaria siceraria

gourd

Nyanza, Central Rift Valley, Eastern, Coast

Cucurbita maxima

pumpkin

countrywide

Cucumis ficifolia

kahurura

Central




Flavouring/spices



Zanthoxylum chalybeum

mjafari

northern Rift Valley

Lippia carviodora

eur

northern Rift Valley

Tamarindus indica

tamarind

Nairobi, Eastern, Coast, Western, Nyanza

Gums/resins



Acacia Senegal

gum arabic

Maralal, Isiolo, northern Kenya

Acacia seyal


Nairobi, Maralal, Isiolo, northern Kenya, exported

Boswellia neglecta

frankincense

northern Kenya




Pulses/other seeds



Cajanus cajan

pegionpea

countrywide

Lablab purpureus

lablab bean

Nairobi, Central, Eastern, countrywide

Sesamum orientale

sesame

Nairobi, Coast, Western Nyanza, Central Rift Valley

Vigna subterranea

Bambara groundnut

Nairobi, Western, Nyanza, Coast

Vigna unguiculata

cowpea

countrywide




Grains



Eleusine coracana

finger millet

countrywide

Eragrastis tef

teff

Nairobi, northern Kenya

Pennisetum glaucum

pearl millet

Eastern, Nairobi, Coast

Sorghum bicolor

sorghum

countrywide




Fruits



Acacia tortilis


northern Rift Valley

Adansonia digitata

baobab

Coast, Eastern

Annona senegalensis

wild custard apple

Coast

Azanza garckeana


Embu, Tharaka, Kitui

Balanites pedicellaris


northern Rift Valley, Lodwar

Berchemia discolor


northern Rift Valley, Eastern

Borassus aethiopum

African fan palm

Coast

Boscia coriacea


northern Rift Valley

Carissa edulis


Nairobi, central and northern Rift Valley

Citrullus lanatus


Nairobi, northern Rift Valley

Coccinia trilobata


Eastern

Cordia sinensis


Lodwar, northern Rift Valley

Dialium holtzii


Coast

Dialium orientale


Malindi, Coast

Flacourtia indica

Indian plum

Kapenguria, Chepararia, northern Rift Valley

Hyphaene compressa

doum palm

Lodwar, northern Rift Valley

Lagenaria siceraria

gourd

countrywide

Landolphia kirkii

rubber vine

Coast

Landolphia petersiana


Coast

Lannea alata


Eastern, North Eastern

Manilkara sansibarensis


Kilifi

Manilkara sulcata


Kilifi

Myrianthus holstii

giant yellow mulberry

Central

Physalis peruviana*

Cape gooseberry

Nairobi, Western, Nyanza

Salacia madagascariensis


Coast

Sclerocarya birrea

marula

northern Rift Valley, Eastern

Syzygium cumini*


countrywide

Syzygium guineense

water berry

northern Rift Valley

Tamarindus indica

tamarind

countrywide

Vangueria infausta

vangueria

central and northern Rift Valley, Eastern

Vangueria madagascariensis

vangueria

Eastern

Vitex payos

black plum

Embu, Kitui, Kilifi

Ximenia americana

tallow nut

Eastern, northern Rift Valley

Ziziphus mauritiana


Coast, northern Rift Valley




Tubers/roots



Colocasia esculenta*

coco yam

Nairobi, Central, Eastern, countrywide

Dioscorea bulbifera


Western

Dioscorea minutiflora


Nairobi, Embu, Meru, Central

Mondia whitei


Nairobi




Stimulants



Catha edulis

khat

Most towns, exported




Others



Termitomyces spp.

edible fungi

Nyanza, Western, central Rift Valley

Elaeis guineensis

Guinea oil palm

commercial centres

Kigelia pinnata (K. africana)

sausage tree

Eastern, southern Rift Valley

The species listed in Table 2 have either been seen in markets or arc reported to be sold either in the raw or processed form. Most of the species are marketed in specific areas and seasons. The buyers may also be a specific group of people.

* Exotic species

Notes:

1. Many important food plant species are normally protected in their wild state but only a few are widely cultivated.

2. This list excludes those species sold for medicinal and other purposes.

3. Nyanza, Western, Coast, Eastern, North Eastern, Nairobi, Rift Valley and Central refer to Kenyan administrative Provinces.

Economic considerations

Easy access

Many traditional food plants grow wild. Therefore, where they are accessible, they can be collected freely and are thus available to everyone, including the poor. But these traditional vegetables may also conveniently be grown within the homestead in kitchen or homegardens. This is a common practice among the Kisii, Luhya and Mijikenda.

Contributions to household economy

Other traditional food plants are commercial in the sense that they are collected and sold, and yet others are cultivated either for household use or for sale. Many species, especially leafy vegetables, contribute to income generation, and such sources are often important for women and children in poor rural areas (Table 2).

Plant domestication

All wild species treated in this book are occasionally consciously protected by the communities in areas where they occur and therefore are often spared when vegetation is being cleared. A few may also be managed in their natural habitat (e.g. by pruning), while in other species seeds, saplings, cuttings or other parts of the plant are collected for propagation in fields or homegardens. Selection of tree species for domestication or management is based on their overall usefulness (e.g. as a shade tree), availability of propagating material and convenience of growing it.

Table 3. Wild food plants rated highly for domestication

Alcoholic beverage

Parinari curatellifolia

Kedrostis pseudogijef*

Borassus aethiopum

Rubus volkensii

Leptadenia hastata

Cordia sinensis

Saba comorensis

Portulaca oleracea

Sclerocarya birrea

Sclerocarya birrea

Sesamum calycinum*

Tamarindus indica*

Sorindeia madagascariensis

Solanum nigrum*


Strychnos innocua

Solanum scabrum*




Fermentation media

Strychnos madascariensis

Solanum villosum*

Aloe spp.

Strychnos spinosa

Vatovaea pseudolablab*

Kigelia pinnata (K. africana)

Syzygium guineense

Vernonia amygdalina*




Fruits

Tamarindus indica*

Vernonia cinerea

Annona senegalensis

Uvaria scheffleri

Vigna membranacea




Azanza garckeana

Vangueria infausta

Nuts and roasted seeds

Balanites rotundifolia

Vangueria madagascariensis

Cordeauxia edulis*

Berchemia discolor

Vitex doniana

Sclerocarya birrea

Borassus aethiopum

Vitex payos





Carissa edulis

Ximenia americana

Pulses (legumes)

Coccinia grandis

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

Vatovaea pseudolablab

Cordia sinensis

Ziziphus mauritiana

Roots and tubers




Cucumis metuliferus

Leafy vegetables

Eriosema shirense

Diospyros mespiliformis

Amaranthus dubius*

Ipomoea lapathifolia

Dobera glabra

Amaranthus hybridus*

Stathmostelma propinquum




Flacourtia indica

Amaranthus blitum (A. lividus)*

Spices, flavourings and tea substitutes


Basella alba*

Lippia carviodora

Garcinia livingstonei

Cleome (Gynandropsis) gynandra*

Ocimum gratissimum

Kedrostis pseudogijef*

Corchorus olitorius*

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

Landolphia buchananii

Corchorus trilocularis*





Landolphia kirkii

Crotalaria brevidens*

Stimulants

Lannea alata

Crotalaria ochroleuca*

Catha edulis

Momordica rostrata






Myrianthus holstii

Digera muricata var. patentipilosa

Others

Pappea capensis

Ipomoea aquatica

Mondia whitei

* = semi-domesticated: this group includes plants whose food resources are picked from the wild but which are also often planted on a small scale in cropland and near the homestead.

Considering the vast number of potentially edible plants that occur in the wild, many of them yet to be discovered, there is considerable scope for domestication and breeding of new crops (Table 3). Introduced crops often require reliable rainfall and large amounts of pesticides and fertilizers to perform well. Indigenous plants exist in a better balance with other components of the ecosystem, and can produce without expensive inputs.

Few of the plants described in this book are currently cultivated and little or no consideration has so far been given to their genetic improvement. Therefore the vast potential of the genetic resource represented by traditional food plants has barely begun to be exploited.

Cultivated species

Out of some 3,000 different plant species that have been commercialized (1% of the total number of plant species in the world) only 20 are consumed on a large scale. In fact, as much as 80% of world human energy intake comes from only 15 species of plants and animals. These 15 main foods are, however, not always the most nutritious. As already pointed out, this concentration on a few species has resulted in a vast number of potential food-plant species being neglected, genetic erosion and loss of associated indigenous knowledge.

The few crops that are now dominant were domesticated long ago, most in just a few regions in the world, e.g. the Middle East, the Ethiopian highlands, South East Asia and the highlands of South America (Table 4).

The promotion of traditional food plants

Traditional food plants, both domesticated and non-domesticated, have been neglected throughout the world. Kenya is no exception. Instead of concentrating on commercial food crops, extension efforts should now be aimed at maintaining, popularizing and improving the accessibility of a wide range of species as this can do much to improve nutrition and food security. A rich flora providing a variety of snack foods located near or in school compounds, for example, would improve the health of school children.

Even as individual citizens we have a responsibility to maintain the maximum possible diversity in our food plants and use them for everyone's well-being. To achieve this we need to:

· Make sure we and our families eat more traditional foods;

· Discard the false and unwarranted notion that traditional foods are inferior;

· Take the initiative to grow those species that we can grow ourselves and to manage others in the wild while preserving their habitats and ecosystems, even in our own back yards;

· Promote and keep alive indigenous knowledge about edible plants, methods of preparation, local names, etc., pass this knowledge on to our children and, where possible, document it;

· Identify rare and endangered cultivars or varieties and liaise with the National Gene Bank at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) for long-term conservation.

Notes on the use of this book

Distribution maps

The maps in the Species Accounts section indicate localities where specimens of each plant were collected and stored by the East African Herbarium at the National Museums of Kenya in Nairobi. But these maps should not be regarded as providing a complete picture of each species' distribution in Kenya as it may also occur in other areas not represented in the Herbarium collection. In the case of a crop species, the areas indicated are those where it is cultivated.

Information for future editions

The authors welcome comments, corrections and additions from readers. These contributions (to be sent to KENRIK, National Museums of Kenya, P.O. Box 40658, Nairobi) should be accompanied by details of localities and person(s) supplying the information, and will be acknowledged appropriately.

A note for genetic and information prospectors

The information and knowledge about the plants in this book, and the methods by which they are used traditionally, belong to the communities concerned. Any proposed commercialization of this intellectual property, and the associated genetic resources, should be initiated in good faith, with acknowledgement to and the full participation and knowledge of the relevant peoples.

Table 4. Commonly used cultivated food species and their origins

Species

Common name

Probable origin




Abelmoschus esculentus*

Okra, lady's fingers

Tropics of Old World, eastern Africa

Allium ampeloprasum

Leek

North Africa, Eurasia

Allium cepa

Onion

Mediterranean region

Allium sativum

Garlic

Asia

Amaranthus blitum (A. lividus)*

Amaranth

Southern Europe, northern tropical Africa

Amaranthus cruentus**

Amaranth

Tropical America

Amaranthus dubius**

Amaranth

Tropical America

Amaranthus hybridus**

Amaranth

Central America

Anacardium occidentale**

Cashew nut

South America

Ananas comosa**

Pineapple

Northern South America

Anethum graveolens

Dill

Western Asia

Annona cherimola

Custard apple, cherimoya

Western tropical South America

Annona squamosa

Custard apple

Tropical America

Arachis hypogaea

Groundnut, peanut

Brazil

Asparagus officinalis

Garden asparagus

North Africa to southern Europe

Basella alba*

Vine spinach, Ceylon spinach

Africa, South Asia

Brassica carinata**

Kandhira, Ethiopian cabbage, texsel greens

Ethiopia, north-eastern Africa

Brassica oleracea var. acephala

Sukuma, kale

Western Europe

Brassica oleracea var. capitata

Cabbage

Western Europe

Brassica oleracea var. botrytis

Cauliflower, broccoli

Western Europe

Cajanus cajan

Pigeon pea

? Africa, Asia

Camellia sinensis

Tea

Southern China, South Asia

Capsicum annuum

Pepper

Tropical America

Carica papaya

Pawpaw, papaya

Tropical America, West Indies

Catha edulis*

Khat, Abyssinian tea

Africa

Cinnamomum zeylanicum

Cinnamon

Sri Lanka, South India

Citrullus lanatus

Water melon

Africa

Citrus aurantiifolia

Lime

? India

Citrus aurantium

Sour orange

S.E. Asia

Citrus limon

Lemon

Asia

Citrus reticulata

Tangerine, mandarin

Far East

Citrus sinensis

Sweet orange

China

Citrus x paradisi

Grapefruit

? West Indies

Cleome (Gynandropsis) gynandra*

Spider herb, cat's whiskers

Tropical Africa and Asia

Coccinia grandis*

Ivy gourd

Tropics of the Old World

Cocos nucifera**

Coconut

South Asia

Coffea arabica*

Coffee

Ethiopia, northern Kenya

Colocasia esculenta

Cocoyam, taro

Tropical Asia

Corchorus olitorius*

Jute, Jew's mallow

Africa, tropical Asia (India)

Corchorus tridens (C. trilocularis)*

Mrere

Africa

Cordeauxia edulis

Yeheb, yeheb nut

Somalia, eastern Ethiopia

Coriandrum sativum

Coriander

West Mediterranean

Crotalaria brevidens*

Mito

Tropical Africa

Crotalaria ochroleuca*

Mito

Tropical Africa

Cucumis melo

Sweet melon

? West Africa

Cucumis metuliferus*

Spiny cucumber, horned melon)

Africa

Cucumis sativus

Cucumber

Himalayas, western China

Cucurbita ficifolia

Malabar gourd

Central America, Mexico

Cucurbita maxima

Pumpkin

South America

Cucurbita moschata

Pumpkin

Tropical America

Cymbopogon citratus

Lemon grass

South India, Sri Lanka

Cyphomandra crassicaulis

Tree tomato

South America

Daucus carota

Carrot

Mediterranean region

Dioscorea bulbifera

Aerial yam, air potato

Africa, Asia

Dioscorea minutiflora

Kikuyu yam

Africa

Dovyalis caffra

Kei apple

Southern Africa

Elaeis guineensis*

Oil palm, Guinea oil palm

West to East Africa

Eleusine coracana

Finger millet

N.E. Africa

Ensete ventricosum*

False banana

N.E. and East Africa

Eragrostis tef

Teff

Ethiopia

Eriobotrya japonica**

Loquat

China, Japan

Foeniculum vulgare

Fennel

Mediterranean region

Fragaria spp.

Strawberry

?

Species

Common name

Probable origin

Hordeum vulgare

Barley

N.E. Africa to southern Europe

Ipomoea aquatica*

Water spinach

Tropics of the Old World

Ipomoea batatas

Sweet potato

Central America

Kedrostis pseudogijef*

Mukauwu

East Africa

Lablab purpureus*

Hyacinth bean

Tropical Africa

Lagenaria siceraria

Gourd, calabash gourd

Africa

Lantana camara**

Curse of India

Tropical America

Lycopersicon esculentum

Tomato

The Andes

Macadamia integrifolia

Macadamia nut

Australia (Queensland)

Mangifera indica**

Mango

India, southern Asia

Manihot esculenta

Cassava, manioc, tapioca

Brazil

Momordica charantia

Balsam pear, bitter cucumber

? Tropical Africa, ? Tropical Asia

Moringa oleifera

Ben tree, horseradish tree

N.W. India

Morus alba

White mulberry

China

Morus nigra

Black mulberry

Western Asia

Musa spp.

Banana

Tropical Asia

Musa x paradisiaca

Plantain

Tropical Asia

Ocimum basilicum

Basil, sweet basil

Tropics

Opuntia ficus-indica**

Prickly pear

Mexico

Oryza saliva

Rice

Tropical Asia, ? Africa

Passiflora edulis

Passion fruit, purple granadilla

South America

Passiflora mollissima**

Banana passion fruit

Tropical America

Pennisetum glaucum

Pearl millet, bulrush millet

The Sahel

Persea americana

Avocado pear

Tropical America

Petroselinum crispum

Parsley, garden parsley

Europe, western Asia

Phaseolus aureus

Green gram

Asia

Phaseolus coccineus

Scarlet runner bean

Central America

Phaseolus vulgaris

Kidney bean, French bean

Tropical America

Phoenix dactylifera

Date palm

North Africa, western Asia

Physalis mimina**


Tropical America

Physalis peruviana**

Cape gooseberry

Tropical South America

Pisum sativum

Garden pea

East Mediterranean to Iran

Portulaca oleracea*

Purslane

Africa, Europe, Asia

Psidium guajava**

Guava

Tropical America

Punica granatum

Pomegranate

S.E. Europe, western Asia

Rosemarinus officinalis

Rosemary

Mediterranean region

Rubus niveus**

Ceylon raspberry

India, western China

Saccharum officinarum

Sugarcane

S.E. Asia

Sclerocarya birrea*

Morula plum, morula nut

Tropical Africa

Sesamum calycinum*

Onyulo

Africa

Sesamum orientale*

Sesame, simsim, sesamum

Africa, northern Kenya

Setaria italica

Foxtail millet, Italian millet

East Asia

Solanum macrocarpon

African egg plant

Central to West Africa

Solanum melongena

Egg plant

India, East Indies

Solanum nigrum*

Black nightshade

Tropics and sub-tropics

Solanum scabrum*

Black nightshade, sunberry, wonderberry

Tropics and sub-tropics

Solanum tuberosum

English/Irish potato, potato

Chile, western Argentina

Solarium villosum*

Wonderberry, sunberry

Old World

Sonchus oleraceus**

Sow thistle

Mediterranean region, Eurasia

Sorghum bicolor

Sorghum

The Sahel

Spinacia oleracea

Spinach

? S.W. Asia

Syzygium aromaticum

Clove

Moluccas (S.E. Asia)

Syzygium cumini**

Java plum, jambolan

India, southern Asia

Tamarindus indica*

Tamarind

Tropical Africa and Asia

Triticum aestivum

Bread wheat

Middle East

Vicia faba

Broad bean

Tropics of the Old World

Vigna subterranea

Bambara groundnut

Central to West Africa

Vigna unguiculata*

Cowpea

Tropical Africa and Asia

Zea mays

Maize, com

Mexico

Zingiber officinale

Ginger

India, southern Asia

Ziziphus mauritiana*

Jujube

North Africa, Asia

* = Indigenous to Kenya;
** = Introduced but now naturalized in parts of Kenya;
? = Origin uncertain or disputed


Map 2. Administrative Districts of Kenya (1998)

1.

Mandera

12.

Isiolo

23.

West Pokot

34.

Buret

45.

Kiambu

56.

Kisumu

2.

Wajir

13.

Nyambene

24.

Trails Nzoia

35.

Bomet

46.

Nairobi

57.

Nyando

3.

Garissa

14.

Meru

25.

Elgeyo Marakwet

36.

Trans Mara

47.

Mombasa

58.

Nyamira

4.

Lamu

15.

Tharaka-Nithi

26.

Uasin Gishu

37.

Narok

48.

Mt Elgon

59.

Kisii

5.

Tana River

16.

Embu

27.

Baringo

38.

Kajiado

49.

Bungoma

60.

Gucha

6.

Malindi

17.

Mbeere

28.

Koibatek

39.

Nyandarua

50.

Kakamega

61.

Rachuonyo

7.

Kilifi

18.

Mwingi

29.

Samburu

40.

Nyeri

51.

Vihiga

62.

Homa Bay

8.

Kwale

19.

Kitui

30.

Laikipia

41.

Kirinyaga

52.

Teso

63.

Suba

9.

Taita Taveta

20.

Machakos

31.

Nakuru

42.

Murang'a

53.

Busia

64.

Migori

10.

Moyale

21.

Makueni

32.

Nandi

43.

Maragwa

54.

Siaya

65.

Kuria

11.

Marsabit

22.

Turkana

33.

Kericho

44.

Thika

55.

Bondo



Local names

* = exotic

Bajun


Also see under Swahili.



abiro

Maerua decumbens

mchunda-kula

Ximenia americana

mkuraki

Manilkara sulcata

myae

Strychnos spinosa

ukwaju

Tamarindus indica

warendi

Manilkara mochisia



Boni


dabeh

Landolphia kirkii

daber

Landolphia kirkii

digi

Dioscorea dumetorum

gonyooriya

Phoenix reclinata

gurguo

Hoslundia opposita

halas

Uvaria scheffleri

kedura

Sesamum calycinum

kuragi

Manilkara sulcata

malamoto

Annona senegalensis

mangales

Garcinia livingstonei

mangula

Strychnos madagascariensis

mangula

Strychnos spinosa

mangura

Strychnos madagascariensis

mangura

Strychnos spinosa

mede

Hyphaene coriacea

mishothie

Hoslundia opposita

mkalashote

Vitex ferruginea

mkalijote

Vitex mombassae

mlamote

Annona senegalensis

mogalishat

Vitex ferruginea

mukai

Tamarindus indica

mulilago

Antidesma venosum

ngogaje

Antidesma venosum

oh

Hyphaene coriacea

ong

Borassus aethiopum

sheshubla

Dialium orientale

shishobli

Dialium orientale

sisin

Sesamum calycinum

tomur

Uvaria acuminata

tsina

Scutia myrtina

tumorr

Uvaria acuminata

unglise

Garcinia livingstonei



Boran (Borana)


Note: c- is pronounced ch-. Many of the words with k- here are normally written with q-; thus kalkacha would be written qalqaca.

adesa

Rhus natalensis

agarnyaab

Maerua decumbens

andarak

Lannea triphylla

andaraka

Lannea schimperi

awagino

Flueggea virosa

baabido (gum)

Acacia senegal

baddan

Balanites aegyptiaca

baddan

Balanites rotundifolia

badoda

Cucurbita moschata

bariyub

Maerua decumbens

bododa

Cucurbita maxima

boraati

Aerva lanata

buge

Lagenaria siceraria

bun

Coffea arabica

burate-harre

Cucumis dipsaceus

buriri

Vangueria madagascariensis

burquqe

Acacia nilotica

burquqis

Acacia nilotica

burra diima

Acacia senegal

buruudo

Grewia villosa

buruuri

Vangueria apiculata

chame

Vigna membranacea

chati

Catha edulis

dabobes

Ximenia americana

daboobes

Rhus natalensis

dadach

Acacia tortilis

dadacha

Acacia tortilis

dagams

Carissa edulis

dakar

Boswellia neglecta

dakkar

Boswellia neglecta

dakkar gurate

Boswellia neglecta

dakkara

Boswellia neglecta

daraara

Aerva lanata

deeka

Grewia tenax

deeka-diima

Grewia tenax

deeka-imimo

Grewia tenax

deka

Grewia tembensis

denyo

Mimusops fruticosa

didisa

Sclerocarya birrea

dirraa

Commiphora rostrata

gaabbe

Vatovaea pseudolablab

gabbe

Vatovaea pseudolablab

gadda

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

gadu

Thylachium thomasii

galgacha-hareh

Boscia coriacea

galgethoom

Digera muricata

garse

Dobera glabra

gda

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

getgedaan

Digera muricata

hancha-dakkara (resin)

Boswellia neglecta

hancha-lubadin (incense)

Boswellia neglecta

harores

Cordia sinensis

huda

Salvadora persica

iddado

Acacia senegal

irgegud

Grewia tenax

jajab

Berchemia discolor

jejab

Berchemia discolor

kada

Syzygium guineense

karaa

Strychnos henningsii

karo

Bridelia taitensis

kate

Lantana trifolia

kone

Hyphaene compressa

kumude

Lannea alata

kurawa

Dovyalis abyssinica

kurkuurah

Ziziphus mauritiana

kurquura

Ziziphus mucronata

kurte

Cyphia glandulifera

ladana

Canthium pseudosetiflorum

luuftoole

Corchorus tridens

luuftoole

Corchorus trilocularis

maa

Dactyloctenium aegyptium

madeer

Cordia sinensis

madeer-qoowe

Cordia sinensis

mader

Cordia monoica

mader-boor

Cordia sinensis

maqala

Dactyloctenium aegyptium

meeti

Hyphaene compressa

meti

Phoenix reclinata

misinga

Sorghum bicolor

moorodah

Grewia villosa

murie

Grewia tenax

od

Ficus sycomorus

oda

Ficus sycomorus

odda

Ximenia americana

ogomdi

Grewia villosa

pika

Pappea capensis

qaaleda

Meyna tetraphylla

qadu

Thylachium thomasii

qalqalq

Boscia coriacea

qoone

Hyphaene compressa

qotte

Cordia monoica

quaqura

Ziziphus mauritiana

roka

Tamarindus indica

roqa

Tamarindus indica

sapans diima

Acacia senegal

sarkam

Grewia tenax

tafi

Eragrostis tef

tende

Phoenix dactylifera

toga

Hydnora abyssinica

uda

Ximenia americana

urbu-ree (fruit)

Acacia tortilis

waachu

Acacia seyal

waachu-adi

Acacia seyal

waaqu-hallu

Acacia seyal

wachu dima

Acacia seyal var. fistula

wanreh

Lannea alata

woda

Ficus sycomorus



Chonyi


Note: the prefix chi- in most Mijikenda groups will normally change to ki- for Giriama


chibuzi

Vernonia cinerea

chidungadunga

Bidens pilosa

chidungadunga

Bidens spp.

chikosho

Corchorus olitorius

chikosho

Corchorus tridens

chikosho

Corchorus trilocularis

chimbiri

Keetia zanzibarica

chirenje

Lagenaria siceraria

chirunji

Nymphaea nouchali

chiswenya

Amaranthus hybridus

chivuma nyuchi

Aerva lanata

dzadza

Commelina africana

dzadza

Commelina forskaolii

dzadza

Commelina imberbis

fudu (fruit)

Vitex spp.

fula (fruits)

Sclerocarya birrea

kahawa

Coffea arabica

kipuru

Lagenaria siceraria

kunazi (fruits)

Ziziphus mauritiana

kunde

Vigna unguiculata

kwamba (fruits)

Flueggea virosa

maburu (leaves)

Colocasia esculenta

mabwe (leaves)

Ipomoea batatas

mahwa

Solanum macrocarpon

manga (tuber)

Manihot esculenta

mani ga mabenda (leaves)

Abelmoschus esculentus

mauyu (fruits)

Adansonia digitata

mbalazi (fruit)

Cajanus cajan

mbata (flesh)

Cocos nucifera

mdungatundu

Dovyalis abyssinica

mdungu

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

mfudu madzi

Vitex ferruginea

mfudu

Vitex mombassae

mfudu

Vitex payos

mfudu-unga

Vitex payos

mfudukoma

Vitex mombassae

mfula

Sclerocarya birrea

mgugune

Ziziphus mucronata

mhango (leaves)

Cucurbita maxima

miraa

Catha edulis

miunga (plural)

Acacia spp.

mkayamba

Piliostigma thonningii

mkayukayu

Cordia sinensis

mkoma

Hyphaene compressa

mkone

Grewia bicolor

mkone

Grewia spp.

mkonga

Balanites aegyptiaca

mkuha

Dobera glabra

mkuha

Dobera loranthifolia

mkulu

Berchemia discolor

mkwakwa

Strychnos madagascariensis

mnavu jangaa

Solanum nigrum

mnavu

Solanum nigrum

mnavu tsaka

Solanum nigrum

mnazi*

Cocos nucifera

mng'ambo kapehe

Mimusops fruticosa

mng'ambo

Manilkara sansibarensis

mnyumbu

Lannea schweinfurthii

mpea (leaves)*

Manihot esculenta

mpupu

Lablab purpureus

mpweke

Diospyros squarrosa

mshomoro

Lantana camara

mswaki

Salvadora persica

mtamba-kiko

Meyna tetraphylla

mtambachiko

Canthium glaucum

mtandamboo

Carissa edulis

mtandamboo

Carissa tetramera

mtikiti

Citrullus lanatus

mtongazi

Landolphia petersiana

mtsemeri

Acacia nilotica

mtserere

Hoslundia opposita

mtsumbwi

Dialium orientale

mtsunga

Launaea cornuta

mtsunga wa utsungu

Launaea cornuta

mtundukula

Ximenia americana

mubalazi

Cajanus cajan

mudungatundu

Flacourtia indica

mudzipo

Salacia madagascariensis

mueza-moyo

Salvadora persica

mugazija*

Manihot esculenta

muhama

Sorghum bicolor

muizu-wa-arisa

Thylachium thomasii

mukunazi

Ziziphus mauritiana

mukuyu

Ficus sycomorus

mukwamba

Flueggea virosa

munago

Manilkara mochisia

mung'ambo

Manilkara sansibarensis

munga

Acacia nilotica

musimbiji

Antidesma venosum

mutserere

Hoslundia opposita

mutsumbwi

Dialium orientale

mutunguru

Thylachium thomasii

muungo

Landolphia kirkii

muyu

Adansonia digitata

muzhumaa

Cymbopogon citratus

muzungi

Moringa oleifera

mwangani

Cleome gynandra

nago (fruits)

Manilkara mochisia

nazi (fruits)*

Cocos nucifera

nduma (tuber)

Colocasia esculenta

ng'ambo (fruits)

Manilkara sansibarensis

nzugu mawe

Vigna subterranea

pupu (fruits)

Lablab purpureus

tendegwa

Vigna subterranea

tsafe

Vigna unguiculata

tsalakushe

Asystasia gangetica

ufuha

Sesamum orientale

vimumunye (edible)

Lagenaria siceraria

viyogbwe (root)*

Ipomoea batatas

viyogbwe

Ipomoea batatas

vombo

Corchorus olitorius

wimbi

Eleusine coracana



Daasanach (Merille)


bal-burach

Digera muricata

barbar

Grewia villosa

bunite

Dactyloctenium bogdanii

daal-guo,

Coccinia grandis

daale (fruit)

Coccinia grandis

damich

Grewia tenax

damich-arab

Grewia tembensis

dang'ite

Acacia senegal

dhuorich

Boscia coriacea

dong'od-nee-dhieroka

Boswellia eglecta

dong'od-salab-g'ayyua

Commiphora rostrata

g'ayyuka

Commiphora rostrata

gabite

Ziziphus mauritiana

hocholoch*

Moringa oleifera

holshe

Commelina benghalensis

huluf

Maerua decumbens

kadite

Dobera glabra

kerech-dhata

Commiphora africana

kulidhe

Hyphaene compressa

kuute

Balanites rotundifolia

seech-geebe

Acacia tortilis

suriech

Grewia bicolor

yierit-etha

Kedrostis gijef



Digo


chigbwada

Manihot esculenta

chigundigundi

Acacia nilotica

chikuse

Vernonia cinerea

chiswenya

Amaranthus dubius

chiswenya

Amaranthus graecizans

dradra

Commelina benghalensis

dzedza

Commelina forskaolii

dzedza

Commelina imberbis

futsure

Asystasia gangetica

futswe

Asystasia gangetica

kigundi

Acacia nilotica

kihuro

Antidesma venosum

kikwata

Acacia senegal

kisambwe

Garcinia livingstonei

kitoria (fruit)

Landolphia kirkii

libugu

Landolphia kirkii

mbara

Diospyros mespiliformis

mbokwe

Annona senegalensis

mbuyu

Adansonia digitata

mbwana nyahi

Rhus vulgaris

mchindu

Phoenix reclinata

mdungu

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

mfundukoma

Vitex mombassae

mfunga-tanzu

Garcinia livingstonei

mgorodo

Ziziphus mucronata

mgwanyahi

Rhus natalensis

mhama

Sorghum bicolor

mkoma

Hyphaene compressa

mkoma lume

Hyphaene compressa

mkone

Grewia tembensis

mkulu

Diospyros mespiliformis

mkunguma

Sorindeia madagascariensis

mkwaju

Tamarindus indica

mkwamba

Flueggea virosa

mlenda

Corchorus olitorius

mng'ongo

Sclerocarya birrea

mnyondoiya

Flacourtia indica

mpira

Landolphia kirkii

mrenda

Sesamum calycinum

msami

Synsepalum brevipes

mtandamboo

Carissa edulis

mtandamboo

Carissa tetramera

mtsekeshe

Piliostigma thonningii

mtserere

Hoslundia opposita

mtundakula

Ximenia americana

mudhungu

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

mudzala

Uvaria acuminata

mugiaki

Syzygium guineense

muhonga

Strychnos madagascariensis

muhonga

Strychnos spinosa

mumbweni

Uvaria acuminata

mung'ambo

Manilkara sansibarensis

munyunzu

Keetia zanzibarica

mutseketse

Piliostigma thonningii

mutsunga

Launaea cornuta

muvuma

Vangueria apiculata

muziahi

Syzygium cordatum

muziahi

Syzygium guineense

muziyahe

Syzygium guineense

mviru

Vangueria infausta

mwambangoma

Balanites aegyptiaca

mwatsaka wa bara

Corchorus olitorius

mzangatchango

Antidesma venosum

tala-kushe

Asystasia gangetica

toro

Nymphaea nouchali

ufuha

Sesamum orientale

utundi

Sarcostemma viminale



Duruma


(Also see Giriama)


kifuka

Vernonia cinerea

lufia

Vernonia cinerea

madungatundu

Flacourtia indica

mdzala

Uvaria acuminata

msanzanza

Sorindeia madagascariensis

mugumo

Borassus aethiopum



Embu


Also see vernacular names in other Central Bantu groups



gikwa

Dioscorea minutiflora

ikwa (plural)

Dioscorea minutiflora

kaua

Coffea arabica

kinya (fruit)

Lagenaria siceraria

makunu

edible fungi

managu

Solanum nigrum

mbiruiru (fruit)

Vangueria spp

mbota*

Physalis peruviana

mtogotorgo

Pachystigma schumannianum

mucimoro*

Lantana camara

mugaa

Acacia spp

mugimbi

Eleusine coracana

mugumo

Ficus natalensis

mugumo

Ficus thonningii

mukawa

Carissa edulis

mukengeria

Commelina benghalensis

mukombi*

Setaria italica

mukuu

Ficus sycomorus

munathi*

Cocos nucifera

muramba

Adansonia digitata

muthithi

Tamarindus indica

mutimoko*

Annona cherimola

muvia

Sorghum bicolor

mwere

Pennisetum glaucum

nathi (fruit)*

Cocos nucifera

ndare

Rubus spp

ndaugu

Oxygonum sinuatum

ndende*

Phoenix dactylifera

nduma*

Colocasia esculenta

ngwaci

Ipomoea batatas

njavi

Lablab purpureus

njugu

Cajanus cajan

nthoroko

Vigna unguiculata

nzavi

Lablab purpureus

rungu

Lagenaria siceraria

rwoga

Amaranthus graecizans

rwoga

Amaranthus spp

thatha

Urtica massaica

ugimbi

Eleusine coracana



English and standard names

Abyssinian banana

Ensete ventricosum

Abyssinian tea

Catha edulis

African ebony

Diospyros mespiliformis

African fan palm

Borassus aethiopum

African olive

Olea africana ssp. africana

air potato

Dioscorea bulbifera

amaranth

Amaranthus dubius

amaranth*

Amaranthus graecizans

amaranth*

Amaranthus hybridus

Arabian tea

Catha edulis

arrow poison plant

Acokanthera oppositifolia

arrow poison plant

Acokanthera schimperi

Bambara bean

Vigna subterranea

Bambara groundnut

Vigna subterranea

baobab

Adansonia digitata

bastard mustard

Cleome gynandra

ben tree*

Moringa oleifera

bird plum

Berchemia discolor

black-galled acacia

Acacia drepanolobium

black nightshade

Solanum nigrum

black plum

Vitex doniana

black plum

Vitex payos

blackjack*

Bidens pilosa

blue lotus of Egypt

Nymphaea nouchali

blue water lily

Nymphaea nouchali

bonavist bean

Lablab purpureus

borassus palm

Borassus aethiopum

bottle gourd

Lagenaria siceraria

brown ivory

Berchemia discolor

buffalo thorn

Ziziphus mucronata

bulrush millet

Pennisetum glaucum

bush okra

Corchorus olitorius

calabash gourd

Lagenaria siceraria

calabash

Lagenaria siceraria

camel foot

Piliostigma thonningii

camphor basil

Ocimum kilimandscharicum

Cape fig

Ficus sur

careless weed

Amaranthus spinosus

cassava*

Manihot esculenta

cat's whiskers

Cleome gynandra

catch thorn

Ziziphus abyssinica

Ceylon raspberry*

Rubus niveus

Ceylon spinach

Basella alba

cherimoya*

Annona cherimola

Chinese date

Ziziphus mauritiana

Chinese spinach

Amaranthus hybridus

cider tree

Sclerocarya birrea ssp. caffra

clove basil

Ocimum gratissimum

clove*

Syzygium aromaticum

coconut*

Cocos nucifera

coco yam*

Colocasia esculenta

coffee

Coffea arabica

crow foot grass

Dactyloctenium aegyptium

custard apple*

Annona squamosa

date palm*

Phoenix dactylifera

deleb palm

Borassus aethiopum

desert date

Balanites aegyptiaca

doum palm

Hyphaene compressa

doum palm

Hyphaene coriacea

drumstick tree*

Moringa oleifera

East Indian basil

Ocimum gratissimum

Egyptian lotus

Nymphaea lotus

Egyptian mimosa

Acacia nilotica

Egyptian thorn

Acacia nilotica

Ethiopian cabbage

Brassica carinata

Ethiopian mustard

Brassica carinata

false medlar

Vangueria infausta

false sandalwood

Ximenia americana

fever plant

Ocimum kilimandscharicum

finger millet

Eleusine coracana

foxtail millet*

Setaria italica

frankincense

Boswellia carterii

frankincense

Boswellia frereana

frankincense

Boswellia neglecta

giant yellow mulberry

Myrianthus holstii

gourd

Lagenaria siceraria

governor's plum

Flacourtia indica

Guinea oil palm

Elaeis guineensis

gum arabic

Acacia senegal

horned cucumber

Cucumis metuliferus

horseradish tree

Moringa oleifera

horseradish tree

Moringa stenopetala

hyacinth bean

Lablab purpureus

Indian plum

Flacourtia indica

Indian plum

Ziziphus mauritiana

Indian spinach

Basella alba

Italian millet*

Setaria italica

ivy gourd

Coccinia grandis

jackal berry

Diospyros mespiliformis

jackal plum

Pappea capensis

jambolan*

Syzygium cumini

Java plum*

Syzygium cumini

jelly melon

Cucumis metuliferus

Jew's mallow

Corchorus olitorius

jujube

Ziziphus mauritiana

jute

Corchorus olitorius

Kaffir orange

Strychnos spinosa

kat

Catha edulis

Kei apple*

Dovyalis caffra

khat

Catha edulis

lablab bean

Lablab purpureus

Malabar gourd*

Cucumis ficifolia

Malabar spinach

Basella alba

morula

Sclerocarya birrea ssp. caffra

mustard tree

Salvadora persica

Natal orange

Strychnos spinosa

oil palm

Elaeis guineensis

okra

Abelmoschus esculentus

Palmyra palm

Borassus aethiopum

pearl millet

Pennisetum glaucum

pharaoh's fig

Ficus sycomorus

pigeon pea

Cajanus cajan

potato yam

Dioscorea bulbifera

prickly amaranth*

Amaranthus spinosa

prostrate amaranth

Amaranthus graecizans

purple amaranth

Amaranthus blitum (A. lividus)

purslane

Portulaca oleracea

quick weed*

Galinsoga parviflora

rubber vine

Landolphia kirkii

sandpaper tree

Cordia monoica

sausage tree

Kigelia pinnata (K. africana)

scarlet gourd

Coccinia grandis

Senegal date

Phoenix reclinata

sesame

Sesamum orientale

sorghum

Sorghum bicolor

sorrel

Rumex usambarensis

sour plum

Ximenia americana

soursop*

Annona cherimola

spider flower

Cleome gynandra

spider herb

Cleome gynandra

spiked millet

Pennisetum glaucum

spiny amaranth*

Amaranthus hybridus ssp. Hybridus

spiny amaranth*

Amaranthus spinosus

spiny cucumber

Cucumis metuliferus

spleen amaranth*

Amaranthus hybridus

stinging nettle

Urtica massaica

Sudan gum arabic

Acacia senegal

sunhemp

Crotalaria ochroleuca

sweet basil

Ocimum basilicum

sweet potato*

Ipomoea batatas

sycamore fig

Ficus sycomorus

tallow nut

Ximenia americana

tamarind

Tamarindus indica

taro*

Colocasia esculenta

teff

Eragrostis tef

toothbrush bush

Salvadora persica

torchwood

Balanites wilsoniana

tree hibiscus

Azanza garckeana

umbrella thorn

Acacia tortilis

vine spinach

Basella alba

water berry

Syzygium cordatum

water berry

Syzygium guineense

water lily

Nymphaea lotus

water lily

Nymphaea nouchali

water pear

Syzygium guineense

water spinach

Ipomoea aquatica

watermelon

Citrullus lanatus

whistling thorn

Acacia seyal ssp. fistula

whistling thorn

Acacia drepanolobium

white lotus

Nymphaea lotus

wild custard apple

Annona senegalensis

wild date palm

Phoenix reclinata

wild date

Phoenix reclinata

wild plum

Ximenia americana

wild soursop

Annona senegalensis

wild tea

Lippia javanica

winter lotus

Nymphaea lotus

winter spinach

Ipomoea aquatica

wonderberry

Solanum nigrum

yeheb

Cordeauxia edulis



Gabra


See also Borana names for equivalents. Note: c- is pronounced ch-. Many of the words with k- are normally written with q-; thus burk'uk'e would normally be written burquqe.



aadde

Salvadora persica

baddana

Balanites aegyptiaca

baddana

Balanites rotundifolia

buratte

Cucumis dipsaceus

burk'uk'e

Acacia nilotica

burquqe

Acacia nilotica

c'iimap'a

Vigna frutescens

d'addaca

Acacia tortilis

d'eeka

Grewia tenax

dabobbessa

Rhus natalensis

dagams

Carissa edulis

dakkara

Boswellia neglecta

gaabbe

Vatovaea pseudolablab

gaale

Kedrostis gijef

gaddaa

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

gelgedaana

Digera muricata

hammeesaa

Commiphora africana

iddaad'o

Acacia senegal

iddaado

Acacia seyal

iddad'o

Acacia seyal

k'alk'acca

Boscia coriacea

k'arraaru

Acokanthera schimperi

k'urk'uura

Ziziphus abyssinica

luftoole

Corchorus tridens

luftoole

Corchorus trilocularis

mad'eer

Cordia sinensis

meetti

Hyphaene compressa

ogomdi

Grewia villosa



Giriama (Giryama)


Notes:

(a)

Some writers would prefer to omit the u that follows the prefix m-, while others would prefer to retain it. Thus mfula may also appear as mufula.

(b)

The prefix ka- is diminutive

(c)

The prefix ki- in Giriama will normally change to chi- for other Mijikenda groups.

(d)

The suffix -koma implies its use as a food is forbidden.

(e)

Some of the names below may be a corruption of Chonyi and Sanya names.



budzi

Vernonia cinerea

burutula

Asystasia gangetica

bwere

Ipomoea batatas

bwere-mlungu

Ipomoea aquatica

dungatundu (fruit)

Dovyalis abyssinica

dzadza

Commelina africana

dzadza

Commelina forskaolii

dzadza

Commelina imberbis

fudu (fruit)

Vitex spp.

fula (fruits)

Sclerocarya birrea

fulafula (fruits)

Sclerocarya birrea

gune (tuber)

Nymphaea nouchali

kadzadza

Commelina africana

kadzadza

Commelina forskaolii

kahawa

Coffea arabica

kahedtho

Ipomoea mombassana

kibudzi

Vernonia cinerea

kidungadunga

Bidens spp.

kigbwada (leaves)*

Manihot esculenta

kigulukimwenga

Digera muricata

kikosho

Corchorus olitorius

kikosho

Corchorus tridens

kikosho

Corchorus trilocularis

kimbiri

Oxygonum salicifolium

kindwi (fruit)

Phoenix reclinata

kipuru

Lagenaria siceraria

kirunji

Nymphaea nouchali

kiswenya

Amaranthus hybridus

kiswenya-chamiya

Amaranthus spinosus

kivuma nyuchi

Aerva lanata

kunazi (fruits)

Ziziphus mauritiana

kwamba (fruits)

Flueggea virosa

logatsi

Amaranthus graecizans

mafa

Solanum macrocarpon

marabu (fruits)

Cucurbita maxima

matikiti

Citrullus lanatus

mauyu (fruits)

Adansonia digitata

mazaladowe (fruits)

Uvaria scheffleri

mbalazi (fruit)

Cajanus cajan

mbat'the

Diospyros consolatae

mbata (flesh)

Cocos nucifera

mbathe

Strychnos henningsii

mbokwe

Annona senegalensis

mdevere

Flacourtia Indica

mdungatundu

Dovyalis abyssinica

mdungu

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

mfudu

Vitex mombassae

mfudu

Vitex payos

mfudu-madzi

Vitex ferruginea

mfudu-unga

Vitex payos

mfudukoma

Vitex mombassae

mfula

Sclerocarya birrea

mfuranje

Canthium glaucum

mgugune

Ziziphus mucronata

miraa

Catha edulis

miunga (plural)

Acacia spp.

mjungumoto

Salvadora persica

mkalakala

Bridelia cathartica

mkambi-kikambi

Asystasia gangetica

mkayamba

Piliostigma thonningii

mkayukayu

Cordia sinensis

mkindu

Phoenix reclinata

mkindwi

Phoenix reclinata

mkoma

Hyphaene compressa

mkone

Grewia bicolor

mkone

Grewia spp.

mkone-kilaa

Grewia tenax

mkonga

Balanites aegyptiaca

mkuha

Dobera glabra

mkuha

Dobera loranthifolia

mkulu

Berchemia discolor

mkulube

Diospyros mespiliformis

mkwakwa

Strychnos madagascariensis

mlori

Uvaria acuminata

mnavu mahombo

Physalis mimina

mnavu

Solanum nigrum

mnavu-jangaa

Solanum nigrum

mnavu-tsaka

Solanum nigrum

mnazi

Cocos nucifera

mng'ambo

Manilkara sansibarensis

mng'ambo-kapehe

Mimusops fruticosa

mnthungu

Lannea alata

mnyumbu

Lannea schweinfurthii

mpupu

Lablab purpureus

mpweke

Diospyros squarrosa

mrenda

Sesamum calycinum

mswaki

Salvadora persica

mtamba-kiko

Meyna tetraphylla

mtandamboo

Carissa edulis

mtandamboo

Carissa tetramera

mtoria

Landolphia kirkii

mtsami

Mimusops fruticosa

mtsami

Synsepalum brevipes

mtsami

Synsepalum msolo

mtsemeri

Acacia nilotica

mtserere

Hoslundia opposita

mtsumbwi

Dialium orientale

mtundukula

Ximenia americana

mubalazi

Cajanus cajan

mubenda

Abelmoschus esculentus

mudungatundu

Flacourtia indica

mudzaladowe

Uvaria scheffleri

mudzipo

Salacia madagascariensis

mueza-moyo

Salvadora persica

mufodzohi

Garcinia livingstonei

mufula

Sclerocarya birrea

mugazija*

Manihot esculenta

mugumo

Borassus aethiopum

muhama

Sorghum bicolor

muizu-wa-arisa

Thylachium thomasii

mujaje

Strychnos madagascariensis

mujaje

Strychnos spinosa

mukimbiri

Keetia zanzibarica

mukipo

Salacia madagascariensis

mukunazi

Ziziphus mauritiana

mukuyu

Ficus sycomorus

mukwamba

Flueggea virosa

mulori

Uvaria acuminata

munago

Manilkara mochisia

mung'ambo

Manilkara sansibarensis

munga

Acacia nilotica

munyee

Dovyalis macrocalyx

munyhee

Dovyalis macrocalyx

murabu (leaves)

Cucurbita maxima

mushomoro

Lantana camara

musimbiji

Antidesma venosum

musishwi

Commiphora africana

mutakuma

Annona senegalensis

mutokera

Dioscorea bulbifera

mutongazi

Landolphia petersiana

mutsedzi

Manilkara sulcata

mutserere

Hoslundia opposita

mutsuchwi

Commiphora africana

mutsumbwi

Dialium orientale

mutsunga

Launaea cornuta

mutunguru

Thylachium thomasii

muungo

Landolphia kirkii

muviru

Vangueria infausta

muyu

Adansonia digitata

muzhumaa

Cymbopogon citratus

muzungi

Moringa oleifera

muzungu wa mboko

Lagenaria siceraria

muzungwi

Moringa oleifera

muzunzwi

Keetia zanzibarica

mviru

Vangueria infausta

mwanakabaga

Lannea schimperi

mwangani

Cleome gynandra

mzaladowe

Uvaria scheffleri

nago (fruits)

Manilkara mochisia

nazi (fruits)*

Cocos nucifera

ng'ambo (fruits)

Manilkara sansibarensis

nzugu mawe

Vigna subterranea

pupu (fruits)

Lablab purpureus

talakushe

Asystasia gangetica

thalakushe

Asystasia gangetica

t(h)oro (tuber)

Nymphaea nouchali

tsafe

Vigna unguiculata

tsatsatsa (leaves)

Cucurbita maxima

ufuha

Sesamum orientale

viazi tamu*

Ipomoea batatas

vilo(ro)ri (fruits)

Uvaria acuminata

vimumunye (edible)

Lagenaria siceraria

vitoria (fruit)

Landolphia kirkii

viyogwe*

Ipomoea batatas

vombo

Corchorus olitorius

vongonya

Asysatasia gangetica

wimbi

Eleusine coracana



Ilchamus (Iltiamus, Njemps)

i-okuronit

Amaranthus dubius

i-okuroniti

Amaranthus dubius

ikilorit

Acacia nilotica

ikiloriti

Acacia nilotica

ikogom

Grewia tembensis

ikogomi

Grewia tembensis

ilkogomi

Grewia tenax

l-naboli

Ficus sycomorus

lama

Ximenia americana

lamai

Ximenia americana

lamalogi

Maerua decumbens

lamaloki

Maerua decumbens

lamayoki

Maerua decumbens

lamayokin

Maerua decumbens

lderende

Ziziphus mucronata

lderendei

Ziziphus mucronata

lderkesi

Acacia senegal

lera

Acacia seyal

lerai

Acacia seyal

lgweita

Cordia sinensis

limambai

Ziziphus mucronata

lkunyi

Acacia tortilis

lmampaai

Ziziphus mauritiana lam.

lmampaan

Ziziphus mauritiana lam.

lmang'wa

Sclerocarya birrea

lmang'wai

Sclerocarya birrea

lmisigiyo

Rhus natalensis

lmisigiyoi

Rhus natalensis

lmomo

Solanum nigrum

lmomoi

Solanum nigrum

lmuleel

Cordia monoica

lmuleelin

Cordia monoica

loisuki

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

lokuronit

Amaranthus graecizans

lokuroniti

Amaranthus graecizans

longoosoiron

Flueggea vimsa

lousuk

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

lousukui

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

lowa

Balanites aegyptiaca

lowei

Balanites aegyptiaca

lparrua

Hyphaene compressa

lparruai

Hyphaene compressa

lpupo

Grewia villosa

lpupoi

Grewia villosa

ltepes

Acacia tortilis

muleelin

Cordia monoica

nkampiror

Lannea triphylla

nkampurok

Lannea triphylla

nkampurori

Lannea triphylla

olmomoi

Solanum nigrum

raprapa

Amaranthus dubius

raprapa

Amaranthus graecizans

salapani

Cordia sinensis

sek

Cordia monoica

seki

Cordia monoica

sericho

Boscia coriacea

serichoi (plural)

Boscia coriacea



Kamba


Notes: The prefixes mu- and ki- are normally used interchangeably, thus kiae may also be referred to as muae. The letter r is normally used in Mwingi District only.


ikii

Lagenaria siceraria

ikulutui

Ensete ventricosum

ikunu

mushroom

ikwasi (tuber)

Ipomoea batatas

ilenge

Cucurbita maxima

ilenge

Cucurbita moschata

imondiu

Coccinia grandis

imore

Coccinia grandis

ithookwe

Vigna membranacea

itikitiki

Citrullus lanatus

itula

Commelina benghalensis

iunga (plural)

Acacia drepanolobium

ivole

Tylosema fassoglense

kamumama

Portulacca spp.

kamusuusuu

Crotalaria brevidens

kiae

Ziziphus abyssinica

kiae

Ziziphus mucronata

kiathani

Flacourtia indica

kieema

Basella alba

kikalwa

Grewia bicolor

kikangakanywa

Garcinia livingstonei

kikathani

Flacourtia indica

kikoe

Commelina forskaolii

kikole

Acacia senegal

kikolya

Lannea alata

kikowe

Commelina africana

kikowe

Commelina forskaolii

kikowe

Commelina imberbis

kikungi

Cucumis dipsaceus

kikwa

Dioscorea minutiflora

kikwasu

Tamarindus indica

kikweo

Acokanthera oppositifolia

kilali

Uvaria scheffleri

kilia

Saba comorensis

kilului

Balanites aegyptiaca

kimee

Strychnos spinosa

kimowe

Coccinia grandis

kimuu

Vitex payos

kimuya

Coccinia grandis

kimuya

Coccinia trilobata

king'ole

Acacia senegal

king'olola

Acacia senegal

kinondo

Boswellia neglecta

kinyonywe

Rumex usambarensis

kinyua

Acacia hockii

kinyukwi

Portulacca spp.

kiongoa

Momordica rostrata

kiongwa

Saba comorensis

kiongwa

Landolphia buchananii

kisaa

Manilkara mochisia

kisaaya

Berchemia discolor

kisambalau*

Syzygium cumini

kisanawa

Berchemia discolor

kisemei

Acacia nilotica

kisewa

Acacia seyal

kisiu

Dobera glabra

kisiu

Dobera loranthifolia

kisyoo

Dobera glabra

kitae

Rubus apetalus

kitae

Rubus pinattus

kitelanthia

Antidesma venosum

kithaala

Lannea rivae

kithaala

Lannea triphylla

kithaalwa

Lannea triphylla

kithaalwa

Lannea triphylla

kithambalau*

Syzygium cumini

kithauna

Lannea schimperi

kithea

Cordia sinensis

kithei

Cordia monoica

kitheu

Rhus tenuinervis

kithia

Cordia sinensis

kithoona

Lannea schimperi

kithumula

Tamarindus indica

kitolanthia

Antidesma venosum

kitolosuu

Ziziphus mucronata

kitootoo

Meyna tetraphylla

kitootoo

Pachystigma schumannianum

kitotoo

Meyna tetraphylla

kitulu

Solanum nigrum

kitumbuu

Scutia myrtina

kitungu

Lannea alata

kitungu

Commiphora africana

kitungulu

Thylachium thomasii

kituva

Grewia tembensis

kiumo

Ficus thonningii

kiunga

Acacia drepanolobium

kiva

Pappea capensis

kyaa

Manilkara mochisia

kyae

Strychnos spinosa

kyambatwa

Cucumis dipsaceus

kyanga

Manihot esculenta

kyongoa

Momordica rostrata

kyongonywe

Rumex abyssinicus

kyuasi

Lannea schweinfurthii

kyunyu

Erucastrum arabicum

luta

Sesamum calycinum

mae (fruits)

Strychnos spinosa

mailiungi

Catha edulis

makulo (fruits)

Annona senegalensis

makunu (plural)

edible fungi

maongwa (fruits)

Landolphia buchananii

mauw'a (fruits)

Sclerocarya birrea

mba (fruit)

Pappea capensis

mbisavisi (fruit)

Lantana spp.

mbu (fruit)

Grewia villosa

mbueni (fruit)

Syzygium spp.

mbumbu

Lablab purpureus

muaa

Acacia tortilis

muae

Ziziphus mucronata

muamba

Adansonia digitata

muandi

Bridelia taitensis

mukakai

Cleome gynandra

mukala

Antidesma venosum

mukambua

Dovyalis abyssinica

mukanga

Garcinia livingstonei

mukanu

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

mukauw'u

Kedrostis pseudogijef

mukawa

Carissa edulis

mukayau

Salvadora persica

mukenea

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

mukindu

Phoenix reclinata

mukinyai

Euclea divinorum

mukiti*

Lantana camara

mukolokolo

Piliostigma thonningii

mukoma

Hyphaene compressa

mukomoa

Vangueria infausta

mukomoa

Vangueria madagascariensis

mukomoa

Vangueria volkensii

mukomoa

Vangueria volkensii

mukomole

Pachystigma schumannianum

mukukuma

Uvaria scheffleri

mukuluu

Flueggea virosa

mukumuti

Keetia gueinzii

mukururu

Flueggea virosa

mukuthi

Euclea divinorum

mukuyu

Ficus sycomorus

mulaa

Acacia tortilis

mulawa

Grewia bicolor

munatha

Maerua decumbens

munathi*

Cocos nucifera

munganga*

Bidens pilosa

munzee*

Bidens pilosa

musee*

Bidens pilosa

musemeli

Acacia nilotica

musomolo*

Lantana camara

musovasovi

Hoslundia opposita

musovi

Hoslundia opposita

musuu

Cajanus cajan

musyavisi

Lantana spp.

muteleli

Vangueria infausta

muteta

Strychnos henningsii

muthaalwa

Lannea rivae

muthaalwa

Lannea triphylla

mutheu

Rhus vulgaris

mutheu

Rus natalensis

muthiiti

Lippia kituiensis

muthunga

Launaea cornuta

mutomoko

Annona cherimola

mutomoko

Annona senegalensis

mutoo

Azanza garckeana

mutote

Carissa edulis

mutula

Ximenia americana

muu (fruit)

Vitex payos

muuw'a

Sclerocarya birrea

muvisavisi

Lantana trifolia

muvisavisi

Lantana ukambensis

muvisavisi

Lantana viburnoides

muvu

Grewia villosa

muvuena

Syzygium cordatum

muvueni

Syzygium cordatum

muvueni

Syzygium guineense

muvya

Sorghum bicolor

mwaamba

Adansonia digitata

mwanga

Manihot esculenta

mwee

Pennisetum glaucum

mweya

Acacia xanthophloea

mwianzo

Cleome gynandra

ndae (fruit)

Rubus spp.

ndelanthia (fruit)

Antidesma venosum

ndootoo (fruit)

Pachystigma schumannianum

ndote (fruit)

Carissa edulis

ndula (fruit)

Ximenia americana

ndungu (fruits)

Commiphora africana

ndungu (fruits)

Lannea alata

nduva (fruits)

Grewia tembensis

ng'athu

Cyphia glandulifera

ng'athu

Eriosema shirense

ngaatu

Cyperus blysmoides

ngaatu

Cyperus giolii

ngalwa (fruit)

Grewia bicolor

ngangakanywa (fruit)

Garcinia livingstonei

ngavu*

Physalis peruviana

ngawa (fruit)

Carissa edulis

ngiima

Lablab purpureus

nginyai (fruit)

Euclea divinorum

ngolya (fruit)

Lannea alata

ngomo

Cyphia glandulifera

ngomoa (fruit)

Vangueria spp.

ngomole (fruit)

Pachystigma schumannianum

ngweo (fruit)

Acokanthera oppositifolia

nthei (fruit)

Cordia monoica

nthooko

Vigna unguiculata

nthoona (fruit)

Lannea schimperi

nthumula (fruit)

Tamarindus indica

nzaala (fruits)

Lannea triphylla

nzaaya (fruits)

Berchemia discolor

nzanawa (fruits)

Berchemia discolor

nzavi

Lablab purpureus

nzavisi (fruit)

Lantana spp.

nzola

Ipomoea lapathifolia

nzola

Ipomoea oenotherae

nzooko

Vigna unguiculata

nzumula (fruit)

Tamarindus indica

nzuu (fruits)

Cajanus cajan

sake

Cleome gynandra

telele

Amaranthus dubius

telele

Maranthus graecizans

telele

Amaranthus hybridus

telele munene

Amaranthus hybridus

terere*

Amaranthus dubius

terere

Amaranthus graecizans

terere

Amaranthus hybridus

uimbi

Eleusine coracana

ukuku

Dactyloctenium aegyptium

ukuku

Dactyloctenium giganteum

ukwasi

Ipomoea batatas

ukwasi wa nthi

Ipomoea mombassana

ulaa (fruits)

Acacia tortilis

uthunga

Launaea cornuta

w'oa

Amaranthus dubius

w'oa

Amaranthus graecizans

w'oa

Amaranthus hybridus

walange

Digera muricata

woa

Amaranthus graecizans

yanga (tuber)

Manohot esculenta



Kambe


Note: The prefix chi- in most Mijikenda groups will normally change to ki- for Giriama.

Chibudzi

Vernonia cinerea

chikosho

Corchorus olitorius

chikosho

Corchorus tridens

chikosho

Corchorus trilocularis

chimbiri

Keetia zanzibarica

chimbiri

Oxygonum salicifolium

chirenje

Lagenaria siceraria

chirunji

Nymphaea nouchali

chiswenya*

Amaranthus hybridus

chivuma nyuchi

Aerva lanata

dzadza

Commelina africana

dzadza

Commelina forskaolii

dzadza

Commelina imberbis

fudu (fruit)

Vitex spp.

fula (fruits)

Sclerocarya birrea

kahawa

Coffea arabica

kipuru

Lagenaria siceraria

kunazi (fruits)

Ziziphus mauritiana

kunde

Vigna unguiculata

kwamba (fruits)

Flueggea virosa

matikiti

Citrullus lanatus

mauyu (fruits)

Adansonia digitata

mbalazi (fruit)

Cajanus cajan

mbata (flesh)*

Cocos nucifera

mbokwe

Annona senegalensis

mdungatundu

Dovyalis abyssinica

mdungu

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

mfudu

Vitex mombassae

mfudu

Vitex mombassae

mfudu

Vitex payos

mfudu-madzi

Vitex ferruginea

mfudu-unga

Vitex payos

mfudukoma

Vitex mombassae

mfula

Sclerocarya birrea

mgugune

Ziziphus mucronata

miraa

Catha edulis

miunga (plural)

Acacia spp.

Mkayamba

Piliostigma thonningii

mkayukayu

Cordia sinensis

mkoma

Hyphaene compressa

mkone

Grewia bicolor

mkone

Grewia spp.

Mkonga

Balanites aegyptiaca

mkuha

Dobera glabra

mkuha

Dobera loranthifolia

mkulu

Berchemia discolor

mkulwe

Diospyros mespiliformis

mkwakwa

Strychnos madagascariensis

mnavu

Solanum nigrum

mnavu-jangaa

Solanum nigrum

mnavu-tsaka

Solanum nigrum

mnazi*

Cocos nucifera

mng'ambo kapehe

Mimusops fruticosa

mng'ambo

Manilkara sansibarensis

mnyumbu

Lannea schweinfurthii

mnyumbu

Lannea schweinfurthii

mpupu

Lablab purpureus

mpweke

Diospyros squarrosa

mswaki

Salvadora persica

mtamba-kiko

Meyna tetraphylla

mtambachiko

Canthium glaucum

mtandamboo

Carissa edulis

mtandamboo

Carissa tetramera

mtsemeri

Acacia nilotica

mtserere

Hoslundia opposita

mtsumbwi

Dialium orientale

mtundukula

Ximenia americana

mubalazi

Cajanus cajan

mudungatundu

Flacourtia indica

mudzipo

Salacia madagascariensis

mudzipo

Salacia madagascariensis

mudzipo

Salacia madagascariensis

mueza-moyo

Salvadora persica

mugazija*

Manihot esculenta

muhama

Sorghum bicolor

muhama

Sorghum bicolor

muizu-wa-arisa

Thylachium thomasii

mukunazi

Ziziphus mauritiana

mukuyu

Ficus sycomorus

mukwamba

Flueggea virosa

munago

Manilkara mochisia

mung'ambo

Manilkara sansibarensis

munga

Acacia nilotica

mupea (leaves)*

Manihot esculenta

mushomoro

Lantana camara

musimbiji

Antidesma venosum

mutongazi

Landolphia petersiana

mutserere

Hoslundia opposita

mutsumbwi

Dialium orientale

mutsunga

Launaea cornuta

mutunguru

Thylachium thomasii

muungo

Landolphia kirkii

muwele

Pennisetum glaucum

muyu

Adansonia digitata

muyu

Adansonia digitata

muzungwi

Moringa oleifera

mwangani

Cleome gynandra

nago (fruits)

Manilkara mochisia

nazi (fruits)*

Cocos nucifera

ng'ambo (fruits)

Manilkara sansibarensis

nzugu mawe

Vigna subterranea

pupu (fruits)

Lablab purpureus

talakushe

Asystasia gangetica

tendegwa

Vigna subterranea

tsafe

Vigna unguiculata

ufuha

Sesamum orientale

vimumunye (edible)

Lagenaria siceraria

viyogwe*

Ipomoea batatas

vombo

Corchorus olitorius

wimbi

Eleusine coracana



Keiyo (Elgeyo)


chepkerta

Amaranthus hybridus

chepkerte

Amaranthus hybridus

kiprutyot (fruit)

Acacia nilotica

kipsongik

Eleusine coracana

kisuchot

Solanum nigrum

komoluet

Vangueria madagascariensis

komoluet

Vangueria volkensii

moosong'

Sorghum bicolor

moosongik

Sorghum bicolor

nderemia

Basella alba

ng'osonaik (plural)

Balanites aegyptiaca

ng'oswet

Balanites aegyptiaca

ng'osyet (fruit)

Balanites aegyptiaca

nterere

Corchorus olitorius

saka

Cleome gynandra

siwot

Urtica massaica

suchot

Solanum nigrum

tamanges

Uvaria scheffleri

tamangesig

Uvaria scheffleri

tamangesyat (singular)

Uvaria scheffleri

tungururak (fruit)

Flacourtia indica

tungururwet

Flacourtia indica



Kikuyu


Note: the prefix mu- normally signifies the singular and mi- the plural form.



cong'e

Oxygonum sinuatum

gatumia

Portulaca oleracea

gatumia

Portulaca quadrifida

gikwa

Dioscorea minutiflora

hatha

Urtica massaica

ihindu

Ensete ventricosum

ikwa (plural)

Dioscorea minutiflora

inagu

Solanum nigrum

kagiri

Lantana camara

kahua

Coffea arabica

kahurura*

Cucumis ficifolia

kaiyaba*

Dovyalis caffra

kang'ei

Galinsoga parviflora

kanyuria*

Cucumis ficifolia

karumaa

Syzygium cordatum

kigerema

Coccinia grandis

kigerema

Coccinia trilobata

kinya

Lagenaria siceraria

kiruru

Acokanthera oppositifolia

kiururu

Acokanthera oppositifolia

macahi (leaves)

Lablab purpureus

mahura nugu (fruits)

Strychnos spinosa

mairungi

Catha edulis

makunu

edible fungi

managu

Solanum nigrum

mararia

Erucastrum arabicum

marenge*

Cucurbita maxima

marera nugu (fruits)

Strychnos spinosa

mathoroko (leaves)

Vigna unguiculata

matuya (fruits)

Myrianthus holstii

mbiru (fruit)

Vangueria spp.

mboco*

Phaseolus vulgaris

minji*

Pisum sativum

mubiru

Vangueria apiculata

mubiru

Vangueria infausta

mubiru

Vangueria madagascariensis

mubiru

Vangueria volkensii

mubiru-ng'ombe

Vangueria volkensii

mucege*

Bidens pilosa

mucohi

Lippia kituiensis

mugaa

Acacia hockii

mugaa

Acacia nilotica

mugaa

Acacia seyal

mugagatio

Rumex abyssinicus

mugagatio

Rumex usambarensis

mugimbi

Eleusine coracana

mugu

Landolphia buchananii

mugu-wa-munyati

Landolphia buchananii

mugua nugu

Aloe secundiflora

mugucwa

Zanthoxylum usambarense

mugumo

Ficus thonningii

mugumo-ciano

Mimusops kummel

mugunguma

Keetia gueinzii

muhehenje*

Bidens pilosa

muheheti

Zanthoxylum usambarense

muhia

Sorghum bicolor

muhika-naihu

Asystasia mysorensis

muhindu

Ensete ventricosum

muhoigwa

Antidesma venosum

muhukura

Mondia whiteii

muhura-thi

Strychnos spinosa

muhuru

Vitex doniana

muieri

Syzygium cordatum

mukambura

Dovyalis abyssinica

mukawa

Carissa edulis

mukengeria

Commelina africana

mukengeria

Commelina benghalensis

mukenia

Lantana trifolia

mukigi

Lantana camara

mukinda

Dactyloctenium aegyptium

mukinda

Dactyloctenium giganteum

mukindu

Phoenix reclinata

mukinyai

Euclea divinorum

mukinyai

Euclea schimperi

mukinyei

Euclea divinorum

mukoe

Syzygium cordatum

mukoe

Syzygium guineense

mukombi*

Setaria italica

mukondwe

Antidesma venosum

mukuo

Cordia monoica

mukuu

Cordia monoica

mukuyu

Ficus sur

mukuyu

Ficus sycomorus

mungu

Lagenaria siceraria

murama

Piliostigma thonningii

murangari

Scutia myrtina

murerema

Basella alba

muricu

Acokanthera schimperi

muriru

Syzygium cordatum

muroro

Flacourtia indica

muroroma

Ximenia americana

mururu

Acokanthera oppositifolia

mutandambogo

Scutia myrtina

mutare

Rubus apetalus

mutare

Rubus pinatus

mutare-kigombe

Rubus volkensii

muteta

Strychnos henningsii

mutherengendi

Grewia tembensis

mutherengendin

Grewia similis

mutherengendu

Grewia similis

muthigi

Cordia monoica

muthigio

Rhus natalensis

muthigio

Rhus vulgaris

muthigira

Hydnora abyssinica

muthiriti

Lippia kituiensis

muthoroti

Lippia kituiensis

muthuga

Launaea cornuta

muthunga

Launaea cornuta

muthunga

Sonchus schweinfurthii

mutuhacu

Flacourtia indica

mutuya

Myrianthus holstii

mwere

Pennisetum glaucum

nagu (fruit)

Solanum nigrum

nathi*

Physalis peruviana

ndare (fruit)

Rubus spp.

ndirikumi

Pappea capensis

nduma*

Colocasia esculenta

nduma ya mwanake

Colocasia spp.

ngawa (fruits)

Carissa edulis

ngoe (fruit)

Syzygium cordatum

nguirubi

Ipomoea oenotherae

nguyu (fruit)

Ficus sur

nguyu (fruit)

Ficus sycomorus

njahi

Lablab purpureus

njugu

Cajanus cajan

nyaragita

Dactyloctenium aegyptium

nyatana

Lantana camara

rungu

Lagenaria siceraria

ruta

Sesamum calycinum

rutana

Lantana camara

terere

Amaranthus blitum (A. lividus)

terere

Amaranthus dubius

terere

Amaranthus graecizans

terere

Amaranthus hybridus

terere wa gikuyu

Amaranthus graecizans

terere wa kigombe

Amaranthus spinosus

terere-wa-ng'ombe

Amaranthus spinosus

thabai

Urtica massaica

thageti

Cleome gynandra

thagiti

Cleome gynandra

theregendu (fruit)

Grewia similis

thigiu (fruits)

Rhus natalensis

thigiu (fruits)

Rhus vulgaris

thoroko

Vigna unguiculata

togotia

Erucastrum arabicum

ugimbi

Eleusine coracana



Kipsigis


bek ap torit

Lantana trifolia

chebitet

Acacia nilotica

chebitet

Acacia tortilis

cheplekwelet

Keetia gueinzii

cheplemindet

Erucastrum arabicum

chepleminik

Erucastrum arabicum

cheptokdogan

Amaranthus hybridus

cherungut

Hoslundia opposita

chesarebut

Grewia tembensis

degainmatniet

Rubus volkensii

engongaat

Pappea capensis

isagek (plural)

Cleome gynandra

isakiat

Cleome gynandra

isakyat

Cleome gynandra

isoiyot

Solanum nigrum

kelichot

Amaranthus dubius

kelichot

Amaranthus graecizans

kimolwet

Vangueria apiculata

kimolwet

Vangueria infausta

kimolwet

Vangueria madagascariensis

kimolwet

Vangueria volkensii

kimolwet-ne-ingin

Vangueria volkensii

kipkurkuriet

Crotalaria brevidens

kipkurkuriet

Crotalaria ochroleuca

kipkururiet

Crotalaria brevidens

kipkururiet

Crotalaria ochroleuca

kipsoeniot

Rubus volkensii

komolik

Vangueria infausta

komolik

Vangueria madagascariensis

kopko

Acacia nilotica

laiyo-nebo-sin

Corchorus trilocularis

laiyonebo-soin

Corchorus tridens

lamaiyat

Syzygium guineense

legetetyet

Carissa edulis

legetiet

Carissa edulis

leraecwhet

Syzygium guineense

lemeyet

Syzygium cordatum

loplobitet

Commelina forskalaolii

maset

Strychnos henningsii

mborochet

Amaranthus blitum (A. lividus)

mborochet

Amaranthus spinosus

mindeiywet

Rumex usambarensis

mindoywet

Rumex abbysinicus

mindoywet

Rumex usambarensis

mindoywet

Rumex usambarensis

mogoiwet

Ficus sycomorus

mon-foronat

Rhus vulgaris

monjororriat

Rhus vulgaris

muekelwet

Vitex doniana

mugurit

Acacia seyal

muguruit

Acacia drepanolobium

mwokiot

Dovyalis abyssinica

mwokiot

Lippia kituiensis

nderemek (plural)

Basella alba

nderemiat

Basella alba

nemingin

Rubus volkensii

ng'oswet

Balanites aegyptiaca

ngiingichet

Landolphia buchananii

ngonyet

Pappea capensis

nogirwet

Cordia monoica

nokirwet

Cordia sinensis

nukiat

Dovyalis abyssinica

robuonjot-ab-tirita

Ipomoea oenotherae

saiyakirur

Scutia myrtina

sirontet

Rhus natalensis

sitetet

Grewia bicolor

sitetooik (plural)

Grewia bicolor

siwot

Urtica massaica

sosiyot

Phoenix reclinata

soyot

Solanum nigrum

suriat

Rhus natalensis

suriet

Rhus vulgaris

tagaimamiet

Rubus volkensii

tangaimamiet

Rubus pinnatus

tunguroloet

Flacourtia indica

tunoiyet

Landolphia buchananii

turkwot

Asystasia gangetica



Kisii


abanyabwasi*

Ipomoea batatas

amaemba

Sorghum bicolor

amoba (plural)

edible fungi

chichungu

Vigna subterranea

chimbinsi

Cajanus cajan

chinduma (plural)

Dioscorea spp.

chinkomoni (fruits)

Vangueria apiculata

chinkomoni (fruits)

Vangueria madagascariensis

chinkongonywa*

Dovyalis caffra

chinsaga

Cleome gynandra

chinsobosobo (fruits)

Physalis peruviana

egesare

Vigna unguiculata

ekahawa

Coffea arabica

ekawa

Coffea arabica

ekayaba

Dovyalis caffra

ekerandi (fruit)

Lagenaria siceraria

emboga

Amaranthus blitum (A. lividus)

emboga

Amaranthus dubius

emboga

Amaranthus hybridus

emboga

Amaranthus spp.

enderema

Basella alba

enduruma (singular)

Dioscorea spp.

enkomoni (fruit)

Vangueria apiculata

enkomoni (fruit)

Vangueria madagascariensis

ensobosobo (fruit)

Physalis peruviana

esarara

Flueggea virosa

mitoo

Crotalaria brevidens

mutahuru

Vitex doniana

oboba (singular)

edible fungus

obori

Eleusine coracana

omokera*

Annona cherimola

omokomoni

Vangueria apiculata

omokomoni

Vangueria infausta

omokomoni

Vangueria madagascariensis

omokorogoinwa

Dovyalis abyssinica

omonyangateti

Carissa edulis

omonyenya

Acacia spp.

omoraa

Parinari curatellifolia

omosobosobo*

Physalis peruviana

omotere

Corchorus olitorius

omuongo (fruit)

Cucurbita maxima

omwogo*

Manihot esculenta

rikongiro

Commelina spp.

rinagu

Solanum nigrum

risosa*

Cucurbita maxima



Kuria


igikomani

Vangueria apiculata

igikomani

Vangueria infausta

ikikumuni

Vangueria apiculata

munyoke

Carissa edulis

mutaburu

Parinari curatellifolia



Luhya

Notes: Buk: Bukusu; Gis: (Ba-)Gishu; Ida: Idakho; Isu: Isukha; Kab: Kabras; Kha: (Ba-)Khayo; Ksa: Kisa; Man: Banyala; Mrc: Marachi; Mrg: Maragoli; Mrm: Marama; Nya: (Ba-)Nyala; Nyo: (Ba-)Nyore; Sma: Samia; Tac: Tachoni; Tir: Tiriki; Tso: Tsotso; Wan: Wanga.



amabele (Tac)

Sorghum bicolor

amabera (Ksa)

Sorghum bicolor

amabere (Sma)

Sorghum bicolor

amakhuyu (fruit) (Tac)

Ficus sycomorus

amarinda (fruit) (Tac)

Pappea capensis

amarinda (Tac)

Pappea capensis

amatekesi (Tac)

Syzygium guineense

biembaemba

Lantana trifolia

bubwoba (Buk)

edible fungi

bufutu (fruit) (Buk)

Vitex doniana

bukararambi (Buk)

Rubus apetalus

bukararambi (Buk)

Rubus pinnatus

bukhakasu (fruit)

Antidesma venosum

bulo (Buk)

Eleusine coracana

bunyinyi (Buk)

Multidentia crassa

bunyungululwe (fruit) (Buk)

Flacourtia indica

burobelo (fruit) (Buk)

Lannea edulis

burwa (fruit) (Buk)

Carissa edulis

busangura (fruit) (Buk)

Rhus vulgaris

busangura busecha (fruit) (Buk)

Rhus natalensis

busemwa (fruit) (Buk)

Syzygium guineense

busongolomunwa (fruit) (Buk)

Dovyalis macrocalyx

chifutu (Tac) (Buk)

Vitex doniana

chiisaka (plural) (Tac)

Gynandropsis gynandra

chikhanu (Buk)

Sesamum orientale

chimbande (Tac)

Vigna subterranea

chinduli-chimbukusu (fruit) (Buk)

Ximenia americana

chingaayu (fruit) (Ta)

Tylosema fassoglense

chinjayu (Buk)

Lablab purpureus

chisaka (plural) (Buk)

Gynandropsis gynandra

chisaka (Tac)

Gynandropsis gynandra

ekawa (Buk)

Coffea arabica

ekhubi (Sma)

Vigna unguiculata

ekiragai

Mimusops fruticosa

emboka (Buk)

Amaranthus dubius

emboka (Buk)

Amaranthus spp.

emifwora (fruit)

Annona senegalensis

emiro (Ksa, Kab, Tac)

Crotalaria brevidens

emiro (Ksa, Tac)

Crotalaria ochroleuca

emuka (fruit) (Buk)

Lagenaria siceraria

endelema (Buk)

Basella alba

enderema (Tir, Sma)

Basella alba

esaka (singular) (Buk, Sma)

Gynandropsis gynandra

esebebe (Sma)

Cucurbita maxima

eshingayangaya (Kab)

Commelina africana

eshivetso (Kab)

Basella alba

esidiba (Sma)

Asystasia mysorensis

esitipa (Tac)

Asystasia mysorensis

esufwa (hairy) (Buk)

Solanum nigrum

ibunabuni (Mrg)

Sonchus schweinfurthii

ihranda (Mrg)

Lablab purpureus

imbasa (Mrc)

Tylosema fassoglense

imboka (Tac)

Solanum nigrum

imito (Mrg)

Crotalaria brevidens

imito (Mrg)

Crotalaria ochroleuca

inderema (Tac)

Basella alba

itogotia

Erucastrum arabicum

itungu (Mrg)

Dioscorea bulbifera

kamachabungwe (fruits) (Buk)

Saba comorensis

kamachayu (fruits) (Buk)

Tylosema fassoglense

kamaemba (plural) (Buk)

Sorghum bicolor

kamafwora (fruits) (Buk)

Annona senegalensis

kamakhuyu (fruit) (Buk)

Ficus sycomorus

kamarinda (fruit) (Buk)

Pappea capensis

kamatekesi (Buk)

Syzygium guineense

kihuma (Mrg)

Hoslundia opposita

kimiro (Buk)

Crotalaria brevidens

kimiro (Buk)

Crotalaria ochroleuca

kumuro (singular) (Buk)

Crotalaria ochroleuca

kisuvu

Asystasia mysorensis

kumuchabungwe (Buk)

Saba comorensis

kumuchayu (Buk)

Tylosema fassoglense

kumufutu (Buk)

Vitex doniana

kumufwora (Buk)

Annona senegalensis

kumukhakasu (Buk)

Antidesma venosum

kumukhomoli (Buk)

Vangueria infausta

kumukhubwe (Buk)

Tamarindus indica

kumukhuwa (Buk)

Tamarindus indica

kumukhuyu (Buk)

Ficus sycomorus

kumukombera (Buk)

Mondia whitei

kumulamalama (Buk)

Piliostigma thonningii

kumulinda (Buk)

Pappea capensis

kumunasi (Buk)

Cocos nucifera

kumunyenya (Buk)

Acacia spp.

kumunyenya (Buk)

Acacia xanthophloea

kumunyinyi (Buk)

Multidentia crassa

kumunyungululwe (Buk)

Flacourtia indica

kumurwa (Buk)

Carissa edulis

kumusangura (Buk)

Rhus vulgaris

kumusangura kumusecha (Buk)

Rhus natalensis

kumusemwa (Buk)

Syzygium cordatum

kumusemwa (Buk)

Syzygium guineense

kumusitole (Buk)

Syzygium guineense

kumusitole

Syzygium cordatum

kumusongolomunwa (Buk)

Dovyalis macrocalyx

kumutekesi (Buk)

Syzygium guineense

kumutuli-kumubukusu (Buk)

Ximenia americana

kumuumbu (Buk)

Lannea schimperi

kumuyenjayenja (Buk)

Piliostigma thonningii

lidodo (Mrc)

Amaranthus hybridus

lidodo (Sma, Mrc, Bah)

Amaranthus spp.

liemba (singular) (Buk)

Sorghum bicolor

lifwafwa (Buk, Tac)

Commelina benghalensis

lifwora (fruit) (Buk, Mrc)

Annona senegalensis

lihu (Tac)

Corchorus trilocularis

likhubi (Ksa, Mrc)

Vigna unguiculata

liliakhunyu (Buk)

Dioscorea bulbifera

linyolonyolo (Buk)

Commelina benghalensis

linyororo (Mrg)

Commelina africana

liola (Buk)

Amaranthus spp.

liondo (fruit) (Buk, Mrc)

Cucurbita maxima

lirungu

Dioscorea bulbifera

lisaka (Mrc, Wan)

Gynandropsis gynandra

lisebebe (Mrc)

Cucurbita maxima

lisiebeb (Buk)

Cucurbita maxima

lisiebebe (Buk)

Cucurbita moschata

lisutsa (Kab, Mrc)

Solanum nigrum

lisutsa (Tir)

Solanum nigrum

litolotolo (Buk)

Colocasia esculenta

litoto (Buk, Mr'g, Mrc, Wan)

Amaranthus spp.

litoto (Tac)

Amaranthus hybridus

litoto-lia-bamia (Buk)

Portulaca oleracea

lukhanukhanu (Buk)

Sesamum calycinum

lumenenambuli

Lantana trifolia

luoba (Mrc)

edible fungi

lurabu (Buk)

Lagenaria siceraria

lusebi

Keetia gueinzii

lushindu (Mrc)

Phoenix reclinata

mboka (Tac)

Amaranthus dubius

miroo (Mrc)

Crotalaria brevidens

miroo (Mrc)

Crotalaria ochroleuca

mito (Mrg)

Crotalaria brevidens

mito (Mrg)

Crotalaria ochroleuca

mughomoli (Mrg)

Vangueria infausta

mugombero (Mrg)

Mondia whitei

muholu

Vitex doniana

mukhomoli

Vangueria madagascariensis

murere (Buk, Mrc)

Corchorus olitorius

murere musatsa

Corchorus trilocularis

murere nalubonga (Buk)

Corchorus trilocularis

murere-nalubembe (Buk)

Corchorus trilocularis

musioma (Mrg)

Syzygium cordatum

muvulu (Buk)

Annona senegalensis

nabikumba (Buk)

Oxygonum sinuatum

nabusuma

Keetia gueinzii

nalubembe (Buk)

Corchorus trilocularis

namasaka (Buk, Tac)

Solanum nigrum

namawa (Buk)

Oxygonum sinuatum

namwirobelo

Lannea edulis

neloba (Buk)

Lannea edulis

nyag'ori

Asystasia mysorensis

obengele (Mrc)

Lantana trifolia

obukararambi (Tac)

Rubus apetalus

obukararambi (Tac)

Rubus pinnatus

obule (Mrc, Tac)

Eleusine coracana

obure (Mrc, Tac)

Eleusine coracana

oburwa (fruit) (Tac)

Carissa edulis

obusangura (fruit) (Tac)

Rhus vulgaris

obusangura busecha (fruit) (Tac)

Rhus natalensis

obusemwa (fruit) (Tac)

Syzygium guineense

obusemwa (Tac)

Syzygium cordatum

obwoba (plural) (Tac, Mrc, Sma)

edible fungi

olukenukenu (Tac)

Sesamum calycinum

olwoba (singular) (Tac)

edible fungus

omboga

Amaranthus lividus

omufudu (Mrc)

Vitex doniana

omufutu (Tac)

Vitex doniana

omufutu

Vitex doniana

omugombera (Mrc)

Mondia whiteii

omukhulumuru (Mrm)

Syzygium cordatum

omukhulumuru (Mrm)

Syzygium cordatum

omukhuyu (Mrc)

Ficus sycomorus

omukhuyu (Tac)

Ficus sycomorus

omukombela (Tac)

Mondia whiteii

omukombera (Mrm)

Mondia whiteii

omukombera

Mondia whiteii

omurele (Ksa)

Corchorus olitorius

omurere (Kab, Tir)

Corchorus olitorius

omurinda (Tac)

Pappea capensis

omusangura (Tac)

Rhus vulgaris

omusemwa (Tac)

Syzygium cordatum

omusitole (Tac)

Syzygium guineense

omutekesi (Tac)

Syzygium guineense ssp. senegalensis

shikomoli

Vangueria apiculata

shikomoli

Vangueria infausta

shikuma

Hoslundia opposita

shimanyamunyi

Vangueria apiculata

shingayangaya (Tir)

Commelina africana

sikandakanda (Buk)

Lablab purpureus

sikayangaya (Buk)

Commelina africana

sikhubi (Buk)

Vigna unguiculata

sikhuvbi (Buk)

Vigna unguiculata

simbande

Vigna subterranea

sinyamanyama (Buk)

Pappea capensis

sinyungulwe (Buk)

Flacourtia indica

sitanyamurwe (Buk)

Physalis peruviana

sitipa (Buk)

Asystasia mysorensis

tsibande

Vigna subterranea

tsiderema (plural)

Basella alba

tsimbande (Tac)

Vigna subterranea

tsimboga (Buk)

Amaranthus spp.

tsimboka (Ksa)

Amaranthus spp.

tsinuni (Mrc)

Sesamum orientale

tsisaka (Ks'a, Kab, Tir)

Gynandropsis gynandra

yisaka (singular) (Tac)

Gynandropsis gynandra

yisufwa (Tae)

Solanum nigrum



Luo


abuna

Saba comorensis

abune

Saba comorensis

achak

Launaea cornuta

achokra

Keetia gueinzii

adugo

Acacia drepanolobium

afwong'o

Hoslundia opposita

akado

Euclea divinorum

akeyo

Cleome gynandra

akudtho

Dovyalis abyssinica

akudtho

Dovyalis macrocalyx

akwalakwala-liech

Strychnos spinosa

ali

Acacia seyal

alikra*

Amaranthus hybridus

alot-bo

Vigna unguiculata

alot-dek

Cleome gynandra

amoyo

Maerua decumbens

ang'were-rao

Lippia javanica

anyuka

Vangueria infausta

anyuka

Vangueria madagascariensis

apindi

Vangueria infausta

apindi

Vangueria madagascariensis

apoth

Corchorus olitorius

apoth

Corchorus tridens

apoth

Corchorus trilocularis

apoth-nyapololo

Corchorus olitorius

aroya

Grewia similis

arumbe

Acacia hockii

arupiny

Commiphora africana

atego

Keetia gueinzii

atek

Lantana camara

athuno

Keetia gueinzii

atipa

Asystasia gangetica

atipa

Asystasia mysorensis

awayo

Oxygonum sinuatum

awayo

Rhus vulgaris

bel

Sorghum bicolor

bo

Vigna unguiculata

bongu

Ficus sur

budho*

Cucurbita maxima

bwar

Ocimum basilicum

bwar

Ocimum gratissimum

chumo

Diospyros mespiliformis

chumu

Diospyros mespiliformis

chwaa

Tamarindus indica

deg-akeyo

Cleome gynandra

dek

Cleome gynandra

demra

Basella alba

dodo

Amaranthus spp.

dugna

Acacia drepanolobium

dunga

Acacia drepanolobium

jamna*

Syzygium cumini

jobune

Saba comorensis

juelu

Vitex doniana

jwelo

Vitex doniana

kagena

Flueggea virosa

kagna

Flueggea virosa

kal

Eleusine coracana

kandhira

Brassica carinata

kang'o

Synsepalum brevipes

kango

Olea europaea ssp. africana

kawa

Coffea arabica

kikumba

Keetia gueinzii

kiluor

Acacia senegal

kuogo

Lannea schimperi

kuogo

Lannea schweinfurthii

kwogo

Lannea schimperi

lang'o

Ziziphus mucronata

lang'u

Ziziphus mucronata

magwaga

Lantana trifolia

magwagwa*

Lantana camara

magwagwa

Lantana trifolia

majand-lum

Cymbopogon citratus

mang'u

Sclerocarya birrea

mariwa*

Manihot esculenta

mbaas

Cajanus cajan

mbande

Vigna subterranea

migodha

Scutia myrtina

mito

Crotalaria ochroleuca

mitoo

Crotalaria brevidens

mitoo

Crotalaria ochroleuca

mukutao achak

Syzygium cordatum

mutkuru

Coccinia grandis

muto

Crotalaria ochroleuca

mweny

Lippia javanica

naas*

Cocos nucifera

ndemra

Basella alba

nderma

Basella alba

ner-powo

Grewia villosa

ng'ong'o

Sclerocarya birrea

ng'owo

Ficus vallis-choudae

ngwenye

Hoslundia opposita

nyabend-winy

Lantana trifolia

nyabolo

Annona senegalensis

nyabondo

Mimusops kummel

nyabuth-muok

Cucumis dipsaceus

nyakonglo ojuo*

Physalis mimina

nyakonglo ojuo*

Physalis peruviana

nyakonglo*

Physalis peruviana

nyamridh*

Lantana camara

nyamutkuru

Coccinia grandis

nyaner kadhira

Erucastrum arabicum

nyanyiek-mon*

Bidens pilosa

nyathund-guok

Coccinia grandis

nyatiend-gueno

Oxygonum sinuatum

nyatonglo ojuo*

Physalis mimina

nyatonglo ojuo*

Physalis peruviana

nyatonglo*

Physalis peruviana

nyim

Sesamum orientale

obengle*

Lantana camara

obengle

Lantana trifolia

obolo

Annona senegalensis

obong

Cajanus cajan

obuolo

edible fungi

obwanda

Portulaca quadrifida

obwolo

edible fungi

ochol

Euclea divinorum

ochuoga

Carissa edulis

ochwa

Tamarindus indica

ochwaa

Tamarindus indica

odielo

Commelina africana

odielo

Commelina benghalensis

ododo*

Amaranthus blitum (A. lividus)

ododo*

Amaranthus dubius

ododo*

Amaranthus hybridus

odok

Ficus sycomorus

ofuong'o

Hoslundia opposita

ofwong'o

Hoslundia opposita

ogaka

Aloe secundiflora

ogaka

Aloe spp.

ogal

Piliostigma thonningii

ogalo

Piliostigma thonningii

ogombo

Mondia whitei

ogonjo

Scutia myrtina

oguombula

Antidesma venosum

ojuelo

Vitex doniana

okinga

Ocimum basilicum

okinga

Ocimum gratissimum

okuoro

Pappea capensis

okuru

Oxygonum sinuatum

okworo

Pappea capensis

olemo

Ximenia americana

olemo

Sclerocarya birrea

olimbochok

Ximenia americana

olusia

Vernonia amygdalina

omaange

Pappea capensis

ombasa

Tylosema fassoglense

omboga*

Amaranthus dubius

omboga

Amaranthus graecizans

omboga*

Amaranthus hybridus

ombok-alikra

Amaranthus graecizans

omuya

Vangueria infausta

omwogo*

Manihot esculenta

ong'eni

Ipomoea oenotherae

ong'ong'o

Sclerocarya birrea

ong'ono

Sclerocarya birrea

ongeny

Ipomoea oenotherae

ongono

Scutia myrtina

ongoro

Parinari curatelifolia

onyalobiro*

Lantana camara

onyiego

Bidens pilosa

onyulo

Sesamum calycinum

oriang'

Acacia hockii

oroka

Dioscorea bulbifera

oruka

Dioscorea bulbifera

osangla

Rhus natalensis

oseno

Cordia monoica

osiri

Scutia myrtina

osuga

Solanum nigrum

osuyo

Hydnora abyssinica

otangre

Cucumis dipsaceus

othith

Phoenix reclinata

othith

Phoenix reclinata

otho

Balanites aegyptiaca

othoo

Balanites aegyptiaca

otiep

Acacia senegal

otonglo*

Physalis peruviana

oyuelo

Vitex doniana

oyusu

Hydnora abyssinica

pocho

Ficus thonningii

powo

Grewia bicolor

rabuon*

Ipomoea batatas

rayuthu

Flueggea virosa

roko

Zanthoxylum usambarense

roko

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

sangla

Rhus natalensis

songola

Dovyalis abyssinica

tagalo

Piliostigma thonningii

tek-taguari

Lantana camara

tende*

Phoenix dactylifera

yago

Kigelia pinnata (K. africana)

yunga

Nymphaea lotus

yunga

Nymphaea nouchali



Maasai


Notes:


(a)

Words beginning with il- normally signify the plural form.

(b)

The prefixes or- and ol- are normally interchangeable in speech and normally refer to the mature plants, while e- refers to young plants; ol is associated with masculine while e signifies feminine.



eirri-narok

Grewia tenax

eleleshwa-enkop

Vernonia cinerea

elerai

Acacia seyal

eluaai

Acacia drepanolobium

eluai

Acacia drepanolobium

emankulai

Grewia villosa

embokwe

Dactyloctenium aegyptium

emungushi

Rhus vulgaris

enchilewa

Ipomoea longituba

enderkesi

Acacia senegal

engoiswashi

Ipomoea longituba

enkaikuinyoi

Eriosema shirense

enkaikuji

Rubus volkensii

enkaisijoi

Oxygonum sinuatum

enkaisijoi

Rumex abyssinicus

enkaisijoi

Rumex usambarensis

enkaiswishoi

Rumex usambarensis

enkaiteteyiai

Commelina benghalensis

enkamai (plural)

Ximenia americana

enkampa

Dactyloctenium aegyptium

enkamposhi

Momordica rostrata

enkorir

Pentarrhinum insipidum

enkurma-oonkayiok

Lantana trifolia

enonkepiren

Garcinia livingstonei

enoonkoroi

Digera muricata

entamejoi

Urtica massaica

entiangege

Landolphia buchananii

entuyesi

Strychnos henningsii

enyaru

Erucastrum arabicum

enyaru-nanyokie

Amaranthus hybridus

enyaru-olmuaate

Amaranthus hybridus

erukunyi

Hydnora abyssinica

ilama (plural)

Ximenia americana

ilamuriak (plural)

Carissa edulis

ilgum (plural)

Vangueria apiculata

ilkinye (plural)

Euclea divinorum

ilmang'ua (plural)

Sclerocarya birrea

ilmankula (plural)

Grewia villosa

ilmisigiyo (plural)

Rhus natalensis

ilmisigyio (plural)

Rhus vulgaris

ilmorog (plural)

Dovyalis abyssinica

ilokwa (fruits)

Balanites aegyptiaca

ilsagararam

Piliostigma thonningii

ilsek (plural)

Cordia monoica

iluaa (plural)

Acacia drepanolobium

intamejo (plural)

Urtica massaica

interkes (plural)

Acacia senegal

iremit (plural)

Salvadora persica

irgum (fruit)

Vangueria spp.

iri (plural)

Grewia tembensis

iri (plural)

Grewia tenax

isanankurur (plural)

Scutia myrtina

isek

Cordia monoica

isinon (plural)

Lippia kituiensis

isojon (plural)

Euclea divinorum

lemba-e-nabo

Cleome gynandra

msigwe

Rhus vulgaris

mushae

Sorghum bicolor

naibor-lukunya

Cleome gynandra

nangua

Amaranthus sparganiocephalus

nanyi

Amaranthus dubius

nanyi

Amaranthus graecizans

nanyi

Amaranthus hybridus

nanyi

Amaranthus thunbergii

nanyi

Amaranthus sp.

natua-ekong'o

Pappea capensis

natwa-ong'o

Pappea capensis

ngoswaki

Ipomoea longituba

nkosida

Asystasia gangetica

nyani

Amaranthus graecizans

nyani

Amaranthus sp.

nyanyi

Amaranthus graecizans

nyanyi

Amaranthus thunbergii

oirri

Grewia tembensis

oirri

Grewia tenax

ol'matakuroi

Parinari curatellifolia

olaikuinyoi

Eriosema shirense

olaimurunyai

Dovyalis abyssinica

olamai

Ximenia americana

olamposhi

Momordica rostrata

olamuriaki

Carissa edulis

olaposhi

Coccinia grandis

olayakuji

Rubus spp.

olbida

Acacia senegal

olchaki

Vigna membranacea

oldelemet

Sesamum angustifolium

olderkesi

Acacia senegal

oldongururwo

Flacourtia indica

oldorko

Cordia sinensis

oleechei

Crotalaria brevidens

oleechei

Crotalaria ochroleuca

olemuran

Hoslundia opposita

olemuran

Ocimum gratissimum

oleragai

Syzygium guineense

oleragi

Syzygium guineense

olerai

Acacia seyal

olerai-oibor

Acacia seyal

olgum

Vangueria infausta

olgumi

Vangueria apiculata

olgumi

Vangueria infausta

olgumi

Vangueria madagascariensis

olgumi

Vangueria volkensii

oljani-lool-tatwa

Cleome gynandra

oljerai

Acacia seyal

olkalei

Vatovaea pseudolablab

olkiage

Maerua decumbens

olkifulwa

Garcinia livingstonei

olfciloriti

Acacia nilotica

olkinyei

Euclea divinorum

olmagirigiriani

Lantana trifolia

olmang'ua (fruit)

Sclerocarya birrea

olmang'uai

Sclerocarya birrea

olmankulai

Grewia villosa

olmesera

Adansonia digitata

olmiraa

Catha edulis

olmisigiyioi

Rhus natalensis

olmisigiyioi

Rhus tenuinervis

olmisigiyioi

Rhus vulgaris

olmorijoi

Acokanthera oppositifolia

olmorijoi

Acokanthera schimperi

olmorogi

Dovyalis abyssinica

olmotoo

Azanza garckeana

olmpombo

Lablab purpureus

olmuateni

Cleome gynandra

olnasi*

Physalis peruviana

olng'oswa

Balanites aegyptiaca

olng'oswa

Balanites glabra

olnyaasi*

Physalis peruviana

oloibare bare

Dioscorea dumetorum

oloikimbe

Eleusine coracana

oloilalei

Ziziphus mauritiana

oloilalei

Ziziphus mucronata

oloiragai

Syzygium cordatum

oloirangai

Syzygium cordatum

oloireroi

Flacourtia indica

oloiropiji

Ipomoea oenotherae

oloisijoi

Tamarindus indica

oloisugi

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

oloisugi

Zanthoxylum usambarense

oloisuki

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

olokwai

Balanites aegyptiaca

olorok-kilele

Ipomoea oenotherae

olotwalan

Crotalaria brevidens

olotwalan

Crotalaria ochroleuca

olowon

Erucastrum arabicum

olperetini

Ziziphus mucronata

olpombo

Lablab purpureus

olpomboi

Lablab purpureus

olremit

Salvadora persica

olsagararam

Piliostigma thonningii

olsinoni

Lippia kituiensis

olsiteti

Grewia bicolor

oltaraboi

Kigelia pinnata (K. africana)

oltepesi

Acacia tortilis

oltimigomi

Pappea capensis

oltipilikwa

Strychnos henningsii

oltukai

Phoenix reclinata

onyalugwai

Grewia similis

orcharpalani

Acacia hockii

oremit

Salvadora persica

oretiti

Ficus thonningii

orkalei

Vatovaea pseudolablab

orkisikong'o

Pappea capensis

orkorirr

Pentarrhinum insipidum

ormomoi

Solanum nigrum

orng'aboli

Ficus sycomorus

orng'oting'ot

Vigna frutescens

orpande

Lannea schweinfurthii

osananguruti

Scutia myrtina

osanankururi

Scutia myrtina

osaragi

Balanites aegyptiaca

oseki

Cordia monoica

osilalei

Commiphora africana

osilalei

Commiphora schimperi

osinon-kurruti

Scutia myrtina

osinoni

Lippia kituiensis

osoiyai

Basella alba

osojo

Euclea divinorum

osoyai

Basella alba

osukuro

Aloe spp.

osuyai

edible fungi

oyiri

Grewia similis

oyiri

Grewia tembensis

oyirri

Grewia tenax

sagararam (fruit)

Acacia tortilis

warkisikong'o

Pappea capensis



Malakote


Note: some words are borrowed from Somali.



choneh

Commiphora rostrata

dadacha

Acacia tortilis

dadech (young)

Acacia tortilis

dadwota

Acacia tortilis

dawa-aaze

Maerua decumbens

dawa-nyoka

Maerua decumbens

gedo

Phoenix reclinata

huda-hudo

Ximenia americana

jajabho (fruit)

Berchemia discolor

kaka-mchangani

Carissa edulis

kalaqacha

Boscia coriacea

kukube

Thylachium thomasii

loguo

Saba comorensis

mezi (young)

Hyphaene compressa

mokalakala

Carissa edulis

mokoma

Hyphaene compressa

mokopa

Dobera glabra

mokororo

Flueggea virosa

mokowlo

Diospyros mespiliformis

mokoyo

Ficus sycomorus

morhoqa

Tamarindus indica

mubadana

Balanites aegyptiaca

mubadana

Balanites rotundifolia

mubururi

Meyna tetraphylla

mubuyu

Dansonia digitata

mujajabho

Berchemia discolor

munugau

Mimusops fruticosa

murifate

Borassus aethiopum

musigisigi

Antidesma venosum

muswaki

Salvadora persica

mutaale

Cordia sinensis

mutalya-chan

Cordia sinensis

muwarande

Manilkara mochisia

mwebebe

Sorindeia madagascariensis

mwitwa-mow

Salacia madagascariensis

sufi-bara

Lannea alata



Marakwet


adomoyon

Cordia sinensis

arol (plural)

Sclerocarya birrea

arol

Sclerocarya birrea

arolwo

Sclerocarya birrea

bapchebilil

Dovyalis abyssinica

bochon

edible fungi

bukanar

small edible fungi

chebilio (plural)

Maerua decumbens

chebilis

Maerua decumbens

chebiliswo

Maerua decumbens

chebololo

Cucurbita maxima

chementri

Oxygonum sinuatum

chepiliowo (plural)

Maerua decumbens

chepiliswo

Maerua decumbens

chepkarta

Amaranthus hybridus

cherat (plural)

Commelina forskalaei

imito

Crotalaria brevidens

imito

Crotalaria ochroleuca

karkar (plural)

Corchorus trilocularis

kibiryak

Pappea capensis

kibiryokwo

Pappea capensis

kimeley

Urtica massaica

kipchimchim

Coccinia grandis

kipiriak (plural)

Pappea capensis

kipiriokwa

Pappea capensis

kipkanding'wa

Amaranthus dubius

kipkanding'wa

Amaranthus graecizans

kisoyo

Solanum nigrum

kolowo

Vatovaea pseudolablab

komohuo

Vangueria volkensii

komol (plural)

Vangueria madagascariensis

komolwo

Vangueria madagascariensis

korkorwo

Hoslundia opposita

koros (plural)

Dobera glabra

korosion

Dobera glabra

ksoiyek

Solanum nigrum

kunyat (plural)

Ximenia americana

kunyotwo

Ximenia americana

lalat (plural)

Lannea rivae

lalat (plural)

Lannea schimperi

lamai

Syzygium guineense

leketet (plural)

Carissa edulis

leketetwa

Carissa edulis

leketetwo

Carissa edulis

lolotwa

Lannea rivae

lolotwa

Lannea schimperi

lom (plural)

Balanites pedicellaris

lomion

Balanites pedicellaris

lomion

Balanites rotundifolia

lomoiywo

Syzygium guineense

makany

Ficus sycomorus

makany

Ficus sycomorus

malkach

Uvaria scheffleri

malkat

Canthium pseudosetiflorum

malkatwo

Canthium pseudosetiflorum

man (plural)

Lannea schweinfurthii

mendililwa

Dovyalis abyssinica

mendiril

Oxygonum sinuatum

mendirlwo

Dovyalis abyssinica

mendril

Oxygonum sinuatum

merkwo

Garcinia livingstonei

mito

Crotalaria brevidens

mito

Crotalaria ochroleuca

mokongwo

Ficus sycomorus

mokung'ua

Ficus sycomorus

momoon

Rubus pinnatus

monwo

Lannea schweinfurthii

morkut

Cyperus blysmoides

mosiyon

Sorghum bicolor

mosong

Sorghum bicolor

muchuk (plural)

Berchemia discolor

muchukwo

Berchemia discolor

nderemia

Basella alba

ng'eng'ech (plural)

Landolphia buchananii

ng'eng'echwo

Landolphia buchananii

ochon

Saba comorensis

oroluo

Sclerocarya birrea

oron

Tamarindus indica

piriak (plural)

Pappea capensis

rena

Acacia seyal

renon (plural)

Acacia seyal

reper (plural)

Syzygium cordatum

reperwo

Syzygium cordatum

sachan

Cleome gynandra

ses

Acacia tortilis

sesoy (plural)

Acacia tortilis

siitet

Grewia bicolor

simat (plural)

Ficus thonningii

simotwo

Ficus thonningii

sitit (plural)

Grewia bicolor

sorik (plural)

Boscia coriacea

sorikwo

Boscia coriacea

sot

Lagenaria siceraria

suroyo

Cleome gynandra

tabirir

Vangueria volkensii

tabirirwo

Vangueria volkensii

tamalak

Uvaria scheffleri

tarak (plural)

Ziziphus mucronata

taran (plural)

Grewia tenax

tarokwo

Ziziphus mucronata

tilam (plural)

Ziziphus mauritiana

tilam

Ziziphus mauritiana

tiling'wo

Meyna tetraphylla

tilingwo

Meyna tetraphylla

tiliny (plural)

Meyna tetraphylla

tilomwa

Ziziphus mauritiana

tilomwo

Ziziphus mauritiana

tingas (plural)

Flacourtia indica

tingoswo

Flacourtia indica

tomolokwo

Uvaria scheffleri

tungururwa

Flacourtia indica

tuyun

Balanites aegyptiaca

tuyunwo (plural)

Balanites aegyptiaca



Mbeere


cong'e

Oxygonum sinuatum

gikungui

Cucumis dipsaceus

ginda-arithi

Maerua decumbens

gingara

Dactyloctenium aegyptium

gitangira

Boscia coriacea

gitiko

Dactyloctenium aegyptium

iguko

Dactyloctenium aegyptium

ikunu

mushroom

inagu (singular)

Solanum nigrum

irara

Hyphaene compressa

kagura mbeu

Cleome monophylla

karimi-ka-nthia

Cleome monophylla

karimi-kanthia

Asystasia mysorensis

kigerema

Coccinia grandis

kigerema

Coccinia trilobata

kii

Kedrostis foetidesma

kikiare

Boscia coriacea

kimore

Commelina africana

kimore

Commelina benghalensis

kimore

Commelina forskalaei

king'ong'oya

Momordica rostrata

kirigirigi

Coccinia grandis

kirigirigi

Coccinia trilobata

kirugurugu

Commiphora africana

kithi

Commelina forskalaei

macica

Amaranthus spinosus

managu

Solanum nigrum

mathorokwe

Vigna membranacea

rnatu-ma-nthia

Vigna membranacea

mingongoya

Momordica rostrata

mubaa

Pappea capensis

mubage

Strychnos spinosa

mubage wa andu

Strychnos spinosa

mubebiaiciya

Rhus vulgaris

mubiruiru

Vangueria infausta

mubiruiru

Vangueria madagascariensis

mubiruiru

Vangueria volkensii

mububua

Balanites aegyptiaca

muburu

Vitex payos

mubuu

Grewia villosa

muce

Bridelia taitensis

mucemeri

Acacia nilotica

mucigara

Uvaria scheffleri

muciigara

Manilkara mochisia

mucimoro

Lantana camara

mucobi

Hoslundia opposita

mucururi

Urtica massaica

mudundi

Flacourtia indica

mugaa

Acacia tortilis

mugagu

Ziziphus abyssinica

mugambu

Acacia drepanolobium

muguagua

Commiphora africana

mugucu

Grewia fallax

mugucwa

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

mugumo

Ficus thonningii

mugumo-ciano

Mimusops kummel

mugunga

Acacia drepanolobium

mukandakiria

Cyphia glandulifera

mukanga-arithi

Antidesma venosum

mukangati

Commelina forskalaei

mukangati

Commelina imberbis

mukawa

Carissa edulis

mukenenga

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

mukengeria

Commelina benghalensis

mukenia

Lantana trifolia

mukiare

Boscia coriacea

mukiinyi

Uclea divinorum

mukinda-arithi

Maerua decumbens

mukinda-athuri

Antidesma venosum

mukinyi

Euclea divinorum

mukomboiru

Vangueria volkensii

mukomora

Vangueria infausta

mukomothi

Sclerocarya birrea

mukoro

Diospyros mespiliformis

mukui

Syzygium cordatum

mukumuti

Annona senegalensis

mukungui

Cucumis dipsaceus

mukunya-nthegere

Ziziphus mucronata

mukura

Piliostigma thonningii

mukururu

Flueggea virosa

mukuura

Piliostigma thonningii

mukuyu

Ficus sycomorus

mumuu

Annona senegalensis

mundarithi

Maerua decumbens

mung'othi

Acacia senegal

mungo

Saba comorensis

munyei

Commiphora rostrata

munyua

Acacia hockii

muracu

Lannea schweinfurthii

muraga

Dovyalis abyssinica

muraga

Flacourtia indica

muragwa

Grewia bicolor

muramba

Adansonia digitata

murawa

Grewia bicolor

mureera

Acacia seyal

muriru

Syzygium cordatum

muriru

Syzygium guineense

muruba

Grewia tembensis

muruguci

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

muruoga

Amaranthus spp.

mururu

Acokanthera oppositifolia

musamburu

Lantana camara

mutamaiyu

Flacourtia indica

mutamayu

Flacourtia indica

mutambananguru

Commelina africana

mutambi

Strychnos henningsii

mutanga

Citrullus lanatus

mutangira

Boscia coriacea

muterere

Amaranthus dubius

muterere

Amaranthus spp.

muthanguta

Rhus natalensis

muthanguta

Rhus vulgaris

mutheru

Rhus natalensis

mutheru

Rhus tenuinervis

mutheru

Rhus vulgaris

muthethuka

Antidesma venosum

muthigiyu

Rhus natalensis

muthigiyu

Rhus vulgaris

muthiigi

Rhus natalensis

muthiigi

Rhus vulgaris

muthithi

Tamarindus indica

muthithio

Antidesma venosum

muthiu

Boscia coriacea

muthunga

Launaea cornuta

muthwana

Berchemia discolor

mutogotogo

Pachystigma schumannianum

mutoo

Azanza garckeana

mutoroma

Diospyrus consolatae

mutunga ariithi

Maerua decumbens

mutungu

Lannea alata

mutungurutha

Scutia myrtina

mutura

Ximenia americana

mutuura

Ximenia americana

muura

Parinari curatellifolia

muvuu

Grewia villosa

mwange

Strychnos spinosa

mwange-wa-ndue

Strychnos spinosa

mwere

Pennisetum glaucum

nakamwe

Landolphia buchananii

nang'ombwe

Commelina benghalensis

ndamba na ngaa

Coccinia trilobata

ndambawangaa

Coccinia grandis

ndera

Garcinia livingstonei

ndongoraniria

Eriosema shirense

ng'iru

Ipomoea oenotherae

rwarange

Digera muricata

rwonge

Saba comorensis

rwongi

Saba comorensis

terere

Amaranthus dubius

terere

Amaranthus graecizans

terere

Amaranthus hybridus

tiko

Dactyloctenium aegyptium



Meru


Note: nce- is pronounced as nche-. In Tigania and Igembe (Nyambene), r- is replaced by l-, thus rungu would be lungu.



atha

Urtica massaica

cong'e

Oxygonum sinuatum

dilikoni

Pappea capensis

gikiri (fruit)

Lagenaria siceraria

gikwa

Dioscorea minutiflora

ikuo

Cordia monoica

ituma* (singular)

Colocasia esculenta

kahuwa

Coffea arabica

kariaba*

Dovyalis caffra

kauwa

Coffea arabica

kimore

Commelina benghalensis

maguru (leaves)

Colocasia esculenta

makunu

edible fungi

managu

Solanum nigrum

marenge

Cucurbita maxima

matomoko (fruits)

Annona cherimola

matoo (plural)

Azanza garckeana

matuma* (plural)

Colocasia esculenta

miraa

Catha edulis

mirimamuthua

Rhus vulgaris

mirimuthu

Rhus vulgaris

mpuru (fruit) (Mwimbi)

Vitex payos

mubiru (Mwimbi)

Vangueria infausta

mubiru

Vangueria madagascariensis

muburu

Vitex payos

mubuu

Grewia villosa

mubuyu

Ziziphus mucronata

muchimbi

Strychnos henningsii

mucimoro (Mwimbi)

Lantana camara

mugaa

Acacia spp.

muguchwa

Zanthoxylum chalebeum

mugugu

Keetia gueinzii

mugumo

Ficus natalensis

mugumo

Ficus thonningii

muiru

Vangueria volkensii

mukanjukanju

Hoslundia opposita

mukawa

Carissa edulis

mukengeya

Commelina benghalensis

mukirinyei

Euclea divinorum

mukura

Piliostigma thonningii

mukururu

Flueggea virosa

mukuyu

Ficus sycomorus

munathi*

Cocos nucifera

mung'ei

Bidens pilosa

mungu

Lagenaria siceraria

munyugunyugu

Cleome gynandra

muraga

Flacourtia indica

muramba

Adansonia digitata

murawa

Grewia bicolor

murikitha

Rhus natalensis

muro

Dovyalis abyssinica

muroko

Diospyros mespiliformis

muroroma

Ximenia americana

mururu

Acokanthera oppositifolia

muthigiyu

Rhus vulgaris

muthiriti

Lippia kituiensis

muthithi

Tamarindus indica

muthithiu

Rhus natalensis

muthunka

Launaea cornuta

muthwaye

Berchemia discolor

mutimoko*

Annona cherimola

mutonye

Antidesma venosum

mutoo

Azanza garckeana

mutungururi

Commiphora eminii

muura

Sclerocarya birrea

muya

Sorghum bicolor

mwere

Pennisetum glaucum

nathi*

Cocos nucifera

ncabi

Lablab purpureus

ncugu

Cajanus cajan

ndagarago*

Cymbopogon citratus

ndoroma (fruit)

Ximenia americana

nguyu (fruit)

Ficus sycomorus

njabi

Lablab purpureus

njugu (Mwimbi)

Cajanus cajan

nkamba

Commelina forskaolii

nkawa (fruit) (Mwimbi)

Carissa edulis

ntende*

Phoenix dactylifera

nthoroko

Vigna unguiculata

ntirikomi

Pappea capensis

pau (fruit) (Mwimbi)

Lagenaria siceraria

rukwa

Dioscorea minutiflora

rungu

Lagenaria siceraria

rwoga

Amaranthus blitum (A. lividus)

rwoga

Amaranthus hybridus

rwoga ra kicuka

Amaranthus graecizans

terere

Amaranthus hybridus

terere

Amaranthus spp.

thaa

Urtica massaica

ugimbi

Eleusine coracana



Nandi


kaptowinet

Dovyalis macrocalyx

kipsarkiat

Piliostigma thonningii

kwetingwet

Lannea schimperi

lamayuet

Syzygium guineense

legetetwa

Carissa edulis

lichet

Flacourtia indica

limaiyua

Syzygium guineense

mangwanyet

Lablab purpureus

monion

Erucastrum arabicum

monjororioyot

Rhus natalensis

ngungyet

Landolphia buchananii

nokok

Dovyalis abyssinica

nonion

Erucastrum arabicum

nyingiget

Landolphia buchananii

petiapteriet

Lantana trifolia

pipterit

Lantana trifolia

sebetwet

Ficus sycomorus

tungururiet

Flacourtia indica

usuet

Euclea divinorum



Orma


See also Borana names. Note: c- is pronounced ch-. Many of the words with k- are normally written with q-, thus kolati would be written qolati.



adhe

Salvadora persica

araba

Cordia monoica

baddan

Balanites aegyptiaca

baddan

Balanites rotundifolia

bura-diima

Acacia senegal

bururi

Meyna tetraphylla

chalado

Acacia nilotica

dakar

Boswellia neglecta

deka-dubra

Grewia tembensis

dika

Thylachium thomasii

gashir

Dobera glabra

gudis

Acacia tortilis

hadaraku

Lannea triphylla

haroru

Grewia bicolor

huda-hudo

Ximenia americana

jajab

Berchemia discolor

kalkach

Boscia coriacea

kolati

Mimusops fruticosa

kolati-gurati

Diospyros mespiliformis

komper

Commiphora africana

konchor

Phoenix reclinata

kone

Hyphaene compressa

kororo

Flueggea virosa

kukube-tari

Maerua decumbens

kumudhe

Lannea alata

mader

Cordia sinensis

marafa

Borassus aethiopum

meti (young)

Hyphaene compressa

odha

Ficus sycomorus

roka

Tamarindus indica

udesi

Commiphora rostrata

waradhe

Manilkara mochisia

yak

Adansonia digitata



Pokomo


bungo

Strychnos spinosa

mchanga

Elaeis guineensis

mfudu

Vitex mombassae

mhali

Cordia sinensis

mtale

Cordia sinensis

muhale

Cordia sinensis

mukuha

Dobera glabra

munyiza

Euclea divinorum

nyambembe

Sorindeia madagascariensis



Pokot


Note: in some cases, the spellings of words that have a or o are difficult as their pronunciation may lie between the two vowels as a in aron.



adome (fruit)

Cordia sinensis

adomeyon

Cordia sinensis

alaskau

Cucumis dipsaceus

allechuwa

Commiphora africana

aportotoyon

Commelina forskalaei

ariapongos

Coccinia grandis

ariapongos

Cucumis dipsaceus

arol (plural)

Sclerocarya birrea

aron

Tamarindus indica

ashokonyon

Salvadora persica

asiokon

Salvadora persica

asiokonion

Salvadora persica

aurieng'o

Hydnora abyssinica

chapkamkam

Strychnos henningsii

chekirio

Digera muricata

chemalokutan

Mimusops kummel

chemanka

Acacia senegal

chemankayan

Acacia senegal

chemchai

Lippia carviodora

chementril

Oxygonum sinuatum

chepchai

Lippia kituiensis

chepiliswo

Maerua decumbens

chepiwa

Hoslundia opposita

chepkarkarian

Corchorus trilocularis

chepkuratian

Amaranthus spinosus

chepliswo

Maerua decumbens

chepochepkai

Flueggea virosa

cheprukwo

Lannea schimperi

cheptapesyit

Lannea edulis

cheptuya

Euclea divinorum

chepuluswo

Maerua decumbens

chererayan

Digera muricata

cheretwo

Commelina forskalaei

cheriyan

Digera muricata

cherotwo

Commelina forskalaei

chesapulian

Cucumis dipsaceus

chesokisyon

Leptadenia hastata

chesuwancha

Vigna sp.

chesuwarian

Vernonia cinerea

chokow'o

Salvadora persica

chow

Corchorus olitorius

chuchween (plural)

Dovyalis macroalyx

chuchwenion

Dovyalis macrocalyx

chururkchir

Erucastrum arabicum

chuwugh

Acacia seyal

kamra

Crotalaria brevidens

kamra

Crotalaria ochroleuca

kaprimot

Digera muricata

karaturwa

Dovyalis abyssinica

karelmet

Cleome gynandra

karelmet

Crotalaria ochroleuca

katagh

Commiphora africana

kaworiongo

Hydnora abyssinica

kela (plural)

Vatovaea pseudolablab

kelion

Acokanthera schimperi

kelowo

Vatovaea pseudolablab

kelpomough

Portulaca oleracea

kelyomough

mushroom

ketporapis

Coccinia grandis

kinyat (plural)

Ximenia americana

kinyotwo

Ximenia americana

kiptanya

Amaranthus thunbergii

kiptarpotich

Flueggea virosa

komol (plural)

Vangueria madagascariensis

komolwo

Vangueria infausta

komolwo

Vangueria madagascariensis

kopko

Acacia nilotica

korosion

Dobera glabra

ksoiyo

Solanum nigrum

ksoyo

Solanum nigrum

kukugho

Strychnos spinosa

kuutitan (fruit)

Cucumis dipsaceus

lakatetwa

Carissa edulis

lamaiwa

Syzygium guineense

lamaiyua

Syzygium guineense

lokimeta

Commiphora rostrata

lokotetwo

Carissa edulis

lolotwo

Lannea rivae

loma (fruits)

Balanites rotundifolia

lomion

Balanites pedicellaris

lomion

Balanites rotundifolia

makow (plural)

Grewia villosa

mamachemeloi

Corchorus trilocularis

mamapatontolwo

Corchorus trilocularis

matagh

Eleusine coracana

mataighio (singular)

Eleusine coracana

meley

Urtica massaica

merwo

Garcinia livingstonei

meworil

Oxygonum sinuatum

mintirilwo

Dovyalis abyssinica

mochonyon

Lippia kituiensis

moikut

Cyperus blysmoides

moino

Lannea schweinfurthii

mojonyon

Lippia kituiensis

mokoghio

Grewia villosa

mokong'wo

Ficus sycomorus

mokono

Dactyloctenium aegyptium

mokuwo

Grewia villosa

molkech

Uvaria scheffleri

molkotwo

Canthium pseudosetiflorum

monmonwo

Rubus pinnatus

monmoon (plural)

Rubus pinnatus

mosongh (plural)

Sorghum bicolor

mosyoon

Sorghum bicolor

muchuk (plural)

Berchemia discolor

muchukwo

Berchemia discolor

muikisia

Uvaria scheffleri

ng'eng'echwo

Landolphia buchananii

ng'eng'eech (fruit)

Landolphia buchananii

nokow'o

Ficus vallis-choudae

oota

mushroom

ooten (plural)

mushroom

oroluo

Sclerocarya birrea

oron

Tamarindus indica

orongwo

Asystasia mysorensis

pchichen

Coccinia grandis

pchichin (fruit)

Coccinia grandis

portotion

Commelina benghalensis

portotoyon

Commelina forskalaei

priak (plural)

Pappea capensis

priokwo

Pappea capensis

ptanya

Amaranthus dubius

ptanya

Amaranthus graecizans

ptanya

Amaranthus thunbergii

puriokwo

Pappea capensis

pusyoon

Mimusops kummel

putoro

Canthium lactescens

rachan

Basella alba

rena

Acacia seyal

reper (plural)

Syzygium cordatum

reperwo

Syzygium cordatum

ses

Acacia tortilis

sesoy (plural)

Acacia tortilis

sikukuu

Amaranthus spinosus

simayon

Hoslundia opposita

simaywa

Hoslundia opposita

simbai (plural)

Hoslundia opposita

simboywo

Hoslundia opposita

simotwo

Ficus thonningii

siria (plural)

Rhus natalensis

siryewo-kaptamu

Rhus vulgaris

siryowo

Rhus natalensis

sitet

Grewia bicolor

sitowonyon

Acacia draepanolobium

sonkoou (plural)

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

sonkouwo

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

sorich (plural)

Boscia coriacea

sorichon

Boscia coriacea

sunkululwo

Boswellia neglecta

suriyo

Cleome gynandra

takayua

Hyphaene compressa

tamrenwo

Uvaria scheffleri

tamuketwo

Uvaria scheffleri

tapa-murkutwo

Lippia carviodora

taparper

Vangueria apiculata

tapirpirwo

Vangueria volkensii

tapoyo

Lannea triphylla

taran (plural)

Grewia tenax

tarmuch

Coccinia grandis

tilam (plural)

Ziziphus mauritiana

tiling (plural)

Meyna tetraphylla

tiling'wo

Meyna tetraphylla

tilomwo

Ziziphus mauritiana

tinkas (plural)

Flacourtia indica

tinkoswo

Flacourtia indica

tirak (plural)

Ziziphus abyssinica

tirak (plural)

Ziziphus mucronata

tirkirwo

Vitex doniana

tirokwo

Ziziphus abyssinica

tirokwo

Ziziphus mucronata

tlomwo

Ziziphus mauritiana

tomekekwo

Uvaria scheffleri

topererwo

Cordia monoica

toperpirwo

Vangueria apiculata

toporewo

Cordia monoica

toprepirwo

Vangueria apiculata

toronwo

Grewia tenax

tumeighio

Portulaca oleracea

tuyun (plural)

Balanites aegyptiaca

tuyunwo

Balanites aegyptiaca



Rendille


abah (gum)

Acacia senegal

akhai (fruit)

Salvadora persica

arlilo (fruit)

Grewia bicolor

baar

Hyphaene compressa

bejelo

Lannea alata

bekeila-ki-dakhan

Cleome gynandra

bubunto

Ficus sycomorus

dabach

Grewia bicolor

dahar

Acacia tortilis

domook (fruit)

Grewia tenax

fulai

Acacia seyal

gab

Ziziphus mauritiana

gab

Ziziphus mucronata

galafu

Lippia carviodora

galdayan

Commiphora rostrata

gayer

Cordia sinensis

geiybekeila

Cleome gynandra

gengalat

Solanum nigrum

gey-gidhan

Digera muricata

gey-i-qoona

Hyphaene compressa

giddan

Digera muricata

giddan-ki-dahn

Digera muricata

hadhaadh

Acacia senegal

halale

Boswellia neglecta

hanja (resin)

Boswellia neglecta

hayayi

Salvadora persica

henadi

Vatovaea pseudolablab

hinaadi

Vatovaea pseudolablab

ilbule (fruits)

Balanites rotundifolia

ilbule

Balanites pedicellaris

ilgiliti

Acacia nilotica

ilmasara

Commiphora africana

ilmo (fruit)

Ficus sycomorus

irigormosso

Vangueria madagascariensis

kahabale (fruit)

Vatovaea pseudolablab

kahabele (tuber)

Vatovaea pseudolablab

kalum

Balanites pedicellaris

koh

Cordia crenata

kulum

Balanites rotundifolia

lahuhuge

Coccinia grandis

lerokoa

Commiphora africana

lyoror

Boscia coriacea

madeer

Cordia sinensis

mulahanyo

Grewia tenax

niondoh

Lannea triphylla

obhoob

Grewia villosa

qabdo (fruit)

Acacia tortilis

qoona (fruit)

Hyphaene compressa

yoror

Boscia coriacea



Sabaot


bulgelwa

Vitex doniana

cheptuishak

Euclea divinorum

chuuandet

Balanites aegyptiaca

katagi

Ziziphus mauritiana

kotelalam

Sclerocarya birrea

letwa

Scutia myrtina

marungiyandet

Annona senegalensis

mucukwet

Dioscorea minutiflora

mundililwet

Dovyalis abyssinica

musapchet

Dioscorea minutiflora

mutoywo

Ximenia americana

njowaruwa

Rhus vulgaris

pulgelwet

Vitex doniana

sakiantet

Cleome gynandra

shiendet

Euclea divinorum

sirwa

Rhus natalensis

tungururu

Flacourtia indica

uluteywa

Ximenia americana

uswa

Euclea divinorum

wuswet

Euclea divinorum



Samburu


dalamboi

Tylosema fassoglense

dorgo

Cordia sinensis

dudhu

Cucumis dipsaceus

ilchinge

Euclea divinorum

ilerendei

Ziziphus mauritiana

ilmisingiyot

Rhus natalensis

irri

Grewia tembensis

irri

Grewia tenax

labai

Hoslundia opposita

labebegi

Vigna membranacea

laburaun

Dactyloctenium aegyptium

lagat

Lablab purpureus

lagrat-denai

Grewia bicolor

lairakai

Syzygium cordatum

lairakai

Syzygium guineense

lamai

Adansonia digitata

lamai

Ximenia americana

lamantume

Cordia monoica

lampurori

Lannea triphylla

lamulii

Syzygium cordatum

lamulii

Syzygium guineense

lamuriai

Carissa edulis

lamuriei

Carissa edulis

lamuyaki

Maerua decumbens

laparaan

Dactyloctenium aegyptium

lapironit

Bridelia taitensis

lapurori

Lannea schweinfurthii

lapurori

Lannea triphylla

lasaitet

Cleome gynandra

lchinge

Euclea divinorum

ldelopiji

Ipomoea oenotherae

lderendei

Ziziphus mauritiana

lderendei

Ziziphus mucronata

lderkesi

Acacia senegal

ldooge

Digera muricata

lecholoo

Boswellia neglecta

lejoro

Rhus vulgaris

lekawai

Phoenix reclinata

lekulee

Launaea cornuta

lekuruu

Solanum nigrum

leminyani

Lippia carviodora

lemoldongu

Basella alba

lemudong'o

Basella alba

leperei

Syzygium cordatum

leperei

Syzygium guineense

leperia

Corchorus tridens

leperia

Corchorus trilocularis

lera

Acacia seyal

lerai

Acacia seyal

leroongo

Pappea capensis

leturmet

Meyna tetraphylla

lgerdedi

Acacia senegal

lgueita

Cordia sinensis

lgumi

Vangueria volkensii

lgurong'ui

Pappea capensis

lgurugu

Pappea capensis

lgweita-orok

Cordia sinensis

lkarayoi

Grewia tenax

lkarraiyo

Grewia bicolor

lkasiyoi

Garcinia livingstonei

lkiloriti

Acacia nilotica

lkinoi

Lannea alata

lkirebuk

Flueggea virosa

lkiremichoi

Meyna tetraphylla

lkogomi

Grewia tenax

lkormosiyoi

Vangueria madagascariensis

lkoromos/yoi

Vangueria infausta

lkoromosien

Vangueria infausta

lkoromosien

Vangueria madagascariensis

lkoromosyei

Vangueria apiculata

lkoromosyeoi

Vangueria apiculata

lkuroti

Cyperus blysmoides

lkutetei

Landolphia buchananii

lmaim

Commiphora rostrata

lmakutikuti

Lippia carviodora

lmanturre

Cordia sinensis

lmisigiyoi

Rhus natalensis

lmludai

Vangueria volkensii

lmomoi

Solanum nigrum

lmoroo

Dovyalis abyssinica

lnanyo

Vatovaea pseudolablab

lng'aboli

Ficus sycomorus

lng'arboli

Pentarrhinum insipidum

lngongomi

Grewia tenax

loilalei

Ziziphus mucronata

loisiasi

Ipomoea longituba

loisugi

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

loisuki

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

loiswasi

Ipomoea longituba

lokiteng'

Ipomoea oenotherae

lokwai

Balanites aegyptiaca

loloroi

Flacourtia indica

lomunyanyi

Lippia carviodora

looisietchi

Ipomoea longituba

lopisedi

Pappea capensis

loposeta

Pappea capensis

lorumcheria

Digera muricata

lparwai

Hyphaene compressa

lpopoi

Grewia villosa

lpupoi

Grewia villosa

ltaai

Basella alba

ltani

Basella alba

ltebebiti

Vigna membranacea

ltepes

Acacia tortilis

ltilimani

Commiphora rostrata

Itooj

Manilkara mochisia

luai

Acacia drepanolobium

luoi

Acacia drepanolobium

lyoret

Garcinia livingstonei

manok (gum)

Acacia senegal

mir

Amaranthus dubius

mir

Amaranthus graecizans

musigio

Rhus natalensis

nairepirepi

Amaranthus spinosus

naisichoi

Rumex abyssinicus

naiteteyyai

Commelina africana

naketeyai

Commelina africana

nanyoi

Vatovaea pseudolablab

nchipilikwa

Strychnos henningsii

nchunge

Oxygonum sinuatum

nchungee

Portulaca quadrifida

ndaaruma

Dobera glabra

ndukee

Digera muricata

ng'aisichoi

Basella alba

ngabitoo

Vigna frutescens

ngaiteteyai

Commelina benghalensis

ngururusi

Vangueria volkensii

ngumrusia

Vangueria volkensii

njasi

Vatovaea pseudolablab

njunge

Erucastrum arabicum

njunge

Oxygonum sinuatum

nkaisiruaruai

Coccinia grandis

nkaisiruaruai

Coccinia trilobata

nkujit-ae-nkeok

Hyphaene compressa

ntalanwen

Dactyloctenium aegyptium

nterere

Amaranthus dubius

nterere

Amaranthus graecizans

ntererei

Amaranthus dubius

ntererei

Amaranthus graecizans

ntujuu

Cucumis dipsaceus

nturmayei

Portulaca oleracea

nyoni

Amaranthus dubius

nyoni

Amaranthus graecizans

nyoni

Amaranthus sparganiocephalus

reteti

Ficus thonningii

rogei

Tamarindus indica

sabai

Cleome gynandra

sagaram (fruits)

Acacia tortilis

sakurdumii

Kedrostis pseudogijef

sananguri

Scutia myrtina

santaiti

Berchemia discolor

sarai

Balanites pedicellaris

sarai

Balanites rotundifolia

se'eki

Cordia monoica

sebit

Landolphia buchananii

seketeti

Lantana trifolia

senoni

Lippia kituiensis

serichoi

Boscia coriacea

serr-i

Dobera glabra

seteti

Grewia bicolor

shinghe

Euclea divinorum

silalei

Boswellia neglecta

silapani

Cordia sinensis

sinoni

Lippia kituiensis

sioloran

Rhus vulgaris

sokotei

Salvadora persica

sokotu

Salvadora persica



Sanya (Sanye, Liangulu)


adhe

Salvadora persica

amosi kunde

Vigna unguiculata

auwaki

Hyphaene compressa

badhane

Balanites aegyptiaca

badhesa

Mimusops fruticosa

bombo

Vangueria infausta

buchuma

Lagenaria siceraria

chamari*

Ipomoea batatas

chamarirobia

Ipomoea aquatica

dhoka

Manilkara sansibarensis

doka

Manilkara sansibarensis

gadhayu

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

gony'ora

Phoenix reclinata

gune (tuber)

Nymphaea nouchali

gurura

Carissa edulis

gurura

Carissa tetramera

handaraku

Lannea schweinfurthii

haroru

Grewia bicolor

haroru korma

Grewia tenax

hathocha

Landolphia kirkii

ho'orocha

Cordia sinensis

horocha

Strychnos madagascariensis

hudahuda

Ximenia americana

itkindu

Phoenix reclinata

kabanesa

Landolphia petersiana

kahu

Commelina africana

kahu

Commelina africana

kahu

Commelina forskaolii

kahu

Commelina imberbis

kanjakanja

Salacia madagascariensis

kararacha

Diospyros consolatae

kikosho

Corchorus olitorius

kikosho

Corchorus tridens

kikosho

Corchorus trilocularis

kimanjala

Piliostigma thonningii

kiswenya

Amaranthus hybridus

kiswenya-korati

Amaranthus spinosus

kone

Hyphaene compressa

kukube

Salacia madagascariensis

kumudhin

Oxygonum salicifolium

kumunye (edible)

Lagenaria siceraria

kunazi (fruits)

Ziziphus mauritiana

kuraga

Manilkara sulcata

kuraga

Manilkara sulcata

magadhoguyo dhembela

Garcinia livingstonei

manga

Manihot esculenta

mangula

Strychnos madagascariensis

mangula

Strychnos spinosa

marafa

Borassus aethiopum

mbalazi (fruit)

Cajanus cajan

metsengwa

Elaeis guineensis

mkalakala

Bridelia cathartica

mkiboyea

Flueggea virosa

mkidonyathi

Dovyalis abyssinica

mkikili

Citrullus lanatus

mkikufathi

Vitex ferruginea

mkikufathi

Vitex mombassae

mkikufathi

Vitex payos

mkikufathi

Vitex spp.

mkukura

Ziziphus mucronata

mnavu

Solanum nigrum

mogodonya

Flacourtia indica

mpweke

Diospyros squarrosa

msinga

Sorghum bicolor

mthonokobada

Annona senegalensis

mtserere

Hoslundia opposita

mtsunga

Launaea cornuta

mukunazi

Ziziphus mauritiana

mushomoro

Lantana camara

muzungwe

Moringa oleifera

mwangani

Cleome gynandra

n'dufulukwa

Vernonia cinerea

nadhi

Cocos nucifera

njugu

Vigna subterranea

odha

Berchemia discolor

odha

Ficus sycomorus

pea (leaves)

Manihot esculenta

pupu

Lablab purpureus

roka

Tamarindus indica

shilole dal thu

Uvaria acuminata

shilole korima

Uvaria scheffleri

shiyole

Uvaria acuminata

shoshobli

Dialium orientale

shoshole

Dialium orientale

shusholwe

Dialium orientale

sisino

Sesamum orientale

thalakushe

Asystasia gangetica

walidhenya

Thylachium thomasii

wario

Aerva lanata

wimbi

Eleusine coracana

yaka

Adansonia digitata



Somali


Note: the letter c may be pronounced as ah or may be silent, only giving the next word a deeper sound.



abar mog

Maerua decumbens

abq

Acacia tortilis

abqo (pods)

Acacia tortilis

adad

Acacia senegal

adad ak

Pappea capensis

adad-geri

Acacia senegal var. senegal.

adadak

Pappea capensis

adde

Salvadora persica

ade

Salvadora persica

adhei

Salvadora persica

adishawel

Carissa edulis

alol

Phoenix reclinata

anri

Lannea triphylla

asel

Pappea capensis

ausdenan

Dactyloctenium giganteum

baamiya

Azanza garckeana

baar

Hyphaene compressa

baaror

Lannea triphylla

balambal

Ipomoea oenotherae

balanbal

Ipomoea aquatica

bar

Commelina spp.

bar

Hyphaene coriacea

baradurua

edible fungi

barambar

Coccinia grandis

barda

Ficus sycomorus

bardafa

Borassus aethiopum

bassac

Tylosema fassoglense

berde

Ficus sycomorus

berde

Ficus sur

bire berfo

Ipomoea mombassana

bocore

Nymphaea nouchali

bukural

Kigelia pinnata (K. africana)

bun

Coffea arabica

cismaan

Uvaria acuminata

daargo sagar

Amaranthus hybridus

daargo-warabe

Amaranthus hybridus

dabaunun

Commiphora africana

dabell (young)

Hyphaene compressa

dainjo

Commiphora rostrata

damiek

Grewia tenax

dan-farur

Grewia tenax

danusagar

Commiphora rostrata

daresa

Garcinia livingstonei

dargu

Amaranthus graecizans

debhi

Grewia bicolor

deen

Berchemia discolor

deen

Lannea schweinfurthii

degeiyar

Boscia coriacea

degeiyar

Boscia coriacea

deka

Grewia tenax

demeg

Grewia tembensis

dhangalow

Saba comorensis

dhayedhabe

Lippia carviodora

dheen-den ro'o

Berchemia discolor

dingah

Hydnora abyssinica

dongola

Saba comorensis

dowee

Grewia bicolor

dumeg

Grewia tembensis

dumod

Lantana camara

edaad

Acacia senegal

edad

Acacia senegal

ensili

Dactyloctenium aegyptium

fod cadde

Aerva lanata

frim

Dialium orientale

fulaay-boor

Acacia drepanolobium

fulai

Acacia seyal

fulaii

Acacia seyal var. fistula

fullai

Acacia seyal

garas

Dobera glabra

garso (plural)

Dobera glabra

ged hamu

Lippia carviodora

geed xamar

Lantana viburnoides

ghalangal

Boscia coriacea

ghalanghal

Boscia coriacea

gidami

Sorghum bicolor

gisrep

Albizia amara

gob

Ziziphus mauritiana

gohosa

Cyperus blysmoides

gooso

Cyperus blysmoides

gora

Xanthoxylum chalybeum

gud

Cordeauxia edulis

guduud

Keetia zanzibarica

guider

Acacia nilotica

gup

Ziziphus mauritiana

hadesa

Strychnos henningsii

hamar

Tamarindus indica

hammes-sagara

Commiphora africana

hamur geb

Ziziphus mucronata

hamur-gob

Ziziphus mauritiana

hashanli

Grewia tembensis

hashileh

Grewia tenax

hayab

Pentarrhinum insipidum

hidow

Dactyloctenium aegyptium

hidowensili

Dactyloctenium aegyptium

hungureri

Cucumis dipsaceus

hungureri damer

Cucumis dipsaceus

infidi

Brassica carinata

jaad

Catha edulis

jag

Adansonia digitata

jano

Commiphora rostrata

jano sagarr

Commiphora rostrata

jarba

Dactyloctenium aegyptium

jenau

Commiphora rostrata

jeu-gurreh

Cleome gynandra

kalejeje

Ficus thonningii

kamasha

Grewia tenax

kamudhe

Lannea alata

kobish

Grewia villosa

kolati

Mimusops fruticosa

kolati

Diospyros mespiliformis

kor'guba

Berchemia discolor

korati

Diospyros mespiliformis

kula

Lagenaria siceraria

kullan

Balanites aegyptiaca

kullan

Balanites rotundifolia

kumudhe

Lannea alata

laka

Hydnora abyssinica

like

Hydnora abyssinica

maderie

Salacia madagascariensis

magafur

Boswellia neglecta

magafur

Boswellia rivae

malmalei

Hoslundia opposita

marah

Acacia nilotica

marai

Acacia nilotica

mareer

Cordia sinensis

mareer-booy

Uvaria scheffleri

marer

Cordia sinensis

marer-girgir

Cordia monoica

marer-koh

Cordia crenata

marergoh

Cordia monoica

marfi

Vitex ferruginea

mawa

Moringa stenopetala

maydho

Phoenix reclinata

mirafur

Boswellia neglecta

moroh

Leptadenia hastata

mugli

Boswellia microphylla

mukerafo

Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum

murcud

Ximenia americana

murie

Grewia tenax

murie-bonati

Grewia tembensis

muryo

Grewia tenax

nasi

Cocos nucifera

natana

Canthium pseudosetiflorum

ohia

Thylachium thomasii

ohia-sagara

Maerua decumbens

ohob

Grewia villosa

parampar

Coccinia grandis

qat

Catha edulis

qoona (fruit)

Hyphaene compressa

qoone

Hyphaene coriacea

qumbe

Cocos nucifera

qup

Ziziphus mauritiana

quraa

Acacia tortilis

qurac

Acacia tortilis

qurah

Acacia tortilis

rahkai

Tamarindus indica

rasso

Amaranthus sparganiocephalus

reehan

Ocimum gratissimum

reexam

Lippia carviodora

roqe

Tamarindus indica

saar saar

Ipomoea plebeia

salalmac

Sesamum orientale

timir

Phoenix dactylifera

timir

Phoenix dactylifera

timir-duur

Canthium glaucum

tuger

Acacia nilotica

tuwer

Acacia nilotica

waanri

Lannea triphylla

waradhe

Manilkara mochisia

waradhei

Manilkara mochisia

yaaq

Adansonia digitata

yaq

Adansonia digitata

yeheb

Cordeauxia edulis

yihip

Cordeauxia edulis

yumaruk

Oxygonum sinuatum



Swahili


bamba

Oxygonum salicifolium

bungo (fruit)

Saba comorensis

fiwi (fruit)

Lablab purpureus

fuchwe

Asystasia gangetica

jaja

Commelina forskalaei

kala

Corchorus olitorius

kanzira-sukuma

Brassica carinata

karacha

Antidesma venosum

kiazi kikuu

Dioscorea dumetorum

kiazi kikuu

Dioscorea minutiflora

kifuka

Vernonia cinerea

kikunde warimu

Vigna membranacea

kikwa

Dioscorea dumetorum

kikwakwa

Strychnos madagascariensis

kikwakwa

Strychnos spinosa

kikwata

Acacia senegal

kilungwana

Landolphia kirkii

kimbugimbugi

Dactyloctenium aegyptium

kimbugimbugi

Dactyloctenium giganteum

kindiri

Oxygonum salicifolium

kinongo

Aerva lanata

kongwa

Commelina africana

kongwe

Commelina forskalaei

kongwe

Commelina imberbis

korie

Strychnos madagascariensis

kunde

Vigna unguiculata

mafa (leaves)

Solanum macrocarpon

makoma

Hyphaene coriacea

makombe

Tamarindus indica

mariga

Dioscorea dumetorum

maringa

Dioscorea dumetorum

matango

Cucurbita maxima

matoje (fruit)

Rubus pinnatus

mawele (plural)

Pennisetum glaucum

mbaazi

Cajanus cajan

mbalibali

Acacia drepanolobium

mbokwe

Annona senegalensis

mbua nono

Antidesma venosum

mbua ya nuno

Antidesma venosum

mbunga

Landolphia kirkii

mbungo

Saba comorensis

mbuyu

Adansonia digitata

mbwanga

Vitex mombassae

mchambigi

Manilkara sulcata

mchapa

Borassus aethiopum

mchedi

Manilkara sulcata

mchegi

Manilkara sansibarensis

mcheje mume

Manilkara sulcata

mchekeche

Piliostigma thonningii

mchicha

Amaranthus dubius

mchicha

Amaranthus graecizans

mchicha

Amaranthus hybridus

mchicha mwitu

Amaranthus graecizans

mchikichi

Elaeis guineensis

mchikichi

Piliostigma thonningii

mchongoma

Flacourtia indica

mchunga

Sonchus schweinfurthii

mchunju

Balanites aegyptiaca

mdaha mwitu

Hoslundia opposita

mfiwi

Lablab purpureus

mfudu

Vitex doniana

mfudu

Vitex ferruginea

mfudu

Vitex mombassae

mfudu

Vitex payos

mfukufuku

Grewia bicolor

mfundumaji

Vitex mombassae

mfuta mwitu

Sesamum calycinum

mfuta

Sesamum orientale

mganda

Uvaria scheffleri

mganda-simba

Uvaria acuminata

mgege

Vitex mombassae

mgiriti

Diospyros mespiliformis

mgovigovi

Flacourtia indica

mgunga

Acacia nilotica

mgunga

Acacia nilotica

mgunga

Acacia senegal

mgunga

Acacia tortilis

mguvi

Manilkara sansibarensis

mgweni

Uvaria acuminata

mikoche

Grewia bicolor

miwele (plural)

Pennisetum glaucum

mjafari

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

mjenga

Elaeis guineensis

mjuari

Syzygium cordatum

mjungu

Acacia nilotica

mjunju

Balanites aegyptiaca

mkabili

Cleome gynandra

mkadi

Diospyros mespiliformis

mkandi

Dactyloctenium giganteum

mkarakara

Bridelia cathartica

mkarati

Bridelia cathartica

mkindu

Phoenix reclinata

mkingiri

Flacourtia indica

mkoche

Hyphaene compressa

mkoma

Hyphaene compressa

mkoma

Hyphaene coriacea

mkone

Grewia bicolor

mkono chuma

Rhus natalensis

mkonochuma

Rhus vulgaris

mkororo

Commiphora africana

mkulu

Berchemia discolor

mkuna chuma

Rhus natalensis

mkunazi

Ziziphus mauritiana

mkunazi

Ziziphus mucronata

mkunguma

Sorindeia madagascariensis

mkuyu

Ficus sycomorus

mkwaju

Tamarindus indica

mkwamba

Flueggea virosa

mlala

Hyphaene compressa

mlala

Hyphaene coriacea

mlama-mwitu

Rhus vulgaris

mlandege

Ficus thonningii

mlanyuni

Hoslundia opposita

mlenda

Corchorus olitorius

mlenda

Corchorus tridens

mlenda

Corchorus trilocularis

mlishangwe

Rhus vulgaris

mnafisi

Boscia coriacea

mnafu

Solanum nigrum

mnago

Manilkara mochisia

mnavu

Solanum nigrum

mng'ambo kope

Mimusops fruticosa

mng'ongo

Sclerocarya birrea

mngombe

Diospyros mespiliformis

mnguvi

Mimusops fruticosa

mnyaa

Hyphaene compressa

mnyambo

Hydnora abyssinica

mnyambo

Hydnora africana

mnyumbu

Lannea schweinfurthii

mongo

Sclerocarya birrea

moyo

Landolphia kirkii

mpekechu

Dialium orientale

mpekechu

Garcinia livingstonei

mpeketo

Garcinia livingstonei

mpepeta

Dialium holtzii

mpepeta

Dialium orientale

mpingi

Ximenia americana

mpira

Landolphia kirkii

mpira

Saba comorensis

mporopojo

Keetia zanzibarica

mpweke

Diospyros mespiliformis

mpweke

Diospyros squarrosa

mpyo

Landolphia kirkii

mrinja-kondo

Rhus vulgaris

mrongo

Moringa stenopetala

msambarau

Syzygium cordatum

msasa

Cordia monoica

msasuzi

Antidesma venosum

msega

Dobera glabra

msega

Dobera loranthifolia

msegese

Piliostigma thonningii

mshomoro

Lantana camara

mshonjie

Manilkara sansibarensis

msindi

Diospyros mespiliformis

msisi

Tamarindus indica

msunguti

Acokanthera oppositifolia

mswaki

Dobera glabra

mswaki

Dobera loranthifolia

mswaki

Salvadora persica

mtalawanda

Manilkara mochisia

mtama

Sorghum bicolor

mtandamboo

Carissa edulis

mtandamboo

Carissa tetramera

mtapa

Borassus aethiopum

mteja

Flueggea virosa

mtengeji

Canthium glaucum

mteremtere

Hoslundia opposita

mtetewe

Acacia nilotica

mteweji

Manilkara sulcata

mtikini

Asystasia gangetica

mtikiti

Citrullus lanatus

mtindapo

Keetia gueinzii

mtindapo

Keetia zanzibarica

mtishangwe

Rhus natalensis

mtoje

Rubus pinnatus

mtokuu

Annona senegalensis

mtomoko mwitu

Annona senegalensis

mtonga

Salvadora persica

mtonga

Strychnos madagascariensis

mtope tope

Annona senegalensis

mtotozi

Garcinia livingstonei

mtundakula

Ximenia americana

mtundukula

Ximenia americana

mtunguma

Sorindeia madagascariensis

muaa

Hyphaene compressa

muizu wa kirisa

Thylachium thomasii

mukhalita

Ziziphus mauritiana

mukorobosho

Grewia villosa

mulambulo

Hoslundia opposita

mulenda

Corchorus olitorius

mungango

Sclerocarya birrea

muuyu

Adansonia digitata

muwatata

Azanza garckeana

mvepe

Lantana trifolia

mviru

Vangueria infausta

mviru

Vangueria madagascariensis

mvumba

Vitex mombassae

mvumo

Borassus aethiopum

mvunja kondo

Rhus natalensis

mwaacha

Uvaria acuminata

mwangani

Cleome gynandra

mwele

Pennisetum glaucum

mwimbi

Eleusine coracana

myungiyungi

Nymphaea nouchali

mziwaziwa

Antidesma venosum

mzuari

Syzygium cordatum

mzuari

Syzygium guineense

mzunze

Moringa stenopetala

ndapo

Keetia zanzibarica

ndiga

Dioscorea dumetorum

nduwe

Azanza garckeana

njugu mawe

Vigna subterranea

simsim

Sesamum indicum

sope tope

Annona senegalensis

ubani

Boswellia neglecta

ufuta

Sesamum indicum

ulimbo

Landolphia kirkii

uvuta

Sesamum indicum

uwele

Pennisetum glaucum

uyoga

edible fungi

viazi tamu

Ipomoea batatas

viazi-vikuu (.plural)

Dioscorea bulbifera

vigongo

Dioscorea dumetorum

wimbi

Eleusine coracana



Taita


bule

Rumex usambarensis

chanya

Amaranthus hybridus

imbo (fruit)

Salacia erecta

kangalige

Maerua decumbens

kichanya

Amaranthus dubius

kichanya

Amaranthus graecizans

kigangachi

Phoenix reclinata

kimbungu

Rhus longipes

kirimba

Carissa edulis

kisambara

Dactyloctenium giganteum

kiwowa

Balanites aegyptiaca

kizenya

Amaranthus dubius

kizenya

Amaranthus graecizans

m'mbuku

Euclea divinorum

mako

Dioscorea dumetorum

makongo

Oxygonum salicifolium

mameru (plural)

Saba comorensis

maratua

Rubus pinnatus

mbalu

Digera muricata

mboghombogho

Vangueria infausta

mbuche

Dovyalis abyssinica

mdolondolo

Acokanthera oppositifolia

meru

Saba comorensis

mhale

Digera muricata

mkongo

Syzygium guineense

mkunguruli

Sorindeia madagascariensis

mjarnba

Adansonia digitata

mmara

Grewia bicolor

mmbogha

Grewia tembensis

mmeru-sukari

Landolphia kirkii

mndendele

Pappea capensis

mnyinya

Launaea cornuta

mshashote

Grewia villosa

msheshere

Rumex usambarensis

mshoshoti

Grewia villosa

msungusungu

Acokanthera oppositifolia

mtandamboo

Carissa edulis

mtandamboo

Carissa tetramera

mtundukula

Ximenia americana

mtungu

Boswellia neglecta

mtunguru

Thylachium thomasii

muimbo

Salacia erecta

muku

Ficus sycomorus

mumeru

Saba comorensis

mung'anga

Garcinia livingstonei

munyanga

Garcinia livingstonei

mushiga

Lannea alata

musu

Syzygium cordatum

musu

Syzygium guineense

mvudi

Lantana camara

mvudi

Lippia kituiensis

mvumu

Ficus thonningii

mvunde

Hoslundia opposita

mwakiserere

Rumex usambarensis

mwemberi

Lantana camara

mwemberi

Lantana trifolia

mzwana

Berchemia discolor

ndaendae

Rubus pinnatus

ndaindai

Rubus apetalus

ndaindai

Rubus pinnatus

ndandai

Rubus pinnatus

ndandangoma

Carissa edulis

ndelema

Basella alba

ndendele (fruit)

Pappea capensis

ndimu

Saba comorensis

ndunda

Solanum nigrum

ndundukula (fruit)

Ximenia americana

ngariso

Lannea alata

ngomba

Erucastrum arabicum

seria

Rhus vulgaris

shighiri

Acacia nilotica

tagashiko

Ximenia americana

vikunguu

Rhus vulgaris

voga

edible fungi



Taveta


irara

Hyphaene compressa

ivungu

Saba comorensis

mase

Syzygium guineense

mdaria

Vangueria madagascariensis

mdaria

Vangueria volkensii

mhongana

Phoenix reclinata

mposi

Elaeis guineensis

mugongolo

Diospyros mespiliformis

mundaraha

Sorindeia madagascariensis

mwemba

Grewia tembensis



Teso


abatot

Dioscorea bulbifera

akima

Eleusine coracana

aogot

Dioscorea minutiflora

atenum

Garcinia livingstonei

atigo

Corchorus trilocularis

eborborei

Ficus sycomorus

ebubu

Rhus natalensis

ebwolo

Annona senegalensis

ecadoi

Cleome gynandra

echomai

Balanites aegyptiaca

edukudukut

Borassus aethiopum

edukut

Borassus aethiopum

eduro

Ficus natalensis

eduro

Ficus sycomorus

ejikai

Sclerocarya birrea

ekajikai

Sclerocarya birrea

ekapelimen

Acacia nilotica

ekarukei

Vitex doniana

ekarukei

Vitex doniana

ekisim

Acacia hockii

ekodokodoi

Acacia senegal

ekodokodoi

Ziziphus abyssinica

ekoramai

Acacia seyal

ekoropot

Commelina benghalensis

ekum

Diospyros mespiliformis

ekunoit

Acacia senegal

ekwalakwala

Garcinia livingstonei

ekwalakwalat

Strychnos spinosa

ekwatet

Rhus vulgaris

ekwayu

Rhus vulgaris

elakas

Flueggea virosa

elamai

Ximenia americana

emairungi

Catha edulis

emaniman

Coccinia grandis

emuriei

Carissa edulis

emus

Euclea divinorum

emusogot

Phoenix reclinata

epapai

Piliostigma thonningii

epeduru

Tamarindus indica

epena

Cajanus cajan

epwatet

Rhus vulgaris

esidiba

Asystasia mysorensis

esilang'

Ziziphus abyssinica

esilang'

Ziziphus mauritiana

eturukukut

Strychnos spinosa

eusuk

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

ewaya

Rhus natalensis

ewayo

Rhus natalensis

ewelo

Vitex doniana

eyelel

Acacia drepanolobium

ikanyum

Sesamum indicum

imomwa

Sorghum bicolor

olimu

Ximenia americana



Tharaka


ikuru (plural)

Lagenaria siceraria

ituma*

Colocasia esculenta

marenge*

Cucurbita maxima

mathoroko

Vigna unguiculata

mikwaji*

Manihot esculenta

mituungu

Lannea alata

muboobua

Balanites aegyptiaca

mubuu

Grewia villosa

muguna-kirindi

Adansonia digitata

muguunda

Moringa stenopetala

mukenia

Lantana trifolia

mukiindu

Phoenix reclinata

mukonde

Euclea divinorum

mukurungu

Meyna tetraphylla

mukururu

Flueggea virosa

mukuura

Piliostigma thonningii

munatha

Maerua decumbens

mungaritha

Dobera glabra

munya

Sorghum bicolor

muraagwa

Grewia bicolor

muramba

Adansonia digitata

murawa

Grewia bicolor

muroroma

Ximenia americana

muruguyu

Hyphaene compressa

muthithi

Tamarindus indica

muthiuthiu

Boscia coriacea

muthuchi

Lannea schweinfurthii

muthugagu

Cordia monoica

muthunka

Launaea cornuta

muthuthuura

Garcinia livingstonei

muthwana

Berchemia discolor

mutugangu

Cordia monoica

mutunkuuri

Commiphora rostrata

muungu

Lagenaria siceraria

muyee

Bridelia cathartica

muyee

Bridelia taitensis

mwemba

Acacia nilotica

mwere

Pennisetum glaucum

ngurungu (fruit)

Meyna tetraphylla

ngwaci*

Ipomoea batatas

njavi

Lablab purpureus

njugu

Cajanus cajan

nthoroko

Vigna unguiculata

rwoga

Amaranthus graecizans

terere

Amaranthus dubius

ugimbi

Eleusine coracana



Tugen


adomewa

Cordia sinensis

adumewa

Cordia sinensis

barsute

Salvadora persica

biriokwo

Pappea capensis

chebiwa

Acacia nilotica

chebiwo

Acacia nilotica

edoma (leaves)

Cordia sinensis

kimolik

Vangueria infausta

kisakiat

Cleome gynandra

kisuchon

Solanum nigrum

kisuchot

Solanum nigrum

kokian

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

kokiin (plural)

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

komolik

Vangueria madagascariensis

lamaek (fruit)

Syzygium guineense

legetetwa

Carissa edulis

lobbitiet

Commelina benghalensis

lokoek (fruit)

Ficus sycomorus

lokoitwo

Ficus sycomorus

lokoiwo

Ficus sycomorus

lomoiwo

Syzygium guineense

lubchan

Basella alba

mokilokwa

Keetia gueinzii

mokuiwo

Grewia villosa

momonwo

Rubus pinnatus

mowonwo

Rubus pinnatus

muchukwa

Berchemia discolor

myengwo

Ximenia americana

narogeki

Nymphaea nouchali

ngonswo

Balanites aegyptiaca

ngoswa

Balanites aegyptiaca

ninoiwa

Ziziphus mucronata

noswo

Manilkara mochisia

ntereryan

Corchorus olitorius

sekechewo

Lantana trifolia

sesya

Acacia tortilis

siesiet

Acacia tortilis

sirkwa

Boscia coriacea

siwon

Urtica massaica

sogotaiwa

Salvadora persica

talatany (fruit)

Flacourtia indica

tapuya

Lannea triphylla

taran

Grewia tenax

taronwet

Grewia tenax

tilattil

Acacia hockii

tilingwo

Meyna tetraphylla

tilinyek (fruit)

Meyna tetraphylla

tilomwo

Ziziphus mauritiana

tingoswo

Flacourtia indica

tirikikwa

Balanites rotundifolia

tololokwo

Sclerocarya birrea

tungururwo

Flacourtia indica



Turkana


Note: in Turkana, -ch is normally written -c, thus elamach will normally be written elamac.



adeya

Amaranthus graecizans

akademoit

Cyperus blysmoides

akeju-apoo

Ipomoea plebeia

akio

Cleome gynandra

amunyet

Citrullus lanatus

arekoi

Coccinia grandis

ataa-kunyuk

Ipomoea plebeia

auriong'o

Hydnora abyssinica

ebaale

edible fungi

ebei

Balanites rotundifolia

ebune

Solanum nigrum

echaboi

Cleome gynandra

echekereng

Acacia seyal

echoke

Ficus sycomorus

echoke

Flacourtia indica

edapal

Dobera glabra

edeya

Amaranthus sparganiocephalus

edome

Cordia sinensis

eedung

Boscia coriacea

eeng'ol

Hyphaene compressa

eerut

Maerua decumbens

eewoi (mature)

Acacia tortilis

egilae

Vatovaea pseudolablab

egum

Diospyros mespiliformis

egumoit

Diospyros mespiliformis

ekadala

Coccinia grandis

ekadeli

Commiphora africana

ekadet-etum

Cyperus blysmoides

ekadeteu

Rhus natalensis

ekadetewae

Rhus natalensis

ekajiket

Sclerocarya birrea

ekalale

Ziziphus mauritiana

ekaleruk

Cucumis dipsaceus

ekaletelete

Portulaca oleracea

ekali

Grewia bicolor

ekamong'o

Leptadenia hastata

ekapelimen

Acacia nilotica

ekiliton

Amaranthus graecizans

ekoromomwae

Digera muricata

ekoromwae

Digera muricata

ekoromwait

Acacia seyal

ekunde

Vigna unguiculata

ekunoit

Acacia senegal

elakas

Flueggea virosa

elamach

Balanites pedicellaris

elamae

Ximenia americana

emaleker

Grewia tembensis

emaler

Vangueria apiculata

emaniman

Coccinia grandis

emaniman

Vangueria infausta

emaret

Vigna unguiculata

emeyen

Berchemia discolor

emeyen

Berchemia discolor

emidi-kan

Canthium pseudosetiflorum

eng'ol

Hyphaene compressa

eng'omo

Grewia tenax

eome

Cucumis dipsaceus

eosin-aikeny

Digera muricata

epeduru

Tamarindus indica

epespes

Amaranthus spinosus

epong'ae

Grewia villosa

eroronyit

Balanites aegyptiaca

esekon

Salvadora persica

esilang'

Ziziphus abyssinica

esilang'

Ziziphus mucronata

esokon

Salvadora persica

esugumaran

Meyna tetraphylla

esuuja

Solanum nigrum

etiir (young)

Acacia tortilis

etirae

Commelina benghalensis

etirae

Commelina forskalaei

etoler

Pappea capensis

etopojo

Lannea rivae

etopojo

Lannea schimperi

etopojo

Lannea triphylla

etoukoroe

Canthium pseudosetiflorum

etulelo

Erucastrum arabicum

etuntun

Cordia monoica

eur

Lippia carviodora

eurumosing

Commiphora rostrata

eusugu

Zanthoxylum chalybeum

eyelel

Acacia drepanolobium

lojeel

Corchorus olitorius

lojeel

Corchorus trilocularis

lokiliton

Amaranthus graecizans

lokimeta

Commiphora rostrata

lokora

Commiphora rostrata

lookwa

Amaranthus spinosus

louyeing'orok

Amaranthus graecizans

louyeing'orok

Amaranthus sparganiocephalus

nabutachwee

Commelina benghalensis

nakadoki

Phoenix reclinata

namale

Corchorus trilocularis

namunio

Erucastrum arabicum

namunye

Citrullus lanatus

ng'akalalio (fruits)

Ziziphus mauritiana

ng'ikuram

Nymphaea nouchali

ng'imomwa

Sorghum bicolor

ngomwo

Dovyalis abyssinica

Colour plates


A rural market scene, Kalundu, Kitui


Orperelong'o, Albizia amara, Kajiado. The gum is edible


Antidesma venosum. The ripe fruits are a source of dye


Basella alba, a leafy vegetable and an ornamental plant


Acokanthera oppositifolia. Ripe fruits are edible


Annona senegalensis, near Museve, Kitui hills


Boscia coriacea, an important food plant of the arid lands of northern Kenya


Boscia coriacea


Carissa edulis. Flowers are occasionally picked as a snack


A herdsboy displays a favourite fruit, Coccinia grandis, Lokwar village, south Turkana


Boscia coriacea cotyledons ready for boiling, Kaputir, south Turkana


A local cultivar of water melon (Citrullus lanatus), Lodwar


Commelina forskaolii


Ng'ikebootok women feasting on water melon along the Turkwel River, south Turkana


Selling Cordia monoica fruits, Lodwar market


Crotalaria ochroleuca


Dioscorea minutiflora, a common yam in Central Province


Finger millet, Eleusine coracana, a favourite for making porridge


Eriosema shirense. Small tubers are edible


Cyphia glandulifera. The leaves and tubers are used for food


Hyphaene compressa, Lodwar


Grewia villosa


Kigelia pinnata (K. africana)


Lablab bean Lablab purpureus


Landolphia buchananii


Collecting Nymphaea nouchali, Magarini, Malindi


An edible cultivar of the gourd Lagenaria siceraria, south-east Makueni


Lantana trifolia


Nymphaea nouchali


Bulrush millet, Pennisetum glaucum


Saba comorensis


Solanum villosum


Piliostigma thonningii. The fruit pulp is edible


Rhus vulgaris


Ndendela, Salacia sp. This species may be new to science but not to the locals in Thui, near Mukuyuni, Makueni


Sorghum, Sorghum bicolor


Stathmostelma propinquum, plains near Kajiado


Tamarindus indica


Tamarindus indica


Edible fungi, Termitomyces species, on a termite mound, north Kajiado


Strychnos spinosa


Edible fungi and Corchorus in a market in Siaya


A boy carrying a tuber of Thylachium thomasii


Stinging nettle, Urtica massaica. Leaves are used as a vegetable


Vatovaea pseudolablab. The seeds in these pods are edible


Ripe fruits of Vitex payos, Wikililye, Kitui


Uvaria scheffleri fruits, Mbui Nzau, near Kibwezi


Young plant of Vatovaea pseudolablab. The tuber is edible


A boy picking Vangueria infausta fruit, Kajiado


Vigna membranacea ssp. caesia, a leafy vegetable


Members of a women's group sowing traditional leafy vegetables. Kamuwani, near Muumandu, Makueni


Map 3. Agro-climatic zones of Kenya

(introduction...)

Key

Species importance

The importance of a specific species for a particular use is indicated as follows:


+++

Locally very important


++

Locally important


+

Locally less important

Acacia drepanolobium Sjöstedt

Mimosaceae (Fabaceae)

English: whistling thorn, black-galled acacia Kamba: kiunga, iunga (plural) Kikuyu: muruai Kipsigis: mukuruit, muguruit Luo: dunga, adugo, dugna, oduga Maa: eluai, eluaai, iluaa (plural) Mbeere: mugambu, mugunga Pokot: sitowonyon, stoghon (singular), stoghoonei (plural) Rendille: fulaay Samburu: luai, luoi Somali: flai Swahili: mbalibali Teso: eyelel Turkana: eyelel

Description: A spiny bush, shrub or small tree to 6 m high with an open spreading crown, flat-topped at maturity. More commonly a small shrub 1.5-3.5 m. BARK: Grey, usually smooth, older bark finely fissured. THORNS: White, straight, some galled at their base. Galls fleshy, hollow, up to 5 cm in diameter, dark green to reddish purple when fresh, turning dark grey to black and usually inhabited by black or brown ants as they dry. FLOWERS: Numerous, in white heads. FRUIT: A narrow reddish brown pod.

Ecology: Grows in eastern and Central Africa, e.g. Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire). Found in Kenya in, e.g. Kaputei plains, Loita plains, Kedong valley, Lambwe Valley, Ndaragwa, Naivasha and Morupus (West Pokot), commonest at 1,300-2,400 m. Most common in open black clay plains, dry rocky hillsides or wooded grassland. Often the dominant shrub in plains with black cotton soil at medium altitudes; less often in red clay soil and rocky areas. Rainfall: 500-1,300 mm. Zones III - V.

Uses: FOOD: Fresh soft fleshy galls edible (+). Galls have a sweet, often slightly bitter taste. Very young galls are green to dark green, bitter and filled with fluid. As they mature they turn reddish purple and hollow. This is the right stage to eat them. Also at this stage stinging ants bore into them at the thorn base and inhabit them. With age, the galls harden, become fibrous, greyish-black and unpalatable. Inner bark fibre, which has a sweetish bitter taste, may be chewed (Machakos). Galls are a favourite food for herdsmen.

OTHER: Branches are used in fencing. Mature plants are a good source of fuelwood (++). Leaves, shoots and fresh soft galls are good fodder for goats, camels (+++), cattle and donkeys (+). Giraffes like browsing on this plant.

Season: Fresh galls found during active growth, mainly after rainy season. Flowers in October-November in Naivasha and Kajiado.

Status: Locally very common.

Remarks: A quite variable species in Kenya.


Figure


Figure


Figure

Acacia hockii De Wild.

Mimosaceae (Fabaceae)

Kamba: kinyua Kikuyu: mugaa Luo: arumbe, oriang' Maa: enchapalani, orcharpalani (Ngong) Mbeere: munyua Pokot: chuwan Teso: ekisim Tugen: tilatil

Description: A usually small acacia, 2-4 m high with a rather open crown. Occasionally a tree to 8 m. BARK: Yellow to greenish yellow, peeling. THORNS: Paired, straight on relatively few branches. FLOWERS: In yellow or orange heads. FRUIT: Pods reddish brown, narrow, straight or crescent shaped.

Ecology: From West Africa east to Sudan and south to Mozambique. Widely distributed in most parts of Kenya and common on sloping rocky bushed grassland, 0-2,400 m. Associated with poor soils, especially sands. Often the dominant shrub. Rainfall: 650-800 mm or occasionally more. Zones III-V.

Uses: FOOD: Inner bark fibre chewed for its juice which has a sweet taste (+++) (Kamba, Maasai, Mbeere). The gum is edible (Kamba, Maasai, Mbeere).

OTHER: Fuelwood (++), fodder, fence.

Status: May be locally common.

Remarks: The acacia with the sweetest bark string in Kenya.

Season: Flowers in December-February (Kitui, Machakos, Kajiado).


Figure


Figure


Figure

Acacia nilotica (L.) Del.

Mimosaceae (Fabaceae)

Borana: burquqe, burquqis Chonyi: mtsemeri, munga Digo: kigundi, chigundigundi English: Egyptian mimosa, Egyptian thorn Gabra: burquqe, burq'uq'e Giriama: msemeri, munga, muhegakululu Ilchamus: lkiloriti, lkilorit Kamba: kisemei (Machakos), musemeli (Kitui) Kambe: mtsemeri, munga Keiyo: kiprutyot Kikuyu: mugaa Kipsigis: chebitet, kopko Maa: olkiloriti Mbeere: mucemeri Orma: chalado Pokot: kopko, kapka Rendille: ilgiliti Samburu: lkiloriti Somali: marah, guider, langid, marai, tuwer Swahili: mgunga, mjungu, mtetewe Taita: shighiri Teso: ekapelimen Tharaka: mwemba Tugen: chebiwo, chebiwa Turkana: ekapilimen, ekapelimen

Description: A small- to medium-sized acacia, usually 3-5 m, with scattered branches (especially in young plants) or with a spreading umbrella-shaped crown and low branches (in older plants). BARK: Dark brown to black on the trunk. Branches reddish brown. THORNS: Branches armed with paired strong spines. FLOWERS: In bright yellow to orange heads. FRUIT: A grey to purple-black, straight or slightly curved indehiscent pod up to 12 cm long by 1.2 cm wide, with a whitish bloom and a gummy pulp.

Ecology: A species widely spread in tropical and subtropical Africa and east to India, from Ethiopia and Sudan to north-eastern South Africa and northern Namibia. Widely distributed in Kenya in acacia bushland and wooded grassland, e.g. growing in Kaputei plains (Kajiado), Kedong valley and Kerio Valley, 0-2,500 m. Common in both dry lowlands and highlands. Soils variable from sandy to black cotton. Seems to prefer gravelly red soils. Rainfall: Commonest at 500-800 mm. Zones III - VI.

Uses: FOOD: Bark (Kamba, Maasai, Mbeere) and the gummy fruit pulp (Pokot, Turkana, Rendille) boiled in water, sugar added and drunk as tea (+++). Pods are a famine food (Mbeere).

FOOD/MEDICINAL: Bark and roots boiled in milk, blood (Rendille) or soup, especially by warriors for appetite and general fitness (Maasai, Rendille, Samburu). Tea made from fruit drunk for stomach problems. Boiled root extract drunk as a tea for chest pain, abdominal pain and tuberculosis (Samburu). Root or bark extract taken alone or boiled in soup for indigestion (constipation), stomach upset (Maasai, Samburu), as an emetic (Samburu) and for hepatitis (Samburu).

MEDICINAL: Bark and root used in the treatment of venereal diseases (Maasai, Kamba, Tharaka). Cold bark infusion drunk to treat nausea caused by drinking milk. Chewed leaf or boiled bark applied on wounds, burns and sore eyes (Samburu). Inner bark chewed or boiled as cure for stomach-ache and diarrhoea (Pokot). Inner bark chewed for sore throat and cough (Maasai). Boiled leaf extract used for chest pain or pneumonia (Maasai). Bark and roots used as an aphrodisiac, and roots for gonorrhoea, impotence and chest diseases (Maasai). Bark decoction given to children for fever (Maasai). Sap from twigs (Pokot) and squeezed pods (Turkana, Pokot, Tharaka) applied to infected eyes. Bark infusion used against "malaria" (Pokot) and for stomach problems in goats (Pokot). Infusion of any plant part used to treat headache (Somali, Boran). Root bark (Mbeere) and fruit (Kamba) decoction used for coughs; boiled bark with fat used for painful joints, backache and stomach ulcers (Pokot).

OTHER: Fencing material, fuelwood (+++), charcoal (+++), fodder for all livestock (+). Bark boiled with meat to soften it (Pokot). Bark used for tanning (Mbeere). Bark and roots are a source of dye for baskets (Machakos). Thorns used for piercing ears (Kamba, Tharaka), removing jiggers (Mbeere) and as plugs for gourds (Kamba, Mbeere). Gum from fruit or bark used for attaching feathers to arrows (Mbeere). Wood hard and durable, used as posts for grain stores (Kamba).

CULTURAL/BELIEF: Ground bark used for rituals (Maasai). Fresh juice from fruit rubbed on eyelids to make them black during dances (Digo). Gum from fruits rubbed on hair by old men (Digo).

Season: Flowers in January (Kitui), May-June (Laikipia) or September-October (Naivasha, Kajiado). Fruits in August-September (Kitui) or October (Laikipia).

Management: Best propagated by direct sowing at site.

Status: Very common.

Remarks: This species is quite variable. Two subspecies occur in Kenya: ssp. subalata (Vatke) Brenan (syn: A. subalata Vatke) which is by far the commonest; ssp. leiocarpa is a coastal subspecies (Malindi, Pate Islands, Kiunga, into Somalia) with hairless fruit and young branches. At least seven subspecies are recognized, the others being found outside Kenya.


Figure


Figure


Figure

Acacia senegal (L.) Willd.

Mimosaceae (Fabaceae)

Borana: burra diima, sadeema, sapans diima, iddado, baabido (gum) Daasanach: dang'ite Digo: kikwata English: gum arabic tree, Sudan gum arabic Gabra: iddaad'o Ilchamus: lderkesi Kamba: king'ole (Machakos), kikole, king'olola (north Kitui) Luo: kiluor, otiep Maa: olderkesi, enderkesi, interkes (plural), olbida Mbeere: mung'othi Orma: bura-diima Pokot: chemanga, chemankayan Rendille: hadhaadh, mirgi-abah (gum) Samburu: lderkesi, manok (gum) Somali: edad, edad-geri, adad, edaad Swahili: kikwata, mgunga Teso: ekunoit, ekodokodoi Turkana: ekunoit

Description: Shrub or small tree up to 9 m tall, more often 2-4 m high. Crown flat in mature trees. BARK: Scaly, yellowish brown or grey-brown. Branches armed. THORNS: Spines brown-black, usually arranged in threes at the leaf nodes, the middle one recurved, the others directed forwards. FLOWERS: Buds red, opening to long white or cream spikes, borne in twos or threes or singly. FRUIT: A flat brown, papery, prominently veined dehiscent pod to 10 cm long by 2 cm broad, often slightly constricted between some or all seeds. Seeds usually 3-5, greenish brown, flattened with a circular outline.

Ecology: From West Africa east to Egypt, south to South Africa and Namibia. Also found in Asia. Grows in Kenya, e.g. on Homa Hill, in the Rift Valley, Lokitaung and Mutha hill in dry Acacia-Commiphora bushland and wooded grassland, often forming a pure stand on raised rocky ground in very dry areas, 100-1,700 m. Prefers well-aerated soils, especially rocky, loam or sandy soils. Rainfall: 200-800 mm. Zones III-VII.

Uses: FOOD: A clear edible gum is produced by this tree (+++). This is the best acacia gum in Kenya, much treasured by pastoralists. To induce gum formation, a section of the bark is wounded or stripped off. In the wild state gum production is induced by natural factors. Plants in arid areas or in the dry season tend to produce better gum. This species produces the well-known gum arabic used in pharmaceutical, food and confectionery industries and in the manufacture of glue.

MEDICINAL: Juice obtained from fruits is used as eye medicine (Ilchamus).

OTHER: Fuelwood (++), charcoal, house poles (+), fencing. Bark a source of fibre. Leaves are goat (+++) and camel (++) fodder.

COMMERCIAL: Commercial gum is collected from the wild (Wajir, Mandera, Isiolo, Marakwet, Garissa, Samburu) mainly by children and women. It is usually picked for export to the Far East and Europe. The gum trade in Kenya is less lucrative than in Sudan and Somalia. The main reason is the poor quality of the gum, mainly due to the fact that various grades and types are mixed.


Figure


Figure

In Kenya, the gum exudes from the tree mainly as a result of natural causes or stress. In the Sudan, the business is old and well established. Here the plant is purposely injured during tapping to induce gum formation. The gum is ready for harvesting about a month after tapping. Collecting can be done over two or more months. Tapping may begin when the tree is four years old and a tree may produce gum up to the age of 15-20 years. Tapping tends to destroy the bark thus lowering production. In the Sudan, tapping is done with a small axe, mainly by removing a long strip of the outer bark from the branches, and is normally done in the dry season when the plant is in stress. The tappers are experienced and hence the quality is good. Kenyan gum, on the other hand, is traditionally collected by pastoralists. Until recently, the business only attracted a few Somali traders, but now the business is attracting full-time collectors and thus the quality of gum is improving.

The potential for development exists. High densities and sometimes pure stands of this species have been found in parts of Turkana and Baringo Districts, especially in northern Baringo, in Kakuma and along Kapedo-Lokichar road. Training of collectors, improved collecting methods and more organized marketing would be the way forward in developing this resource as the market for gum arabic is far from saturated. Currently the Sudan is the largest producer. Others include Mali, Senegal, Mauritania, Chad, Ethiopia and Somalia.

Season: Gum production is highest in August-September and February-March. Flowers in July (Kitui); fruits in August-September (Turkana, Baringo, Ngong).

Management: Best propagated by seed. Soaking in water for a day or nicking may improve germination.

Status: Locally common.

Remarks: This species is extremely variable. At least three varieties are found in Kenya:

· var. Senegal. Distribution: Moyale, Homa Hill, 100-1,700 m.

· var. kerensis Schweinf. Distribution: Lokitaung, Baringo, Mutha, 460-1,130 m. Gum of less superior quality than that of var. senegal.

· var. leiorachis Brenan. (Orma: bura-diima, Somali: adad-gher). This species often hybridizes with Acacia mellifera in Kajiado.

Acacia seyal Del.

Mimosaceae (Fabaceae)

English: whistling thorn Borana: waachu, waachu-adi, waaqu-hallu Gabra: iddaado, iddad'o Ilchamus: lerai, lera Kamba: kisewa (Machakos), mweya Kikuyu: mugaa Kipsigis: mugurit Luo: ali, ale, arombe Maa: olerai, elereta, elereta-nanyokie, oljerai, olerai-oibor (Ngong) Marakwet: rena, renon (plural) Mbeere: mureera Pokot: rena, chowogh, chuwugh Rendille: fulai Samburu: lerai, lera Somali: fullai (Mandera), fulai Teso: ekoramai Turkana: ekoromait, echekereng

Description: Thorny tree up to 10 m high with an open flat-topped crown at maturity. Trunk often with many bulging knots. BARK: Yellowish to greenish white or orange-red and powdery on the surface, green inside. THORNS: White, long, straight, in pairs. They may or may not be galled. FLOWERS: In bright yellow to orange fluffy heads. FRUIT: A slightly curved, narrow dehiscent pod.

Ecology: Widespread in eastern Africa from Egypt in the north to Malawi and Zambia in the south. In Kenya, absent in the coastal zone but widespread in the drier parts of the country in open or bushed grassland and woodland, especially at the foot of hills and on plains, 200-2,200 m, more common at about 1,500 m. Often found forming pure stands. Common on black cotton and rocky soils, less frequently on red soils. Zones III - V.

Uses: FOOD: Inner bark fibre chewed for its nice rather sweet taste (++). The tree produces an excellent clear gum (+++). Bark is ground and used to make tea (Maasai).

OTHER: Poles, fodder (++), bee forage, fuelwood (++), dye, charcoal (++).

COMMERCIAL: Gum occasionally exported along with gum arable but is less valuable as it cracks with time.

Season: Flowers in September-October (Naivasha, Kajiado).

Management: Best propagated by seed. Soaking in water for a day or nicking may improve germination.

Status: Common.

Remarks: Two varieties of this species occur in Kenya:

· var. seyal is the more common of the two and has no galls. Distribution: From Uganda and Tanzania north to Egypt. Altitude: 550-2,200 m.

· var. fistula (Schweinf.) Oliv. (Borana: wachu dima, Somali: fulaii wajol) has ant galls. Distribution: Baringo, Wajir, Isiolo, Marsabit. From Sudan, Somalia south to Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia. Altitude: 200-1,750 m. Use: Gum edible and of some commercial value.


Figure


Figure

Acacia xanthophloea Benth., (English: fever tree, Naivasha thorn, Kamba: mweya, Maa: olerai) is a much larger acacia. It usually has the same uses and local names as A. seyal. Ecology: Most drier parts of Africa, and East Africa south to eastern Zimbabwe and KwaZulu Natal in South Africa.

Common at medium altitudes 1,400-2,300 m, especially Nairobi, Kajiado, Narok and Naivasha, especially in riverine conditions or places with high groundwater. Zones III-IV.


Acacia xanthophloea

Acacia tortilis (Forssk.) Hayne

Mimosaceae (Fabaceae)

syn: A. spirocarpa A. Rich., A. raddiana Savi

Borana: dadach, dadacha, urbu-ree (fruits) Daasanach: seech-geebe, sies-geebe (plural) English: umbrella thorn Gabra: d'addaca Ilchamus: ltepes, lkunyi Kamba: mulaa, muaa, ulaa (fruits) Kipsigis: chebitet Maa: oltepesi, sagararam (fruit) Malakote: dadacha, dadwota, dadech (young) Marakwet: ses, sesai (plural), sesoy (plural) Mbeere: mugaa Meru: mugaa Orma: gudis Pokot: ses, sesyai (plural), sesoy (plural) Rendille: gahar khabdo (pods), dahar, qubdo Samburu: ltepes, sagaram (fruits) Somali: qurah Swahili: mgunga Tugen: siesiet, sesya Turkana: ewoi (mature), etir (young)

Description: A spiny acacia, usually 4-8 m high but reaching 20 m in riverine vegetation. Crown narrow when young, spreading, fiat-topped and umbrella-like at maturity. BARK: Longitudinally fissured, dark grey. THORNS: Branches armed at each node with a straight white thorn as well as two short grey sharply recurved spines. FLOWERS: In white heads. FRUIT: A green-yellow to brown pod, often curled into a ring or crescent shape. Seeds smooth, greenish grey.

Ecology: Widespread in Africa from Algeria and Senegal to Eritrea and south to Angola, Namibia and Mozambique. Widespread in Kenya in dry bushland, bushed grassland, wooded grassland, riverine vegetation and arid-land scrub, 600-1,500 m. Soils very variable, from sandy to black cotton. Common in red soils. It is among the most drought-resistant acacias in Kenya. Rainfall: 200-900 mm. Zones IV-VII.

Uses: FOOD: Ripe fresh pods are eaten but seeds are discarded (+) (Maasai, Pokot, Turkana, Somali, Gabra, Daasanach). The crunchy pods have a faint sweet taste. Pods (ng'itit) are pounded, sieved to remove fibrous particles and the flour mixed with blood and eaten (Turkana). The gum is also eaten (Pokot, Turkana, Somali) but is of inferior quality, sticky and may cause choking.

MEDICINAL: Boiled infusion of bark used for diarrhoea and stomach-ache (Pokot).

OTHER: Fuelwood (+++), charcoal (+++), fibre (++) for weaving traditional baskets (Tharaka), kyondo (Kamba), ciondo (Mbeere); ropes and string for building and other purposes are obtained from the bark. This fibre was much used before the introduction of sisal. Thorns used as pins or needles. Fibre chewed for coated tongue, kivuti (Kamba). Debarked roots, which have tiny perforations, are smoked as a remedy for colds (Kamba, Tharaka). Leaves, young shoots, and especially dry pods, are excellent fodder (+++) for livestock, especially goats and camels. Shade and as a meeting place (Turkana). Fencing using dry branches.

CULTURAL/BELIEFS: Roots burned to reconcile families (Tharaka). The tree is believed to attract lightning (Tharaka).

COMMERCIAL: This is the most important acacia among pastoral communities. Pods sold for livestock (Lodwar, Mandera) and human food (Lodwar). Fuelwood and charcoal from this plant are widely sold in small market centres.

Season: Fruits in September-October (Machakos, Kajiado, Kitui, Tharaka).


Figure


Figure

Management: Seeds taken straight from the pod seldom germinate. Dormancy is broken when they pass through an animal gut, by scarification, bush fire or by hot-water treatment. Should not be planted near homes because of its thorns and the likelihood of attracting caterpillars that feed on the plant at certain seasons. Protection of some areas for some time to give young plants time to grow above the reach of goats may be the best way of increasing this useful tree. As this species is very drought-resistant it has a high potential for desert reclamation.

Status: Locally very common.

Remarks: Two subspecies occur in Kenya:

· ssp. spirocarpa (A. Rich.) Brenan (syn: A. spirocarpa A. Rich.). Fruit hairy and glandular. Distribution: Moyale, Kima (Machakos), Taveta. Eritrea and the Sudan south to Mozambique and Angola.

· ssp. raddiana (Savi) Brenan var. raddiana (syn: A. raddiana Savi). Fruit non-hairy and non-glandular. Distribution: Coastal area, Faza and Manda Islands, Lamu. Algeria and Senegal east to Egypt, Somalia and Kenya.


Figure

Acokanthera schimperi (A. DC.) Schweinf.

Apocynaceae

syn: A. friesiorum Markgr.

Borana: karraru English: arrow-poison plant Gabra: k'arraaru Kamba: kivai Kikuyu: muricu Kipsigis: kelyot Maa: olmorijoi Meru: mururu Nandi: keliot Pokot: kelion Samburu: ilmorijoi Somali: marid Tugen: kelyon

Description: A dense round evergreen shrub or spreading sparsely branched tree to 7 m high. BARK: Fissured. LEAVES: Shiny, usually elliptic or ovate. FRUIT: Ellipsoid, to 2 cm long, green, turning green-yellow then dark purple on ripening. Seeds cream with an ivory appearance, compressed on one side.

Ecology: Widespread in East Africa, south to Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and north-eastern South Africa. Grows in Kenya in bushland on rocky hillsides, especially on red or black rocky soils, e.g. at Muumandu (Machakos), Ongata-Rongai, Oloosaiyeti hill (Kajiado), Rumuruti (Laikipia), Loita, and Chepelion (north Baringo), 1,200-2,400 m. Common in dry highland forests and bushed grasslands. Rainfall: 500-900 mm. Zone III.

Uses: FOOD: Ripe fruits are edible (+). They are sweet with a slightly bitter taste, but should only be eaten when ripe. Otherwise the whole plant is poisonous. Birds have been known to drop dead on sucking nectar from the flowers.

OTHER: This is the plant used to make arrow poison (Pokot, Kamba, Kipsigis, Embu, Tharaka, Maasai) and by many communities in Central, East and southern Africa. Roots (or other parts of the plant) are boiled in a secluded place for up to 10 hours, adding water up to 5 times. A black viscous substance results which, on drying, may be wrapped up and stored far from people. The poison should never be handled with bare hands if there is any break in the skin. On cooling, the poison may also be pounded to a powder and stored. It is softened again by adding a little water (Maasai). The poison is said to remain potent for a long time. Trees in the hotter areas give better poison and it softens or may melt in cold humid weather. Ash or Aloe sap may be put on top to prevent poison from oozing out (Kamba, Maasai). Acokanthera poison is a lethal cardiac poison only effective when it gets into the bloodstream. This is used against wild game ranging from dikdik to elephant, and small quantities may kill a human in 20 minutes or less. Antidote: In case of accident, squeeze out and suck contaminated blood from the point of entry immediately. (The person doing this should not have sores in his mouth.) Apply paraffin oil (Kitui).

COMMERCIAL: Poison sold in Kitui, said to be obtained from the coast. Arrows with poison from this plant sold (Mwala in Machakos, Tseikuru in Mwingi, Ishiara in Embu, Tharaka, Kitui). Locally, poison experts make this poison and apply it to other people's arrows for a fee (Loita in Narok).

Season: Fruits in May (Narok).


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Remarks: A related species, but usually with larger fruits and leaves than those of A. schimperi: Acokanthera oppositifolia (Lam.) Codd, syn: A. longiflora Stapf has edible fruits too (English: arrow-poison tree, Swahili: msunguti, Kamba: kikweo, ngweo (fruit), Kikuyu: kiruru, mururu, kiururu, Mbeere: mururu, Meru: mururu, Taita: msungusungu). It is an evergreen shrub or small tree, normally 3-5 m high, exuding a white latex when any part is injured. Bark grey, rough. Leaves opposite, shiny, elliptic to obovate, broadly ovate with a sharp tip. Flowers in clusters, made up of 5 parts, with a pink tube and white lobes. Fruit oval, 2-3 cm long. Distribution: Kanzalu Range and Kalama (Machakos), Kiambu, Nairobi. Also in Tanzania, south to South Africa. Habitat: Bushland (especially on rocky hillsides) and riverine forest edges and dry highland forests, up to 2,400 m. Soils: Rocky, red clay, clay-loam. Rainfall: 600-1,000 mm. Uses: Fruit edible when ripe (+), sweet and rather bitter. Latex from fruit used as chewing gum by children. Only ripe fruits should be eaten. The roots are occasionally used to make arrow poison (Kamba, Pokot, Kipsigis). A shade and ornamental tree. Season: Fruits in February-March (Machakos). Status: Uncommon. Remarks: Plant roots and other plant parts may be poisonous.


Acokanthera oppositifolia

Adansonia digitata L.

Bombacaceae

Chonyi: muyu, mauyu (fruits) Digo: mbuyu Embu: muramba English: baobab Giriama: mbuyu, muuyu Kamba: muamba, mwaamba, mauyu Kambe: muyu, mauyu (fruits) Maa: olmesera Malakote: mubuyu Mbeere: muramba Meru: muramba Orma: yak Samburu: lamai Sanya: yaka Somali: yak (Tana River), jag Swahili: mbuyu, muuyu Taita: mlamba (mbale) Tharaka: muramba, muguna-kirindi

Description: A grotesque-looking deciduous tree to 15 m, with a disproportionately large trunk and twisted branching habit. Trunk soft, fibrous with a smooth grey surface. LEAVES: Digitate. Leaflets to 13 cm long. FLOWERS: Large, white. FRUIT: To 25 cm long, with shiny yellowish green or rusty soft hairs and a hard oval or round shell, often grooved longitudinally. Seeds hard, embedded in a cream or white pulp.

Ecology: Somalia to southern Africa. In Kenya, a common plant in the coastal region but which also grows further inland, e.g. Taveta, Kibwezi, south-eastern Makueni, dry parts of Kitui, Meru National Park and at Torosei in Kajiado, 0-1,300 m. Also planted as an ornamental outside this range. Grows in dry low country in Sterculia-Delonix alata-Acacia-Commiphora bushland and in low, hot, high-humidity coastal areas. Soils varied, but common on red soils, sandy loam and in rocky areas. Rainfall: 300-900 mm. Zones II-VI.

Uses: FOOD: The dry cream-coloured pulp is eaten raw (+++) or is dissolved in water, stirred to a milky state (milk may be added), seeds sieved off and the juice used as sauce (mboga) or added to porridge. Coconut juice is normally added (Giriama). Seeds are roasted like groundnuts (Kitui, Tharaka). Soft tuber-like root tips are cooked and eaten in times of famine. Germinating seed roots are also eaten. Young leaves are used as a vegetable (Giriama, Mbeere). Normally mixed with more coarse vegetables like cassava leaves (Giriama). The pulp-coated seeds (mabuyu) are coloured, sugar-coated and sold as sweets in coastal towns (Swahili).

MEDICINAL: Bark decoction used for steam bathing of infants with high fever. Juice made from pulp is drunk to treat fever (Giriama).

OTHER: Fibre from trunk used as string and for weaving baskets and ropes. To obtain fibre, two cuts, one above and the other below, are made on the trunk and strips of string pulled out (the trunk is fibrous from surface to the centre). Strings for baskets are first chewed to soften them (Kamba). Tree used for placing beehives. Trunks damaged, e.g. by elephants, are used as shelter in shambas (Kamba, Giriama) and as a hiding place during war (Tharaka). Bark used for roofing and making temporary structures (Giriama). Appearance of new leaves or flowers signals the start of the rainy season (Kamba, Mbeere). Fallen trees improve the soil quality considerably. Fruit shells are used as fuelwood, containers, bowls and for making a variety of items, including rat traps (Giriama). The fruit pulp mixed with fig-tree latex is used as birdlime. The shoot and trunk are eaten by elephants, the trunk is also a source of water. Fallen leaves are eaten by livestock.


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CULTURAL/BELIEFS: A tree surrounded by complex myths and beliefs among most peoples in areas where it grows. Young plants not cut at all (Tharaka), while large trees are not debarked during or just before rains (Kamba) for fear of rain failure. A sacred and peaceful tree (Giriama). A cut tree is said to bleed like a human being, and this brings bad luck to whoever cuts it (Giriama). A person is believed to turn into the opposite sex if he/she walks round it with a goat (Meru).

COMMERCIAL: Large quantities of fruits harvested and sold in coastal areas. Coloured pulp sold as sweets. Fibre sold in markets (Tseikuru, Mwingi, Tharaka). Baskets (ciondo, syondo) sold in curio shops. Usually more expensive than sisal baskets.

Management: Propagated by seed. Scarify or put seed in boiling water and let cool together. Naturally the seed may take several years before germination, hence the belief that it only germinates after abandoning the present homestead (Giriama). Very slow growing, the tree should not be planted near houses. Lateral roots may reach a length of 100 m or more. It is said to produce its first fruits after 60 years (Kitui).

Season: Flowers in October. Leaves in November-December. Fruits ready in July-September.

Status: Locally very common.

Remarks: Eating much fruit pulp with little else is said to cause weakness and swelling of joints. Up to three types of the tree are recognized by farmers through taste (some sweeter than others), and size and shape of the tree or its fruits as well as season of flowering.


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Aerva lanata (L.) Schultes

Amaranthaceae

Borana: daraara, boraati Chonyi: chivuma nyuchi Digo: chivwa kuku Giriama: kivuma nyuchi Kambe: chivuma nyuchi Maa: eleturot, ediati-ormwaate Pokot: chepiskut, chepkumot Sanya: wario Somali: fod cadde Swahili: kinongo Tugen: simetwo

Description: Erect, decumbent or scandent perennial woody herb usually 0.3-1 m high, occasionally to 2 m, usually with numerous ascending branches. Young stems covered with soft hairs. LEAVES: Round to elliptic, usually covered with woolly hairs. FLOWERS: In dense clusters, look like cream or greenish white wool.

Ecology: Widespread in the tropics and subtropics of the world. From West Africa to Egypt and south to South Africa. Widespread in Kenya in open grassland, seasonally waterlogged areas, roadsides, forest edges and rocky areas, 0-2,200 m. Zones III-VII.

Uses: FOOD: Leaves eaten as a vegetable (++) (Giriama, Duruma, Chonyi).

MEDICINAL: Decoction of the leaves used for bathing babies suffering from malaria.

OTHER: Chicken feed (Digo). White wool used for stuffing pillows (Tharaka).

Status: Very common.


Figure


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Albizia amara (Roxb.) Boivin

Mimosaceae (Fabaceae)

Borana: boria Kamba: kyundua, kiundua Maa: orperelong'o Pokot: kukutwo, panan Somali: gisrip, gisrep Tugen: kukutwo

Description: An open tree to 8 m high or more. BARK: Brown, fissured. LEAVES: Bipinnately compound. FLOWERS: In cream heads. FRUIT: A long, flat, brown pod.

Ecology: Found in India and Sri Lanka and in East Africa south to north-eastern South Africa. Widespread in Kenya in bushland, especially in red and sandy soils, 500-2,000 m. Rainfall: 500-800 mm. Zones IV-V.

Uses: FOOD: Gum is edible (++). Stems are used in the preparation of soup (+++). Pieces are cut, sun dried and the extract added to soup (Maasai). The soup is stirred vigorously and served. At most, the pieces may be used three times. An important soup additive for the Maasai.

OTHER: A good source of fuelwood and charcoal (+++).

Status: Locally common.

Remarks: Two subspecies occur in Kenya:

· ssp. amara distinguished by its relatively fewer leaflets
· ssp. sericocephala extending to southern Africa.

Many other plant species are used in the preparation of soup, especially by pastoral communities. The Maasai use at least 80 species in soup preparation. While some are used as appetizers and to keep fit, others have a drugging effect meant to make warriors fearless. Many have an emulsifying effect on meat fat. The majority are used by warriors (moran) in the wilderness.


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Amaranthus blitum L.*

Amaranthaceae

syn: A. lividus L.

English: purple amaranth Kikuyu: terere Kipsigis: mborochet, mborochik Kisii: emboga Luhya: omboga Luhya (Bukusu): litoto Luhya (Maragoli): tsimboga Luo: ododo Meru: rwoga

Description: A branched, erect or prostrate herb to 50 cm. LEAVES: Long petioles and an ovate lamina to 10 cm long. The tip has a characteristic notch. FLOWERS: Green, borne in axillary and terminal spikes.

Ecology: Grows in tropical and subtropical parts of the world. This species is found in the central and western parts of Kenya, especially Kisii, Kericho, Bomet and Nandi Districts, in wet areas, on waste ground and in cultivated land, 800-2,400 m. Zones I-III.

Uses: FOOD: Leaves and young shoots used as a vegetable (+++) (Kikuyu, Nandi, Kipsigis, Marakwet, Luhya, Luo, Kisii). An important leafy vegetable for the Kisii and Kipsigis who cultivate it in kitchen gardens. COMMERCIAL: Sold in Kericho, Kisii and Kisumu markets. Occasionally seen in Nairobi markets.

Remarks: Two subspecies are recognized by Townsend in Flora of Tropical East Africa:

· ssp. lividus (syn. A. blitum) is generally larger, erect with larger fruit and leaves.
· ssp. polygonoides is smaller and normally prostrate.


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Amaranthus dubius Mart. ex Thell.*

Amaranthaceae

Digo: chiswenya English: amaranth Giriama: kiswenya, kiswenya-kithithe (small form) Ilchamus: raprapa, i-okuronit, i-okuroniti Kamba: w'oa, telele (Kitui), terere (Mwingi) Kikuyu: terere Kipsigis: kelichot Kisii: emboga Luhya (Bukusu): emboka, litoto Luhya: lidodo Luhya (Tachoni): lidodo Luo: ododo, omboga Maa: nanyi, nyanyi Marakwet: kipkanding'wa Mbeere: muterere Pokot: ptanya Samburu: nyoni, nterere, ntererei, mir Swahili: mchicha Taita: kichanya, kizenya Tharaka: terere

Description: An erect branched herb up to 1 m or more, resembling the spiny amaranth, A. spinosus, but without spines. Stems ridged. LEAVES: Simple, long petiolate, alternate, usually with an ovate lamina to 8 cm long, veins conspicuous underneath. FLOWERS: Borne in clusters, in the axils and in terminal branched heads or spikes. FRUIT: Covered by bracts and bracteoles which are the more visible structures of the flowering part. Seeds black, shiny.

Ecology: Grows in most tropical parts of the world and usually found in most sub-humid parts of Kenya below 2,000 m. A common herb in most towns in Kenya and commonly found on cultivated land, roadsides and flood plains. Cultivated a great deal in kitchen gardens in western Kenya and among the Mijikenda of Coast Province. Zones I-V.

Uses: FOOD: Leaves and tender shoots are used as a vegetable (+++), sometimes cooked with more bitter vegetables such as Cleome gynandra (Luo, Siaya), black nightshade and Launaea cornuta (coast). This avoids the process of pouring out the water used for boiling the vegetables. A. dubius is a popular choice for improving the taste of many traditional leafy vegetables.

Season: Two weeks after the onset of the rainy seasons, April-September, November-January (coast).

Management: The mature inflorescence is squeezed between the palms to release the seeds which may be broadcast at the required site. Occasionally, weedy seedlings may be uprooted and planted at the required place (coast).

COMMERCIAL: Grown on a commercial scale along the Sabaki flood plains, in Kaloleni near Mombasa and in Wangige near Nairobi. Sold in Nairobi, Malindi, Mombasa, Siaya, Kisumu.

Remarks: Amaranthus dubius is believed to be of American origin. A more recently introduced large-leaved giant amaranth is believed to be a form of this species (Giriama: kiswenya kibomu). It grows much larger, the stems are thicker, leaves are larger and usually blotched purple. The inflorescence is large but seeds are smaller. This form is becoming more popular with farmers. Amaranths are among the most commonly used leafy vegetables in Kenya and most of Africa. Of the 60 or so species of Amaranthus in the world, at least 13 occur wild in Kenya. Many of these (probably with the exception of A. thunbergii, A. sparganiocephalus and A. graecizans) have been introduced from other parts of the world, especially the Americas and Asia. Because of their close resemblance and the fact that many are only newcomers, they are often known by the same local names and used in the same manner. They are among the most nutritious leafy vegetables.


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Amaranthus graecizans L.

Amaranthaceae

syn: A. angustifolius Lam., A. silvestris Vill., A. parvulus Peter

Digo: chiswenya Embu: rwoga English: amaranth, prostrate amaranth Giriama: logatsi Ilchamus: raprapa, lokuronit, lokuroniti Kamba: w'oa, woa, telele (Kitui), terere (north Kitui) Kikuyu: terere, terere wa gikuyu Kipsigis: kelichot Luhya (Bukusu): edodo, litoto Luhya (Tachoni): lidodo Luo: ombok-alikra, omboga Maa: nanyi, nyanyi, nyani, embeneyoi Marakwet: kipkanding'wa, kipiriak (plural) Mbeere: muterere, muruoga Meru: rwoga ra kicuka Pokot: ptanya Samburu: mir, nyoni, nterere, ntererei Somali: dargu Swahili: mchicha, mchicha mwitu Taita: kizenya (Mbale), kichanya Tharaka: rwoga Turkana: ekiliton, lokiliton, louyeing'orok, adye

Description: An erect, decumbent or prostrate herb usually branched from the base and often less than 40 cm high. LEAVES: On long petioles and with small lamina (about 4 cm). FLOWERS: Green and borne in axillary clusters. FRUIT: Seeds tiny, smooth, shiny black.

Ecology: Found throughout most of Africa, warmer parts of Europe, tropical and subtropical Asia. The commonest amaranth species in the semi-arid and arid regions of Kenya but also grows in wetter regions on waste ground and as a weed of cultivation. Common on sand deposits along rivers, at roadsides and forest edges. It is most abundant where surface run-off collects in semi-arid lands. It can grow in partially shaded areas under trees. Soils varied, mainly sand and sandy alluvium. Zones II-VII.

Uses: FOOD: The leaves and young tender shoots are used as a vegetable (+++). Later as the seeds mature it is advised to pick individual leaves as stray seeds in food feel like sand in the mouth. The vegetable is normally cooked and eaten with ugali or it may be cooked together with flour to a stuff known as ngunzakutu (Kamba) or atap (Turkana). Leaves may also be mashed with a mixture of maize and a pulse (Kikuyu, Kamba). A major drawback is that leaves of this species are small and collecting enough for a meal can take some time.

OTHER: Fodder (++) for all livestock.

Management: Seeds can be obtained from mature plants by rubbing the flower heads to release them. Passing a light current of air through cleans them of other particles. The seeds may be broadcast soon after the onset of the rains. It can be intercropped with trees as it is shade-tolerant. In the wild, this amaranth sprouts easily soon after the onset of rains, grows fast, seeds and dries as fast, and hence its ability to survive in the arid lands. At maturity the plant sheds the small, black, shiny seeds.

Status: Common, especially in dry areas.

Remarks: Three subspecies have been recognized:

· ssp. graecizans (syn. A. angustifolius Lam.) with a narrow leaf blade and common in seasonally flooded areas,

· ssp. silvestris (syn. A. silvestris Vill.) with a broader leaf blade and more common than the former, and

· ssp. thellungianus (Nevski) Gusev., a rare type, only occurring in Central Province.


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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.


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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

Amaranthus sparganiocephalus Thell.

Amaranthaceae

Maa: nanyi, nyani Samburu: nyoni Somali: rasso Turkana: edeyea, loyeing'orok, louyeing'orok

Description: A spreading prostrate or erect herb to about 50 cm, often branching near the ground forming a dense mass. LEAVES: Greenish brown, with long petioles and a lamina of about 5 cm long. FLOWERS: Borne in sessile axillary clusters.

Ecology: North-eastern Africa and the Arabian peninsula. In Kenya it grows in abandoned pastoral settlements in semi-arid areas, especially in Kajiado, Samburu, Turkana and Marsabit. 100-1,600 m. Zones V-VII.

Uses: FOOD: Picked and cooked as a leafy vegetable (+) (Maasai, Samburu, Turkana, Pokot, Somali). This plant sprouts quickly soon after rain. It is picked along with A graecizans by pastoral communities in the semi-arid areas of Kenya.

Management: Propagated by seeds.

Status: Uncommon.

Remarks: The species is closely associated with animal enclosures in Maasai land. It is often found along with A. graecizans growing on top of Maasai traditional houses during the rainy season.


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Amaranthus spinosus L.*

Amaranthaceae

English: careless weed, prickly amaranth, spiny amaranth Giriama: kiswenya-cha-miya Ilchamus: lkamasei Kikuyu: terere-wa-ng'ombe, terere wa kigombe Kipsigis: mborochet Luo: ododo Mbeere: macica Pokot: sikukuu, chepkuratian Samburu: nairepirepi Sanya: kiswenya-korati Turkana: lookwa, epespes the rest of the local names as for A. hybridus.

Description: A stout, erect (occasionally decumbent) herb about 1 m or more with green or red and usually branched stems. LEAVES: Have a long petiole and an ovate lamina to 10 cm or more. FLOWERS: Spiny and green, forming axillary clusters and in terminal inflorescences.

Ecology: Grows in tropical and subtropical parts of the world, occasionally in temperate regions. The species is widely distributed in Kenya in most areas below 1,900 m. A common plant near livestock enclosures (hence the Kikuyu name for it), in abandoned settlements, along streams, at roadsides, in open grassland and as a weed of cultivation. It is the scourge of farmers at maturity. Zones I-VI.

Uses: FOOD: The species is seldom used as a leafy vegetable (+), picked mostly while still young before the spines have hardened and mainly by communities in the Coast, Nyanza and Western Provinces of Kenya as well as the central part of Rift Valley. The species is not much liked and its use is declining. This species is native of tropical America but was probably introduced to Kenya earlier than A. hybridus.

COMMERCIAL: Leaves occasionally sold, especially in Nyanza and western Kenya.

Status: Common.

Remarks: This species may easily be confused with A. hybridus and A. dubius, but the red stems and spiny nature of A. spinosus are distinguishing features.


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Annona senegalensis Pers. ssp. senegalensis

Annonaceae

syn: A. chrysophylla Bojer

Boni: malamoto, mlamote Chonyi: mtakuma Digo: mbokwe Embu: matimoko (fruits) mutimoko (tree) English: wild custard apple, wild soursop, Giriama: mbokwe, mutakuma, mtomoko-tsaka Kamba: makulo, mutomoko, makulo Kambe: mbokwe Kisii: omokera Luhya (Bukusu): kumufwora Luhya: muvulu Luhya (Tachoni): omfwora (tree), emifwora (fruit) Luo: obolo, nyabolo Mbeere: mukumuti, mumuu Sabaot: marungiyandet Sanya: mtomoko-badha, mthonoko-bada Swahili: mtomoko mwitu, mbokwe, mtope tope, mtokuu, sope tope, mtonkwe, mchekwa Teso: ebwolo

Description: A spreading shrub or small tree to 6 m. BARK: White grey. LEAVES: Broadly ovate, large, pale and softly hairy beneath. FLOWERS: Green-yellow to cream with numerous stamens. FRUIT: To 5 cm in diameter, oval or conical, formed from several carpels fusing together. Green when young, turning yellow to orange on ripening. Seeds smooth, shiny brown.

Ecology: Widespread in tropical Africa, from West Africa to the Sudan and south to South Africa. Grows in the coastal zone, Kitui, Kisii, and Homa Bay Districts of Kenya in bushed grassland, especially humid, riverine woodland, coastal bushed grassland and forests, 0-1,750 m. Soils: deep sandy, alluvial or light red loam. Zones II-IV.

Uses: FOOD: Ripe fruit edible raw (+++). It is sweet with an acid taste and aroma of pineapple. The fruit cover may be eaten but is usually discarded together with the seeds. Bark chewed (Luo).

MEDICINAL: Roots used as cure for stomach-ache, vomiting and diarrhoea (Sabaot).

OTHER: Bark source of a brown dye. Fuelwood (++) (wood is soft).

Season: Fruits in August (Kitui).

Management: Propagated by seeds. Coppices well.

Status: Occasional.

Remarks: The species is related to the cherimoya (A. cherimola), sugar apple or sweetsop (A. squamosa) and to the custard apple (A. reticulata), generally known as mtomoko (Swahili), cultivated for their delicious fruit and commonly sold in Kenyan markets. A related but more shrubby species, A. stenophylla Engl. & Diels, found in southern Africa, has edible fruit too.


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Antidesma venosum Tul.

Euphorbiaceae

syn: A. bifrons Tul., A. boivinianum Baill.

Boni: ngogaje, mulilago Chonyi: musimbiji Digo: mzangatchango, kihuro, chikuro Giriama: mhirondo, musimbiji Kamba: mukala (Kitui), kitelanthia, kitolanthia (Makueni), ngala, ndelanthia (fruits) Kambe: musimbiji Kikuyu: mukondwe, muhoigwa Luhya (Bukusu): kumukhakasu, bukhakasu (fruit) Luo: oguambula, oguombula Malakote: musigisigi Mbeere: mukanga-arithi, muthithio, muthethuka Meru: mutonye Pokomo: Musasusi Swahili: mbua nono, mbua ya nuno msasuzi, karacha, mziwaziwa, mwinamia ziwa, msuaga

Description: Shrub or, less often, a small tree to 6 m tall, with scattered branches. BARK: Rough. LEAVES: Large, elliptic, densely hairy and light green to reddish brown beneath. FLOWERS: Dioecious, yellow-green in axillary and terminal spikes. Inflorescence often galled, drooping. FRUITS: Numerous in bunches, light green, turning red to reddish purple to almost black on ripening. Ecology: Widespread in Africa from Gabon east to Ethiopia and south to Namibia and South Africa and Madagascar. In Kenya, in Boni forest, Thui Hill (Makueni), Kitui hills, Nzaui hills (Makueni), Mavuria (Embu), Central, Coast and Nyanza Provinces, in bushed grassland, coastal bushland, forest edges, riverine bushland, 0-1,900 m. Rare in Central and Nyanza Provinces. Mainly on rocky hill slopes with light clay soil or sandy loam. Rainfall: about 850-1,000 mm. Zones III-IV.

Uses: FOOD: Fruits are edible (++). They have a sweet, slightly sour taste. Ripe fruits are small but with a lot of reddish purple juice. Seeds are discarded.

MEDICINAL: Leaves, twigs and roots used to treat abdominal pains.

OTHER: Fruits eaten by some species of birds. Fruits used by children as dye or ink (Makueni). The writing fades slightly from blue-purple to light reddish purple after some time. Ornamental, fuelwood.

Season: Fruits in March (Makueni). A few plants may be in fruit in June or at other times.

Management: Propagated by seeds.

Status: Locally common, especially in the coastal region, Kitui hills and Thui Hill (Makueni). Generally uncommon.

Remarks: Roots said to be toxic.


Figure


Figure

Asystasia gangetica (L.) T. Anders.

Acanthaceae

Chonyi: tsalakushe Digo: futswe, tala-kushe, futsure Giriama: thalakushe, talakushe, burutula, vongonya Kambe: talakusha Kipsigis: turkwot Luo: atipa Maa: gosida, enkosida Sanya: thalakushe Swahili: fuchwe, mtikini

Description: A scrambling, prostrate or erect weak-stemmed herb 45-100 cm high. LEAVES: Dark green up to 8 cm long by 5 cm, broadly ovate, base rounded or heart shaped, apex narrow. FLOWERS: Pink, corolla lip purple, borne on one side of a long slender inflorescence. FRUIT: A light brown dehiscent capsule.

Ecology: Widely distributed in most of tropical Africa. Mainly in the coastal region and western Kenya. Not recorded in northern Kenya. Found in forests, at forest edges and disturbed areas, 0-1,900 m. Zones I-III.

Uses: FOOD: Leaves used as a vegetable (++) (Digo, Giriama, Luo, Luhya). Cooking time is normally brief (Mijikenda). Also used as a vegetable in southern Africa.

OTHER: Browsed by stock.

Management: Propagated by seeds.

Status: Locally common.

Remarks: An important vegetable among the Mijikenda, mainly used for mixing with other leafy vegetables. Notable mixtures are with any of the following vegetables: Corchorus olitorius (vombo), pumpkin leaves (mhango), cassava (Manihot esculenta) leaves (mpea), Launaea cornuta (mtsunga), sweet potato (mabwe), cocoyam (maburu), cowpea and okra (mabenda). The cassava leaves have to be pounded in a mortar before use.


Figure


Figure


Figure

Asystasia mysorensis (Roth) T. Anders.

Acanthaceae

syn: Asystasia schimperi T. Anders.

Kikuyu: muhika-naihu Luhya: kisuvu (Kakamega) Luhya: esidiba, nyag'ori Luhya (Samia): esidiba Luhya (Bukusu): sitipa (plant) Luhya (Tachoni): esitipa Luo: atipa Mbeere: karimi-ka-nthia Pokot: orongwo Teso: esidiba

Description: A small erect herb usually 30-75 cm high. LEAVES: Ovate or elliptic, to 10 cm long. FLOWERS: White, lip often spotted green with brown streaks, borne on a short, densely bracted terminal inflorescence. FRUIT: A dehiscent yellowish brown capsule narrowing abruptly at the base.

Ecology: Widely distributed in Kenya and also in other parts of eastern Africa, i.e. Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Somalia. Very common in Nyanza and Western Provinces and in Nairobi, 500-1,900 m; commonest between 1,200 and 1,700 m. Very common in disturbed areas, on roadsides, towns, grassland and found as a weed in gardens, especially on sandy and light clay soils. Zones II-V.

Uses: FOOD: Cooked and eaten as a vegetable (+++) (Luhya, Luo, Teso, Kikuyu, Mbeere, Giriama, Digo, Pokot). Normally cooked with leaves of cowpeas or spider herb Cleome gynandra (Luo). Said to be good for digestion (Siaya).

COMMERCIAL: Occasionally sold in some markets in Nyanza and Western Provinces.

Management: Propagated by seeds.

Season: Vegetable available during the rainy season and soon after.

Status: Locally very common.


Figure


Figure

Azanza garckeana (F. Hoffm.) Exell & Hillcoat

Malvaceae

Embu: muto, matoo English: tree hibiscus Kamba: mutoo Maa: olmotoo Mbeere: mutoo Meru: matoo (plural) Somali: baamiya Swahili: nduwe, muwatata

Description: Shrub or tree to 8 m high. Crown light, spreading or occasionally narrow and high. BARK: Fissured, grey. LEAVES: Large, broad, rough, divided into 3-5 shallow lobes, petioles long. FLOWERS: Large, yellow, with a red or purple centre. FRUIT: To 5 cm across, light green, velvety hairy, with a clasping calyx, splitting into five valves on ripening. Seeds dark grey (almost black) and covered with woolly hairs.

Ecology: The only Azanza species found in Africa, from eastern to South Africa. Very common in Machakos and Kitui Districts in open bushland and woodland. Common in Combretum-Terminalia bushland, 500-1,500 m. Soils: sandy or red clay. Rainfall: 600-800 mm. Zones III-V.

Uses: FOOD: Ripe fruits edible and very sweet (+++). Valves are chewed, the gelatinous sweet extract is swallowed and the fibrous remains discarded after chewing. Occasionally stored for up to a month without losing sweetness. Hard dry ones eaten too.

MEDICINAL: Used for coughs (Makueni). Stems and leaves pounded and extract taken against liver problems (Kitui).

OTHER: Fuelwood (+++), shade (++). Fruit juice used as a lubricant for toy wheels by boys (Makueni). Wood strong, finishing smooth and used in carvings, mortars and pestles, wooden spoons, yokes, handles for axes and in the construction of traditional tables for drying utensils (Kamba, Mbeere). The centre poles in huts are usually of this plant (Kitui). The heartwood from some types is said to be very hard and resistant to attack by termites and other insects, hence used for combs and carvings (Kitui).

Season: Flowers in November-December (Kitui). Fruits in August-September and are spoilt by November rains (Kitui). Note: Fruits ripening said to coincide with months of food shortage in Kitui Central, and so an important famine food.

Management: Propagated by seeds, direct sowing. Planted in crop land as well as near homes as an ornamental. Prune lower branches to give it a good shape.

Status: May be locally common.

Remarks: An important fruit plant among the Kamba, especially in times of famine, hence the saying "Mutumia aleele muthoni kulea umutwiiya itoo", meaning a father recalled his daughter from in-laws when they refused to give him this fruit during his visit. Fruits attract the cotton-boll stainer, hence not a suitable tree near cotton fields.


Figure


Figure

Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) Del.

Balanitaceae

Borana: baddan Digo: mwambangoma English: desert date Gabra: baddana Ilchamus: lowei, Iowa Kamba: mulului, kilului Kambe: mkonga Keiyo: ng'osonaik, ng'oswet, ng'osyet (fruit) Kipsigis: ng'oswet Luo: otho, othoo Maa: olokwai, ilokwa (fruits), olng'oswa, osaragi Malakote: mubadana Marakwet: tuyun, tuyunwo (plural) Mbeere: mububua Orma: baddan Pokot: tuyunwo Sabaot: chuuandet Samburu: lowvai, lowwai Somali: kullan (Tana River) Swahili: mjunju, mchunju Taita: kiwowa Teso: echomai Tharaka: mubuubua Tugen: ngonswo, ngoswa Turkana: eroronyit

Description: A much-branched spiny shrub or tree up to 10 m high. Crown rounded, dense (but still can be seen through, cf. B. glabra which has a more dense crown and long stout branchlets). BARK: Trunk grey, deeply fissured longitudinally. Branchlets green, with (or without) long straight green spines (up to 10 cm). LEAVES: With a conspicuous petiole to 2 cm long, two leaflets, usually small, greyish green, normally shed in severe drought. FLOWERS: Small, greenish yellow, in leaf axils. FRUITS: Ellipsoid, up to 4 cm long, green. Ripe fruit brown or pale brown with a brittle coat enclosing a brown or brown green sticky pulp. Seed a hard stone.

Ecology: An important tree found from West and North Africa south to Zimbabwe and Angola from arid and semi-arid regions to sub-humid savannah. Found in many parts of Kenya, e.g. in Lambwe valley and Kaputei plains, but rare in the coastal zone. Pound at 250-2,000 m in bushland and wooded grassland. A common tree in open grassland with black-cotton soil. Soils: Mainly red and black-cotton clay. Zones IV-VI.

Uses: FOOD: Ripe fruit is edible (++). The brown fruit shell, which is readily detached from the pulp, is removed. The brown pulp is sucked and the seed discarded. It has a sweet taste, rather bitter nearer the seed. Young leaves and tender shoots are used as a vegetable (Pokot, Turkana, Tugen, Marakwet, Keiyo, Ilchamus). The vegetable is boiled (water may be changed), pounded then fried or mixed with fat (Pokot, Marakwet). Seeds (with shell) or cotyledons (shell removed) are boiled for 2-3 hours and the bean-like cotyledons eaten (Pokot, Tugen, Marakwet). Gum is edible (Maasai). Elsewhere the seeds are a source of oil.

MEDICINAL: Decoction of roots is used for the treatment of malaria (Pokot). Roots boiled in soup used for oedema (sir) and stomach pains (Pokot). Roots are used as an emetic (Pokot). Bark infusion used to treat heartburn (Machakos).

OTHER: Fuelwood, charcoal (+++). Wood hard, durable, worked easily and made into yokes, wooden spoons, pestles, mortars, handles, stools, combs. Resin from stems used to stick feathers on to arrow shafts (Pokot, Turkana) and spear heads on to shafts (Pokot, Maasai, Turkana, Kipsigis), and repair cracks in tool handles, arrows, etc. (Turkana, Pokot). Branches used for fencing. Bark used as fish poison. Animal fodder (++). Elsewhere fruits are used as poison to kill some stages of the bilharzia fluke in water. Even a few are effective. Activity has been reported in other Balanites species, and B. maughamii of southern Africa, with forked spines, is reportedly even more potent.

CULTURAL/BELIEFS: Fire made using this tree used to warm beer gourds for elders (Mbeere).


Figure


Figure

Season: Fresh new leaves in July-August (West Pokot). Fruits in March-April (Machakos, Kitui, Kajiado).

Management: Propagated by planting seed directly or by raising seedlings in a nursery.

Status: Common.

Remarks: The name olng'oswa (Maa) is mainly used for B. glabra Mildbr. & Schlecht., an evergreen, much-branched dense bush, shrub or small tree 2-4 m high. Branches green, drooping. Spines thick, long, to 10 cm or more. LEAVES: Usually without a conspicuous petiole and usually with two almost round fleshy looking leaflets. FLOWERS: Greenish yellow. FRUITS: Shortly ellipsoid, with light green longitudinal lines. The plant is common in Kajiado and Kaputei plains at 1,400-1,800 m on black soil. The commonest Balanites around Athi River. Ripe fruit pulp is sweet, juicy and eaten (Maasai) but is said to be mildly poisonous, causing a feverish feeling, stomach-ache and even diarrhoea (Maasai). B. wilsoniana Dawe & Sprague (Swahili: mtonga, Giriama: mkonga, Kamba: kivuw'a) is a large, extremely thorny tree (when young) up to 10 m tall. It is only found in the coastal area and in Kibwezi forest. Its leaves and fruits are larger than those of the other Kenyan Balanites species. Fruits are edible. The plant is often infested with caterpillars (maungu) which are collected for food by the Giriama.


Balanites wilsoniana


Balanites glabra


Balanites glabra

Balanites pedicellaris Mildbr. & Schlecht.

Balanitaceae

Marakwet: lomion, lom (plural) Pokot: lomion Rendille: ilbule Samburu: sarai Turkana: elamach

Description: A spiny, often multi-stemmed much-branched shrub or, rarely, a small tree usually 2-4 m high, with a rather narrow crown. Larger spines usually with many smaller ones. BARK: Usually smooth, grey. LEAVES: Leaflets short-stalked, with a rounded apex. FLOWERS: Green. FRUITS: More or less round, 2-3 cm in diameter, green turning yellow when ripe.

Ecology: Grows in eastern Africa south to north-eastern South Africa. Widespread in Kenya, e.g. along the Turkwel River and on Observation hill (Amboseli). Usually along dry watercourses, flood plains, dry bushland, 300-1,300 m. Rainfall: 200 (riverine)-500 mm. Zones V-VII.

Uses: FOOD: Cooked cotyledons eaten (Pokot, Turkana, Samburu, Tugen, Marakwet) (+++). Fresh fruits are bitter and toxic but reportedly eaten fresh in southern Africa. Preparation: Fruits are gathered and pounded (usually after brief boiling) to break open the seed. Two green bean-shaped cotyledons are released. These are washed and then boiled for 8-9 hours. Over-boiling turns the cotyledons into a porridge-like fluid. Water is changed 8-10 times. Salt, ash solution (Pokot), tamarind (Tamarindus indica) (Turkana: Ng'ikebootok), bark of Sclerocarya birrea or Lannea schweinfurthii (Pokot) may be added at the end of the process to remove any remaining bitterness and to improve the taste. The food is eaten like beans, usually alone, occasionally with butter or milk. Uncooked cotyledons may be dried and stored. They can keep for several years.

FOOD/MEDICINAL: Boiled root infusion added to children's milk (Pokot).

MEDICINAL: Root infusion used for fever and diarrhoea (Pokot).

COMMERCIAL: Boiled cotyledons sold in Lodwar town and in some villages, e.g. in Kaputir, southern Turkana.

Season: Fruits in February (southern Turkana, Baringo) or September-October (Turkana, Baringo).

Management: Propagation by direct sowing at the desired site is recommended.

Status: Locally common.

Remarks: Symptoms of poisoning by fresh fruits are thirst, dizziness and vomiting.


Figure


Figure

Balanites rotundifolia (Van Tiegh.) Blatter

Balanitaceae

syn: B. orbicularis Sprague, B. gillettii Cuf.

Borana: baddan Daasanach: kuute, kuusam (plural) Gabra: baddana Marakwet: lomion, lorn (plural) Malakote: mubadana Orma: baddan Pokot: lomion, loma (fruit) Rendille: kulum Samburu: sarai Somali: kullan (Tana River) Tugen: tirikikwa Turkana: ebei

Description: A usually spiny shrub or small tree to 5 m. Crown usually open. BARK: Grey, corky. SPINES: Long, bearing leaves and flowers. LEAVES: Almost stalkless, divided into two almost round leaflets. FLOWERS: Pale green. FRUIT: Up to 4 cm long, ellipsoid, green with longitudinal lines, turning orange when ripe.

Ecology: Found in Kenya, e.g. along the Turkwel River, in the Kerio delta, Mutha hill and in other parts of the country in dry Acacia-Commiphora bushland, often in rocky areas. Often seen as the only tree on sand dunes in northern Kenya, 50-1,350 m. Rainfall: 150-400 mm. Zones VI-VII.

Uses: FOOD: The pulp of the ripe orange fruit is eaten fresh (+) (Gabra, Boran, Somali, Turkana, Pokot, Daasanach). Cotyledons are eaten when boiled (+++). The seed shell is removed by pounding or boiling then pounding. The cotyledons are boiled for 3-4 hours (Turkana, Marakwet, Tugen, Pokot, Daasanach) and eaten, normally with milk. The fruit pulp is made into a local brew (Turkana).

FOOD/MEDICINAL: Boiled root infusion added to children's milk as a tonic (Pokot).

MEDICINAL: Boiled root infusion used as an emetic and purgative during fever and for diarrhoea (Pokot).

OTHER: Trunk used for carving headrests (Turkana: ekichelong) and wooden spoons (Turkana: ekalaboch) (Turkana, Daasanach). Branches used for making livestock enclosures (Turkana, Daasanach). Wood used for smoking milk and blood containers (Daasanach) for flavour and to disinfect the container. Camel and goat fodder (++). Fuel wood (++).

Management: Propagation by direct sowing at the desired site is recommended.

Season: Fruits in February and August-October (southern Turkana).

Status: May be locally common.

Remarks: A very drought-resistant tree species, even more so than the desert date (Balanites aegyptiaca). This species, together with Acacia tortilis and A. reficiens, may be a good substitute for Prosopis chilensis and P. juliflora for reclaiming desert areas.


Figure


Figure

Basella alba L.

Basellaceae

English: vine spinach, indian spinach, ceylon spinach, malabar spinach Kamba: kieema Keiyo: nderemiat Kikuyu: murerema Kipsigis: nderemiat, nderemek (plural) Kisii: enderema Luhya: tsinderema Luhya (Bukusu): endelema Luhya (Kabras): eshivetso Luhya (Samia): enderema (singular) Luhya (Tachoni): yindelema Luhya (Tiriki): enderema Luo: nderma, demra (Homa Bay) Maa: osoiyai, osoyai Marakwet: nderemia, okiek: nderemiat Pokot: rachan Samburu: ng'aisichoi, lemudong'o, lemoldongu, ltaai, ltani Taita: ndelema Tugen: lubchan

Description: A soft, twining perennial plant. Stems fleshy, green, often tinged brownish purple. LEAVES: Heart-shaped with a pointed tip, soft, shiny, dark green, blade up to 10 cm long or more. FLOWERS: Small, fleshy, cream or white, borne on an erect inflorescence.

Ecology: Widely distributed in the tropics, e.g. in China, Japan, the Philippines, Borneo, Fiji and Hawaii, West Indies, Brazil and Guyana. From West Africa to Ethiopia and south to Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia and Angola. Rare in Central Africa. In Kenya, e.g. on the Elgon, Aberdare, Mt Kulal and Mt Kenya highlands and in Trans Mara and Donyo Sabuk (River Athi). Found in forest, forest edges, humid bushland, wet rock cliffs and common in disturbed areas, 0-2,450 m. Often planted in hedges in towns and homes. Zones II-III.

Uses: FOOD: Leaves used as a vegetable (Taita, Kikuyu, Kipsigis, Luhya, Luo, Pokot, Tugen, Kisii, Kipsigis, Maasai (Narok)) (+++). Leaves soft and usually cooked with other coarse vegetables. Leaves given to cattle to increase milk yield (Homa Bay).

MEDICINAL: Used for constipation in animals and humans.

COMMERCIAL: Leaves sold in West Pokot.

Management: Best propagated from stem cuttings.

Status: Rare in truly wild habitats.

Remarks: Some cultivated forms with relatively thicker stems and larger leaves are probably from South Asia.


Figure


Figure

Berchemia discolor (Klotzsch) Hemsley

Rhamnaceae

Borana: jajab, jejab Chonyi: mkulu English: bird plum, brown ivory Giriama: mkulu Kamba: kisanawa (Kitui), kisaaya, nzaaya (fruit), nzanawa (fruit), Kambe: mkulu Malakote: mujajabho, jajabho (fruit) Marakwet: muchukwa (singular), muchuk (plural), muchukwo Mbeere: muthwana Meru: muthwaye Orma: jajab Pokot: muchukwo, muchuk (plural) Samburu: santaiti Somali: deen (Tana River), dheen-den ro'o, kor'guba Swahili: mkulu Taita: mzwana Tharaka: muthwana Tugen: muchukwa Turkana: emeyen

Description: A more or less evergreen tree up to 10m high with a narrow or rounded crown, less often a spreading bush. BARK: Greyish brown, reticulately fissured. LEAVES: Ovate to oblong, yellowish green below. FLOWERS: Small, yellow-green, with 5 floral parts. FRUIT: Oval, tapering towards the tip, 1-2 cm long, green, turning yellow to reddish brown when ripe.

Ecology: Widespread from the Sudan to South Africa in semi-arid bushland, wooded grassland as well as riverine vegetation, 0-1,600 m. Tends to be riparian in the more arid areas. Common on riverine alluvial soils, in rocky areas and in light soils. Zones V-VII.

Uses: FOOD: Ripe (and occasionally unripe) fruit eaten (++); may be eaten whole together with outer covers and seed, which may also be discarded. Gum edible.

MEDICINAL: Bark infusion used for "enlarged spleen" and diarrhoea (Pokot). Ground up fruits used for sore throat and tonsillitis (Pokot).

OTHER: This species has hard yellowish brown durable wood used as poles, in construction, for furniture (+++) and frames for doors and windows. Stems are good fuelwood (+++) and charcoal is excellent. Shade (++). Poles used for constructing granaries. Dried fruit used by Tharaka girls as beads. Samburu warriors use the fruits as clasps for fastening their hair. Tree used for suspending beehives (Kitui, Tharaka, Mbeere).

CULTURAL/BELIEFS: Root decoction given to barren women (Tugen).

COMMERCIAL: Fruits occasionally sold in Mutomo (Kitui), and Tseikuru (Mwingi).

Season: Fruits in February-March (Meru, Tharaka, Mwingi, Kitui).

Management: Directly sown seed germinates easily.

Status: Occasional.

Remarks: Berchemia zeyheri with edible fruits is found in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique.


Figure


Figure


Figure

Borassus aethiopum Mart.

Palmae (Arecaceae)

Boni: ong Chonyi: mnazi, nazi (fruit) Digo: dzova, mvumo, ngolokolo (fruit), Duruma: mugumo English: borassus palm, African fan palm, palmyra palm, deleb palm Giriama: mugumo Kambe: mnazi, nazi (fruit) Luhya (Tachoni): mnazi Malakote: murifate Meru: mungthi Orma: marafa Somali: mardafa (Tana River) Swahili: mvumo, mtapa, mchapa Teso: edukut, edukudukut

Description: A strikingly tall unbranched palm to 25 m high. Trunk: Smooth to rough, grey, widening high up above the middle. Leaf scars prominent immediately below crown, less prominent below. LEAVES: Fan-shaped, very large, to 2.5 m long, upper half divided into many folded leaf segments. FLOWERS: Green, dioecious. FRUIT: Large, up to 15 cm long by 12 cm wide, smooth, slightly elongate, orange to orange-brown, containing up to 3 seeds surrounded by a fibrous pulp.

Ecology: Widespread throughout the less dry areas of tropical Africa. Open grassland with a high water-table, along watercourses, flood plains, coastal coral sands, often in dense stands. Found at the coast in Kenya, e.g. at Madunguni (Kilifi), Gede ruins and in Shimba forest, western Kenya and around Mandera, 0-1,400 m. Zones III-IV.

Uses: FOOD: Fruit pulp and seed edible (Digo, Giriama) (++). The immature seeds are eaten. Germinating seedlings are reportedly eaten (Uganda). Excellent palm wine, dzova (Digo) is made from sap tapped from inflorescence penducles (stalks). It is reputedly the best palm wine in Africa with a high sugar content (Uganda).

OTHER: Leaves are used in the mat and basket industry. The trunk is tough and termite-resistant. It is used as poles, in construction and as beehives.

Management: Propagated by seed which are best sown directly on site. Grows fast when young but very slowly later. Fallen seeds root easily in humid soil. Root develops well before shoot is seen.

Status: Generally rare but may be locally common. Over-exploitation of the palm for its wood and sap has led to its decline in most areas where it grows.

Remarks: Another palm used for wine production is Elaeis guineensis Jacq. (English: oil palm, Guinea oil palm, Swahili: mchikichi, mjenga, Digo: mchikichi, Pokomo: mchanga, Sanya: metsengwa, Taveta: mposi). It is a tree palm to 15 m high. Young stems covered with persistent leaf bases which are shed with age leaving ridges of scars on the trunk. LEAVES: Dark green, long, borne in a terminal crown. Leaflets with spiny margins. FLOWERS: Monoecious, borne in the leaf axils. Riverine. Uses: An important oil crop (seeds) in West Africa but not in Kenya. Oil is used in the manufacture of margarine, soap and as a lubricant. Palm wine is tapped from the palm in Uganda and West Africa but not in Kenya. Unlike Borassus, the wood is not durable. A rare species in Kenya.


Figure


Figure

Another important palm is Cocos nucifera (English: coconut palm, Giriama: mnazi, Kamba: munathi, Sanya: madhi, Swahili: mnazi, nazi (fruit)). This palm is grown all over the tropics in hot humid coastal areas and has been cultivated for a long time. In Kenya it is grown along the coastal strip and in a few inland areas as an ornamental plant (Lake Turkana, Lake Victoria, Kitui). An important source of wine, food, thatching material, building poles, fuelwood, shade, oil, leaves for handicrafts and a host of other traditional uses. The oily extract from the coconut flesh, tui (Swahili), is used for flavouring food. It is added to the dish only in the last 5-10 minutes of cooking to avoid boiling and curdling.


Elaeis guineensis


Cocos nucifera

Boscia coriacea Pax

Capparidaceae (Capparaceae)

Borana: qalqalq, galgacha-hareh Daasanach: dhuorich Gabra: k'alk'acca Ilchamus: sericho, serichoi (plural) Maa: enkapalases, enkapoleses Malakote: kalaqacha Marakwet: sorikwo, sorik (plant) Mbeere: mukiare, muthiu, kikiare, mutangira, gitangira Orma: kalkach Pokot: sorichon, sorich (plural) Rendille: lyoror, yoror Samburu: serichoi Somali: ghalangal, degaiyare, degeiyar Swahili: mnafisi Tharaka: muthiuthiu Tugen: sirkwa Turkana: eedung, eerdung

Description: An evergreen, much-branched, usually multi-stemmed shrub or small tree to 6 m high. BARK: Smooth, dark grey to grey-white. LEAVES: Light green, leathery, elliptic, apex sharply pointed. FLOWERS: Creamy green. FRUITS: Light green with a fleshy coat. Seeds enclosed in a tough white skin.

Ecology: An evergreen shrub common in all drier areas of northern Uganda, the Sudan, southern Ethiopia, Somalia and northern Tanzania in dry bushland or Acacia-Commiphora bushland, often in rocky areas or in loose red clay or sandy soils, 100-1,500 m. Common, e.g. in Turkana and Tsavo. Rainfall: 300-500 mm. Zone VI.

Uses: FOOD: Boiled cotyledons eaten (Pokot, Tugen, Turkana) (+++). Preparation: Fruits are pounded with a stone to remove the green outer fleshy coat. The seeds are then boiled briefly in water to loosen the tough white outer skin and then pressed between stones to release the green cotyledons. The skins are floated off in water and the green cotyledons boiled. Water is changed 8-12 times. Boiled seeds may be fried. Ripe fruit may be sucked for its sweet taste (Taita, Kamba, Tharaka, Mbeere, Daasanach).

MEDICINAL: Root decoction used for the treatment of headache (Pokot) and bark for yellow fever (Samburu); root infusion taken for gonorrhoea (Daasanach).

OTHER: Fodder for goats, donkeys, camels and cattle, especially important during the dry season. Fruits eaten by birds. Branches and stems used in construction (Pokot, Turkana). Shade tree, fuelwood. Stems made into blunt arrow heads used for shooting birds (Daasanach).

COMMERCIAL: Cooked food sold in Turkana markets. Often exchanged with other foodstuffs.

Season: Fruits in February (southern Turkana) or March, October (Mtito Andei).

Management: Propagated by direct sowing at site.

Status: Common. Usually protected (Turkana).


Figure


Figure


Figure

Boswellia neglecta S. Moore

Burseraceae

syn: B. hildebrandtii Engl.

Borana: dakkara, dakkar, dakkar gurate, hancha-dakkara (resin), hancha-lubadin (incense) Daasanach: dong'od-nee-dhieroka, hancha-dakkara (gum) English: frankincense Gabra: dakkara Kamba: kinondo Orma: dakar Pokot: sungululwo Rendille: halale, hanja (resin) Samburu: lecholoo, lkinoo Somali: magafur, murfur-madbe, mirafur (Tana River) Swahili: ubani Turkana: ekinyate

Description: Shrub or, less often, a tree to 5 m high. LEAVES: Borne in tufts on small side shoots. FLOWERS: Greenish white. FRUIT: Red, triangular, 3-seeded.

Ecology: Found in northern and eastern Uganda, northern Tanzania, eastern Ethiopia, Somalia and in most drier parts of Kenya, e.g. in southern Turkana, Mutha (Kitui), northern Baringo in Acacia-Commiphora bushland chiefly in rocky and red loam or clay soils, 200-1,350 m. Rainfall: 250-600 mm. Zones V-VI.

Uses: FOOD: Resin from bark used as chewing gum (Turkana, Pokot, Rendille). Bark used for making tea (Pokot, Turkana).

FOOD/MEDICINAL: Bark decoction added to milk and given to children as tonic (Somali, Pokot).

MEDICINAL: Dried ground bark put into wounds (Somali); root decoction drunk for enlarged spleen (Pokot).

OTHER: Plant used in tanning (Rendille). Resin burned for its aroma (as frankincense) (Somali), during peace prayers (hancha-lubadin, Boran) and to drive away mosquitoes (Somali). Goat and camel fodder (++). Toothbrush, stools (Daasanach).

COMMERCIAL: Resin sold as frankincense. The species is the commonest source of frankincense in Kenya.

Status: May be locally common.

Remarks: True frankincense is resin of a more superior quality yielded by Boswellia carterii Birdw. and B. frereana Birdw. both occurring in northern Somalia. Three other species of Boswellia occur in Kenya: B. papyrifera (Del.) Hochst. found in Turkana District at the Sudan/Uganda border, B. rivae Engl. found in Mandera and B. microphylla Chiov. found in Moyale and Mandera Districts (Somali: mugle, Borana: dakkar). Resin from the last is exploited commercially.


Boswellia frereana


Figure


Figure

Brassica carinata A. Br.

Cruciferae (Brassicaceae)

syn: B. integrifolia (Wes.) Rupr.

English: Ethiopian cabbage, Ethiopian mustard Kisii: chinkongonyira Luhya (Maragoli): likabichi lya manyonyi Luo: kandhira Mijikenda: kanzira-sukuma (Mariakani)

Description: An erect annual herb, often branched, to 1.2 m or more. LEAVES: Pinnately lobed, smaller compared to those of other brassicas. FLOWERS: Yellow, borne in a long terminal inflorescence. FRUIT: A long capsule. Seeds small.

Ecology: Grown in many parts of the world with several cultivars. In Kenya mainly grown in Nyanza and Western Provinces, especially by the Luo and Luhya communities. Introduced at the coast. Occasionally grown in large cities such as Nairobi by the same communities. Also found as an escape in the same areas, 0-1,600 m (in Kenya). A weed of cultivation also grown as a vegetable. Prefers fertile places such as abandoned cattle enclosures. Rainfall: 600-1,600 mm. Zones II - III.

Uses: FOOD: Leaves are used as a vegetable (Kisii, Luo, Luhya, Mijikenda, Suba) (+++). A popular vegetable among the Luo. Leaves mixed with those of akeyo (Cleome gynandra) are boiled, made into lumps, dried in the sun and stored in a clay pot (agulu) as a dry-season food (Luo). This may be eaten with apoth (Asystasia mysorensis) as mboga. Leaves are also fried with meat and used as mboga. Leaves are said to be mixed with those of Solarium nigrum and Cleome gynandra in Malawi. The cooked vegetable has a characteristic sharp odour and it is not bitter. In southern Africa, oil is extracted from the seeds and used for cooking and for rubbing on the skin.

MEDICINAL: Water obtained after boiling leaves is used to treat diarrhoea (Luo).

OTHER: Seeds much liked by birds, hence the Maragoli name.

Management: Grows easily from seeds which are sown in lines or broadcast. Normally grown in kitchen gardens (Luo: sirundi, kirundi) at the homestead to minimize on bird attack (Luo, Luhya). Among the Luo it is grown together with akeyo (Cleome gynandra). Seeds are often mixed with ash when planting to keep off pests. Seeds are also distributed by birds. Plants are normally cut at a height of about 15 cm to induce the plant to produce larger leaves.

Remarks: A plant of unclear taxonomic position and doubtful origin. Some authorities treat B. carinata as a variety of B. juncea (L.) Czern. This species is also found in India (English: Indian mustard). B. carinata is believed to be a native of the Ethiopian highlands. Significant variation in leaf width is found in this species. Some forms have very narrow leaves. Leaves are generally small and there is need for improvement if it is to have potential as a vegetable.


Figure


Figure

The genus Brassica contains some important exotic species such as the cabbage (B. oleracea L. var. capitata), rape and swede (B. napus L.), turnip (B. rapa L.) and kales (B. oleracea L. var. acephala). (Swahili: sukuma-wiki, Kikuyu: matharu, Kipsigis: sarokel, Luo: badmaro, Kisii: egesusura, Luhya: likabichi). Several of these introduced species have gone wild, especially in the highlands. Kales are becoming more important, especially among urban dwellers, thus replacing cabbage and traditional vegetables.

Bridelia taitensis Vatke & Pax

Euphorbiaceae

Borana: karo Kamba: mwaanzia Mbeere: muce Samburu: lapironit Tharaka: muyee

Description: Usually a much-branched multi-stemmed shrub, 2-3 m high. LEAVES: Broad, apex blunt or slightly notched with prominent veins underneath. FLOWERS: Tiny, greenish yellow, borne in clusters, inconspicuous. FRUITS: Small, to 1 cm across, green (tinged purple) turning almost black.

Ecology: Only known in northern, eastern and coastal Kenya. Found in Marsabit, Mutomo and Tsavo East National Park. Grows in dry bushland, woodland or riverin bushland, often on rocky or gravelly ground and on sandy soil, 440-1,200 m. Zones IV-V.

Uses: FOOD: Fruit is edible (+). It has a sweet-sour taste.

MEDICINAL: Bark extract used against earache (Tharaka).

CULTURAL/BELIEFS: The dead were buried under this shrub (Tharaka).

Season: Fruits in March in Machakos.

Status: Locally common.

Remarks: B. cathartica Bertol.f. (Swahili: makarakara, mkarati, Giriama: mkalakala) also has edible fruits.


Bridelia cathartica


Figure


Figure

Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.

Papilionaceae (Fabaceae)

Chonyi: mbalazi (fruit), mubalazi Embu: njugu English: pigeon pea Giriama: mbubalazi Kamba: nzuu Kambe: mbalazi (fruit), mubalazi Kikuyu: njugu Luo: obong Marakwet: njugu Meru: nangu, ncugu Swahili: mbaazi Teso: epana Tharaka: njugu

Description: A shrub, usually 2-3 m tall with a dense and narrow or loose crown. Branches erect, drooping when with fruit. BARK: Green or dark red with pale longitudinal lines. LEAVES: Each with 3 leaflets covered with glands. Upper surface soft, dark green. Paler and with prominent veins beneath. FLOWERS: In terminal or axillary inflorescences, yellow to dark red (standard with reddish brown lines). FRUIT: Pods to 10 cm long, straight or slightly curved with hairy glandular surface, green, often streaked red, dark brown or purplish black. Seeds up to 9 (commonly 5-6) per pod, green, turning cream or light brown on drying.

Ecology: Cultivated in tropical Africa and America and a great deal in India. Cultivated in many parts of Kenya, especially in Murang'a, Kirinyaga, Embu, Meru, Machakos, Kitui and Makueni Districts. Also grown in the Kerio valley. West Pokot, southern Turkana and in Nyanza Province, 0-1,800 m. Does best in semi-arid to sub-humid areas. Occasionally found as an escape on waste ground. Red clay soils and clayey sandy soils are best. Rainfall: 600-1,000 mm. Zones III-V.

Uses: FOOD: Peas may be mashed with other foods like potatoes, cooked with maize, or made into a stew (mbogd) and eaten along with ugali. Peas are boiled, mashed and rolled into balls or boiled with sorghum (Luo). Among the Kikuyu, pigeon peas were important food during ceremonies like circumcision.

OTHER: After harvesting the stalks are cut and used as firewood (rather poor quality, burns fast but an important fuel during the wet and planting seasons). A good plant for crop rotation or intercropping. An important fodder plant during the dry season after crop harvest. The dry leaves and pods remain after harvest and are important food for donkeys, cattle and goats.

COMMERCIAL: Sold in various forms: fresh pods, green peas without pods and dry peas, mainly in central and coastal parts of Kenya and in Nairobi.

Season: Flowers in May-June in Machakos, Kitui, Mbeere and Mwingi. Fruits in July-August in Mbeere, Kitui and Machakos.

Management: May be grown as a pure stand or with other crops. In the low hot regions of Eastern Province it is normally planted during the short October/November rains and harvested in July-August the following year. In Nyanza normally planted sparsely or at the edge of crop land. Harvesting: Once the pods are dry, the fruiting branchlets are cut or broken off and spread on the ground for further drying (especially of leaves and fresh pods). Dry pods easily split open releasing seeds when threshed. These are winnowed on a windy day. Seeds do not store for long without insecticides.


Figure


Figure

Pigeon pea is still an important crop in semi-arid areas, i.e. Machakos, Makueni, Mbeere and Tharaka-Nithi Districts. In the more humid areas its cultivation has declined because of introduction of other crops such as field peas (Pisum sativum, Kikuyu: minji) and kidney beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L., Kikuyu: mboco, Kamba: mboso, Luo: oganda, Swahili: maharagwe). In many areas increased attack by insect pests (kathoa, Kikuyu, Kamba) at flowering time has reduced yields significantly in recent years, in some cases causing total crop failure.

Pigeon pea is a hardy crop and a preferred food. It may be intercropped with deeply rooted crops such as cowpeas (the creeping type), cassava, pumpkins, gourds and sweet potato. Crops such as maize, beans, millets, sorghum and quick-maturing types of cowpeas are adversely affected. Its potential in the food industry is still not yet fully exploited. Pests are a major problem threatening its cultivation.

Remarks: The origin of this important crop is still a subject of contention. It is believed to be of African origin, but the possibility of it being Asian cannot be discounted. There are only two species in this genus; the other, C. kerstingii. Harms, grows wild in West Africa and hence the assumption that the pigeon pea is probably of African origin. Some forms of this crop have their origin in India.


Figure

Canthium glaucum Hiern

Rubiaceae

Chonyi: mtambachiko Giriama: mfuranje Kambe: mtambachiko Swahili: mtengeji

Description: A spiny shrub usually 2-4 m high. BARK: Brown to grey. LEAVES: With very short petioles, elliptic, usually 2-5 cm long, borne at nodes or on short shoots below the paired spines. FLOWERS: In cymes, few, greenish. FRUIT: Square in outline, green turning yellowish orange when ripe.

Ecology: Found in coastal bushland, usually in open places with deep sandy soils, 0-150 m, e.g. in Marafa and in Arabuko forest (Kilifi). Ssp. glaucum occurs in Somalia and ssp. frangula in southern Africa. Zones III-IV.

Uses: FOOD: Ripe fruits fleshy, sweet and much liked (+++) (Mijikenda).

OTHER: Branches used for fencing.

Season: Fruits in March-April (Sabaki), April-June (Kilifi, Malindi).

Status: Rare.

Remarks: Many members of the closely related genera Keetia, Psydrax and Multidentia have edible fruits. Notable examples are Keetia gueinzii (Sond.) Bridson (syn: Canthium gueinzii Sond.) (Swahili: mtindapo, Kamba: mukumuti, Kikuyu: mugunguma, Luhya: lusebi, Luhya (Bukusu): nabusuma, Luhya (Tachoni): olwobo, Luo: kikumba, athuno, Kipsigis: cheplekwelet, Meru: mugugu, Tugen: mokilokwa), altitude: 150-2,500 m; Keetia zanzibarica (Klotzsch) Bridson (syn: Canthium zanzibaricum Klotzsch) (Swahili: mporopojo, ndapo, mtindapo, Digo: muyunzu, Giriama: muzunzwi, mukimbiri, Kambe: chimbiri), distribution: Kwale, Kilifi, Tana River, altitude: 0-450 m; Multidentia crassa (Hiern) Bridson & Verdc, var. crassa (syn: Canthium crassum Hiern) (Luhya (Bukusu) and Luhya (Tachoni): kumunyenya, kumunyinyi, bunyinyi (fruit)), found in Trans Nzoia District and Western Province.


Multidentia crassa


Keetia gueinzii


Figure


Figure

Canthium lactescens Hiern

Rubiaceae

Pokot: putere, ptere, putoro

Description: A shrub or small tree to 9 m. Stems thick with short internodes. BARK: Reddish to dark grey. LEAVES: Broad to almost round, large, paired, usually at branch tips. FLOWERS: Cream or yellowish green in cymes borne in leafless nodes. FRUITS: Usually with 2 lobes, 1.0-1.5 cm in diameter, green, turning yellow on ripening.

Ecology: Distributed in eastern and southern Africa from the Sudan and Ethiopia south to Zimbabwe and Angola, and in Kenya in Samburu, at Siyabei River in Narok, Baringo and West Pokot. Grows in riverine bushland and on rocky hillsides, 1,000-2,300 m. Zones III-IV.

Uses: FOOD: Fruits fleshy when ripe and very sweet.

Remarks: Many of the Canthium species have edible fruits. Other notable ones are C. setiflorum Hiern, a coastal shrub usually 1.5-3 m high, flowers yellowish green to cream, fruit yellow to dark brown, to 1.5 cm long, and C. pseudosetiflorum Bridson (Pokot: molkotwo, Borana: ladana, Turkana: etoukoroe, emidakan, Somali: natana) mainly found in the Rift Valley region and northern Kenya. A boiled root extract is added to children's milk as a tonic (Pokot). Altitude: 750-1,750 m.


Canthium setiflorum


Figure


Figure

Carissa edulis (Forssk.) Vahl

Apocynaceae

Borana: dagams Chonyi: mtandomboo Embu: mukawa Gabra: dagams Giriama: mtandamboo Kamba: mukawa (Machakos, Makueni), mutote (Kitui), ngawa, ndote (fruit), nzunu (fruit, Kitui) Kambe: mtandamboo Kikuyu: mukawa Kipsigis: legetetyet, legetiet Kisii: omonyangateti, Kuria: munyoke Luhya (Bukusu): kumurwa (plant), burwa (fruit) Luhya (Tachoni): oburwa Luo: ochuoga Maa: olamuriaki, ilamuriak (plural) Malakote: mokalakala, kaka-mchangani Marakwet: leketeet (plural), leketetwa (singular), leketetwo Mbeere: mukawa Meru: kamuria, nkawa-mwimbi (fruit) Nandi: legetetwa Pokot: lakatetwa, lokotetwo Rendille: godhoom-boor Samburu: lamuriei, lamuriai Sanya: gurura Somali: adishawel Swahili: mtandamboo Taita: kirimba, ndandangoma Teso: emuriei Tugen: legetetwa

Description: Dense, evergreen, spinous shrub commonly found scrambling on other bushes or, rarely, standing by itself and sending out branches from the main bush. All parts exuding white latex on slight injury. SPINES: Straight, sometimes forked and up to 5 cm long. LEAVES: Broadly ovate to elliptic, glossy green, opposite and with a pointed apex. FLOWERS: Reddish pink outside, white inside as seen when they open. FRUITS: Round or ellipsoid, up to 26 mm in diameter, green, often tinged red or purple when unripe but turning dark purple (almost black) and glossy when ripe. Seeds few, dark brown, often compressed or undeveloped.

Ecology: Widespread in Kenya and much of Africa. Forest edges, bushland and thickets, especially on rocky hillsides. Common in rocky areas, on clay soils, especially black-cotton soils at valley bottoms and near seasonally flooded areas, 0-2,500 m. Rare in the coastal belt. Rainfall: 500-1,800 mm. Zones II-V.

Uses: FOOD: Both the unripe and ripe fruits are eaten whole (+++) (in the case of ripe fruits seeds may be discarded). The unripe fruits (green to purple) taste tart. Ripe fruits delicious-sweet and soft. Much liked by both children and adults. All fruits exude a milky latex. Flowers eaten (Luhya (Bukusu)).

MEDICINAL: The plant is among the most important sources of traditional medicine. Roots boiled and taken with soup to strengthen bones, for general fitness (Kamba, Meru, Pokot, Maasai) and (usually with other plants) for gonorrhoea (Maasai, Samburu, Kikuyu-Nyandarua). Boiled root extract drunk for chest pain (Kamba), indigestion, lower abdominal pains in pregnant mothers (Luo), polio symptoms (Samburu), headache and fever in children (Pokot). Decoction from boiled branches and leaves used for treating breast cancer, headache and chest pains (Nandi).

OTHER: Good goat fodder (+++). Good hedge plant (+++). Ripe fruits used as a dye by children. Silk-moth cocoons occasionally found on the plant.

COMMERCIAL: Fruits occasionally sold in markets.

Management: Seeds sown directly germinate easily. Saplings often grow under parent bushes and may also be used. Cultivated in several parts of the world for its fruit and as a hedge plant.

Status: Locally common. Rare in some parts (coastal areas) and Machakos, Makueni (partly due to over-exploitation for medicinal purposes).


Figure


Figure

Remarks: Carissa edulis is a variable species in Kenya. Variation is seen in the spines (some individual plants have almost all spines forked), fruits (while some are almost spherical, others have a slightly pointed base), leaves (some glabrous while others are hairy, and others conspicuously narrowed towards the apex). Some large fruit-bearing plants are found in parts of Ngong forest and in the Kitui highlands. The germplasm for some of these populations is threatened and hence the need to collect it. The taxonomy and herbarium collections of this species in Kenya (especially as it relates to C. bispinosa, with which it seems to share many features) needs to be clarified. Typically, the petals of C. edulis overlap to the left while those of C. bispinosa overlap to the right.

A related species, C. tetramera (Sad.) Stapf (Swahili: mtandamboo, Digo: mtandamboo, Giriama: mtandamboo, Chonyi: mtandamboo, Kambe: mtandamboo, Sanya: gurura) with forked spines, smaller fruit and slightly toothed leaf margins also has delicious edible fruits. Distribution: Kwale, Kilifi in coastal bushland and wooded grassland, 0-450 m. Propagation: Seed, direct sowing. Season: Flowers in December, January, February, May, June. Fruits in January, February, June, July, August in Nairobi, Kitui, Machakos, Embu.


Carissa tetramera


Carissa bispinosa

Catha edulis Forssk.

Celastraceae

Arabic: qat, khat Borana: chati, cati Chonyi: miraa Embu: miraa English: khat, Abyssinia tea, Arabian tea Giriama: miraa Kamba: mailyungi, miungi (plural) Kambe: miraa Kikuyu: muirungi, miirungi (plural) Kipsigis: tomoiyot Kisii: mairungi Maa: olmeraa Marakwet: tumayot Meru: muraa, miraa (plural) Okiek: tumayot Samburu: mamiraa Somali: qat, kat (pronounced chat) Swahili: miraa Teso: emairugi

Description: An evergreen shrub or large tree to 25 m with a dense crown. Trunk to 1 m in diameter. BARK: Grey-green or pale greyish brown. Young shoots green to red. LEAVES: Up to 12 cm long, narrowly elliptic with serrate margins, opposite, alternate on coppice shoots. Young leaves crimson brown, glossy, becoming yellow-green and leathery with age. FLOWERS: Small, white to creamy yellow in axillary cymes. FRUIT: A red-to-dark-brown, oblong, pendulous 3-valved capsule, up to 1 cm long. Seeds reddish brown with a small brown papery wing at the base.

Ecology: Found in south-western Arabia and Yemen and in many parts of Africa from Ethiopia to South Africa. Introduced in India and many other tropical countries. In Kenya, found, e.g. in the Nyambene mountains, Kyulu hills, south-western Mau forest, Cherangani forest, Mt Kenya, Turbo, Kakamega Forest, Mt Elgon. Cultivated in Nyambene and Meru. In the wild it is found in moist montane forests, evergreen forests and their margins, dry Olea and Juniperus forests, riverine forests and in thickets in Combretum wooded grassland. Along drainage lines and rocky hillsides, 1,200-2,400 m. Commonest around 2,000 m. Colluvial, stony or red soil. Rainfall: 800-1,800 mm. Commonest around 1,000 mm. Zones I-III.

Uses: Stimulant: Bark from fresh young shoots is peeled off and chewed as a stimulant, mainly by Somali and Meru and in towns (popular with long-distance heavy truck drivers as it is said to keep them awake). As one chews, a lump of khat (Somali: taksin) is gathered on one side of the mouth. Khat is usually chewed along with soft drinks, black spiced tea or chewing gum. The leaves are reportedly used to make a beverage like tea-called Abyssinia or Somali tea. Dried leaves may be smoked like tobacco. An important plant during wedding ceremonies (Boran, Somali).

MEDICINAL: Roots and bark boiled in tea or soup as a remedy for gonorrhoea (Kipsigis, Maasai).

CULTURAL/BELIEFS: Khat, tobacco and coffee taken as a gift to the girl's home during the first visit of the boy's parents as a sign of friendship between the two families (Boran). Said to form part of the bride price in marriage among people of Nyambene. Plant used in wedding ceremonies among the Boran and Somali.

OTHER: Building poles, fuelwood (++).

COMMERCIAL: Young shoots are sold in urban centres, especially to the Somali community. The khat trade is a flourishing multi-million shilling business in Kenya. Loads of it are harvested from the Nyambene highlands and air-freighted (mainly by chartered aircraft) from Nairobi to Somalia. It is also exported to the Middle East and often finds its way to Somali nationals in many parts of the world. Shoots are bound into small bundles which in turn are wrapped in banana leaves to protect the twigs from withering. In this condition khat can last for up to a week. In Kenya the banana leaves are hung outsides kiosks to indicate the presence of khat vendors. Despite its wide occurrence in other parts of Kenya, khat obtained from Nyambene District is of a superior quality. The Kangeta type with reddish purple bark is best and is often exported. Muringene and Maua types are poorer quality and are often mixed with the Kangeta type to increase their value. Up to six types have been reported in Ethiopia.


Figure


Figure

Management: Planting may be done vegetatively through cuttings. Twigs harvested for chewing are mainly obtained from coppiced plants.

Status: Generally uncommon in the wild. Large populations have, however, been reported in the Kyulu and Gwasi hills.

Remarks: Catha edulis, the only member of its genus, is an important drug plant in eastern Africa. Khat chewing is an important social activity among the Somali. Khat is usually provided to important visitors by the bride during wedding ceremonies. It is said to produce wakefulness and mental alertness by its stimulating effect on the nervous system. Thus it is used in situations requiring concentration.

The health, social and economic costs of khat chewing, however, outweigh the advantages. It induces thirst and therefore the user has to buy a lot of soft drinks. Khat is corrosive to the mouth wall. Chewing gum has recently gained popularity as it soothes the mouth besides absorbing stray khat particles. It is often a cause of constipation among chewers. It suppresses appetite and, when used for long periods, the alertness induced may lead to extreme fatigue and even stupor. Excess use of khat may induce symptoms of hallucination, intoxication or poisoning and, in extreme cases, insanity. Despite its short energy-boosting effect, prolonged use has been reported to cause emaciation and impotence. Khat chewing is addictive and often may impose a financial strain on the individual or family. The practice of chewing khat is condemned by non-users and is generally seen as unhealthy. There have been several attempts to ban the use of the drug by the authorities in Kenya and in some Islamic countries. The majority of khat users are found in the Islamic community.


Figure

Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Mansf.

Cucurbitaceae

Chonyi: matikiti English: watermelon, egusi melon Giriama: matikiti Kamba: itikitiki Kambe: matikiti Luo: afwoto Marakwet: sot Sanya: mkikili Swahili: mtikiti Turkana: namunye, amamnyet

Description: A trailing or climbing plant. Stems hairy, usually creeping extensively. LEAVES: With deep lobes, usually 3-5 lobes. Central lobe the largest. Tendrils usually divided into two, rarely simple. FLOWERS: Monoecious, petals yellow, joined below. FRUITS: Ellipsoid to almost round, usually 15-20 cm long, green with pale green longitudinal stripes and white juicy flesh. (Note: The form with dark green stripes on the surface and red-pink flesh is the one more commonly found in markets.)

Ecology: Tropical Africa, Asia and America. In Kenya grows, e.g. in southern Turkana along the Turkwel River and in the coastal region. Cultivated land, abandoned cultivation, grassland, flood plains, 0-1,400 m. Common on sandy soils. Zones II-VII (riverine).

Uses: FOOD: The fruit is peeled and the flesh eaten raw or boiled. It can also be peeled, seeds removed and chopped into small pieces which may be eaten raw or cooked with pumpkin leaves or those of Lycium europaeum L. (Turkana: ekereru, Daasanach: il-maarach). Seeds may be sun-dried, ground and the resulting meal mixed with sorghum flour and made into a porridge, atap (Turkana). In other parts of Africa, seeds may be roasted and eaten. Leaves are also reported to be used as a leafy vegatable.

OTHER: Children make toy wheels from the fruits (Makueni).

COMMERCIAL: Local form sold in Turkana. Commercially cultivated form common in most markets in large towns.

Season: Fruits in July in southern Turkana.

Status: Common in cultivation (Turkana). Rare elsewhere.

Remarks: The local form of the watermelon is among the earliest cultivated food plants of the Ng'ikebootok in southern Turkana who believe that it came with elephant dung. Both the immature and mature fruits are eaten raw. The mature ones are sweeter.


Figure


Figure

Cleome gynandra L.

Capparidaceae (Capparaceae)

syn: Gynandropsis gynandra (L.) Briq., Cleome pentaphylla (L.) Schrank

Chonyi: mwangani English: bastard mustard, spider herb, spider flower, cat's whiskers Giriama: mwangani Kamba: mwianzo, mukakai (Machakos) sake, mwaanzo, ithea-utuku (Kitui) Kambe: mwangani Keiyo: saka Kikuyu: thagiti, thageti Kipsigis: isakyat, isagek, isakiat Kisii: chinsaga Luhya (Bukusu): esaka (singular), chiisaka (plural) Luhya (Kisa): tsisaka Luhya (Kisa, Kabras, Tiriki): tsisaka Luhya (Marachi): lisaka Luhya (Tachoni): chiisaka (plural), yisaka (singular) Luhya (Samia): esaka (singular) Luo: dek (Homa Bay), akeyo, alot-dek, deg-akeyo (Siaya) Maa: lemba-e-nabo (Elang'ata wuas), olmuateni, oljani-lool-tatwa (Meto), naibor lukunya Marakwet: sachan, suroyo Meru: munyugunyugu Okiek: isakiat, isagek (plural) Pokot: suriyo, suriya, karelmet Rendille: bekeila-ki-dakhan, Sabaot: sakiantet Samburu: sabai, lasaitet Sanya: mwangani Somali: jeu-gurreh Swahili: mkabili, mwangani Teso: ecadoi Tugen: kisakiat Turkana: echaboi, akio

Description: An erect herb to 1.3 m high (usually 0.5-1.0 m). Stems hairy, rather oily. LEAVES: On long stalks, usually divided into 3, 5 and 7 leaflets, to 7 cm long. FLOWERS: White or pink borne on a long much-branched inflorescence. FRUIT: A long-stalked capsule splitting to release small rough, greyish black seeds.

Ecology: Widely distributed in most of Africa, tropical Asia and America and all over Kenya as a weed of cultivation and disturbed areas, 0-2,400 m. Common in abandoned homesteads, especially animal enclosures. Soils: Fertile soils with a lot of organic matter. Zones I-VI.

Uses: FOOD: Leaves (often with flowers) widely used as a vegetable in Kenya, especially in the western and coastal regions (+++), (Luo, Luhya, Kisii, Teso, Kipsigis, Nandi, Giriama). Not a traditional vegetable of the Central Bantu, however. By themselves leaves are bitter. Leaves are boiled, butter added and eaten along with ugali made from finger millet flour. This is served to important visitors such as in-laws as a sign of respect (Luo). Usually cooked with other vegetables such as cowpeas, amaranth (Luhya, Pokot, Luo) and Solanum nigrum (Pokot). In western Kenya, milk is added and preferably left overnight in a pot. This reduces the bitterness. Leaves mixed with those of kandhira (Brassica carinata) are boiled, made into lumps, dried in the sun and stored in a clay pot (agulu) as a dry-season food (Luo). This may be eaten with apoth (Asystasia mysorensis) as mboga. Among the Kisii, it is almost mandatory for women to use this before and after childbirth, circumcised boys must eat it and it is served to important visitors.

MEDICINAL: Root infusion used for chest pain (Makueni); vegetable a cure for constipation (Luo). Water obtained after boiling leaves is used to treat diarrhoea (Luo). Leaves are pounded with a little water and the extract drunk as a treatment for chira (a condition with symptoms like those of AIDS, but associated with a curse or punishment from the spirits). Patient also bathes with this.

COMMERCIAL: Vegetable sold in the major towns, especially in Coast, Nairobi, Nyanza, Rift Valley and Western Provinces.

Management: Grown from seeds. Planted either in lines or by broadcasting. Cultivated on a small scale by farmers, especially the elderly in western parts of Kenya. Outside Kenya commonly cultivated for seed oil.


Figure


Figure

Status: Common.

Remarks: Because of the bitterness of the leaves, some people prefer not to use salt. The Mijikenda believe that use of salt may lead to the disappearance of the plant from cropland. The synonym Gynandropsis gynandra is the name used at the East African Herbarium. The related species Cleome monophylla L. (Somali: aiyo) is widespread in Africa and common as a weed in cultivation. C. allamanii Chiov. (Somali: liimo danyeer) and C. hirta (Clotzsch) Oliv. (Somali: garah lahgurare) are also used as a vegetable but to a lesser extent. Their leaves are smaller. Among the Luo, dek is often used as a general term for a leafy vegetable.


Cleome hirta

Coccinia grandis (L.) Voigt

Cucurbitaceae

Daasanach: daal-guo, daalle, dalaam (fruit) English: ivy gourd, scarlet gourd Kamba: kimuya, kimowe (Machakos, Makueni), imore, imondiu (Mwingi) Kikuyu: kigerema Luhya (Maragoli): kidunda Luo: mutkuru, nyamutkuru, nyathund-guok, mitkuru (Homa Bay) Maa: ndegegeya, olamposhi, enkaiserariai Marakwet: kipchimchim Mbeere: kigerema, kirigirigi (Riandu), ndambawangaa Pokot: ariapongos, pchichen, pchichin (fruit), tarmuch, ketporapis Rendille: lahuhuge Samburu: nkaisiruaruai Somali: parampar, barambar Turkana: ekadala, arekoi, elero, emanimun

Description: A climbing or prostrate perennial plant arising from a tuberous rootstock. Stems weak, angled, with tendrils. LEAVES: Usually 3-5 lobed (lobes often divided into further lobes), margin usually with small hard red teeth. FLOWERS: Male and female flowers borne on separate plants, yellow to light yellow. Male flowers usually solitary or paired, female flowers solitary. FRUITS: Ellipsoid, to 7 cm long by 4 cm wide, rounded at both ends, green, ripening to bright red from the bottom upwards. Ripe fruits soft and easily detached from the plant.

Ecology: Tropical Asia, tropical Australia, Arabia, Fiji, introduced to West Indies and tropical South America. In Africa from Senegal east to Somalia. In Kenya, e.g. in Moyale, Turkwel Valley (riverine bushed grassland), Kisumu, and Kibarani in Kilifi District. Grows in dry Acacia bushland and riverine bushland. Commonly found climbing on bushes and hedges. Zones III-V.

Uses: FOOD: The soft juicy, bright red fruit are eaten raw (+) (Kamba, Turkana, Pokot). Ripe fruit are beaten into a solution, boiled in water, flour added and made into stiff porridge (Turkana). The fruits are dried, ground into flour and mixed with cereal flour (Turkana). Young leaves occasionally used as a vegetable (Luo (Siaya), Mbeere, Kikuyu, Pokot (Nginyang)), mashed and mixed with maize and pulses (Kikuyu, Mbeere).

MEDICINAL: Leaves mixed with ghee are used as medicine for hima (pain on the left side of the abdomen and lightening of the skin) in children. Medicine is applied externally (Luo).

OTHER: Seeds chewed (Daasanach). Fodder for camels and all livestock (+). Fruits eaten by birds.

Season: Flowers in January-February (Marsabit), March-April (Wajir, Isiolo, Turkana), December (Homa Bay), September (Taita), November (Kitui, Samburu). Fruits in March (Samburu, Kajiado, Kitui), October (Mombasa), June (Kilifi).

Status: Common.


Figure


Figure

Remarks: In Asia the fruits are occasionally candied and sold in local markets. This species resembles C. trilobata (Cogn.) C. Jeffrey (Kikuyu: kigerema, Mbeere: kirigirigi, Samburu: nkaisiruaruai). Stems slender but strong. Leaves usually 3-5 lobed and very rough above (usually more so than in C. grandis) and softly hairy below. Fruits ellipsoid, often with a narrow end, bright red with longitudinal stripes of light green or yellow. Very common around Nairobi. Found in the central part of the country. Rift Valley and coastal area and in northern Tanzania but not known anywhere else. The leaves are used as a vegetable (Mbeere, Meru, Kikuyu). C. adoensis (A. Rich.) Cogn. (Kamba: kyambatwa, kimoe, Luhya (Bukusu): nandemu, Luhya: obutsiba). Grows in most parts of Kenya, e.g. in Kitui, Kitale, Thika, Karura forest. Also in southern Africa. A creeping or climbing plant with deeply lobed leaves. Fruit pale green with dark green interrupted longitudinal lines, ripening to orange-red. Altitude 0-2,400 m, especially in bushland, grassland and at roadsides. Fruits are edible. Normally associated with snakes. Liked by birds.


Coccinia trilobata

Coffea arabica L.

Rubiaceae

Borana: bun English: arabian coffee, arabica coffee, coffee Kamba: kaawa Kikuyu: kahua Kipsigis: kawek, kahawek Kisii: ekawa, ekahawa Luhya (Bukusu): ekawa Luhya (Tachoni): kahawa Luo: kawa Meru: kahuwa Mijikenda: kahawa Somali: bun Swahili: kahawa

Description: Shrub or small tree up to 6 m high, but kept below 3 m in cultivation. Leaves elliptic, flowers white and axillary. Fruit a 2-seeded drupe, ellipsoid, to 2 cm, green, turning red to dark red on ripening.

Ecology: Wild populations of coffee are found in southern Ethiopia and in northern Kenya on Mt Marsabit and possibly Mt Kulal in highland forests, 1,300-1,500 m. Coffee is cultivated throughout the tropics and most of Africa. In Kenya it is grown throughout the country at medium altitude (1,300-2,200 m) and rainfall (700-1,200 mm). Does well in deep red clay-loam soils. Zones III-IV.

Uses: This is the well-known coffee plant grown for its seeds which are the source of household coffee, a stimulating beverage. Processing involves separating the fruit pulp from the seeds. In homes this may be done by squeezing the ripe fruits in water. The cream seeds are washed and dried for a few days then pounded in a mortar to remove the seed wall. Seeds are then roasted and pounded or ground. Bulk processing in rural coffee factories involves removing the fruit wall, grading, fermenting, air drying and packing. Roasting is a specialized process done at a central factory. In Ethiopia, coffee drinking is an important social event. Members of a neighbourhood may meet every morning to drink coffee (Guragae area, central Ethiopia). It is served in special pots and cups. Members meet at the house whose owner's turn it is to prepare the coffee.

Management: Easily grown from seeds in nurseries from where it is transplanted to farms.

Other: Pruned branches used as firewood. "Husks" from factories are used as manure.

Cultural/beliefs: Coffee, tobacco and khat are taken as gifts to a girl's home during the first visit of the boy's parents as a sign of a developing friendship between the two families (Boran). Coffee is one of the plant materials offered under fig trees during some cultural ceremonies (Boran).

Remarks: Arabica coffee is native to the Kaffa region (whence the name coffee is derived but now falling under Oromia Federal State) of southern Ethiopia.

Several other species of coffee are cultivated. The best known of these is Coffea canephora (syn: C. robusta), (English: robusta coffee). This is said to have the highest content of caffeine. Others are C. liberica (English: Liberian coffee) and C. stenophylla (English: Sierra Leone coffee, highland coffee), both of West Africa. At least five other species of Coffea are found wild in Kenya but are of no commercial importance. Coffee is an important export crop in Kenya, ranking second after tea in foreign currency earnings.


Figure


Figure

Commelina africana L.

Commelinaceae

Chonyi: dzadza, Digo: dzadza Giriama: dzadza, kadzadza Kamba: kikowe Kambe: dzadza Kikuyu: mukengeria Luhya (Bukusu): sikayangaya (plant) Luhya (Kabras): eshingayangaya Luhya (Maragoli): linyororo Luhya (Tiriki): shingayangaya Luo: odielo Mbeere: mutambananguru Samburu: naiteteyai Sanya: kahu Somali: bar Swahili: kongwa

Description: A prostrate or erect (when young) herbaceous plant with soft stem. LEAVES: Alternate, lanceolate to almost linear with bases clasping the stem. FLOWERS: Yellow, occasionally white. Leaf blade ovate, up to 10 cm long by 5 cm wide.

Ecology: A common Commelina in tropical Africa and in Kenya. Rare in northern Kenya and the coastal region. Found in cultivated and disturbed areas, open grassland, bushed grassland and under trees in woodland.

Uses: FOOD: Widely eaten as a vegetable (Luhya, Luo, Kamba, Teso, Mbeere) (++). An important vegetable just after the onset of the rainy season before cultivated vegetables are available; it is soft and therefore mixed with other types of leafy vegetable.

FOOD/MEDICINAL: Stalks pounded, boiled and milk added for children's colds and coughs (Samburu); fluid from spathes is applied locally for eye diseases.

OTHER: Fodder (+++) for all livestock; the plant sprouts earlier than other plants and is therefore useful, especially after a prolonged dry season. Said to quench thirst in animals.

Management: Propagated vegetatively from rhizomes.

Status: Common.


Figure


Figure

Commelina benghalensis L.

Commelinaceae

Digo: dzadza Embu: mukengeya, mukengeria Kamba: itula Kikuyu: mukengeria Luhya (Bakhayo): linyolonyolo, lifwafwa Luhya (Bukusu): lifwafwa Luhya (Tachoni): lifwafwa (plant) Luo: odielo Maa: enkaiteteyiai Mbeere: mukengeria, nang'ombwe Pokot: portotion, partation Samburu: ngaiteteyai Somali: bar Teso: ekoropot Tugen: lobbitiet Turkana: aturae, etirae Turkana (Ng'iramuk): nabutachwee

Description: A common herb with creeping or ascending branches. LEAVES: Light green, hairy and ovate, with sheathed bases. FLOWERS: Blue.

Ecology: Widespread in Kenya, Africa and Asia. Often found as a weed in cultivation, on roadsides and in disturbed areas, especially in grassland and damp places, 0-2,400 m. Zones I-VI.

Uses: FOOD: Leaves only rarely used as a vegetable (+). Women used to advise their children against picking this type of Commelina as it is said to cause a disease known as kithunda ndutu and knee-joint problems after prolonged use (Kamba). Also eaten as a vegetable in Kiberenge, Sukumaland and among the Nyamwezi of Tanzania.

OTHER: Cattle and goat fodder (+++). Normally harvested for livestock (Kikuyu, Mbeere).

Management: Can be planted for livestock by use of rooted stems or rhizomes.

Status: Very common.


Figure


Figure

Commelina forskaolii Vahl

Commelinaceae

Chonyi: dzadza Digo: dzedza lume Giriama: kadzadza Kamba: kikowe, kikoe (Kitui) Kambe: dzadza Marakwet: cherat (plural) Mbeere: kithi, mukengeria, kimore Pokot: cheretwo, cherotwo, aportotoyon, aportoyon, partatoyon Sanya: kahu Somali: bar Swahili: jaja, kongwe Turkana: atuarae, etirae

Description: A soft, weak-stemmed trailing plant arising from underground rhizomes. Stems with distinct nodes. LEAVES: Narrow, long, up to 12 cm, by 3 cm wide. FLOWERS: Deep blue.

Ecology: Widely distributed in Kenya and in the neighbouring countries. Common in Embu, Meru, Machakos and Kitui. Commonly found in lightly shaded cool or damp areas. Found as a weed in cultivation, disturbed places and in bushed grassland, especially dry Combretum bushland, 0-1,700 m. Favours sandy to loam soils and occasionally red clay. Zones II-VI.

Uses: FOOD: Leaves picked and cooked as a vegetable (+++) (Mbeere. Kamba, Giriama, Turkana). Soft when cooked and hence usually mixed with other coarse vegetables or mashed in a maize and pulse mixture (Mbeere, Kamba). Sprouts fast after the first rains and is normally harvested at this time before other vegetables are ready. Leaves widely used as a vegetable in Kenya and Tanzania. An important vegetable among the Kamba.

OTHER: Good fodder for animals (+++). Leaves eaten by chickens.

Management: Propagated vegetatively by rhizomes (root cuttings).

Status: Common.

Remarks: a related and also commonly used species is C. imberbis Hassk. With elongated leaves and mauve-blue flowers. (Digo: dzedza lume, Chonyi: dzadza, Giriama: dzadza, Kamba: kikowe, Kambe: dzadza, Mbeere: kimore, Sanya: kahu). It is common in the coastal region.


Commelina imberbis


Figure


Figure

Commiphora africana (A. Rich.) Engl.

Burseraceae

Borana: hamis, dibo Daasanach: kerech-dhata Gabra: hameesaa Giriama: musishwi, mutsuchwi Kamba: kitungu, ndungu (fruit), itula Luo: arupiny Maa: oloishimi Mbeere: muguagua, kirugurugu (Evurore) Orma: komper Pokot: katagh, kallechuwa Rendille: ilmasara, lerokoa Somali: dabaunun Swahili: mkororo Turkana: ekadeli

Description: Deciduous spiny shrub or small tree to 5 m high (usually 2-4 m). Branchlets reddish purple. BARK: Green, with a thin light yellow but translucent scaling cuticle. LEAVES: 3-foliolate, the middle leaflet being largest, obovate and with toothed margin, lateral ones much smaller and usually elliptic. FLOWERS: Small, dioecious. FRUITS: To 1.5 cm, green, turning brown on ripening.

Ecology: Widely distributed in the drier parts of Africa from Senegal east to Ethiopia and south to South Africa. Mainly in the low, drier parts of Kenya where it is common in Acacia-Commiphora bushland. Soils varied, but mainly red clay, sandy clay and on rocky ground. Rainfall: 400-1,000 mm. Zones IV-VII.

Uses: FOOD: Roots of young plants chewed for their sweet taste and to quench thirst (Kamba, Maasai, Pokot). Roots are juicy with a slightly sweet taste. Gum eaten (Maasai, Pokot, Turkana). Bark is used to make a red tea (Pokot, Turkana).

MEDICINAL: Fruits chewed or pounded and used for diseases of the gum, muthingithu (Makueni), ulcerated gums, toothache.

OTHER: Hedge, wooden spoons, fencing. Stems used as a toothbrush (Rendille, Kamba). Camel and goat fodder (++), especially in the dry season. Gum used in arrow making. Wood used for house building, headrests, stools, milk containers (Pokot, Turkana, Daasanach).

Management: Propagated vegetatively by stem cuttings.

Status: Common.

Remarks: A good hedge plant.


Figure


Figure

Commiphora rostrata Engl.

Burseraceae

Borana: dirraa, dainjo Malakote: choneh Mbeere: munyei Orma: udesi Pokot: lokimeta Rendille: galdayan (Korr) Samburu: lmaim, ltilimani Somali: jano (Isiolo), jenau, janau (Wajir), hanguli (Eldas) Tharaka: mutunkuuri Turkana: lokimeta, eurumosing (Ng'ikebootok), lekora

Description: A strong-smelling shrub to 3.5 m. Stems exude a copious, clear, sap. Lateral shoots end in strong spines. BARK: Smooth, dark purple or maroon to almost black. FLOWERS: Dioecious, narrow-stalked, deep red. FRUITS: Red, pointed, with wiry stalks. Plant usually leafless at time of flowering.

Ecology: Grows in eastern Ethiopia, Somalia and north-and south-eastern Kenya in drEluy open Acacia-Commiphora-Boswellia bushland, 80-1,050 m. Common on sandy, gravelly soils or on rocky areas. Rainfall: 200-600 mm. Zones V-VII.

Uses: FOOD: Leaves eaten raw (Somali, Marakwet). Salty or tasting of oxalic acid. Leaves used as a relish or cooked to add flavour to food (Mbeere (Thambu)). Bark or branches used in the preparation of tea (Turkana (Ngikebootok), Daasanach). Stem pith chewed to quench thirst (Somali). Bark from young plants chewed (Somali).

FOOD/MEDICINAL: The bark or branches may be chewed or an infusion drunk for fever, colds and coughs (Turkana).

MEDICINAL: Leaves and young twigs chewed for coughs and chest problems (Tharaka). Sap applied to sore eyes (Turkana, Somali), but painful.

OTHER: Sap used to glue feathers on to arrow shafts (Pokot). The bark is pounded, put in to a new gourd with water and left for 3 days then washed out leaving a nice smell in the gourd (Pokot). Stems used as toothbrush (Rendille).

Season: Flowers in April-May (Tana), November-December (southern Turkana, Tana, Isiolo).

Management: Propagated vegetatively by stem cuttings.

Status: Occasional.

Remarks: Two varieties are known: var. rostrata, which is an erect shrub and the more common and widespread variety, and var. reflexa (Chiov.) Gillett with a spreading prostrate habit found in Dandu in north-eastern Kenya, south-east Ethiopia and in Somalia.


Figure


Figure


Figure

Commiphora schimperi (O. Berg) Engl.

Burseraceae

syn: C. trothae Engl., C. buraensis Engl.

Maa: osilalei

Description: A deciduous spiny shrub or small tree to 5 m high (usually 2-4 m). BARK: Cuticle reddish brown or grey, peeling in rolling sheets. LEAVES: 3-foliolate, central leaflet to 3.5 cm long, lateral leaflets smaller and similar.

Ecology: Ethiopia and Yemen, Somalia, northern Uganda, Tanzania south to South Africa. Found in most parts of Kenya except Western and Nyanza Provinces. Common in Acacia-Commiphora bushland and bushed grassland, 400-1,900 m. Soils varied, but mainly red clay, sandy clay and rocky ground. Zones IV-VI.

Uses: FOOD: Roots of young plants are chewed because of their juicy sweet taste and to quench thirst (Maasai, Kamba). Resin exuded from bark (enaing'orre) is chewed (Maasai). Root infusion added to children's milk as a tonic (Maasai, Kajiado). The red inner bark is boiled in tea (Maasai).

OTHER: A hedge plant. Sticks used for making fire.

Management: Propagated vegetatively by stem cuttings.

Status: May be locally common.


Figure


Figure


Figure

Corchorus olitorius L.

Tiliaceae

Chonyi: chikosho, vombo Digo: mlenda, mwatsaka wa bara, bombo English: jute, bush okra, Jew's mallow Giriama: vombo, Kambe: chikosho, vombo Kisii: omotere Luhya (Bukusu): murere Luhya (Kabras): omurere Luhya (Kisa): omurele Luhya (Marachi): murere Luhya (Tiriki): omurere Luo: apoth, apoth-nyapololo Pokot: chow (Sigor) Sanya: kikosho Swahili: mlenda, mulenda, kala Tugen: ntereryan (Kibingor) Turkana: namale, lojeel, emarot, abungu

Description: An erect woody herb, usually 0.5 to 1.2m high but may reach a height of up to 2.5 m in cultivation. LEAVES: To 15 cm long, short stalked, ovate to elliptic, margin serrated. Leaf blade usually with basal protrusions. FLOWERS: Yellow. FRUIT: A short-stalked, cylindrical capsule that splits into 5 parts. Seeds greyish black, angled.

Ecology: Grows in northern Australia north to China and west through India and Pakistan to the Middle East and in most of Africa. Also naturalized in tropical America. Widespread in Kenya in seasonally flooded areas, flood plains, at edges of lakes, dams and marshes and in bushland, wooded grassland and open grassland, especially in low hot country, 0-1,500 m. Alluvial soils or sandy loam. Zones II-IV.

Uses: FOOD: Leaves widely used as a vegetable in Kenya and the rest of Africa (+++) (Luhya, Luo, Giriama, Digo, Swahili, Samburu). Normally cooked with other coarse vegetables as it is slippery, e.g. with Gynandropsis gynandra, Crotalaria brevidens and C. ochroleuca or cowpeas. When cooked with cowpeas, milk and butter, it is given to lactating mothers (Luo). Leaves are pounded in a mortar, cooked with meat and flavoured with lemon or lime juice (Swahili). It is mixed with Asystasia gangetica (tsalakakushe) or a mixture of cowpea, pumpkin, sweet potato and cocoyam leaves (Mijikenda).

MEDICINAL: Scrapings from the root are put into cavities in teeth to ease pain (Digo). Bark is a source of the common commercial jute fibre. In India and Bangladesh, this plant is cultivated extensively for its fibre.

COMMERCIAL: Vegetable sold in Nairobi and many market centres around the country, especially in Coast, Western and Nyanza Provinces.

Season: Rainy season and soon afterwards.

Management: Propagated by seeds. Sown in rows or broadcast. The vegetable may be harvested by breaking off small branches. This encourages the growth of new shoots.

Status: May be locally common but generally rare.

Remarks: This species is one of the ancient food crops of the Middle East. It is sown and used as a pot-herb by Jews (hence the name "Jew's mallow") and in stews in Egypt where it is known as melokhia. It is reportedly used in soups in Central America and as a pot-herb in South East Asia. Large quantities of this species are grown for the extraction of jute (used for making ropes and bags) in eastern India, Bangladesh and south China. A variable species with several cultivars.


Figure


Figure

Corchorus trilocularis L.

Tiliaceae

Borana: luuftoole Chonyi: chikosho, vombo Gabra; luftoole (Gabra): qaqalla (Huri Hills) Giriama: kikosho Kambe: chikosho Keiyo: nterere Kipsigis: laiyo-nebo-soin, laiyonebo-soin (Timbilil) Luhya: mrere msatsa (Busia) Luhya (Bukusu): murere-nalubenga, murere-nalubembe, sitanyamurwe, nalubembe, nalubonga Luhya (Kabras): omurere Luhya (Maragoli): mrere Luhya (Tiriki): omurere Luhya (Tachoni): lihu, oluvembe Luo: apoth Marakwet: karkar, kokorwo (singular) Pokot: chepkarkarian, mamapatontoluo, mamachemeloi Samburu: leperia Sanya: kikosho Swahili: mlenda

Description: A usually erect branched herb. LEAVES: Ovate or broadly so with serrated margins. FLOWERS: Yellow. FRUIT: Slender long pod-like capsule, to 7 cm or more, straight or slightly curved and splitting into 3-4 (often 3) valves. Capsules are held erect on the stems, singly or in pairs.

Ecology: Found in most parts of Africa from Senegal east to Ethiopia and from Egypt south to South Africa. A common Corchorus in most parts of Kenya in open Acacia bushland, grassland, cultivated ground, flood plains, edges of marshy places, dams and lakes, 0-2,400 m. Soils vary, e.g. sandy alluvial, black cotton, sandy or clay. Zones II-VI.

Uses: FOOD: Leaves eaten as a vegetable (+++) (Pokot, Giriama, Luo, Luhya, Kipsigis). As this vegetable is slippery when cooked, it is normally mixed with other coarse vegetables, usually Gynandropsis gynandra, Crotalaria brevidens and C. ochroleuca or cowpeas (Luhya, Luo). When cooked with cowpeas, milk and butter it is given to breast-feeding mothers to aid lactation (Luo). OTHER: Fodder.

COMMERCIAL: Sold in many markets throughout the country, especially in Nairobi, coastal and western areas.

Management: Propagated by seeds which are sown in rows or broadcast.

Status: Common.

Remarks: There could be up to eight Corchorus species in Kenya, about half of which are commonly used as a vegetable. C. tridens L. (Chonyi: chikosho, Giriama: kikosho, Kambe: chikosho, Luo: apoth, Sanya: kikosho) has narrow or ovate leaves to 10 cm long with a pair of protrusions at the base of the blade. The capsules are slender, short (to 4 cm long), straight or slightly curved with 3 spreading horny protrusions at the end of each capsule and split into 3 valves. This species is found in most of Africa. In Kenya it is found in most dry areas, dry bushland, grassland, swamps and in cultivation. C. aestuans L. (syn. C. acutangulus Lam.) has oval leaves with a pair of protrusions at the base of the leaf blade. Capsules are broader than in C. tridens, up to 3 cm long, with three diverging horns and splitting into 3 valves. C. fascicularis L., on the other hand, has long narrow leaves without protrusions and a short capsule to 1.5 cm long. These species are also used as a vegetable.


Corchorus trilocularis


Corchorus tridens


Figure

Cordia monoica Roxb.

Boraginaceae

syn: C. ovalis DC.

Borana: qotte, mader English: sandpaper tree Ilchamus: seki, lsek, lmuleel, lmuleelin, muleelin Kamba: kithei, nthei (fruit) Kikuyu: muthigi, mukuo, mukuu Kipsigis: nogirwet Luo: oseno Maa: oseki, eseki, lsek, il-seki (plural) Meru: ikuo Orma: araba Pokot: topererwo, toporewo, taparer Samburu: se'eki, lamantume Somali: marergom, marer-girgir (Tana River), marer-goh Swahili: msasa Tharaka: muthugagu, mutugangu Turkana: etuntun, elkaisekiseki

Description: Spreading, much-branched bush, shrub or tree to 6 m high (normally 3-5 m). BARK: Yellow to ash grey, smooth, flaking. LEAVES: Ovate to almost round, very rough above, greenish grey. FLOWERS: Cream, turning brown on drying. FRUIT: Yellow or orange, oval, up to 2 cm across.

Ecology: Grows in India, Sri Lanka and in Africa from Sudan south to South Africa. Widely distributed all over Kenya in bushland, 0-2,200 m. Common in valley bottoms and along watercourses. Often on rocky areas and red clay soil. Zones I-VI.

Uses: FOOD: Mucilaginous pulp of fruit edible (+). Fruit coat is normally removed, the pulp (with seed) is sucked and the seed discarded. The pulp is sweet but gummy.

MEDICINAL: Roots boiled and the extract taken for vomiting and malaria, especially by children. Leaf extract given to animals and people to remove retained placenta (Tharaka).

OTHER: Fuelwood, shade, good charcoal, handles, wood carving (Kamba), beehive hooks (Kamba, Tharaka). Rough leaves are used as sandpaper to polish wooden shafts of spears (Maasai, Pokot). Camel and goat fodder. Stems made into clubs (Luo) and thinner ones into arrow shafts (Maasai, Narok). CULTURAL/BELIEFS: Used in blessings (Maasai, Samburu, Pokot). Used in rituals (Luo). The Maasai believe that if a livestock keeper carries an oseki stick his cattle will not suffer from certain diseases. Believed to be a peace-engendering plant (Maasai). To stop a fight or to prevent oneself from being attacked, a stick from this plant is placed between the opposing parties. The aggression should stop immediately. Whoever disregards this warning may be punished heavily. Bad luck may also befall him and it may mean death of one or more members of the family. It is therefore enough warning to say "elua eseki", meaning "I separate you with eseki".

Season: Flowers in April-May (Kajiado, Samburu), October-November (Taita, West Pokot, Nairobi, Meru). Fruits in February-March (Kajiado, Samburu), April-May (Kwale, Kisii); June-July (Machakos, Kitui, Meru, Isiolo), August (Isiolo, Baringo). Timing mainly depends on rains.

Management: Propagated by seeds sown directly and without pre-treatment.

Status: Common.


Figure


Figure

Cordia sinensis Lam.

Boraginaceae

syn: C. gharaf Ehrenb. ex Aschers.

Borana: harores, mader-boor, madeer-qoowe, madee'r Chonyi: mkayukayu Gabra: mad'eera Giriama: mderia, mkayukayu Ilchamus: salapani, lgweita Kamba: kithea, muthei-munini, kithia Kipsigis: nokirwet Maa: ol-durgo, ol-dorko, ol-olgot Malakote: mutalya-chana (riverine. Tana River), mutaale Marakwet: adomoyon Orma: mader Pokomo: muhale, mhali, mtale Pokot: adomeyon, adomeon, adome (fruit) Rendille: gaer, koh, madeer, gayer Samburu: dorgo, lmanturre, lgueita, lgweita-orok, silapani Sanya: ho'orocha Somali: mareer, marer Tugen: adumewa, edoma (leaves), adomewa Turkana: edome

Description: A low leafy shrub or bush, rarely a small tree up to 6 m high, often multi-stemmed. BARK: Finely fissured longitudinally, or smooth, dark grey on branches. LEAVES: Variable, smooth or slightly rough, narrow and long, ovate to obovate or broadly so. FLOWERS: Cream, browning when over. FRUITS: Conical, bright red or orange when ripe, produced in masses. Seed hard, rough, yellowish cream.

Ecology: Grows in the Middle East, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and in Africa from West Africa to Ethiopia, Somalia and Egypt south to Namibia and north-east South Africa. Widespread in the drier parts of Kenya but absent in Western and Nyanza Provinces. Found in dry riverine vegetation, usually with Salvadora persica, or in open bushland, usually 0-1,400 m. Mainly alluvial, sandy, red loam and rocky soils. Zones IV (coast)-VII.

Uses: FOOD: Ripe fruits eaten raw (+++). The sweet mucilaginous pulp may be eaten fresh. Fruit cover and seeds are discarded. Large quantities of the fruits are gathered, pounded to a sticky mass, sun-dried and stored in a wooden container, eburr (Turkana). Whenever it is needed, water is added to soften it, then served. The fruit pulp is sometimes used for brewing a local beer. The fresh fruits are squeezed in water to dissolve the pulp. This is mixed with tamarind (Tamarindus indica) juice and fermented. Fresh juice may also be drunk (Turkana). A clear gum produced by the tree is edible.

OTHER: Stems are widely used as poles in hut construction (+++) (Turkana, Pokot, Boran, Somali, Gabra) and for erecting bird-scaring platforms in sorghum fields (Turkana). In many cases these may root, hence becoming a near-by source of food. Fodder (+++) for goats, camels, sheep and cattle. Stems are made into walking sticks, wooden spoons, stirrers. Stems used for smoking gourds (Maasai).

CULTURAL/BELIEFS: Branches are spread where the house of a newly married couple is to be built, branches are put above the house during almadho and soriyo ceremonies (Samburu). Sticks used in settling battles in the absence of C. monoica, oseki (Maasai). Widely used in rituals (Gabra, Samburu. Maasai, Boran).

COMMERCIAL: Fruits sold in Lodwar (Turkana). Poles for construction sold (Pokot, Turkana).

Season: Flowers in April-May (Turkana). Fruits in March (Kilifi), May-June (Kajiado, Kitui), August-September (Garissa, Samburu, Turkana, Kajiado).

Management: Propagated by seeds which are best sown directly on site.

Status: May be very common.


Figure


Figure

Remarks: C. sinensis is a very variable species. In northern Kenya and at the coast it tends to have longer, smooth leaves. In the Tharaka, Kitui, Mbeere, Machakos and Kajiado area, the leaves tend to be more coarse, shorter and with an irregular margin. A very important plant in dry zones as a source of food, fodder and wood for building. Many of the Cordia species have edible fruits. Other notable examples are C. somaliensis Bak., a bushy usually multi-stemmed shrub found in the drier parts of coastal Kenya and southern Somalia only in open areas and in bushland on sandy soils, dunes and coral, and C. crenata Del. (Turkana: ebiteosin, Rendille: koh, Somali: marer-koh) with hairy young shoots and broad leaves which is widespread in the drier parts of Kenya. Common in riverine vegetation.


Cordia crenata

Crotalaria brevidens Benth.

Papilionaceae (Fabaceae)

syn: C. intermedia Kotschy

Kamba: kamusuusuu Kipsigis: kipkururiet, kipkurkuriet Luhya (Bukusu): kimiro Luhya (Kisa): emiro Luhya (maragoli): imito, mito Luhya (Marachi): miroo Luhya (Maragoli): imito Luhya (Tachoni): vimboka, emiro Luo: mito, mitoo Maa: oleechei, olotwalan, enoontwalan Pokot: kamra

Description: An erect much-branched herb (rarely decumbent), usually 0.5-1.2 m high. Stems green. Branches ascending. LEAVES: Divided into 3 narrow leaflets to 10 cm long by 2 cm wide (normally much less). FLOWERS: Yellow with very conspicuous reddish purple veins. FRUITS: Long narrow pods to 5 cm by 0.7 cm wide, very short stalked, slightly longitudinally compressed on one side, black when dry. Seeds yellow turning orange to dark red.

Ecology: Grows from Nigeria east to Ethiopia. In Kenya, e.g. in Kitui, Embu, Muguga (Kiambu), Nairobi, Kapenguria, Nanyuki, Sotik. Absent in the coastal region. Occasionally cultivated for its leaves. Grassland and bushland, 500-2,700 m, often on termite mounds, at roadsides, in cultivated land, disturbed forest and near seasonally flooded areas. Zones I-IV.

Uses: FOOD: Leaves are widely used as a vegetable in western Kenya (+++) (Luo, Luhya, West Pokot) and into Uganda. Bitter, normally cooked with Corchorus species (Pokot) or milk to mask the bitterness (Luhya). More bitter than C. ochroleuca.

OTHER: Fodder.

COMMERCIAL: Sold in the major towns of western Kenya and in Nairobi.

Management: Propagated by seeds.

Status: May be locally common. Generally uncommon in the wild. Widely cultivated, especially in western Kenya.

Remarks: Several varieties of this species occur, with two in Kenya:

· var. intermedia (Kotschy) Polhill has a large flower with the calyx 5-8 mm long. Found from Tanzania to Ethiopia, west to the Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire) and Nigeria.

· var. parviflora (Baker f.) Polhill has a smaller flower with the calyx up to 4-5 mm long. Grows in Kitui, Embu, Muguga (Kiambu), Nairobi and adjoining areas, but not known elsewhere.


Figure


Figure

Crotalaria ochroleuca G. Don

Papilionaceae (Fabaceae)

syn: C. cannabina. Bak. f.

Kamba: kamusuusuu Kipsigis: kipkururiet, kipkurkuriet Luhya (Bukusu): kimiro, kumuro (singular) Luhya (Kisa): emiro Luhya (Maragoli): imito, mito Luhya (Marachi): miroo Luhya (Tachoni): yimboka Luo: mito, mitoo, muto, ambaro Maa: oleechei, olotwalan Pokot: kamra, karelmet

Description: An erect herb (annual or short-lived perennial) usually 0.5-1.5 m high. Stems ribbed with ascending branches. LEAVES: Divided into 3 narrow leaflets to 13 cm long by 3 cm wide, normally much smaller. FLOWERS: Yellow with very conspicuous purple veins. FRUITS: Fat pods, up to 7 cm long by 2 cm wide, shortly stalked, slightly longitudinally compressed on one side, end blunt with persistent style. Seeds yellow to orange.

Ecology: Grows from West Africa to the Sudan and south to Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana. Cultivated for its leaves in Nyanza and Western Provinces. In seasonally flooded areas, flood plains, swamp edges, bushland, at roadsides and in cultivated land, 300-2,000 m. Zones I-III.

Uses: FOOD: Leaves widely used as a vegetable in western Kenya (+++) (Luhya, Pokot, Luo). The vegetable is slightly bitter and is normally cooked with milk or other vegetables such as cowpeas and Corchorus species to counteract this.

Commercial: Leaves sold in Nairobi and most major towns of western Kenya.

Management: Grows easily from seeds.

Status: Generally rare in the wild. Widely cultivated, especially in western Kenya.

Remarks: Often confused with C. brevidens, but easily distinguished from it by size and shape of leaf and pod.


Figure


Figure

Cucumis dipsaceus Spach

Cucurbitaceae

Borana: burate-harre English: teasel gourd Gabra: buratte Kamba: kikungi, kyambatwa Luo: nyabuth-muok Maa: orng'alayoi-loo-sirkon, eng'alayioi-naju Mbeere: gikungui, mukungui Pokot: alaskau, kuutitan (fruit), chesapulian, ariapongos Rendille: khonjote Samburu: ntujuu, dudhu Somali: hungureri, hungureri-damer Turkana: eome, ekaleruk

Description: A trailing or climbing plant. Stems with tendrils, angled and with prickly hairs. LEAVES: Ovate or shallowly 3-lobed, coarsely hairy, light green, up to 10 cm long. FLOWERS: Yellow. FRUITS: Oval with numerous protrusions, light green, turning yellow on ripening.

Ecology: North-eastern tropical Africa in bushland, grassland, cultivated land and in disturbed areas climbing on bushes and on hedges. Common at river banks on alluvial and sandy soils but also found in clay soils, 425-1,800 m. Zones IV-VII (riverine).

Uses: FOOD: Young leaves from young plants (Turkana) or young shoots of older plants are used as a vegetable (++) (Kamba, Turkana, Pokot). Leaves are occasionally used in mashed food (Makueni).

MEDICINAL: Roots and leaves crushed and put on cuts. Juice from fruits used to rub on swollen neck glands (Pokot). Fruit juice is made into a solution (Pokot, Somali) or boiled (Luo, Homa Bay) and taken as an emetic or purgative (Turkana). Solution is usually given as an antidote after poisoning. Milk is served immediately after vomiting (Pokot, Nginyang).

OTHER: Goat and camel fodder. Fruit liked by donkeys, pulp eaten by squirrels (Makueni), but said to be poisonous to man.

Season: Leaves available 2 weeks after the start of the rainy season and fruits 2 months later.

Management: Plant grows easily from seeds.

Status: Common.

Remarks: The fruits of several Cucumis species are used as food. These include C. prophetarum L., a prostrate herb from a perennial rootstock, with rough, narrow-lobed leaves and yellow flowers. Fruit egg-sized, pale green with dark green lines and soft bristles, ripening to a yellow colour. (Turkana: ekolese, Samburu: ntuyu, Pokot: ariapongos, Maa: ilporbol lo ntare). Ecology: India west through the Middle East to Africa. Widely distributed in the drier parts of Kenya. Not recorded in Nyanza and western Kenya. Found in dry bushland and woodland. Processed fruits are used as food (Turkana). Fruits are goat and sheep fodder. Two subspecies are recognized: ssp. dissectus (Naud.) Jeffrey, found in north-eastern Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire), Uganda, Tanzania and most parts of Kenya; ssp. prophetarum found from Senegal east to India and the northern parts of Kenya. Ripe fruits are clear yellow.


Cucumis metuliferus


Figure

Another member worth mentioning in this genus is Cucumis metuliferus Naud. (English: spiny cucumber, horned cucumber). This is a climbing herb with hairy stems and solitary unbranched tendrils. LEAVES: Heart-shaped, hairy with long petioles. FLOWERS: Male and female flowers are separate on the same plant. FRUITS: Up to 12 cm long by 6 cm wide. Dark green with striations of white dots and covered with scattered spiny processes to 1.2 cm long, with a horny tip. The fruit turns orange to bright red on ripening. It is found in Acacia bushland (in miombo woodland in southern Africa) and roadside bushes mainly in red alluvial or loamy soils at an altitude of 800-1,300 m. The species is found wild in northern Kenya. Collections have been made in Sigor (West Pokot) and Mandera. It is widely distributed in the rest of Africa but cultivated for commercial purposes in southern Africa. The mature unripe or ripe fruits are eaten raw. The horny part of the spiny processes is cut off and the fruit split to eat the seed-filled white to translucent pulp. Fruit may also be peeled. This fruit has the taste of a cucumber (Cucumis sativus). Its use as a food has not yet been reported in Kenya. The fruit is common in markets in southern Africa and is also exported to Europe and America. The leaves may also be used as a vegetable.


Cucurbita maxima

The ripe fruit has a striking orange-red colour and so the plant may also be grown as an ornamental. Fruits last long in cool weather.

Cucurbita ficifolia BouchEnglish: Fig-leafed gourd, malabar gourd, Kikuyu: kahurura, kanyuria) is another extensive creeper or climber. Cultivated in the central highlands, especially by the Kikuyu. Leaves used in the preparation of irio, a mixture of maize, pulses and often green bananas and/or Irish potatoes. It usually germinates spontaneously in cultivated land.

Also commonly grown for their fruit and leaves are the pumpkins (Borana: bododa, Kamba: ulenge, ilenge (fruit), Kikuyu: marenge, Kisii: risosa, Embu: irenge, marenge, Luhya (Bukusu): lisiebebe, liondo (fruit), Meru: marenge, malenge (Nyambene), Turkana: ekaideit) Cucurbita moschata Duch. ex Lam. and Cucurbita maxima Duch. Ex Lam. C. moschata has distinctly lobed (divided) leaves, while those of C. maxima only have a wavy margin. Both have yellow flowers. Leaves and young shoots are used as vegetables.


Cucurbita moschata

Cyperus blysmoides C. B. Cl.

Cyperaceae

syn: C. bulbosus Vahl var spicatus Boeck

Kamba: ngaatu Luo: rabuon-apuoyo Marakwet: morkut Pokot: moikut Samburu: ilkuroti Somali: gohosa, gooso Turkana: akademoit, ekadet-etum, ikikiriau

Description: A slender erect perennial sedge to 30 cm, emerging during the wet season and dying back in the dry season. Basal bulb up to 8 mm and covered by brown to blackish scales and with very slender stolons ending in new roots. Stems 5-25 cm long, triangular or compressed, with many crowded leaves at the base. FLOWERS: Inflorescence a single spike without bracts, of 3-6 spikelets 8-12 mm long.

Ecology: Grows in northern Kenya, Rift Valley, Central, Eastern and Nairobi Provinces. Also in Uganda and northern Tanzania (Tanga Region). Seasonally wet habitats, sandy to heavy clay, often in stony areas. Found in woodland, wooded grassland and as a weed in cultivated land, 300-2,100 m. Zones III-VI.

Uses: FOOD: The bulb or "nut" is edible (++). Used to be an important famine food in the early days. The nuts are tasty and the stem bases are peeled and the soft fleshy part eaten.

MEDICINAL: Bulb eaten for fever (Pokot).

OTHER: Bulb also eaten by rodents, baboons and birds. Fodder for cattle.

Status: Locally common.

Remarks: Several other species of sedges have edible stem bases and nuts.

· C. bulbosus Vahl var. melanolepis Kal is found in Kenya, Uganda, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and northern Tanzania at 200-2,000 m. It grows to about 30 cm and is less common. Absent from the coast and western Kenya. The stem base is edible (Maasai).

· C. rotundus L. grows to 30 cm and is widely distributed in Kenya.

· C. giolii Chiov. has a bulbous base and a 3-angled stem and is widespread in the drier parts of Kenya. Found in wooded grassland and as a weed in cultivation. The base is said to be used as perfume.

Sedges differ from grasses in their pith-filled stems which are not jointed.


Figure


Figure

Cyphia glandulifera A. Rich.

Campanulaceae (Lobeliaceae)

Borana: kurte Kamba: ngomo Mbeere: mukandakiria Samburu: lokorijet, ekurgigi

Description: Erect often single-stemmed herb, usually 25-40 cm high. Stem purplish green arising from a globose yellowish white scaly tuber (occasionally with short protrusions) to 5 cm across and about 6-12 cm below the soil surface. LEAVES: Arranged in whorls round the stem at approximately the same point 1-2 cm above ground level, without a conspicuous leaf stalk, nearly fleshy, ovate to almost round, up to 10 cm long, dark green, margin irregularly serrated. FLOWERS: Short-stalked, pinkish with five petals, borne alternately in the axils of miniature leaf-like bracts along a long erect spike, occasionally twining around other more sturdy plants.

Ecology: Grows in most parts of Kenya and central and northern Tanzania, Ethiopia and Somalia. In Kenya, e.g. at the foot of the Ngong Hills, in Chepararia (West Pokot), Mwingi and in Murang'a. Common between 1,000 and 2,000 m. Found in open grassland, disturbed grassland, open wet depressions and cultivated land, usually in loose clayish soils. Also common and often the only plant in eroded and bare black-cotton or alluvial soil derived from it. Zones III-V.

Uses: FOOD: Leaves used as a vegetable (++) (Kitui). Juicy tubers peeled and eaten, especially by herdsmen (+) (Kamba, Boran). Tubers are slightly sweet.

OTHER: A fodder plant for livestock.

Season: March-April, November-December (Nairobi, Kajiado, Kitui). Sprouts soon after the rains.

Management: Propagated by tubers or seeds.

Status: Locally common.

Remarks: Several forms occur; one much-branched.


Figure


Figure


Figure

Dactyloctenium aegyptium (L.) Willd.

Gramineae (Poaceae)

Borana: maasai, makwala, magala Daasanach: bunite English: crow-foot grass Kamba: ukuku Kikuyu: mukinda, nyaragita Maa: embokwe, empokui, enkampa (Elang'ata Wuas), porori aja Mbeere: iguko, gingara, gitiko, utiko Pokot: mokono, kumokon Samburu: laparaan, laburaun, ntalanwen, hidowensili Somali: ausdenan, ensili, jarba, hidow, hidowensili Swahili: kimbugi-mbugi Taita: kisambara Turkana: ekauduudu, emekwi, ekahuduhudu

Description: Grass, normally 0.3-0.7 m high, often spreading. Nodes with a brown ring. Culms (stems) ascending. FLOWERS: Inflorescence consisting of several spikes, ascending or radiating horizontally from the culm tip in a star-like manner. FRUITS: Seeds (grain) light brown and sand-like, to 0.7 mm across.

Ecology: Throughout tropical and warm temperate regions of the world, introduced into America and widespread in Africa. All over Kenya, especially in semi-arid areas, 0-2,100 m. A common weed in cultivated land, in grassland and disturbed bushland. Zones III-VII.

Uses: FOOD: Grain ground into flour and used for the preparation of porridge or ugali (Pokot, Turkana, Kamba) in times of famine. It is difficult to grind the grain into flour because of the small size. Grain eaten raw by children (Pokot). Grain mixed with that of Amaranthus graecizans (ptanya) and ground on stone (kungowoi) to flour and made into stiff porridge (paan) (Pokot). Flour may be cooked together with vegetables in a mixture known as ngunzakutu or added to milk and eaten raw (Kamba: kinaa). Root rhizomes of Dactyloctenium spp., especially those of D. bogdani (Somali: ausdenan), are chewed by Turkana and Daasanach children because of their sweet taste. Grain may keep almost indefinitely (Pokot).

OTHER: Grain, chicken food; grass, livestock fodder (++).

Season: Grain mainly available in February-March and July-August in Makueni, Machakos, Kitui and Pokot.

Status: Locally common.

Remarks: A variable species. Anthers are smaller than those of D. giganteum.


Figure


Figure

Dactyloctenium giganteum Fischer & Schweick.

Gramineae (Poaceae)

Kamba: ukuku Kikuyu: mukinda Somali: ausdenan Swahili: mkandi, kimbugimbugi Taita: kisambara

Description: Grass, normally 0.5-1.5 m high, spreading by above-ground stolons which root at the nodes. Node with a brown ring. Culms (stems) usually erect. FLOWERS: Inflorescence consisting of several spikes, ascending or rarely radiating horizontally from the culm tip in a star-like manner. FRUITS: Seeds (grain) light brown and sand-like up to 0.8 mm long.

Ecology: From Kenya south to South Africa. In Kenya confined to the east, e.g. Mtito Andei, Machakos, Kitui, Kajiado and Taita. A weed of cultivated land, roadsides and disturbed bushland, 200-2,000 m. Usually light red clay and loam soils. Zones V-VI.

Uses: FOOD: Grain ground into flour which is made into porridge or cooked together with vegetables in a mixture known as ngunza-kutu (Kamba). Milk may also be added to flour and eaten raw (kinaa). It is difficult to grind the grain into flour because of its small size.

OTHER: Grain, chicken food; grass, animal fodder.

Season: Grain available in February-March and July-August.

Management: Propagated by seed which are directly sown on site.

Status: Locally common.

Remarks: Distinguished from D. aegyptium in having longer anthers, a more erect habit and longer, usually ascending, spikes.


Figure


Figure

Dialium holtzii Harms

Caesalpiniaceae (Fabaceae)

Giriama: Mtsumbwi Swahili: mpepeta

Description: Tree to 20 m. Crown with a medium spread. BARK: Grey-brown, smooth. FLOWERS: Cream. FRUITS: Dark brown with a brittle outer coat. Pulp red, enclosing 1-2 nearly round brown seeds.

Ecology: Grows along the east African coast from Kenya through Tanzania to Mozambique. In Kenya only in the coastal region, especially towards the Tanzanian border in moist lowland forest, 0-100 m in coastal limestone sandy soils. Zones I-III.

Uses: FOOD: Fruit edible (++). The dry pulp has a sweet, acid taste. Often used on porridge.

OTHER: Wood used in construction and as fuelwood.

COMMERCIAL: Ripe fruits occasionally sold in coastal towns.

Management: Propagated by seeds.

Season: Flowers in November-December. Fruits in March-April.

Status: May be locally common.

Remarks: Fruits may keep for over 2 years.


Figure


Figure

Dialium orientale Bak. f.

Caesalpiniaceae (Fabaceae)

Boni: sheshubla, shishobli Chonyi: mtsumbwi, mutsumbwi Giriama: mtsumbwi, mutsumbwi Kambe: mtsumbwi, mutsumbwi Sanya: shoshobli, shusholwe Somali: frim Swahili: mpepeta, mpekechu

Description: A spreading, often multi-stemmed, shrub or small tree usually to about 5 m, rarely to 15 m. Branches drooping, occasionally touching the ground. BARK: Smooth, grey. FLOWERS: Cream or yellow-green, in dense panicles. FRUITS: Reddish brown with a thin dry brittle shell enclosing a dry red pulp. Seeds 1 or 2, grey-brown, smooth, shiny, enclosed in a thin soft membrane.

Ecology: Grows along the east African coast from southern Somalia to north-eastern Tanzania. In Kenya only in the coastal area: Kwale, Kilifi, Tana River and Lamu, in dry coastal forest, in Brachystegia, Afzelia, Manilkara woodland, and in coastal riverine vegetation, 0-100 m. Sandy or alluvial soils. Zones II-IV.

Uses: FOOD: Fruits eaten raw and have a sweet acid taste (+++). The outer shell is easily detached, the pulp sucked (membrane covering the seed is eaten too) and the seed discarded. Good when used as a snack. The fruit pulp is used for flavouring porridge and may also be made into a juice.

OTHER: Wood is used for dhow ribs and building poles. Fuelwood.

COMMERCIAL: Fruit sold in Malindi town.

Season: Fruits in March-April.

Management: Propagated by seed sown directly on site.

Status: May be locally common in the Coast Province.

Remarks: Fruits may keep for over 2 years.


Figure


Figure


Figure

Digera muricata (L.) Mart.

Amaranthaceae

syn: D. angustifolia Suesseng.

Borana: getgedaan, galgethoom (Bubissa) Daasanach: bal-burach Gabra: gelgedaana Giriama: kigulukimwenga (var. patentipilosa) Kamba: walange Maa: enoonkoroi (magadi road), enoonkori Pokot: kaprimet, cheriyan, chererayan, chekirio Rendille: gey-gidhan, giddan, giddan-ki-dahan Samburu: lorumcheria, idooge (Mathews Range), ndukee Taita: mhale, mbalu Turkana: ekoromomwae, ekoromwae, eosin-aikenyi (katilo)

Description: Erect herb usually 0.7-1.3 m high with numerous straight thin branches, some arising from just above ground level. LEAVES: Usually narrow and up to 6 cm long, apex pointed. FLOWERS: Small, pink to white, borne on a long slender inflorescence.

Ecology: Found in Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Socotra and in Asia (ssp. muricata). All over Kenya in dry bushland, grassland, forest edges and hillsides. Most common in dry low-lying areas in grassland, flood plains, cultivated land and disturbed areas, especially towns, 0-1,500 m. Commonest below 1,000 m. Varied soils: alluvial in flood plains, sandy loam to red clay. Mainly in Zones V-VI, but var. patentipilosa in Zones III-IV.

Uses: FOOD: Leaves and young shoots used as vegetable (Pokot, Turkana, Giriama, Digo, Kamba) (+++); flower base contains nectar sucked by children (Rendille).

OTHER: Fodder, especially for goats and sheep.

Status: Locally very common.

Remarks: Two subspecies occur in Kenya:

· ssp. muricata with outer tepals (sepals and petals) closely (7-12) veined, and

· ssp. trinervis C. C. Townsend (outer tepals not closely (3-5) veined). The former is found at the coast and probably introduced. Ssp. trinervis has three varieties:

- var. trinervis the commonest of the three found all over Kenya

- var. macroptera C. C. Townsend almost as widely distributed and closely resembling var. trinervis

- var. patentipilosa has ovate leaves with prominent veins underneath and a short spike. It is found at the coast and is much used by the Giriama. This last variety has large leaves and great potential for domestication.


Figure


Figure


Figure

Dioscorea bulbifera L.

Dioscoreaceae

English: potato yam, air potato Giriama: mutokera Luhya (Bukusu): liliakhunyu Luhya: litugu, lirungu Luhya (Maragoli): litugu, liruku Luo: oruka, oroko

Description: A twining dioecious plant. Underground tubers elongate or nearly round and irregular, occasionally absent. Aerial tubers (bulbils) up to 7 cm in diameter, brown, rounded or angular. LEAVES: Alternate with a long petiole, heart-shaped, narrowing towards the apex. FLOWERS: Pink-white, borne on long inflorescences arising from the leaf axils. Male up to 4 per axil and up to 10 cm long. Female up to 3 per axil and up to 30 cm long. FRUIT: A dry capsule to 2 cm long.

Ecology: Tropical Africa (including West Africa), Asia, Pacific islands. Cultivated in western Kenya. High-rainfall lowland and mid-altitude rain forest, wet woodland, swamp and stream edges. Zones I-III.

Uses: FOOD: Aerial tubers roasted or boiled like sweet potatoes (Luhya, Bukusu). Often soaked for about two days in cold water to dissolve out poisonous compounds.

FOOD/MEDICINAL: Boiled tubers peeled and given to children as a cure for measles. Often maintained traditionally in gardens for this purpose (Luhya).

Management: Grown from the mature bulbils. New shoots may also grow from the rootstock. In poor soils it should be planted with manure if possible.

Status: Very rare, probably entirely absent in the wild. The cultivation of this crop in Kenya has declined considerably in recent years.

Remarks: Two varieties are distinguished in Kenya:

· the cultivated var. anthropophagorum (A. Chev.) Summerh. with reduced or absent underground tubers and angular edible aerial tubers

· the wild var. bulbifera has no underground tuber but has rounded aerial tubers; it is reportedly poisonous.

· var. sativa with edible tubers is an Indian variety.

The yams belong to the family Dioscoreaceae, a group of plants which, like the grasses, have one cotyledon (monocotyledons). There are about 600 species in the genus Dioscorea distributed over the tropical and subtropical parts of the world. They are generally dioecious twining climbers, often prickly and arising from a tuberous rootstock. Yams are known for their tubers which may be underground or up on the stem (aerial). The yam tuber is the storage organ for the plant and is the edible part. Many of the species, however, do not have edible tubers.

Yams are cultivated throughout the tropics, especially in South-East Asia, Central and West Africa and in South America. In West Africa they are an integral part of the culture. D. bulbifera, a native species in East Africa and a traditional crop of the Luhya, has long been cultivated in Africa and Asia. Some other species of edible yams cultivated in East Africa include the West African yams (D. cayenensis or yellow Guinea yam) and they are cultivated in Uganda and probably in western Kenya too. D. alata (white yam, originally from India) is also cultivated in Uganda and Tanzania but reportedly not yet in Kenya.


Figure


Figure

Dioscorea dumetorum (Kunth) Pax

Dioscoreaceae

Boni: digi Giriama: mariga Maa: ol-oibare bare Swahili: maringa, kiazi kikuu, vigongo, kikwa, ndiga, mariga Taita: mako

Description: A twining prickly dioecious plant. Underground tubers lobed, often intertwined among roots. LEAVES: Long-stalked, divided into three leaflets, rather rough above, light green and softly hairy below. FLOWERS: Inflorescences long and pendulous, to 20 cm, often branched, dirty white, woolly. FRUIT: A winged capsule to 3 cm long.

Ecology: Grows from Ethiopia and Somalia west to Senegal and south to South Africa. Found in Kenya in the coastal region and in adjoining areas, 0-1,650 m. Cultivated to a small extent outside Kenya. In the wild at edges of low evergreen forests, coastal bushland and Brachystegia woodland. Commonly found on deep sandy soils. Zones II-V.

Uses: FOOD: Tubers eaten like potatoes (++), and used as a famine food (Boni (Tana River), Giriama). Tuber roasted like the cultivated yam. A most important wild tuber but requiring careful preparation as it may be poisonous. Tubers are normally peeled, soaked and washed before cooking. This eliminates the poisonous compounds normally concentrated in the latex. In southern Sudan the tubers are boiled and soaked for three days before being eaten. Tubers are peeled, sun-dried, ground into flour and made into stiff porridge, sima (Digo).

MEDICINAL: Dried and ground roots mixed with water are used to cure bilharzia.

Remarks: In Tanzania the root is reported to have caused vomiting followed by death when eaten raw.


Figure


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Figure

Dioscorea minutiflora Engl.

Dioscoreaceae

Embu: gikwa, ikwa (plural) (tuber) Kamba: kikwa Kikuyu: gikwa Kisii: chinduma (plural), enduruma (singular) Luhya (Bukusu): litolotolo Luhya (Maragoli): kihama Luhya (Tachoni): litolotolo (plural) Meru: rukwa, gikwa (tuber), Sabaot: musapchet, mucukwet Swahili: kiazi-kikuu, viazi-vikuu (plural)

Description: A prickly twining perennial, dioecious plant. Stems slender, prickly, arising from a tuberous root. Tubers reddish brown, up to 40 cm long with several finger-like projections. Found 20-50 cm below the soil surface. LEAVES: Usually opposite, often heart-shaped with a pointed apex. FLOWERS: Male numerous, borne on a cluster of up to 10 short stalks on either side of the leaf node. Female borne in pairs on flower stalks which are longer than those of the male, up to 15 cm or more and resembling "hair pieces". The two flower stalks are opposite each other at the leaf node. FRUITS: Winged, rare.

Ecology: Grows wild from Uganda west to Senegal and south to Angola, but not in Kenya. Cultivated in Kenya especially by the Kikuyu, Embu, Meru (previously by the Kamba) and by some communities in Tanzania and Uganda. In the wild it is common at the edges of tropical forest where it twines to great heights on other plants. In cultivation the plant is found in humid areas with deep, well-drained soils. Mostly does well in deep fertile red soils. Common at 1,500-2,400 m in areas with more than 700 mm rainfall. Zones II-IV.

Uses: FOOD: The tubers are eaten either roasted, boiled or fried. Tubers for roasting require no peeling and are the tastiest. Yams may be fried with other types of tubers like Irish potato. D. minutiflora has a dry consistency with an appealing taste. Tubers are much relished by old people. Damaged or bruised tubers do not keep for long.

COMMERCIAL: Tubers are occasionally sold in Nairobi and Central Province. They are gene