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Tag: Edible

Siphonochilus Kirkii


Family: Zingiberaceae

ENG: Wild Ginger

GIR: Mutunguu

Wild ginger is a forest floor plant with aromatic rhizomatous roots. The leaves are deciduous and sprout annually from the underground stem in spring, they may reach a height of up to 400mm. The leaves are light green, lance shaped and borne on the end of stem-like leaf bases.

The male and female organs are borne on separate plants, female plants tend to be smaller than male plants. The small berry-like fruits are produced at or near ground level after the flowers.

The roots are used for traditional medicine.

Propagation through splitting of rhizomes.

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Cissius Quadrangularis

Family: Vitaceae
KSW: Mbugu-nyama
GIR: Mtsuma-pengo

Perennial deciduous trailing or climbing herb with tuberous rootstock; stems quadrangular, almost
winged, stout, succulent, glabrous. Racemes of small white, yellowish, or greenish flowers; globular
berries are red when ripe.

Medicinally, it is used in the treatment of asthma, hemorrhoids, wounds, broken bones, boils, burns,
rheumatic pains, and indigestion. The young stems are cooked. The leaves and young shoots are used in the preparation of curries and poppadoms. The fruits are eaten and the seeds are used for cooking oil. Ash of the plant is used as a substitute for baking powder.

Self seeded

Deinbollia Borbonica

Family: Sapindaceae
GIR: Mndalamwaka

Small tree or shrub. Cream flowers and yellow berries.

Propagate from seed.
The flowers attract hordes of insects including; moths, butterflies, bees, wasps, ants and beetles. Monkeys and birds eat the fruit. Charaxes butterflies eat the rotting fruit (needs confirming). The fruit is edible. The plant roots are medicinal.

Deinbollia hosts:

  • Egybolis vaillantina
  • Euphedra neophron
  • Euxanthe wakefieldi
  • Charaxes varanes
  • Various Lycaenid Blues which feed on the maturing

Zanthoxylum Chalybeum Var. Chalybeum

Family: Rutaceae
ENG: Knobwood
GIR: Mudhungu
TSW: Mjafari

Naturalised in Kenya. Spiny deciduous shrub or tree up to 12 m high- leaves have medicinal use. Has
self seeded in Kilifi. This tree is a larval host plant to Swallowtails. Leaves, shoots and fruits are used for

The bark leaves and roots are used medicinally, including as a treatment for malaria.

Possibly larval host to:

  • Papilio dardanus – African Mocker Swallowtail
  • Papilio demodocus – Citrus Swallowtail

Harrisonia Abyssinica

Family: Rutaceae
GIR: Mkindhunga

A thorny shrub or small tree.

Roots and leaves are used for traditional anti-malarial medicine. Makes a useful defensive hedge.
The fruits are edible.

This plant has self seeded and can be invasive.

Heinsia Crinita Subsp. Parviflora

Family: Rubiaceae
KSW: mfiyofiyo
GIR: Mulanza / Mshosho

Shrub up to 3 m. Flowers jasmine-scented; Fruit ellipsoid, with a crown of persistent, leaf-like calyx lobes, orange when ripe. Fruit is edible. The stem is used for arrow shafts.

Can be propagated from seed.

Available: Kivukoni Indigenous Tree Nursery