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GROUND SOP_Annona stenophylla

By parmarch07/10/20180

GROUND SOP
(Annona stenophylla)

A tree of ground sop

Family: Annonaceae

Synonyms: Annona nana

Other names: Dwarf custard apple, muroro, ububese


Ground sop is native of Africa.  It is found northern Botswana, northern Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique.  As the plant is quite dwarf sized, so the fruit appear literally on ground.  That is the reason of its being called a “ground sop”.

A fruit of ground sop

            The fruits of ground sop are rated as more tastier than then those of African custard apple.

Description:

An evergreen small shrub growing upto 60 cm.

Leaves oblong to obovate, bluish-green, variously pubescent, particularly below; venation conspicuous, main veins reddish-purple.

Flowers mostly solitary, axillary;  petals greenish outside, creamy yellow within, fleshy, hairy.

Ground sop foliage

Fruits large, yellow or reddish, pulp pumpkin coloured, sweet.

Utilization:

Ground sop fruits are edible.  These are quite tasty.  Local people eat them raw, cooked, or preserved.  This fruit is very much eaten by the people living in semi-arid northern areas of Botswana and Namibia.  Rather this fruit becomes more or less the staple food of people in that area during the season.

A developing fruit of ground sop


Cultivation:

Ground sop is seen in nature most commonly growing frequently burnt grasslands and open woodlands.  Most of the plants are wild growing.

            New plants of this fruit can be raised from seed.

ABYSSINIAN GOOSEBERRY_Dovyalis abysinnica

By parmarch29/09/20180

ABYSSINIAN GOOSEBERRY
(Dovyalis abysinnica)

Fruits and leaves of Abyssinian gooseberry

Synonym: Aberia abyssinnica, Dovyalis engleri

Local name(s) Aihada, ankakute, koshim, ongolatz.


Abyssinian gooseberry is a small spiny tree native and common in forests of East Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda) at elevations between 6,000 and 8,000 ft (1,800-2,400 m).  It bears maroon-purple fruit with acid pulp tasking like gooseberries.  The fruits are eaten by local people.  These are, however, not sold in the markets.

Description

An evergreen spiny shrub or tree, upto 8 m tall and with a rounded crown; bark grey with spines up to 4cm long; branchlets with very clear dotted breathing pores (lenticles); leaves shiny,  dark green, oval to 5cm diameter with a blunt tip and unevenly rounded edge; the flowers are green sepals. Female flowers are single but the male flowers are in clusters with many stamens.

Fruits are round berries, 2 cm in diameter, surrounded by the calyx, green and hairy at first and then smooth orange-yellow flesh around the seeds.

Fruits are edible having a sweet sour taste. These are collected and eaten raw. In normal times mostly children enjoy the sweet-sour taste with a tingling sensation on the teeth of the fruits. In food shortage periods, everybody is consuming the fruit when available. Fruits are said to be excellent for making jam and for souring porridge.

Agroecology

Abyssinian gooseberry grows in Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia Tanzania and Malawi. In Ethiopia,  the species is usually found along river courses in humid lower highland forests of moist and wet Mimusops forest in moist and wet midland (1,600 – 2,200m).


Propagation

This plant is multiplied by seed.

Other uses:

The plant is sometimes used for fencing and as fodder for goats and sheep.

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