Prota 2: Vegetables/Légumes
Kew Bull. 15: 355 (1962).
Origin and geographic distribution
Kedrostis pseudogijef is restricted to Ethiopia, Kenya and northern Tanzania.
In Kenya the leaves and young shoots are eaten with starchy food. In Ethiopia leaves are boiled and eaten in times of food scarcity. When fresh the leaves have an unpleasant smell, which disappears with cooking.
Dioecious liana up to 12 m long; stem up to 10 cm in diameter, with grey or greyish brown, ridged bark; tendrils simple. Leaves alternate, trifoliolate; petiole 1–3 cm long; leaflets sessile, unlobed or palmately 3-lobed; middle leaflet 1.5–4 cm × 0.5–3 cm, ovate or rhombic, lateral leaflets similar but with asymmetric base. Inflorescence a fascicle often borne on leafless stems, male one shortly racemose, many-flowered, female one 1–8-flowered. Flowers unisexual, regular, 5-merous; male flowers with pedicel 3–5 mm long, receptacle 1.5–2 mm long, sepals triangular, c. 1 mm long, petals 2–3 mm × 1.2–2 mm, greenish-yellow, stamens 5; female flowers with pedicel 1–3 mm long, ovary inferior, pyriform, hispid. Fruit a pyriform-conical, red berry 1–1.5 cm × 1 cm. Seeds pyriform, 6 mm × 3 mm, smooth.
Kedrostis is placed in the tribe Melothrieae and is related to Corallocarpus.
Kedrostis pseudogijef occurs in deciduous woodland and bushland at altitudes of 600–1800 m. It is drought tolerant.
In Kenya Kedrostis pseudogijef is planted around houses and along fences. Propagation is done by cuttings, which are planted at the start of the rains.
Genetic resources and breeding
Kedrostis pseudogijef is limited in distribution, but does not appear to be threatened. So far no particular interest has been taken in the species and no germplasm collections are known.
Kedrostis pseudogijef is of interest as a home-garden crop for dry areas and as such deserves research interest.
• Jeffrey, C., 1995. Cucurbitaceae. In: Edwards, S., Mesfin Tadesse & Hedberg, I. (Editors). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Volume 2, part 2. Canellaceae to Euphorbiaceae. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Department of Systematic Botany, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. pp. 17–59.
• Schippers, R.R., 2000. African indigenous vegetables. An overview of the cultivated species. Natural Resources Institute/ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation, Chatham, United Kingdom. 214 pp.
• Zemede Asfaw & Mesfin Tadesse, 2001. Prospects for sustainable use and development of wild food plants in Ethiopia. Economic Botany 55(1): 47–55.
• Jeffrey, C., 1967. Cucurbitaceae. In: Milne-Redhead, E. & Polhill, R.M. (Editors). Flora of Tropical East Africa. Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations, London, United Kingdom. 157 pp.
Correct citation of this article:
Bosch, C.H., 2004. Kedrostis pseudogijef (Gilg) C.Jeffrey In: Grubben, G.J.H. & Denton, O.A. (Editors). PROTA 2: Vegetables/Légumes. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.