Useful Trees and Shrubs of Ethiopia Syzygium guineense



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Useful Trees and Shrubs of Ethiopia

Syzygium guineense 

Myrtaceae



Indigenous

Ag:

   Awlish, Bagootsi

Agn:

  Liu

Am:

   Dokma

Brt:

   Anzum

Eng:

  Waterberry

Gmz:

  Banjaha

Gr:

   Dokima

Or:

   Badessa, Gosu

Sd:   Duwancho

Sh:

   Dequa

Wt:

   Badessa, Ochicha

Ecology

A large tree widely distributed in Africa. It 

prefers moist soils with a high water table 

beside rivers, but will also grow in open 

woodland. In Ethiopia, it does very well 

in Moist and Wet Kolla and Weyna Dega 

agroclimatic zones of all regions, 1,200—

2,600 m. There are several subspecies in 

Ethiopia.

Uses

Firewood, charcoal, timber (general 

construction, furniture), poles, tool 

handles, carvings, food (fruit), tea substitute 

(leaves), medicine (bark, roots, leaves), bee 

forage, dye and tannin (bark).



Description

A densely leafy forest tree, usually 10–15 m 

but up to 25 m, the trunk broad and fluted 

and the crown rounded and heavy, the 

branchlets drooping, the stems thick and 

angular. BARK: Smooth when young, black 

and rough with age, flaking, producing 

a red watery sap if cut. LEAVES: Young 

leaves purple‑red, but mature leaves dark 

green, in opposite pairs, shiny and smooth 

on both surfaces, the tip long but rounded

on a short grooved stalk. The leaves are 

variable in shape. FLOWERS: White, 

showy stamens, in dense branched heads 10 

cm across, the honey‑sweet smell attracting 

many insects; stalks angular, square. 

FRUIT: Oval to 3 cm, purple‑ black and 

shiny, one‑seeded, in big bunches of 20–30. 



Propagation

Seedlings, wildings, direct sowing at site.



Seed

Good germination. About 2,400–3,700 

seed per kg.

  Treatment:  Not  necessary  but  remove 

flesh and wash in water before sowing.

  Storage: Must be sown immediately the 

fruit  is  picked.  Germination  is  reduced 

with  any  attempt  to  dry  and  store  the 

seed. 

Management

Pollarding, coppicing.



Remarks

The wood is brown, hard and strong. It 

is easily worked but liable to split. Seeds 

available from June to September.



Useful Trees and Shrubs of Ethiopia

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