Solanum farinaceum Griff.
Solanum farinosum Wall.
Solanum niveum Thunb.
Common Name: African Holly
Fruiting plant in Ethiopia. You need to look carefully to see the green fruits!
Photograph by: Rafael Medina
African holly is a short-lived, softly woody, spiny shrub or small tree usually growing 2 - 4 metres tall, sometimes to 8 metres[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and in traditional medicine. It is sometimes grown to provide shade in Cardamom plantations and is often grown as an ornamental in gardens[
Although providing many well-known foods for people, including the potato, tomato, pepper and aubergine, most plants in the family Solanaceae also contain poisonous alkaloids. Unless there are specific entries with information on edible uses, it would be unwise to ingest any part of this plant[
Tropical Africa - Sierra Leone to Ethiopia and Somalia, south to Angola, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and S. Africa; E. Asia - India, Sri Lanka.
Forest edges, riverine forest and among rocks on granite outcrops; at elevations from sea level to 1,650 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
The fruits are edible but bitter[
The fruits are used to curdle milk[
The fruits and leaves are used in African traditional medicine to treat sores[
The woolly hairy underside of the leaves is used to clean wounds and the glabrous upper side is used to dress wounds[
The powdered dry leaves are added to bath water to overcome sleeplessness[
The fruits are edible but bitter and are used to treat throat ulcers[
The tree is commonly grown in S India as a shade tree in cardamom plantations[
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