This species was at one time considered to be part of a more variable Maerua decumbens, but is now generally considered to be distinct with a more southerly range than that species. Modern treatments restrict Maerua decumbens to Eritrea, Somalia and Ethiopia, with this species ranging from Kenya southwards in eastern Africa[
Courbonia bussei Gilg & Gilg-Ben.
Courbonia calothamna Gilg & Gilg-Ben.
Courbonia camporum Gilg & Gilg-Ben.
Courbonia edulis Gilg & Gilg-Ben.
Courbonia glauca (Klotzsch) Gilg & Gilg-Ben.
Courbonia prunicarpa Gilg & Gilg-Ben.
Physanthemum glaucum Klotzsch
Maerua edulis is a much-branched, evergreen, perennial plant, with a woody rootstock that is often large and swollen, growing 1 - 3 metres tall. It varies in habit from a herbaceous plant with more or less woody stems , to a true shrub with stiff branches[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and means of purifying water. It is sometimes grown as a hedge and ornamental[
The plant is known to be toxic[
The leaves are used as a fish poison[
East Africa - eastern DR Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, northern S. Africa.
Deciduous or semi-evergreen bushland, bushed grassland, wooded grassland, often near seasonal rivers or lakes, conspicuous in burnt grassland, regenerating quickly from its woody rootstock, at elevations from sea level to 1,800 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Fruit - raw[
]. A sweet flavour, they are mainly eaten by children herding animals and during periods of famine[
]. The fruit is a yellow-orange, globose or ovoid capsule 15 - 30mm long, containing 1 - 4 seeds[
The roots are chewed to quench thirst[
The leaves are pounded and the juice drunk in the treatment of allergies[
The roots and bark are soaked in warm water and the resulting liquid is drunk in the treatment of VD[
The plant is sometimes grown as a hedge[
The leaves are used for purifying water[
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