Limeum keniense Suess.
Rocama prostrata Forssk.
Trianthema pentandra L.
Zaleya pentandra is a semi-succulent, usually prostrate, herb with a stout stem usually growing 8 - 30cm long and more or less woody at the base[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food, though there are conflicting reports over its edibility. It also has local medicinal uses.
The plant is considered to be a dangerous poison in India, where it is believed to be capable of causing diarrhoea, paralysis and death by acute nephritis[
]. It is eaten there only as a famine-food, though it is eaten as a vegetable by Arabs and Indians in Somalia[
Tropical Africa - widely spread throughout the drier areas of the continent, also found in Madagascar and on the Arabian Peninsula.
Open places in woodland, bushland and grassland; also a weed of overgrazed and waste places, roadsides, cultivated ground; and on alkaline soils; at elevations from sea level to 2,000 metres[
|Other Uses Rating
Leaves - cooked and used as a vegetable in Africa[
]. Viewed only as a famine food in India, where the plant is considered to be potentially toxic[
The plant has been burnt to furnish a vegetable salt[
The above-ground parts of the plant are used as a stomachic and treatment for gonorrhoea[
]. For this latter purpose, the plant is dried and powdered and taken with millet beer. This sets up acute inflammation of the urino-genitary tract resulting in haematuria, vomiting and bloody stools, and thus a 'purging' of the infection. This treatment may have homeopathic connotations[
The plant contains saponins[
The plant forms a close cover over waste ground and so could have potential as a ground cover plant[
]. One drawback is that the plant is supposed to harbour snakes[
The plant has been burnt to extract potash, which can be used for making soap[
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