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Abutilon longicuspe Hochst. ex A.Rich. (MALVACEAE)

Nyamabumu (Hehe - Tanzania), Mwondwe (Kikuyu - Kenya).

 

A perennial shrub 1.5 - 5 m tall. Grows from 1500 - 3000 m altitude in secondary forest, forest margins and in grassland and also in valley bottom vegetation throughout East Africa and north to Eritrea and Sudan (Cribb & Leedal 1982, Beentje 1994, Ruffo et al. 2002).

 

Bees were seen collecting pollen and nectar in July at Karen, Kenya. The plant flowers from July to September in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. It is known as a bee forage in Ethiopia (Cribb & Leedal 1982, Fichtl & Adi 1994). The stems produce a strong fibre which is used for tying (Burkill 1997). Flowers are collected during the rain season (January - May), chopped, cleaned and cooked. Pounded groundnuts, onions and tomatoes are then added and it is eaten with ugali or rice in Tanzania. The plant is also grown as an ornamental (Ruffo et al. 2002).

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Uploaded on August 12, 2009