Dovyalis abyssinica - (A.Rich.) Warb.
Common Name Abyssinian Gooseberry
Family Salicaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Highland forest over 1,800 metres[ 307 ]. Rain-forest to riparian forest and scrub; dry evergreen forest; sometimes in open wooded grassland; semi-evergreen or deciduous bushland; rocky limestone slopes; at elevations from 600 - 3,050 metres[ 328 ].
Range Eastern Africa - Ethiopia and Somalia, south to Malawi and Mozambique.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Tender Moist Soil Full sun

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Dovyalis abyssinica or commonly known as Abyssinian Gooseberry is an evergreen, dioecious, spiny shrub or small tree with a rounded crown. It reaches about 6-10 m in height with trunk diameter of about 20 cm. It can be found in highland forests in Eastern Africa. The leaves are oval and slender, with wavy or jagged edges. The edible fruit is small, round, and orange in colour. It has a thin, tender skin and a juicy flesh. Roots and stems can as well be eaten in tonic soup. The wood is hard and suitable for tool handles, spoons, and bedsteads. It can also be used for fuel. Abyssinian gooseberry can be grown by seed or cuttings.

Dovyalis abyssinica Abyssinian Gooseberry

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture
Dovyalis abyssinica Abyssinian Gooseberry
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of shrub
Dovyalis abyssinica is an evergreen Shrub growing to 6 m (19ft) by 6 m (19ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Aberia abyssinica (A.Rich.) Clos Dovyalis engleri Gilg Flacourtia obtusata Hochst. ex A.Rich. Hydnoc

Edible Uses
Fruit - raw or cooked[ 398 ]. The fruit has a thin, tender skin and a juicy melting flesh with an aroma and flavour faintly suggestive of apricots[ 301 ]. When fully ripe it makes a very agreeable jelly[ 301 ]. The fruit is about 25mm in diameter[ 200 ]. Roots and stems are eaten in a tonic soup[ 301 ].
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The leaves are pounded, soaked in water and the liquid taken as a treatment for indigestion[ 398 ]. The roots are used for treating indigestion and VD[ 398 ].


Other Uses
Other Uses: The wood is hard. It is used for tool handles, spoons and bedsteads[ 398 ]. The wood is used for fuel[ 398 ].
Cultivation details
A plant of the hot, dry, tropics, though it also succeeds in areas of higher rainfall[ 335 ]. Grows best in a fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil[ 200 ]. Dislikes calcareous soils[ 335 ]. Plants begin bearing when about 4 - 5 years old from seed[ 200 ]. Dioecious - both male and female plants must be grown if fruit is required. One male is sufficient for about 30 female plants[ 200 ].
Seed - Layering[ 200 ]. Graft or shield-bud desirable varieties on to seedling rootstocks[ 200 ].
Other Names
Abyssinian gooseberry, Akudho, Ankakute, Gibin, Kimukiet, Kinokuet, Koshim, Koshum, Kudah, Limoro, Mahhahhari, Mbuchi, Mmango, Mnzuyuyu, Msambwa, Muirungi, Mukambura, Mundariwa, Mundililwa, Nokok, Nukchat, Ol-morogi, Ongolatz, Sangana, Songla, Songola,
Found In
Kenya; Ethiopia; Malawi; Uganda; South Sudan; Somalia; Tanzania, United Republic of; Yemen, Africa, Cuba, East Africa, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Socotra, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia,
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.
Related Plants


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(A.Rich.) Warb.
Botanical References
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.
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Subject : Dovyalis abyssinica  

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