False brandy bush (Grewia bicolor A. Juss.) is a many-stemmed shrub that may reach 7 to 14 m high. The bark is dark grey, deeply fissured and scaly in older trees. The leaves are alternate, elliptic to lanceolate, 1.5-12 cm long x 1-6 cm broad and typically bicoloured: the upper surface is dull green while the lower one is silvery white (Orwa et al., 2009; Brink, 2007). The flowers are pentamerous, yellow, 1.5 cm in diameter. The fruit is a 2-lobed drupe, sometimes hairy, orange to purple black in colour and with a hard woody endocarp (Orwa et al., 2009; Brink, 2007).
Grewia bicolor is a multipurpose shrub. The wood is valuable for construction, utensils, fuel and charcoal. The bark can be used for ropes. Sticks are useful for basketry. Bark and roots have many ethno-medicinal properties due to their high content in triterpenes and alkaloids (Baumer, 1983; Jasper et al., 1986; Augustino et al., 2011). The bark is used to clarify muddy water and sorghum wort, and to alleviate the bitterness of sorghum beer (Orwa et al., 2009; Brink, 2007; Sawadogo Lingani et al., 2007). The mucilaginous leaves can be infused or used as binding agents in sauces. The berries are edible and used to make drinks (Baumer, 1983; Jasper et al., 1986; Augustino et al., 2011). The tree is used as an ornamental tree, as a shade tree and as bee forage (Orwa et al., 2009; Brink, 2007).
Grewia bicolor is browsed by livestock and considered to be an important and highly palatable browse species in farmers surveys in Eastern Africa (Terefe et al., 2010; Komwihangilo et al., 2001; Mtengeti et al., 2006). The fruits may be used as fodder (Orwa et al., 2009).