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Grewia (Grewia kakothamnos)


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Grewia tembensis var. kakothamnos (K. Schum.) Burret (Thulin, 1999).


Grewia kakothamnos K. Schum. is a perennial shrub, up to 4 m high. It usually flowers without leaves. The leaves are green, glabrous to puberulous on both surfaces. The flowers are solitary, white to pale lilac. The fruits have 2 to 4 lobes, and are greenish when young, turning orange at maturity (Thulin, 1999).

Grewia kakothamnos is browsed by goats. Stems are used for firewood, charcoal, arrows, construction and farm utensils (Mehari, 2008). The fruits have been reported as a famine food in the raw and fried form (Teklehaymanot et al., 2010). The roots are used in ethno-medicine to cure respiratory infections and tuberculosis, and are a chief constituent in a remedy for typhoid (Teklehaymanot et al., 2010; Kokwaro, 2009).


Grewia kakothamnos is found in Eastern Africa where it grows in moderately dry areas from sea level up to an altitude of 1180 m (Thulin, 1999), although it has been found up to 2200 m in Ethiopia (Betemariam, 2011).

Nutritional aspects
Nutritional attributes 

The only known composition data on Grewia kakothamnos (fresh young browse) indicates a relatively low protein value (8.7% DM) and a high fibre content (32.6% DM) (Dougall et al., 1958).


Minimal information exists on the use of Grewia kakothamnos. Early studies report that it was found to be extremely palatable to goats in a semi-arid zone in Kenya (Edwards, 1948 cited by Lamprey et al., 1980) and that only goats ate the dry fallen leaves during the dry season (Göhl, 1982).

Nutritional tables
Tables of chemical composition and nutritional value 

Avg: average or predicted value; SD: standard deviation; Min: minimum value; Max: maximum value; Nb: number of values (samples) used

Fresh browse, early vegetative, semi-arid zone in Kenya

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Crude protein % DM 8.7       1  
Crude fibre % DM 32.6       1  
Ether extract % DM 2.5       1  
Ash % DM 7.7       1  
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 18.4         *
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Calcium g/kg DM 15.3       1  
Phosphorus g/kg DM 3.6       1  
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 62.6         *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 59.2         *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 10.9         *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 8.8         *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


Dougall et al., 1958

Last updated on 25/03/2013 16:07:56

Datasheet citation 

Heuzé V., Tran G., 2015. Grewia (Grewia kakothamnos). Feedipedia, a programme by INRAE, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO. https://www.feedipedia.org/node/147 Last updated on May 11, 2015, 14:32

English correction by Tim Smith (Animal Science consultant) and Hélène Thiollet (AFZ)
Image credits