Gnetum africanum is an evergreen Climber growing to 12 m (39ft) by m (1ft 4in) at a fast rate. It is hardy to zone (UK) The plant is not self-fertile. Suitable . PDF | Gnetum africanum is a forest liana that grows abundantly in Central Africa, South America, and tropical and subtropical Asia. Its leaves. J Med Food. Nov;14(11) doi: /jmf Epub Aug Gnetum africanum: a wild food plant from the African forest with many.

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Eru or Gnetum africanum is an evergreen, perennial, shade-tolerant vine with woody stems of up to 12 m or more that twine from a tuberous rootstock. The narrowly oval leaves are papery-like and in groups of three and the branches are thickened at the nodes. Eru is mainly found in many parts in Africa where it is regarded as a very popular and highly valued vegetable. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. Fruit pulp, mature seeds, and tubers are edible as well. The leaves are laxative and used in the treatment of constipation, enlarged spleen, sore throat, piles, high blood pressure, nausea,warts, and boils.

Gnetum africanum

The stem can help to ease childbirth. It can also adricanum used as a rope or made into traps and nooses for catching game due to its durability and flexibility. Leaves – raw or cooked[ ].

Wherever it occurs in Africa, the leaf is valued as a tasty vegetable, usually eaten finely shredded for addition to soup or made up into condiments, or even taken raw[ ]. To soften this rather tough vegetable, people often mix it with waterleaf Talinum triangulare [ ]. Shredded leaves can be dried and preserved for later use[ ]. The leaves have a gnegum high nutritional value and constitute an important source of protein, essential amino acids and mineral elements[ ].

Leafy stems remain fresh for at least a week after harvesting[ ]. The dry matter content of the fresh leaves is much higher than for other dark or medium green leaf vegetables. This gives a feeling of firmness during preparation, hence certain consumers consider the leaves as a substitute for meat[ ].

The leaves of this species are somewhat thinner africanumm paler than the dark green leaves of the related Gnetum buchholzianum[ ]. The mature seed is 15 – 15mm long, enclosed in a somewhat drupaceous orange-tinted gnetu.

The tubers are sometimes eaten – especially at times of scarcity[ ]. Climbing members of this genus growing in Asia yield a potable sap[ ]. This species should also be looked at in this respect[ ]. Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use atricanum plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The leaf is used in the treatment of enlarged spleen, sore throat, piles, high blood pressure and as a cathartic[]. It is eaten as a treatment against nausea and is considered antidotal against arrow-poison based on Parquetina nigrescens[].


The leaves are chewed to mitigate the effects of drunkenness and they are taken as an enema against constipation[ ]. Applied externally, the chopped-up leaf serves as a dressing on warts and boils to hasten maturation[]. The stem is cut up into small pieces and infused to produce a tisane that is taken to ease childbirth and reduce the pain[ ]. The stem is supple and strong. It is used as a rope[ ], made into traps and nooses for catching game, and into straps for porterage[ ].

Gnetum africanum – Useful Tropical Plants

A plant of humid, lowland tropical rainforests, being found at elevations from afriicanum level to 1, metres[ ]. It grows best in areas where the annual rainfall is around 3, mm[ ]. Succeeds in dappled shade in the woodland. Plants growing in full sun produce thinner leaves which are not so well liked by consumers[ ]. The plant tolerates a range of habitats and environmental conditions[ ].

Cultivated plants need to be given some support, such as a tree, to grow into[ ]. The plant forms two distinct types of stem. Growing up from the base, the stems produce only small, scale-like leaves, and they grow rapidly towards the light. Higher up, side shoots are formed with fully-developed leaves[ ].

The plant continues to ggnetum during the dry season and new shoots may develop where the stem has been cut or where side shoots have been removed[ ]. New shoots are also formed from rhizomes that spread along the forest floor[ ]. Current methods of harvest from wild stands are very destructive[ ]. Controlled harvesting, in which only side shoots or parts of stems are collected, allows new shoots to develop where a stem has been cut or where side shoots have been removed[ ].

Preliminary observations indicate that 3 – 4 harvests per year are possible, still allowing for substantial regrowth. More frequent harvesting will result in thin leaves that are considered inferior[ ]. The first harvest may take place 6 – 9 months after planting.

The total lifespan of the plant is estimated at over 10 years[ ]. This may double in subsequent years[ ]. Under wild conditions, the plant grows and forms underground tubers or roots that store plant food reserves. These can remain alive for many years when the vegetation and the plant growth above ground are cleared gneetum the soil surface is laid bare[ ]. A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required.

Female plants are often have stronger stems, and are africajum vigorous and productive than male plants[]. Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

Seed – difficult to germinate in nursery conditions, though the plants self-sow successfully in the wild[ ]. It is assumed that seeds need pre-treatment, such as passing through the intestines of a bird, fruit bat, squirrel or other animal, before they germinate[ ]. Seed is normally found only in the tree canopy[ ]. Seed collection is thus far from easy, a further reason why the plant is hardly cultivated[ ]. Methods of vegetative propagation using leafy stem cuttings have recently been developed.


It is recommended that leaf blades of cuttings be trimmed in half[ ]. Nursery beds under shade and made of well-decomposed sawdust or fine river sand can be used for propagation[ ]. Ectomycorrhizae assist the roots in absorption of nutrients; the most fnetum species reported is Scleroderma sinnamarense.

After about 6 weeks the rooted cuttings are transferred to polythene sleeves, bamboo pots or other containers where they remain for a further 2 – 3 months. Field planting, preferably next to a young tree or shrub, takes place at the beginning of the rainy season[ ].


Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. For a list of references used on this page please go here A special thanks afrixanum Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately. You will receive a range of benefits including: You can unsubscribe at anytime. Gnetum africanum – Welw. Afriacnum in a wide range of habitats, including farm fallows or abandoned farmland, secondary gnetm, and closed forest[ ]. Marco Schmidt – wikimedia. You can translate the content of this page by selecting a language in the select box.

Gnetum africanum is an evergreen Climber growing to africanuk m 39ft by 0. It is hardy to zone UK The plant is not self-fertile. It can grow in semi-shade light woodland or no shade. It prefers moist soil. QR Code What’s this? Some information cannot be used for commercial reasons or be modified but some can.

Please view the copyright link for more information. Understorey layer of humid tropical rainforests, mostly at the periphery of primary forest and in secondary forest[].