New descriptor lists for neglected fruits

By christelle.rabil@croptrust.org
14 December 2021

The World Agroforestry Centre and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations have just jointly published six new descriptor lists.

The World Agroforestry Centre and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations have just jointly published six new descriptor lists for Ziziphus mauritiana (jujube), Sclerocarya birrea (marula), Strychnos cocculoides (monkey orange), Docynia indica (Son-tra), Irvingia spp. (bush mango), and Dacryodes edulis (Safou).

These descriptor lists promote international standards for the characterization of genetic resources (Alercia 2011), and are expected to facilitate studies focusing on the genetic and morphological diversity of these relatively neglected fruit trees. 

 

Ziziphus mauritania (jujube)

Jujube is native to Central and South Asia, but has spread through cultivation and natural dispersal to over 100 countries in the world. It is an important fruit in the dry areas of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, contributing to food security and household income. Read more..

 

Sclerocarya birrea (marula)

Sclerocarya birrea, commonly known as marula, is an important multipurpose fruit tree of the semi-arid and sub-humid zones of sub-Saharan Africa. The mature marula fruits fall from the tree and ripen on the ground, from where they are collected for home consumption or for processing into products to be sold locally. The tree is also used as timber, in medicinal preparations and as a source of fodder for animals. Read more..

 

Strychnos cocculoides (monkey orange)

Strychnos cocculoides, also known as monkey orange, is an important tropical and subtropical evergreen tree and occurs naturally in Africa’s deciduous woodland habitats. The tree produces edible fruits that are highly valued by local communities for their taste and aroma, and because they have a long shelf life. Nutritionally, the fruit is an excellent source of iron and contains substantial amounts of vitamins and dietary fibre. Read more..

 

Docynia indica (Son-tra)

Docynia indica (Wall.) Decne, also known locally as son tra or H’mong apple (Vietnam), dou-yi (China), pin-sein (Myanmar), Assam apple/wild apple (India), belongs to the family Rosaceae. The species naturally occurs at high altitudes in Central and East Asian countries and can adapt well in areas typically characterized by sloping lands and degraded areas, forest fires and extreme weather conditions such as drought and frost. Read more..

 

Irvingia spp. (bush mango)

Irvingia species, commonly known as bush mango, as well as in their local names namely, dikka, dikanut, dikabread tree, odika, ogbono, or iba-tree, are multipurpose fruit trees growing in Africa and Asia. The Irvingia trees commonly grow in rainforests and humid zones in dry ground, except for Irvingia smithii, which always grows beside water on riverbanks in savannah regions, seasonally flooded and riverine forest, and of Irvingia malayana, which occurs also in deciduous dipterocarp forest and dry evergreen forest. Read more..

 

Dacryodes edulis (Safou)

Dacryodes edulis, also known as safou, African pear, African plum, African palm, bush pear, bush butter tree, butterfruit and native pear, is an important multi-purpose tropical evergreen tree. Its geographical distribution extends from Angola, through Cameroon, up to northern Zimbabwe, and is also cultivated in Malaysia. This indigenous agroforestry fruit tree is well adapted to variations in environmental factors such as soil type, humidity and temperature. Read more..

 

References:

Chege J., Muchugi A., Nyoka B.I., Kang’ethe S., Jamnadass R., Cognetti de Martiis S., Cerutti A.L., Alercia A. 2021. Key descriptors for Sclerocarya birrea (marula). World Agroforestry, Nairobi, Kenya and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy. ISBN: 978-9966-108-48-7

Chege J., Muchugi A., Jamnadass R., Cognetti de Martiis S., Cerutti A.L., Alercia A., Prasad H., Kang’ethe S. 2021. Key descriptors for Ziziphus mauritiana (jujube). World Agroforestry, Nairobi, Kenya and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy. ISBN: 978-9966-108-49-4.

Muchugi A., Alercia A., Chege J., Kang’ethe S., Jamnadass R., Cognetti de Martiis S., Cerutti AL., Nyoka IB. 2021. Key descriptors for Strychnos cocculoides (monkey orange). World Agroforestry, Nairobi, Kenya and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome. Italy.

Muchugi A., Pham H.T., Alercia A., Hai P.H., Hendre P., Jamnadass R., Cerutti A.L., Cognetti de Martiis S., Lopez F. 2021. Key descriptors for Docynia indica (Wall.) Decne. World Agroforestry, Nairobi, Kenya and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy.

Muchugi A., Chege J., Tsobeng A., Kang’ethe S., Jamnadass R., Cognetti de Martiis S., Cerutti A.L., Alercia A. 2021. Key descriptors for Dacryodes edulis (Safou). World Agroforestry, Nairobi, Kenya and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy.

Tsobeng A., Muchugi A., Alercia A., Chege J., Degrande A., Hendre P., Kang'ethe S., Jamnadass R., Cerutti A.L., Cognetti de Martiis S., Lopez F. 2021. Key descriptors for Irvingia spp. (bush mango). World Agroforestry, Nairobi, Kenya and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy.