Rhamnus prinoides

Rhamnus prinoides
Rhamnus prinoides, foliage
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Rhamnaceae
Genus: Rhamnus
Subgenus: Rhamnus
Species: R. prinoides
Binomial name
Rhamnus prinoides
  • Rhamnus pauciflora Eschsch
  • Alaternus prinoides Raf.
  • Celtis rhamnifolia C.Presl

Rhamnus prinioides, the shiny-leaf buckthorn, is an African shrub or small tree in the family Rhamnaceae. It was first described by French botanist Charles Louis L'Héritier de Brutelle in 1789.[1]


Rhamnus prinioides occurs from Eritrea to Ethiopia to South Africa at medium to high altitudes. They grow near streams or along forest margins. The small edible fruits are shiny red and berry-like.


The Rhamnus prinioides plant has many uses amongst the inhabitants of Africa. All parts of the plant are harvested and used for nutrition, medicine or religious purposes. In Eritria and Ethiopia, where the plant is known as "gešo" or gesho,[2] it is used in a manner similar to hops: the stems are boiled and the extract mixed with honey to ferment a mead called Mase in Tigringa and tej.[3] It is also used in the brewing of tella, an Eritrean and Ethiopian beer.[4] Gesho has a considerable value in Eritrea and Ethiopia. It is one of the most and precious crops used for industrial uses both locally for domestic use and industrially. It is used for different local and fabricated products. It is used to prepare or make: Tella or siwa in Tigringa this local drink is made from gesho as a major ingredient. Gesho leaves are sun dried and pounded with mortar and pestle into flour. Barley malt is prepared and sun dried and ground. These two ingredients are mixed, the proportion varies from person to person, and fermented 3-5 days on average. Finger millet or in other areas sorghum and maize flour are baked, and finally, mixed with the fermented solution locally called Siwa in Tigringa in and Tinsis in Amharic’. Then after 1-2 days of stay and fermentation the tella can be filtered and supplied for drink locally called ‘Guesh’ and may stay for 3-4 days after filtration for in Tigringa “Tsiray”. Tej: this local drink is basically prepared from honey and gesho.


  1. "Rhamnus prinoides L'Hér.". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Retrieved 24 October 2010.
  2. Pankhurst, Rita. "Gešo ". In Encyclopaedia Aethiopica: D-Ha, edited by Siegbert Uhlig. 773. Wiesbaden, Germany: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2005
  3. Richard Pankhurst, Economic History of Ethiopia (Addis Ababa: Haile Selassie I University, 1968), p. 194.
  4. Amborn, Hermann. Sewa in Tigringa "Ṭälla." In Encyclopaedia Aethiopica: O-X: Vol. 4, edited by Siegbert Uhlig. 848-49. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2010.

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/20/2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.