Edible portions: Seeds, Leaves, Fruit, Bark, Vegetable
An evergreen shrub or small tree. It grows 4-6 metres high. It has many branches forming a rambling habit. The stems are crooked and can grow along the ground. The branches are drooping and twisted. They are slender and greenish white. The bark is thin and rough. It is cream coloured. The leaves occur opposite one another along the stem. They are on short stalks. The leaves are smooth and fleshy but thick and leathery. They are greenish blue and have small stipules. The leaves are oval and 7 cm long by 3 cm wide. They end in a short stiff point. The flowers are yellow and small. many flowers occur together in a branched arrangement near the ends of branches. These flower arrangements are 5-8 cm long. The fruit is a round berry about 6 mm across. They are red when ripe. Seedless fruit can occur. The seedless fruit are dark red. The fruit are edible.
A tropical plant. It grows in the dry tropics. It grows in the Sahel. It occurs at low altitudes. It suits high temperatures. Temperatures of 20-30°C annual average are appropriate. It cannot stand frost. It occurs in areas with an annual rainfall of 50 -300 mm but also in areas with 1,100 mm. In high rainfall areas it occurs on saline soils. It prefers clay to sandy soils such as on flood plains. It can be in mangroves. It can be used to reclaim salty soils. In Kenya it grows from sea level to 1,500 m altitude. It can grow in arid places.