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Family name: Rhamnaceae

Scientific name: Berchemia discolor

Authority: (Klotzsch) Hemsl.

Synonym: Phyllogeiton discolor (Klotzsch) Herzog

Zulu names: nmumu, umumu, ubalatsheni omkhulu, umadlozane, umhlungulo, uvuka, uvuku

Other names: bird plum, brown ivory, mountain date, wild almond (English) bruinivoor, mewee, voëlpruim, wildedadel (Afrikaans) mogokgomo (Sepedi) munyee (Venda)

Short description: B. discolor is a small to medium-sized tree that grows in the grassland and woodland habitats. It has broadly elliptic leaves, small solitary greenish-yellow flowers, and edible yellow date-like fruits containing flat seeds.


The Zulu name “uvuka” is derived from the word “ukuvuka” which means “to awaken or to bring to life“.

The plant gets the name uvuka because the plant is used to awaken love.

Related uses: The plant is used as an alluring love charm. The fruits are used to make alcoholic drinks. The leaves are used to make tea. The bark is used to make a hepatoprotective drink to protect the liver.

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