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Cordeauxia edulis - Hemsl.

Common Name Yeheb. Yeheb nut
Family Fabaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry areas[63 ]. Semi-arid scrub on coarse, deep red sands with a water table at 6.5 - 25.5 metres and at an elevation of 100 - 1,000 metres[324 ].
Range Northeastern tropical Africa - Somalia, Ethiopia.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Cordeauxia edulis Yeheb. Yeheb nut

Cordeauxia edulis Yeheb. Yeheb nut


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Cordeauxia edulis is an evergreen Shrub growing to 4 m (13ft) by 4 m (13ft) at a slow rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10.
It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


No synonyms are recorded for this name.

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves  Seed
Edible Uses: Coffee  Drink  Tea

Seed - raw, roasted or boiled as a vegetable[418 ]. A sour flavour when eaten fresh or dried, but they have a sweetish, agreeable, chestnut-like taste after roasting[299 ]. The seeds may also be boiled for a sweet liquor[418 ]. The size of a large filbert with a smooth consistency and a delicious chestnut-like flavour[301 , 418 ]. Nutritious[301 ]. The seed has a thin, easily broken shell[63 ]. The carbohydrate and protein content of the seeds is lower than in pulses and other legumes, but they are richer in sugars and fats, hence providing a balanced diet and high energy[303 ]. The seeds have been mentioned as a coffee substitute[299 ]. An infusion of the leaves is used as a tea substitute[299 , 301 , 324 , 418 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Cordeauxiaquinone, a substance found in the leaves and other parts of the plant, is used medicinally to stimulate haemopoensis[303 ]. Cordeauxia edulis is said to regulate gastric secretion and to permit treatment of ulcers due to hot food. It is also believed to alleviate anaemia by augmenting the number of red blood cells[299 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Dye  Fodder  Fuel  Mordant  Soap making  Wood

The plant contains cordeauxiaquinone, a brilliant red dye which is unknown elsewhere in the plant kingdom[324 , 418 ]. Cordeauxiaquinone produces fast, insoluble dyes with some metals and is used as a mordant in dyeing factories[324 ]. The bones of animals that browse the plant become pink due to the cordeauxiaquinone[324 ]. A substance between liquid oil and fat, less pleasant than olive oil but useful for soap making, is extracted from it[303 ]. I assume it is extracted from the seed[K ]. The seed oil is useful for soap making[299 ]. The wood is used for firewood[324 , 418 ]. A hard wood, it burns well even when still wet[303 ].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming  Food Forest  Nitrogen Fixer

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Agroforestry Services: Nitrogen  Fodder: Bank  Management: Standard  Staple Crop: Balanced carb  Under Development  Wild Staple Crop

A plant of the lowland arid tropics and subtropics, where it is found at elevations up to 1,000 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 25 - 30?c, but can tolerate 20 - 38?c[418 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 200 - 400mm, but tolerates 100 - 600mm[418 ]. In more humid climates, plants produce more vegetative growth, but often at the expense of fruiting[324 ]. Requires a sunny position in a light, very well-drained soil[324 , 418 ]. Succeeds in poor soils that are extremely low in nitrogen[303 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 6.5 - 7.5, tolerating 6 - 8.4[418 ]. Established plants are very drought tolerant[303 ]. Early aerial growth of young plants is slow until the massive root system is established[324 ]. Plants only 1cm tall can have roots 15cm or more long[324 ]. Plants begin to bear well when 3 - 4 years old[324 ]. Plants begin to bear prolifically when only 1 - 1.2 metres tall[301 ]. Yields of around 5 kg of seeds per shrub can be achieved[324 ]. Such is the demand and free access to all wild plants that the fruits are often collected from the shrubs before they are fully mature[324 ]. Plants can live for 200 years or more[299 ]. A very deep rooted tree[63 ]. The tree has somewhat fleshy leaves that stain the fingers red on being rubbed[63 ]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[303 ].

Carbon Farming

  • Agroforestry Services: Nitrogen  Plants that contribute to nitrogen fixation include the legume family – Fabaceae.
  • Fodder: Bank  Fodder banks are plantings of high-quality fodder species. Their goal is to maintain healthy productive animals. They can be utilized all year, but are designed to bridge the forage scarcity of annual dry seasons. Fodder bank plants are usually trees or shrubs, and often legumes. The relatively deep roots of these woody perennials allow them to reach soil nutrients and moisture not available to grasses and herbaceous plants.
  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Staple Crop: Balanced carb  (0-15 percent protein, 0-15 percent oil, with at least one over 5 percent). The carbohydrates are from either starch or sugar. Annuals include maize, wheat, rice, and potato. Perennials include chestnuts, carob, perennial fruits, nuts, cereals, pseudocereals, woody pods, and acorns.
  • Under Development  Plant breeders are actively working to domesticate these plants for cultivation, but they are not yet commercially available as crops. Examples include most of the perennial cereal grains.
  • Wild Staple Crop  Some wild plants have strong historical or contemporary use. Although they are not cultivated crops, they may be wild-managed.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Plant Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe, when germination is usually good[324 ]. The viability is low if the seed is stored for a few months; however, seeds coated in wood ash and stored in a sack are reputed to remain viable for at least a year[324 ]. Germination is rapid, but subsequent growth of the aerial parts is very slow, especially in the seedling stage, whereas the root system grows rapidly. Plants 60cm tall may already have roots 2 metres long[299 ]. Sowing in situ is recommended because problems exist with moving seedlings from the nursery due to rapid tap-root development[324 ]. Vegetative propagation possible.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Ehb, Gud, Jeheb, Qud, Quda, Ye-eb

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Africa, Australia, East Africa, Ethiopia, Israel, Kenya, North America, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, USA, Yemen

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Status: Vulnerable A2cd

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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