Rhamnus prinoides

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Rhamnus prinoides
Rhamnus prinioides, leaves.jpg
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 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 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 tej.[3] It is also used in the brewing of tella, an Ethiopian beer.[4]


  1. ^ "Rhamnus prinoides L'Hér.". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) online database. 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. "Ṭälla." In Encyclopaedia Aethiopica: O-X: Vol. 4, edited by Siegbert Uhlig. 848-49. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2010.