Human Flower Project
Ethiopia’s Tasty Rose
Welcome to our visitors from Ethiopia. Please tell us more about your local plants, your gardens and floral traditions.
Photo: Christian Puff
Botanists who’ve studied the African landscape have found only one native rose on the continent, Rosa abyssinica, a buttercream flower that grows throughout Ethiopia’s highlands. Known in English as the Abyssian rose, it goes by several other names: Kaga (Amargna), Qaqawwii (Oromiffa), Dayero (Somali).
As well as beauty, the African rose produces a vitamin-rich fruit, “very much liked by children and eaten fresh and raw. The fruits can be harvested from December onwards. When consuming too much, the fruits may cause stomachache and tingling sensation on the teeth.”
Modern Ethiopia’s capital was founded in the late 19th century and named “New Flower,” Addis Ababa. Kevin Shively’s website includes a good history of the city and links to much more about Ethiopian history, society, and geography. That’s where we found this picture of Addis Ababa’s founder Emperor Menilek II (1844-1913) wearing a fine sunflower robe.