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– Known as mongongo fruits, mongongo nuts, manketti nuts, nongongo
– Egg-shaped, velvety fruits ripen and fall between March and May each year
– Fruits contain a thin exocarp around a thick, hard, pitted shell with an edible nut

– Distribution:
– Widely distributed through subtropical southern Africa
– Largest distribution belt reaches from northern Namibia into northern Botswana, south-western Zambia, and western Zimbabwe
– Other distribution belts found in eastern Malawi, eastern Mozambique, Angola, Tanzania, and Zaire

– Taxonomy:
Genus Schinziophyton circumscribed by John Hutchinson ex. Alan Radcliffe-Smith in 1990
Genus name Schinziophyton honors Swiss explorer and botanist Hans Schinz (1858–1941)

– Traditional uses:
Mongongo nuts are staple diet among the San people of northern Botswana and Namibia
– Archaeological evidence shows consumption by San communities for centuries
– Nuts store well and remain edible for much of the year
– Nuts are cooked after peeling, and the pulp is eaten while nuts are saved for roasting
– Oil from nuts used as a body rub, wood used for fishing floats, toys, insulating material, and drawing boards

– See also:
– Post-scarcity economy

– References:
– Wikimedia Commons has media related to Schinziophyton rautanenii
– Schinziophyton Hutch. ex Radcl.Sm. | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science
– Encyclopedia of eponymic plant names (pdf) by Lotte Burkhardt
– The Mongongo Nut, Ricinodendron rautanenii by UHIS
– “What Hunters Do for a Living, or, How to Make Out on Scarce Resources” by Richard B. Lee

Mongongo (Wikipedia)

The mongongo tree, mongongo nut or manketti tree (Schinziophyton rautanenii) is a member of the family Euphorbiaceae and of the monotypic genus Schinziophyton. A large, spreading tree, the mongongo reaches 15–20 metres tall. It is found on wooded hills and among sand dunes, and is associated with the Kalahari sand soil-types. The leaves are a distinctive hand-shape, and the pale yellow wood is similar in characteristics to balsa, being both lightweight and strong. The yellowish flowers occur in slender, loose sprays.

Mongongo nut
Schinziophyton rautanenii
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamily: Crotonoideae
Tribe: Ricinodendreae
Genus: Schinziophyton
Hutch. ex Radcl.-Sm.
S. rautanenii
Binomial name
Schinziophyton rautanenii

Ricinodendron rautanenii Schinz

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