Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 55, Issue 7, pp 929–937 | Cite as

Ziziphus spina-christi (L.) Willd.: a multipurpose fruit tree

  • Amina Sirag Saied
  • Jens Gebauer
  • Karl Hammer
  • Andreas Buerkert
Research Article


Neglected and underutilized species often play a vital role in securing food and livestock feed, income generation and energy needs of rural populations. In spite of their great potential little attention has been given to these species. This increases the possibility of genetic erosion which would further restrict the survival strategies of people in rural areas. Ziziphus spina-christi is a plant species that has edible fruits and a number of other beneficial applications that include the use of leaves as fodder, branches for fencing, wood as fuel, for construction and furniture making, and the utilization of different parts e.g. Fruits, leaves, roots and bark in folk medicine. Moreover, the plant is adapted to dry and hot climates which make it suitable for cultivation in an environment characterized by increasing degradation of land and water resources. Lack of research in Z. spina-christi hinders its successful improvement and promotion. Therefore, studies are needed to fully exploit this species. This article aims at summarizing information on different aspects of Z. spina-christi to stimulate interest in this crop which is of importance in Sudan and other countries of the semi-arid tropics.


Agroforestry Christ’s thorn Indigenous fruit trees Siddir Sudan Wild fruit species Ziziphus spina-christi 



We are grateful to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for granting a Georg Forster Research Fellowship to the first author.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amina Sirag Saied
    • 1
  • Jens Gebauer
    • 1
  • Karl Hammer
    • 2
  • Andreas Buerkert
    • 1
  1. 1.Organic Plant Production and Agroecosystems Research in the Tropics and Subtropics, Institute of Crop ScienceUniversity of KasselWitzenhausenGermany
  2. 2.Agrobiodiversity, Institute of Crop ScienceUniversity of KasselWitzenhausenGermany

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