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Today on words in pen, we decided to bring you something different from the usual and we know you aren’t expecting this. Today we are bringing something from the world of a Botanist Emmanuel Elisha Barde. On this one he is talking on a plant known as Black Plum. Read below, enjoy and share….
The Black Plum (Vitex doniana)
The Black plum (Hausa: Denya, Gbagyi: Ojii) is an indigenous plant of Nigeria commonly distributed in the wild across the Highlands and lowlands of the vegetation zones. Vitex, occur as shrub or tree with heights 2.5-25 meters.
Leaves are digitate compound with 5 leaflets, flowers corollar appears pinky-white to purple. This plant is important to the wild life and as well as the people. The plums, unripe fruit appears green and turn black when ripe. The ripe fruits are consumed wildlife and human. 

The leaves as seen in many socio-ethnic group of Nigeria especially the northern part is consumed as Vitex salad (Kodon dinya). Kodon dinya is a special delicacy prepared per-boiling the young fresh leaves. This is done so as to remove the high molecular compounds that may be toxic to the body system.  In addition to the boiled leaves; spices, seasonings and grinded groundnut cake (Kulikuli) is served as food. Because of poor seed recruitment and long time to regenerate, the plant population is currently threatened as the wood is logged indiscriminately for fuel wood and other medicinal uses. Efforts to domesticate more of this plant should be a center focus and enhanced experts to avoid local extinction.
  ELISHA EMMANUEL 
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