Plants of the Hai||om
The Hai||om know hundred of plants for many uses, for example as bush food, medicine and poison for their arrows.
||Gâis (Colophospermum mopane, mopane) is the tree species constituting the dominant form of vegetation in many parts of Etosha - A multi-use tree for the Hai||om.
||Naraka||nais is a many-stemmed shrub which can grow up to 1.5 metres high. Its distinctive four-globed, orange-yellow berries are a delicious bush food.
The ||nuus is a perennial plant with grass-like leaves; it reaches a height of about 20 to 30 cm. It develops small, roundish tubers (||nuun) which resemble small potatoes
!Hanni is an important staple that is found throughout the Etosha area. The plant has erect, shiny green leaves.
The Hai||om used the root of !Khores (Adenium boehmianum) for making poison for their arrows
The ‡âus occurs as a shrub or small tree, and is widely distributed throughout Etosha. The berries (‡âun) are much-liked by the Hai||om for their sweet taste
‡Gubun is widely distributed. The twining plants have large white tuberous roots that are roasted and eaten throughout the year.
The ‡habab is a large, white, fleshy tuber that was profoundly important to the Hai||om, as it was an important source of water
The ‡huis is a medium-sized tree which occurs singly throughout Etosha. When ripe the fruits are a rich source of vitamin C.
The ‡iiros, a spiny shrub, is not very common in Etosha. The orange fruit are about 25 mm in diameter and sour-sweet tasting.
Gunub (Hydnora abyssinica) might easily be mistaken for a fungus, but is in fact an unusual, leafless parasitic plant - a very popular bush food.
Naun are very large and very tasty grey-white mushrooms, with caps of up to 30 cm in diameter not being unusual, growing on termite hills.