- Hydnora abyssinica -
Food for people and animals: Gunub (Hydnora abyssinica) might easily be mistaken for a fungus, but is in fact an unusual, leafless parasitic plant that grows on the roots of plants of the Acacia genus. It is only found at specific locations in the Etosha Pan area, and only becomes visible when the flowers appear above ground. Hai||om went in search of this popular bush food from June to August. The sweet-tasting, fleshy fruit contain numerous small pips embedded in the pulpy flesh, and are eaten raw. Its Afrikaans names, jakkalskos (jackal food) or bobbejaankos (baboon food), give an indication of the breadth of gunub’s appeal – indeed, many animals, including elephants, are known to seek out gunub for its characteristic sweet taste.