First record of Grewia tenax (Forssk.) Fiori in northern Oman, a valuable fruit producing shrub


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Abstract

Grewia tenax (Forssk.) Fiori is a wild fruit species with multiple uses in different parts of the Tropics and Subtropics. It is common on the Arabian Peninsula and has also been recorded in southern Oman. To date, no record of the species exists for the northern part of this country. To close this distributional gap, three sites in the al-Hajar mountains of northern Oman were surveyed in summer 2005 and spring 2006. During the botanical fieldwork, several flowering and fruiting plants were found in Wadi Bani Awf and Wadi Muaydin. In the latter area G. tenax fruits are eaten by local people. In addition to G. tenax, nine woody perennials with edible fruit were recorded. In northern Oman, fruits of Sideroxylon mascatense (A. DC.) Penn. and Ziziphus spina-christi (L.) Desf. are widely collected and sold on local markets. G. tenax shrubs were found to be heavily grazed indicating its high palatability to goats and sheep. The occurrence of G. tenax in the al-Hajar mountains is a new record to the flora of northern Oman and calls for further investigation of botanists and germplasm collectors.

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