Kukumakranka ( Gethyllis)
Not many postings to the forum lately. Some thing to stir a bit of interest. Heard of a Kukumakranka?
This plant (Gethyllis afra or G.spiralis or G. namaquensis plus a few other ) is a bulbous plant , which becomes completely deciduous in summer( some dissapear entirely). It then sends out a snake-like stem from the ground which has linear leaves. A month or two later sweet smelling white-mauve flowers appear , followed by fragrant edible fruit , which look like thin lime green- yellow cucumbers. The fruit was used to make Kukumakranka brandy which was also a remedy for colic and indigestion. The fruit was also used to perfume rooms or linen. The plant grows in the the dry semi desert conditions of the Cape interior such as the Richtersveld. The quaint sounding name comes the Koina language , an extinct Khoi tongue. I found this little reference to the plant on the net:
"You can`t be so certain of your seasons nowadays, and there are other unnatural obstacles to dining indigenous, like provincial by-laws, local regulations and the possible displeasure of management. Before we stretch out a hand towards our fellow homeowner`s koekemakranka , therefore, we must first know that it is permitted.Therefore, let us escape all red tape by pretending that we are back in the old days, when shops were few, people few, fences low and friendly farmers still smiled on schoolboys"