8 Common African fruit names you probably don’t know

Ever heard of black velvet tamarind? No? okay, what about monkey kola? Still no?

Well,if you’re an African who grew up in Africa; I mean really grew up in Africa, then chances are you know these fruits but don’t recognize them by their names.
Don’t feel too bad, I personally never knew their names until a couple of months back and so here I am to share with you:


1- Black velvet tamarind: This is a very popular West African.
fruit. In Nigeria, it is known as Icheku (Igbo), Awin (Yoruba) and Tsamiyar kurm (Hausa) and few-if any- Nigerian kids grow up without sampling the tamarind

2- Jack fruit: Well, this fruit may not be as popular as the tamarind but it is definitely not a stranger. I’m sure pictures of it would clear your confusion. My first encounter with the fruit wasn’t really pretty-got put off by the smell,which is strong and horrid as far as I am concerned,but then one man’s disgust is another man’s jack fruit….and all those around me called it sycamore,well now they know better

3-Rose apple: Local apple-sounds familiar right? Well,I also spent major part of my life calling it local apple too (with gratitude to my school teachers)


June Plums – has prickly seed

4-June plum: I simply didn’t know and still don’t know any local name for this fruit,I simply called it the fruit with a nasty seed (if you’ve ever eaten one you’ll understand. The June plum is a tart popular African fruit

5-Monkey kola: Also didn’t know its local name, just knew it as the wrinkly fruit/nut, well the monkey kola is a very popular and chewy African nut (yeah,its a nut) with a taste that reminds one of more than one fruit

6-Sweet sop/ Sugar apple: encountered this fruit in southern Nigeria and all who I asked didn’t know its name or its taste (its not eaten in that locality and don’t ask me why). I still look forward to eating it


7- Costus afer: This isn’t exactly a fruit,but then which African hasn’t heard of monkey sugar cane? Yup,they’re one and the same. Costus is a leafy herb with a juicy stem-it is reputed to have medicinal attributes


8-African Star apple: A juicy,African fruit which is beautiful to look at and has adorned many an African’s plate
So,there you have it. I know there are other african fruits with less known names which aren’t included here. Feel free to mention any you know and let’s share our knowledge and tastes

Source:City major

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