Catha edulis (Bekele-Tesemma, 2007)

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Casuarina equisetifolia
Bekele-Tesemma, Useful trees and shrubs for Ethiopia, 2007
Catha edulis (Bekele-Tesemma, 2007)
Ceiba pentandra

Catha edulis Celastraceae Indigenous

Common names

  • Afargna: Kat
  • Amargna: Chat
  • Guragigna: Chat
  • Kembatgna: Chata
  • Oromugna: Chati, Jima
  • Tigrigna: Chat
  • Wolaytgna: Chatya


World, Africa. Grows in semi‑humid lowland and lower highland forests, particularly in Dry, Moist and Wet Kolla and Weyna Dega agroclimatic zones of Tigray, Welo, Wolega, Shoa, Harerge and Sidamo regions, 1,400–2,200 m.


Firewood, medicine (leaves, roots, bark), stimulant drug (shoots, stalked leaves). It is a cash crop in Ethiopia.


A much-branched shrub or tree, usually kept to 2–7 m but reaching 25 m in forests. Trees look like eucalyptus with rounded clusters of bending branchlets bearing the leaves.

  • BARK: Smooth grey-white, later rough and dark brown.
  • LEAVES: Opposite oval to 11 cm, long leathery grey-green above, paler below with clear veins, edge regularly toothed; leaf stalks reddish about 1 cm allowing leaves to twist in the wind.
  • FLOWERS: Very small, pale yellow in bunched clusters beside the leaves.
  • FRUIT: Red-brown capsules, 1 cm long, 3-sided, containing small winged seeds.


Usually propagated by root cuttings or suckers but seedlings can be raised too.


  • Treatment: Not necessary.
  • Storage: Can be stored.


Pollarding, trimming as a result of harvest.


An important cash crop for small-scale farmers. It is particularly important in Harerge and southern Shoa but is also commonly used in Wolega, Sidamo, western Tigray and Welo. The leaves are chewed as a mild stimulant. Its trade and use is banned in many countries, but is a cash crop in Ethiopia.