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Plant Description: A small, herbaceous annual, IS-30 cm high, prostrate or ascending, with a succulent stem and somewhat thickish leaves having an aromatic smell resembling that of mint. Flowers are small, pale violet in colour, produced on an elongated terminal raceme. Small dark-brown tubers are produced in clusters at the base of the stem.
Scientific Name: Solenostemon rotundifolius
Common Name: Fra-fra potato (Gh.); Innala (Sri La.); Kembili (Mal.); Ketang (Indon.); Koorka (Ind.); Madagascar potato (Fr.); Ratala (Sri La.); Saluga (Nig.); Sudan potato, Tumuku (Nig.); Vatke (Eth.).
Distribution/History: The hausa potato is believed to have originated in central or east Africa, but was early spread throughout tropical Africa and into South-East Asia, including India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Indonesia, where it is cultivated on a small scale.
Importance: The tubers can be used as a potato substitute and are usually cooked in a curry and eaten with rice, but they can also be boiled, baked or fried similarly to potato chips. In Africa, the hausa potato is sometimes used in the treatment of dysentery and in the treatment of certain eye disorders.