batoko plum


ba·​to·​ko plum
: indian plum

Word History


after Batoko, Batoka (Toka), ethnic group and region in southern Zambia near Victoria Falls

Note: The African associations of the name are clear from the entry on Flacourtia ramontchi in Daniel Oliver, Flora of Tropical Africa, vol. 1 (London: L. Reeve, 1868), pp. 120-21, which notes after the botanical description "This is the 'Batoko Plum' of the Zambesi." However, the listed specimens, collected by John Kirk, a botanist on David Livingstone's Zambezi expedition (1858-64), are from "Zambesi, between Tete and the coast, also on the coast near the mouth," and from the "Luabo river." These locations are many miles distant from the area on the middle Zambezi inhabited by the Batoko, so that the reason for linking Flacourtia indica/ramontchi with this people are not evident. Livingstone discusses a number of kinds of fruit eaten by the Batoko, but uses only vernacular names (see Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa, London, J. Murray, 1857, p. 535). Batoko plum does not seem to appear in the published writing of either Livingstone or John Kirk.

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Cite this Entry

“Batoko plum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

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