Grewia villosa is a shrub, often scrambling and hardly exceeding 4 m in height. Leaves are fairly large, serrated and heart-shaped. It grows naturally, mainly in dry habitats. It is common in most of the semi-arid parts of Eastern Africa but may now be rare in parts of its natural distribution. Seen in Ein Gedi oasis in Israel, common in South Africa. Its ripe copper-coloured fruits are eaten in East Africa.
The fruit of the Grewia villosa were eaten both while immature and green and also once they had ripened and hardened to a dark, reddish-brown. The bark was stripped off and crushed in water or chewed to a pulp which was used to wash the body as well as to clean the hair and disinfect the scalp 
- G. Miller, Anthony; Morris, Miranda (1988). Plants of Dhofar. Oman: The Sultanate of Oman. p. 284. ISBN 071570808-2.
- Maundu, P. M. ; Ngugi, G. W. ; Kabuye, C. H. S., 1999. Traditional food plants of Kenya. Kenya Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge, National Museums of Kenya, 270 pages
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