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Sausage tree

Kigelia africana

Worsboom (Afr.)

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With its extremely large fruit and showy flowers, the Sausage tree is a very unique and enjoyable addition to any subtropical garden, providing shade and character. It is also known to attract a wide range of birds, animals and insects. This multi-functional tree is not only ornamental and used in the culinary and medicinal applications, but also for its tough wood used for shelving, fruit boxes and dugout canoes, as a bright yellow dye, and also as beauty products and skin ointments prepared from fruit extracts. Do note that you have to position it with care when planting as a falling fruit can severely damage a parked vehicle or someone sitting underneath it.

Planning

Difficulty
Moderate
Fruiting time
Spring

Harvesting

When harvesting the seed, collect the seed head/pod when flowers fade and dry. Allow pods to dry on the tree and break open to collect seeds.

Propagation

Seed
Fresh seed should be sown in river sand in September. Or germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium.
Cuttings
Large cuttings or truncheons are used to propagate.

Special features

Attracts birds
Black, Scarletchested and Whitebellied Sunbirds, Blackheaded Oriole, Sombre and Blackeyed Bulbuls, Masked Weaver, Brownheaded Parrot and Grey Lourie.
Attracts useful insects
Charaxes butterflies, hawk-moths and carpenter bees.

Geography

Origin
Subtropical Africa, and East Coast, from Kenia to Western Cape.

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Medicinal
Traditional remedies prepared from crushed, dried or fresh fruits are used to deal with ulcers, sores and syphilis - the fruit has antibacterial activity.
Edible
Dried and roasted fruits are used to flavour beer and aid fermentation. The seeds are sometimes roasted and eaten in times of food shortage.

Personality

Family
Bignoniaceae
Flower colour
Maroon or dark red.
Scent
Strong

Problems

Pests include red spider mites, whiteflies and mealybugs. Generally disease free.

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