Sausage Tree

Kigelia africana

Worsboom (Afr.), Muvevha, Modukguhlu

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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. This is a common feature plant. ZA Distribution: Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga.
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Planning

Difficulty

Moderate

Flowering time

Summer, Spring

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.

Special features

Origin

Subtropical Africa, and East Coast, from Kenya to Western Cape.

Environment

Light

Full Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Loam, Sand, Clay

Soil PH preference

Neutral, Acid, Alkaline

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

Red

Scent

Strong

Problems

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

Credits

profile iconKigelia africana
by Pitta Joffe, Pretoria National Botanical Garden, August 2003 (Copyright South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa)
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Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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