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Kigelia Pinnata (Sausage Tree) is one of the most curious and unusual trees because of its large sausage-like fruits. Native to tropical Africa, it is the only species of Kigelia.
With a spreading evergreen or deciduous tree growing to 30 feet or more and forming a dense rounded crown; it has thick gray smooth bark at first, peeling as the tree ages. The large pinnate leaves are opposite or in groups of 3, up to 15 inches long, each consisting of 6-10 leaflets. Flowers develop on long cord-like stalks several feet in length and are borne in bunches of bell blooms, orange to red or purplish-green in color and up to 4 inches wide. As they are night-blooming, they are perfect for bat pollination, but flowers remain open during the day and attract insects.
Furthermore, the fruit is elongated woody pod. The pod is 1 to 3 feet long and weighing 10 to 20 pounds! It contains a fibrous pulp and numerous seeds, which are for propagation. Fruits are food for large mammals and birds, and are part of African herbal medicine. The timber has a variety of uses. In cultivation it prefers peat or loam soils.
For ornamental use, Kigelia Pinnata (Sausage Tree) is an exotic element of any garden for its showy flowers and odd fruits, as a curiosity specimen and in xerophytic collections; however, it should only be grown in locations where fruit falls will not cause injury or damage.