Kigelia africana

Kigelia africana

Common Names

Sausage Tree (english)
Worsboom (afrikaans)
Muvevha (venda)
Moporota (tswana)
Modukguhlu (n. sotho)
umVunguta, umFongothi (zulu)

Taxonomy

Family BIGNONIACEAE
Genus Kigelia
Species africana
SA Plant Number 678
Basionym Kigelia africana

Description

Kigelia africana is a fairly hardy, very fast growing, briefly deciduous, medium sized tree. It has a straight stem and a rounded crown. The large compound leaves are clustered at the ends of the branches with lovely coppery coloured new growth. It bears huge, flamboyant dark maroon, velvety, bell-shaped flowers in pendulous sprays from August to September.

The copious nectar attracts hordes of insects, birds and Charaxes butterflies. These are followed by distinctive, huge sausage shaped fruits that can weigh up to 7kg.

These trees are specifically evolved to be pollinated by bats but are sometimes pollinated by birds, so the chances of having this unusual sausage-like fruit in your garden are quite good.

The nectar will attract birds and insects to the garden.

If the stems are wrapped for the first 2 or 3 years the trees harden off and do well in cold areas.

Size 6 to 9m

Wildlife

Butterflies:

Attracts the Charaxes butterfly. Epauletted fruit bats pollinate the flowers

Livestock and Game:
Flowers are eaten by livestock and game, and bushpigs feed on the fruit.
Birds:

Attracts insects & birds

Uses

Timber:

The timber is used for making fruit boxes and shelving, and further north (Chobe and Zambezi) it is used to make dugout canoes from the tree trunks

Specimen tree:

Interesting specimen tree for parks.

Traditional Medicine:

The fruit has anti-bacterial properties and is used to treat ulcers and sores.

Distribution

Limpopo, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu Natal

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