Sausage Tree, African (Kigelia africana), packet of 5 seeds
Family: Bignonia (Bignoniaceae)
Hardy to Zones 9 to 12, otherwise grown as a naturally bonsai’d potted plant and protected from frost.
(African Sausage Tree, Umfongothi, Kigelia africana syn. Kigelia pinnata) Tropical tree to 60 feet tall, native to South and East Africa. The tree has a thick trunk with grey bark, and a beautifully rounded profile. It bears deep red flowers which give way to enormous, pendulous fruits attaining a length of up to 3 feet. In the earlier stages of their growth, the shape is decidedly phallic, but they eventually come to resemble sausages hanging from the rafters of a Bavarian butchery. Traditional usage (African herbalism): dressing for skin infections, rheumatism. Source of naphthoquinone molecule Lapachol. The seeds, which are found embedded in the fibrous pulp of the fruit, are used in Africa as a famine food. This is a tropical plant, slow-growing, handsome of trunk, very comely and easy to care for, indoors or greenhouse. Makes a charming, glossy-leaved container plant. Scarify seeds by rubbing on medium sandpaper until the seed coat is rubbed through, soak overnight in warm water, then sow 1 inch deep in fast-draining soil and keep warm until germination. Water only when surface becomes dry. Keep in deep pots, or if growing outdoors, space trees at least 30 feet apart.
5 seeds per packet, Open Pollinated, Untreated, NO GMO’s
Admin Richo Cech –
When living in East Africa, we consumed (with slight trepidation) a beverage called “uki” made from Sausage Tree fruit and local honey. It was actually quite good, slightly effervescent, and with the usual smoky flavor of many African foods and beverages.
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Justus Ndumia –
The Fruit is called in Kikuyu Language Muratina, The tree called in Kikuyu Kiratina.
The fruit (Muratina) after a drying process (well prepared by professional Muratina brewers), is used to ferment Kenyan Kikuyu tradition brew called Muratina. Muratina is a mixture of Sugarcane juice extract, honey and sugar. Muratina brew is served especially during Kikuyu ceremonies like weddings, Dowry payments etc.
Richo Cech –
Hi Justus, Thank you for letting us know about these traditional uses. It is extremely helpful to get the inside story. Na tena nimefurahi kukuona isipokuwa hatuwezi kufanya biashara na watu wa kenya sebabu ya taabu katika forodha. Richo