Sunday, September 21, 2014

Kigelia - sausage tree

Kigelia -
Its name in Afrikaans Worsboom also means Sausage Tree, and its Arabic name means "the father ... The bark is grey and smooth at first, peeling on older trees.

At the car park of my brothers Charles and Joseph's law firm at Elliot Street on the Gold Coast, a tree attracted my eye. I am telling you the address in case you want to harvest the pods as you will read below that it can be very handy especially if the cost of beer goes up.

My sister in law Audrey said I was very observient when I notice the tree. I replied it was all due to the blogging and always looking for things interesting to blog about.

Joseph did not know the name of the tree but he said," I can tell you this. The pod is so tough that even when you run over it by your car, it will not break."

I tried looking at the images of Australian trees but to not avail. Eventually I systematically read the web and came to this website: which I duly signed up and sent off my photos. This is a great site, as the moment I did, the adminstrator came back with the answer.

I found some information you may like to know, and may be you might like to plant the tree.

Human uses - The fruit is poisonous and inedible when green, but is used to brew beer when ripe. The seeds are fried and eaten. The wood is used for making canoes.

Gardening - This is an attractive ornamental shade tree, suitable for larger gardens. It is very susceptible to frost, and is not drought-resistant. The tree can be grown from seed, and is fast-growing.

Flowers -Big, red to dark maroon flowers with heavy yellow veining on the outside, up to 150 mm across the mouth, unpleasant scent; growing in groups of 3, up to 12, appear before the leaves in early spring, from July to October.

Fruit - unique, huge, solid sausage-like fruit, giving the tree its common english name. Greyish-brown in colour, heavily lenticel-dotted, indehiscent, heavy, weighing up to 10 kg, containing a fibrous pulp in which many seed are embedded. Ripe fruits fall from May through to April the following year. (500 x 100 mm) (1 m x 180 mm???)

Interesting Facts:

The flowers and fruit of the Sausage Tree is always an eye-catcher and conversation piece. The fruit is toxic but is used in traditional medicine to treat skin disorders, ulcers and sores. The bark and roots are also used in traditional medicine. Some modern skin ointments are prepared from fruit extracts. Research has shown that the fruit has got antibacterial properties. In Africa, women smear this fruit on their skin to remove blemishes.

**Note** Did you read the part about brewing beer? LOL

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