SAUSAGE TREE* - _Kigelia africana

Magriet Meintjes

TOLWE, South Africa

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Captured Location: Groenland Safari’s, Tolwe, Limpopo Province, SOUTH AFRICA

Nikon D50
Lens: VR 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 G
Focal Length: 40mm
Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority
Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern
1/60 sec – F/5.3
Exposure Comp.: -0.3 EV
Sensitivity: ISO 200

SAUSAGE TREEKigelia africana (Kigelia; after a native name for this species) WORSBOOM (afrikaans)

Large deciduous to semi-deciduous tree to 15m; on flood plains along watercourses in the bushveld, or occasionally in rocky hilly areas.
Main stem: short and stout, to 0.8 diam.; bark grey to grey-brown, smooth or irregularly flaking in very large trees.
Leaves: pinnately compound, with 2-5 pairs of leaflets and one terminal leaflet; entire leaf +/- 250mm long, leaflets oblong to obovate (65-150 × 30-70mm); base asymmetric; margin entire, sometimes wavy, young leaves finely toothed; dull or glossy fresh to dark green above, pale green below; leathery and hard, roughly textured, hairless; petiole to 150mm long.
Flowers: bell-shaped with crumpled petals, large, to 140mm wide at mouth, showy, dark maroon inside, reddish-brown with yellow to green streaks on outside; borne in large, hanging, branched clusters of three, from axils of leaves; foul-smelling (July-Oct)
Fruit: a very distinctive long, thick, to 500×100mm, woody pod with fibrous pulp, resembling a large sausage, pale grey, grainy surface texture; weighs to 7kg (Nov-Aug).
Distribution: northern KwaZulu-Natal, Mozambique,Swaziland, and north-eastern South Africa through Zimbabwe, northern Botswana and the Caprivi Strip to tropical Africa.
General: Fruit inedible to humans and reputedly poisonous, but eaten by baboons, monkeys and bushpigs.
Seeds reported to be edible after roasting.
Leaves browsed by game.
Flowers eaten by antelope, baboons and monkeys.
Flowers apparently pollinated by bats.
Fruit used medicinally for a wide variety of complaints,especially sores, ulcers and skin cancer.

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