We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Kigelia?

Niki Acker
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
All Things Nature is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All Things Nature, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Kigelia is a genus with only one species, Kigelia africana, a flowering tree that grows in tropical Africa. It is commonly called sausage tree because of its long, woody fruit. The fruit is poisonous when raw, but is prepared through roasting, drying, or fermentation for use in cuisine and traditional medicine. Kigelia africana is also grown as an ornamental plant, especially in tropical areas of the world, for its interesting flowers and fruit.

This species can reach 66 feet (20 meters) in height. It is evergreen in areas with abundant rainfall year round, but deciduous, losing its leaves seasonally, in areas with a dry season. The grey bark of the sausage tree is smooth when young, but flaky on an older tree. The wood is light brown to yellow and resistant to cracking.

The tree features waxy, dark green leaves, and bell-shaped, fragrant flowers that range from dark red to reddish orange to purplish green in color. The flowers are velvety on the inside and produce abundant nectar and pollen. The tree is pollinated by birds and bats.

The flowers of Kigelia africana mature into the long, brown berries responsible for its common name of sausage tree. The fruits can weigh as much as 20 pounds (9 kg). Though poisonous to humans, the berries are eaten by mammals and birds, including elephants, giraffes, hippopotami, monkeys, cockatoos, and parrots, who disperse the seeds in their dung. Some animals also eat the leaves.

Humans have developed many uses for Kigelia africana. In African folk medicine, the berries are used to treat rheumatism, snakebites, syphilis, and ulcers, as well as to ward off evil spirits and tornadoes. The fruit is also used in beauty products and fermented to make an alcoholic beverage. The timber of Kigelia africana is used to make furniture, fruit boxes, and traditional Botswanan canoes called makoros. The seeds can be roasted and eaten, and the roots can be used to make a yellow dye.

Kigelia africana is cultivated well outside its natural range, in places such as Australia, India, Hawaii, and California. It is vulnerable to frost, and requires lots of sunlight and compost. The tree should be watered moderately. It is easy to propagate from seed and grows quickly. The large, fibrous fruit can cause damage when it falls from the tree, and the roots can be invasive, so consideration should be given to the place where a sausage tree is planted.

All Things Nature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Niki Acker
By Niki Acker
"In addition to her role as a All Things Nature editor, Niki Foster is passionate about educating herself on a wide range of interesting and unusual topics to gather ideas for her own articles. A graduate of UCLA with a double major in Linguistics and Anthropology, Niki's diverse academic background and curiosity make her well-suited to create engaging content for WiseGeekreaders. "
Discussion Comments
Niki Acker
Niki Acker
"In addition to her role as a All Things Nature editor, Niki Foster is passionate about educating herself on a wide...
Learn more
All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.