SelecTree: Tree Detail
Photo Locations: Oahu, HI, Balboa Park - San Diego, CA, Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden - UCLA, The Living Desert - Palm Desert, CA and Huntington Botanical Gardens - San Marino, CA
Tropical. Rarely found in California.
The sausage tree is occasionally grown as a specimen tree in larger gardens in Hawai'i and California. Its crinkled, finely pleated trumpet-shaped, maroon flowers hang on a long inflorescence. Sausage-shaped fruits, up to 2 feet in length can weigh up to 15 pounds. Flowers open at night and have an unpleasant odor that attracts the bats that pollinate them. Sausage tree wood is tough and used to make dugout canoes and mortars for pounding food in its native Africa. The green fruit and seeds are poisonous if ingested raw. Kigelia africana has a HPWRA (Hawai'i Pacific Weed Risk Assessment) score of 0 (Low Risk) and the Plant Pono link is: https://plantpono.org/pono-plants/kigelia-africana/
Has Unpleasant Flower and Pollen fragrance.
Native to Tropical Africa.
A Kigelia africana in U.C.L.A. is registered as a California Big Tree. It measures 25 feet high, with a trunk circumference of 69 inches and a crown spread of 36 feet.
Additional Common Names
SAUSAGE TREE, CUCUMBER TREE
Erect or Spreading with a Low Canopy.
Has Evergreen foliage.
Height: 40 - 50 feet.
Width: 15 - 30 feet.
Growth Rate: 24 Inches per Year.
Longevity 50 to 150 years.
Leaves Pinnately Compound, Dark Green, No Change, Evergreen.
Flowers Showy. Unpleasant Flower Fragrance. Maroon or Red. Flowers in Summer. Has perfect flowers (male and female parts in each flower).
Few, Gray-Brown Capsule, Very Large (Over 3.00 inches), fruiting in Winter or Summer.
Bark Gray, Smooth.
Shading Capacity Rated as Moderate in Leaf.
Tree Site Conditions & Constraints
Sunset Zones 16 - 24; H1, H2.
USDA Hardiness Zones 10 - 12.
Exposure Full Sun.
Well Drained Soil.
Clay, Loam or Sand Texture.
Slightly Acidic to Neutral Soil pH.
Health, Safety & Environmental Concerns
Branch Strength Rated as Strong.
Poisonous Health Hazard.
Desirable Wildlife Plant.
Attracts Bees, Butterflies, and Birds.
Special Uses & Values
Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Kigelia africana Tree Record." 1995-2020. Aug 14, 2020.
< https://selectree.calpoly.edu/tree-detail/kigelia-africana >