And where do you get your sausage?

Out & About San Diego

If you be nice, I can get you some sausage from the sausage tree (Kigelia africana):

Sausage tree

I don’t know about where you live, but I have never seen sausage that looks like that, not to mention growing on a tree. Sausage here in San Diego is rather slender and is found in the meat section at the grocery store. To me, those look like Russet potatoes from Idaho.

Sausage tree

The Kigelia genus contains only one species, and you’re looking at pictures of it. Sausage trees are native to tropical Africa. I have seen two of these trees in San Diego, one on the campus of San Diego State University (which is rapidly turning into a world-class arboretum) and one at the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park.

Sausage trees can be both evergreen or deciduous, depending on the amount of rainfall. The fruit is a wood berry (looks like a potato to me) and can be up to 3.3 feet long and 7 inches wide. Inside the fruit are hundreds of seeds. Hanging down on long, rope-like peduncles, the fruits can weigh up to 22 pounds, so don’t park your car under it and walk around it if you see one because the fruits do fall to the ground.

Sausage tree

In the realm of herbal medicine, the fruit is supposedly a cure for a rheumatism, evil spirits, syphilis, constipation (it’s a strong laxative) and, get this, tornadoes. The raw fruit is poisonous, but when dried, roasted, or fermented, it can be made into beer, sink care products, or eaten.

The sausage tree is related to jacarandas and catalpas, among others, and the flowers are extremely beautiful, large, and kind of waxy.

Sausage tree flower

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat


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