Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Sausage Tree
Kigelia africana

Family: Bignoniaceae (big-no-nih-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Kigelia (ky-GEL-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: africana (af-ri-KAHN-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Bignonia africana
Synonym:Kigelia abyssinica
Synonym:Kigelia pinnata
Synonym:Tanaecium pinnatum

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

8 members have or want this plant for trade.


over 40 ft. (12 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Seed is poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Maroon (Purple-Brown)

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 37 photos.
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7 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive pbmbfl On Feb 1, 2014, pbmbfl from Palm Bay, FL wrote:

Their is one of these on Palm Bay road near US1 where an old trailer park used to sit, it fruits and flowers every year, Does anyone know how they do from cuttings?

Positive FlaFlower On Sep 11, 2013, FlaFlower from Miami Dade, FL (Zone 11) wrote:

Great tree the butterflies adore this tree & lay there eggs on it so it's a host tree!! ADDED BONUS..who knew?? Yes it looks a bit scraggy for a bit but the tree recovers fully like any other host plant. I got mine from Flaflowerfloozie.
Not exactly an easy tree to find either. I love, love, LOVE, this tree, it does so super in a pot. Can't wait to see flowers!
I also live in Zone 9a it goes down to 20 degrees without any issues so the description of zone 10 -11 isn't really right. It will do fully well in colder areas, I don't bring mine in and 2 years in row did beautifully

Positive eliasastro On May 1, 2012, eliasastro from Athens
Greece (Zone 10a) wrote:

I sowed one old seed from a friend. I scarified it and it germinated within few weeks. Without scarification germination can be very slow. The seedling tolerated some cool highs, even light frosts last winter without problem. Seems to be hardy in the S. Mediterranean.

Positive AERDAVID On Mar 25, 2012, AERDAVID from Palm City, FL wrote:

The Kigelia Tree, (sausage tree) is a very fast growing shade tree for south Florida. My Wife and I picked up seedlings at the Edison House, its supposed origin to the states about 8 years ago and one of the trees is over 30' now on its 7th year in the ground. Today, March,25th it is showing its first blooms ever. I plan on taking my own seedlings to north central Florida. In our experience a healthy start in a container may help the plant in it new more northern climate. I will post my results. Thank you.

Positive angel_tree_baby On Jul 8, 2010, angel_tree_baby from Chickenville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I have 4 of these 1 yr old seedlings in small pots. I am in NE FL. I kept them in the greenhouse this past winter but was only keeping it in the 40's at night. We dropped into the teens a few nights during the 'freeze of 2010' I had my heat go out one night and many of my tropicals in the gh died.
I had these little seedlings near a wall and they lost every leaf and I thought they were goners. In the spring they all grew back and are doing great. Being seedlings and in pots and enduring the teens or close to it..they are pretty hardy little things. I am going to experiment planting them in the ground when they are a little older.

Neutral smiln32 On Aug 26, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Kigelia Pinnata, popularly called the sausage tree, is a spreading tree bearing long, pendulous racemes of mottled dark flowers which appear like a candelebra. Its fruits are long and woody, sausage like in appearance with long cord-like stalks.

Lofty wide-spreading tree up to 15 m high, often cultivated as an ornament for its cylindrical fruits, which weigh up to 6 kg. The fruits, very similar to large sausages, are eaten by baboons in the wild.

Positive desertboot On Aug 18, 2004, desertboot from Bangalore
India (Zone 10a) wrote:

K.africana also grows in South India, mostly in dry decidious forests and in cities as shade-trees alongside roads; very rarely in private gardens. Fascinating tree: the flowers, though dramatic, can knock one down with their overpowering stink of rotting meat! Evidently pollinated by flies, bats and some birds.

Positive Monocromatico On Nov 15, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

Kigelia africana is an African species (obviously), from the savanna, where many animals take advantage of the dense shade, large flowers (for nectar) and fruits. Baboons are said to be frequently seen eating the long fruits.

The dark floiage, the purple, bell shaped flowers and the long, sausage-shaped fruits make an interesting combination. Theres an specimen growing in the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden, under totaly different climatic conditions from the original habitat of this species, so I can guess its tolerant to humidity and moisture. I believe it needs high temperatures to grow, though.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Phoenix, Arizona
Encinitas, California
Escondido, California
Fallbrook, California
Mission Viejo, California
San Marcos, California
Vista, California
Big Pine Key, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida (2 reports)
Fort Pierce, Florida
Goodland, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Jupiter, Florida (2 reports)
Mulberry, Florida
Naples, Florida
Palm Bay, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Tampa, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida (2 reports)
Hawaiian Paradise Park, Hawaii
Honomu, Hawaii
Brownsville, Texas
Los Fresnos, Texas
Mont Belvieu, Texas

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