Forest EcologyGeneral SilviculturePlant Taxonomy

Kigelia pinnata L.

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Kigelia pinnata L. Family


Kigelia pinnata L. English Name

Sausage tree

Kigelia pinnata L. Local Name

Gule -e- fanoos

Kigelia pinnata L.

Kigelia pinnata L. Description

This species is to up 25m tall with usually broad and rounded crown. Leaves are opposite and are in whorls of 3. The bark is smooth and grey in the start, peeling on mature trees. It can be as thick as 6mm on a branch of 15cm diameter branch. The wood is pale brownish or yellow, not prone to cracking and is undifferentiated. Fruit is sausage shaped and cylindrical, and up to 1m long and 18cm in diameter. The fruit can weigh up to several kilograms and look like large sausages.

Kigelia pinnata L.

Kigelia pinnata L. Distribution

This plant is native to and widely distributed throughout continental sub-Saharan Africa. It has been introduced to several African islands (Madeira, Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Réunion, Mauritius), the United States (California, Florida and Hawaii), the Caribbean islands, Central and South America (Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, French Guiana, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil), Western Asia (Israel, Iraq), South and Southeast Asia (Pakistan, India, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Philippines), Australia and some Pacific Islands (New Caledonia, Guam and the Marquesas Islands). They can be found in rainforests, gallery forests, xerophytic forests, woodlands, and savannahs, usually on sandy argillaceous soils, at altitudes between 0-2000m.

Kigelia pinnata L.

Kigelia pinnata L. Uses

The fruit is poisonous, but it can be processed for consumption by drying, roasting or fermentation. It can also be used in a number of skin care products.  The tree is widely grown as an ornamental tree in tropical.

(Dhungana et al., 2016)

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