The sausage tree owes its popular name to its fruits, which look like liver sausages. They can grow up to 50 centimeters long. Kigelia africana is native to most African countries (distribution map). The epithet “africana” in the botanical name indicates that the species is not hardy in Central Europe.
How to grow
Kigelia africana can be grown from seed all year round. Before sowing, the seeds, which are about one centimeter long, must be soaked for at least 24 hours, preferably 48 hours.
Soaking and sowing should be done in a warm place, at temperatures between 75 an 86 °F (24 and 30 °C).
It is not necessary to use a special seed soil, mixtures for herbs or vegetables are also suitable. I used a coconut growing soil here, but only because I wanted to test it.
The substrate can be wet until the seeds germinate, then just keep it evenly moist.
To prevent the soil and seeds from drying out, the seed pot can be placed in a greenhouse or covered with a freezer bag.
Germination takes from one to several weeks, depending on the temperature.
The perfect location for growing young sausage trees is bright to sunny. As they grow larger, they can tolerate more sun.
The sausage tree is the only species in the genus Kigelia. Which belongs to the Bignoniaceae family. The best known plant in this family is probably the cigar tree (Catalpa bignonioides), a native of North America.