It may have a mouth-watering name, but don’t eat from the sausage tree (the popular name for the kigelia) unless you know what you’re doing!
Tall, with smooth grey bark and beautiful, bell-shaped flowers, the kigelia tree is often cultivated ornamentally, but Tanzanian tribes have long been putting the tree’s eponymous sausage-shaped fruits—as well as its leaves and bark—to all sorts of uses for generations.
Some of the myriad health problems treated with extracts from various parts of the tree include malaria, headaches, syphilis and other venereal diseases, rheumatism, inflamed spleen, ulcers, and gastro-intestinal issues (just to name a few). The fruit is known to have anti-microbial properties, and is thought to help with skin problems like eczema and psoriasis.
Dense and fibrous, the fruits can grow to over three feet in length, weighing upwards of 22 pounds. That’s a serious enough missile that even safari vehicles can take serious damage from the falling fruits.
Photo captured February 25, 2018 at the Lincoln Park Conservatory.
Happy Silly Tuesday!
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