Kigelia Pinnata or Sausage tree, also known as Kigelia Africana, or Cucumber Tree, is found near riverbanks throughout most of South and South-East Africa. From the family Bignoniaceae, it is cultivated for its unusual flowers and large, woody, sausage-like seed pods. If you are looking for an extra special tree, this fine tropical evergreen tree with amazing fragrant red flowers and strange long sausage shaped fruits that can reach 2 ft (0.6m) in length and weigh up to 15 pounds (7 Kg), suspended on long stems, is quite unusual. A wonderful houseplant specimen, that you can grow in tubs or in the ground and can reach up to 50 feet (15.24m) high, makes it a good choice for shade.
This is exciting, but there is more. The Kigelia blooms from August to November. At night, the trumpet-shaped Candelabra flowers growing on 3-6 foot (0.91-1.83m) long loose pendant panicles opens, showing a deep red inflorescence that is both fragrant and beautiful. The positioning of the nocturnal blossoms below the dense branches and foliage makes them ideally suited for visits by night-flying bats and insects. In their native habitat bats, insects, and sunbirds searching for nectar pollinate the blossoms.
Unfortunately, even such a "delicious" name does not make this long woody pale brown pod fruit edible. Seeds however, can be eaten but only if roasted. Raw seeds are poisonous. The trunk has light brown, sometimes flaky, bark and supports a dense rounded to spreading crown of leathery, slightly glossy foliage. The leaves are 20" long, leathery, deep to mid-green and pinnate borne in opposite pairs.
10 ? 11 (1c/35f, 4c/40f) for standard growing outdoors otherwise grow as a beautiful greenhouse or house plant. Kigelia Pinnata grows in a standard potting mix. Water them moderately and feed once a month. Keep the plant humid if in dry conditions by occasional misting. It requires a fertile, well-drained soil, and full sun. This plant is marginally subtropical and can stand some frost and temperatures down to 28F.