Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Sausage Tree Ripe for Garden; Unusual Cluster of Flowers and Hanging Fruit Prove to Be One of Nature's Wonders

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Sausage Tree Ripe for Garden; Unusual Cluster of Flowers and Hanging Fruit Prove to Be One of Nature's Wonders

Article excerpt

GARDENING

NEIL FISHER

IF YOU have driven along Wandal Rd recently you may have noticed a tree that could be described as one of nature's wonders.

The tree is Kigelia pinnata or the sausage tree. This part of the street has an attractive street planting of these trees, which are fruiting at the moment.

The sausage tree would be one of the most underutilised canopy shade trees in Central Queensland. A native of Central and Southern Africa grows into one of the more attractive canopy trees, with an expected height in ideal conditions of up to 17 metres, with a straight trunk and a large spreading crown of foliage.

After rain, you can expect one of the most unusual flowers of any of the world's trees. The flowers appear like hanging clusters of orchid flowers, sometimes 60cm in length. Each individual flower is approximately 10cm across and dark maroon in colour with a velvety texture.

Unfortunately, they do not have the sweetest of perfume, but they will still attract a lot of birds to the tree. After flowering, large sausage-shaped woody fruit develop and these hanging from long flower stems can give the tree an odd appearance at this time. The unripe fruit are poisonous, but it has been said that in Africa it has been used as a treatment for rheumatism and as a dressing for tropical ulcers. It has also been reported that roasted and ground ripe fruit has been used to make a crude beer, although I would not recommend this to any potential home brewers.

One other interesting fact about this tree is that, due to its fibrous bark, it is a very good host plant for orchids and other epiphytes. In some countries, it has been grown solely for this purpose.

ATTRACTING BIRDS

There are literally hundreds of plants available to the home gardener these days, and some of the most satisfying and enjoyable additions to your garden are those that will attract large numbers of birds. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.