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Kigelia africana   (Common Name: Sausage Tree)
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Local Names:

Bakaroor (Som)
Edot (Tur)
Kiatine (Kam)
Lmomoi (Sab)
Murabe (Ida)
Murantina (Mer)
Muratina (Kik)
Muriatina (Gir)
Muungunya (Dig)
Mvongonia (Tai)
Mwandine (Dur)
Mwegea (Kisw)
Ol-darpoi (Mas)
Omukabi (Sam)
Ratnuet (Nan)
Ratuinet (Kip)
Rotin (Pok)
Rotinwet (Tug)
Rotio (Mar)
Shelole (Bon)
Taptasigirio (Tav)
Yago (Luo)
Language codes


K. africana is one of Africa's most unmistakable trees due to the shape of its fruits; they look like sausages curing in a meat shop. They are long, rounded-end cylinders, which hang from branches on long, rope-like stems. Kiatine trees are most famous for their part in brewing. The fruits are sliced and placed in fermentation containers as flavoring. The fruit coats were once hollowed out in Siaya and used as digging sticks to plant sorghum. Leaves are a drought fodder for goats and sheep. In many places the sausage tree serves as a shade for ceremonies or leadership meetings, hence, it is seldom cut for wood or fuel. The yellow-white, soft wood, though strong enough for canoes and cattle yokes, is not durable; the firewood burns fast and charcoal is of very low quality. Trees are shallow rooted and are not good for intercropping. It does have many medicinal uses: the bark is chewed for stomach problems or used to treat sores, the Akamba mix the fruit juice with sugar and water to treat typhoid.

current tree

Preferred Climate Type:

igeliais a widespread tree of wetter wooded grasslands, but riverine in drier areas. It grows in lower Meru and Embu Districts, around Lake Victoria and along the coast. Soils are either riverine or sandier soils of wetter areas. (Kwale, Lamu, Lake Victoria, Nairobi, Kakamega. Zone I, 3-4; II, 1-4; III, 1-4; IV, 1-4.)

Seed Information:

This tree, if propagated at all, is raised from wildings. Little is known about the seed, its viability, germination percentages, etc. It is assumed that the seed is oily, judging from the condition of seeds in the herbarium, and viability somewhat short. The source given below states that fresh seed germinates easily and the tree also starts well from large cuttings or truncheons.

Tree Images:
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General Information and photos

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Copyright © 2004 Wayne Teel