Sausage Tree
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Sausage Tree
ntroduced Photo: Tabish
Common name: Sausage Tree, Common Sausage Tree • Hindi: बालम खीरा Balam khira, झाड़ फ़ानूस Jhar fanoos • Kannada: ಆನೆತೊರಡುಕಾಯಿ Aanethoradu Kaayi, ಮರಸೌತೆ Mara Sowthe • Telugu: Enuga thondamu, Kijili, Naagamalle
Botanical name: Kigelia africana    Family: Bignoniaceae (Jacaranda family)
Synonyms: Crescentia pinnata, Kigelia pinnata

The blood-red flowers of the sausage tree bloom at night on long, ropelike stalks that hang down from the limbs of this tropical tree. The fragrant, nectar-rich blossoms are pollinated by bats, insects and sunbirds in their native habitat. The mature fruits dangle from the long stalks like giant sausages. They may be up to two feet long and weigh up to 6.8 kg. The flowers are seen hanging from the tree while they haven't opened. After they open, they fall off quite soon. The fruit, while not palatable for humans, is popular with hippos, baboons, and giraffes. Mainly grown as a curiosity and ornamental, both for its beautiful deep red flowers and its strange fruit.
Medicinal uses: There are also a range of traditional uses for the fruit, varying from topical treatments for skin afflictions, to treatment for intestinal worms. There are some steroid chemicals found in the sausage tree that are currently added to commercially available shampoos and facial creams.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Delhi.

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