Saturday, January 25, 2014

Kigelia africana: The Sausage Tree

Too bad they're not real sausages
New fruit growing on the top of the flower stem
This tree was just too cool. We had hauled out in Jolly Harbour, Antigua, for an unexpected repair, and while Chris worked, I was out roaming the area around the boatyard. I came upon these trees hung with what looked like large sausages, except they were REALLY heavy. I grabbed one on the ground to take back so I could look it up, and had locals stopping me to ask what it was. One guy actually said “No one in Antigua can tell you what they are,” and practically dared me to figure it out. So, back on the boat, I Googled “sausage tree” because that was what it looked like, and what did I find? It’s a sausage tree, scientific name Kigelia africana. Though eaten by elephants, hippos, and other species in its native Africa, the raw fruit is poisonous to humans, though apparently benign when cooked. The fruit, roots, and leaves have purported medicinal uses. Slices of raw fruit, when applied to certain body parts, allegedly lead to increased growth. I’ll leave it to you to figure out which body parts are most widely fruited by young men and women.


No comments:

Post a Comment