Kigelia Pinnata is a flowering plant native to Africa. The tree is evergreen in certain areas of plentiful rainfall while in most areas it is deciduous.
Once established the tree requires little care and can easily grow from 50 to 150 years. They can even grow in containers given that you provide an adequate sized pot to facilitate root formation.
The plant can be grown in full sun or partial shade. Best results are observed in a spot where the plant will receive about 10-12 hours of direct sun. The plant prefers bright light and abundant sun. While growing indoors, place them near a sun-facing window.
Leaves of the plant are thick and roughly hairy on both the surfaces. They are yellowish green above and paler green below. They are rigid with a leathery texture. The plant has orange or dark red, scented flowers that usually bloom at night. It has rope-like stalks that hang down from the branches. Mature fruits dangle from these stalks like sausages and hence the commonly used name. The fruit can weigh up to 10kgs. It is fibrous and pulpy with many seeds but it is toxic to humans for direct consumption.
Water the plant when the top two inches of the soil is dry. Make sure the soil is evenly moist. Be cautious never to overwater the plant. Soggy soil can lead to root rot and other fungal diseases in the plant and ultimately kill it. While growing in a container, make sure it has proper drainage holes.
The soil should be light and well-drained. The pH of the soil should be slightly acidic to neutral.
It can reach a size of about 20m in its native habitat. When grown in a container it'll be considerably smaller. You can control its size by pruning.
The plant might require fertilizers for better growth. Fertilize them once or twice during the growing season. You can use a general purpose fertilizer or a slow time release fertilizer. Make sure to water the plant before fertilizing to prevent fertilizer burn.
Sometimes the plant can suffer from rust disease.
The tree is grown for ornamental purposes for its glossy dark green foliage, beautiful flowers and fruits. The rind of the fruit is used in the fermentation of various brews. An ointment made from the fruit is used to treat skin conditions. The flowers are attractive to bees.