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Plants: Species

Sausage Tree Kigelia pinnata

FAMILY: BIGNONIACEAE (Trumpet-creeper Family)

Large, scarlet, and trumpet shaped, the flowers of the sausage tree Kigelia pinnata are full of nectar that attracts birds, bees, and even baboons. The tree's fruit gives it its common name, pendulous cylinders up to 2 feet (60 centimeters) long that resemble sausages hanging from a deli ceiling. But despite their tempting name, they are not edible. They may be very useful in other ways, however: in Africa they are sliced and applied to heal skin abrasions, and they have been found to contain the chemical lapachol, which may be effective against skin cancer.