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Kigelia Africana (Mvunguti)

Known locally as Mvunguti. It is known in English as Sausage Tree.


From the Useful Tropical Plants Database

The nectar of its scented flowers attracts bees, insects and various bird species can be found in Sausage Trees: Black, Scarletchested and Whitebellied Sunbirds, Blackheaded Oriole, Sombre and Blackeyed Bulbuls, Masked Weaver, Brownheaded Parrot and Grey Lourie (which eats flowerbuds). It provides fodder for monkeys, duiker and impala. Kudu and Elephants occasionally browser the leaves and baboons, monkeys, bushpigs and porcupines eat the fruit. Epauletted fruit bats are thought to pollinate the flowers and Charaxes butterflies also visit the tree.

Roasted fruits are used to flavour beer and aid fermentation. The tough wood is used for shelving and fruit boxes, and dugout canoes are made from the tree in Botswana and Zimbabwe. Roots are said to yield a bright yellow dye. Traditional remedies prepared from crushed, dried or fresh fruits are used to deal with ulcers, sores and syphilis – the fruit has antibacterial activity. Today, beauty products and skin ointments are prepared from fruit extracts. In times of scarcity, seeds are roasted and eaten.


Pertinent features

  • indigenous
  • used medicinally
  • timber is tough and used for dugout canoes
  • grown in nursery
  • medium growth rate