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Kigelia africana

Why are the seeds of this species difficult? The seeds present no inherent problems in storage or germination. However, if they have not been properly dried and stored under optimal conditions, storage life and viability will be reduced.

Kigelia africana tree with fruit (Image: T. Ulian, RBG Kew)

Seed Storage

This species has Orthodox seeds - dry to 15-20% eRH and store at -20ºC, or as cool as possible.

Germination Requirements

Extract the seeds from the fruits and dry in the shade for a day before selecting the seeds. Germinate on agar, germination paper or sand at 25ºC.

The seeds of this species do not display dormancy (inferred from available information on germination and of characteristics of seeds in this family).

Seed Morphology

The indehiscent fruit (15-25 x 30-90 cm) looks like a large sausage. The fruits become grey at maturity.

See more images of this species at VIRBOGA (The Virtual Botanic Garden).

Taxonomy

Family: BIGNONIACEAE

Accepted name: Kigelia africana (Lam.) Benth.

Synonyms: Kigelia aethiopum (Fenzl) Dandy; Kigelia aethiopica Decne; Kigelia pinnata (Jacq.) DC.

Common name: sausage tree

References and Links

  • Baskin, C.C. and Baskin J.M. (1998). Seeds: ecology, biogeography, and evolution of dormancy and germination. Academic Press, USA.
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (1994). Genebank Standards. FAO/IPGRI, Rome, Italy.
  • Janick, J. and Paull, R.E. (eds) (2008). The Encyclopedia of Fruit and Nuts. CAB International, UK.
  • Omondi, W. (2004). Desiccation sensitivity of seeds of four tree species of economic importance in Kenya. In M. Sacandé, D. Joker, M. Dulloo and K. Thompsen (eds) Comparative Storage Biology of Tropical Tree Seeds. IPGRI, Rome, Italy.
  • Sanon, M.D., Gaméné, C.S., Sacandé, M. & Neya, O. (2004). Desiccation and storage of Kigelia africana, Lophira lanceolata, Parinari curatellifolia and Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides seeds from Burkina Faso. In M. Sacandé, D. Joker, M. Dulloo and K. Thompsen (eds) Comparative Storage Biology of Tropical Tree Seeds. IPGRI, Rome, Italy.
  • AFPD (African Flowering Plants Database) - Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de la Ville de Genève, Switzerland, and South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, RSA: Kigelia africana.
  • Forest & Landscape Denmark - University of Copenhagen, Denmark: seed leaflet on Kigelia africana.
  • Kew's Plants and Fungi species page 
  • PROTAbase (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) - Wageningen, Netherlands: Kigelia africana.
  • SEPASAL - Search for Kigelia africana 
  • SID (Seed Information Database) - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK: Kigelia africana.
  • Tropicos - Missouri Botanical Garden, USA: Kigelia africana.