Do sausages grow on trees? The Sausage Trees at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates have some growing now.
The sausages growing on our trees really aren’t sausages after all. They are actually just the fruit or seed pod formed by the Kigelia Africana, commonly known as the Sausage Tree.
Sausage Tree painting by Megan Kissinger - available in the Museum Store
The brownish colored woody fruit is very fibrous and inedible, however, in the tree’s native habitat the fruit is often eaten by animals such as: Baboons, Giraffes, Elephants, Monkeys and Hippopotami. The mature fruits can reach a length of two feet long and weigh nearly fifteen pounds.
Before the tree bears the sausage-like fruit, the tree blossoms with hundreds of large, four to five inch maroon trumpet shape flowers born on long pendulous stalks. The flowers are pollinated at night in the tree’s native land by nectar seeking bats, but the lack of these bats here in Florida results in very few flowers getting pollinated and thus, very few of the sausage like fruits are formed.
The tree is native to tropical areas of Africa and is a member of the Bignoniaceae family of flowering plants. The Sausage Trees is a medium to large size tree, ranging in height from thirty to fifty feet.
The tree grows in tropical and sub-tropical climates and can stand some frost and temperatures down to 28 degrees. The tree does well here in Southern Florida and makes a great shade or specimen tree for your landscape.
The sausage tree behind the ticket office is bearing sausages now.
If you are interested in learning more about the sausage tree or would like to buy one of your own, visit the Estates Garden Shoppe and let one of our horticulturists assist you.