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The Most Unusual “Sausage” Tree

Mar 20, 2018

I have seen some unusual plants in Malawi. On one trip I saw this “Sausage” Tree and had to photograph it. I even chose to paint it with myself and a couple of baboons. The Sausage Tree is native to Malawi and Africa. Dr. Livingstone traveled through Malawi and in his diary, he mentioned “camping beneath the giant Sausage Tree” shortly before he discovered the Victoria Falls which are south of Malawi.

This unique tree has sausage-shaped fruit growing up to two-feet long. The fruit is pulpy and while not popular with humans, it is eaten by baboons, wild pigs, elephants, giraffes, hippos, monkeys, and porcupines.

It has a long history of being used for fighting fungal infections, eczema, psoriasis, boils, and even leprosy. The Sausage Tree has a night-blooming flower that is blood-red. Rather than being pollinated by bees, it is pollinated by bats who love the nectar from the nighttime blooms. Scientists have discovered the fruit to be a natural anti-oxidant with anti-inflammatory properties... but humans still don’t enjoy its taste.

Sidney Vaughn