Plant of the Month: Sausage tree is an exotic specimen and unique addition

The oblong fruit of the sausage tree (Kigelia africana) dangles from its vines. It is the fruit of the sausage tree that gives the plant its name. (Jean Trueman/Special to West Hawaii Today)

A Kigelia africana, or sausage tree, blooms along Kohala Mountain Road. The large deep red flower of the sausage tree is just one of its interesting features. (Adam Atwood/Special to West Hawaii Today)

If you have room for a large tree and want to add an exotic specimen to your property, you might consider planting a sausage tree. Native to South and East Africa’s wet savannahs, the tree can eventually grow to more than 30 feet. After about five years, it will start producing long racemes of deep red flowers followed by large sausage-shaped seedpods. The seedpods as well as the flowers make this tree a striking addition to a Hawaiian landscape.