Notices for Users of the Albums

1. New Albums and some changes


The latest genera Albums added to the Operation Wildflower Site are the ones on Tritoniopsis, Melianthus and Metalasia. This means that photos and stories of plants belonging to these genera already on the Site have been moved from the more general Albums called Bulbs and Shrubs into their own new Albums under Genera. 


There is a genus Album in every case where enough material has been accumulated to warrant a stand-alone grouping of photos and stories. There are now more than 160 such Albums on genera of South African plants. The biggest ones (most photos) belong to the genera Crassula, Euphorbia, Pelargonium and Aloe. Keep watching, more will be added! If there is no genus Album yet on the plant you are looking for, check under Types or the Search Box.


In order to access all items on a plant of interest, the Search Box should be used, entering the botanical name of the plant. Most photos and stories on a particular plant are likely to be posted under Genera, (or if there are only few of them, in the conglomerate categories under Types). Habitat, Regions or Parks and Gardens may also contain some material on a species searched for, showing in the list generated when using the Search Box. The latest Regions Album is the one on the Langkloof. A new Parks and Gardens Album for the Caledon Wildflower Garden has also been created from existing material.


2. Want to talk about an Album Item?


There is a new way of communicating with the Editor of this Site regarding any of the Album Items.
Comments, questions, corrections, information and suggestions can be put to the Editor by using the following email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Please ensure that the Album Item concerned is clearly identified. Type its exact title as well as the Album Name in the Subject Line of your email. Please also state your name.


Similarly, communication regarding the functioning or technical aspects of the Site can be directed to the Webmaster at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




Kigelia africana

Botanical name

Kigelia africana

Other names

Sausage tree; worsboom (Afrikaans); umvunguta (Zulu)




A medium to large deciduous (in dry climates) tree of up to 25 m with a rounded to spreading crown

Description of stem

Brown or grey, rough, may be flaky in older trees

Description of leaves

Leathery, opposite or in whorls, compound along a single axis with a terminal leaflet (or imparipinnate), clustering towards the ends of twigs; leaflets oblong, hairy, yellowish green above, paler below, margins usually entire or slightly scalloped

Description of flowers

Large asymmetric, maroon, cup-shaped flowers with five velvety recurving and wrinkled petal lobes, asymmetric, hanging in long sprays, sometimes nearly a meter long; contains much nectar and give off an unpleasant odour; the flower usually lasts for a day only, only one per spray succeeds in being fertilised; flowering time is spring; pollination is said to be done by bats

Desciption of seed/fruit

Conspicuous oblong, grey fruit, resembling a huge sausage hangs down from long, rope-like peduncles; usually 50 cm long and nearly 20 cm wide; noticeable lenticels are spread along the surface; the unripe fruit may weigh 10 kg and contains a fibrous pulp holding many seeds

Description of roots




Propagation and cultivation

Grows from seed or truncheons; water well and plant in warmer climates


Frost sensitive


Flowers and the fruits are eaten by game when they drop from the tree; a very suitable tree for large gardens and parks; the fruit is said to yield a medicine for stomach complaints, rheumatism and syphilis; the seeds are sometimes eaten by people in times of shortage and used in beer fermentation; a skin care gel is marketed for conditions including psoriasis and eczema; dugout canoes (makoros) are made of the trunk as the wood is said not to crack easily; the roots are reported to yield a yellow dye

Ecological rarity

Not threatened

Pests and diseases



Established in places like Oudtshoorn (in spite of the winter temperatures), Rio de Janeiro, Panama, California, Hawaii and India


Open woodland, river banks

Distribution (SA provinces)

Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo


South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea

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