Decaisnea fargesii

Blue Sausage Fruit, Blue-bean, Dead Man's Fingers

  • Decaisnea fargesii

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Min. hardiness zone:
Item ID:

Growing Info

Scarification: Soak in hot tap water
Stratification: cold stratify for 90 days
Germination: sow seed 3/8" deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed

Decaisnea, also known as the Blue Sausage Fruit, Blue-bean, or Dead Man's Fingers, is a unique genus of flowering plants in the Lardizabalaceae family. Native to eastern Asia, specifically from China to Nepal and Myanmar, this genus consists of one or two species, depending on taxonomic opinions. Decaisnea insignis is found in the Himalaya region and is distinguished by its yellow-green fruit, while Decaisnea fargesii, native to China, has bluish fruit. However, recent research suggests that these two species should be combined under the older name D. insignis.

Decaisnea shrubs or small trees can reach heights of 5-8 meters, with trunks up to 20 cm in diameter. The leaves are pinnate, measuring 60-90 cm in length, with 13-25 leaflets. Each leaflet is 7-15 cm long and 5-10 cm wide. The flowers are borne in hanging clusters called panicles, which can be 25-50 cm long. These flowers are greenish-yellow, with a diameter of 3-6 cm, consisting of six sepals and no petals. The fruit is a unique soft greenish-yellow to bluish pod-like follicle, measuring 7-10 cm in length and 2-3 cm in diameter. Inside, it contains an edible, transparent, glutinous jelly-like pulp with numerous flat black seeds measuring 1 cm in diameter.

These distinctive shrubs or small trees are primarily cultivated for their intriguing blue fruits. They not only make a fascinating display but are also straightforward to grow. When loaded with sausages, as the fruits are sometimes called, they create an awe-inspiring sight in any garden.

In terms of cultivation, Decaisnea prefers cooler temperate climates and thrives in fertile, well-drained soil. It exhibits good frost hardiness and can be grown in zones 6-10.

Overall, Decaisnea is an eye-catching and fascinating plant that adds a touch of uniqueness to any garden or landscape. With its bold foliage and decorative fruit, it truly stands out and captivates the attention of any observer.

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