Belfast Botanic Gardens Tree Archive

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This is one of a series of short articles about trees and shrubs in the Belfast Botanic Gardens compiled by the Friends group.
Family: Lardizabalaceae
Decaisnea insignis (Griff.) Hook.f.& Thompson (was known as D. fargesii)
Blue sausage fruit

54o 34.991N
5o 56.114W
Usually a multi-stem shrub, but can reach 5m high. The leaves are pinnate with 6 to 10 pairs of opposite leaflets. The flowers, produced in May, are yellowish green with dark green markings in long racimes up to 0.5m long. The seeds are a bean produced in blue pods. It is for these dramatic pods that the shrub is usually grown.
Decaisnea is a native of China from Sikkim to Yunnan. In some areas the plant has yellow fruit; the plant in cultivation with blue pods comes from Sichuan, Shensi and Hubei. The blue fruit form was known as Decaisnea fargesii, but this is now treated as part of the D. insignis species
For up to date nomenclature information on this and other plant species see
Decaisnea shrub Decaisnea leaves
Decaisnea insignis in Belfast Botanic Gardens Leaves of Decaisnea insignis in summer
flowers of Decaisnea Decaisnea flower detail
Decaisnea insignis flowers Decaisnea insignis flower detail
fruit of Decaisnea
Decaisnea insignis the sausage- (or dead man's fingers-) like fruit

Photos taken in Belfast Botanic Gardens in 2007. Copyright: Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens.

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