For a week I’ve been out of the loop — no internet, no email, no phone. (It’s been frustratingly wonderful.) Instead of posting blogs, I’ve been touring game parks in southern Africa, seeing amazing animals and even more amazing trees and shrubs. Here’s a sample of some of the vegetation — a tasty buffet, as it were.
Every good breakfast includes an egg. So the first item on our menu of African trees and shrubs is the wild gardenia (Gardenia thunbergia). From a distance, the oval fruits resemble nothing as much as eggs perched on the ends of the branches.
|Elephants, buffalo and kudu eat these fruits.|
Just remove the stems before cooking.
|Scrambled, poached or fried?|
Next to the eggs on the breakfast buffet are sausages from the sausage tree (Kigalia africana).
|Not cigars but sausages hang from this tree.|
The ‘sausages’ are hard fruits eaten by animals with strong teeth. When they fall to the ground and begin to rot, they become food for smaller animals, even ants.
|Pork or beef sausages? Who can tell?|
If you take milk with your tea or coffee, you can choose from the milkwood tree (Sideroxylon inerme)
|Contorted branches make this tree easy to identify.|
or the balloon milkweed bush (Gomphocarpus physocarpus).
|The leaves of this plant are dried and finely ground to make
a snuff that is good against headaches.
The breadfruit tree (Artocarpus altilis) would supply toast for the breakfast buffet but I haven’t seen any. Also missing from my breakfast buffet is coffee. Here, the wild gardenia may help. It is a member of the Rubiaicea family. And that family includes coffee arabica.
So does the breakfast buffet in our camp. Which is where I’m heading now!