Blue Sausage Tree

Blue Sausage Tree and edible fruits

Blue Sausages aka Dead mans fingers are fruit trees indigenous to China and the far east. There are two varieties, Decaisnea insignis which hails from Nepal and India and produces a greener fruit than it relative Decaisnea fargesil which is more common and produces the trademark blue sausage fruits.

The fruit itself is mildly sweet and is contained within a blue pod that splits open when ripe. The innards of the pod contain the edible fruits, which consists of a pulpy mass that encases the seeds. The edible innards of the pod are similar in texture to lychee or grapes.

The plant is sometimes grown as an ornamental due to the aesthetic value of its vibrant bright green foliage and unusually bright blue fruits that careen down from the branches like Christmas ornaments. The pods reach about a half foot long. The flowers that produce these pods are greenish-yellow and about 2 inches long. Blooms appear in late spring and early summer and the pods follow shortly thereafter.

The plants attain a height upwards of 2 feet, sometimes as little as a foot at full maturity. It’s spread is fairly equal to its height.

A location with Full sun is best, partial shade is tolerable, drought is not tolerable. Blue Sausage is not drought tolerant at all and should be kept well moistened, don’t drown it – just keep the soil consistently moist. 

It’s not an easy plant to find, you probably won’t find it at your local nursery under any of its aliases – which include – Blue cucumber shrub, Blue Sausage Fruit Tree, Blue bean Tree, Dead Man’s Fingers.

Seeds of Blue sausage need a winter season or cold stratification in order to encourage germination. Cold stratification is the process by which seeds are artificially exposed to cold and moist conditions generally layered in soil or peat.