The Camel’s Foot Tree (Piliostigma thonningii) is a flowering tree in the Fabaceae family of legumes. It is also known as Monkey Bread, Monkey Biscuit Tree, and Wild Bauhinia.
It grows to about 7 metres (23 feet) tall.
It is native to eastern Africa. It is called Msabuni in Kiswahili, which means soap. By boiling its ashes and oil in water, a type of soap is created.
It has leaves in the shape of a camel’s foot.
The Camel’s Foot Tree has pink flowers.
The pods and pea-sized seeds are a source of blue dye, while black dye comes from the roasted seeds. Its boiled roots produce a red dye. The pods and roasted seeds are edible.
It flowers in winter.
Photographed in Nairobi, Kenya, August 2017.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls