Adansonia gibbosa (A.Cunn.) Guymer ex D.A.Baum
Adansonia rupestris Kent
Adansonia stanburyana Hochr.
Baobabus gregorii (F.Muell.) Kuntze
Capparis gibbosa A.Cunn.
Common Name: Baobab
Baobab is a deciduous tree with a sparse, irregular crown; it can grow from 5 - 15 metres tall[
]. The tree often has multiple trunks, these are swollen, somewhat bottle-shaped and can be up to 6 metres in diameter[
The edible seeds and fruits are harvested from the wild for local use. The tree is grown commercially in Spain as a source of 'Cream of Tartar'[
]. It is occasionally grown as an ornamental[
Australia - Northern Territory, Western Australia.
Sandy and loamy soils[
]. Edges of dry vine thickets, monsoon vine forests, open plains and rocky ridges[
].Often found near the sea, at elevations up to 400 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
A plant of the semi-arid to moist tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 400 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 24 - 34°c, but can tolerate 13 - 42°c[
]. Mature plants can be killed by temperatures of -2°c or lower, whilst young growth is killed at -1°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 600 - 1,500mm, but tolerates 450 - 2,000mm[
Requires a sunny position[
]. Prefers a light to medium soil, succeeding in soils of low fertility[
]. Requires a well-drained soil[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 6.5, tolerating 4.5 - 7.5[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant.
A long-lived tree, some specimens are probably between 500 - 1,000 years old[
Seed - raw or roasted[
]. Exceptionally rich in minerals[
Young seedlings can be cooked and eaten as a vegetable[
Immature fruits - roasted[
]. The pulp of the fully ripe fruits is also eaten, it has a somewhat acid flavour[
The sap is dissolved in water to make a drink[
The pith of the trunk is sometimes eaten in times of desperation[
]. The water-rich wood has been used as an emergency water source[
The fruit is antiscorbutic[
The brittle fruits are like velvety cricket balls; they can be carved decoratively[
The pollen has been used to make a glue[
The fibrous bark has been used to make a rope[
The wood is soft, porous, spongy, and somewhat fibrous[
Seed - germinates readily[
]. Another report says that the best way to get the seed to germinate is to scarify it. This is done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing. It is quite likely that fresh seed germinates well but stored seed requires scarification[
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