Adansonia za

Accession Count: 2
Common Name: Baobab
Family Name: Malvaceae
Botanical Name: Adansonia za
Synonyms:
Botanical Synonyms: Adansonia sp.
Sub Species:
Variety:
Forma:
Cultivar:
Characteristics: This tree has a wide trunk base and narrows somewhat dramatically towards the top. The trunk and branches have a reddish-brown color. The Adansonia sp. is a deciduous tree and is bare for nine months out of the year. Flower buds resemble beans. The flower bud cover curls as the flower blooms and remains at the stem of the flower.
Compound: Ada za
Geographic Origin: Madagascar
Ecozone Origin: Afrotropic
Biome Origin:
Natural History: There are 8 species of baobabs, six of which are native to Madagascar, one native to Australia (Adansonia gibbosa ex. Adansonia gregori) and the other is found in Africa (Adansonia digitata). The Adansonia za is the most common in Madagascar. (2) 
Cultivation Notes: Baobabs are a tropical and hardy species that are suitable as indoor plants as well as bonsai. Some species depending on where they are cultivated are dormant for part of the year as they do not like the cold. (3) (4) They enjoy full sun during their active growing period. (4) Do not keep indoors during its growing season, however during winter bring it inside because it cannot tolerate the cold. It likes soils with good drainage. (4)
Ethnobotany: The baobabs are an object of folklore and fetish throughout Madagascar, Australia and Africa. (5) In Malagasy, the baobabs are inhabited by spirits or ancestors long past. Passing villagers put grass at the trunk as an offering to the night spirits who use the baobab as their daytime retreat. In northern Madagascar it is customary to embrace the baobab’s trunk. (5) Sap from the tree is good to drink as well as the leaves from the baobab. The bark is thought to help infants gain weight and roots, flowers, fruit and seeds are also edible. (5) Large sheets can be cut and used as roofing for homes. (5)  In times of drought, cattle owners fell trees and sometimes peel off the bark or split the trunk into two so that the zebu cattle may chew the moisture-saturated pith. (5)

Height: 50 - 100 feet
Width: 6 - 10 feet
Growth Rate: Moderate Growing
Grow Season: Spring
Flower Season: Summer
Color: Yellow
Function: Accent
Spread: Non-spreading
Allergen: Non-allergenic
Invasive: Benign
Toxicity: Benign
Hardy: Semi-hardy
Water Use: Moderate Water Use

Citations:
  1. Tropicos
  2. Baobabs.com
  3. Baobabs.com
  4. Bonsaisa
  5. Wickens, Gerald E., Pat Lowe. The Baobab: Pachycauls of Africa, Madagascar and Australia. Kew, UK : Springer, 2008.
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Adansonia za