More images of Baobab
This genus is commonly known by the name baobab, it contains around 8 species of deciduous trees distributed mostly in Madagascar, with some species found in Africa, Australia and Arabia. Plants in this genus tend to have fibrous, fleshy trunks adapted to store water and typically these grow to be between 7-11m wide. They can grow to over 30m tall, producing alternately arranged, simple leaves in young specimens, which develop into divided foliage consisting of 3-9 leaflets in mature specimens. Big, white, 5-petalled, hanging flowers are usually produced singly. These have showy modified leaves surrounding the flower and develop into edible baobab fruits. Both the leaves and fruit are consumed in a variety of ways including baking and powdered-form. In some species, the seeds are also used to create vegetable oil.
How to propagate Baobab
Seed in spring should be sown as soon as they are ripe at about 22C.
Special features of Baobab
Drought resistant species can survive for long periods without water.
Other uses of Baobab
Grown for their characteristically swollen trunks, their foliage and their shade. Uses have been found for many parts of the tree: the fruit has a high vitamin C content equivalent to 4 oranges. The pollen can be used as glue. The seeds, which are rich in protein, calcium, oil and phosphates, can be roasted and ground like coffee beans. Young leaves have a high calcium content and can be used as spinach. The trunk is fibrous and can be woven into rope mats and paper. Beer and tea can be made from the bark.