|Adansonia digitata subsp. var.||Baobab|
Adansonia digitata, the baobab, is the most widespread of the Adansonia species on the African continent, found in the hot, dry savannahs of sub-Saharan Africa. It also grows, having spread secondary to cultivation, in populated areas. The northern limit of its distribution in Africa is associated with rainfall patterns; only on the Atlantic coast and in the Sudan does its occurrence venture naturally into the Sahel. On the Atlantic coast this may be due to spreading after cultivation. Its occurrence is very limited in Central Africa and it is found only in the very north of Southern Africa. In Eastern Africa the trees grow also in shrublands and on the coast. In Angola and Namibia the baobabs grow in woodlands, and in coastal regions, in addition to savannahs. Also found in Dhofar region of Oman and Yemen in the Arabian Peninsula, Asia. This tree was found recently in India in the states of Andhra Pradesh (although this claim is disputed) and in Karnataka 
The trees usually grow as solitary individuals, and are large and distinctive trees on the savannah, in the scrub, and near settled areas, with some large individuals living to well over a thousand years of age. The tree bears very large, heavy white flowers. The showy flowers are pendulous with a very large number of stamens. They carry a carrion scent and researchers have shown they appear to be primarily pollinated by fruit bats of the subfamily Pteropodinae. The fruits are filled with pulp that dries, hardens, and falls to pieces which look like chunks of powdery, dry bread.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Adansonia digitata, Linn. Baobab Tree. Height not more than 60 ft.: diam. said to be sometimes 30 ft. or more and to have the thickest trunk of any tree in the world: lvs. palmate, with 3 lfts. in young plants, and 5-7 in older ones: fls. 6 in. across, with purplish anthers, on long axillary, solitary peduncles; stigma 7-10-rayed in full anthesis. Afr.—Rarely cult, in extreme S. Fla., where fr. is 9-12 in. long, and called "monkey's bread." Figs. 118 and 119 are from specimens growing in the American tropics. The fl. opens wide, something like a spreading hibiscus, and the petals soon roll back and wither. The tree is very thick-boled, and the wood is soft and light. The tree is supposed to attain to vast age. The fr. of the baobab is a gourd-like structure, of which the pulp is said sometimes to be eaten and the juice used for the making of a beverage. The bark produces a very strong fiber.CH
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Baobab Tree by Thomas Baines
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963
- w:Adansonia digitata. Some of the material on this page may be from Wikipedia, under the Creative Commons license.
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