Adansonia Notes

Adansonia digitata L.
Adansonia grandidieri Baill.
Adansonia gregori F. Mueller
Adansonia madagascarensis Baill.
Adansonia perrieri Capuron.
Adansonia rubrostipa Jumelle & Perrier.
Adansonia suarezensis H. Perrier
Adansonia za Baill.

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The Baobabs, genus Adansonia, are a genus of 8 large trees. 6 species are endemic to Madagascar, 1 to north west Australia, and the eighth is widely distributed in Africa, and naturalised or planted in many other places in the tropics.

They are deciduous, shedding their leaves in the dry season, and often have large swollen trunks. The leaves are 3-11 digitate. The large flowers are borne in the leaf axils, usually solitarily. They possess a deeply 5-lobed calyx, whitish to yellow or red petals, and a staminal tube with long free filaments. The ovary is 5-10 locular, with many ovules. The fruits are woody or subwoody, many-seeded, indehiscent, globose to oblong in shape, and tomentose. The reniform seeds are enclosed in a chalky or spongy pulp. [1]


The genus belongs to tribe Adansonieae of subfamily Bombacoideae of the angiosperm family Malvaceae.

Adansonia digitata L.
English (International) African Baobab, Bottle Tree, Cream-tartar Tree, Ethiopian sour bread, Fony, sour gourd
English (Madagascar) Baobab of Mahajanga
English (South African) Dead Rat Tree, Monkey Bread Tree
French Baobab africain, Baobab de Mozambique, Calebassier du Sénégal, Pain de singe
Haitian Creole Mapou africain, Mapou Zombi
Portuguese Baobá Africano
Italian Albero bottiglia, Baobab africano
German Affenbrotbaum, Afrikanischer Baobab
Dutch Apenbroodboom, Kremetartboom
Afrikaans Afrikaanse Kremetart , Apebroodboom, Kremetart
Danish Abebrødstræ, Baobab
Estonian Baobab, harilik ahvileivapuu
Polish baobab właściwy, Baobab afrykański
Czech baobab prstnatý
Lithuanian baobabas, Tikrasis baobabas
Esperanto Afrika Baobabo
Turkish Afrika baobab
Arabic hamar
Vietnamese Bao báp châu Phi
Bantu languages (Mozambique) chimuho, imbomdeiro, mulapa, muramba
Hausa boumbou, kouboli, kouka
Fulfulde bobdi, boki
Giziga moulgouï
Koma kmsa
Kanuri kouka

Adansonia digitata is found throughout the semi-arid regions of Africa. It reaches 25m in height, and a trunk diameter of 12m. It has an irregular crown. The bark is grey, and usually smooth, but sometimes irregularly tuberculate. The flowers are white and pendulous.

Synonyms of Adansonia digitata include Adansonia bahobab L., Adansonia baobab Gaert., Adansonia digitata var. congolensis A.Chev., Adansonia integrifolia Rafin., Adansonia scutula Steud., Adansonia situla Spreng., Adansonia somaliensis Chiov., Adansonia sphaerocarpa A.Chev., Adansonia sulcata A.Chev., Baobabus digitata Kuntze and Ophelus sitularius Lour..

Adansonia grandidieri Baill.
English (International) Giant Baobab, Grandidier's Baobab
French Baobab de Madagascar, Baobab malgache
Portuguese Baobá de Grandidier
Dutch Baobab von Grandidier
Polish Baobab Grandidiera
Turkish Büyük baobab
Malagasy Renala
Vietnamese Bao báp Grandidier

Adansonia grandidieri is found in the west of Madagascar. It is a tall tree, reaching 25m in height, but much slenderer and more elegant than Adansonia digitata, with a trunk diameter reaching 3m. The crown, situated at the top of the tree, is flat and regular. The bark is smooth and reddish gray. The flowers are white, yellowing with age.

There are no known synonyms of Adansonia grandidieri.

Adansonia gregori F. Mueller
English (International) Australian Baobab, Australian bottle tree
English (Australian) Boab, Prison tree
French baobab australien, Baobab d' Australie
Portuguese Baobá Australiano
Italian Baobab australiano
German Australischer Baobab
Afrikaans Australiaanse Kremetart
Swedish Australisk baobab
Estonian Gregori ahvileivapuu
Polish Baobab australijski
Esperanto Australia baobabo
Turkish Avustralya baobab
Vietnamese Bao báp Australia

Adansonia gregori is found in north west Australia. It is a smaller, often multi-trunked, tree, with smooth grey bark, and an irregular crown, rarely exceeding 10m in height. The flowers are white to pale cream.

Synonyms of Adansonia gregori include Adansonia gibbosa (A.Cunn) Guymer, Adansonia rupestris Saville-Kent , Adansonia stanburyana Hochr., Baobab gregorii (F.Muell.) Kuntze, Baobabus gregorii Kuntze and Capparis gibbosa A.Cunn..

Adansonia madagascariensis Baill.
French Baobab de Madagascar
Portuguese Baobá de Madagascar
Italian Baobab del Madagascar
German Affenbrotbäume von Madagaskar, Madagaskar-Baobab
Dutch Malagassische baobab
Afrikaans Madagaskar Baobab
Estonian madagaskari ahvileivapuu
Esperanto Madagaskara baobabo
Turkish Madagaskar baobab
Malagasy bozy
Vietnamese Bao báp Madagasca

Adansonia madagascariensis is also found in Madagascar. It reaches 20m in height. It has smooth, pale grey bark, and dark red flowers.

Synonyms of Adansonia madagascariensis include Adansonia bernieri Baill. and Baobabus madagascariensis Kuntze..

Adansonia perrieri Capuron
English (International) Perrier's Baobab
French Baobab d'Antsiranana
Portuguese Baobá de Perrier
Italian Baobab di Perrier
Dutch Baobab von Perrier
Polish Baobab Perriera
Turkish Perrier baobab
Vietnamese Bao báp Perrier

Adansonia perrieri is restricted to the north of Madagascar. It can reach 30m in height. The flowers are pale yellow to yellow orange.

There are no known synonyms of Adansonia perrieri.

Adansonia rubrostipa Jumelle & Perrier
French Petit Baobab de Madagascar

Adansonia rubrostipa is the smaller of the Malagasy boababs, usually being 4 to 5m in height, but can exceptionally reach 20m. It has an irregular crown, borne above a distinct constriction at the top of the trunk. The bark is grey and rugose when young, but reddish-brown when mature. The leaves are serrate. The flowers are bright yellow to orange-yellow.

Adansonia fony Baill. is a synonym of Adansonia rubrostipa.

Adansonia suarezensis H. Perrier
French Baobab du nord de Madagascar

Adansonia suarezensis is restricted to the north of Madagascar. It is a large tree with reaching 25m in height and a trunk diameter of 2m. It has a flat topped crown, with regularly arranged, mostly horizontal branches. The flowers are white.

There are no known synonyms of Adansonia suarezensis.

Adansonia za Baill.
French Baobab de Madagascar

Adansonia za is the most widely distributed of the Malagasy boababs, being found in the south, west and north west of the island. It is 5 to 30m tall, usually with a single cylindrical trunk. The primary branches are often ascending. It has grey bark and yellow flowers.

Synonyms of Adansonia za include Adansonia alba Jum. & H.Perrier and Adansonia bozy Jum. & H.Perrier.



  1. Kubitzki & Bayer, Malvaceae, in Kubitzki & Bayer, Fam. Gen. Vasc. Plants V: (2003)

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