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ADANSONIA digitata

African Baobab

Stock: Available

SKU Code: ES 144.


Family: Malvaceae
Characteristics: Tree 5-25 m

Seed per packet: 5
Sold by Seed count

Easily recognised by the swollen base of its trunk, which gives the tree a bottle-like appearance. The trunk base may be extremely large with trunks of a diameter of over ten metres have been recorded.

During the early summer (October to December in the southern hemisphere) the tree bears very large, pendulous, sweet scent white flowers up to 12 cm (4.7”) across which open during the late afternoon and stay open for one night. 

The Baobab is deciduous, losing its leaves during the dry winter period, leaves are divided into 5 glossy leaflets.

Adansonia digitata is the most widespread of the Adansonia species and is native to most of the African continent.

It will grow in a variety of areas, providing they are not exposed to frost. Prefers a well-drained sandy soil with plenty of water during the growing season, but prefers drier conditions when dormant during the winter months when it will lose its leaves. Slower growing in cooler regions.

See also ADANSONIA gregorii (Australian Baobab)

Grow notes:

Although seed can be sown most of the year in many parts of Australia seed is generally best sown in spring or autumn, avoiding the coldest and hottest months of the year. The optimum germination temperature for germination is around 18-22°C

Seeds germinate readily, however they do have a hard outer coating, to assist with the update of moisture required for germination the following method is suggested. This is not critical but will generally reduce germination time.

  1. Place the seed in a container and pour in just-boiled water and soak for 15 seconds
  2. Transfer to a container with lukewarm water and soak overnight.
  3. The swollen seed can then be sown, re-treat seeds that have not swollen.
  4. Sow the depth of seed deep.
  5. Place in a warm shaded or semi-shaded position to avoid dying out.
  6. The growing medium should be well-draining but should remain damp between watering. Keep moist but not too wet as the seed may rot. Do not let the growing mix completely dry out.
  7. Germination should occur in 10-21 days @ 18-22C

General note: Seeds of many species are dormant and require specific conditions or pre-treatment for germination.
Do not be too hasty to discard seed that does not germinate, seeds will often lay dormant until the conditions are similar to their natural requirements for germination to occur. Containers put to one side will often surprise long after they were discarded.
Main image credit Ferdinand Reus from Arnhem, Holland CC BY-SA 2.0

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