Food Plants International - Plant Fact Sheets Adansonia digitata - Boabab
Edible portion: Roots, Leaves, Fruit, Seeds, Bark, Sprouts, Flowers, Vegetable
A large tree. It grows up to 25 m tall. It loses its leaves during the year. The branches are thick, angular and spread out wide. The trunk is short and stout and can be 10-14 m around. Often the trunk has deep grooves or is fluted. The bark is smooth and grey but can be rough and wrinkled. The leaves spread out like fingers on a hand. There are 5-9 leaflets. Often the leaves are crowded near the ends of branches. The flowers are large and 12-15 cm across. The petals are white and the stamens are purple. The fruit hangs singly on a long stalk. The fruit has a woody shell. This can be 20-30 cm long and 10 cm across. On the outside of the fruit are green to brown hairs. Inside the fruit are hard brown seeds. They are about 15 mm long. The seeds are in a yellow white floury pulp. The pulp is edible. The thick roots end in fattened tubers.
It is a tropical plant. It grows in the lowlands. It grows in the hot dry regions of tropical Africa. It grows in the Sahel. It survives well in dry climates. It grows where rainfall is 100-1,000 mm a year. It can tolerate fire. It grows where the annual temperatures are between 20°C and 30°C. In most places it grows below 900 m altitude but occasionally grows to 1500 m altitude. It requires good drainage. It can grow in arid places. It grows in Miombo woodland in Africa. It suits hardiness zones 11-12. In Brisbane Botanical Gardens