Taxon: Adansonia digitata L.

Genus: Adansonia
Family: Malvaceae
  Subfamily: Bombacoideae
Nomen number: 1433
Place of publication: Syst. nat. ed. 10, 2:1144. 1759 (Sp. pl. 2:1190. 1753, nom. inval.)
Comment: genus not validated until 1759, as Linnaeus (in Sp. pl. ed. 1 and Gen. pl.) failed to provide a description or a reference to a previously published one
Name Verified on: 29-Sep-1995 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last Changed: 26-Jul-2010
Species priority site is: Natl. Germplasm Repository - Miami (MIA)
Accessions: 11 in National Plant Germplasm System

Common names:

Economic Importance:

  • Environmental: ornamental (fide Zander ed13)
  • Human food: beverage base (fide Lost Crops Afr 3:43. 2008)
  • Human food: fruit (fide Lost Crops Afr 3:43. 2008)
  • Human food: oil/fat (fide Mansf Ency)
  • Human food: seeds (fide Lost Crops Afr 3:43. 2008)
  • Materials: fiber (fide Mansf Ency)
  • Materials: lipids (fide Mansf Ency)
  • Materials: tannin/dyestuff (fide Mansf Ency)
  • Medicines: folklore (fide Med Pl SAfr)

Distributional Range:


  • Africa

    • East Tropical Africa: Kenya; Tanzania
    • Northeast Tropical Africa: Chad; Ethiopia; Somalia; Sudan
    • South Tropical Africa: Angola; Malawi; Mozambique; Zambia; Zimbabwe
    • Southern Africa: Botswana; Namibia; South Africa - Transvaal
    • West Tropical Africa: Benin; Burkina Faso; Cote D'Ivoire; Ghana; Guinea; Mali; Niger; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Togo
    • West-Central Tropical Africa: Cameroon; Zaire
    • Western Indian Ocean: Madagascar

  • Naturalized:

    . widely natzd. in tropics


  • Africa

    • : Africa; South America
  • Asia-Tropical

    • Indian Subcontinent: Bangladesh; India; Sri Lanka
    • Malesia: Indonesia - Java
  • Southern America

    • : Africa; South America
    • Caribbean: West Indies


  • PROTABASE, the information base of PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) (on-line resource). (PROTA4U)
  • Aldén, B., S. Ryman, & M. Hjertson Svensk Kulturväxtdatabas, SKUD (Swedish Cultivated and Utility Plants Database; online resource on 2012 (Kulturvaxtdatabas)
  • Aubréville, A. et al., eds. Flore du Cameroun. 1963- (F Cameroun)
  • Baum, D. A. 1995. A systematic revision of Adansonia (Bombacaceae) Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 82:452.
  • Berhaut, J. Flore illustrée du Senegal. 1971- (F Senegal)
  • Borlaug, N. et al., eds. 2008. Fruits: Baobab (Lost Crops Afr) 3:41-59.
  • Carrisso, L. W. et al., eds. Conspectus florae angolensis. 1937- (F Angol)
  • Cron, G. V. et al. 2016. One African baobab species or two? Synonymy of Adansonia kilima and A. digitata (Taxon) 65:1037-1049.
  • Cufodontis, G. Enumeratio plantarum aethiopiae: Spermatophyta. 1953-1972 (F EthiopCuf)
  • Encke, F. et al. Zander: Handwörterbuch der Pflanzennamen, 13. Auflage. 1984 (Zander ed13)
  • Exell, A. W. et al., eds. Flora zambesiaca. 1960- (F Zamb)
  • Feuillet, C. 1998. pers. comm. (pers. comm.)
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource). (Ecocrop)
  • Groth, D. 2005. pers. comm. (pers. comm.)
  • Hanelt, P., ed. Mansfeld's encyclopedia of agricultural and horticultural crops. Volumes 1-6. 2001 (Mansf Ency)
  • Humbert, J.-H., ed. Flore de Madagascar et des Comores. 1936- (F Madag)
  • Keay, R. W. J. & F. N. Hepper Flora of west tropical Africa, ed. 2. 1953-1972 (F WT Afr)
  • Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium Hortus third. 1976 (Hortus 3)
  • Merxmüller, H., ed. Prodromus einer flora von Sudwestafrika. 1966-1972 (F Namib)
  • Pock Tsy, J.-M. L. et al. 2009. Chloroplast DNA phylogeography suggests a West African centre of origin for the baobab, Adansonia digitata L. (Bombacoideae, Malvaceae) Molec. Ecol. 18:1707-1715.
  • Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) (on-line resource). (Pl Names)
  • Rehm, S. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants. 1994 (Dict Rehm)
  • Wiehle, M. et al. 2014. The African baobab ( Adansonia digitata, Malvaceae): Genetic resources in neglected populations of the Nuba mountains, Sudan Amer. J. Bot. 101:1498-1507.
  • Wyk, B.-E. van et al. Medicinal plants of South Africa. 2009 (Med Pl SAfr)


Check other web resources for Adansonia digitata L. :

  • SIBIS: South African National Biodiversity Institute's (SANBI) Integrated Biodiversity System
  • On-line Flora of Zimbabwe:
  • TROPICOS: Nomenclatural and Specimen Database of the Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Mansfeld: Mansfeld's World Databas of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops
  • ePIC: Electronic Plant Information Centre of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • AGRICOLA: Article Citation Database or NAL Catalog of USDA's National Agricultural Library
  • Entrez: NCBI's search engine for PubMed citations, GenBank sequences, etc.


  • Seeds: U.S. National Seed Herbarium image