Baobab tree

The baobab

The baobab, scientific name Adansonia, is a plant that belongs to the Bombacaceae family and originates in Africa, where there are 7 species (six in Madagascar) and in Australia with one species. The classification of the species verifies the differences found in the morphology of the flower. The morphology of the bud, the orientation of the flower and the length of the stem tube (the male fertile part) must be observed mainly. Based on this classification there are three distinct sections: the Adansonia which includes the Adansonia digitata, the African baobab; the Brevitubae which includes the Adansonia grandidieri, the Grandidier baobab and the Adansonia suarezensis, the Suarez baobab; the Longitubae which includes Adansonia gregorii, Australian baobab, Adansonia madagascariensis,

Baobab tree

The baobabs are trees that belong to deciduous trees, have very large trunks that reach heights varying between 5 and 25 meters, while the diameter of the trunk can even reach 7 meters. The particular conformation of the trunk and its intrinsic characteristics allow it a large water storage capacity, which can even reach 120,000 liters, to be able to withstand the drought conditions of many regions in which it lives. A thick, smooth, brown-greyish bark completely covers the stem and branches. The branches, during the dry season, are totally devoid of leaves, covering themselves only for a few months a year and at the same time showing large white flowers, which open at night. The fruit has an ovoid shape with an edible pericarp.

Baobab cultivation

The baobab can also be grown in pots, obviously reaching heights much lower than the plants that grow spontaneously, in fact the maximum heights in pots are around 150-200 cm. The cultivation of the baobab should take place in a very sunny place, it can withstand temperatures below zero, but for very short periods, so in winter it would be advisable to shelter the plants in a greenhouse. The baobab being a succulent plant requires abundant watering during the vegetative period that goes from March to October. Watering should be done whenever the soil is dry. During the colder months the plant should not be watered, especially if it was not placed in a warm place, leaving the soil completely dry.

Baobab tree: Care and reproduction of the baobab

For an adequate cultivation of the baobab, a loose soil should be used, with excellent drainage and not rich in organic substances. The ideal soil should be prepared by mixing two parts of lapilli, one of sand and one of a balanced type of soil, in this way it will be adequately drained and dangerous stagnation can be avoided. The repotting procedure should be done annually at the end of winter. If you wanted to grow the baobab starting from the seed it would be advisable before sowing to place the seeds in hot water for at least 24 hours in order to favor germination, also with the help of a light filing of the seeds in order to thin the rigid cuticle that covers them. Reproduction is also possible by cutting.

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