Baobab Tree (Adansonia digitata), packet of 5 seeds
Hardy to Zones 10 to 12. May be grown as a potted plant, brought in for the winter. Protect from frost.
Perennial succulent tree native to Africa. Surely one of the most unusual trees on earth, the Baobab is elephant-like in a land of elephants, with a vastly stocky trunk and humanoid branches. Bears pendulous, giant, white-winged flowers that sport globular arrays of yellow-tipped stamens and give way to the velvety, elongated fruits. These fruits contain a powdery pulp, rich in citric and tartaric acid (also quercetin), that makes a refreshing, tart, astringent drink. Traditional usage: fevers and diarrhea. The young leaves of the tree are steamed and eaten as a nutritious food. The bark is twisted into fibre and used in basketry or rope making. The plant prefers dry conditions, well-drained soil and tolerates full sun. A rarity in domestic culture. Scarify the large, roundish seeds and plant in warm, sandy soil. Scarify by rubbing on sandpaper in one spot until the testa is rubbed through and the white pericarp just shows. Alternately, hold the seed down on a cutting board with one finger and slice through one end of the seed, thus revealing a small window through which you will see the white pericarp. Incomplete scarification will yield no results–the testa must be pierced!
5 seeds/pkt, Open Pollinated, Untreated, NO GMO’s
Out of stock
Admin Richo Cech –
When growing these in the temperate north, unless you have a tropical greenhouse (never dips below 60 degrees F) it is often a good idea to let the baobab go dormant in the fall. Let the soil in the pot dry up completely. The leaves will fall from the tree. Once it is completely dry, you can remove the tree (bulbous root and stem complete) from the pot and store on a dry shelf in the shade. Some people put them in their underwear drawer or other dry, warm spot. They tree will keep in this manner for 3 to 5 months. In the spring, when daylight picks up and temperatures rise, simply re-plant the tree and it will grow new leaves.
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Wow. I’ve never heard of such a thing as storing the plant in that manner. Almost makes me want to laugh. Actually I did. It also made me laugh when in the description it states that in the northern temperate zones that it can be brought inside the house and kept as a potted plant. I know what those baobab trees are like…I would get some amusement out of telling my other half that we need to bring it inside the house.
Admin Richo Cech –
Hi there, if you’re referring to the “store the dry dormant tree in the dresser drawer” comment, then certainly I agree with you, it is quite an unusual technique. Clearly not do-able once your seedlings get taller than 2 feet or so, but in the mean time, while they are small, it works well. Reason being, during winter dormancy, if kept cold and wet, the baobab tree can rot, and this is something we must avoid if we want to have it around. Correctly cared for, they make natural bonsai, and during the growing season are quite jolly to have about. I’ve lived around baobab, tasted the sweet-tart flavor of the interior of the gourd, and marveled at the size of the tree. I like selling the seeds to people, many take this quite seriously and really marvel at the germination of such an unusual seed, and love having the trees–subtropics, temperate north–whatever. Keeping several of them in my tropical greenhouses is a poor substitute for resting in their shade on a warm beach in Zanzibar, but hey, one does what one can!
I had a baobab bonsai that I also let go dormant in the winter. I stored it in the basement, but kept it dried out with dead leaves and such, so I can verify this method. In the spring it would begin to grow again and I would resume watering it. I never unpotted it. It was a cool little tree.
I live on the East side of the Big Island of Hawaii… Do you think I could grow this here?
Mayche Cech –
Hello Maia, Mixed thoughts on this. The dry side of the island would probably be better habitat, but I have seen large Baobab growing just up from the beach in Zanzibar and I got thoroughly drenched there a few times, and the baobab were just fine!