Know about Australian baobab

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Australian baobab Quick Facts
Name: Australian baobab
Scientific Name: Adansonia gregorii
Origin Kimberley region of north Western Australia
Shapes Globose to ovoid to oblong-cylindrical
Australian baoab commonly known as Adnansonia gregorii is found in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. It is dominant for its huge bottleshaped trunk which is filled with soft fibrous wood which enables to store water. This deciduous tree loses its leaves in winter months in tropics when dormant. Australian Baobab lives for hundred years and slowly attains the height of 5 to 15 meters with a trunk circumference of 20 meters. The tree loses its leaves in winter months in tropics when it is dormant. Fruits are large, brown and oval shaped which is about 18 cm long having woody and hairy exterior. It has numerous seeds and white pithy substance.

Plant description

Adansonia gregorii is a small to large deciduous tree which reaches to the height of 9 to 12 meters having short massive swollen cylindrical to bottle shaped trunk having girth reaching 15.7 meters and a smooth to pock marked greyish bark. Tap roots of seedlings are tuberous and fusiform and roots of older trees are relatively shallow but extensive and end in tubers. Leaves are clustered at ends of short and stocky branches and alternate, simple or digitate. Leaflets are dark green above and dull green beneath, glabrous and broadly lanceolate to ovate about 9–11 by 3–4 cm. Flowers are white, showy, pedicellate and about 9 × 3 cm. Sepals are pubescent, brown, triangular and reflex at flower anthesis. Petals are white, waxy, oblanceolate and about 11 by 2 cm. Ovary is conical to globose and style is longer than stamens crowed by spherical stigma. Fruits are variable, globose to ovoid to oblong-cylindrical about 15-25 cm by 10-20 cm wide. Pericarp is 8-10 mm thick and woody enclosing dry mealy pulp. Seeds are reniform, dark brown to black measuring 10–15 × 5–10 mm enclosed in powdery pulp.

Flowers

Flowers are cream, showy, large and fragrant which occurs during summer and autumn months. It opens in the early evening and is pollinated that night. The flower lasts for one day or two before falling.

Traditional uses

  • In Southern Africa, baobab leaves, fruit and bark is used for medicinal and food purposes.
  • The bark is used to alleviate fevers, colds and influenza.
  • Leaves are used for treating kidney and bladder diseases, fever, diarrhea and asthma.
  • Fruit pulp is used for treating dysentery, diarrhea, fever, measles, smallpox and hemoptysis and also as a painkiller.
  • For dysentery, drink the leaves crushed into juice.
  • Apply the pulped seeds externally or add it into water as a drink for treating kidney, gastric and joint diseases.
  • In Egypt, the powder preparations are used for treating bloody wounds, dysentery and fevers for centuries.
  • The preparation made from dried leaves and bark is used to induce sweating and reduce fever.
  • In Sierra Leone, the leaves and bark is used for malaria.
  • The bark decoction is used in Congo to bathe children with rickets.
  • The bark decoction is used in Tanzania as a mouthwash for treating toothache.
  • Bark is used in Ghana as a substitute for quinine.
  • Leaves are used in Central Africa for fevers and seeds as a remedy for dysentery.
  • In South Africa, the powdered seed is used to provide relief from hiccups in children.
  • Use the prepared root infusion as a bathe for babies to maintain soft skin.
  • Leaves decoctions are used for treating otitis and earache.
  • The leaves preparations are used to prevent kidney and bladder diseases.

Culinary uses

  • The fruit pulp is consumed fresh in North Western Australia.
  • The sap from trunk and branches are eaten at the time of food scarce.
  • Use the leaves for salads or as a garnish.
  • Add the roots to salads, stir fries and dips or use it in soups.
  • Seeds and immature seeds are roasted.
  • Cook the young seedlings and consume as a vegetable.
  • Use the pulp as a milk curdling agent in baking, as a flavoring for yogurt and ice cream.
  • The pulp is used as a thickening agent for soups and jams.

References:

https://www.bgpa.wa.gov.au/images/horticulture/docs/pn_adansonia_gregorii.pdf

http://cms.herbalgram.org/herbalgram/issue108/hg108-feat-baobab.html?ts=1573813089&signature=68a1bc6bc35580b8c651755faab7e92e

http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Adansonia+gregorii

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