Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Baobab, Judas Fruit, Monkey Bread Tree
Adansonia digitata

Family: Bombacaceae
Genus: Adansonia (ad-an-SOH-nee-uh) (Info)
Species: digitata (dig-ee-TAH-tuh) (Info)

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

26 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

over 40 ft. (12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Winter


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Scarify seed before sowing

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By OlgaN
Thumbnail #1 of Adansonia digitata by OlgaN

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There are a total of 27 photos.
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8 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Misscindys On Jul 13, 2014, Misscindys from Sebring, FL wrote:

We are in 9 a/b CHZ with a fortuitous microclimate surrounded by a lake and bay head swamp. We planted a 3 foot tall specimen in our yard one year ago. We know this a a stretch to grow it here. It survived one of the coldest winters seen here in decades. It had a period of dormancy in the spring. By mid summer it is growing vigorously. It has doubled in size since planting. It has required spraying twice for spider mites. It's parent plant 100 miles to our south in Homestead is 4 feet in diameter at 15 years. We believe it is worth a try.

Positive nonsai On May 21, 2013, nonsai from Ocala, FL wrote:

While living in the Florida Keys, I started 2 Baobabs from seed, in very large pots. I pulled them out the first Winter and tossed them in a dark corner of the garage. The second Winter I just moved the pots to a spot sheltered from the rain. I got up to 14 inches in circumference but I moved upstate and lost the plant the following Winter.

I'm starting a new batch of seeds now.

Positive msevaluna On Mar 19, 2013, msevaluna from Asheville, NC wrote:

'BAOBAB', 'LEMONADE' or 'MONKEYBREAD TREE'. The famous African tree with a huge swollen trunk up to 30 feet in diameter, and not more than 60 feet tall. The thickest trunk in the world. Large, white, hibiscus-like 6" flowers are pollinated by bats. The foot-long, gourd-like fruits are filled with refreshing, lemon-flavored pulp and edible seeds. Leaves are eaten like spinach. The trunk stores considerable water, and is used as a reservoir, sometimes being tapped for as much as 1000 gallons. Hollowed out, they are used as rooms. Worshipped as a fertility tree. Nick and soak to germinate in 1 - 7 weeks.

Positive jaasn On Oct 8, 2011, jaasn from Henderson, NV (Zone 9a) wrote:

Great little tree and easy to care for. I have had mine for a few years now and its doing great. I am training it as a bonsai and have had a lot of success at growing it. I have found that it really needs to go dormant for 90 days+- in order to thrive. while the plant is dormant do not give it any water. In fact some people I have read about take the plant out of the pot, wrap it in news paper, and place it in the closet for this period. I however do not do that and still have the plant going through its dormant period just fine with giving it no water. After the 90 days I start to add water and it comes back in full force.
I am very happy with this tree and recommend it for any bonsai collection.

Neutral RebeccaLynn On May 17, 2011, RebeccaLynn from Winston Salem, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

In one of my favorite books, The Little Prince (Le Petite Prince) by Antoine de Sainte Exupery, the fictional title character hates the Baobab tree. He says whenever one sees one sprouting it must be pulled up. This tree would destroy his planet. I really didn't know the Baobab was a real tree until I found it in DG. How interesting that the Little Prince finds this tree so pernicious!

Positive Kiyzersoze On May 26, 2010, Kiyzersoze from Coral Springs, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

I received a seed in a trade. It germinated fairly quickly. I thought that I lost it in our cold winter this year (low 40's for days) but the "dead stick" came back and is now growing again. Requires very little attention.

Positive BayAreaTropics On Sep 1, 2006, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

I grew two species,digitata and another unidentified ,for years in a greenhouse.Very prone to aphids.But one was close to thirty years old and spent most of its life in a San Francisco living room cherished as a vacation memory of a trip made to Africa in the early 70's. And it was ceiling tall. It's now part of a San Francisco college collection.

Neutral oceanmystic On Aug 31, 2006, oceanmystic from San Diego, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

There is one specimen growing in Balboa Park, San Diego. It is about four feet tall and the trunk is about 12 inches across at the base.
The gardeners have created a series of microclimates to support the diverse plantings in this wonderful place. The density of the growth keeps the area warmer in the winter and the irrigation techniques keep the place more humid than the natural environment.
This tree is growing in a more open area with a southwestern exposure for warmth and gravelly soil for rapid drainage. the surrounding plantings are aloe, madagascar palm, acacia, various cactus and banksia. While it is alive and growing it is not thriving.
The adansonia digitata in Balboa Park is no longer there. My assumption is that it died and was removed.
It was being grown xeriscape. The problem with that tactic for this plant is that when the natural water is available the plant is dormant and cannot use it. When the temperature is up high enough for this plant to grow thee is no water available. I think it is possible to grow this plant outdoors in San Diego if the plant is kept dry in the winter and watered during the summer and fall.

Positive ineedacupoftea On Nov 21, 2005, ineedacupoftea from Denver, CO wrote:

I have had a seedling for years. I remember buying that seed and watching it grow. Even young, it has a little fat caudex. I notice that I cannot manipulate it to think it is rainy season and grow, (It breaks dormancy when it wants to in the spring) but it will go dormant obediently if I withhold water. Perhaps it is photoperiod sensitive, even indoors.

My important suggestion to anyone starting it from seed: Use a deep pot or in-ground, as the taproot will coil in a small pot and the fat base will form sideways.

If ever I move to a frost-free place, I will plant it in-ground.

Positive palmbob On Jan 26, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is am impressive African tree with a massive, succulent base rapidly tapering to little branches above. It is deciduous during the dry season and makes incredible silhouettes on the landscape. However, it takes centuries to attain those sizes. For me, this tree was just bit too tropical in its needs, and it rotted in the winter rains.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama (2 reports)
Beverly Hills, California
Pompano Beach, Florida
Saint Augustine, Florida
Henderson, Nevada
Bayamon, Puerto Rico
Austin, Texas

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