Occurrence (Special Areas) : Gujarat Forestry Research Foundation, Ayurvedic Udyan, Van Chetana Kendra, Aranya Van
About Adansonia digitata Plant :
Habit : A tall, deciduoustree, with grey, smooth bark having trunk of very large dimensions at the base gradually becoming narrower at the apex.
Stem : Aerial, erect, branched, solid.
Leaves : Compound, digitate, deciduous, leaflets 3 - 7, entire, sessile or subsessile, obovate - oblong or elliptic - oblong, densely silky brown - hairy at length glabrous above, arising from a single point on the long stalk.
Inflorescence : Solitary Axillary.
Axillary, solitary, large pendulous, 10 - 12 cm across, flowers bloom at night and are pollinated by bats.
Epicalyx of 2 bracts.
Calyx ovoid, deeply 5 - fid, silky-hairy within.
Corolla of 5 large white petals.
Staminal tube dividing above into numerous 1- anthered filaments, anthers reniform. When the flower is in bloom, the purple anthers arising from the staminal bundles are prominently visible.
Ovary 5 - 10 celled, many-ovuled, densely hairy, style divided into as many as the number of cells in ovary.
Fruits : A long 20 - 25 cm long, gourd-like, ellipsoidal, pale-brown, densely hairy, woody amphisarca, with a long stalk which hangs from the branches. The cells filled with farinaceous acid pulp. The pulp is edible and is relished.
Seeds : reniform, blackish-brown, embedded in pulp.
Flowering and Fruiting time : April - May and June - Dec.
The sweet pulp of the fruit is used in diarrhea, dysentery.
The pulp is rich in citric and tartaric acids, and used in cooling drinks. Monkeys are fond of eating the fruit, hence the common name 'monkey bread Tree'.
The tree is planted in gardens, but not in avenues or long roadsides due to its thick sized trunk. The soft trunk of the tree, when hollowed, provides large space.
The wood is used to make matchsticks and the tree fibre is used for making ropes, bags and strong paper.