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The genus includes shrubs growing to 6 m (20 ft) tall, and vigorous, strong-growing vines, growing up to 30 m (98 ft) in tree canopies. The fruit is a large berry containing numerous small seeds; in most species, the fruit is edible.
A small, tropical fern producing very pretty, palm-like fronds on a diminutive scale. It like evenly moist conditions with moderate humidity during it's summer growing period, it should be watered sparingly and carefully during colder months.
It grows well as a container plant preferring filtered sunlight in hot climates. In cooler climates it should tolerate full sun.
Regarded as the largest succulent in the world, the baobab tree is steeped in a wealth of mystique, legend and superstition wherever it occurs in Africa. It is a tree that can provide food, water, shelter, and relief from sickness. During drought, elephants obtain moisture by chewing on the wood. The stem is covered with a bark layer, which may be 50-100 mm thick. The leaves are hand-sized and divided into 5-7 finger-like leaflets. The baobab is a deciduous, meaning that in winter, it sheds all of its leaves and grows new ones in spring. The large, pendulous flowers (up to 200 mm in diameter) are white and sweetly scented ,that are pollinated by bats. They are followed by velvety fruits full of edible acidic pulp sought by both monkeys and people. In the dryer, temperate regions of Africa, Baobabs are a tree of myth and legend. Baobabs are carefully tended by rural peoples and are particularly useful: the hollow trunks of baobabs are used as dwellings and storehouses, traditional medicines are obtained from its bark, leaves, and fruit. Its bark can be pounded to produce fibers that are used to make baskets, cloth, hats, mats, nets, rope, and strings (interestingly, after the bark is stripped away, the baobab grows new bark). Its leaves are cooked and eaten as greens, and are dried for use as a seasoning and a sauce and stew thickener. Its fruit is rich in vitamin C, calcium, and iron, and is called pain de singe or monkey bread. It can be roasted, ground, and boiled to make a coffee-substitute; it is also soaked in water to make a refreshing drink, and is used as a flavoring. They will make a handsome addition to a large garden, estate, or large parkland providing the soil is not waterlogged. Baobabs cannot tolerate even mild frost. When they are young, baobabs do not resemble their adult counterparts, the stems are thin and inconspicuous, and their leaves are simple and not divided into the five to seven lobes of the adult trees. Saplings can be effectively grown in containers or tubs for many years before becoming too large and requiring to be planted into the ground.
Adansonia grandidieri is a deciduous tree usually growing up to 25 metres tall, though stunted plants in the south of its range are sometimes only 5 metres tall. It has a massive, cylindrical bole that can be 3 - 5 metres in diameter and serves to store water for times of drought; the bole is topped by a sparse, few-branched, flat-topped, light crown.
It provides edible fruits and oil-rich seeds as well as being a source of fibre and material for thatching. Found only in a restricted area of Madagascar, the tree is threatened by habitat destruction and, due to the low numbers of mature specimens, poor regeneration.
This tree has a unique, swollen bottle-like trunk. This deciduous tree bears large, white flowers and ball-like fruits up to 10 cm in diameter. Growth starts off quickly, then slows down. It prefers a loamy soil, and has a smooth, brown to yellowish-green bark. Tropical - but reported to make an nice indoor plant while young.
This tree has a unique, swollen bottle-like trunk. This deciduous tree bears large, red flowers and ball-like fruits.
Medium to large trees in between 17-65 feet in height. This tree can either have; sphere-like, bottle-shaped, or rarely, tapering trunks. The irregular crown, has major branches most often horizontal, rarely conical spines on upper surfaces of branches. Bark is usually reddish brown and exfoliating. Leaves occur from November to April and the Flowers Usually from February to April, at the latest in June. The fruit ripens from October to November. It has edible fruits, seeds and roots.
The flower buds are long green cylinders which can resemble oversized beans and could be mistaken for a fruit. The bud opens with the curling back of the outside layer of the flower bud, revealing yellow and red petals with yellowish long stamens.
The fruit pulp and oil-rich seeds are eaten.The root of seedling plants can be eaten as a vegetable.
A medium-sized tree up to 15 m high, Adenanthera pavonina is native to India and Malaysia. It has been planted extensively throughout the tropics as an ornamental and has become naturalized in many countries.
The tiny flowers are said to smell vaguely like orange blossoms.
The slender flattened pods become twisted as they split open at maturity to release up to 12 brilliant red, lens - shaped, extremely hard seeds. The ripened pods stay on the tree for some time. The seeds are used in necklaces and ornaments, as beads in jewellery, leis and rosaries. They were also used in ancient India for weighing gold. The seeds are curiously similar in weight. Four seeds make up about one gramme. In fact the name "saga" is traced to the Arabic term for "goldsmith".
In Malaysia and Indonesia, the trees provide shade and planted as "nurse trees" in coffee, clove and rubber plantations.
Although the raw seeds are toxic, when cooked they are edible: are roasted, shelled and then eaten with rice in Java, Indonesia. In Melanesia and Polynesia people call it the "food tree". The seeds are said to taste like soy bean. The young leaves can be cooked and eaten, but usually only during famine.
The hard reddish wood of the red sandalwood tree is used for cabinet making. A red dye, obtained from the wood, is used by Brahmins to mark religious symbols on their foreheads. A red powder made from the wood is used as an antiseptic paste. In Ancient Indian medicine, the ground seeds are used to treat boils and inflammations. A decoction of the leaves is used to treat gout and rheumatism. The bark was used to wash hair.