American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of several trees of the genus Adansonia of Africa, Madagascar, and Australia, especially the tropical African species A. digitata having a broad swollen trunk that stores water, palmately compound leaves, and edible gourdlike hanging fruits.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An African tree, the Adansonia digitata, belonging to the tribe Bombaceæ; natural order Malvaceæ, also called the Ethiopian sour-gourd, and in South Africa the cream-of-tartar tree. It is a native of tropical Africa, and has been introduced and naturalized in various parts of the East and West Indies. It is one of the largest trees in the world, being often found 30 feet in diameter, though it grows to a height of only from 40 to 70 feet. The branches shoot out from (60 to 70 feet, bearing a dense mass of deciduous leaves, somewhat similar to those of the horse-chestnut. The white flowers are from 4 to 6 inches broad, and the oblong gourd-like fruit, about a foot in length, is eaten by monkeys, and hence is called
monkey-bread(which see). The juice of the fruit mixed with sugar is much esteemed as a beverage; and the pulp, which is pleasantly acid, is eaten, and is employed as a remedy in Egyptian dysentery. The dried and powdered mucilaginous bark and leaves are used by the negroes, under the name of lalo, on their food, like pepper, to diminish perspiration; and the strong fiber of the bark is made into ropes and cloth. The only other known species of this genus are the Australian sour-gourd or cream-of-tartar tree, Adansonia Gregorii, which differs chiefly in its smaller fruit, and the Madagascar baobab, A. Madagascariensis, which has red flowers.
- n. A tree, Adansonia digitata (and similar species), native to tropical Africa, having a broad swollen trunk and edible gourd-like hanging fruits.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Bot.) A gigantic African tree (Adansonia digitata), also naturalized in India. See adansonia.
- n. African tree having an exceedingly thick trunk and fruit that resembles a gourd and has an edible pulp called monkey bread
- From Arabic بو حباب (būħibāb, "father of many seeds"), from ابو (’abū, "father") + حب (ħabb, "seed"). (Wiktionary)
- Possibly from North African Arabic būḥibab, fruit of many seeds, from Arabic 'abū ḥibāb, source of seeds : 'ab, father, source; see אb in Semitic roots + ḥibāb, pl. of ḥabb, seed. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
““The baobab is a most wonderful tree,” he chuckled, settling back against an outcropping of rock.”
“There they were, isolated at the top of one of the larger branches shooting out in the midst of one of those miniature forests called baobab-trees.”
“But this wonder will cease when I inform you, that the hallowing out of a chamber in the trunk of a baobab is a mere bagatelle, and costs but trifling labour.”
“Africa -- the baobab, which is a vitamin and mineral-packed fruit that so far has only been enjoyed by locals, but is now acai-powered smoothie shops in Miami and Berkeley out of business.”
“The baobab is a traditional food plant in Africa, but is little-known elsewhere.”
“Fruits such as baobab (Adansonia digitata) and morula (Sclerocarya birrea) are exceptionally rich in the vitamin.”
““As they say an elephant never forgets, the baobab is the wise old sage of the soil, and they, too, never forget.”
“Many hungry families are reportedly living on one meal a day, exchanging precious livestock for buckets of maize or eating wild foods such as baobab and amarula. ”
“This land is home to the largest succulent plants found anywhere, the giant baobab trees that are sometimes more than two thousand years old, and camelthorn trees, which house the haystacksize communal nests of the weavers.”
““Your heart must rise,” Twa said earlier that afternoon while resting underneath a baobab tree with Toma, |Kunta Boo, other n|om-kxaosi, and me.”
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