Za Baobab – Adansonia za
Other Names: Za
Distinctive Characteristics: This baobab species can look similar to the African mainland species, Adansonia digitata, with a thick trunk and large main branches at the top.
Distribution: The most widespread of all baobab species in Madagascar: the Northwest coast, western coast and inland; and the only one found in the southeast and southwest.
Ecosystem: The most diverse of all Adansonia species. Sub-arid and semi-arid degraded scrublands, deciduous forests and thickets, humid riparian zones. Found with Adansonia rubrostipa in Kirindy.
Maximum Age: Unknown
Maximum Height and Girth: Height unknown, 75ft (23m) in girth.
Animal Community: Provides food and habitat for various lemurs, birds, insects, and fruit bats. Pollinated by nocturnal fork-marked lemurs.
Medicine: The bark, roots, leaves, fruits, and seeds have been widely used for medicinal applications for both people and animals.
Food: The large gourd-like seedpods contain a dry, sour center high in vitamin C that is made into candy, porridge, or a lemony drink; the seeds can be roasted; and the young leaves and seedling roots can be eaten. The seeds can be pressed for cooking oil.
Fiber: The inner bark is harvested to make very strong rope and cordage.
Threats and Conservation: Deforestation for agriculture, livestock grazing, as well as lack of regeneration.