- Adansonia gregorii
Boab Adansonia gregorii, the Boab Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae (unranked): Angiosperms (unranked): Eudicots (unranked): Rosids Order: Malvales Family: Malvaceae Genus: Adansonia Species: A. gregorii Binomial name Adansonia gregorii
Adansonia gregorii, commonly known as the boab, it is a tree in the family Malvaceae. As with other baobabs, it is easily recognised by the swollen base of its trunk, which gives the tree a bottle-like appearance. Endemic to Australia, boab occurs in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, and east into the Northern Territory. It is the only baobab to occur in Australia, the others being native to Madagascar (six species) and mainland Africa and the Arabian Peninsula (one species).
Baobab is a medium sized tree ranging in height from 5 to 15 meters, usually between 9 and 12 metres, with a broad bottle-shaped trunk. Its trunk base may be extremely large; trunks with a diameter of over five metres have been recorded. Baobab is deciduous, losing its leaves during the dry winter period and producing new leaves and large white flowers between December and May.
The common name "boab" is a shortened form of the generic common name "baobab". Although boab is the most widely recognised common name, Adansonia gregorii has a number of other common names, including:
- baobab — this is the common name for the genus as a whole, but it is often used in Australia to refer to the Australian species;
- Australian baobab
- bottle tree
- dead rat tree
- gouty stem tree
- cream of tartar tree
- gourd-gourd tree
- sour gourd
- gadawon — one of the names used by the local Indigenous Australians. Other names include larrgadi or larrgadiy, which is widespread in the Nyulnyulan languages of the Western Kimberley.
The specific name "gregorii" honours the Australian explorer Augustus Gregory.
The plant has a wide variety of uses, most parts are edible and is the sources of a number of materials. Its medicinal products and the ability to store water through dry seasons has also been exploited.
Indigenous Australians obtained water from hollows in the tree, and used the white powder that fills the seed pods as a food. Decorative paintings or carvings were sometimes made on the other surface of the fruits. The leaves were used medicinally.
A large hollow boab just south of Derby, Western Australia is reputed to have been used in the 1890s as a lockup for Aboriginal prisoners on their way to Derby for sentencing. The Boab Prison Tree still stands, and is now a tourist attraction.
- ^ a b "Adansonia gregorii". FloraBase. Department of Environment and Conservation, Government of Western Australia. http://florabase.dec.wa.gov.au/browse/profile/4995.
- ^ "Australian plant common name database". Australian National Botanic Gardens. http://www.anbg.gov.au/common.names/. Retrieved 2010-10-11.
- ^ Vickers, Claudia; Jack Pettigrew. "Origins of the Australian Boab (Adansonia gregorii)". The University of Queensland. http://www.uq.edu.au/nuq/jack/Boab%20Origins.html. Retrieved 8 October 2010.
- ^ Boab Prison Tree, About-Australia.com. Retrieved February 1, 2009.
- Boland, D. J. et al. (1984). Forest Trees of Australia (Fourth edition ed.). Collingwood, Victoria, Australia: CSIRO Publishing. ISBN 0-643-05423-5.
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