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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Adansonia is a genus of eight species of tree, six native to Madagascar, one native to mainland Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, some in India and one to Australia. The mainland African species also occurs on Madagascar, but it is not a native of that island.

A typical common name is baobab. Other common names include boab, boaboa, tabaldi, bottle tree, upside-down tree, and monkey bread tree. The generic name honours Michel Adanson, the French naturalist and explorer who described A. digitata.

In culture

The baobab is occasionally known as the devil tree, from African folklore which has it that the devil was mad at the tree because he got stuck in its branches, pulled it out and planted it upside down, making the branches the roots and vice versa. To make sure no future baobab trees would grow, the devil destroyed all young baobabs, that is why there are only fully grown baobabs. The Devil Tree is also the name of a novel by Jerzy Kosinski.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Adansonia" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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