1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Baobab
BAOBAB, Adansonia digitata (natural order Bombaceae), a native of tropical Africa, one of the largest trees known, its stem reaching 30 ft. in diameter, though the height is not great. It has a large woody fruit, containing a mucilaginous pulp, with a pleasant cool taste, in which the seeds are buried. The bark yields a strong fibre which is made into ropes and woven into cloth. The wood is very light and soft, and the trunks of living trees are often excavated to form houses. The name of the genus was given by Linnaeus in honour of Michel Adanson, a celebrated French botanist and traveller.