Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 60, Issue 4, pp 1587–1596 | Cite as

A note on baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) in Kordofan, Sudan

  • J. GebauerEmail author
  • E. Luedeling
Notes on Neglected and Underutilized Crops


The isolated Sudanese baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) populations, located at the northernmost limit of the East African distributional range of the species, are regarded as important genetic resources. The morphological variation in fruits of selected baobab trees in Kordofan, Sudan, was evaluated by sampling fruits and assessing their characteristics. Furthermore, locations and stem diameter at breast height of 240 baobabs were mapped for a stand in Kordofan. Our preliminary results indicated a high diversity in fruit phenotypes. Ventricose, crescent-shaped, globose and fusiform fruit types were identified. Fruit shape varied between trees but was consistent within each individual tree. Percentage of fruit pulp varied between the different fruit types with 14, 15, 18, and 21 % recorded for ventricose, fusiform, crescent-shaped and globose fruits, respectively. Interesting was also the observation of baobab morphotypes that retained leaves during the dry season. Variation in leaf morphology could also be recognised. Measurements of baobab trees revealed a density of 0.72 individuals ha−1. Stem diameters ranged from 0.06 to 4.77 m. The size class distribution (SCD) showed an inverse J-shaped curve with a SCD slope of −0.57 which indicates a viable regenerating population. Based on the results recorded, enhancement of scientific research activities on the almost unstudied baobabs in Kordofan, Sudan is highly recommended.


Adansonia digitata Baobab Domestication Fruit characteristics Population structure Regeneration 



Survey work was supported by a scholarship from the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (2001–2003) and a Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship (2003–2005) from the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation (AvH) for the first author and within the framework of an Institutional Partnership Program (2006–2011) supported by the AvH, in which both authors were involved. We are very grateful to the rural people in Kordofan for sharing their knowledge about the baobab with us. Furthermore, special thanks to Dr Kamal Fadl from the Sudanese Agricultural Research Corporation (ARC) El Obeid Research Station and his family for local logistic support and hospitality.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sustainable Agricultural Production Systems with Special Focus on Horticulture, Faculty of Life SciencesRhine-Waal University of Applied SciencesKleveGermany
  2. 2.World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)NairobiKenya

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