Adansonia za is a large thick-stemmed (pachycaul) deciduous tree, about 10–40 metres (33–131 ft) high and about 6 metres (20 ft) in diameter. The trunk and branches have a brownish-rose colored hue. The tree is wide at the base and grows to a narrow point towards the top of the tree. Leaves are palmately lobed with up to 5 lobes per leaf. They are 5 to 10 centimeters long and 1.5 to 2.5 centimeters wide and the leaf margin is entire. The flower buds are long green cylinders which can resemble oversized beans and could be mistaken for a fruit. The bud opens with the curling back of the outside layer of the flower bud, revealing yellow and red petals with yellowish long stamens. The corolla is 15 to 20 centimeters long and 1.2 to 1.5 centimeters wide. Petals are 10 to 20 centimeters long and 1.2 to 1.5 centimeters wide. The flowers are musty-sweet scented. Flowering period extends from November to February. Flowers are usually pollinated by moths of the Sphingidae family. Fruits are usually ovoid with a markedly thickened peduncle. They contain kidney-shaped, laterally flattened seeds. The seeds have an oil content of 11 percent.
This plant grows in arid scrublands, in deciduous and thorn forests and in savannah. It prefers sunny areas and well drained soils, at an elevation up to 800 metres (2,600 ft) above sea level.
- "Reakaly baobab (Ampanihy baobab)". Wondermondo.
- David A. Baum: The Comparative Pollination and Floral Biology of Baobabs (Adansonia- Bombacaceae). In: Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden. Band 82, Nr. 2, 1995, S. 322-348
- David A. Baum: A Systematic Revision of Adansonia (Bombacaceae). In: Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden. Band 82, Nr. 3, 1995, S. 440-471
- World Conservation Monitoring Centre 1998. Adansonia za. 2016 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 23 November 2016.
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