World Journal of Agricultural Research. 2022, 10(3), 82-93
DOI: 10.12691/WJAR-10-3-4
Original Research

Morphological Characterization of Baobab Fruit (Adansonia Digitata L.) in Makueni, Taita Taveta, Kilifi and Kwale Counties in Kenya

Molly Murage1, 2, Justus M Onguso1, Wekesa Remmy3 and Tofick B Wekesa1,

1Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Institute of Biotechnology Research (IBR), Juja, Kenya

2World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Tree Diversity, Domestication and Delivery, Nairobi, Kenya

3Louisiana State University, Department of Biological Sciences, Baton Rouge, LA, USA

Pub. Date: November 02, 2022

Cite this paper

Molly Murage, Justus M Onguso, Wekesa Remmy and Tofick B Wekesa. Morphological Characterization of Baobab Fruit (Adansonia Digitata L.) in Makueni, Taita Taveta, Kilifi and Kwale Counties in Kenya. World Journal of Agricultural Research. 2022; 10(3):82-93. doi: 10.12691/WJAR-10-3-4


Baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) is a multipurpose tree with a long lifespan which grows throughout sub-Saharan Africa in the semi-arid and humid regions. The Fruit pulp, which is an important part, is used by locals as a food additive and at times the pulp is consumed directly by children and adults. In Kenya, the fruit pulp is consumed directly in some parts of the country while other parts of the country, mostly coastal regions add value to it and sell to earn an income. Baobab’s natural habitat is under threat yet both the morphological and genetic diversity is not well documented. The aim of this study was to determine morphological characteristics of baobab fruit in Makueni, Taita Taveta, Kilifi and Kwale counties. Sixty-four trees (one tree per farm) were randomly selected, and 10 fruits were picked that were used for morphological characterization using 29 qualitative and 15 quantitative descriptors modified from those given for mango by the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI). The results indicated ellipsoid fruit shape was dominant (2.0-3.6) with acute apex (2.8-6.4) and slightly-oblique (4.0-8.4). Baobab fruit had perceptible fruit beak (ranging 4.4-10.0). The results also showed hierarchical clustergram in terms of hair, color, surface, shell hairness and shell surface texture whereby Kilifi and Kwale were clustered together and differed from Makueni and Taita Taveta. In terms of shell hardness to crack, most of the baobab was hard (6.0-8.0) with intermediate adherence of fibre to fruit (6.0-8.0) and intermediate amount of fibre in fruit (2.4-6.0). The seed shape was very reinformed (2.0-9.6), coarse seed testa texture and hard seed testa. The results indicated that fruit length ranged from 12.18-25.06cm, fruit diameter from 7.10-9.08cm. Fruit weight ranged 101.74-319.16g, fibre weight (1.86-5.17G0 and shell weight (46.30-159.68g).


baobab, characterization, conservation, descriptors, domestication, morphological


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