Baobab Tree Symbolism and Meanings

 6 min read

If you’re anything like me and fascinated by trees, the baobab tree (Adansonia) should be a household name. With all of its magical qualities, this spiritual superstar ranks right up there with other time-honored celebrities such as oak, palm, peach and sequoia.

The Baobab, a native to Madagascar, Australia, and the Arabian Peninsula can grow to an immense size and live for several thousand years.

Not only are baobabs among Africa’s oldest trees, but they’re also some of the most revered. Their vast water storage capabilities enable an entire community to survive off of a single tree.

Baobab tree symbolism can represent divination, dreams, beauty, health, spirit communication and longevity. In some cultures, the Baobab tree is seen as a sacred tree and is thought to be a link between the physical and spiritual worlds. The Baobab tree is also known as the “Tree of Life” because of its ability to sustain life in harsh conditions. Baobab tree symbolism is varied and complex, but all interpretations point to the Baobab tree as a powerful symbol of life itself.

In this article, we’ll explore the baobab tree, its symbolism and its meaning.

Symbolism:The Tree of Life, dreams, beauty, divination, health, longevity and spirit communication
Divine Association:The spirit world
Astrological Association:Moon
Fun Fact:To give you an idea of how large this tree is, 30 or more people holding hands are needed to fully encircle it.

About Baobab Tree

baobab trees
Baobab Trees

The Adansonia genus includes eight species of deciduous trees native to Africa, six endemic to Madagascar and one endemic to Australia. The most frequently seen baobab, A. digitata, grows throughout much of Africa and Madagascar.

Short but massive is how you could describe its trunk which can reach 60ft (18m) in height or half that diameter wise.

The leaves at the ends of the branches have five to seven oblong-elliptic leaflets up to 5in (12.5cm) long. The flowers often open before the leaves, with white obovate petals up to 4in (10cm) long.

They are pollinated by various nocturnal creatures, including bats. The largest living specimen stands in Northern Province (South Africa) and measures 45ft (13.7m) in diameter and is estimated 3,000 years old or more.

Practical Uses

The trunks of the largest baobabs can store an astounding 30,000 gallons (136,000 litres) of water in their spongy wood. This unique ability has helped various tribes survive during droughts or in times when there was little to no water available.

The sturdy bark of the tree can be used to make ropes, nets, and cloth. The white fibrous fruit pulp can also be burned as a form of insect repellent for domestic animals in some parts of Africa.

Natural Healing

Local people rely on woody, egg-shaped fruits for sustenance as they are rich in protein and oil. The black seeds provide a meal when eaten alone, mixed with millet, or pounded into a paste; their oil is also extracted.

The white pulp of the fruit can be made into refreshing lemonade. Even the young shoots and leaves are edible for humans and animals alike.

The baobab tree has a long history of being used for medicinal purposes. The leaves and seeds are high in vitamin C and calcium, which help to strengthen the immune system.

Bark and seeds can be used to treat fevers and even malaria.

Folklore, Myth and Symbol of Baobab Tree

baobab trees in sunset
Baobab Trees in Sunset

Many myths, legends and pieces of folklore surround the baobab tree, particularly from the early 20th century. The tree’s ability to provide water has made it a true “Tree of Life” for many people, and rituals of respect and thanksgiving date back centuries.

In addition, certain countries have ceremonies in which they bury special people- like medicine men, shamans, and sometimes poets or musicians- inside hollow baobabs that are no longer used for water storage.

They do this because they believe the baobab tree in Siberia is a powerful gateway to the spirit world that will make it easier for their soul’s journey upwards- as well as its return if necessary.

Baobab Tree Symbolism and Meanings

When you look at a baobab tree, or even just a picture of one, it might make you feel like you’re travelling back in time.

They have an otherworldly appearance that makes them seem ancient, and indeed they can be very old.

Baobabs also carry a lot of different meanings and symbolism.


In Africa, it is said that “Knowledge is like the baobab tree. No single human can embrace it.” If you are wanting to expand your knowledge repertoire, whether you are a college student or just interested in learning more, keep this saying in mind.

It’s not about knowing everything there is to know, but rather enjoying the journey and process of acquiring new information.

Natural Abundance, Sustenance, and Generosity

Although most people would not consider Madagascar to be a wealthy country, it is abundant in the baobab tree. The fruit from the baobab tree is delicious and packed with nutrients. It tastes like sherbet and turns into candy once dried out.

Not only is the bark of a baobab tree medicinal, but the shoots and leaves are edible just like veggies.

And if that weren’t enough, the trunk can store large quantities of drinking water – which is extremely valuable for humans and other animals living in dry climates. The majestic baobab truly lives up to its nickname as a “tree of life”!

Woody, egg-shaped fruits that are rich in protein and oil are an important source of food for local populations.

Spiritual Power

In addition to baobab’s other gifts of ancient awareness, divine communion, earth wisdom, knowledge, natural abundance, and spirit world alignment is the magical gift of spiritual power.

There is an African legend in which a son takes an entire baobab tree up from its roots and presents it to his father as a symbol that he has taken the whole teaching of the spirit world back with him so that he can lead the tribe when it is his turn.

Transitioning To and From the Spirit World

The baobab trees are believed to be a portal between our world and the spirit realm. Therefore, some tribes would use the hollowed-out trunks of these trees as tombs for their most revered members.

The baobab’s flowers are pollinated by nocturnal animals such as bats, which mirrors the tree’s alignment with the spiritual world.

Additionally, the upside-down nature of the baobab lends itself to seeing underneath things and bringing what is hidden into the light.


The baobab tree is an impressive sight, and it carries a lot of symbolism for different cultures. It’s a tree of knowledge, sustenance, and spiritual power.

Additionally, it is thought to be a portal between our world and the spirit realm. These meanings make the baobab tree special, and they are something to consider when looking at this majestic tree.