The fony baobab is a deciduous tree, bearing leaves from November to April, and flowering between February and April, although sometimes as late as June. The flowers are large, showy and sweet-smelling, and open just before or soon after dusk, producing copious amounts of nectar but remaining reproductively receptive for just one night (2) (3) (5) (8). The flower bud, which is borne at the base of a leaf, is elongated, green and cylindrical, measuring up to 28 centimetres in length, and opening to reveal a bright red inside surface. The long petals are bright yellow to orange-yellow in colour, and are significantly shorter than the numerous stamens, a feature which helps distinguish the fony baobab from other, similar species (2) (5) (7) (8).
The main pollinator of the fony baobab is believed to be a long-tongued hawk moth, Coelonia solanii, although two nocturnal lemur species also visit the flowers and may play a role in pollination (2) (4) (8). The fruits of this species ripen by October or November (4) (5), and consist of a large, dry, rounded berry, inside which numerous kidney-shaped seeds are embedded in a chalky or spongy pulp. The fruit has a thick, woody outer surface, and is covered in dense reddish-brown hairs (2) (5) (7). In Africa, the tasty, nutritious pulp of baobab fruits attracts large mammals such as elephants and baboons, which serve as seed dispersers. However, there are no animals on Madagascar which are known to disperse the seeds of Madagascan baobabs, and it is possible that the original dispersers became extinct when humans colonised the island (2) (3) (6). Unlike some other Madagascan baobabs, the seeds of the fony baobab are unlikely to be dispersed by water, as the species rarely grows near rivers or streams (2) (4). A number of species, including lemurs and birds, are likely to feed on and destroy the fruits and seeds, but are not thought to act as seed dispersers (6).