Baobab or Adansonia digitata (Adansonia digitata) – a tree from the genus Adansonia of the family of the Malvovian class of dicotyledons. Most characteristic of African savannahs.
One of the thickest trees – the trunk circumference reaches 25 m, height 18-25 m. Leaves palchatosyllous, falling in the heat; flowers large (up to 20 cm across), white; fruits long, like huge cucumbers, develop during the hot season.
Baobab lives up to 4-5 thousand years. From the bark it is extracted fibers, going to the manufacture of rope, rough fabrics. Fruits contain soft juicy edible flesh.
Other species of the genus Adansonia (total 10) are common in Africa, Madagascar and Northern Australia, but none of these species reach the size of the baobab.
The name baobab was given in honor of the French botanist Michel Adanson, who was engaged in the 18th century research of Africa. Baobab is the national symbol of Madagascar.
Baobab, like an African tree, is dry.
On the contrary, just because the baobab grows in arid terrain, it was forced to adapt to this area: the tree absorbs water in the rainy season as a huge sponge (which explains their incredible thickness), and does not allow this water to evaporate already thick, to 10 centimeters, soft outside and strong enough inside, bark of the baobab.
Baobab pollinate … bats.
White flowers from the globular buds of the baobab usually appear closer to the night, spreading around them a rather pleasant aroma, which invariably attracts bats known as palm fishers. Overnight, mice do their pollinating work, after which the flowers wilt, start to smell disgusting and finally fall off.
Baobabs are capable of living for thousands of years.
What can be explained by their special tenacity and the ability to take root in virtually any condition, even in a felled one. However, the life expectancy of these trees to the end has not been determined by scientists. According to one version, supported by the method of radiocarbon analysis, the age of the baobab can reach up to 5500 years, on others – only up to 1000.
The baobab fruits are edible.
Covered with thick furry skin, oblong baobab fruits, reminiscent of cucumbers, contain inside the sour pulp with black seeds, which is very popular with baboons and people. Until recently, baobab was banned from eating in Europe, but a couple of years ago a permit was obtained and now fruit cocktails, muesli and cereal bars will be prepared from the fruits of the baobab for Europeans.
You can prepare lemonade and coffee from the baobab.
For this, the pulp of baobab, reminiscent of ginger, should be dried, ground into powder and diluted in water. The resulting drink will taste like lemonade and not only cool the drinker, but also feed it with vitamins C and B. For coffee, a well-roasted baobab seeds are more suitable.
The bottle is also a baobab.
Only it grows not in Africa, but in Australia and is called more modestly – “boab” (or “Adanosia Gregory”, in honor of the Australian traveler-topographer Charles Augustus Gregory). By the way, this is the only kind of baobabs growing in Australia.
Baobab is a treat for elephants.
African giants eat them almost entirely, not only leaves and branches, but also the trunk.
Baobab is one of the thickest trees in the world.
The average circumference of the trunk in the baobab is 9-10 meters, while the height of the tree varies between 18-25 meters, and the diameter of the crown reaches 40.
The baobabs are getting thicker and thicker every year.
No matter how surprising this may sound, baobabs not only do not increase dramatically in size, but at times even less. It is connected, apparently, with the flow of water accumulated inside the trunk.
Baobab is an excellent medicine for many diseases.
Powder of baobab pulp increases immunity, lowers cholesterol, reduces menstrual pain. Especially good is the baobab for the skin – it not only improves its condition, but also nourishes the skin, removes irritation from it, inflammatory processes and restores the epidermis in case of a burn.
You can live in a baobab.
There are cases when a hollow (from time) barrel of a baobab was used, like a prison, a bus stop or a place to sleep. In some countries, enterprising residents arrange shops and pubs in this huge African tree.