Dec 11 2011

Unusual

Published by at 7:17 am under Beyond Bounds,Trees


Standing alone like a “wolf tree” in a farmer’s field, this tree looks quite odd.

Grandidieri’s baobab (Adansonia grandidieri) grows only in the western part of Madagascar, an island off the coast of Africa.   As is typical for baobabs it has a very wide trunk compared to its crown.  Of the eight baobab species on earth, six are endemic to Madagascar.

If surrounded by a forest this tree would not stand out.  At 80 feet tall it’s about the height of a red oak and would blend in from a distance.  But its trunk is 10 feet wide, three times the diameter of a red oak.  This is one fat tree!

The IUCN says that Grandidieri’s baobab probably occurred in dry deciduous forests close to water but is now found in degraded agricultural land.  Sadly this is typical of Madagascar where deforestation is a huge problem.

That’s why this baobab is endangered … and more unusual than it ought to be.

(photo by Bernard Gagnon on Wikimedia Commons.  Click on the photo to see the original.)

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Unusual”

  1. Geneon 11 Dec 2011 at 4:12 pm

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexbip/3225375423/

  2. Kate St. Johnon 11 Dec 2011 at 8:21 pm

    I forgot to mention that baobabs are the trees that The Little Prince pulls out so that they won’t grow on his tiny planet. He says they are so big they would engulf it.

  3. mary jo bermanon 11 Dec 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Hey I recognized the photo of the tree as a baobab based soley on reading The Little Prince like 40 years ago.

    Charming book. Tiny planet.

  4. Joshon 12 Dec 2011 at 7:50 pm

    How could anyone learn about baobabs without the Little Prince? Fortunately for me, it’s the same word in French, so I didn’t have any trouble making the connection.

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