The venerable baobab tree is native to Africa and can be found throughout much of the continent. Nothing towers over the vast African savannah like this tree, not even elephants.
Although the height is impressive at 16-82 feet (5-25 m), it is the solid girth that catches your eye. The behemoth trunk can get up to 32-45 feet (10-14m) in diameter.
This is a deciduous tree, but it only has leaves for about three months of the year (the wet season). Most of the year you see it as pictured here. Fortunately it is drought resistant, due to its large root system.
It also bears an ovoid fruit that has a dry pulp and can be ground into a powder, used to make nutritious drinks. The fruit doesn’t come along for about 20 years, but for a tree that can live to 1,000 years, that’s a very youthful time. Animals eat the leaves, and humans make food, clothing, and other useful products from the tree. To read more about Adansonia digitata, click here.
The baobab is prevalent in many parts of Africa, and is also found in Oman, Yemen and Western Asia. But when I see this tree it says to me one word: Africa. And what a lovely statement that is.
Photo credit: Athena Alexander