Baobab Facts

Baobab Facts
Baobab is a type of deciduous tree that belongs to the mallow family. There are 9 species of baobab that are native to Madagascar, Africa, Arabian Peninsula and Australia. This beautiful tree grows in dry areas, on hard, well-drained soil. Numerous species of animals depend on the water and food that baobab provides in the wild. Unfortunately, baobab is on the list of endangered plants due to accelerated habitat loss (as a result of increased agriculture).
Interesting Baobab Facts:
Baobab can reach 23 to 36 feet in diameter (of trunk) and 16 to 98 feet in height.
Baobab has red-brown or purple-gray bark. Tree produces numerous short branches that are covered with leaves only during the short period of year. Naked branches resemble root and whole plant looks like it was planted upside-down, hence the nickname "upside-down tree".
Baobab develops dark green, glossy leaves. They are arranged in clusters composed of five leaflets that grow from the same point.
Baobab produces white, large, fragrant flowers that contain more than 1.600 stamens. Bats and moths are responsible for the pollination (flowers open at night).
Fruit of baobab is large (up to 3.3 pounds), egg-shaped and covered with hard, hairy shell. Numerous black seed are embedded in the powdery pulp. Fruit tastes like a blend of vanilla, pear and grapefruit.
Fruit of baobab is rich source of vitamins C and A, and minerals such as iron, calcium and potassium.
Fruit can be consumed fresh or dried. Pulp can be mixed with milk or water, or used as an ingredient of porridges and various alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Pulp and seed can be used as thickener of jams and gravies. Roasted seed are often consumed as snack.
Leaves can be consumed fresh (as vegetable) or in the form of powder (dry, ground leaves) for the preparation of soups and sauces.
Baobab can be used as medicine. Fruit facilitates digestion, reduces fever and improves function of nervous system.
Trunk of baobab is able to store up to 100.000 liters of water. It serves as important source of water for people and animals during the dry periods of the year.
Baobab contains pigments that are used in the industry of dyes.
Bark of baobab tree is soft, fibrous and fire resistant. It is used for weaving of ropes and cloths. Compounds isolated from the bark are used for the manufacture of soap, glue and rubber.
According to the legend, one hollow baobab in the Western Australia served as temporary prison for the convicts that were on their way to permanent imprisonment in Derby at the end of 19th century.
Baobab tree is also known as "tree of life" because it provides shelter, water and food and can be used for many other purposes.Baobab can survive more than 3 thousand years in the wild.

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