Baobab – The Upside-Down Tree [25 Pics]

Alley of the Baobab

These magnificent trees form part of what is called the Alley of the Baobab, June, 2009. (special permission Tõnu Pihelgas).

Introduction

Legend holds that when the Baobab was planted by God, it kept walking, so God pulled it up and replanted it upside down to stop it moving. When travelling to Australia, Africa or Madagascar, you might spot a lonely tree that looks as if it is growing upside-down, with twisted roots sitting atop a huge, smooth, trunk.

We have taken a closer look at this massive tree, one of the oldest and strangest living things on our planet. In keeping with its unusual characteristics, it has a weird-sounding name – the baobab.

The Baobab, Upside-Down Tree or Adansonia are some of the names used can reach heights of 5 to 30 metres (16 to 98 ft) and have trunk diameters of 7 to 11 metres (23 to 36 ft).

Even is some claim that the Baobab may be many thousands of years old, it is difficult to verify as the wood does not produce annual growth rings. [25 pictures]

Child's face and baobab tree

Tree in the background is a baobab and the girl and the shot is from Madagascar.

Sunset at the Avenue of the Baobab trees

Sunset showing at the Avenue of the Baobab, Morondava, Madagascar, August 12, 2010 (CC copepodo).

Baobabs (Adansonia grandidieri), near Morondava, Madagascar

Baobabs (Adansonia grandidieri), near Morondava, Madagascar. March 14, 2007. (CC Bernard Gagnon).

Adansonia grandidieri, baobab from Madagascar, picture taken near Morondava

Adansonia grandidieri, baobab from Madagascar, picture taken near Morondava, March 14, 2007 (CC Bernard Gagnon/a>).

Adansonia grandidieri, baobab from Madagascar, picture taken near Morondava, March 14, 2007

Adansonia grandidieri, baobab from Madagascar, picture taken near Morondava, March 14, 2007 (CC Bernard Gagnon/a>).

Morondava, Avenue of the Baobabs

Trees and ground brings great color after rain, Morondava, Avenue of the Baobabs, Myanmar. May 1, 2007. (CC Rita Willaert).

Travelers between Baobab trees

A small coastal town and economic center of the west coast of Madagascar, formerly the heart of the Sakalava kingdom. Early in the morning starting at 5 in order not to miss the sunrise. The road between Morondava and Belo-Tsribihina is flanked by the largest baobabs of Madagascar. May 1, 2007 (CC Rita Willaert).

Single Baobab tree

Single tree. The Grandidier’s Baobab, picture taken near Morondava, Madagascar March 14, 2007. (CC Bernard Gagnon/a>).

Baobab tree bark

The bark of the tree is a pinkish grey color sort of like hippo skin. It contains a tragacanth like gum thick with mucilage, making it very bitter, however the native people still use it as food. Also, it is very good for bringing down fevers and some natives believe that it can cure malaria. For this, the leave is boiled and the water that is left after the boiling can be taken in small dosages to cure asthma, coughs and other chest related ailments. June, 2009. (special permission Tõnu Pihelgas).

The Baobab Lovers

The Baobab Lovers, June, 2009. (special permission Tõnu Pihelgas).

A Baobab tree with fruit

A Baobab tree with fruit. August 12, 2010 (CC copepodo).

Baobab fruit

Baobab fruit, August 12, 2010 (CC copepodo).

Baobab fruit split open

Baobab fruit split open. August 12, 2010 (CC copepodo).

Lemure catta

Lemure, catta 2005 (CC Emmanuel FAIVRE).

Grass is burning to favor the Zebu

Grass is burnt on the field to favor the zebu. This is one of the most serious environmental problems of the country. August 12, 2010 (CC copepodo).

Evening is coming to the Alley of the Baobab

Evening is coming to the Alley of the Baobab, June, 2009. (special permission Tõnu Pihelgas).

Baobab closeup

Baobab closeup, Alley of the Baobab, June, 2009. (special permission Tõnu Pihelgas).

Avenue of the Baobab in fantastic light

Avenue of the Baobab in fantastic light, June, 2009. (special permission Tõnu Pihelgas).

Road between the majestic trees are heavily used by people

ERoad between the majestic trees are heavily used by people, June, 2009. (special permission Tõnu Pihelgas).

The tree bark changes color at dusk

The tree bark changes color at dusk, June, 2009. (special permission Tõnu Pihelgas).

Red bark

Red bark, June, 2009. (special permission Tõnu Pihelgas).

Last light of the day

Last light of the day, June, 2009. (special permission Tõnu Pihelgas).

Sunset at Avenue of the Baobab

SSunset at Avenue of the Baobab, August 12, 2007 (CC copepodo).

Scratching feels good

Scratching feel so good! June, 2009. (special permission Tõnu Pihelgas).

6 Comments

  1. Always thought another name for the Baobab was ” Tree of Life” because so many crittters live inside. Have a photo from East Africa of a tremendous Baobab, that we saw on our trip. Looks out over the valley behind it. Wanted to have my husband stand next to it for perspective but guide said NO to many bad snakes hanging out around it. Susi

  2. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is wonderful blog. A fantastic read. I will certainly be back.

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