Fascinating Facts About the Strange and Beautiful Baobab Tree

By | September 25, 2018

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Baobabs in the savannah, red sky at sunset, South Africa. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

It is hard not to notice the Baobab tree. It is unlike any other tree on the planet, with its over-sized trunks and claw-like branches. It should come as no surprise that the odd-looking tree is native to Madagascar. After all, the island is home to weird creatures, like the lemur and the indri. The Baobab tree is as useful as it is unique. Take a look at these fascinating facts about the Baobab tree and you’ll find out why the native cultures refer to it as the “Tree of Life”. 

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Baobab Trees Live on Madagascar and Beyond

There are actually nine different species of the Baobab tree and only six of them are native to Madagascar. One species of the Baobab grows in Australia and two others can be found on the Arabian Peninsula and in Africa. During Colonial times, sailors attempted to propagate the tree in the Caribbean, with little success. The tree grows best in hot, dry areas with low rainfall...definitely not the growing conditions one finds in the Caribbean. The native people of Africa and Madagascar have long referred to the Baobab tree as the “tree of life” because it offers so much to humans…food, shelter, water and clothing.