The Baobabs: Pachycauls of Africa, Madagascar and Australia
Although Alexander von Humboldt never saw a baobab, he wrote: ‘Among organic creatures, this tree [Dracaena draco (dragon tree)] is undoubtedly, together with the Adansonia or baobab of Senegal, one of the oldest inhabitants of our planet’ (Humboldt 1852). With their enormous size, distinctive and often grotesque appearance, and great age (measured perhaps in thousands of years), baobab trees attract the attention of botanists, amateurs, tourists and passers-by wherever they grow. Old specimens display highly individual, photogenic characteristics which endear them to local people, artists and photographers. European knowledge of the African baobab dates back to Renaissance times. I first became acquainted with the African baobab in 1952 while working in what was then Sokoto Province, Northern Nigeria. Later I worked in the former Rhodesias (now Zambia and Zimbabwe) and in the Sudan, and was able to further my studies. Although I have written about the African baobab, it was Pat Lowe who, in January 2000, persuaded me that we should pool our knowledge and ex- riences and write a book on all eight species of this outstanding genus. While I take full responsibility for the final text, I have taken advantage of her knowledge of baobabs in Africa, Madagascar and especially Australia, and of her constructive criticism of the text.
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Aborigines acid Adanson Adansonia digitata Adansonia gregorii annual rainfall Anonymous Arab ASCOMYCOTA Atlantic-Congo Australia Baillon Baines baobab baobab bark baobab fruit baobab leaves baobab pulp baobab seeds baobab tree baobabs growing Bāthie Baum Benue-Congo boab boab tree Bombacoideae Botanic Gardens botanist Botswana branches Burkina Faso Cashel century climate coast coastal Dalziel deciduous decoction diameter distribution dry season East elephants extract feed fibres flora fruit bat fruit pulp Gambia germination Ghana girth grandidieri grassland growth hollow baobab India Kenya Kerharo and Adam Kimberley known leaf lemurs Lowe MaBP Madagascar madagascariensis Malagasy Mali Morondava nectar nests Nigeria occur Perrier personal communication plants Plate pods pollination population powdered region reported River roots rubrostipa Sahel savanna seedlings Senegal soils South Africa southern species specimens suarezensis Sudan Tanzania tropical trunk vegetation Vernacular name vitamin Volta-Congo West Africa western Wickens wood woodland Zimbabwe zone
Page 428 - Geographical Historie of Africa, written in Arabicke and Italian, by John Leo, a More, borne in Granada, and brought up in Barbarie . . . Translated and collected by John Pory, late of Gonevill and Cais College.
Page 7 - ... the country. Concerning the size of these, I may say that, at a spring near the river bank from which we drew water, there was a very great and broad tree; its height, however, was not in proportion to its size, for while we judged it to be about 20 paces high we found the girth by measurement to be about seventeen paces round the foot. It was hollow in many places, and its branches were very large so that they threw a deep shade around1. There are to be found even larger trees, so that from...
Page 451 - MUELLER.— THE ORGANIC CONSTITUENTS OF PLANTS AND VEGETABLE SUBSTANCES, and their Chemical Analysis.
Page 436 - Charles-Dominique, P.; Cooper, HM; Hladik, A.; Hladik, CM; Pages, E.; Pariente, GF; Petter-Rousseaux, A.; Petter, JJ; and Schilling, A., eds.
Page 33 - There, towering over all, stands the great burly baobab, each of whose enormous arms would form the trunk of a large tree, beside groups of graceful palms, which, with their feathery-shaped leaves depicted on the sky, lend their beauty to the scene. As a hieroglyphic they always mean " far from home," for one can never get over their foreign air in a picture or landscape.
Page 234 - Endangered when it is not Critically Endangered but is facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future, as defined by any of the criteria (A to E) on page 276. VULNERABLE (VU) A taxon is Vulnerable when it is not Critically Endangered...
Page 442 - Walker, BH (1998) Carbon and nitrogen isotope discrimination and nitrogen nutrition of trees along a rainfall gradient in northern Australia.
Page 33 - ... witnessed in England. It had never been seen before by European eyes; but scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.
Page 112 - ... along the surface of the ground forty or fifty yards from the trunk, also retain their vitality after the tree is laid low ; and the Portuguese now know that the best way to treat them is to let them alone, for they occupy much more room when cut down than when growing. The wood is so spongy and soft that an axe can be struck in so far with a good blow that there is great difficulty in pulling it out again. In the dead mowana mentioned the concentric rings were well seen. The average for a foot...