03 August 2017

Baobab (#ThursdayTreeLove)

Baobab, Wai, Adansonia digitata

This massive apparently dry tree is none other than the Baobab (Adansonia digitata) of the Bombacaceae family. It simply demanded attention and the three of us holding hands together to form a chain could not completely encircle its girth!  

Its startling feature is a thick trunk and combined with the palmate leaves, identification is fairly simple. The trunk stores water and the tree loses all its leaves during the dry seasons. The flowers are white and bell shaped and bloom at night. They are most likely to be bat-pollinated.  

Baobabs are found in several parts of the world. I have spotted three in Pune but the photo above is from a place called Menavali near Wai in Maharashtra. 

The tree can grow to be really really old and the hollow massive trunk of one such tree in Zimbabwe is said to be able to shelter 40 people! Whoa!! 

In his book 'Videshi Vruksha', Prof SD Mahajan mentions a Baobab in Hyderabad that has a diameter of 5 m and is referred to as 'हाथियों का पेड". There is grove of several  Baobab trees near Mandu in Madhya Pradesh as well.

In fact, the Baobab finds a mention in the list of Baobab species in the Landmark Trees of India. Though an introduced species in our country, it seems to have flourished here to the extent that it seems like an indigenous species. 

Here is an image of an old Baobab in Pune that grows in the Savitribai Phule Pune University. The tree had collapsed since the trunk was hollowed by some infestion but as you can see, it had not died... The image is not very clear, but it does give a general idea.
Pune, Baobab

Have you seen a Baobab tree? Is there one growing in your city? 

I am participating in Parul's photo initiative #ThurdayTreeLove. This is my contribution to #ThursdayTreeLove20 

11 comments:

Alana said...

I live in northern climes in the United States, so we don't have these trees. I have seen one, I believe, in Florida, at what was once the estate of Thomas Edison.

Archana said...

According to what I have read, the Baobab is found in many parts of the world. Possibly the one you saw was this one! Thanks for stopping by Alana :)

G Angela David said...

I Loved this tree for it appeared artistic to me, never heard of this - I am now curious to look for it in Hyderabad, my city:) thanks I learnt something new today. I shall search for Baobab now:)

Archana said...

When i visited Hyderabad I did not know about the Baobab there so missed it. Do do and see it Angela. Thanks for stopping by :)

bellybytes said...

I used to pass a lovely old Baobab in the Cantonment area of Mumbai but I think over the years it's beginning to look scraggly. I've moved out of Colaba now so I don't see it very often and miss this tree which seemed to challenge my bus lumbering past.

Amrita Basu Misra said...

I have never seen a Baobab tree .It looks stunning .40 people in its trunk is outstanding.Loved reading about this.

Esha said...

I've seen them earlier and found the name fascinating when I first saw one in San Diego! Not seen them around here though. Wonderful facts about this tree, Archana. Loved the post!

Archana said...

@bellybytes - I have read about a group called Baobabs of Mumbai. Check it out! Thanks for stopping by!

Archana said...

@Amrita, it must be a really huge tree... Thanks!

Archana said...

Thank you Esha ! :)

Parul said...

Omg! I have never seen a tree like that. Or may be I never noticed when I lived in Mumbai. Thank you for sharing. I am awed by the size and how it gets when the leaves shed. Great capture.