BAOBAB TREE (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     8th June 2024        

Context: Recently, it was noted that the world's eight baobab species have a unique distribution: six in Madagascar, one in Africa, and one in Australia.

Baobab Tree

  • About: The tall and uniquely shaped deciduous trees which are famously spotted on the island of Madagascar.

oKnown for their great heights, with some extending up to 50 metres, and exceptionally long lifespans going up to 2,000 years.

  • Distribution: Grows in low-lying areas in Africa and Australia. Found in dry savannah habitats.

oThe trees belong to the genus Adansonia, which comprises eight distinct species:

üAdansonia digitata found in continental Africa, Adansonia gregorii in Northwestern Australia:

üSix other species endemic to Madagascar.

  • In India: Baobabs trees are found in abundance in Mandu town (Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh), where the Bhil tribe has preserved them for centuries.
  • One near the Golconda Fort in Andhra Pradesh that is believed to be more than 400 years old.
  • Unique Appearance: Baobabs have thick trunks with large circumferences and thin, spindly branches, giving them a distinctive "upside-down tree" appearance during the dry season.

oThis is how it became known as "The Tree of Life".