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 436 - Charles-Dominique, P.; Cooper, HM; Hladik, A.; Hladik, CM; Pages, E.; Pariente, GF; Petter-Rousseaux, A.; Petter, JJ; and Schilling, A., eds.