15 Baobab Tree Facts That Far from Myths

Africa and the Baobab tree are inseparable. When you talk about Africa, then you should mention Baobab tree or Tree of Life. With its unique shape that looks like an upside down tree, people try to find out information about this tree.

Whether they try to plant it, which is nearly impossible to do at your yard, or bring home a few parts of its trunk when traveling to Africa.

Unlike other plants that have hundred or thousand species, Baobab has nine different species, and only two species that are cultivated outside Africa. For instance, Adansonia Digitata and Kilima are native to mainland Africa and Arabian peninsula, while Adansonia Gregorii can be found in Australia. 

Baobab has interesting facts that you have to read thoroughly, especially if you believe about its myth and legendary stories attached. Although we will not talk about the myth, at least you know the hidden Baobab trees facts that you never thought about Baobab tree before.

1. The Man Who Found Baobab Tree

baobab tree facts
The Baobabs, of The Tourist Area

These upside down trees’ genus is named Adansonia. Adansonia takes the name of French botanist Michel Adanson, who described the baobab trees in Senegal. After doing research for 5 years on the Baobab tree, Michel Adanson stated that Baobab is the most useful tree of all. You can use all of the parts of this tree based on the needs.

Therefore, this is the old and giant tree that we should pay more attention to. 

2. Tartar Fruit is An Essential Ingredient for Cooking

Tartar fruit is a fruit from seed pulp of Baobab Tree. People often used it to make cream of tartar. It is quite popular for Africans. You can use cream of tartar for any cooking you desire. The taste is fresh, sour and flavorful. Instead of making cream of tartar, the seed pulp has also been used for making the wine.

baobab tree facts
Baobab Tree Seeds
baobab tree facts
Baobab Seeds in a Bowl

For instance, The Sa na Njema, Women Group in Tanzania, has made the indigenous effort of making Baobab wine from the seeds of the Baobab tree. The signature taste of this wine becomes one of the main reason for the visitors to visit Africa. 

3. The Oldest Baobab Tree

“Grootboom” is considered as the oldest and mature Baobab tree in Africa. Sadly, the Grootboom, one of Baobab trees, had died at the age of 1,275 years old. People believed that the death of this old tree in Namibia was due to mysterious fungal diseases. But after some research, there is no sign that this giant tree dies due to fungus.

baobab tree facts
Very Old Baobab Tree

Researchers believe that it is more because of increased temperature and the lack of rainfall in Africa for the last decade. Baobab needs to sip up to 80% of water in Namibia that sourced from rainfall. But Grootboom couldn’t take any longer, the rain was not coming. That giant tree died a month before the rainfall in Namibia came. 

4. Baobab Tree Can Accommodated 120.000 Liters of Water

It is true that the trunk of Baobab tree can hold up to 120.000 liter gallons of water. It is part of an adaptation to the harsh drought conditions of its environment.

baobab tree facts
Baobab Trees
baobab tree facts
Baobab Tree on Low Lying Areas

The tree may be tapped in dry periods, therefore they save a lot of water on its trunk for the tree to grow properly. This is the main reason as well that Baobab tree hates elephants very much, because that animal can drink the water from the trunk by destroying the trunk first.

5. The Biggest Baobab Tree

It is called The Glencoe Baobab. It belongs to Adansonia Digitata in Limpopo Province, South Africa. The tree was considered to be the largest living individual, with a maximum circumference of 47 m and a diameter of about 15.9 m.

baobab tree facts
Baobab Tree Upper Branches

With a diameter of almost 16m, then we assume that you can build one unit of studio apartment inside the Baobab tree. So, no wonder that people are curious and interested to use the Baobab tree as the public place that can accommodate many people inside.

6. Baobab Tree Appears From Over 200 Million Years Ago

Based on the research, the baobab predates humankind and has been traced back over 200 million years to the Pangea supercontinent. It makes all clear that due to its life-span, which is a thousand years for one tree.

babobab tree facts
The Baobab Tree of Madagascar

Moreover, back to the era when the climate change was not as rapid as today, it can live up to 2,500 years and the tree contains as much as 500 cubic meters of wood.

7. Baobab Can Be Used As A Medicine

Just tell us the disease that comes to your mind, then Baobab can cure it all. Yes, Africans use the roots, bark and leave extracts (methanolic extracts) as high antiviral and antimicrobial for various diseases.

The scientists take a deeper step to research and find out the truth by doing some tests. For instance, the protective effect of African baobab fruit pulp from genus A. digitata on oxidative stress-induced effects in rats by a high-fat diet.

baobab tree facts
Baobab Adansonia Digitata Powder
baobab tree facts
Baobab Oil

The researchers found out that the pulp of Baobab can be used as a functional food for the natural treatment and prevention of hyperlipidemia associated health abnormalities, by boosting the activities of antioxidant enzymes.

Moreover, the bark contains alkaloid “Adansonin” that Africans believe is an effective way against malaria and fever. Fruit facilitates digestion, reduces fever and improves function of the nervous system as well. Guess it is true, that Baobab tree is the medicine to cure all the diseases you suffer.

8. Baobab Pigments are Used in The Industry of Dyes

This versatile tree can be used for everything. The unique one is the strong pigments of Baobab are used in the industry of dyes. The roots can be used to make red dye.

baobab tree facts
Baobab Tree in the province of Alicante

It becomes the natural dyes for coloring the shirts, net, or bags. Because of the high-pigmentation color from the roots, this Baobab root is still the favorite one for Africans to dye their items until now.

9. Baobab’s Biggest Enemy

Ever wonder what are the things that Baobab hates very much? The Baobab tree hates elephants, elands, and some other animals that chew the bark during the dry seasons.

baobab tree facts
Mother Elephant is Eating
baobab tree facts
Baobab Tree That Has Been Ravaged by Elephants

They chew bark not because they are hungry, but they search for the water inside the trunk of Baobab. One Baobab tree can save 120.000 liters of water, so it is such a holy grail for elephants and elands to enjoy the trunk during the hot summer.

10. Bats Pollinate The Baobab Trees

Not many people know that Baobab has the host pollinators in order to get the nectar from Baobab flowers. And the pollinators are not birds or butterflies like other flowery plants.

baobab trees facts
Bats That Pollinate The Baobab Trees

The pollinators for the Baobab tree are bats. Yes, bats love to feed on nectar in order to pollinate the flowers. It is a mutual symbiotic since the night animal that can do this thing is only a bat.

11. The Tree Bark is Fire Resistant and Has Strong Fibers

Because the tree bark has strong fibers and is fire resistant, people tend to use it for producing the clothes. But for the fire resistance on the clothes, it should be tested more to claim the fire resistance when the fibers have already turned into the clothes.

baobab tree facts
Baobab Tree in The Park Blue Sky

12. It Reaches of Vitamin C

Although the tree looks dry and just contains water and woods, who ever expects that the fresh fruit has a taste like a sorbet? It has an acidic, tart, citrus flavor. Then, it means it is a good source of vitamin C, potassium, carbohydrates, and phosphorus.

Vitamin C content, described as variable in different samples of research, was in a range of 74 to 163 milligrams (1.14 to 2.52 gr) per 100 grams (3.5 oz) of dried powder.

baobab tree facts
Baobab Seeds Covered with Glazed and Powdered Sugar

Also in 2008, baobab dried fruit pulp was authorized in the EU as a safe food ingredient, and later in the year was granted GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status in the United States. Isn’t it lovely to realize that consuming this fruit is not only tasty, but also benefits your health.

13. Climate Change Causes Baobab Collapsed and Died

The phenomenon of climate change is something we cannot deny. Because this case caused the death of Baobab trees, especially in Africa. Since 2005, 9 of the 13 oldest African baobab specimens and 5 of the 6 largest trees, have died or suffered the collapse and death of their largest or oldest stems. Although the trees are so in love with dry areas, the increasing temperature and lack of water due to climate change are different conditions.

baobab tree facts
Baobab Tree Died in The Chad Desert

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14. The Flowers Bloom At Night

For the old and large single tree, hundreds of flowers can bloom beautifully. The bloom period is based on their own rhythm. Some flowers only last for minutes, yet the others can last for a couple hours each night.

baobab tree facts
The Flower of Adansonia Digitata
baobab tree facts
Beautiful Baobab Flowers

So, if you want to see the beautiful white flowers from Baobab, you should go outside at night, of course accompanied by the guide and see how beautiful it is. Oh, don’t forget that the night pollinators will visit the trees as well.

15. It Takes 15 to 20 Years for Baobab Tree to Fruits

When you think that harvesting and enjoying the fruit from the Baobab tree is like harvesting apples or oranges, then you are wrong. Some farmers are discouraged by the fact that Baobab trees can take 15-20 years to fruit.

baobab tree facts
Baobab Fruit Hanging on Tree
baobab tree facts
Baobab Fruits

It is more like waiting for some natural phenomenon in our life. But, recent research has shown by grafting the branches of fruiting trees to seedlings they can fruit in five years. Well, it still is a long time, but it’s better than never.

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