Friday, July 6, 2012

Iconic Trees...

The “baobab” tree of Africa...
This Smithsonian article describes seven iconic trees of the world, like the one at right:
Its bark is fire resistant. Its fruit is edible. It scoffs at the driest droughts. It shrugs, and another decade has passed. It is the baobab, one of the longest-living, strangest looking trees in the world. Several species exist in the genus Adansonia, mostly in the semi-deserts of Africa and southern Asia. They can grow to be nearly 100 feet tall—but it’s the baobab’s bulk and stature that is so astonishing; many have trunks 30 feet in diameter. The Sunland Baobab of South Africa is far bigger still and is reportedly more than 6,000 years old. Its trunk, like those of many old baobabs, is hollow and—as a tourist attraction—even features a small bar inside. Baobab trees are leafless for much of the year and look rather like an oak that has been uprooted and replanted upside down. Numerous legends attempt to explain the bizarre and awesome appearance of the baobab, but if you visit the great Sunland Baobab, just let your jaw drop—and go inside for a drink.
I was disappointed to see that the author left out the koa tree of Hawai'i, one of my personal favorites. The koas at altitudes of roughly 8,000 feet and up on Mauna Kea (the middle volcano on the Big Island) are amongst the most beautiful trees I have ever seen. But despite this omission, it's an interesting collection...the tallest, strongest, and most iconic trees in the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment