Baobabs of Madagascar
Out of nine species of baobabs which are known to science in Madagascar grow six species of baobabs out of nine known to the science. All these six species grow exclusively in Madagascar. These baobabs are:
- fony baobab (Adansonia rubrostipa) – comparatively smaller baobab, but with very impressive, bottle shaped trunk. Found in the western part of Madagascar.
- Grandidier’s baobab (Adansonia grandidieri) – enormous, beautiful tree, one of symbols of Madagascar. These trees are increasingly rare and grow only in the dry tropical forest of south-western Madagascar. A group of these trees forms the famous “Avenue of Baobabs”.
- Madagascar baobab (Adansonia madagascariensis) – large tree, found in the north of the island.
- Perrier’s baobab (Adansonia perrieri) – large, up to 30 m tall tree which is very rare and found only in the north of island.
- Suarez baobab (Adansonia suarezensis) – large trees with characteristi flat-topped crown, found only in the north of the island.
- za baobab (Adansonia za) – most common baobab in Madagascar, reaches very large size.
Largest tree in Madagascar?
Reakaly village is located in the south-west of Madagascar – an area with the unique Madagascaran dry forest ecosystem. This eerie landscape is adorned with spiky, greyish-brown plants of fantastic forms.
Not far from this village is located a sacred tree – baobab of giant size. This picturesque tree is surrounded by a small grove of smaller trees and bushes and is revered by locals for centuries long. According to local legends, in the 12th century in the hollow (approximately 20 m² large) of this tree were hiding people of Zanakang clan from the hostile Fahavalo clan.
This fantastic tree belongs to Adansonia za species. Trunk of the tree has a circumference of 23 m, what makes it the largest known tree in Madagascar. Plaque at the tree notes that the circumference is 27 m, but this, most likely is circumference at the ground level.
In the hollow of Reakaly baobab live hundreds of bats, countless cocroaches and other living beings. Under the tree lives (or lived?) even Madagascar ground boa.
Images of this tree are available here:
- Dave’s Garden, PlantFiles: Picture #1 of Baobab (Adansonia za)
- Dave’s Garden, PlantFiles Pictures: chanin picture (Baobab (Adansonia za))
- routard.com, Le baobab d’Ampanihy
Reakaly baobab is included in the following list:
- Jérôme Hutin, Madagascar, Venerable Trees.
Reakaly baobab (Ampanihy baobab) on the map (approximate)
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|Location, GPS coordinates:||24.6677 S 44.5622 E (mistake up to 5,000 m)|
|Where is located?||Africa, Madagascar, Atsimo-Andrefana Region, 22 km north-west from Ampanihy town, in a small grove near Reakaly village|
|Species:||Adansonia za (Baill.)|
Madagascar is very rich with surprising natural landmarks – created both by geological processes and living nature. Highlights of Madagascar are karst features, unusual ecosystems, gorgeous and rare gemstones.
Category includes some of the most impressive and interesting separate trees of the the world. Total number of tree species in the world still is a wild guess – may be 10,000 and may be 100,000 but most likely somewhere in between. Every month there are reported new tree species from the whole world, including the Western Europe.