Recently at the library I picked up the book Remarkable Trees of the World by Thomas Parkenham, and have been enjoying it. My favorite so far is the Baobab.
Some baobab fun facts:
- You can find baobabs in 20 African countries south of the Sahara.
- Nobody knows, within 1000 years, how old the more ancient specimens are because the old trees are hollow, and the the surviving tree rings too faint to count.
- It apparently can suddenly disappear when it succumbs to spontaneous combustion.
- Among many African peoples the tree is believed to be the home of their ancestral spirits.
- It appears that the tree has its roots sticking up like branches, hence the nickname:upside down tree.
- The leaves are shaped like the human hand, therefore the species name: digitata.