Baobab—Remarkable Tree of Africa
● Native to Africa is one of the strangest and fattest trees on earth—the baobab. It looks like a gigantic carrot planted upside down. Its trunk may reach fifty or more feet in diameter. Thus, sometimes African families move into the spacious hollow trunks or hew out huts in the living tree. Despite its human occupants, the baobab keeps on living, being almost indestructible.
The baobab’s fruit, which dangles from the tree like a hanging lantern at the end of a ropy stem, is called “monkey bread.” Baboons delight in feasting on these tasty fruits. The pulp has a pleasant flavor, and many persons use it as food or to flavor cool drinks. The seeds are hard and do not easily germinate, but after passing through the alimentary tract of a baboon, where they are softened by gastric juices, the seeds grow readily into more of these remarkable trees.