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Grandidier’s baobab

Latin name: Adansonia grandidieri

Areas: | Madagascar |

IUCN Red List conservation status

About: Grandidier’s baobab

This strange yet magnificent tree is only found on the island of Madagascar. Of the eight species of baobab, six can be found only in Madagascar. Grandidier’s baobab once grew in dry, deciduous forest but today exists in open, agricultural or degraded land.

Grandidier’s baobab facts:

  • Known as the ‘upside down’ tree it has a huge cylindrical trunk that can grow up to three metres across and is covered with smooth, reddish-grey bark
  • Sometimes baobabs will mysteriously re-grow after being felled and the areas around the regenerating trees become sacred.  The trees that grow back in these cases are often twisted and misshapen and these unusual-looking trees have higher cultural value
  • Some baobab trees are believed to be the dwelling place of spirits and often offerings such as food and money are left at the base
  • The flowers of the baobab are pollinated by local fruit bats and serve as an essential food source for the bats over winter

Grandidier’s baobab is the most heavily exploited of all Madagascar’s baobabs with the fruit, seeds, wood and bark all being collected and used by local people for making rope and medicines. The greatest threat to this tree comes from the transformation of its habitat into agricultural land but it is also threatened by fire, overgrazing and bark collection.

Since 2008, working through Fauna & Flora International’s (FFI) partner in Madagascar, Madagasikara Voakajy, the Global Trees Campaign has been working to conserve Grandidier’s baobab by gathering vital information about this species so that protected areas can be established to conserve this unique tree for the future.

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Did you know?

The outer bark is removed and broken into small pieces and sold as a calcium-rich medicine at local markets.

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