Grandidier Boabab Tree
Once grew in dry, deciduous forest around Morondava, especially near water sources like rivers or lakes, but today stand isolated in open land, due to agricultural degradation.
Primarily restricted to the south west of Madagascar.
The baobab is sometimes called the Tree of Life, being a constant source of water for animals and people.
The massive swollen trunk stores water that allows the tree to survive the very dry periods, and it is possible for it to contain up to 30,000 gallons at one time.
The trees bulbous trunk diameter actually fluctuates with rainfall.
The outer bark is utilized by many natives as a calcium-rich medicine (sold in small pieces), as well as rope (it is stripped and dried) which is favored for tethering livestock.
Some baobab trees are believed to be the dwelling place of spirits and often offerings such as food, money and honey are left at the base of the tree in giant snail shells.
Due to the bulbous, water saturated trunks, these trees are very resistant to fire.
This species is currently listed as endangered as it faces a constant battle with fire, slash and burn farming, over-grazing, and damage from bark removal by local communities. At the moment, fire and over grazing are its most pertinent threats. Community education is a necessary step in raising awareness for this species.