Adansonia grandidieri

Adansonia grandidieri

''Adansonia grandidieri'', sometimes known as Grandidier's baobab, is the biggest and most famous of Madagascar's six species of baobabs. This imposing and unusual tree is endemic to the island of Madagascar, where it is an endangered species threatened by the encroachment of agricultural land.
Avenue of the Baobabs - Adansonia grandidieri One of the highlights of our journey through Madagascar.
It was a long trip to get there, but it was more than worth it :) Adansonia,Adansonia grandidieri,Angiosperms,Baobab,Baobab Avenue,Eudicots,Geotagged,Madagascar,Malvaceae,Malvales,Plantae,Rosids,Tree

Appearance

Grandidier's baobabs have massive cylindrical trunks, up to three meters across, covered with smooth, reddish-grey bark. They can reach 25 to 30 m in height. At certain times of the year the flat-topped crowns bear bluish-green palmate leaves, dark brown floral buds or spectacular flowers with white petals. The large, dry fruits of the baobab contain kidney-shaped seeds within an edible pulp.

''A. grandidieri'' is named after the French botanist and explorer Alfred Grandidier .
Avenue of the Baobabs at sunset - 4, Madagascar On our way to the Kirindy reserve, we passed through Allée des baobabs (Avenue of the Baobabs) just before sunset. 

This famous site has a few dozen Adansonia grandidieri trees. Adansonia grandidieri is the largest and most famous out of the six baobab species endemic to Madagascar. It is locally known as Reniala, which means "king of the woods". A fitting name as these giants grow up to 30m tall.

Originally, they would tower above the dry forest, but unfortunately those have been cleared for agriculture. These ancient giants are what remain. Besides their weird upside down appearance and height, they are also known for their incredible lifespan. They are hard to date, numbers vary from 800 years to 1,000 or even 2,000. In any case, very old.

As long as it takes for a baobab to mature, as quickly they come to their end. Once they fall apart, their inner tissue is revealed which consists of a very soft spongue-like fibre material. This material allows the baobab to survive for years without any rain, yet once exposed, will decompose in a matter of weeks. 

Finally, a little known fact is that this species flowers at night. At the very first night of the blooming season, the flowers open and release all their pollen at once. This pollen will then stick to bats, lemurs and moths licking the nectar from the flowers.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWasXjMsIwY

https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82955/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_1_madagascar.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82956/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_2_madagascar.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82957/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_3_madagascar.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82959/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_5_madagascar.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82960/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_6_madagascar.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82961/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_7_madagascar.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82962/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_8_madagascar.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82963/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_9_madagascar.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82964/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_10_madagascar.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82965/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_11_madagascar.html
 Adansonia grandidieri,Africa,Avenue of the Baobabs,Madagascar,Madagascar 2019,World

Status

Grandidier's baobab is classified as endangered by the IUCN Red List 2006. The tree is the most heavily exploited of all the Malagasy baobabs. The seeds and the vitamin C-rich fruit pulp are eaten fresh, and cooking oil is extracted from the oil-rich seeds. The fruit is either collected from the ground, or wooden pegs are hammered into the trunk so the tree can be climbed to collect the fruit. The thick bark of the baobab is composed of tough long fibers that can be used to make ropes, and the majority of trees bear scars from where the bark was cut from ground level to about two meters to obtain this material. The spongy wood consists of sheets of fiber that are collected from dead or living trees, dried in the sun and sold for thatch. Most of these varied uses do not involve the tree being killed, and thus are unlikely to pose a great threat to the baobab. The greatest threat to this species has come from the transformation of its forest habitat into agricultural land. Within these disturbed habitats, there is a noticeable lack of young trees. Fires, seed predation, competition from weeds, and an altered physical environment might be affecting the ability of the Madagacar baobab to reproduce, which may have devastating consequences for its survival. In 2003 the President of Madagascar vowed to triple the amount of protected areas, a measure which may benefit the Grandidier's baobab.
Avenue of the Baobabs at sunset - 1, Madagascar On our way to the Kirindy reserve, we passed through Allée des baobabs (Avenue of the Baobabs) just before sunset. 

This famous site has a few dozen Adansonia grandidieri trees. Adansonia grandidieri is the largest and most famous out of the six baobab species endemic to Madagascar. It is locally known as Reniala, which means "king of the woods". A fitting name as these giants grow up to 30m tall.

Originally, they would tower above the dry forest, but unfortunately those have been cleared for agriculture. These ancient giants are what remain. Besides their weird upside down appearance and height, they are also known for their incredible lifespan. They are hard to date, numbers vary from 800 years to 1,000 or even 2,000. In any case, very old.

As long as it takes for a baobab to mature, as quickly they come to their end. Once they fall apart, their inner tissue is revealed which consists of a very soft spongue-like fibre material. This material allows the baobab to survive for years without any rain, yet once exposed, will decompose in a matter of weeks. 

Finally, a little known fact is that this species flowers at night. At the very first night of the blooming season, the flowers open and release all their pollen at once. This pollen will then stick to bats, lemurs and moths licking the nectar from the flowers.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWasXjMsIwY

https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82956/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_2_madagascar.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82957/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_3_madagascar.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82958/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_4_madagascar.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82959/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_5_madagascar.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82960/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_6_madagascar.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82961/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_7_madagascar.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82962/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_8_madagascar.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82963/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_9_madagascar.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82964/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_10_madagascar.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82965/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_11_madagascar.html
 Adansonia grandidieri,Africa,Avenue of the Baobabs,Madagascar,Madagascar 2019,World

Behavior

The long-lived Grandidier's baobab is in leaf from October to May, and flowers between May and August. The flowers, said to smell of sour watermelon, open just before or soon after dusk, and all the pollen is released during the first night. The tree is pollinated by nocturnal mammals, such as fork-marked lemurs. These lemurs move through the canopies, inserting their snouts into the white flowers and licking nectar from the petal bases, resulting in pollen being deposited in the lemurs' faces.

Grandidier's baobab bears ripe fruit in November and December. Unlike the baobabs of Africa and Australia, it appears that the seeds of the tasty fruit are not dispersed by animals. Lemurs are the only living animals on Madagascar that are capable of acting as seed dispersers, yet seed dispersal by lemurs has never been documented. In the past, however, this could have been very different. There are several species that have gone extinct since human colonization of the island that could very likely have been dispersers of the seeds. This includes species of primates that were thought to be similar to baboons, and the heaviest bird that ever lived, the elephant bird, which had a powerful beak that could have opened large fruit. Today, water may be the means by which the seeds are dispersed.

Lack of water can sometimes be a problem for plants in Madagascar. It appears that the baobab overcomes this by storing water within the fibrous wood of the trunk, as the tree's diameter fluctuates with rainfall.
Avenue of the Baobabs at sunset - 5, Madagascar On our way to the Kirindy reserve, we passed through Allée des baobabs (Avenue of the Baobabs) just before sunset. 

This famous site has a few dozen Adansonia grandidieri trees. Adansonia grandidieri is the largest and most famous out of the six baobab species endemic to Madagascar. It is locally known as Reniala, which means "king of the woods". A fitting name as these giants grow up to 30m tall.

Originally, they would tower above the dry forest, but unfortunately those have been cleared for agriculture. These ancient giants are what remain. Besides their weird upside down appearance and height, they are also known for their incredible lifespan. They are hard to date, numbers vary from 800 years to 1,000 or even 2,000. In any case, very old.

As long as it takes for a baobab to mature, as quickly they come to their end. Once they fall apart, their inner tissue is revealed which consists of a very soft spongue-like fibre material. This material allows the baobab to survive for years without any rain, yet once exposed, will decompose in a matter of weeks. 

Finally, a little known fact is that this species flowers at night. At the very first night of the blooming season, the flowers open and release all their pollen at once. This pollen will then stick to bats, lemurs and moths licking the nectar from the flowers.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWasXjMsIwY

https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82955/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_1_madagascar.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82956/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_2_madagascar.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82957/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_3_madagascar.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82958/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_4_madagascar.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82960/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_6_madagascar.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82961/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_7_madagascar.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82962/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_8_madagascar.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82963/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_9_madagascar.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82964/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_10_madagascar.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82965/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_11_madagascar.html
 Adansonia grandidieri,Africa,Avenue of the Baobabs,Madagascar,Madagascar 2019,World

Habitat

Grandidier's baobab occurs in south-western Madagascar between Lac Ihotry and Bereboka. Grandidier's baobab used to inhabit dry, deciduous forest, especially near seasonal rivers or lakes. However, today it is mainly found in open, agricultural land or degraded scrubland.The long-lived Grandidier's baobab is in leaf from October to May, and flowers between May and August. The flowers, said to smell of sour watermelon, open just before or soon after dusk, and all the pollen is released during the first night. The tree is pollinated by nocturnal mammals, such as fork-marked lemurs. These lemurs move through the canopies, inserting their snouts into the white flowers and licking nectar from the petal bases, resulting in pollen being deposited in the lemurs' faces.

Grandidier's baobab bears ripe fruit in November and December. Unlike the baobabs of Africa and Australia, it appears that the seeds of the tasty fruit are not dispersed by animals. Lemurs are the only living animals on Madagascar that are capable of acting as seed dispersers, yet seed dispersal by lemurs has never been documented. In the past, however, this could have been very different. There are several species that have gone extinct since human colonization of the island that could very likely have been dispersers of the seeds. This includes species of primates that were thought to be similar to baboons, and the heaviest bird that ever lived, the elephant bird, which had a powerful beak that could have opened large fruit. Today, water may be the means by which the seeds are dispersed.

Lack of water can sometimes be a problem for plants in Madagascar. It appears that the baobab overcomes this by storing water within the fibrous wood of the trunk, as the tree's diameter fluctuates with rainfall.
Adansonia grandidieri, Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar I was already starting to post about Ranomafana but forgot that on our return journey from Kirindy, we passed through Avenue of the Baobabs once more. So here's a few additional shots.
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/83869/adansonia_grandidieri_-_overview_avenue_of_the_baobabs_madagascar.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/83868/adansonia_grandidieri_-_sun_avenue_of_the_baobabs_madagascar.html
For reference, here's our earlier coverage:

https://www.jungledragon.com/image/82959/avenue_of_the_baobabs_at_sunset_-_5_madagascar.html Adansonia grandidieri,Africa,Avenue of the Baobabs,Madagascar,Madagascar 2019,World

Predators

Grandidier's baobab is classified as endangered by the IUCN Red List 2006. The tree is the most heavily exploited of all the Malagasy baobabs. The seeds and the vitamin C-rich fruit pulp are eaten fresh, and cooking oil is extracted from the oil-rich seeds. The fruit is either collected from the ground, or wooden pegs are hammered into the trunk so the tree can be climbed to collect the fruit. The thick bark of the baobab is composed of tough long fibers that can be used to make ropes, and the majority of trees bear scars from where the bark was cut from ground level to about two meters to obtain this material. The spongy wood consists of sheets of fiber that are collected from dead or living trees, dried in the sun and sold for thatch. Most of these varied uses do not involve the tree being killed, and thus are unlikely to pose a great threat to the baobab. The greatest threat to this species has come from the transformation of its forest habitat into agricultural land. Within these disturbed habitats, there is a noticeable lack of young trees. Fires, seed predation, competition from weeds, and an altered physical environment might be affecting the ability of the Madagacar baobab to reproduce, which may have devastating consequences for its survival. In 2003 the President of Madagascar vowed to triple the amount of protected areas, a measure which may benefit the Grandidier's baobab.

References:

Some text fragments are auto parsed from Wikipedia.

Status: Unknown
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomPlantae
DivisionAngiosperms
ClassEudicots
OrderMalvales
FamilyMalvaceae
GenusAdansonia
Species
Photographed in
Madagascar