Species: Grandidier’s baobab (Adansonia grandidieri)
Status: Endangered (EN)
Interesting Fact: The flowers of Grandidier’s baobab are said to smell like sour watermelon!
A long-lived species, the magnificent Grandidier’s baobab is only found in Madagascar. These unusual looking trees have massive cylindrical trunks and, at certain times of the year, a flat-topped crown of bluish-green leaves. The flowers of this species open after dusk and are thought to be pollinated by nocturnal mammals, such as fork-marked lemurs, which feed on the nectar from the baobab’s flowers. Grandidier’s baobab bears ripe fruit in November and December, and the kidney-shaped seeds are thought to be dispersed by water. There are a number of animal species that may have acted as seed dispersers in the past, but these have become extinct since human colonisation.
Grandidier’s baobab is heavily exploited, with the fruit and seeds being used for food and oil and the bark used to make rope. It is also threatened by habitat loss, with many trees being cleared for agriculture. Many organisations are currently working to protect the unique biodiversity of Madagascar, and plans to increase the amount of protected land will hopefully help to conserve this amazing tree.
Find out more about conservation in Madagascar: Madagascar Wildlife Conservation.
Becky Moran, ARKive Species Text Author