Famous Trees of Africa

Drago Milenaryo



Icod de los Vinos is a small town in the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago off the northwest coast of mainland Africa. For more than a hundred years, a dragon tree (Dracaena draco) has always been a local tourist attraction of the place. In fact, the interesting looking tree has become the symbol of Icod. Although no study has yet confirmed the age of the tree, it is believed to be standing there for thousands of years. The tree was described and illustrated in the “Atlas Picturesque” (1810) by German naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt.

Cotton Tree

The Freetown Cotton Tree

The Baobab

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The African Baobab (Adansonia digitata) is the biggest and most widespread species of Baobabs. It’s a traditional food plant in Africa and has been called by various names including: upside-down tree, botanical monster, tree of life and monkey bread tree. The tree is leafless during most time of the year giving it a weird appearance as if its roots are sticking up in the air. Legend has it that the devil pulled out the tree and planted it upside down. Baobabs are believed to be the oldest living residents on Earth; through carbon-dating one of them was found to be 6,000 years old. If you’re visiting Africa, the trees are definitely a must-see! Read more about the African Baobab here.

Wonderboom

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Wonderboom (Wonder Tree; Miracle Tree) is a wild willow leaf fig (Ficus salicifolia) tree which is the center of attraction on the 1 sq km Wonderboom Nature Reserve in Pretoria, a city in South Africa. Legend has it that the more than 1,000 year old tree grew so big as beneath its roots lies buried a native tribal chief. The tree which was discovered in 1836 was reported to be once big enough to shade 1,000 people at a time. The tree’s branches have grown longer; drooping lower and lower that they are touching the ground, rooted and produced daughter trees that now surrounds the original tree. The tree is considered unusual as Ficus salicifolia seldom grows taller than 9 m (29 ft), the Wonderbooom stands taller than 23 m (75 ft).

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