Encounters with a family tree

When I was visiting friends in Cordoba, Argentina recently I came across this tree that looked so much like a baobab that I thought it must be some relation.  When I looked it up, I found it was indeed part of the same family as the Baobab Malvaceae. Its scientific name is Ceiba speciosa commonly known as palo borracho which […] Continue Reading

Living in a baobab tree

Here are some pictures we found of how people have used the hollow spaces within a baobab tree as living spaces – there's a bar and another has even been fitted out as a toilet! One ancient hollow Baobab tree in Zimbabwe is so large that up to 40 people can shelter inside its trunk. Various Baobabs have been used […] Continue Reading

Brief Beauty

In contrast to the solid bulkiness of the tree, the Baobab’s flowers are delicate and fragile looking. The pendulous white flowers, centred with a soft brush of bright yellow pollen, bloom for just 24 hours before falling gracefully to the ground.  The waxy white flowers appear in spring or early summer. The buds start to open in the late afternoon, […] Continue Reading

The tree that doesn't die

Baobabs are very difficult to kill, they can be burnt, or stripped of their bark, and they will just form new bark and carry on growing. When they do die, they simply rot from the inside and suddenly collapse, leaving a heap of fibres, which makes many people think that they don't die at all, but simply disappear! A Baby Baobab […] Continue Reading

The Legend of the Upside-down Tree

A very, very long time ago, say some African legends, the first baobab sprouted beside a small lake. As it grew taller and looked about it spied other trees, noting their colorful flowers, straight and handsome trunks, and large leaves. Then one day the wind died away leaving the water smooth as a mirror, and the tree finally got to […] Continue Reading

More wisdom of the Baobab tree

In Africa the Baobab tree comes close to being regarded as sacred – or as the shelter under which the elders talk and consult until they reach consensus. Here is a picture of a traditional meeting place beneath a Baobab tree close to a Venda Village. It is almost as if the tree bears witness to what is discussed beneath […] Continue Reading

Fine Art Baobab Inspirations

Heike Pander, a German artist who paints baobabs,  visited me over the weekend.  She is passionate about baobabs and will be exhibiting some of her baobab art along with her other paintings later on in the year in Germany. She says “my enthusiasm for the marvelous and enthralling nature of Africa has grown steadily. I am not only a fan of the […] Continue Reading

Congratulations to our winners!

Wow! It’s been tough choosing winners, people! So many great comments – so first of all a big THANK YOU to all of you for participating. It’s been wonderful to hear from each and every one of you and we’re grateful for your input. It gives us a very good idea of the kind of skin problems people are experiencing. We […] Continue Reading

2013 Jun: Tiny seedlings, big ideas

I thought you might like to see this video interview I did with Johrne van Huyssteen.  This video was made for De Kat TV. Have a look at it here. http://buff.ly/1b3mrqS

How fat are baobab trees?

This week I did my annual trip to Skelmwater.  This is a baobab research plot situated near Musina long the N1.  Skelmwater was established in 1930 by the late Professor de Villiers of Stellenbosch University.  The aim was to measure the rate of growth of baobabs in their natural environment.   Despite the small number of baobabs in the plot, the […] Continue Reading