There are 8 different species of Baobab trees 6 of which are native to Madagascar, one in Africa and one in Australia. There’s a lot of controversy about where the Baobab tree originated as it’s often been assumed that Madagascar is the centre of origin because it has the most different species. This implies that Adansonia digitata migrated from Madagascar to Africa. It’s been estimated that the divergence between the African Adansonia digitata and the Madagascan trees occurred about 10 million years ago dating well after the breakup of Gondwana and the separation of Madagascar from Africa which happened about 100 million years ago. However, in 2009 a group of researchers lead by Jean-Michel Pock Tsy conducted research and their findings strongly suggested that the centre of origin of baobab is actually West Africa. With the species being distributed by humans travelling across Africa. Recent studies clearly indicate that most of Madagascar’s plants descended from ancestors that have colonized the island from overseas. So Africa is in fact the most likely cradle of the Baobab tree!
Filed under: Baobab treesTagged with: Baobab Science and Research