Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Northwestern Australia has a very distinctive tree called the Boab.  This tree is also common in Africa and the large seeds may have floated across the Indian Ocean to Australia.

This tree is bottle shaped with a broad base, sometimes up to 15-20 meters in circumference.  It's also deciduous and has lost most of it's leaves by this time of year.  (Unlike most of the other trees which are green and lush after the wet season)  It looks like its roots are in the air!

The broad base is used to store water for the dry season.  The Boab doesn't have tree rings and is difficult to age.  Using carbon dating, scientists believe boabs can live from 2000-6000 years.

Aboriginal mythology holds that the Boab was once a graceful, proud tree that delighted in boasting about its beauty to the other not-so-graceful plants that inhabited the same area. They complained, and God taught the Boab humility by making it so that the seeds of the boab sprouted upside down - so the roots grew upwards, and the branches down into the earth.

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