Boab trees are of the genus Adansonia. In Africa and Madagascar these trees are known as baobab. The Australian species Adansonia gregorii (named in honour of explorer Augustus Gregory) has been evolving for 190 million years. They are thought to have originated from plants washed ashore from Madagascar, although this is not universally accepted. They are now considered to be native to Western Australia.
It is sometimes claimed that the boab is the oldest living thing in Australia. But – stromatolites!
Boab trees grow to a height of 15 metres although 9-12 metres is more usual. The drop their leaves during the dry winter of northern Australia. These trees are found throughout the Kimberley, extending into the Northern Territory.
© Kim Epton 2021-2022
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