Latin: Adansonia digitata; Swahili: Mbuyu; Wolof: Boueye; Mali: Lalo;
Baobab trees are ancient, sacred guardians of our wild and natural places. They live for over a thousand years and can grow to be 30 meters tall and 10 meters wide. Throughout the seasons, baobabs host micro-ecosystems in otherwise harsh and arid climates. They provide a wide diversity of plants, animals and other lifeforms with water, food and shelter.
Baobabs also nurture and nourish the human population. Baobab fruit and leaves are recognized as a superfood and extremely rich in vitamins and micronutrients. Baobab oil is so nourishing that it repairs wrinkles. Baobab leaves are a stellar source of vitamins and minerals, including calcium.
Throughout the millennia, baobab trees have found their way into our stories. Many traditions honor and link baobab trees to the ancestors, and make it a point to show the trees respect. Baobabs don’t get cut down, even when they block asphalt roadways in African capitals, where the right thing to do has always been to go around. Baobabs’ cavernous insides have been hideouts in stories as long as anyone can remember.
If you’re inspired to grow a baobab tree in your backyard to honor this noble friend, cut into the thick seed coat to speed up germination (from years, without cutting, to about a week). The heavy white flowers are delicious and nutritious food for local honey bees!