Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Planting Baobab Trees in Jeddah

Lately I have seen several new plantings of baobab trees around the city of Jeddah.  Called the "Tree of Life," the baobab tree is native to the drier regions of Arabia, Africa, Australia, and Madagascar. It is quite an unusual looking tree with an enormous trunk, where it stores lots of water.  Except for a few short months of the year, the baobab tree is leafless and appears as though its roots are sticking up in the air. 

It is known as the Tree of Life for several reasons. It can provide not only water, but food and shelter.  The tree is fire resistant and its cork-like bark can be used for making cloth and rope.  Its leaves are used as an ingredient in soups and there are claims that they have medicinal value.  The baobab fruit is edible and is very high in Vitamin C. Its fruit is called "Monkey Bread" and is described as having a velvety exterior and is about the size of a coconut.

Since it can store hundreds of liters of water, in times of drought the tree can be tapped.  Older trees are often hollowed out to provide homes for animals or humans, and some are even used as shops.  I'm rather excited to see these plantings mature and follow their progress!


Essam said...

Thanks, that was very informative.

William Kendall said...

I've heard of them, but they couldn't grow here, unless in greenhouses or something along those lines.