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Cavanillesia arborea

Cavanillesia arborea
Cavanillesia arborea

Inspired by the photographs of baobab a few weeks ago, Nikolaus von Behr sent along these photographs of the “Brazilian baobab”, or barriguda, from the country's dry interior forests (map). Thank you, Nikolaus!

The Encyclopedia of Earth entry on Atlantic dry forests makes special mention of Cavanillesia arborea: “Dry forests are fairly dense, up to 25 to 30 meters (m) high and characterized by tree species such as Cavanillesia arborea, Cedrela fissilis, Schinopsis brasiliensis, Astronium urundeuva, Aspidosperma macrocarpa, and Tabebuia sp. The most remarkable tree is certainly Cavanillesia arborea, with a huge, bottle-shaped trunk that reaches its maximum diameter of 1.5 m or more about 3 m above ground level. It attains heights of about 27 meters.”. Like most forests of the world, this region is under pressure: “Approximately 70 percent of the native forest has largely been destroyed. Because these forests grow on relatively rich soils, they are prime candidates for clearing both irrigated and dry-field agriculture. Furthermore, the high biomass of these forests makes them important sources of fuel for Brazil's steel and pig iron industries, which run entirely on charcoal. The most diverse dry forests on flat terrain and rich soil have been completely removed”.

The Smithsonian Institution's Centres of Plant Diversity site also has a section dedicated to these forests: Caatinga of North-Eastern Brazil. It has an excellent description of the floristic elements of the region.

On a different topic, Eirik aka pannicle@Flickr relayed to me his photographs of banana flowers and fruits after seeing yesterday's entry on the related Strelitzia nicolai. I thought I'd share the set with other folks who enjoy BPotD. In particular, check out this photograph of the developing fruit.


Absoloutely incredible! What amazing flower's.

And one more from Nikolaus (it was sent along at too small a size to use as one of the main photographs):

The baobabs are so wonderfully strange among the trees!! Thank you, Nikolaus.

As always, the photos are wonderful and the links stimulating, such a contribution! A little question though, do the thickened boles of the trees store water? They remind me of tubers and since these trees are found in a dry climate, I thought they might.

Yes, I think so - water storage is the general strategy of the caudiciform structure.

the grand old men of the forest

I have never seen trees like these. Seeing the fruit and not knowing if it is there when there are leaves on the tree makes me want to know more. Will they be saved?
Thanks for the photograph of the the banana flowers and fruit. I so like this site and a chance to learn more each day.
Thank you,

Simply Beautiful!

I feel like the old guy who went to the zoo and upon staring at the giraffe said they can't fool me there is so such animal.
These baobabs must be relics of the Cretaceous at least.

I meant Carboniferous of course as that was when the coalbeds of the world were laid down.
Sometimes in the raging debates we forget that all fossil fuels are of course biofuels for that is what they mean and of course what they were a few hundred million years ago.
Living things.
Whereas Cretaceous is also life produced but in that case not carbon but calcium or chalk shelled microbes or plankton.

The more I look the more interesting these trees become. I have to revise the geologic age a third time. What if the trunks are for protection from body checks and the height of the branches to avoid megafauna so a mere what fifty million years instead of hundreds?

são nativas em meu quintal...

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