The baobab tree is an iconic species native to Madagascar, southern Africa and Arabia. The boabab, also known under the botanical name 'Adansonia digitata', is easily recognized by its a distinctive thick trunks and high, stunted branch systems.

The fruit of the baobab is a papaya-sized, velvety elongated pod of white pulp with a citrus flavor. It is a good source of potassium, and is exceptionally rich in vitamin C: up to seven times higher than the equivalent portion of fresh orange pulp.

Baobabs can grow to a towering 30 meters (around 100 feet) high. The specimen with the widest known trunk size, the 'Sunland' baobab in South Africa, measured 47.2 meters (155 feet) in circumference. The hollow trunk of another famous baobab, the 'Ombalantu' in Namibia, can accommodate some 35 people and has served as a chapel, post office, house, and a hiding site in its 800-year history.

Baobabs are equipped to survive harsh drought conditions by storing water (up to 120,000 liters or 32,000 US gallons) in their massive trunks and shedding their leaves during the dry season.

Carbon dating has determined the oldest living baobab trees to be more than 2000 years old. But a 15-year study published June 2018 in 'Nature Plants' has revealed that since 2005, eight of the 13 oldest baobabs and five of the six largest have either suffered catastrophic partial collapses or completely fallen down and died, showing signs of fatal dehydration.

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