Grandidier’s Baobab tree
I’ve been cutting myself some slack and investing a bit more time in producing personal work that I crave to explore for a Grandidier’s baobab, is the biggest and most famous of Madagascar’s six species of baobabs. This imposing and unusual tree is endemic to the island of Madagascar, where it is an endangered species threatened by the encroachment of agricultural land.
Technique: digital drawing
Software: Procreate and Adobe Photoshop
The long-lived Grandidier’s baobab is in leaf from October to May, and flowers between May and August. The flowers, said to smell of sour watermelon, open just before or soon after dusk, and all the pollen is released during the first night. The tree is pollinated by nocturnal mammals, such as fork-marked lemurs, and insects like the Hawk Moth.
Before doing this illustration I was researching a bit about them and they have more than 300 uses:
The leaves, rich in iron, can be boiled and eaten like spinach.
The seeds can be roasted to make a coffee substitute or pressed to make oil for cooking or cosmetics.
The fruit pulp has six times more vitamin C than oranges, making it an important nutritional complement in Africa and the European, US and Canadian markets. Locally, the fruit pulp is made into juice, jam, or fermented to make beer. The flowers are also edible.
The roots can be used to make red dye, and the bark to make ropes and baskets.
And finally, Baobabs also have medicinal properties, and their hollow trunks can be used to store water.