Africa’s Iconic Baobabs Are Dying, Including World’s OIdest Flowering Tree


When researchers set out to investigate the structure, growth and age of Africa’s iconic baobab trees—the largest and longest-living flowering trees in the world—they received a devastating surprise. Many of the oldest, largest baobabs were dead or dying.

The final study, published in Nature Plants Monday, reported that nine of the 13 oldest and five of the six largest African baobabs had entirely or partly died during the research period from 2005 to 2017. The oldest was 2,500 years old.


“It is definitely shocking and dramatic to experience during our lifetime the demise of so many trees with millennial ages,” study co-author Adrian Patrut of the Babes-Bolyai University in Romania told AFP.

The researchers studied every known large African baobab in Africa, on islands off its coast or…

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