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Famous Trees of Africa

by K Kristie on 12/05/09 at 2:48 am

Find out how an acacia, a fig and a cotton tree in the second largest and second most populous continent in the world became famous. And, read about the sad story of a solitary tree that will sure to tug your heart.

Drago Milenaryo

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Icod de los Vinos is a small town in the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago off the northwest coast of mainland Africa. For more than a hundred years, a dragon tree (Dracaena draco) has always been a local tourist attraction of the place. In fact, the interesting looking tree has become the symbol of Icod. Although no study has yet confirmed the age of the tree, it is believed to be standing there for thousands of years. The tree was described and illustrated in the “Atlas Picturesque” (1810) by German naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt.

Cotton Tree

The Freetown Cotton Tree

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During the American War of Independence, a group of African American slaves were returned to Sierra Leone to settle in the “Province of Freedom”.  The former captives were said to have been gathered around the Cotton Tree which was said to have previously been a slave market. Other groups of freed slaves (whom were from different parts of Africa) gathered on the settlement and called the place Freetown, now the largest city and also the capital of Sierra Leone. The Cotton Tree is believed to be more than 500 years old today. It is a treasured symbol of the city.

The African Baobab

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The African Baobab (Adansonia digitata) is the biggest and most widespread species of Baobabs. It’s a traditional food plant in Africa and has been called by various names including: upside-down tree, botanical monster, tree of life and monkey bread tree. The tree is leafless during most time of the year giving it a weird appearance as if its roots are sticking up in the air. Legend has it that the devil pulled out the tree and planted it upside down. Baobabs are believed to be the oldest living residents on Earth; through carbon-dating one of them was found to be 6,000 years old. If you’re visiting Africa, the trees are definitely a must-see! Read more about the African Baobab here.


File:Wonderboom wiki.jpg

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Wonderboom (Wonder Tree; Miracle Tree) is a wild willow leaf fig (Ficus salicifolia) tree which is the center of attraction on the 1 sq km Wonderboom Nature Reserve in Pretoria, a city in South Africa. Legend has it that the more than 1,000 year old tree grew so big as beneath its roots lies buried a native tribal chief. The tree which was discovered in 1836 was reported to be once big enough to shade 1,000 people at a time. The tree’s branches have grown longer; drooping lower and lower that they are touching the ground, rooted and produced daughter trees that now surrounds the original tree. The tree is considered unusual as Ficus salicifolia seldom grows taller than 9 m (29 ft), the Wonderbooom stands taller than 23 m (75 ft).

Arbre du Ténéré


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The Tenere is a desert region in the south central Sahara with an extremely hot and dry climate and virtually no plant life. Yet, until 1973, there was a very well known lonely acacia tree called the Tree of Ténéré (L’Arbre du Ténéré) that become a landmark on caravan routes and was even shown on a map. For decades, the tree had stood alone in the vast arid desert near a 40-meter-deep well until a drunk driver allegedly knocked it down. In remembrance to what was once considered to be the most isolated tree on Earth, a metal pole was put in its place today.

See Tree of Ténéré album

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Liked it

Anne McNew

May 12th, 2009

very nice information


May 12th, 2009

great article and very informative,

Hazel Crowther

May 12th, 2009

Lovely piece, I adore trees. Well done.


May 12th, 2009

Nice piece, original, I hadn’t known that about the Arbre du Ténéré before. :(


May 12th, 2009

nice collections of pics for plant species!

Mr Ghaz

May 12th, 2009

Fantastic!..that really amaze me..LOV it..amazing trees..beautiful pics too..Thnx for sharing


May 12th, 2009

Amazing this really very interesting.



Auto Insurance


May 12th, 2009


minnesota girl

May 12th, 2009

the cotton tree in freetown sierra leone is beautiful and if you can get close enough to it you can see bats sleeping in it but be careful it is illegal to take pictures of the tree up close


May 12th, 2009

Good, interesting article. What incredible trees.

nobert soloria bermosa

May 12th, 2009

famous trees indeed


May 12th, 2009

Is the wonderboom one tree or is it a cluster of trees?


May 13th, 2009

Stupid drunk driver, how do you manage to hit the only tree for miles around???

Ogaga Onowighose

May 13th, 2009

Great Information….they could speak better in the summer time.lol


May 13th, 2009

They are so beautiful :D :x

Allana Calhoun

May 13th, 2009

Very interesting! Adding that to the file cabinet of factual tidbits lost in my brain!

Very interesting article, trees are truly amazing, I could gaze at them all day long an never get bored. To follow a branch up and through right to the top is something I use to love to do as a child.
Great and informative. I love it.!

PS I would love to know what a tree has seen, heard and lived through.


May 13th, 2009

Excellent presentation. It is filled with so much information, I enjoyed reading it. Amazing trees.

Judy T Lloyd

May 13th, 2009

The trees are very interesting.

Jo Oliver

May 13th, 2009

awesome trees. well done

Rask Balavoine

May 14th, 2009

These are remarkably evocative pictures. You’ve taken me right back to Africa where I spent most of my childhood under spreading Jacaranda trees. Thanks.


May 14th, 2009

Nicely done! Cheers!


May 14th, 2009

Fantastic information with wonderful images.


May 15th, 2009

Ive been to the Baobab tree in Zambia. Its amazing. Apparently abunch of would be slaves hid in it and were able to stay safe. Until obviously the Europeans and Americans figured it out.

R J Evans

May 16th, 2009

Cool stories – blogged @ webphemera.


May 16th, 2009

Very nice. The Baobab reminds me of the tree in Sleepy Hollow :)


May 20th, 2009

haha what a terrible driver, out of all the places he can go in the desert, he ends up hitting the only tree in 100 kilometers.


May 21st, 2009

Awesome, glad I read this one.

Joie Schmidt

May 22nd, 2009

Very cool, interesting article!



-Liane Schmidt.

t simon

May 23rd, 2009

Great list! will share this to my hubby who loves trees. finally, I know what a baobab really looks like. I first learned of this tree in The Little Prince.

John McDonnell

Jun 15th, 2009

That tree in Tenere was amazing, that it could survive in the desert. What an irony, that a drunk driver in the desert would kill a tree that had survived in such harsh conditions!


Sep 27th, 2009

cool…fntstic n unique

African Safari Vacations

Jan 2nd, 2010

I have added some more information on trees of Africa.Thanks to you.

Anuradha Ramkumar

Jan 2nd, 2010

Trees are really fantastic

Sunidhi hegde

Jan 14th, 2010

WOW!!! three cheers for Trifter & Africa hip hip hurray! hip hip hurray! hip hip hurray!!! whooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Mar 5th, 2010

I don’t believe there’s any place like it, Africa is wonderful!

Tours in Rio de Janeiro

Oct 24th, 2010

They are great trees indeed!


Mar 30th, 2011

copaaaaadoooooooooooooooooo chequeenlosss chiqueeeesss

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