The Baobabs: Pachycauls of Africa, Madagascar and Australia

Front Cover
Springer Netherlands, Mar 11, 2008 - Science - 498 pages
Although Alexander von Humboldt never saw a baobab, he wrote: ‘Among organic creatures, this tree [Dracaena draco (dragon tree)] is undoubtedly, together with the Adansonia or baobab of Senegal, one of the oldest inhabitants of our planet’ (Humboldt 1852). With their enormous size, distinctive and often grotesque appearance, and great age (measured perhaps in thousands of years), baobab trees attract the attention of botanists, amateurs, tourists and passers-by wherever they grow. Old specimens display highly individual, photogenic characteristics which endear them to local people, artists and photographers. European knowledge of the African baobab dates back to Renaissance times. I first became acquainted with the African baobab in 1952 while working in what was then Sokoto Province, Northern Nigeria. Later I worked in the former Rhodesias (now Zambia and Zimbabwe) and in the Sudan, and was able to further my studies. Although I have written about the African baobab, it was Pat Lowe who, in January 2000, persuaded me that we should pool our knowledge and ex- riences and write a book on all eight species of this outstanding genus. While I take full responsibility for the final text, I have taken advantage of her knowledge of baobabs in Africa, Madagascar and especially Australia, and of her constructive criticism of the text.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Other editions - View all

About the author (2008)

Pat Lowe was born in England. At the age of eleven she went to boarding school, where she suffered from chilblains and dreamed of migrating to Australia. After working as a postwoman and then spending three years as a secondary school teacher in East Africa, Pat studied psychology. In 1972 she sailed into Fremantle on a Russian ship, and became an Australian citizen as soon as she was eligible. Pat worked as a psychologist in a children's home and later in Western Australian prisons. Desert Dog won the 1998 Western Australian Premier's Children's Book Award and was a Children's Book Council of Australia Notable Book. Many of the characters in Feeling the Heat first appeared as younger characters in The Girl With No Name, published by Penguin in 1994. The Girl With No Name was shortlisted for the Multicultural Children's Literature Award and has been published in Italian.

Bibliographic information