Our beautiful planet: Africa's tree of life

Africa's baobab tree is beloved for its nutrional and curative properites. Also known as the upside-down tree, it's unusual appearance has captured the imagination of many.

With its enormous, swollen trunk and branches that look like roots, the baobab tree is an imposing and otherworldly figure in the African landscape. Also known as the "tree of life," it occupies a mythical space for many on the continent.

Nature and Environment | 16.06.2017

That it is so iconic is little wonder. A baobab can survive for thousands of years in the dry, harsh scrublands and savannas of Africa where it grows. (It's also found in India and Australia.)

They store water in their trunks and produce a nutrient rich fruit that has six times more vitamin C than oranges and 50 percent more calcium than spinach. The bark is used for making cloth and rope, while the root and leaves are used in remedies for malaria, insect bites and fever. 

The tree's reputation has now extended beyond Africa. Some worry the fruit - seen as a "super food" - could become scarce as demand for it grows in Europe and elsewhere and production becomes commercialized. Traditionally, the baobab is wild and is harvested by hand. 

Global Ideas | 02.08.2016

Still, others feel if the tree is sustainably farmed, it could provide a steady income for communities.

Do you have a picture of a beautiful landscape or something amazing in nature that you want to share with our readers? If so, you can send it to us using the upload tool on our website, or by emailing us at ecoafrica@dw.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

Irresistible food trends

Food with a good conscience

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Irresistible food trends

Instant quality

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Irresistible food trends

Lunch on wheels

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Irresistible food trends

Sharing inspirations

Whether in Cologne, Paris or New York, inside or outside, street food festivals offer a taste of the latest culinary trends. Every week in Berlin's Markthalle Neun (pictured), the event "Street food Thursday" showcases how traditional food, from Mexican tacos to West African fufu, can be turned into creative bites.

Irresistible food trends

Time for something new

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Irresistible food trends

Order and cook

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Irresistible food trends

The magical powers of antioxidants

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Irresistible food trends

Versatile cabbage

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Irresistible food trends

Breakfast into the night

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Irresistible food trends

And it pops

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Irresistible food trends

Cooking for the web

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