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The Boab Tree

THEME: Gregory National Park
SUBJECT AREA: Environmental Studies
TOPIC: The Boab Tree

2001 October 4, Thursday. Gunbunbu Waterhole, Humbert River, Humbert Track, Gregory National Park.

Famed as Australia’s most grotesque tree, the Boab (Adansonia gregorii) is only found from the south-western Kimberley to the Northern Territory’s Victoria River. This is the area within Gregory National Park, which we are currently passing through. Augustus Gregory explored this area in the mid 1850s, and both the park and the tree are named in his honour. (see today’s history update)


The Boab grows on flood plains and in rocky areas. The one in our photograph is on the bank of the Humbert River. Its huge, grey swollen trunk topped by a mass of contorted branches make it a fascinating sight, particularly during the dry season when it loses its leaves and becomes “the tree that was planted upside-down”.

Although Boabs rarely grow higher than twenty metres, their trunks can be over twenty-five metres around. These giant bottle-like trunks store the moisture these trees need to survive in the hot tropical environment, and can be an emergency source of moisture to someone lost in the bush.

Suggested activities:
Using our photograph as a guide, draw a picture of a Boab tree, and compare it to a tree which grows near your home. Around your picture, write each difference you can think of, and also any similarities.



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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 4, 2001 7:45 AM.

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