Baobab is not very common in the V. I. or Florida, but is so unusual that almost anyone seeing it will want to know more about it. The tree is odd, readily identified by its: (1) very stout but short and almost columnar or even vase-like trunk; (2) relatively smooth gray bark; (3) thick primary branches; (4) palmately compound leaves; and, when present, (5) large gourd-like fruits hanging on long stalks. A native of the dry plains and savannahs of Africa, the tree is steeped in spiritual folklore. In their dry native habitat, old, very large trees become hollow and reservoirs of water, nesting sites for bees, and even habitats for humans. There the trees can reach 30 ft. (9 m) or more in diameter and 60 ft. (18 m) tall or taller, and can live 2000 years or longer. Baobab is therefore among the world’s largest, most unusual, and longest-lived trees. In the V. I. and south Florida, trees 10 ft. (2.5 m) in diameter can be found.

—Tropical Trees of Florida and the Virgin Island 9781561644452