On first look, the Baobab Tree looks simple and ordinary: tall, leafy and firm. But this tree, native to the hot, dry areas of Tropical Africa, has earned itself a few nicknames based on its peculiar features. One common name for it is the “dead-rat tree”. This strange nickname was given to it because of the appearance of its fruits, which are six to eight inches long, soft, brown and dry. This fruit is often called a “superfruit,” because it is high in antioxidants and has three times the vitamin C of an orange! When cracked open, the dry pulp of the fruit can be used to make a healthy drink. Because the fruit is so soft and dry, it often dries up and crumbles, resembling lumps of dry bread. This earned the Baobab Tree another curious name: “the monkey-bread tree”. Other than these large fruits, the tree also bears interesting heavy, white flowers. Standing out against the green color of the leaves, these flowers are easy to recognize. The leaves themselves are comprised of five leaflets each. The Baobab Tree, standing at 40 to 60 feet tall, can be seen from the monorail at Zoo Miami, nearby the Guanaco and Black Rhino paddocks.
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