Baobabs started to flower between the age of 10 and 20 years. The flowering starts with beginning of the rainy season and the florescence takes 4 to 6 weeks. The number of flowers per tree varies from 1 to 50 per day (13). The lifespan of the flower is not more than 24 hours with a pollination period of less than 20 hours. The buds begin to open from the afternoon and are fully open by the following morning. The flowers emit a strong carrion smell, which is presumably attractive to bats and insects and these assist in the pollination (16). A number of animals visit the flowers to exploit nectar and pollen (13).
Reproduction and Distribution
Fruits develop 5 or 6 months after flowering. Sometimes the heavy fruits fall the woody husk often fractures and termites enter and devour the fruit pulp and free the seeds (13). The fruits are eaten by monkeys, squirrels, rats and sometimes by elephantes. They disperse the seeds (15).
Typically after the pulp soaked off in water the seeds germinate (15, 16). Unsually the germination rate of the hard seeds is less than 20 % (13).
Baobabs start as saplings. Up to 15 years of age the trees reach heights of 6 m.
The next phase is the conus phase. Thereby the tree reach heights of 15 m with a trunk 7 m in diameter. The thick trunk reach a volume up to 200 m3. During the dry season baobabs store water in this trunk (16).
The third phase is the bottle phase up to an age of 300 years. The trees become slowly thicker.
Then starts the age phase. The characteristics are branches of 50 m in diameter and multiple trunks (19, 20, 21).