Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist. Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Tuesday, 16 August 2016

The Boab tree - Adansonia gregorii

 Through July and August we have been away exploring the Kimberley region in the far north west Western Australia. This is the first of my posts to bring you images and stories from our trip. I hope you will join me.

The Boab tree, Adansonia gregorii, is an iconic tree of the Kimberley region of the north west Western Australia. It is found only in the Kimberley and western Victoria Region of the Northern Territory, so this tree really does signal to the traveller that they have reached the Kimberley. The huge boab you see below was standing sentinel over the Great Northern Highway south of Derby and east of Broome when we visited in 2009. And it still stands. One can only imagine its age. It is an impressive entry statement to the Kimberley.

The boab is a distinctive and impressive deciduous tree which has a massive, swollen trunk and may reach to a height of 15 metres. Its spreading branches are usually leafless at flowering time, November to February and the large fragrant flowers are white to creamy with numerous stamens. The flowers are pollinated by hawkmoths and birds and convert to pendulous fruits which are large, woody and covered with dense felt of short hairs. The fruit contain many black kidney shaped seeds embedded in a powdery white pith. The hard outer covering of the fruit cracks when they fall from the tree, dispersing the seeds.

Below you can see the flower, the leaves, the trunk, the fruit and the inside of the fruits.

The trunks can either be squat and bulbous or the younger trees can be tall and slender. Sometimes you see circles of younger trees surrounding their older parent.  The Boab is deciduous and sheds its leaves during the dry season. On our recent visit to the Kimberley, during the dry, we saw flowers on trees in Broome, trees totally covered in leaves, and trees that were totally bare except for their fruits. We were told it has been an unusual season.

The Boab is the only Adansonia species found in Australia, the others being natives of Madagascar (6 species) , Africa and the Arabian Peninsula (2 species).  In Africa they are known as baobab. In Australia the boab is distributed throughout much of the Kimberley and into parts of the Northern Territory. They favour the loamy soils of Fitzroy and Ord valleys and the limestone hills of the Oscar and Napier Ranges. Although not native to Broome they have been extensively planted throughout Broome, and are used as street trees in Broome and Derby.

Below you can see some boabs and termite mounds - another common sight in the Pilbara and Kimberley. 

Other names for the boab are Djungeri and baobab. The Bardi aboriginal name is Larrgid and the Nyikina people of Derby call it Larrkardiy.  The aboriginal people used fibre from the roots and trunk to make string. The white pith of the fruit is rich in vitamin C and tastes a little like sherbet and is very refreshing. The roots of young trees and the seeds were used for food and medicine. The seeds were ground into a white paste. The fruit is often etched and decorated for sale to tourists.

In the early 1900s enlarged hollow boabs were sometimes used as prison trees to hold Aboriginal prisoners overnight. Two of these can be seen near Wyndham and Derby.

The Australian boab has been evolving here for 190 million years, and thought to have evolved here from plant material washed across the ocean from Madagascar. It is difficult to calculate the age of particular trees as the trunks are hollow and don't have growth rings. Experts believe that some large trees could be thousands of years old.  

 Boabs can withstand bushfires and drought. The tree stores water in its fibrous trunk and swells during the wet.  

This boab was growing high on a cliff at pretty Galvans Gorge on the Gibb River Road.

They really are an amazing tree. I was fascinated by their various shapes and wanted to keep taking photos whenever I saw them. 
And of course, the sunset shot - this is sunset near Marlgu Billabong, south of Wyndham.  

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 And more about the boab from Kathy over at her blog at 50 shades of Age - Boabs of the Kimberley

I hope you have enjoyed this look at the boab. Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Life Thru the Lens 
Lifestyle Fifty Monday Linkup 
Our World Tuesday

Through My Lens 
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global 
Worth Casing Wednesday 
Travel Photo Thursday

The Weekly Postcard 


  1. Such a distinctive shape there is no mistaking the boab tree. Your photos give us a wonderful tour of that part of the world and what an welcome to the area with that first photo.

  2. What amazing trees! They are so unique and magnificent to see.

  3. Jill I think have that exact photo of that boab at the beginning of the Great Northern Highway! Boabs are such magical trees. I was infatuated with them during our travels through The Kimberley. I also wrote a post about them http://www.50shadesofage.com/2015/08/14/boabs-of-the-kimberley/ :)

  4. Amazing shots, fascinating post.
    I always think of The Little Prince when I hear of boab trees.

    Thanks for sharing at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2016/08/sweetheart-in-sepia.html

  5. Every photo is awesome, and i can imagine the other-worldly feeling looking at those expanse of these trees. I remember to have been calling it baobab trees from the readings from Lebanon. I didn't know that they have lots of uses too, and that their insides are hollow. And using it as prison cell is very amusing.

  6. Jill, I love interesting looking trees and the boab certainly is intriguing in appearance. We don't have anything like that in East Tennessee. lol My eye is often drawn to gnarled trees with outreaching branches or those of a twisty, hardy sized. Anything that's sorta of the ordinary gets my attention. Thanks for sharing your photo essay. Great job!

    Photo-editing Water Rock Knob image #WW

  7. Those unusual trees make for great sunset silhouettes!

  8. These trees are amazing and I loved the hollowed out ones being used as overnight accommodations for prisoners. Oh the tales trees could tell. . .

    1. unfortunately this was during a very sad period in Australia's history Jackie.

  9. These trees are sooo cool, I looked up boab and found it stands for Ballin' On A Budget, haha. Excellent photos and I can see why you'd want to keep shooting these fascinating trees. Must be humbling to see up close.

  10. What an amazing looking tree!

  11. An amazing sunset image Jill. We have been in the Keep River area and took photos of many magnificent boabs. I have not seen any at sunrise or sunset yet, but your post has inspired me to look harder. Heading down the Gibb River Road today towards Derby, then Broome, so hope to get an opportunity. Many thanks Steve

  12. I've seen the baobab only once before and that was in the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. Such an interesting tree! I love that sunset shot --such gorgeous golden tones!

    1. yes I was amazed to see it at Gardens by the Bay.

  13. Although I've lived in Australia and visited many different areas I haven't been to the Kimberley region of the north west Western Australia. Fascinating post and brilliant photos.
    Such an amazing and interesting tree. Thanks for sharing Jill :D

  14. The boab trees are such iconic sights in the Kimberley and their shapes are fascinating too. I remember seeing two which were posed like ballerinas. The prisoner tree had a very sad aura too it I thought when we visited. Your photos capture the light of the Kimberley so well.

  15. Such a fascinating post Jill. I love coming your way because I know I am going to see something new, and learn something as well. That sunset/silhouette photo is stunning!!

    Lisa @ LTTL

  16. great photos...

    replicas of some aussie boabs...


I hope you have enjoyed your visit to my blog. Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. I read and very much appreciate every comment and love hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return.