Myrrh: the many uses of a hostile tree
At Safari Ecology blog, Colin has followed up a fascinating post on why so many trees and shrubs in the African savanna are so thorny with one on a particularly useful thorny tree, myrrh (Commiphora). A bunch of recent studies have borne out the anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties of its sap, which has been used to treat infections at least since the ancient Sumerians. Myrrh trees also make good habitat, their berries are an important food source for a number of species, and — well, just read Colin’s post.
How old are baobabs, and why don’t we see any small ones?
(I’m grateful to Colin for the submission, not only because he’s summarizing a research paper not available on the open web, but also because seeing baobabs is one of my life goals. As a matter of fact, I just mentioned my baobab-longing yesterday — if y’all will indulge me a link to my own blog — in a post called “Strange trees.”)