July 22, 2014

1158 MADAGASCAR - Les baobabs amoureux in Morondava

Once upon a time, a young man and a young woman of two nearby villages fell in love from each other. Unfortunately both had already an assigned partner and had to marry separately in their respective villages. However, the impossible couple dreamed of a common eternity life and having a child together and secretly asked help to their god. Both baobabs were born and now live they for eternity as one as the couple always wished. So says the legend that appeared the two baobabs known as Les baobabs amoureux (the Lovers baobabs), located at 7km to the northwest of the famous Avenue or Alley of the Baobabs, a prominent group of baobab trees lining the dirt road between Morondava and Belon'i Tsiribihina in the Menabe region in western Madagascar. Along the 260m of the avenue are 20-25 trees about 30m in height, known locally as renala (Malagasy for "mother of the forest"), a legacy of the dense tropical forests that once thrived on Madagascar.

The two baobabs, which are entwined around each other in an embrace that has lasted over 600 years, are Adansonia za, an endemic species to Southern and North-Western Madagascar. Adansonia is a genus of only nine species of tree, including six native to Madagascar, two native to mainland Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and one native to Australia. Adansonia za is a large thick-stemmed (pachycaul) deciduous tree, about 10-40m high and about 6m in diameter. The tree is wide at the base and grows to a narrow point towards the top of the tree. The flower buds are long green cylinders which can resemble oversized beans and could be mistaken for a fruit. The flowers are musty-sweet scented. Flowering period extends from November to February. Possible largest tree of this species grows near Reakaly village, its circumference having approximately 23m.

About the stamps
The first stamp is part of a series of four, issued on February 16, 2011 (even if on the stamps is write 2010):
Physena sessiliflora (100.00 MGF)
Pentachlaena latifolia (200.00 MGF)
Rhopalocarpus similis Hemsley (300.00 MGF)
Asteropeia amblyocarpa (500.00 MGF) - it's on the postcard

The second stamp, depicting Rice Blue, was issued on September 29, 2008.

Avenue of the Baobabs - Wikipedia
Adansonia Za - Wikipedia

Sender: Hayatun (direct swap)
sent from Antanararivo (Madagascar), on 02.07.2014
photo: Uwe Meilahn