Have you ever seen documentaries about the animals of Africa? In that case, surely you have had the opportunity to see how the savannah changes throughout the year: becoming a very dry region, covered with low herbaceous plants. Depending on the area, there are even some trees, few if we compare them with those that can be found in a forest or jungle, but highly appreciated by the native fauna, as they use them for food and to protect themselves from the sun.
But in this article let’s talk about the vegetation of the savannahthat is, of the plants that have managed to adapt to an environment in which not all of them could.
Where do we find a savannah?
The African savannah is surely the best known of all. It occupies much of the continent, from south of the Sahara desert to South Africa. But this is not the only place where there are savannahs:
If we go across the pond, to the Americas, we see that there are savannahs on the Pacific coast and in the Colombian-Venezuelan Llanos; At the other end of the world, in Australia, the entire north of the continent is considered savannah. Even in Asia, north of India, there are also.
What types of sheets are there?
There are four types: intertropical, temperate, Mediterranean and mountainous. Its characteristics are the following:
- intertropical savanna: The climate is tropical or subtropical, with temperatures ranging between 12 and 30ºC. The rains are seasonal; the rest of the time the drought is a very serious problem, to the point that various animals must migrate to areas where they think they will find water, like elephants for example.
- temperate savannah: as temperatures are milder and it rains a little more, the soil contains more nutrients. But yes, the drought can also be serious, but it does not last as long as in the intertropical savannahs.
- mediterranean savannah: it can be found all over the planet where the climate is very similar to the Mediterranean (that is: very hot and dry in summer, and mild in winter, and with little rainfall). It is, therefore, a semi-arid place, where plants grow on land with few nutrients.
- mountainous savannah: It is also known as alpine or subalpine savannah, since it is in those regions where they are found more. The rains are more abundant, so there is more life in these places.
What vegetation do we find in the savannah?
savannah plants they can be herbs, shrubs, trees and even succulents. Depending on where you are in the world, you will receive more or less rainfall, which is why no two savannahs are the same.
So, let’s see what some are:
There are many acacias that live in savannahs, but one of the best known may be the acacia tortilis. It is the typical one that Google shows us when we look for images of the African savannah. It is a tree that forms a cup in the form of a parasolwhich can reach 5-6 meters wide.
Reaches an approximate height of 14 metersthat is if the elephants leave it. And it is that these are animals that enjoy eating acacia leaves. In documentaries, they can even be seen felling trees in order to reach the leaves that they would otherwise not be able to eat.
the baobab it is a slow-growing tree that develops a very, very thick trunkso much so that specimens have been found in which several people have been needed to embrace it.
It grows in Africa, Madagascar and Australia, and is characterized by having leaves that fall during the dry season, and sprout with the rains.. It can reach 30 meters in heightand develops a slightly branched crown.
The Huge Euphorbia it is a succulent tree or shrub that many of us usually have in our collection or in the garden. It is a plant native to Africa that reaches a height of up to 15 meters. Its crown is very branched when it matures, and it is very compact.
It grows at a good rate, although like all savannah plants, it likes the heat. When it’s cold, their activities slow down.
Few palms live in the savannahs, and there are even fewer that branch, but the Hyphaene thebaica has found in the African savannah a good place to live. It reaches a height of 10-15 meters, and has fan-shaped leaves.. In addition, its fruits are edible; in fact, the ancient Egyptians did not hesitate to even take a few to the grave.
Its germination is simple and fast, as long as the seeds are of quality, but it does not resist frost, so if you manage to have one, you will have to protect it indoors if the weather is cold.
Also called carob, It is a thorny tree native to South America that reaches a height of about 10 meters. Its crown branches a lot, and it has bipinnate, small, green leaves.
Its growth is fast, and it is able to resist drought without any problem.