The African Savannah looks like a huge grassland area dotted with trees. It actually contains several types of plants, such as the candelabra tree, elephant grass, and river bush willow. Some of these plants have formed long taproot systems to obtain water deep in the ground. A few trees also contain fire-resistant bark and a trunk that stores water.
River Bush Willow
Growing along riverbanks, the river bush willow stands up to 35 feet tall and has a long taproot system. The 3-inch-long, elliptical-shaped leaves start off a pale green color, but become darker on top and lighter on the bottom. Creamy or pale yellow flowers, which measure almost 1/2 inch wide, bloom into the shape of spikes and sprout from oddly angled branches. This plant has earned the nickname hiccup nut, because the seeds cause hiccups if eaten.
Senegal Gum Acacia Tree
This grey-green leafed thorn tree can live through long dry periods, and it contains branches that come together to give it a flat, rounded top. Light-colored flowers sprout from spikes and grow into 8-inch-long, 3-inch-wide seed pods. After the rainy season, the trunk of the Senegal gum acacia releases its sap.
This tall, clumpy grass shoots up to 10 feet high and forms alongside rivers and lake beds. Yellow or purple in color, each piece contains 1-inch-thick, hairy stems near the base and pointed blades with sharp edges that measure 2 or 3 feet long.
Baobab trees can usually be found around the Equator and live for thousands of years. Standing without leaves for most of the year, the fire-resistant trunk on this approximately 80-foot-tall tree stores water in anticipation of the dry season.
Like the baobab, the candelabra tree is also mostly found near the Equator. Small yellow flowers form in the middle of winter and the branches grow from the trunk. This 30-40 foot tall tree also contains a poisonous sap inside, which can blister the skin and cause blindness, and produce a burning sensation when fumes are breathed in.