Plant Communication – the Strange Case of the Elephant and the Mopane

Plants communicate with each other in different ways. In this episode of the African Plant Hunter, Gus shows how mopane trees respond to elephants browsing by releasing tannins from their roots to make the leaves unpalatable. They also release pheromones to alert other trees nearby to the incoming elephant. But elephants have also got wise […]

Where Eagles Go to Fish the Sunken Trees of Lake Kariba

Submerged in water in 1958, the mopane trees of Lake Kariba, one of the world’s largest manmade lakes, are still standing today, and provide habitat for a wide range of animals, including the majestic Fish Eagle. Gus, the African Plant Hunter, shows why they call mopane the “ironwood” tree.

Mopane – the Ironwood Tree

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Solid as iron, with a leaf like a butterfly, the scent of a pine tree and the bacteria-killing properties of bleach. Welcome to the enigmatic mopane (Colophospermum mopane) tree. Join Gus, the African Plant Hunter, on his journey through the medicinal plants of Africa.