Wednesday, April 28th, 2010...12:00 am

The African Marula Tree

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Here is a video in French that TheGardenLady thought was cute.

This is a video from a French documentary about a certain type of tree in Africa. TheGardenLady is not sure if the video is real and she believes that it is the African Marula tree (Sclerocarya birrea).  It’s also known as the Elephant Tree or the Marriage Tree.

Once a year, the African Marula Tree produces a very juicy fruit that contains a large percentage of alcohol. Because there is a shortage of water, as soon as the fruit is ripe, animals, big and small, belly up to the bar.

A 4th-grade student at the Lycee Francais de Chicago who goes by the name of Monkey Muesé translated the French for TheGardenLady

Selva means jungle forest.

“At the beginning of the season, the fruits are delicious but hard to get. You have to be really strong or very old (clever elephant). But after some weeks, the ripe fruits fall, so the animals come and eat them. But the fruit is very alcoholic and goes to their heads. So they all leave drunk.”

Despite the cuteness of the video, there’s no reason to believe that it represents what is true.  According to National Geographic News, there’s no evidence to support the view that elephants get drunk off of the fruit these trees.  Apparently, elephants’ biology makes them teetotallers.

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