Did you know that trees can either be male or female? That’s right. Trees can either be monoecious, meaning they have both male and female flowers and can reproduce on their own, or dioecious, meaning that each tree is either male or female. In that case they rely on another tree with a flower of the opposite sex to pollinate and therefore reproduce.
One such tree is the marula tree… Yes, it’s actually called Marula, not Amarula. Amarula is the famous alcoholic liqueur made from marula fruits from the marula tree. Legend is that elephants frequently get drunk on these fruits which has made the tree infamous.
The origins of this story are in the 1974 nature documentary on South Africa dubbed ‘Animals are beautiful people’. It purported to show elephants getting intoxicated by ripe marula fruits but it later emerged that the narrative was fabricated for dramatic effect. A journal article published by the University of Chicago Press asserted that the ingestion of marula fruit with enough ethanol content to ‘overtly affect elephant behavior’ such as by staggering, was unlikely and ‘mired in folklore’.
Can you name these iconic trees? Take the quiz to find out!
#1. This hardwood tree's leaf can be found on the Canadian flag.
#2. This tree's flowers are tied to a social, spring time event known as 'hanami' (flower watching). Hint: It's popular in Asia.
#3. This tree is native to Yemen and is named for the sap it produces.
#4. This tree is named for it's pendulant branches. Hint: It appeared in Beyonce's video for 'Sorry' in the Lemonade album.
#5. Found in coastal areas, these trees come in many varieties and are known to produce fruit such as dates and coconuts.
#6. This tree is named for the color of it's bark and thrives in cooler areas such as Europe.
#7. These subtropical trees are popular in South America and East Africa for their violet flowers. Hint: There's a book titled after them, 'Dance of the -"
#8. This tree is named after a delicious food item because of the shape of it's fruit.
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