Tropical grasslands are the areas that are in the north and south of the tropical rainforests on the equator. These areas are also referred to as savannas. Many areas beyond the savannas are deserts while some savannas contain mountains, seas and dense forests. Tropical grasslands typically have more trees as compared to the temperate grasslands, but they do not have the colorful flowering plants found in the temperate grasslands. The trees in tropical grasslands are usually low growing and are scattered in the area.
The baobab tree (Adansonia digitata) is a common plant of the tropical grassland in Africa and is also referred to as the tree of life. The tree reaches a mature height of about 60 feet and is among the tallest trees in the African savannas. The tree provides food, water and shelter for both humans and animals in the region and its cork-like bark is resistant to fire. The bark is also used for making cloth and rope and the foliage is used as traditional medicine and condiments. The baobab tree produces an edible fruit called monkey bread. The tree can store up to hundreds of gallons of water, which can be used during droughts.
Candelabra tree (Ingens) is found in the savannas of the East Indies and Africa. The tree reaches a mature height of 30 to 40 feet and the branches extending from a single trunk give the impression of a candelabra. The tree bears small yellow flowers in the middle of winter. Candelabra tree is highly poisonous and is not preferred by animals. There are sharp spines of the branches, which burn upon contact and make the tree particularly useful as a living fence.
Elephant grass (Pennistum) is also referred to as Napier grass and Uganda grass. Elephant grass is a tall-growing native grass of the African tropical grasslands. The grass is typically found growing in the rich soil along the lake beds and rivers. Elephant grass is used by local farmers as fodder for the animals. The grass is purple or yellowish in color with coarse, hairy stems and 2- to 3-foot long, 1-inch wide pointed leaves. The razor-sharp edges of the leaves make thick stands of the grass impossible to penetrate. The grass is invasive and only thrives in the tropical climates.