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Pachypodium succulentum


Pachypodium succulentum

Family: Apocynaceae

It is an interesting succulent shrublet in that it has a large, turnip-shaped, tuberous stem up to 25 cm in diameter and up to 60 cm in height, most of which is below ground level where it gets protection from frost and the hot rays of the sun. This swollen stem is known as a caudex and stores water, enabling the plant to survive harsh conditions and long periods of drought. The slender, somewhat twisted branches, 15 – 60 cm long, stand erect or slightly drooping. The upper parts of these stems are interspersed with spines. Leaves are narrow, dark green, scattered along the stems and clustered towards the ends of branches.

Sowing instructions: It is easily propagated from ripe seeds, sown in a normal nursery tray, using a well-drained seed-sowing compost and silica sand mixture (silica sand improves drainage) kept moist and at a temperature of approximately 22ºC. The seeds need some degree of humidity for successful germination. One can generally expect seeds to germinate within 3–4 weeks (one month).

Locality: Bloemfontein.  Harvest: January 2024


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