ISI 2014-29. Pachypodium brevicaule Baker

Pachypodium is a wonderfully collectable genus of succulents with diverse forms (caudiciform to pachycaul) and a range of beautiful flowers (fragrant white to intense yellow, bright coral-pink pinwheels to yellowish tubes with maroon petals). The genus also exhibits the full spectrum of horticultural challenges from one of the most popular of succulents often grown as a houseplant (P. lamerei) to the almost impossible to grow for long on its own roots (P. eburneum). Toward the more difficult end of that spectrum is P. brevicaule. Thousands of this squat caudiciform have been harvested to be sold along roadsides in Madagascar or exported to foreign nurseries. Alas, precious few of these persist in collections. Even nursery-grown seedlings present challenges for most growers, rotting before attaining much size. The logical solution to this problem is to graft the difficult onto the easy so that anyone can enjoy the cheery, canary-yellow flowers of P. brevicaule. Therefore, we offer flowering-sized specimens on the hard-to-kill rootstocks of P. lamereior the equally easy P. saundersii. HBG 119053, $70.

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Photo © 2014 by John N. Trager. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 86 (2), March - April, 2014