ISI 2014-30. Pachypodium namaquanum (Wiley ex Harvey) Welwitsch

P. namaquanum is unique in the genus for the forlorn-looking, almost-human silhouette of mature plants that dot the landscape of parts of Namaqualand, the arid, winter rainfall region of South Africa. Here the rosettes of undulate, pale-green leaves that crown the stems all lean evocatively toward the equator. It takes quite some time for cultivated plants to achieve this effect and few growers succeed in keeping plants that long if they can even find them. Their Namaqualand origin make for a growth cycle that confounds many growers. It is akin to the miniature conophytums that often grow near them, i.e. responding to moisture as early as August in the northern hemisphere but needing only light watering through the fall and winter while preferring a long, dry, dormant period through spring and most of summer. Here again, grafting onto more water-tolerant stock can avoid root rot problems even though the scions tend to maintain their winter growth cycle, going deciduous and dormant for the spring and summer. We offer HBG 108305, wonderfully spiny, chunky plants grafted on P. lameri or P. saudersii. $80.

overview, grafted to P. lameri

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