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Accepted Scientific Name: Pachypodium bispinosum A.DC.
Prodr. [A. P. de Candolle] 8: 424. 1844 [mid Mar 1844] DC. et al.
Origin and Habitat: The species is a almost entirely confined to the Eastern Cape Province in South Africa(Port Elizabeth).
Habitat: Usually found in sunny positions on stony places, where they are associated with other representatives of the flora of dry areas. This species, along with Pachypodium succulentum, can tolerate subzero temperatures in its natural environment in winter. They are found in xeric habitats, and are naturally well adapted to the hot and dry environment in which they grow. The succulent stems act as water stores, and enable the plants to survive the harshest conditions. The thick tuberous underground stems also help the plants to survive long periods without water. They can therefore withstand intense heat and long periods of drought.
Pachypodium bispinosum A.DC.
Prodr. [A. P. de Candolle] 8: 424. 1844 [mid Mar 1844]
- Pachypodium bispinosum A.DC.
- Pachypodium glabrum Don
- Pachypodium tuberosum var. loddigesii A.DC.
Description: Deciduous caudiciform shrublet, up to 1.2 m tall. Low-growing, similar to Pachipodium succulentum, with branching shoots and small flowers.
Caudex (tuberous stem): Succulent, partially subterranean, up to 60 cm m tall, 20 cm (or more) thick.
Stems: Produces thin branches from the tuber. They are armed with paired straight spines, 10–20 mm long. The branches will grow up to 120 centimetres in length.
Leaves: Narrow, scattered, or in tufts on the stems.
Flowers: Bell-shaped, light pink in shades of purple to pink with a darker tube, few and in clusters at the tips of the branches, 15–20 mm in diameter.
Blooming season: The flowers appear with the leaves from June to December.
Remarks: When not in flower, it is indistinguishable from Pachypodium succulentum with which it overlaps in distribution. Pachypodium succulentum has thick, bonsai-like branches, and the leaves are less hairy, with margins curling down more distinctly and spines that are shorter.
Cultivation and Propagation: They seem to be particularly prone to rot if allowed to get too wet in winter, or if cultivated under less than ideal conditions and care. Water sparingly in summer and give extra well-drained soil to avoid waterlogged conditions. No water from November to March. The watering program will change, depending on temperatures and stage of growth, but it is best not to let this plant dry out completely for any length of time. It is sensitive to cold, and should be kept totally dry in winter, at or around 4°C. Protect from frost. It tends to lose its leaves and go dormant in winter. It likes full sun to light shade .
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