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Origin and Habitat: Hooodia triebneri grows along the Swakop River from west of Oka-handja to near Otjimbingwe and northwards towards Karibib in central Namibia. This species is known from 2–6 subpopulations with extent of occurrence estimated at less than 6,250 km². The population is assumed to be stable at present.
Habitat and ecology: Plants grow in gravelly areas underneath Acacia trees or below ridges. Collecting is a potential threat. The Hoodia Working Group reports that there is no real threat at present, but increased awareness and market value of H. gordonii (currently targetted for its appetite suppressant qualities) could possibly threaten other species in the future.
Description: Hooodia triebneri (Nel) Bruyns (Trichocaulon triebneri) is a very spiny species branching freely from base and above, forming clumps up to 30 cm high and 45-50 cm broad. The stems of H. triebneri are erect and relatively slender, bearing strong spines and very similar looking to those of Hoodia gordonii but the flowers are smaller (1–1.5cm in diameter), bell-shaped, blackish to reddish-purple. The dark flowers are exceedingly foul-smelling.
Derivation of specific name: This member of the Asclepiadaceae family commemorates the German grower of succulent plants Wilhelm Triebner (1883-1957).
Stems: Grey-green, erect and relatively slender, to 30 long, 2.5 - 4 cm in diameter. Without flowers, the stems of H. triebneri can easily be mistaken for H. gordonii.
Tubercles: Prominent, conical, arranged in l2-l4 (-l6) deep ribs, tipped with a pale spine 5-6 mm long.
Inflorescences: 6-12-flowered, in the grooves of the upper stem, some flowers simultaneously opening on button-like persistent peduncles.
Flowers: Pedicels 3-4 mm long, about 1 mm in diameter. Sepals 2.2-2.5 mm long, basally c 1 mm wide. Corolla 11-15 mm across, campanulate, outside reddish green, inside blackish to reddish-purple (paler at the rim of the tube).Corolla tube, conical 3.5 - 4 mm deep, slightly thickened around the gymnostegium and touching its sides. Corolla-lobes deltoid-acuminate, sometimes with fine erect tips, 3-4.5 long, basally 4-5 mm broad, inside glabrous, covered with obconical papillae apically ending in a slender spreading bristle. Corona as in Hooodia ruschii, purplish-black, outer lobes divided into two lobules which are fused to the inner lobes, the latter incumbent on the anthers and only half as long.
Fruits (follicles): Spindle-shaped, resembling small antelope or goat horns, to 10.5 (or more) cm long, tapering to a beak, glabrous, smooth.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Doreen Court “Succulent Flora of Southern Africa” CRC Press, 01 June 2000
2) Mary Gunn, L. E. W. Codd “Botanical Exploration Southern Africa” CRC Press, 01 June 1981
3) Focke Albers, Ulrich Meve “Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Asclepiadaceae” Volume 4 Springer, 2002
4) Bruyns, P.V. “A revision of Hoodia and Lavrania (Asclepiadaceae-stapelieae).” Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik 115(2):145-270.1993.
5) Bruyns, P.V. “Stapeliads of southern Africa and Madagascar.” (Vol. 1, pp. 1-330). Umdaus Press, Pretoria. 2005.
6) “Excelsa”, Ed. 13-17. Aloe, Cactus and Succulent Society of Rhodesia, 1988
7) National Botanical Research Institute “Hoodia in Namibia” retrieved 02 May 2016 from <http://www.nbri.org.na/sites/default/files/Hoodia_booklet.pdf>
8) Craven, P. 2004. Hoodia triebneri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T46822A11083812. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2004.RLTS.T46822A11083812.en. Downloaded on 02 May 2016.
Cultivation and Propagation: Hooodia triebneri is one of easiest species to grow but prone to root rot due to overwaterings and lack of fresh air. Water normally in the growing season, sparsely in the winter. It is usually recommended to over-winter them in warm conditions (at 10° C), but despite their African origins they seem to grow well and flower without the extra heat which one might have thought necessary, and occasional temperatures near 0°C (or less) are tolerated, if kept dry.
Spring: In the spring leaving them out in the rain may provide them with the water they need.
Summer: In the summer months they will grow well in full sun or partial shade and tolerate heavy rain, but will be just as happy if the season is dry.
Potting medium: Since roots are quite shallow, a gritty, very free-draining compost with extra perlite or pumiceis suitable, and clay pots help the plants to dry out between watering. Indoors only in brightest position,
Propagation: Propagation is done mainly from seed. Cuttings are not really an option, as the severed ends very rarely form a callus from where roots will eventually form. Seeds are produced in March and April of each year (Europe). The seed horns must be semi-dry and starting to split down the middle before seed can be collected. If you try to take a cutting allows it to dry several days before planting.
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