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Hoodia macrantha
(Syn: Hoodia currorii)
CACTUSPEDIA       

 


 An easy-to-grow species in this interesting genus.
 

Description: Spiny, cactus-like columnar or sprawling succulent, with numerous stems. Slow growing but can get 40-80(-100) cm high.
Stem: Cylindrical, grey brown-purplish or greenish up to 8 cm in diameter and up to 1 m long.
Ribs: 11-24 vertical, with prominent obtuse tubercles.
Spines: One at the tip of each tubercle, sharp, 6-10 mm long.
Flowers: Subapical in group of 1 to 4, opening successively satellite dishes-like consisting of a short pentagonal tube and a subcircular limb, hairy, pink-purple to red-orange with yellow on the ribs 4-18 cm in diameter, the largest in the genus, has the horrible smell of rotten meat which attracts flies, they pollinate the plant and keep its generation alive. Without flies there would be no Hoodia macrantha.
Remarks:
There are many difficulty in Hoodia identification. If we have some plants from unidentified origin ( plants provided unlabeled or with poor identification data), we have to wait until the plant is in flower and also specialists and growers have quite a difficulty to identify correctly this plants.

Uses: H. corrorii ( = macrantha ), along with the more famous H. gordonii, is considered to be a weight loss “wonder plant” by the world for over the last 3 decades. It has been used for centuries by Bushmen to treat high blood pressure, to promote a feeling of wellbeing and as an appetite suppressant (It was used by hunters for keeping hunger pangs at bay as they was deprived of food on long hunting expeditions in the desert, and famine was common). The stems of Hoodia plants that have had their spines removed are the preferred portion of the Hoodia plant for eating. Some manufacturers of dietary supplements describe the use of stems in their slimming pill , but this statement is quite inaccurate, because it is the whole aerial part of the plant that is dried for the preparation of bulk Hoodia powder. Hoodia species have a bitter taste, which is quite noticeable after eating.
 

 

Cultivation:   It 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:   Seed and by cutting from the base of a branch.  Allow cuttings to dry several days before planting.


 

Photo gallery: Alphabetical listing of Cacti and Succulent pictures published in this site.

Photo gallery HOODIA

Family: Asclepiadaceae (Apocynaceae)  (Milkweeds family)

Scientific name:  
Hoodia macrantha Dinter 1914

Nowadays regarded as: Hoodia currorii subsp. currorii (Hook.) Decne.

Origin Namibia (Ebony to Usakos) The species is also known to exist in the Richtersveld in northern South Africa.

Habitat:  Very arid stony deserts, dry short forest and dry acacia shrub vegetation from the costal Namib desert up to 250 km to the interior. This area is home to a wide range of unique plant species.

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.

Common English Names include:

Etymology:

Synonyms:

  • Scytanthus currorii Hook.
    In: Icon. Pl. 7: t. 605-606. 1844
  • Hoodia montana Nel
  • Hoodia gibbosa Nel
  • Hoodia currorii (Hook.) Decne. var. minor R.A. Dyer


 

 



This is one of the Hoodias with the largest flower. The red "satellite dishes" caught the admirer's eyes from a long distance as they are really outstanding.



 

Cactuspedia home | E-mail | Photo gallery | Dictionary | Search 

This old page has been moved! Click the link next on the right to enter the new Enciclopedia of Succulents. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.

Encyclopedia of Succulents