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
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.
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.
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
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
near 0°C (or less).
are tolerated, if kept
the spring leaving them out in the rain may provide them with the
water they need.
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
Since roots are quite shallow, a gritty,
compost with extra
pumiceis suitable, and
clay pots help the plants to dry out between watering.
Indoors only in
Seed and by cutting from the base of a branch.
dry several days