Unusual rather than attractive is how Dr Hessayon described Pachypodium Lamerei, which is perhaps being a little unfair to the succulent commonly called the Madagascar Palm on account of the palm like spray of long leaves that sprouts from the top of a woody - and spiny! - stem or trunk. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, we suppose, and we like it, whatever the good doctor might think. Sunny or light position. Well drained soil. To 3 feet. 1 litre (13cm) decorative pot.
As you might deduce from its common name, Pachypodium Lamerei is a native of Madagascar, home to a multitude of strange and wonderful flora and fauna. There it grows in arid regions, so it has developed a thick caudex or water retaining stem which allows it to survive without much in the way of water for long periods. Kept as a houseplant, we would water it once a week or so in summer, but make sure to to avoid overwatering. In winter it should be happy left unwatered, though give it an occasional splash if kept in a warm room.
In the wild Pachypodium Lamerei can grow quite tall, possibly up to 20 feet, but kept in a pot in the home, it is more likely to grow slowly to some three or four feet at most. Mature plants will produce clusters of creamy white flowers and can develop a branching habit.
We have seen Pachypodium Lamerei described as being like a pineapple on a diet. That made us smile. And it's not that wide of the mark. The video below shows off a splendid branched specimen - we think the plant itself is older than is stated and that he has in fact owned for the time suggested. Nice, though.
Pachypodium Lamerei is a perennial succulent houseplant with a woody stem and palm like spray of elongated leaves sprouting from the top of the trunk.
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