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Scientific name

Pachypodium lamerei  drake


common names

Madagascar palm tree



Pachypodium ramosum, Pachypodium menabeum, Pachypodium champenoisianum, Pachypodium rutenbergianum var. Lamerei, Pachypodium rutenbergianum f. regret


scientific classification

Family:  Apocynaceae

Gender:  Pachypodium



native of Madagascar



Pachypodium lamerei is a succulent semi-deciduous tree, up to 6 m tall and up to 30 cm in diameter. Silver-grey trunk covered with 6 cm long spines, usually solitary or sparsely branched. The leaves are green, long, narrow, arranged in a spiral, mainly only at the top of the plant. The flowers are white with a yellow center, up to 8 cm in diameter. The seed pods look like cucumbers.


how to care

The three parameters of light, temperature and watering are closely linked: therefore, one should not change one without the other two. Therefore, it is important to note that the balance of these three parameters determines the good or bad health of a plant. Pachypodium need a lot of light because they originally grow in full sun in tropical countries. Direct sunlight is not absolutely necessary, but sunlight should not be shielded by natural eye protection. A Pachypodium with a lack of light will wither, its branches will grow weak and thin and the leaves will become too large and soft. As a result, over time, the Pachypodium will become susceptible to disease and fungus and the plant will eventually die. 


In summer, temperatures can be very high in natural habitats in both Madagascar and South Africa. The minimum temperature is much more important for growth  of a Pachypodium, because it triggers the rest.


Pachypodium are succulent plants like cacti, but the basic difference is that Pachypodium have visible leaves, in some species the leaves are even very large in relation to the plant (for example Pachypodium rutenbergianum, Pachypodium lamerei).

This feature means that the plant uses the leaves to acquire water and carbon dioxide needs quickly. Thus, they acquire nutritional needs, especially during the rainy season, which can be sudden and violent in the hot season. This is essential for them as the growing season in their natural environment is quite short.


Pachypodium have large fibrous roots that absorb moisture very quickly since in their natural habitat they need to take advantage of sudden (but very rare) good rains. In contrast, most other succulent plants have much thinner roots.


Pachypodium have a thick, shiny bark that allows them to reflect strong sunlight and protect them from dehydration during long periods of drought.

Pachypodium lamerei

SKU: P1259
  • Vase 13 cm   Total Height 25 cm

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