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Hoodia gordonii


Scientific Name

Hoodia gordonii (Masson) Sweet ex Decne

Common Names



Stapelia gordonii (basionym), Hoodia barklyi, Hoodia burkei, Hoodia longispina

Scientific Classification

Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Tribe: Stapeliae
Genus: Hoodia


Hoodia gordonii is a leafless spiny succulent plant similar to a cactus, up to 40 inches (1 m) tall. In the early stages only one stem is produced but at a later stage the plant produces clusters of green upright stem. The stem is greysh-green to pale brown, stricltly cylindrical, up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. The flowers are saucer-shaped, strictly 5-lobed, large up to 3 inches (7.5 cm), pale straw, pale purple to dark maroon in color, normally borne in August or September.

How to Grow and Care

Stapeliads are relatively easy to grow. They should be treated as an outdoor plant as they will easily rot indoors and cannot flower without exposure to outdoor temperature fluctuations. They should be grown under cover so that watering can be controlled. They require a reasonable amount of sunlight to promote flowering and maintain a well shaped plant. Very shady positions will produce very poor flowering. Stapeliads come from climates where they survive extremely high temperatures in the summer months so most growth is in spring and autumn, with flowering in autumn when the weather starts to cool down… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Stapeliads.


For centuries, San Bushmen in the desert have used this plant for fighting off hunger and thirst during long hunts. Other traditional medicinal uses of Hoodia is for cramps, indigestion, hemorrhoids, and improved energy levels… – See more at: Myths and Facts about Hoodia.


It grows naturally in a very wide area of the Kalahari desert in South Africa and Namibia. It is also found in the deserts of Botswana and Angola.


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