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Hoodia pilifera


Scientific Name

Hoodia pilifera (L.f.) Plowes


Stapelia pilifera, Piaranthus pilifer, Trichocaulon piliferum, Stisseria pilifera, Ceropegia pilifera

Scientific Classification

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


Hoodia pilifera is a leafless succulent, up to 32 inches (80 cm) tall, with fleshy, ribbed, and thorny stems. They are cylindrical, up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) in diameter, dark green to pale grey-green, sometimes with a purple hue. Flowers are dark purple to almost black or pinkish-brown inside, reddish-green outside, and appear from mid to late summer.

Hoodia pilifera

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USDA hardiness zones 11a to 11b: from 40 °F (+4.4 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

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. Stapeliads require a reasonable amount of sunlight to promote flowering and maintain a well-shaped plant. Very shady positions will produce very poor flowering.

These plants come from climates where they survive extremely high temperatures in the summer months, so most growth is in spring and fall, with flowering in fall when the weather starts to cool down. In the growing season, water in moderation when needed, making sure soil is fairly dried out between waterings. Do not water between late fall and early spring.

The easiest and best way to propagate Stapeliads is from stem cuttings, which can be taken virtually throughout the year. Stapeliads can also be propagated by seeds.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Stapeliads.


Hoodia pilifera is native to South Africa (Eastern Cape, Western Cape).


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