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Pachypodium lamerei (Madagascar Palm)


Scientific Name

Pachypodium lamerei Drake

Common Names

Madagascar Palm, Club Foot


Pachypodium ramosum, Pachypodium menabeum, Pachypodium champenoisianum, Pachypodium rutenbergianum var. lamerei, Pachypodium rutenbergianum f. lamerei

Scientific Classification

Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Apocynoideae
Tribe: Malouetieae
Genus: Pachypodium


Pachypodium lamerei is a semi-deciduous tree with a succulent stem that grows up to 20 feet (6 m) tall and up to 1 foot (30 cm) in diameter. The silver-gray trunk is generally solitary or scarcely branched and covered with sharp, up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) long spines. Leaves are green, narrow, and arranged spirally, mostly just at the top of the plant. Flowers are white with a yellow center and up to 3.1 inches (8 cm) in diameter. Seed pods look like cucumbers.


USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Madagascar Palm is not difficult to grow as a houseplant as long as it receives enough light and is planted in well-draining soil. Be sure to place the plant in a container with drainage holes to avoid root rot.

This plant requires bright light and fairly warm temperatures. Place your Madagascar Palm outdoors during daylight hours whenever the weather is above 70 °F (21 °C). It requires full sunlight to thrive. When it is not outdoors, keep it near a window with access to as much sunlight as possible.

Give the plant water when the surface soil is dry. Like many other plants, you can water less in the winter. Water just enough to keep the soil from drying out.

Use a diluted houseplant fertilizer at the beginning of spring and the beginning of summer. If Madagascar Palm is happy and healthy, it will grow about 12 inches (30 cm) a year and blooms profusely.

If your palm shows signs of disease or pest infestation, remove the damaged parts. Leaf drop in winter is perfectly normal. Madagascar Palm may even drop all its leaves. But don't worry. It'll grow more leaves in spring when it gets the sunshine and warmth it loves. When it comes out of dormancy, and you see new leaves growing, that's your cue to resume regular watering and fertilizing.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Pachypodium.


Pachypodium lamerei is native to Madagascar.



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