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Pachypodium namaquanum (Elephant's Trunk)


Scientific Name

Pachypodium namaquanum (Wyley ex Harv.) Welw.

Common Names

Elephant's Trunk, Club Foot, Halfmens (Afrikaans for Semi-Human)


Adenium namaquanum

Scientific Classification

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


Pachypodium namaquanum is a usually single-stemmed succulent that slowly grows up to 8.2 feet (2.5 m) tall. Stems are cylindrical, up to 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter, mostly unbranched, and covered with warty tubercles from which sharp spines protrude in a slightly downward direction. Leaves form a crowded rosette at the apex of the trunk. They are simple, obovate to oblong, grey-green, and densely velvety on both surfaces. Flowers are tubular, red on the inside, and yellow-green outside, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long and up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) in diameter. Fruits are horn-like with twin pencil-thin tapering capsules up to 2 inches (5 cm) long.

Pachypodium namaquanum - Elephant's Trunk, Club Foot, Halfmens


USDA hardiness zones 10b to 11b: from 40 °F (+4.4 °C) to 45 °F (+7.2 °C).

How to Grow and Care

The three parameters, light, temperature, and watering, are closely linked: you 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 their plant. Pachypodiums need much light because they originally grow under full sun in tropical countries. Direct sunlight is not necessary, but the sunlight should not be shielded by natural view protection. A Pachypodium with a lack of light will wither, its branches will be weak and appear "lean," and the leaves will be too big and soft. Over time the Pachypodium will be susceptible to disease and fungus, and the plant will eventually die. See more at How to Grow and Care for Pachypodium.


Native to Namibia, South Africa (Cape Province).


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