Pachypodium rutenbergianum Vatke
This species is native to Madagascar.
Pachypodium rutenbergianum is a caudiciform tree that forms a bottle-shaped trunk and a crown of branches heavily armed with spines and deciduous glossy green leaves at the tips. It grows up to 30 feet (9 m) tall. The trunk is succulent, with a grey to pale silvery-brown bark and up to 2 feet (60 cm) in diameter at the base. Leaves are narrowly oblong with a pointed tip and up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) long petiole. The blade is up to 5 inches (12.5 cm) long and 1.6 inches (4 cm) wide. Spines are up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long. The sweet-scented flowers are white with yellow centers and appear in compact terminal 3- to 30-flowered clusters in winter. They are up to 2.8 inches (7 cm) long and 2.4 inches (6 cm) across.
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °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 the plant. Pachypodiums need much light because they originally grow under full sun in tropical countries. Therefore, direct sunlight is not necessary, but the sunlight should not be shielded by natural view protection. A Pachypodium lacking 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.
The temperature can be very high, as in the habitats in Madagascar and South Africa in the summer. However, the minimum temperature is much more important for growing Pachypodiums because it triggers the rest. For most Pachypodiums, the minimum temperature is about 55° F (13° C), but it depends very much on the moisture of the substrate. The drier the substrate, the lower temperatures are possible. Ideally, you shouldn't fall below a minimum temperature of 59° F (15° C) during the rest period.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Pachypodium.
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