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Uncarina decaryi (Succulent Sesame)


Scientific Name

Uncarina decaryi Humbert ex Ihlenf.

Common Names

Succulent Sesame, Mouse Trap Tree

Scientific Classification

Family: Pedaliaceae
Genus: Uncarina


Uncarina decaryi is a large, tropical shrub or small, caudiciform tree up to 25 feet (7.5 m) tall (usually up to 10 feet / 3 m) and trunk up to 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter, covered with grayish-ochre bark. The green leaves are triangular, finely hairy, up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) long and deciduous during the winter resting season. The flowers are bright yellow with black centers.


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

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How to Grow and Care

One reason that Uncarinas are not common in cultivation is that the seed does not germinate easily. Why this is, we do not know. Propagation by cuttings is not a substitute because they do not root easily either. In short: a difficult sort to propagate. But, once you have managed to get yourself one, it is relatively easy to grow.

It needs plenty of warmth and plenty of water in the growing season, but keep it dry in the winter. In the wild they can grow up to 13 feet (4 m), but do not expect that in your greenhouse or window sill. Uncarinas are tender, cannot endure temperatures below 35 2° F (2° C), if grown outdoors they will probably grow back from roots, if frozen. They are quite heat tolerant. Uncarina needs a rich, very well drained potting soil. Use diluted fertilizer on young plants to speed up growth.

Uncarina blooms easily, and when covered with flowers, it is a striking vision. The seed capsules feature small hooked harpoons… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Uncarina


Native to Madagascar.


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