Uncarina decaryi Humbert ex Ihlenf.
Succulent Sesame, Mouse Trap Tree
Uncarina decaryi is a caudiciform tree that starts with a nice caudex covered with grayish-ochre bark and ends with a slightly choppy stem. It grows up to 25 feet (7.6 m) tall. The caudex is up to 1 foot (30 cm) in diameter. Leaves are lobed, green, and finely hairy. The plant is deciduous and loses its leaves in the winter resting season. Flowers are bright yellow with a maroon to black throat and appear from late spring to early fall.
USDA hardiness zone 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
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.
Uncarinas need plenty of warmth and plenty of water in the growing season but keep them dry in the winter. They can grow up to 13 feet (4 m) in the wild, but do not expect that in your greenhouse or window sill. Uncarinas are tender and 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 rich, very well-drained potting soil. Use diluted fertilizer on young plants to speed up growth.
Uncarina blooms easily, and it is a striking vision when covered with flowers. The seed capsules feature small hooked harpoons.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Uncarina.
This species is native to Madagascar.
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