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Uncarina leptocarpa


Scientific Name

Uncarina leptocarpa (Decne.) Ihlenf. & Straka


Harpagophytum leptocarpum

Scientific Classification

Family: Pedaliaceae
Genus: Uncarina


Uncarina leptocarpa is a large tropical shrub or small caudiciform tree that grows up to 25 feet (7.5 m) tall. The trunk is up to 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter. Leaves are green, triangular, finely hairy, up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) long. They are deciduous during the winter resting season. Flowers are white with yellow centers.


USDA hardiness zone 10b to 11b: from 35 °F (+1.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

Uncarina leptocarpa

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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. Propagation by cuttings is not a substitute because they do not root easily either. In short, Uncarina is a difficult plant 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. 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, cannot endure temperatures below 35 ° 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. This plant 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.


Uncarina leptocarpa is native to Madagascar.


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