Classification, origin and description
Common name: Pachipodio, Palma of Madagascar.
Etymology: from the Greek "pachys", thick and "podos", foot, due to the large and stocky shape of the basal part of the plant.
Genre description: includes shrubby or arborescent species, some of which are grown in young specimens and treated as succulents.
Pachypodium lamerei (photo Franco Montucchiari)
Species and varieties
Pachypodium lamerei o Madagascar palm: this species, originally from Madagascar, has a stem with long spines (which are actually transformed stipules) arranged in groups of three at the base of which the leaves similar to those of the oleander arise, with a green leaf, shiny, with a pale central vein. The plant tends to undress at the base, remaining with the stem covered with thorns and an apical tuft of leaves, which has earned it the name of Madagascar palm. The funnel-shaped, five-lobed flowers appear in apical tops; but they will hardly be seen blooming on a potted plant.
Stem of Pachypodium lamerei (photo website)
Pachypodium lamerei flower (photo Franco Montucchiari)
Environmental requirements, substrate, fertilizations and special precautions
Temperature: the minimum winter temperature should not drop below 10-13 ° C.
Light: very good; it also tolerates direct sun.
Watering and environmental humidity: watering must be regular in summer, very small in winter.
Substrate: very porous and humiferous, composed of very mature fertilized earth, with about a quarter of coarse sand.
It can be reproduced by seed, but the success is very difficult.
Diseases, pests and adversities
It is a fairly resistant plant. Mushroom attack can be favored by excess humidity; possible are mealybugs attacks.