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Cacti and Succulents: Pachypodium lamerei

Botanical name: Pachypodium lamerei

Common name: Madagascar palm

Average rating: 5.0

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Photo credit: hosta la vista
Cacti and Succulents: Pachypodium lamerei
created by:
hosta la vista

San antonio, Tx

at a glance

Soil: dry, neutral, sand
Zones: 9a thru 11a

deer resistant, rabbit resistant, poisonous, drought tolerant

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description for "Cacti and Succulents: Pachypodium lamerei "

Madagascar palm is fast growing succulent with a thick trunk and leaves arranged spirally at the top, resembling a palm tree (but not botanically a palm). The dark green fronds grow along a spiny, thick stem. The spines are fiercely sharp, so place the plant where children and pets can't be hurt, and always protect your hands when touching the stem. When planted outdoors in frost-free zones, Madagascar palms can grow rapidly to a height of 15-20 feet. Indoors, they will top out at about 4 feet. Blooms in late spring to early summer. Only mature plants bloom (6 feet tall - 1.8 m). The flowers are 2-3 inches in diameter, white with yellow center. They are fragrant and beautiful, contrasting with the unusual appearance of the tree. They need bright light and some direct sun, but they should be protected from the hottest summer rays. Water sparingly and do not fertilize. Do not water in the winter months when there is no foliage. Repot the plant every 3 years; this is quite tricky given all the spines. The best way is to wrap several layers of newspaper around the trunk where it is to be handled. All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested. --edited by dtd siegelgirl


Native to southern Madagascar.

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It's a very cool, other-worldly cactus. I had one in my cactus/succulent garden but didn't realize it was a rapid grower and killed it by not repotting. I plan to get another one someday.

This is a great shot against the red background- so cool! Are those huge spikes on the trunk?