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PACHYPODIUM baronii

Image of Pachypodium baronii

James Burghardt

Family

Apocynaceae

Botanical Name

PACHYPODIUM baronii

Plant Common Name

Baron's Clubfoot, Red Pachypodium

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

A branched, spiny-skinned succulent shrub, Baron's clubfoot is the only pachypodium species to produce red flowers. This semi-evergreen tropical plant is native to northern Madagascar, where it is increasingly endangered. The trunk of this succulent is bottle shaped, although a caudex is known to form on variety windsori.

Increasing drought in the tropical winter causes more foliage to drop away on the Baron's clubfoot. The tan-gray trunk is covered in pairs of conical spines. Once heat returns in spring, slender stems rise above the branch tips and produce clusters of rose-magenta flowers. Each blossom has five petals surrounding a tiny yellow or reddish center. New leaves emerge deep green with a pinkish midvein. By early summer, the plump oval leaves are mature, but with a light yellow-green midvein. This succulent tends to be strongly phototropic: growing toward the light. In the landscape, that equates to stems and branches curving gently to angles parallel to the sun's trek across the sky.

Grow Baron's clubfoot in full sun and any non-acidic, gritty, porous, fast-drained soil. During the heat of midsummer, irrigate deeply and fertilize, as this sustains strong new growth. Let soil become very dry in the winter. Use this rather short, branching, shrub-like succulent as a focal point in a frost-free rockery or in a patio container. When dormant in winter with dry soil conditions, it survives brief, light frosts.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 9

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 14

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 13, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Cactus or Succulent

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    5'-8' / 1.5m - 2.4m

  • Width

    5'-7' / 1.5m - 2.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring

  • Native To

    Madagascar

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Xeric/Desert, Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Spreading

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Magenta, Coral

  • Fruit Color

    Tan, Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Tan, Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Rock Garden / Wall, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No