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 LEAFLESS FAT-STEMMED SUCCULENT is what HOODIA PILIFERA is. Its height is from 50-80 cm, with fleshy, ribbed and spiky stems arising from a common base. It will form large group up to 2 m in diameter (but habitually much smaller). HAVING FLEXIBLE HAIR-LIKE SPINES is what “PILIFERA” means, it is from the LATIN word “PILUS”. Regarding the color of flowers and the shape of stems in DIFFERENT POPULATIONS, this species appears to be QUITE VARIABLE.

HOODIA PILIFERA

The color of its stem that is strictly cylindrical, and grows up to 80 cm tall are naturally dark green to pale grey green and sometimes with a purple hue. The KNOBBY SURFACE HELPS to scatter the sun’s radiation, MINIMIZING THE AMOUNT OF HEAT THEY ABSORB.

THE RIBS OF THE PLANT IS 21-34 with laterally flattened tubercles each of them with a grey or brownish apical FLEXIBLE BRISTLE like spine 3-9 mm long. While its flowers are SMALL TO MEDIUM size. AUGUST OR SEPTEMBER ARE THE MONTHS that the flowers usually show. It takes time to completely mature (5 years), until it’s flower appear.

The seeds are flat and have a pappus of fluffy, silk hair that is attached to their one end, also, it has a color of light brown. SEEDS ARE BLOWN SOME DISTANCE FROM THE PARENT PLANT WHERE THEY WILL ESTABLISH THEMSELVES. Parachute when the seed pot splits open is what pappus performs. This plant is originally from South Africa, Eastern Cape, Western Cape (Montagu to Uniondale, Matjiesfontein to Laingsburg and Gamka Poort, and Klaarstroom). Extent of occurence 15 700 km², known from 13 locations. This taxon is very rare and difficult to find. It also has an altitude range that grows in arid areas of at around 300-900 m of altitude.

HOODIA PILIFERA

Steep shale slopes or near the foot of sandstone is where this species grows. Normally on hotter, northern aspects. Usually it is found on flat areas and cooler southern slopes. Mainly by flies, pollination is done. This unusual pollination biology is referred to as myophily or pollintaion by flies. Stapelia, Huernia and Ceropegia are the following genera of Myophily. The spcies needs a protection of a nurse plant, especially for a young hoodia. A nurse plant is a shrub under which the young plant germinates and grows, protected by its leaves and branches from the suns strong rays. Due to overgrazing throughout its range as well as harvesting for food by local people are most likely the result of low densities in habitat degration.

This plant is PRONE to ROOT ROT due to OVER WATERING AND LACK OF FRESH AIR, but it is one of the easiest species to grow. In the growing season, make sure to water the plant normally and sparsely in the WINTER. OVER-WINTER THEM IN WARM CONDITIONS
(at 10° C), it is NORMALLY RECOMMENDED, but despite their African origins they seem to grow well and flower WITHOUT THE EXTRA HEAT which one might have thought necessary, and occasional temperatures near 0°C (or less).  are tolerated, if kept dry.. LEAVING THEM OUT IN THE RAIN MAY PROVIDE THEM WITH THE WATER THEY NEED, in the SPRING SEASON. In FULL SUN OR PARTIAL SHADE AND TOLERATE HEAVY RAIN, the plants grow well in summer months. But they will be just as happy if the season is dry. Since roots are QUITE SHALLOW, a gritty, VERY FREE DRAINING COMPOST WITH EXTRA PERLITE OR PUMICES SUITABLE, and CLAY POTS HELP THE PLANTS TO DRY OUT BETWEEN WATERING. INDOORS ONLY IN BRIGHTEST POSITION. The roots are quite shallow,a gritty, very free draining compost with a little bit extra of PERLITE, and CLAY POTS help the plants to dry out BETWEEN watering. While in indoors, place them in the brightest position.

When propagating, it is originally from the seed. As the severed ends very rarely form a callus from where roots will eventually form, CUTTINGS ARE NOT REALLY AN OPTION. From MARCH TO APRIL of EACH year, seeds are being produced. The seed horns are starting to split down the middle before seeds can be collected. Also, the seed horns must be SEMI DRY. If you want to take a cutting, make sure that it is dry several days before planting.

HOODIA PILIFERA
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