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Madagascar Palm

Pachypodium lamerei

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Zone 9-10

Unless you travel to its native Africa, it is doubtful you will ever see a Madagascar Palm, Pachypodium lamerei, this size and in bloom.  The bright waxy white flowers are also somewhat fragrant.  They have a shape and color similar to the white Plumeria

This individual was planted 23 years ago and planted where you see it.  With little attention, it has grown to about 14 feet, 4-5 feet taller than its normal maximum height

Native to Madagascar, Pachypodium lamerei is an arid tropical succulent.  The plant is not a palm nor a tree

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Here is a pic of Pachypodium lamerei 'crested' which looks so different...

Pachypodium lamerei protection against being eaten by animals are long, sharp, stiff needles that grow everywhere along the trunk and branches.  Walking near this plant requires respect for this effective defense

Normally, the lamerei is not nearly so broad and spectacular.  Here is a group of young plants growing at Fairchild Tropical Gardens in Miami that are more typical.  Note they have not branched at all --- nor did my mother's specimen until it was quite old

Flowers are in spring through the summer, on and off through all the warm months.  Blooms are not made until the plant is older

Another lamerii is Pachypodium lamerei forma cristata


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Here's, Pachypodium lamerei var. ramosum


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Prior to it's first bloom of the spring, this Pachypodium produces amazing seed pods that look like cucumbers.  Left alone, they eventually open along the seam revealing great numbers of white-winged seeds

Planting the seeds results in a remarkable yield of new plants, perhaps 90%, and sprouting in just 3-4 days

Plant in full sun, although partial shade is OK.   Sandy soil with peat moss and excellent drainage is recommended.  As with many succulents, water lightly but consistently and feed heavily during all warm and hot months for maximum growth speed and beauty