Pachypodium rutenbergianum

Common Name: pachypodium 
Type: Tree
Family: Apocynaceae
Native Range: Madagascar
Zone: 10 to 11
Height: 6.00 to 15.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 8.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: White with yellow centers
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy
Other: Thorns
Tolerate: Drought


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-11 where it should be grown in desert-type conditions in full sun or in greenhouses with night temperatures that do not dip below 55 degrees F. Intolerant of frost. Grows well in dry soils. It may also be grown as a houseplant in warm, humid, sunny locations. Houseplants may drop leaves in winter.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Pachypodium rutenbergianum is native to Madagascar. It is a small, caudiciform, succulent tree (to 1.5' wide at the base of the trunk) that rises to 15' tall (less frequently to 25-30' tall). Branches are clothed with oblong-lanceolate leaves (to 3-5" long) with spines (to 1/2" long). Flowers are white with yellow centers.

Genus name comes from the Greek pachys meaning thick and podos meaning foot for the thickened roots and stems.


Mealybugs, scale, and spider mites can be problematic, particularly on indoor plants.


Summer annual. Container. Houseplant. Greenhouse plant.