Allaudia

 In Category Cactus

Family: Cactaceae
Habitat: Madagascar
Cultivation: They require direct sunlight for at least a few hours each day. It can also be watered every 10-15 days, only after a few days of dry soil.
Curiosity: The Allaudia genus counts in all six species, all coming from Madagascar. It is a plant that has not had spontaneous spreading in environments different from its own.

Allaudia Key Features

This curious plant appears, in its various varieties, as a bundle of woody stems (of more or less elongated shape and more or less branched according to the species considered) covered with thorns and small leaves. They can reach remarkable dimensions: 10, 12 meters high – even 18 meters in certain varieties. It is typical of Madagascar and is thought to have reached this form as a defense from local herbivores, in particular from some extinct species of lemurs. In spite of the thorns, however, other existing lemurs still base their diet on the leaves and branches of Allaudia.

In the summer, the Allaudia is decorated with an  elongated inflorescence on tops of the branches, made up of yellow or orange flowers. However, it is not a decorative flowering. In general, Alludia is not a widely marketed plant and is widely regarded as a botanical curiosity. Its rarities and peculiarities make it particularly precious in the eyes of the cactacea lovers.

VARIETIES AND TYPES

These are the six varieties of Allaudia known today:

  • Alluaudia Ascendens
  • A. Comosa
  • A. Dumosa
  • A. Humbertii
  • A. Montagnacii
  • A. Procera

The most common is Allaudia Procera. The stems that make up it, little branched, form compact bushes up to 18 meters high and have a very high capacity to store water.

TIPS FOR CULTIVATION

The Allaudia (or Alluaudie) need a warm and dry environment: they are very afraid of cold and humidity. These are our tips for a good cultivation:

  • A position under the sun.
  • An airy environment.
  • High temperature, never  below 10 ° C. Even if the plant can tolerate short frosts, it would be better to  shelter it as soon as winter comes.
  • Since it is from very dry climates, watering is minimized. However, having a great ability to store water, these rare watering must be abundant. It is advisable to water it abundantly but only after a few days when the soil has been completely dry.
  • As a soil, the allaudia want a mixture of peat and sand, or soils specific for the cactaceae: the important thing is that they must be very draining. It is recommended to fertilize at least once a month in spring and summer, also to support the rather vigorous growth of the plant.
  • Allaudia grow very quickly. For this reason it is advisable to repot at least every 2-3 years.

In the autumn and spring you can proceed to reproduce the plant by cutting. However, it is also used  the cultivation of new plants by  seed. The season for sowing is spring.

Official Web Site:
www.giromagi.com
Italian Blog:
www.giromagicactus.com
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