Alluaudia procera


Didierea procera


It is widespread in south Madagascar, in dry forests from 1o0 to 450 meters upon sea level.


Aluaudia procera is a spiny, deciduous tree, almost unbranched. It can grow up to 10 meters in its natural environment! It has a really peculiar aspect. In the beginning of its life it forms many long stems, in which it stores water, but finally it chooses one of them, which becomes the central one. The other basal stems die. Leaves are almost round, directly attached to the stems, also when they become trunks, arranged in a spiral. The plant uses them to stock water. When adult, the plant can produce trunks with a diameter until 50 centimeters. It looses the leaves  during the long dry season of the South of Madagascar. In the area of its distribution it is an important source of wood. Flowers are yellowish-white, grouped in clusters, in the end of the branches. The plant is dioicus: this means that male and female flowers are in separate individuals. Flowering occurs just when the individual is adult and it becomes taller than 3 meters.


Alluaudia procera requires sunny, dry positions. Cold and humidity are its enemies. Try to put it in a sunny, dry, windy positions. Temperatures should remain above 10ºC. Watering is really reduced, but these rare waterings should be abundant. It needs  a very well-drained soil, with peat and sand, or a soil specific for cactaceae. It grows very quickly, so try to repot it at least every two-three years.


Propagation should be executed from cuttings or seeds. Spring is the  proper season to sow.  Seeds germinates well if the temperature remains between 22 and 25ºC, so put the seed tray in a greenhouse or indoors, in a quite shaded position and a moisted soil, until they germinate.


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.

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