Uncarina roeoesliana


There are not synonyms for this species.


Uncarina roeoesliana is native to Madagascar where the plant grows in tropical sub-arid savannah on limestone rocks.


Uncarina roeoesliana is a shrub succulent belonging to the Pedaliaceae botanical family. The plant has an erect habit and can reach up to 2 m in height. The succulent is spineless and forms a thick, woody and irregular caudex, from this the plant branches. The plants that form the caudex use their subterranean tuber to store water and cope with long periods of drought. The stem is stout, woody with a greyish bark. The leaves can be entire or 3 lobed and are hairy and velvety, dark green in color and deciduous during the winter. Blooming occurs from the late spring to the early summer and the blossoms are borne at the apex of the stem. The flowers are small, funnel-shaped, bright yellow with a green tube which hide the stamens. This species forms the smallest flowers of all the Uncarina species presently known. The fruits are capsules with small pointed and hooked horns that are meant to stick to animals to be spread away.


This is a fast growing plant, easy to cultivate. The plant needs a bright exposure, indirect sun-light, this will help development of flower buds. Long exposure to direct sun-light can cause burns and burnt spots. The minimum temperatures that the plant can withstand are 15° C, below this temperature it begins to suffer and going down further it no longer survives. Too low temperatures can cause the stem or leaves to break due to water freezing inside the tissues. Temperatures between 15 and 20 °C allow the plants to enter vegetative rest which is essential for the flowering of the following year. Plants should not be placed inside the house where average temperatures of 20 degrees prevent vegetative rest. The soil should be mixed with pumice, clay and loam to allow the drainage and prevent the root rot, the plant is prone to it indeed. The pumice should always be placed on the bottom of the pot. Remember to use a perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering can be done regularly during the vegetative period. During the vegetative period you can water the plant every 5 days with half a glass of water, checking that the soil is completely dry before watering again; in winter you should stop the watering to allow the plant to enter dormancy. Decrease the amount of water if the plant is kept indoors or if the pot is smaller than 12 cm. The plant must be fed with a high potassium fertilizer in the summer. You can dilute the fertilizer twice a month in the irrigation water. If the pot starts to be too small for the plant you can repot the plant in a pot 2 cm wider. Repotting should be done early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil; it is usually done every 3-4 years. Be careful to red spiders and mealy bugs.


Propagation can be done by cutting or by seed. By cutting you can make the cut during the spring and then let the cutting dry; after a few days the cut surface will dry and a callus will form, then place the cutting in a mixture of sand, soil and pumice. To increase the success of propagation you can make two or more cuttings at the same time. It is advisable to use rooting hormone at the base of the cut to energize root development. For cuttings it is recommended temperatures around 20 °C. By seed it is very simple to propagate the plant, it is enough to sow the seed in a sandy loam and keep it with a high level of humidity and at temperature of 14 C°.


Some authors suggest that these kinds of fruits have evolved specifically for being dispersed by Aepyornis, giant birds (now extinted), that once inhabited Madagascar, belonging to the group of the elephant birds.

Official Web Site:

Italian Blog:

Read our advice

Recent Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search