|Pachypodium lealii ssp saundersii f compactum
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|A Highland exclusive introduced
to the succulent trade in 1989, this is our beautiful Zimbabwe form. It took us 8 years to
begin producing seed from tiny scraps of plants received from a fellow plantsman in
Zimbabwe where it occurred on only one small localized farm. This area has now been
converted to agriculture and the Pachypodiums have become extinct in the wild! They do
live on in cultivation however because we have grown and shipped thousands of small plants
The main distinction with this is in its habit of not growing straight up like regular saundersii but rather staying low and spreading horizontally with a multitude of arching spiny branches and a massive central caudex.
One curious growth habit particular to this form and which facilitates the horizontal branching is the drying back of the main stem at some point during the first few years. This occurs during the winter dormancy and is readily noticeable when new leaves emerge in early spring. With no main growth apex, all energy is channeled to the side branches.
Try this and see how different it is.
A pre digital (b&w) image of one of the most spectacular pachypodiums we have ever produced, this originated from the very first group of seedlings grown from our Zimbabwe plants. As usual, the main stem dried back which resulted in the beautiful lateral cascading branching. Plant is 24" across.