I’m a little late sharing this with you, but my two Pachypodium lealii saundersii plants outdid themselves this year with flowers. They started blooming in October before I had to bring them in for the winter, and the flowers continued even after I brought them in.
Pachypodium lealii saundersii is one of many pachycaul or caudiciform plants, which is a plant with a fat stem or base that stores water and food to keep it going during long periods without rain or water. They are native to South Africa and grow well for me here in Texas, but they do have to come in during the winter. While they do have sharp, but somewhat flexible, stickers on them, these are not spines like you find on a cactus and don’t come off if you brush against them. Caudiciforms are considered succulent plants because they store water.
Here’s a close-up of this plant’s caudex. The caudex is what makes them interesting. Collectors want a fat, unusual shaped caudex.
The flowers last three or four days; I don’t know that I have been diligent to count the days they last, but they do hang around for a while. The leaves drop off here in the winter. I suspect in their native habitat where it doesn’t get cold, they probably stay green all year.
I have two of these plants, and the one pictured above has flowers lined and tinted with magenta or purple. The other specimen has more pure white flowers, pictured below.
You won’t find these pachypodiums in the big box stores; a trip to a cactus/succulent nursery or online is where you will find them to add to your collection. And they are an interesting, worthwhile addition.