Common Names: Madagascar ocotillo, African ocotillo
Geographic Origin: Alluaudia procera occupies the spiny thicket forests of southern and southwestern Madagascar at elevations of 100-450 meters – or rarely, 100-800 meters.
Description: A. procera is a spiny tree-like succulent that can reach up to 60 feet tall. Young stems form a pendulous tangle, but over time a central stem will dominate, being erect, woody, and whitish-gray in color. Little branching up to 33 feet, the stems develop alternating channels of globular green leaves and large gray spines. Occasionally, the stems may be bare, as older plants lack spines, and A. procera is deciduous.
From late February to March, small male or female flowers develop in open thyrses at the apex of branches. However, blooms are rarely seen in cultivation.
Cultivation and Care:
- Watering: Low
- Propagation: Alluaudia procera can be propagated through seed and herbaceous or softwood cuttings. However, propagation is easier through cuttings, as both male and female plants must be present in order to develop viable seeds.
- Cold tolerance: 25-40°F, USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11.
- Special Accommodations: Madagascar ocotillo is frost intolerant, and should be placed in a protected greenhouse or brought indoors in the winter.