Common Names: kudu lily
Synonyms: Pachypodium lealii subs. saundersii
Geographic Origin: Pachypodium saundersii originates from the dry woodland areas of northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, Swaziland, southern Mozambique and Zimbabwe. It is found among rocks, on rocky ridges, or within low-lying Bushveld.
Description: P. saundersii is a thickly-bodied succulent that develops a swollen caudex. The stems are light gray in color, little-branching from a large tuber, and densely spinous, thicker at the base and tapering in width. The narrowly ovate dark-green leaves are spirally arranged on branches, and occur at the base of spines in tight clusters. After about 4-5 years, clusters of flowers will appear at the tip of branches in fall, and will persist for 2-3 months. Showy, large, and beautiful, the flowers possess pink to purple coloring on the outside of the corolla, being white above and greenish within. Each flower includes 5 petals that are spirally arranged, resembling a star. The fruits will follow, in pairs of horn-like follicles that are swollen at the base and tapered to a point, with an apical coma of golden hairs.
- Watering: Moderate
- Lighting: Provide full sunlight or partial shade. Specimens can be planted in a dome or in a location that receives sun in the morning or the afternoon.
- Propagation: The kudu lily can be propagated by stem cuttings, through seed, and by grafting onto P. lamerei rootstocks.
- Cold tolerance: 30-40°F, USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11.
- Special Accommodations: P. saundersii is not frost tolerant and should not be exposed to cold temperatures. It is recommended to maintain a minimum temperature of 55°F for the best growth. However, during the rest period, temperatures should not drop below 59°F.