Plants photographed on Kyffhäuser
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Hoodia gordonii (Masson) Sweet ex Decne.

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Hoodia gordonii

Image 1
17 Dec 2006

Hoodia gordonii

Image 2
18 Mar 2007

Hoodia gordonii

Image 3
18 Mar 2007

Hoodia gordonii

Image 4
Close-up of spines
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Hoodia gordonii

Image 5
Habit and flowers
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Family: Asclepiadaceae
Full name: Hoodia gordonii (Masson) Sweet ex Decne.
ID status: Fairly certain
Afrikaans common name(s): Bitterghaap, Bobbejaanghaap, Bergghaap, Bokhorings, Wilde ghaap, Muishondghaap, Jakkalsghaap, Ghobba
English common name(s): Bushveld ghaap
Synonym(s): Hoodia albispina N.E.Br.
Hoodia bainii Dyer
Hoodia barklyi Dyer
Hoodia burkei N.E.Br.
Hoodia dinteri Schltr. fide White A. & Sloane B. L., The Stapelieae vol 3 p 1085 and FSA
Hoodia husabensis Nel
Hoodia langii Oberm. & Letty
Hoodia longispina Plowes
Hoodia pillansii N.E.Br.
Hoodia rosea Oberm. & Letty
Hoodia whitesloaneana Dinter ex A.C.White & B.Sloane
Stapelia gordonii Masson
Status: Native
Description: Hoodia gordonii is a spiny succulent. In the early stages only one stem is produced but at a later stage the plant starts branching. Mature plants can have as many as 50 individual branches and weigh as much as 30 kg. Plants under ideal conditions can attain a height of 1 m. Flowers are borne on or near the terminal apex (top part of the plant). The flowers are large and have a carrion-like smell (smell similar to rotten meat). In some ways the Hoodia flowers resemble a petunia flower. Flowers vary in colour from pale straw to dark maroon. Flowers are normally borne in August or September. Flowers can reach a diameter of 75 mm. Seed is produced in October and November. The seed capsules resemble small antelope or goat horns hence the Afrikaans common name of bokhorings.

Plant 1–1.5 ft. high, with erect branches about 2 in. thick, glaucous-green, with the numerous angles beset with slender light brown spines 3–4.5 lin. long; pedicels 0.5– 0.75 in. long, glabrous; sepals 2.5–3 lin. long, ovate-anceolate, acuminate, glabrous; corolla in bud somewhat resembling a narrow pentagonal cone, with 5 very broad wings descending from the short central point to the base, truncate at the top and slightly hooked at the outer angles; when expanded 3–4 in. in diam., subcircular with 5 very broad crenations, each very abruptly tipped with a slender arista-like point 2.5–3 lin. long, very slightly concave or nearly flat, with or without revolute margins, pale purple, radiately marked with pale greenish-yellow stripes along the veins, thickly sprinkled on the central part with minute dark red papillæ, elsewhere quite glabrous, but with a somewhat velvet-like appearance; tube very small, about 0.25 in. in diam., just containing the corona, slightly raised around the mouth; outer corona-lobes ascending-spreading, somewhat pouch-like at the base, about 0.333 lin. long and 0.666 lin. broad, transversely subrectangular, emarginate or shortly and obtusely bifid at the apex, with inflexed sinuses between them, purple-black, with a shining linear space down the centre of each; inner corona-lobes 0.5– 0.666 lin. long, linear, obtuse or truncate, incumbent upon the backs of the anthers and not exceeding them, dorsally connected to the outer corona at the inflexed sinuses between the lobes, purple-black; follicles 2.5–3 in. long, terete, fusiform, tapering to an acute beak, slightly hooked at the apex, smooth, glabrous; seeds not seen. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora Capensis)
Link(s) African Plant Database
JSTOR Plant Science
Kew Herbarium Catalogue
BGBM Berlin-Dahlem - Virtual Herbarium
Züricher Herbarien
iNaturalist (Namibia / Alex Dreyer)
iNaturalist (Namibia)
iNaturalist (southern Africa)
Flora of Zimbabwe
Fleurs de notre Terre - Galerie Namibie
Tree Atlas of Namibia
Content last updated: 03 Oct 2022

Note: The identification of some of the plants on this website is not 100% certain. Any comments will be highly appreciated. I would also be willing to supply higher resolution images upon request. Please contact me at the e-mail address given below.

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Last updated on 03 Oct 2022

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