General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Dry
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 10a -1.1 °C (30 °F) to +1.7 °C (35 °F)
Leaves: Deciduous
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Containers: Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: With thorns/spines/prickles/teeth
Goes Dormant

Common names
  • Octopus Tree
  • Madagascar Cactus

Photo Gallery
Location: Baja California
Date: 2021-11-05
One season's growth
Location: Baja California
Date: 2020-03-12
Deciduous in winter
Location: Baja California
Date: 2020-08-01
New growth starting in mid summer
Location: Baja California
Date: 2022-05-26
New leaves in late spring
Location: National Botanical Garden, DC, Virginia :) | May, 2022
Date: 2022-05-28
Location: National Botanical Garden, DC, Virginia :) | May, 2022
Date: 2022-05-28
Location: MOBOT -   St Louis
Date: 8-9-13
Location: Botanical Garden Meise (Belgium)
Date: 2017-02-11
Location: Botanical Garden Meise (Belgium)
Date: 2017-02-11
Location: Baja California
Date: 2020-09-20
Green stem is one season's growth (9 inches)
Location: Baja California
Date: 2020-09-18
Location: Atlanta BG
Date: Aug 16

photo by Stan Shebs
  • Posted by Baja_Costero (Baja California - Zone 11b) on May 25, 2019 12:51 PM concerning plant:
    Curious spiny shrub or tree from southwestern Madagascar. May grow over 30 feet tall in nature but rarely approaches that in cultivation. Long, stringy, flexible leaves fall in winter and sprout in late spring or summer on brachyblast bases that are armed with multiple spines. Related to other Didierea and Alluaudia species which also appear in Madagascar; these plants behave somewhat like the New World ocotillos.

    Unisexual cream-colored flowers. May be grafted onto Alluaudia procera. Slow growing when young but faster after a few years have passed. Provide excellent drainage and strong light in cultivation. This plant enjoys lots of water while it is leafy during summer, and should be watered less often when dormant during winter, which is the dry season in habitat.

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