African Hats, Queen of the Namib, Kalahari cactus, Xhoba, Bushman's Hat - Stapelia gordonii, Hoodia bainii, Hoodia burkei, Hoodia pillansii, Hoodia dinteri, Hoodia barklyi, Hoodia albispina, Hoodia rosea, Hoodia husabensis, Hoodia langii, Hoodia whitesloaneana

Latin name: Hoodia gordonii
Common name: African Hats, Queen of the Namib, Kalahari cactus, Xhoba, Bushman's Hat
Plant group:
Plant family:

Stapelia gordonii

Hoodia bainii

Hoodia burkei

Hoodia pillansii

Hoodia dinteri

Hoodia barklyi

Hoodia albispina

Hoodia rosea

Hoodia husabensis

Hoodia langii

Hoodia whitesloaneana

Subtropical partial desert and desert climate
Minimal temperature: 12-14°C (53-57°F)
Optimal temperature: 28-30°C (82-86°F)
Recommended place:
bright, am or pm sunlight
Plant form:
upright, columnar
shrubby, bushy
Height: 50 cm (19.5 in.)
Flower color:
Repotting: every 48 months (4 years)
Rarity: yes
Root orthezia (Actorthezia cataphracta)
Rhizoctonia solani (Rhizoctonia solani)
Root rot (Botrytis, Rhizoctonia, Phytophthora)
Black root rot (Helminthosporium sp)
Pytium blight (Helminthosporium, Pythium, Fusarium)
Origin country:
Flowering period            
Availability on market            

Hoodia Gordonii is very rare plant, protected by CITES. Hoodia Gordonii grows in Kalahari desert in South Africa (Angola, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe). The professional book (Sukkulenten-lexikon (Focke Albers/Ulli Meve, year 2002) has described about 20 known species of genus Hoodia. Only Hoodia Gordonii has active substance.

Hoodia Gordonii can withstand high summer temperatures (50°C / 122°F) and low winter temperatures (0°C / 32°F). It is very important that the plant is completely dry during the cold winter days and even humid air can lead to rotting.

During the growing period it should be in a warm, dry, ventilated place, protected from direct sunlight. Water Hoodia Gordonii with rainwater or stale water every 10-14 days. If Hoodia Gordonii is planted in a peat mix, add a fertilizer once a month for 4 months in growing period.

 The flowers of Hoodia Gordonii are light brown to dark purple color with carrion smell.

Aborigine Bushmen used Hoodia Gordonii as a remedy for digestive disorders. On several days long and difficult hunt they chewed the plant and so forget the hunger.

My experiences are as follows: take part of the plant cleaned of thorns and the epidermis and chew it. The bitter taste in your mouth is so disgusting and offensive that you will not even think about ingesting anything else for two days.

There are many remedies sold worldwide, claiming they contain Hoodia. The problem is that they don't contain Hoodia Gordonii (the only with active substance) but other species of Hoodia or none at all. So be really careful when buying remedies with hoodia.

 If you want to suppress your appetite, just use fresh Hoodia Gordonii.

You can buy Hoodia Gordonii on Rare Exotic Plants shop