Pachypodium ambongense

Pacypodium ambongense Trunk

Pacypodium ambongense Trunk

Pachypodium ambongense Bottom Shoot

Pachypodium ambongense Bottom Shoot

Pachypodium ambongense

Pachypodium ambongense


 

Family Apocynaceae
Binomial Name Pachypodium ambongense
Common Name(s) Songosongo or betono
Plant Information This species is described by some as “ultra rare” and found in small numbers in calcareous rock formations in low, open deciduous forests of western Madagascar.    This unique, extraordinary mature specimen was nearly two meters (six feet) tall and was first obtained as a small seedling from the Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California.  Seeds were originally collected from Vilanadro, Namoroka, Madagascar.  The specimen in the photo was believed to be the largest specimen of this species grown in artificial cultivation. A second slightly smaller specimen from the same source was also grown by Sustainable Bioresources, LLC.  Both plants were affected by root rot, which apparently began during the winter of 2010-2011.  (Rot is a common problem with Pachypodium species, particularly if soil temperatures and moisture conditions are not optimal).  The main plant stems  were treated in an attempt to recover them but these efforts were unsuccessful.  Salvage cuttings made from them were successfully rooted.  Survivors were donated to the botanical garden.  

We found a new source of viable seeds of this species and expect to have about 60 Hawaiian grown certified seedlings available for sale by August 2016.

CITES Status Listed in Appendix I.  Endangered.

In April 2010 the larger specimen was donated and shipped back to the Huntington Botanical Gardens for scientific and educational purposes.