It has been proposed that the genus Caralluma be split into seven distinct genera (see Meve, U. & S. Liede. 2002. A molecular phylogeny and generic rearrangement of the stapelioid Ceropegieae (Apocynaceae-Asclepiadoideae). Pl. Syst. Evol. 234:171 - 209.). This has been accepted in the African Plant Database[
], but has not been taken up universally. For the time being we are retaining the name Caralluma edulis, but if the revision of the genus is taken up, then the name of this species will become Caudanthera edulis (Edgew.) Meve & Liede[
Boucerosia edulis Edgew.
Boucerosia stocksiana Boiss.
Caralluma edulis (Edgew.) Benth. & Hook. f.
Caralluma edulis (Edgew.) Gravely & Mayur.
Caralluma longidens N.E.Br.
Caralluma vittata N.E.Br.
Caudanthera edulis (Edgew.) Meve & Liede
Cryptolluma edulis (Edgew.) Plowes
Desmidorchis stocksiana Kuntze
Spiralluma longidens (N.E.Br.) Plowes
Caralluma edulis is a slightly succulent herb with a slender, much branched, subterete stem 20 - 30cm tall, tapering to a pointed tip at the apex[
]. Another description says that it is a suckering plant with grey-green succulent stems growing up to 60cm tall, obscurely 4-sided with rounded angles, generally unbranched, tapering into a long, thin flower-bearing portion[
The stems are sold as a food in local markets in India[
]. The plant is occasionally cultivated as a vegetable and also has ornamental value[
Africa - Mauritania, Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia; through the Arabian Peninsula to Pakistan and India, possibly also Iran and Afghanistan.
Dry sandy locations, from sea-level up to 1,300 metres[
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
The plant can flower and fruit all year round[
The succulent stems are eaten raw as a vegetable[
]. A slightly acid flavour[
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