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Useful Tropical Plants

Hoodia alstonii

(N.E.Br.) Plowes

Apocynaceae

+ Synonyms

Trichocaulon alstonii N.E.Br.

Trichocaulon halenbergense Dinter

Common Name:

Hoodia alstonii
Plant flowering in native habitat
Photograph by: Martin Heigan
Creative Commons License
Hoodia alstonii Hoodia alstonii Hoodia alstonii

General Information

Hoodia alstonii is a succulent, cactus-like shrub that can grow up to 1 metre tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and means of staving off hunger. Many species in this genus have potential for use in helping overweight people reduce their weight, acting by reducing the sensation of hunger.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

Southern Africa - Namibia, S. Africa.

Habitat

Usually found on rocky outcrops, often in very inhospitable desert areas.

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
HabitPerennial
Height0.50 m
PollinatorsFlies
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details



The flowers have a foetid, excrement-like odour; they produce nectar and pollination is mostly effected by flies[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Edible Uses

Stem[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Young pods[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. A sweet flavour[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Medicinal

Hoodia plants have been eaten by African tribesmen for thousands of years as a means of staving off hunger and thirst on long hunting trips. The active principle in the plant responsible for this appetite-suppressing effect has been identified and is now used as the basis of a slimming drug[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - germinates easily.
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2018-12-10. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Hoodia+alstonii>

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