Namib Hoodia

Hoodia gordonii


This leafless stem succulent from the Milkweed family grows up to 1,5 m high, producing saucer shaped flowers with five hidden petals near the top of its spine-tipped stems.

Protected SpeciesProtected, endemic. The appetite-reducing properties have long been known to locals. Recent pharma hype has resulted in illegal harvesting and commercial farming.


Hoodia gordonii grows in Southern Namibia and in the Northern Cape on gravel and sand plains and rocky slopes.

Namib Hoodia

The spectacular Namib Hoodia flowers from September to April in all shades of red and gives off a bit of a foul scent. It was named after the explorer Sir Robert Gordon who documented it in 1779 on a trip to the lower Orange River.

photo: Beate Baron