Hoodia Cactus

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Plantae Gentianales Apocynaceae Hoodia Hoodia gordonii

  • Plant Type: Spiny succulent.
  • Common Names: Hoodia Cactus, Bushman’s Hat, Bitter Ghaap.
  • Color: Pale straw, dark maroon.
  • Flower Dimensions: 2.95 inches in diameter.
  • Flowering Seasons/Months: Early spring (August to September).
  • Desert with Hoodia Cactus: Kalahari.

Bitter Ghaap

Hoodia Cactus Flower Characteristics

Hoodia Cactus

Hoodia cactus is a flowering plant of the family Apocynaceae. It has been called one of the 21st century’s wonder plants.

Bushmans Hat

  • The stems of the Hoodia cactus are fleshy. The thorns cover the stems.
  • During the early stage, the Hoodia only has 1 stem. The plant starts branching at a later stage. There are as many as 50 individual branches in the mature plants.
  • The Hoodia cactus is leafless.
  • The flowers of the Hoodia cactus are freshly-colored. They are found on top of the stems. The flowers of the Hoodia resemble a petunia.
  • Hoodia flowers are large and emit a carrion-like smell.
  • The plant’s seeds are like small antelope or goat horns.

Hoodia Cactus

Hoodia Cactus Facts

Hoodia Cactus

  • Hoodia gordonii shares many similarities with the cactus, but it does not belong to the cactus family. Instead, the Hoodia cactus belongs to the milkweed family.
  • Hoodia gordonii is believed to suppress appetite and promote weight loss. Hoodia gordonii[1] is widely sold over the internet and in health food and discount stores as a tablet, capsule, and milk chocolate chews.
  • In the early 2000s, the Hoodia cactus gained attention because of the anecdotal evidence suggesting that the nomadic hunter-gatherer group from South Korea and Namibia have been eating small pieces of the Hoodia cactus stem to suppress hunger during their long hunts since the 1930s.
  • Scientists could isolate pregnane glycosides from the aerial parts of the Hoodia plant.[2].
  • The scientists identified the steroid glycosides from the Hoodia gordonii[3] extracts. They suggested that steroid glycosides can suppress the appetite in animals and humans by activating the bitter receptor.

Hoodia Gordonii

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BioExplorer.net. (2022, October 02). Hoodia Cactus. Bio Explorer. https://www.bioexplorer.net/plants/flowers/hoodia-cactus/.
BioExplorer.net. "Hoodia Cactus" Bio Explorer, 02 October 2022, https://www.bioexplorer.net/plants/flowers/hoodia-cactus/.
BioExplorer.net. "Hoodia Cactus" Bio Explorer, October 02 2022. https://www.bioexplorer.net/plants/flowers/hoodia-cactus/.
Key References
  • [1]“Hoodia Side Effects, Uses, Claims, and More”. Accessed September 13, 2022. Link.
  • [2]“Pregnane glycosides from Hoodia gordonii – ScienceDirect”. Accessed September 13, 2022. Link.
  • [3]“The steroid glycoside H.g.-12 from Hoodia gordonii activates the human bitter receptor TAS2R14 and induces CCK release from HuTu-80 cells | American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology”. Accessed September 13, 2022. Link.

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