Description: Pachypodium densiflorum is a caudiciform multi-branched shrublet with a massively swollen trunk that can attain a diameter of up to 2 m and a height of about 70 cm. Its name means literally “dense flowered” which is an apt description of its abundant floral display.
Stem/caudex: It has many short spiny branches from a fat caudiciform trunk. The trunk is smooth, silver with a light green tint and can attain with great age the height of 70 cm and the diameter of 1 m (or more) at the base. The branches are upright, short, tapered and covered with paired conical spines, the epidermis appears shining silver coloured due to the presence of fine greyish-white felt.
Leaves: Deciduous almost sessile, elliptic to obovate, 5 x 10 cm wide, shining dark olive green above and paler/pubescent below with a lighter middle vein and symmetrical venation.
Flowers: Several (up to 10) clustered on 25-40 cm long erected, scapes growing far above the plant, flowers yellow or sometimes tinted deep. Pedicels usually about 5-7 mm long (but variable from 0 to 24 mm long). Sepals (the green outer whorl of flower parts) usually 5-7 mm long ((but variable from 3 to 9.5 mm). Corolla five-lobed, 1,5-3 cm in diameter, yellow and orange almost flat, with a saucer-like depression in the centre containing the central androecial cone with 5 anthers.
Blooming season: Flowers appear in springtime. This specie can flower at a very young age even if it usually takes 2 years.
Fruits: in pairs, horn shaped, 11-15 cm long.
Seeds: 4-6 mm in diameter.
Remarks: The thick spiny pachycaul trunks is a water storage organ similar to a cactus that allows it to survive in dry, hostile environments. The trunk (caudex) and branches can also photosynthesize, making the leaves, unnecessary in times of drought. Spines help condense moisture from fog or dew into drops which fall at the base of the plant.