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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Family: Didiereaceae

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Order: Caryophyllales

Seven genera and about 16 species, native to Africa and Madagascar, with two genera and six species native to southern Africa and an additional two genera and three species that are cultivated in the region.

Genera native to southern Africa

These genera were previously in the Portulacaceae. The classification here follows that in the Angiosperm Phylogeny Website.


Six species, native to Africa, with five species native to southern Africa (Namibia and Northern Cape).



Three species, endemic to southern Africa. Includes Portulacaria afra (Spekboom - succulent tree or shrub found mainly in Eastern Cape).


Other genera, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).


Two species cultivated, both native to Madagascar: Alluaudia dumosa (Rohondro) and Alluaudia procera (Fantsiholitra).


Didieria madagiensis (Sony)

Native to Madagascar.



  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.