Taxonomy

This species was named after Dr A B Curror of HMS Water Witch, who discovered it at Elephants Bay, Angola, in 1840 (White and Sloane, 1937).

It is a spiny, succulent shrub with cylindrical stems. The flowers are:

  • large
  • papery
  • showy
  • pale red to flesh or salmon pink coloured
  • glabrous
  • arise near the apex of the stem

Hoodia currorii only flowers after rain. The flowers smell like rotten meat and attract flies and other insect pollinators.

The fruit forms a pair of cylindrical follicles - each follicle is 15–22cm long, glabrous, and pink to green. The fruits split open in 2 halves to release 100–250 seeds.

Hoodia currorii is divided into 2 subspecies:

  • subsp. currorii (corolla 5–17cm in diameter, pedicel longer than 12mm, occurring in Angola and Namibia)
  • subsp. lugardii (N.E.Br.) Bruyns (corolla 4–7.5cm in diameter, pedicel shorter than 7mm, occurring in Botswana and Zimbabwe)

The species can be easily distinguished from its close relative Hoodia gordonii (Masson) Sweet ex Decne. as it has a brownish red corolla which is densely covered with long soft violet hairs. In Hoodia gordonii, the corolla is not covered with hairs.

Synonyms

  • Hoodia lugardii N.E.Br.
  • Hoodia macrantha Dinter
  • Hoodia gibbosa Nel
  • Hoodia montana Nel
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