Description: Uncarina grandidieri is a multibranched shrub or small pachycaulescent tree that may ultimately attain a height of 3-5 meters and 80 cm girth. The flower resembles a large Petunia in form and is bright yellow with a dark throat, as in the “Black Eyed Susan Vine” (Thunbergia alata) and give way to green fruit covered in otherworldly spines. The stems are stout and become thickened with age. The leaves resemble those of the cotton plant (genus Gossypium) and are fuzzy and are sticky to the touch, yielding a musty odour when rubbed. The leaves are deciduous during the winter resting season.
Derivation of specific name: The species is named in honour of Alfred Grandidier (1836-1921), an intrepid explorer and collector in Madagascar.
Stems: The stems are stout and become thickened with age.
Cultivation and Propagation: Uncarinias are easy to cultivate and heat resistant plant, which grow better than the average. Their attractiveness is further enhanced because they will flourish very easily in any pseudo-tropical environment. They can tolerate neglect, and as soon as you pay them a little attention (like repotting or fertilizing) they recover and put out plentiful new growth. They will tolerate intense heat and sun, when provided with adequate water, but must be protected from frost. Uncarinas make beautiful bonsai, and their roots can be elevated.
Growth rate: These plants can grow quite quickly if provided with adequate water, warmth and root run.
Soil: It needs a rich, very well drained potting medium (add pumice, vulcanite, and perlite.
Waterings: It should be watered plentifully in Summer and kept drier in Winter. This species like all Uncarinias, is sensitive to excess moisture, and should be kept on the dry side. It rot easily and do not like any water when it has no leaves.
Fertilization: Use diluted fertilizer on young plants to speed up growth.