Pachypodium is a succulent, spine-bearing genus coming from the Latin words meaning ‘thick-footed’. The name derives from its swollen trunk—perfect for storing water in xeric climates. Spines, which grow in groups of twos and threes, emerge with leaves, but do not regenerate and gradually wear. Depending on the specific location of and localized stresses to the plant, branching may occur at either the top or bottom of the trunk. Of the 25 known species of Pachypodium, 20 are native to Madagascar, though others appear nearby in southern Africa.