Common names:

Ghaap, Xhoba, Bushman’s Hat, Queen of the Namib



Domain – Eukarya

Kingdom – Plantae

Phylum – Eudicot

Class – Asterid

Order – Gentianales

Family - Apocynaceae


SpeciesHoodia Gordonii


Hoodia Gordonii is classified this way because:

Eukarya – This organism is multicellular and contains membrane bound organelles in its cells.

Plantae – This organism is a green plant.

Eudicot – This plant is an angiosperm (flowering plant). A plant with flowers in four’s or five’s and the veins are usually netlike. It grows horizontally (secondary growth) instead of vertically (primary growth).

Asterid – This describes the floral characteristics. This organism’s petals are fused and have a reduced numbers of stamens.

Apocynaceae – The organism has milky sap.

Hoodia – This organism is cactus–like (they are unrelated to cactuses though).

Phylogenetic Trees:



This phylogenetic tree gives a very simple representation of where Hoodia gordonii lies when it comes to the complexity. It is in the domain Eukarya because is has membrane bound organelles and is multicellular. It is in the super group Archeaplastida because it is in the plantae kingdom. Hoodia gordonii is strictly a desert plant, so it is safe to say it falls under the land plant catergory.






Click here to see another, more in depth phylogenetic tree.

By looking at this tree we see that Hoodia gordonii are Eudicots and closest related to the Euphorbiaceae, which are more shrub-like, than Cactaceae, which are the cacti. Hoodia gordonii often gets mistaken for a cactus, but this phylogenetic tree shows why it is not. The two are not that closely related.





 Origen of the name:

This plant’s name does not come from Latin like most scientific names. Hoodia gordonii was discovered by Col. RF Gordon in December 1778 in South Africa. The plant was then names by a famous botanist named Francis Masson who first named the plant Strapelia gordonii (specific epithet named after Gordon). In 1830 the genus was changed to Hoodia in honor of a famous succulent grower named van Hood.