Hoodia Gordonii is mainly found in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, and Angola, which are all summer rainfall regions.


Namib Desert

Hoodia gordonii in it's natural habitat

Kalahari Desert

Hoodia gordonii does not serve as source of nutrients in its desert habitat but it does serve as shelter and feeding and breeding sites for numerous small organisms such as insects (read more about this in “Interactions”).


Overall, it is not certain what specific role Hoodia gordonii serves in its habitat. It does however serve as a key component in the life of the people who inhabit that area. The San of the Kalahari rely on this plant to help them through times of hunger.

The other kinds of plants found in the same habitat include more succulents, such as cacti, desert trees, shrubs, and grasses. All of the plants sound in the same area is Hoodia Gordonii must be able to withstand the extreme weather of the desert.


This plant can be found growing in very close proximity with xerophytic bushes, which provides the plant with protection. It is not uncommon to see Hoodia Gordonii growing in very close proximity with other plants because the space under the plants are secluded and create ideal areas for germination.


Animals found in this area include large animals such as various kinds of antelope, lions, cheetahs, elephants. Smaller animals include various kinds of reptiles such as lizards and snakes. None of these organisms mentioned play a big role in the life of Hoodia Gordonii, however, some smaller organisms do, such as insects. Insects utilize the plant as a breeding ground. The plant is also very dependent of insects such as flies which are play a key role in pollination (read more about this on the Reproduction and Interactions pages).