Like other green plants plants, Hoodia gordonii makes its own food through a process called photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process through which plants utilize the energy from the sun to produce sugars for them to store and utilize.


What makes this plant (and other succulent desert plants) different form normal photosynthetic plants is that is uses a special photosynthetic process called Carssulacear Acid Metabolism or CAM photosynthesis. This means that the plant’s *stomata opens during the night time instead of the day time to prevent water loss during the long hot days in the desert. C02 fixation also occurs in the evening with CAM photosynthesis.


Stomata and guard cells.Detailed description of CAM photosynthesis.


*stomata - an opening or a pore found in the epidermis (top layer) of leaves and stems that allow gas exchange and the release of water vapor into the atmosphere, which is a process called transpiration.