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Gordonii is often misspelled. Sometimes you will see hoodia gordonil or hoodia gordini. These are not listed among the species protected by the governments of southern Africa, so one must assume that they are misspellings of gordonii. Hoodia plants are succulents, not cacti, but most people think of them as cacti. A cactus is a type of succulent, just a different family of plants. Hoodia gordonii, sometimes spelled hoodia gordonil or gordini, is one of the hoodia plants found in southern Africa. It is often found growing in the sands of the Kalahari Desert, but sometimes appears in dry stony areas, growing under or near other dessert plants and bushes. While all species of hoodia plants are protected by the governments of southern Africa. Some species are endangered. The hoodia officinalis delaetiana, for example, is only found in areas of Namibia and is rare and endangered. Hoodia gordonii (hoodia gordonil) is found in South Africa and Namibia and is not threatened with extinction at this time, but the governments feel that it may become threatened due to over harvesting. Hoodia gordonil has become and increasingly popular ingredient for appetite suppressants. The other hoodia plants are not believed to have any appetite suppressing effects, but their appearance is similar. So, the governments are concerned that the wrong hoodia plants will be harvested and sold. Because of this, trade regulations for all hoodia plants have been established and permitting is required to grow, sell or export hoodia gordonil or any other species. Some reporters have referred to the plants as ugly, but the blooms can be quite beautiful and horticulturists have long been interested in cultivating the plants. Various species of hoodia plants can be found in green houses and herbariums. Though lovely the blooms have a very strong spell. The smell of the hoodia gordonil blooms have been likened to that of rotting meat. The blooms vary in color from pale pink to dark maroon or light purple. The blooms of other hoodia plants vary in size, shape and color. The hoodia alstonii bloom, for instance, is shaped like a five pointed star and is bright yellow. The hoodia officinalis delaetiana has a star shaped bloom as well, but it is much larger and light brown in color. Chris Moore has a large collection of plants at his home in South East London, including four different species of hoodia plants (no hoodia gordonil, if this is your plant of interest). His collection includes the rare and endangered hoodia officinalis. An exhibition of his collection can be viewed by visiting his website at Whether spelled correctly (hoodia gordonii) or incorrectly (hoodia gordonil), interest in the many species of hoodia plants is sure to grow as news of the natural appetite suppressant spreads throughout the world. For more information about hoodia gordonil or hoodia plants, visit the Hoodia Info Blog.

Patsy Hamilton is an editor of the Hoodia Info Blog.

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