Hoodia pilifera subsp. pillansii grows in the Karoo in a limited area between Matjiesfontein and Laingsburg, south of Merweville, east of Kruidfontein. This recognised name in the List of Southern African Succulent Plants (Smith, et al, 1997) is apparently a synonym of an older name, viz. H. grandis (iSpot).
A dense clump of erect stems grows to form the leafless succulent shrublet. The spring flowers are yellow, the buds a pale maroon, growing on short peduncles. The five corolla tips spread in star-shape is repeated in many delightful forms in flowers of the genus and the larger family, the Apocynaceae. Tiny spines can be seen growing from the tips of the stem tubercles, red when young, later drying out to a pale grey.
Several Hoodia species from the arid South African inland have been used in making pharmaceutical products for appetite suppression or slimming. Until clarity on the future of these ventures is achieved, a plant like this may just be admired for its beauty and not used in agricultural cultivation. Different Hoodia species have been planted extensively in recent times, although the commercial craze seems to have died down.