When thinking of Operculicarya, the term "knobby bark"
best describes it's most attractive feature. This Madagascar family of
trees has a couple of different forms. Operculicarya decaryi grows
upright, like a conventiional tree, but has a very thick trunk, almost
like a baobob tree (Adansia). Bonsai hobbiest try to restrict it's
growth and make it appear more compact. The other popular species,
which has only recently become available in the market place, is O.
pachypus. It stays compact without needing trimming, attains a very fat
trunk, and has the same highly charactered knobby bark. Both species develop tuberous roots. If the tree is not too large, it can lifted to expose the large sausage looking roots. Below are some photos of specimen Operculicarya taken at recent cactus and succulent plant club shows.