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Adenium Obesum – Desert Rose – Ajaytao

Adenium Obesum - Desert Rose - Ajaytao

Adenium Obesum – Desert Rose – Ajaytao

Common names : Desert rose, Impala Lily Sabi Star,  Mock Azalea,
Botanical name: Adenium obesum
Family: Apocynaceae (Dogbane family)
Genus: Adenium
Species: A Obesum
Synonyms: Adenium coetaneum Stapf, Adenium honghel

Adenium is native to the Sahel regions, south of the Sahara (from Mauritania and Senegal to Sudan), and tropical and subtropical eastern and southern Africa and Arabia. Adenium obsum is in the same botanical family as the periwinkle, oleander, spiny Madagascar palm and the plumeria. The plants originated in African areas with with dry climates and extended dry seasons, thus one of its names, impala lily because of its colorful blossoms.

Adenium obesum flowers are tubular with flared lips, ranging in color from pink and white through a deep purplish red. The numerous cultivars of Adenium obseum produce flowers of different shapes, sizes and colors. Not all cultivars have fragrant blooms.

Adenium obesum is grown as a houseplant in temperate regions. Numerous hybrids have been developed. Adeniums are appreciated for their colorful flowers, but also for their unusual, thick caudices. They can be grown for many years in a pot and are commonly used for bonsai. Adenium can reach the height of about 1 meter. It has fleshy leaves and beautiful 2-inch pink open-trumpet shaped flowers. The plants range in size from shrubs to small trees and bear showy masses of blossoms that are considered the most spectacular of all succulents Needs little water during winter, especially when kept cool.

Adenium Obesum - Desert Rose - Ajaytao

Adenium Obesum – Desert Rose – Ajaytao

It is an evergreen or drought-deciduous succulent shrub (which can also lose its leaves during cold spells, or according to the subspecies or cultivar). It can grow to 1–3 m (3.3–9.8 ft) height, with pachycaul stems and a stout, swollen basal caudex. The leaves are spirally arranged, clustered toward the tips of the shoots, simple entire, leathery in texture, 5–15 cm (2.0–5.9 in) long and 1–8 cm (0.39–3.15 in) broad. The flowers are tubular, 2–5 cm (0.79–1.97 in) long, with the outer portion 4–6 cm (1.6–2.4 in) diameter with five petals, resembling those of other related genera such as Plumeria and Nerium. The flowers tend to red and pink, often with a whitish blush outward of the throat.

Adenium obesum is a popular houseplant and bonsai in temperate regions. It requires a sunny location and a minimum indoor temperature in winter of 10 °C (50 °F). It thrives on a xeric watering regime as required by cacti. A. obesum is typically propagated by seed or stem cuttings. The numerous hybrids are propagated mainly by grafting on to seedling rootstock. While plants grown from seed are more likely to have the swollen caudex at a young age, with time many cutting-grown plants cannot be distinguished from seedlings.


Adeniums have a toxic sap that is used in Africa to make poisoned arrows. Be careful when you handle or prune them. Do not get sap in your eyes. If you get adenium sap on your skin, wash promptly

Ajaytao Photography