"Desert Rose"

My little Adenium obesum. Not much to look at yet.

    Adenium is a genus of beautifully flowered plants from Africa and Arabia. The genus is considered monotypic (one species) by some and others split it into 6 or more species. Some species/varieties are small shrubs that can have an underground or above ground caudex. Others are like small trees with squat trunks that can get to 15 feet high. All belong to a group we collectors call "Fat Plants". Adenium flowers are some of the showiest in the succulent world and the plants are worth cultivating for the flowers alone. But add the swollen gnarly trunks and the fact they respond well to severe pruning, and you also have an excellent Bonsai plant. And many hybrids exist so there is a lot of variation in flower color and growth form.
    Adeniums have an undeserved reputation for being slow growing and difficult. In fact this is far from true. Though they are found in some very arid places they also thrive in wet climates. All one needs is a rich well draining mix and you can water them plentifully during the growing season. As often as every few days in a climate like mine. You'll be rewarded with vigorous growth an superior flowering. One rule of thumb is, treat it like a tropical plant in summer and a rot prone cacti in winter. Most Adeniums have a winter dormant period. As it gets colder they start dropping leaves. This is the signal to cut back watering. Mine remained completely leafless throughout the winter even in my greenhouse. But once placed back outside in spring and given water, it leafed out nearly overnight.
    Adeniums are normally propagated by seed but will also grow from stem cuttings. Unfortunately cuttings do not normally form the swollen trunk the seed grown plants do.

Below is a small gallery of other Adenium pictures I've taken. Click a thumbnail for a bigger pic.

At Tohono Chul Park
in March 2006

At the Desert Museum
in April 2006


CACSS Show in Phoenix
April 2006

At Arid Lands
in June 2006

At Arid Lands
in June 2006

At Arid Lands
in June 2006
All images and text are copyright 2005 to present, D.S. Franges, unless otherwise noted.