Adenium obesum

When visiting California a couple months ago, one of the highlights of the garden tours was the chance to visit the Desert Garden Conservatory at Huntington Botanical Garden (it had been closed during my previous visit to the garden). It contains an outstanding collection of plants, including this desert rose.

Adenium obesum is a member of the widely-distributed dogbane family, or Apocynaceae. It is native to eastern and southern tropical Africa, as well as the Arabian peninsula.

You’ll note the thickened stem, a trait which grants desert rose membership into an informal grouping of plants called pachycauls (literally, “thick stemmed”). It can also be called a caudiciform, due to the particularly swollen stem at the base (the caudex). Water storage is generally the strategy behind this mode of growth.

See more photographs of desert rose on Bihrmann’s Caudiciforms site: Adenium obesum.

Adenium obesum

9 responses to “Adenium obesum”

  1. Carole Miller

    Beautiful, just beautiful and I liked the little catus flower to the right. Just so enjoy your photographs.

  2. Meg Bernstein

    This is one I’m sending to all my gardening pals.

  3. TC


  4. Deb C.


  5. Beverley

    Adenium obesum – Z9 – RHS Index of Garden Plants, Griffiths
    Adenium obesum – minimum 15 degrees C/59 degrees F; optimum 21 degrees C/70 degrees F. A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants, Brickell, Cole, Zuk

  6. elizabeth a airhart

    good evening daniel and every one
    thank you daniel i have been linking
    wonderful really great links
    your picture is fine all the plants
    look most interesting sitting on the
    wood floor on display or for sale

  7. Michael F

    Looks like it could do with a larger pot!

  8. Rob B

    Very nice plant. Very nice caudex. I could only hope to have a plant that nice.

  9. snezana

    I got it as a present from Egypt but I was told that it’s kept drawned into water.Like a aquarium with a fish.And that Ishould just pour water every one week.So far it is like a flower shape but only branches.Am I doing the right thing??Thanks

Leave a Reply