John&Jacq~s Garden

Adenium obesum (Desert Rose), attractive from top to toe!

Adenium obesum (Desert Rose, Mock Azalea, Impala Lily)

Its beautiful clusters of colorful flowers are obviously an attraction! But it is the uniquely-shaped swollen bases of Adenium obesum that have always fascinated us, though we never had a strong urge to own one. However, sometime in December 2005 we decided to add a seedling about 13cm tall to our garden.

To our disappointment, it was so slow-growing, hardly increasing upwards, sidewards nor developed a swollen base as expected.

Such slow-growth can be quite depressing if one is impatient to see results. Even though new leaves emerged as the older ones are shed ever so frequently, a single non-blooming spindly stem that is sometimes almost devoid of leaves is so unappealing.

Then, in May 2007 one and a half years later, still single-trunked but grown almost double in height, it finally sprung a lovely surprise and started budding for the first time ever! And then, flowered again 6 months later on its completely defoliated trunk. :D

It looked so gorgeous the first time around that we could not resist but got ourselves another 2 seedlings of the dwarf variety a few months later. They are a year-old now, not flowered yet but the swollen bases are distinct and lovely. Hehe, at least we get to delight in the beauty of their caudex for the moment.

Recently, we saw a beautiful potted Adenium obesum shrub about a meter tall with overflowing dark-red blooms at someone’s front yard. It was so captivating and inviting.
Many a time, as we drove past that house, I was tempted to request a shot of it from its owner, but John, my beloved spouse did not support the idea. Aargh, otherwise I could have shared a picture here! We have never seen a shrub that tall and so beautiful before, wonderfully multi-branched and abundantly filled with foliage and flowers! An amazingly stunning shrub indeed!
(Update: Nov 25 2011 – Remarkable… almost 3 years later, it is still as beautiful and captivating. I finally persuaded my hubby to allow me to request for a shot and am most delighted to be able to showcase it here.)

Make us want to get another, but definitely not a dwarf variety again!

Ignorance is no bliss! Hopefully, having researched further about its culture and others to share them here, we’ll be ‘better parents’ now that we are better equipped. ;)

Plant Profile, Culture and Propagation :

Caution: Various parts of Adenium obesum or Desert Rose are poisonous to humans and animals. It exudes a highly toxic sap which is used to make poison arrows for hunting game in Tasmania and Africa. Do not ingest anything from this plant. Take precaution when handling and pruning it. Wash hands and area of skin immediately and thoroughly if there’s contact with the poisonous sap.

Other external links:

Enjoy more images of Adenium obesum: :)

Last edit: May 31, 2016