Adenium obesum Apocynaceae
Desert Rose, Desert or Mock Azalea, Kudu, Impala Lily
- Succulent, thick-stemmed shrub, crooked branches, often evergreen in cultivation, but deciduous in dry
seasons, in cultivation to about 5 ft (~1.5 m) high. Leaves simple, lanceolate-obovate, in a loose
spiral, crowded near stem tips, 5-15 cm long and about 0.6 cm wide, often glossy, margin entire, base
tapering into a short petiole. Flowers showy, trumpet shaped, 2-5 × 4-6 cm, in small terminal
clusters; red, sometimes with a white center or "eye", or pink, rarely white.
- Sun or part shade, best in a climate with a dry season. Most often grown in a pot with a porous,
well-drained medium. Avoid waterlogging as they are very prone to rotting. Often grown
as a house plant in temperate climate, minimum temperatures of about 50°F (10°C).
- Hardy to USDA Zone (10?)11 (tropical) Native to tropical Africa, Arabia.
- Caution: The plant exudes a toxic latex and all parts are poisonous if
ingested. Reportedly in wide areas of Africa the root sap or sometimes the wood or stem latex
of Adenium obesum are used to prepare an arrow poison.
- obesum: stout, plump; a reference to the thick, swollen trunk (caudex), sometimes almost entirely