Adenium obesum (Desert Rose)

Scientific Name

Adenium obesum (Forssk.) Roem. & Schult.

Common Names

Desert Rose, Mock Azalea, Impala Lily


Adenium coetaneum, Adenium honghel, Nerium obesum, Adenium arabicum, Adenium arboreum, Adenium micranthum, Adenium socotranum, Adenium somalense, Adenium speciosum, Adenium tricholepis, Cameraria obesa

Scientific Classification

Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Apocynoideae
Tribe: Wrightieae
Genus: Adenium


Color: Red and pink
Bloom Time: Spring and summer


Adenium obesum is an evergreen or drought-deciduous succulent shrub, up to 10 feet (3 m) tall, with pachycaul stems and a stout, swollen basal caudex. Leaves are spirally arranged, clustered toward the tips of the shoots, simple entire, leathery in texture, up to 6 inches (15 cm) long, and up to 3 inches (8 cm) wide. Flowers are tubular, tend to red and pink often with a whitish blush outward of the throat. They are with five petals, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long, with the outer portion up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) in diameter. Long fingerlike double fruits are grey to pale grey-brown, sometimes fringed with pink.

Adenium obesum - Desert Rose
Photo via


USDA hardiness zone 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

These are not difficult plants to grow well, provided they get enough sunlight and warmth. Like all succulents, they cannot tolerate sitting in water, and if you err, do it on the side of too little water. Use a specialized soil mix designed for cacti and succulents.

Repot as needed, preferably during the warm season. To repot a succulent, make sure the soil is dry before repotting, then gently remove the plant from the pot. Knock away the old soil from the roots, making sure to remove any rotted or dead roots in the process. Treat any cuts with a fungicide and antibacterial solution. See more at How to Grow and Care for a Desert Rose (Adenium obesum).


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.



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