Desert Rose (Adenium obesum)

When my greenhouse space increased, I decided to broaden my scope beyond orchids.  One of the plants that came to mind, was Adenium obesum, which I used to propagate for my dad more than 50 years ago.

Adenium obesum is a succulent related to Oleander (and thus has poisenous sap).  It grows in Ethiopia & Saudi Arabia, where it tolerates full sun and drought conditions.  Here, it should be watered & fertilized regularly during spring & summer; in the fall, scale back on watering, and during the winter water mature plants only once a month (otherwise it will rot).

50 years ago, I knew of only one color:  Pink shading towards white in the center of the flower (1st photo).  When I started to investigate this species last year, I discovered that many more colors are now available.  I purchased a number of plants for breeding; the addtional photos are from those that have bloomed so far this spring/summer.




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