Desert Rose Varieties: Are There Other Types of Adenium Plants?

The Desert Rose (Adenium obesum) is a drought-tolerant succulent. Read our tips on Desert Rose care.

This plant thrives in high-light conditions, soaking up sunlight to produce beautiful blooms with pink and red flower color.

Collection of small Adenium plants in flower growing in potsPin
Collection of Desert Rose plants in flower growing in pots | civic_dm AT

The Desert Rose in the Landscape, Garden, or Home

The Desert Rose is often grown in pots for easy movement indoors and out. The plant is best suited for warmer, dryer climates. During the winter months, the Desert Rose needs to be inside, away from the cold.

When outside, place potted plants on a patio or porch in direct sunlight. When indoors, place the Desert Rose near a south-facing window to receive the most light.

Potted Desert Rose need well drained soil to avoid overwatering and root rot. Outside, leave your container plants in a pot with drainage holes to reduce the risk of overwatering.

Inside your home, include a saucer to capture excess fluid during waterings. Never allow these succulent plants to sit in water.

Where Does The Adenium Originate?

Adeniums are found growing in sachel regions near the Saharan Desert.

What Is The Origin Of The Name?

Adenium refers to one species, a succulent shrub or tree in Africa and Arabia.

How Many Species Are There Of Adenium?

There are as many as twelve species of plants in the genus Adenium.


Varieties of Desert Rose Plants

There are quite a few slow growing varieties of Desert Rose. Below are some of the most common types.

Adenium Obesum

Adenium obesum is the most common and popular variety of Desert Rose. It has pink, red, and white multi-colored flowers. Obesum has a classic succulent tree appearance with a thick bark, and rubbery, round leaves.

Obesum is the most widespread throughout North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

Bright pink flowers of Adenium obesumPin

Adenium Swazicum

Adenium swazicum produces trumpet-shaped white and pink flowers like is Adenium obesum.

Blooming Adenium SwazicumPin

Swazicum is a little larger than the Adenium obesum and more tolerant of weather changes. But, like all Desert Roses, this plant favors sandy, dry climates, and is prone to overwatering.

The Adenium swazicum comes from South Africa.

Adenium Arabicum

The Adenium arabicum is the most common Adenium variety used for bonsai. Its leaves are large and leathery, and the plant itself is quite broad. This makes it an excellent shrub and tree to cultivate.

Potted Adenium arabicumPin

There isn’t much difference between the trunk and branches, it often appears squat and fat.

Arabicum comes from the Arabian Peninsula.

Adenium Socotranum

The Adenium socotranum resembles the appearance of a baobab tree. Socotranum comes from the island of Socotra in the Indian Ocean.

Potted Adenium SocotranumPin

This Adenium is more tree-like than other varieties. It can grow anywhere from 10′ – 16′ feet tall!

It has a characteristic bottle-shaped trunk and thick leaves that can grow up to 4″ inches long. Due to its shape, a mature tree can have a trunk with a diameter of up to eight’ feet.

This variety favors grittier and rockier soil than other Desert Roses.

Adenium Boehmianum

The Adenium boehmianum is also referred to as the Bushman’s poison. This Desert Rose variety grows near Namibia and Angola.

Adenium boehmianum by © Hans Hillewaert - Wikimedia
Image © Hans Hillewaert / CC BY-SA 4.0

The people of San in that region use the root sap to make poisoned arrowheads.

This Desert Rose variety has fewer leaves and flowers during the growing season. The branches are long and spidery, with clusters of leaves spiraling out from the tips with sparse flowers.

Although there are several Adenium varieties the most common is Adenium obesum.

If you like growing Adenium Desert Rose check out Pachypodium Madagascar Palm outdoor care.

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