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Adenium obesum

Adenium obesum (*)

Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Divisio: Magnoliophyta
Classis: Magnoliopsida
Ordo: Gentianales
Familia: Apocynaceae
Subfamilia: Apocynoideae
Tribus: Nerieae
Genus: Adenium
Species: Adenium obesum


Adenium obesum (Forssk.) Roem. & Schult., Syst. Veg., ed. 15 bis (Roemer & Schultes) 4: 411. 1819.



* Nerium obesum Forssk., Fl. Aegypt.-Arab. 205. 1775.


* Syst. veg. 4:411. 1819
* USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Data from 07-Oct-06]. [1]

Vernacular Names

Ελληνικά, Κυπριακά: Ατένιο

English: Desert rose, Impala lily


Adenium obesum is a species of flowering plant in the dogbane family, Apocynaceae, that is 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. Common names include Sabi Star, Kudu, and Desert-rose.


It is an evergreen or drought-deciduous succulent shrub (which can also lose its leaves during cold spells, or according to the subspecies or cultivar). It can grow to 1–3 m (3.3–9.8 ft) height, with pachycaul stems and a stout, swollen basal caudex. The leaves are spirally arranged, clustered toward the tips of the shoots, simple entire, leathery in texture, 5–15 cm (2.0–5.9 in) long and 1–8 cm (0.39–3.1 in) broad. The flowers are tubular, 2–5 cm (0.79–2.0 in) long, with the outer portion 4–6 cm (1.6–2.4 in) diameter with five petals, resembling those of other related genera such as Plumeria and Nerium. The flowers tend to red and pink, often with a whitish blush outward of the throat.

Cultivation and uses

A. obesum is a popular houseplant and bonsai[2] in temperate regions. It requires a sunny location and a minimum indoor temperature in winter of 10 °C (50 °F). It thrives on a xeric watering regime as required by cacti. A. obesum are typically propagated by seed or stem cuttings. The numerous hybrids are propagated mainly by grafting onto seedling rootstock. While plants grown from seed are more likely to have the swollen caudex at a young age, with time many cutting-grown plants cannot be distinguished from seedlings.

The toxic sap of its roots and stems is used as arrow poison for hunting large game throughout much of Africa.[3]


Adenium obesum subsp. obesum (Mauritania and Senegal to Sudan)
Adenium obesum subsp. oleifolium (South Africa, Botswana)
Adenium obesum subsp. socotranum (Socotra)
Adenium obesum subsp. somalense (Eastern Africa)


^ "Taxon: Adenium obesum (Forssk.) Roem. & Schult.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 1997-05-22. Retrieved 2010-09-30.
^ D'Cruz, Mark. "Ma-Ke Bonsai Care Guide for Adenium obesum". Retrieved 2011-5-11.
^ Schmelzer, G.H.; A. Gurib-Fakim (2008). Medicinal Plants. Plant Resources of Tropical Africa. pp. 46–49. ISBN 9789057822049.

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