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Adenium obesum subsp. boehmianum (Bushman's Poison)


Scientific Name

Adenium obesum subsp. boehmianum (Schinz) G.D.Rowley

Common Names

Bushman's Poison, Bushman Poison, Bushmen's Arrow Poison


Adenium boehmianum

Scientific Classification

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


Adenium obesum subsp. boehmianum, also known as Adenium boehmianum, is a slow-growing shrub or small tree with barely succulent stems and only modestly fat roots. The glossy, club-shaped leaves are up to 6 inches (15 cm) long. They are the largest in the genus. Flowers are trumpet-shaped, up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, and range in color from white and bright pink to crimson red with a dark purple throat.


USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °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 Desert Rose, 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. Place the plant in its new pot and backfill with potting soil, spreading the roots out as you repot. Leave the plant dry for a week or so, then begin to water lightly to reduce the risk of root rot.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for a Desert Rose (Adenium obesum).


Adenium obesum subsp. boehmianum is endemic to the mostly dry regions of northern Namibia and southern Angola.


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