Prime destination for succulent lovers

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


Adenium obesum is an evergreen or drought-deciduous succulent shrub or small tree that grows up to 10 feet (3 m) tall. The stem base becomes 3.3 feet (1 m) or more in diameter with age and sometimes spreads over rocks. Leaves are spirally arranged, clustered toward the shoots' tips. They are leathery in texture, up to 6 inches (15 cm) long, and up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) wide. Flowers are tubular with five petals, red and pink, often with a whitish blush outward of the throat, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long, and up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) in diameter. The long, finger-like double fruits are grey to pale grey-brown and sometimes fringed with pink.

Adenium obesum (Desert Rose)

Photo via


USDA hardiness zones 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 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 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.

Subspecies, Varieties, and Forms


Photo Gallery

Subscribe now and be up to date with our latest news and updates.

Share this with other succulent lovers!