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Adenium obesum subsp. oleifolium (Desert Rose)


Scientific Name

Adenium obesum subsp. oleifolium (Stapf) G.D. Rowley

Common Names

Desert Rose


Adenium oleifolium (basionym), Adenium lugardiae, Adenium somalense var. angustifolium

Scientific Classification

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


Adenium obesum subsp. oleifolium is a succulent shrub up to 16 inches (40 cm) tall, with a large tuberous, mostly buried stem from which the aerial branches arise. The branches are densely pubescent when young, becoming glabrous with age. The olive-green leaves are distinctly long and narrow, up to 4.4 inches (11 cm) long, up to 0.5 inch (1.3 cm) and are crowded at the tips of the branches. The terminal inflorescence carries a few pinkish, salmon or pale pink to red flowers that appear with the leaves.

Adenium obesum subsp. oleifolium (Desert Rose)

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USDA hardiness zone 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 succulent, 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… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for a Desert Rose (Adenium obesum)


Adenium obesum subsp. oleifolium is native to Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.


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