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Adenium obesum subsp. socotranum (Socotran Desert Rose)


Scientific Name

Adenium obesum subsp. socotranum (Vierh.) Lavranos

Common Names

Socotran Desert Rose, Aden Rose of Socotra


Adenium socotranum

Scientific Classification

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


Adenium obesum subsp. socotranum, also known as Adenium socotranum, is by far the largest member of the Adenium genus, reaching a height of 15 feet (4.6 m) with a cylindrical trunk up to 8 feet (2.4 m) in diameter at the base. Plants rarely leaf out before mid summer and produce stem growth for only a few weeks. The flowers are pink, up to 5 inches (13 cm) in diameter and appear for a few weeks in spring while the plant is leafless.

Adenium obesum subsp. socotranum (Socotran Desert Rose) aka Adenium socotranum

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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 subsp. socotranum is endemic to the island of Socotra.


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