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Adenium obesum subsp. swazicum (Summer Impala Lily)


Scientific Name

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

Common Names

Summer Impala Lily, Impala Lily, Swazi Lily, Desert Rose


Adenium swazicum (basionym), Adenium boehmianum var. swazicum

Scientific Classification

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


Adenium obesum subsp. swazicum, also known as Adenium swazicum, is a dwarf, deciduous succulent shrub that grows up to 28 inches (70 cm) tall. The basal stem is short, swollen, sometimes partially buried, up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter, and produces several greenish to greyish branches. Leaves are glossy green, clustered at branch ends, up to 4 inches (10 cm) long, and up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) wide. Flowers are showy, pink to deep reddish-pink, usually with a darker throat, up to 2.8 inches (7 cm) in diameter, and appear mainly from late summer to fall.

Adenium obesum subsp. swazicum (Summer Impala Lily) aka Adenium swazicum

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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

This is not a difficult plant to grow well, provided it get enough sunlight and warmth. Like all succulents, Desert Rose 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. swazicum is native to Swaziland, southern parts of Mozambique, and South Africa (Mpumalanga and northern KwaZulu-Natal). The main habitat for this succulent is open, dry woodland and grassland.


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