Adenia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Passifloraceae. They are distributed in the Old World tropics and subtropics. The centers of diversity are in Madagascar, eastern and western tropical Africa, and Southeast Asia. The genus name comes from "aden," reported as the Arabic name for the plant by Peter Forsskål, the author of the genus.
Adenias have some very interesting characteristics. They are excellent caudiciform succulents, and some species can attain a base of more than 6.6 feet (2 m) wide. Most Adenias are vine-growers and form a large canopy of heart-shaped leaves that shade the base. Most species have green trunks and branches. Some species have overlaid reds, browns, or purples that add to the beauty of the caudex. Adenias typically flower in the spring before the leaves appear.
Growing Conditions and General Care
Adenias are summer growers. They can be watered and feed regularly if planted in fast-draining soil. Let the soil dry between watering if you are in a humid climate.
Most of the growth will be during the warm season, and the plants will have the most leaves. They will grow best with the leaves exposed to bright light, but the caudex shaded.
During the cool months, protect the plants from frost to keep them alive. The plants normally rest during this period, and water should be kept to a minimum. However, you can keep the plants active if you keep them above 50 °F (10 °C).
Their sap is poisonous, and Adenias should be handled with caution, particularly when pruning.
Most cuttings do not produce a caudex, so it is best to propagate by seeds. Adenias are either male or female, so one of each is required to produce seeds.
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