Roses are many things…
Beautiful, sought after, fragrant, colorful, thorny, delicate, small, big, climbing, bushy, and can be challenging to grow. The one I came across in the desert is colorful, but very different than most, as it’s actually a succulent. Except for the bright hues and five petals, I would say it doesn’t much resemble a rose.
points of interest
Variable, with a thick, usually bottle-shaped, twisted, grayish brown base (caudex), tapering and splitting into many upright branches. The succulent stems produce ovate-gray-green leaves and small terminal clusters of red, pink with a creamy white throat, or rarely white flowers throughout the summer.
Outdoors, grow in well-drained, slightly alkaline, humus-rich soil in full sun with some midday shade. Or as a houseplant, grow in a soil-based potting mix with added sharp sand in full light, but shaded from hot sun. Water moderately when in growth and apply a balanced liquid fertilizer every other time. Water more sparingly in winter.
friday’s flower fact
“Obesum” from the botanical name for Desert Rose means fat or succulent, referring to the broad, swollen caudex, characteristic of this plant.
Botanical Name | Adenium obesum
Family | Apocynaceae
Type | Perennial succulent
Origin | East to South West African, Arabian Peninsula
Zone | 11
Flower Height | 5"
Flower Diameter | 1½-2½”
Tucson Botanical Garden
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