Adenium is a genus of flowering plants in the family Apocynaceae, containing a single species, Adenium obesum, also known as Sabi Star, Kudu or Desert-rose. It is native to tropical and subtropical eastern and southern Africa and Arabia.
It is an evergreen succulent shrub in tropical climates and semi-deciduous to deciduous in colder climates, is also dependent on the species. Growing to 1-3 m in height, with pachycaul stems and a stout, swollen basal caudex. The leaves are spirally arranged, clustered toward the tips of the shoots, simple entire, sexy in texture, 5-15 cm long and 1-8 cm broad. The flowers are tubular, 2-5 cm long, with the outer portion 4-6 cm diameter with five petals, resembling those of other related genera such as Plumeria and Nerium. The flowers tend to red and pink, often with a whitish blush outward of the throat.
Several regional subspecies occur:
- Adenium obesum subsp. boehmianum. Namibia, Angola.
- Adenium obesum subsp. obesum. Arabia.
- Adenium obesum subsp. oleifolium. South Africa, Botswana.
- Adenium obesum subsp. socotranum. Socotra.
- Adenium obesum subsp. somalense. Eastern Africa.
- Adenium obesum subsp. swazicum. Eastern South Africa.
- Adenium obesum subsp. arabicum. Arabia.
These subspecies are often considered proper species.
Cultivation and uses
is a popular houseplant
in temperate regions. It requires a sunny location and a minimum indoor temperature in winter of 10 °C. It thrives on a xeric
watering regime as required by cacti
is typically propagated by seed or stem cuttings. The numerous hybrids are propagated mainly by grafting onto seedling rootstock. While plants grown from seed are more likely to have the swollen caudex at a young age, with time many cutting-grown plants cannot be distinguished from seedlings.
The plant exudes a highly toxic sap which is used by some peoples, such as the Akie in Tanzania, to coat arrow-tips for hunting.
Due to its resemblance to plumeria, and the fact that it was introduced to the Philippines from Bangkok, Thailand, the plant was also called as Bangkok kalachuchi
in the Philippines