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Useful Tropical Plants

Adenium obesum

(Forssk.) Roem. & Schult.

Apocynaceae


The genus Adenium is usually seen as comprising 5 distinct, but closely related species, but it has also at times been treated as one species (Adenium obesum) with six subspecies[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

+ Synonyms

Adenium arabicum Balf.f.

Adenium arboreum Ehrenb.

Adenium coetaneum Stapf

Adenium honghel Lindl.

Adenium micranthum Stapf

Adenium socotranum Vierh.

Adenium somalense Balf.f.

Adenium speciosum Fenzl

Adenium tricholepis Chiov.

Cameraria obesa (Forssk.) Spreng.

Nerium obesum Forssk.

Common Name: Desert Rose

Adenium obesum
Plant growing in native habitat
Photograph by: James Joel
Creative Commons License
Adenium obesum Adenium obesum Adenium obesum Adenium obesum Adenium obesum

General Information

Desert rose is a succulent, deciduous shrub or small tree, usually growing up to 4 metres tall, occasionally to 6 metres. The stem base becomes strongly thickened with age and sometimes spreads over rocks, it can become 1 metre or more in diameter, The plant sometimes has a fleshy taproot[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use, mainly as a medicine. A very popular ornamental plant, valued particularly for its flowers and unusual form, it is cultivated throughout the world as a pot plant and outdoors in the tropics.

Known Hazards

The root sap or sometimes the wood or stem latex contains a powerful heart toxin and is used to prepare arrow poison. The poison is popular for hunting large game as it kills quickly and the hunted animal dies within 2 km from the place where it was shot[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
,
774
Title
Trees and Shrubs of the Sahel. Their Characteristics and Uses.
Publication
 
Author
von Maydell H.
Publisher
Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit; Germany
Year
1990
ISBN
3-8236-1198-4
Description
A well-researched book, usually with more than one photograph of each species and good information on the plant and its uses.
].
A decoction of the bark and leaves is widely used as fish poison[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Preparations from the plant are used as an ordeal poison and for criminal purposes[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Botanical References


Range

Tropical Africa - semi-arid areas from Mauritania and Senegal to Somalia, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania; Arabian Peninsula.

Habitat

Rocky or sandy soils in savannah, dry bushland or woodland, and wooded grassland at elevations up to 2,100 metres[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitDeciduous Shrub
Height3.00 m
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of the arid and semi-arid tropics, where it can be found at elevations up to 2,100 metres. To grow well, it prefers maximum temperatures that often exceed 30°c; the branch tips are damaged at temperatures below 5°c; and the plant cannot be grown in the open when temperatures are regularly close to 0°c[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Although it originates from dry areas, it tolerates high air humidity well, which explains its popularity in countries such as Thailand and the Philippines[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Requires a sunny position. Requires a very well-drained soil[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Plants can endure a drought or cold-induced dormancy of several months as occurs in the natural habitat[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Plants grown from seed may flower within 1 year[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Under favourable conditions some clones can flower for 2 - 4 months, or even nearly year-round. Flowering stops when temperatures exceed 38°c[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

Desert rose is an important plant in traditional African medicine. Research has shown the presence of some 30 cardiotoxic glycosides, which act in a similar way as digitalis from foxgloves (Digitalis spp.) In low doses, digitalis is used to treat congestive heart failure (CHF) and heart rhythm problems (atrial arrhythmias), but in high doses it leads to systolic heart failure and death[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The ethanol extract of the roots has been shown to slow down the growth of Bacillus subtilis, but has not shown activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus or Candida albida[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Extracts from the root have shown a cytotoxic effect against several carcinoma cell lines[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The aqueous stem bark extract is a potential acaricide as it shows high toxicity on all stages of development of the ticks Amblyomma spp. And Boophilus spp[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

A decoction from the roots, alone or in combination with other plants, is used externally to treat venereal diseases; a root or bark extract is used as a bath or lotion to treat skin diseases and to kill lice[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
,
774
Title
Trees and Shrubs of the Sahel. Their Characteristics and Uses.
Publication
 
Author
von Maydell H.
Publisher
Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit; Germany
Year
1990
ISBN
3-8236-1198-4
Description
A well-researched book, usually with more than one photograph of each species and good information on the plant and its uses.
]. A root decoction as nose drops is prescribed for rhinitis[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Latex is applied to decaying teeth and septic wounds[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Latex is rubbed on the head against lice[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Powdered stems are applied to kill skin parasites of camels and cattle[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

The bark is chewed as an abortifacient[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

Desert rose is sometimes planted as a live fence[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Other Uses

The wood is sometimes used as fuel[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Propagation

Seed - the viability of seed from cultivated plants is sometimes poor because of pollination problems. Viable seed should be planted in a sandy free-draining medium after removal of the hairy tufts and treatment with a fungicide. It germinates within a week at temperatures of about 30°c. Seedlings are ready for transplanting within 1 month when they have developed 6 leaves[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Tip-cuttings dipped in a rooting hormone, planted in a coarse rooting medium and well watered are most successful, and form swollen stem bases like seed-grown plants[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Cuttings must dry for a week, before getting planted[
385
Title
Bihrmann's Caudiciforms
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.bihrmann.com/caudiciforms/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An internet site giving information on caudiciform plants (plants with swollen stem bases such as the Baobab tree, cycads and many succulents). Excellent photos, usually of cultivated plants in pots.
].
Selected plants and valuable hybrids are often propagated by cleft grafting as this process is more reliable than propagation by cuttings, although it requires more skill[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Grafting onto oleander (Nerium oleander L.) is possible and leads to rich flowering[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2018-10-18. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Adenium+obesum>

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