Name That Plant, Win That Plant XIV Answer: Desert Rose
October 6, 2010
Desert Rose, Adenium obesum
Don’t let this plant’s common name fool you. It is not a “rose” and although native to sub-Saharan Africa and the deserts of the southwestern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, this interesting plant grows well in South Florida’s humidity. It has a beautiful bright red, pink and white flower, but many enthusiasts grow desert rose for the caudex, or base, which can be manipulated to form unique shapes.
Desert rose is suitable for container gardening or will thrive in your yard if planted in full sun and well-drained soil. Plants should never be in standing water and should not get much water at all in the cooler months, as this species is prone to root rot. If temperatures regularly fall below 35°F in your area, it’s best to grow desert rose in a container so the plant can be moved inside during cold snaps. Leaves may drop during winter but the plant should recover nicely each spring, providing months of beautiful blooms in the summer. All parts of the plant are toxic if ingested and the sap may irritate skin, so use caution when planting.
We have a desert rose growing in a container in front of the Caretaker’s house at the Estates. We also have several for sale in our Garden Shoppe. Don’t forget, garden blog readers save 10% off their Garden Shoppe purchases by mentioning the phrase of the month at check-out!