Adenium crispum Chiov.

Adenium crispum occurs in a band of sandy soil near the coast ot southern Somalia. In nature the fusiform caudex is subterranean. Most of the root system arises from near the top of this caudex. In cultivation the caudex is raised above soil level; fortunately the caudex is capable of rerooting from the bottom. The stems are thin and rarely exceed a foot tall. The small flowers are very distinctive and serve as the best identifier: most clones have quilled petals that are whitish with strong red lines extending from the throat to the margins. Some have flat petals, while some have solid red petals. This species is as sensitive to cold as A. somalense. They are also intolerant of hot, humid conditions. For these reasons it is not widely cultivated despite the beautfiul flowers and compact size.

Adenium crispum, a collected plant. Note the scars from the original roots near the top of the caudex.

Typical flower of Adenium crispum.

Seed-grown A. crispum, 4 years old.

Flower of A. crispum with yellow throat.

A dark A. crispum clone.

A red-flowered A. crispum. The anther appendages are very long. Photo: Gerald Barad

Left and above: Adenium crispum, when grafted onto a large adenium, can become gigantic. This 5-year-old graft is more than 2 meters tall. The flowers are still tiny.


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