Adenium arabicum Balf. f.

Adenium arabicum as known in horticulture is native to a narrow strip near the coast on the western half of the southern Arabian peninsula (in Yemen and Saudi Arabia). The correct name for these plants is Adenium obesum, and the African plants we know as A. obesum must properly be called something else. In cultivation they are usually shrubs with massive caudexes. Plants grow rapidly and develop large caudexes in only a few years. Most plants flower mainly in spring before leafing out. Better clones flower sporadically throughout the year.

Adenium arabicum from Yemen, 3 years old in 12-inch pot. They can grow even faster.

Flower of Adenium arabicum plant at left .

Another Adenium arabicum flower from Yemen. This population tends to have larger flowers than the Saudi plants. The color is off; it should be more pink.

Adenium arabicum, Saudi form. This plant is in the ground under a fiberglass roof. It has just survived a few nights of 22° F (-5° C) with only minor tip damage. The plant is 8 years old with a caudex more than a foot wide.

Adenium arabicum, Saudi form, same plant as one at left flowering a year later. This plant has glabrous leaves; these are found scattered among the more common hairy-leafed plants.

Adenium arabicum, Saudi form from Jebel Shada. This plant was the fastest in its batch of seedlings. It is 11 years old in a 42-inch pot; the caudex is almost 3 feet across.

Adenium arabicum flower on a plant from Jebel Shada, Saudi Arabia. This one lacks nectar guides.

Adenium arabicum flower with good color.

Adenium arabicum? with reddish flowers; the plant has been in India for more than 50 years. Its native origin is unknown. This plant grows slowly and has small shiny leaves; it is not a typical Yemen or Saudi arabicum, but neither does it resemble the Oman form..

This plant bears near-white flowers part of the year, but light pink at other times.


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