- Product Code: pg-flowering-plants-adenium-white
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Cultivation and uses
Adenium obesum is grown as a houseplant in temperate regions. Numerous hybrids have been developed. Adeniums are appreciated for their colorful flowers, but also for their unusual, thick caudices. They can be grown for many years in a pot and are commonly used for bonsai.
Because seed-grown plants are not genetically identical to the mother plant, desirable varieties are commonly propagated by grafting. Genetically identical plants can also be propagated by cutting. However, cutting-grown plants do not tend to develop a desirable thick caudex as quickly as seed-grown plants.
The sap of Adenium boehmianum, A. multiflorum, and A. obesum contains toxic cardiac glycosides and is used as arrow poison throughout Africa for hunting large game.
The genus Adenium has been held to contain as many as twelve species. These are considered by other authors to be subspecies or varieties. A late-20th-century classification by Plazier recognizes five species. Species include:
- Adenium arabicum Balf.f. (Arabia)
- Adenium boehmianum Schinz (Namibia, Angola)
- Adenium multiflorum Klotzsch. (Southern Africa, from Zambia south)
- Adenium obesum (Forssk.) Roem. & Schult.
- Adenium swazicum Stapf (Eastern South Africa)
Adenium obesum is also known as the desert rose. In the Philippines, due to its resemblance to the related genus Plumeria, and the fact that it was introduced to the Philippines from Bangkok, Thailand, the plant is also called as Bangkok kalachuchi.