Friday, February 22, 2013

Adenium obesum - Desert rose

I've always thought of Adenium obesum (Desert rose) as miniature Frangipani (Plumeria). The strong resemblance is in the bare fleshy stems carrying terminal leaves and bunches of flowers. Both have thick succulent stems which exude a milky sap when any part of the plant is cut. But here the similarity ends, as the stems of the Adeniums grow increasingly in girth, thereby earning its moniker 'obesum'.

The Chinese consider Adeniums as  auspicious plants. 

As if mindful of their obligations and duties, my Adeniums bloomed right on cue, just in time for the Chinese New Year. It is framed by the fan-like leaves of the Licuala grandis (Fan palm).

This has chilly red flowers and white corollas. It is always the first one to flower. I take this as the harbinger of the Adenium season when the weather is warmer and dryer. 

However, throughout the CNY period this year, it has been raining cats and dogs . Certain parts of the city were flooded.

 Blooms last up to a week if placed away from direct sunlight. The uprighr blades of Walking Iris is to the left.

The petals are thick and feels velvety while the white corolla is covered with fine hairs and this extend to the stamens too.

This photo of the Adenium plant was taken about 18 months ago. 
This was taken about one year later. As you can see from the two pictures above, Adeniums grow slowly.

At the moment, about 8 months later, the only two branches have grown longer. It looks leggy but I let it be as it always seems to be blooming. The Calamansi plant is from two CNY seasons ago. Fruits are scanty as they have been harvested for adding zest to drinks and food.

This variety is white with radiating tongues of red from the centre towards the edge of each petal.

The flower is basically white, trimmed in black and red. 

As the flower matures, the white portion gradually turns to pink

while the black trim turns to dark purple.

This has a pink lavender hue and a deep red to maroon corrolla 

In the pink variety, the stamens and stigma appear to be fused together.

A single seed pod has many seeds. Tufts of hair are found on each end of the seed.

Year of the Water Snake (2013)
A pink Adenium obesum to signify the celebration of the Spring Festival according to the Chinese solar-lunar calender. The double-headed snake bangle is from my sister's antique silver collection.



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