Oleander family

Apocynaceae includes approxi-mately 355 genera of herbs, shrubs, trees, and climbers distributed wordwide, with greatest diversity  in the tropics. Characteristics in-clude a milky latex sap and complex flowers. Recent cevisions include the genera traditionally segregated in to Asclepiadaceae in this family. For the convenience of readers more familiar with this arrange – ment, these species are kept to -gether here as a subgroup of A poc – ynaceae. The family is very important pharmaceutically. Many, though not all, species are. Poison – ous. An exception is Carissa. Most are suitable for coastal. Planting and are at least modestly salt toler-ant. Leaves are simple entire opposite or whorled. Traditional members of Apocynaceae can be recognized by the radially symmet – tical, trumpet-shaped corollar. Commonly with lobes twisted like a propeller. The fruit is a capsule, shizocarp, nutlet, berry or drupe, commonly in pairs.


Adenium includes a single species of deciduous pachycaulos tree from arid regions of eastern Africa and  the Arabian peninsula. The var-ious forms were once segregated. in to several species based upon range and presence or lack of a caudex (a swollen inter section of the trunk base and roof). They are now classified as subspecies. The subs pecies readily hybridize, but indviduals are self – sterile plants in cultivation are mostly hybrids, but only a few cultivar names have valid descriptions. The succulent, spine – less trunks of these highly prized little trees store water for the dry season. The leaves fold when dry to decrease evaporation. Caudices are commonly exposed in cultivation to display their gnarled contor -tions. Adeniums start to bloom to -ward the end of the dry season  and continue through  summer. In the wild, they may attain 15 ft.

Grow adeniums infast -draining, neutral to slightly acid soil. In moist climates add plenty of grit to the soil and grow in raised beds or un – dersized, tight containers. Top -dress with neutral pH river gravel, not alkaline pea rock. Organic mulch causer rot. Use dilute liquid or slow – release fertilizer. Water deeply twice weekly when leafing out. Adeniums tolerate cool tem – peratures if dry but not frost. Cuttings are not favored as a means of propagation because they do not produce well-developed caudices. A horsetail hair is used as slender propagation tool-special selection are grafted

Adenium obesum

Desert -rose -impala-lily


Sononyms: A multiflorum, A.coeta -num, A.arabicum.Arabia, eastern Africa. Deciduous succulent tree, 3-15 ft, zones 9-11. Blooms warm months. Semi – arid or seasonally moist/dry. Average, gritty, excep-tionally well drained soil. neutral to slightly acid pH. Full sun . Flowers: funnel -shaped, pink white, or a combination, fringed corona in throat. Leaves:dark green, obovate, 2-3 n. long. Caudex: if present normally subterranean. Bark: light gray subsp. Obesum deffers from subsp. Swazicum by the more or less pubescent calyx and ex-serted anthers. Recognized Cultivars of subsp obesum are “Crimson pico -tee (red and white) Red ever – bloomer (red), and “Tom Grumbley” (pure white). Described cultivars of subsp swazicum are “Boyce Thomp – son and “Perpetual pink” (Eggli 2001)

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