Adenium Obesum, also known as Desert Rose, is a succulent and caudex forming shrub from southern region of Africa and Arabia. Adenium are popular for their unusual shapes and spectacular flowers. This slow growing flowering shrub can ultimately turn in to a small tree with large swollen trunk/caudex.
Adenium Obesum can be used in landscape or grown as container plants. They can also be trained to make good bonsai specimens. Beware that sap from Adenium plants is toxic.
Desert Rose or Adenium Obesum grows as tall as 1 to 3 meters in height. It produces green, leathery leaves that grow near the tips of branches. Adenium blooms in late spring and sometimes in mid fall. Flowers are red and pink with whitish shade and resemble the flowers of Frangipani.
These days a number of hybrids are commercially grown and sold as houseplants. These hybrids bear spectacular flowers of many different shades. You can also find many different hybrids grafted on a single rootstock all producing flowers of different colors.
Adenium Obesum is a popular houseplant in temperate zones of India, Thailand and Vietnam.
In temperate zones, Adenium can be grown from seeds. However, they are mostly cultivated from cuttings or grafting though plants grown from seeds acquire better caudex and trunk shape.
Water, Soil and Temperature
Adenium prefers sunny location, very well drained soil, and a minimum 10 C temperature in winter. They should be watered carefully as overwatering may rot the stem. Adenium prefer bright sunlight and can be grown outdoors easily. In winter, it can be grown indoors near a sunny window where it is protected from frost. Adenium prefers slightly alkaline soil.
In order to develop a perfectly developed caudex and vigorous flowering, you need to fertilize your adeniums regularly. (Good lighting condition also encourages production of more carbohydrates that ultimately form better caudex. Also lift your Adenium a little above from soil every time you re-pot it to encourage good caudex formation.)
Popular Adenium Species
Popular species of Adenium include: Adenium Swazicum, Adenium Somalense, Adenium Arabicum, Adenium Boehmianum, Adenium Multiflorum, Adenium Crispum and Adenium Obesum.
Adenium Crispum is relatively compact species and bears striking flowers. It is difficult to grow and does not withstand cold or hot, humid conditions. As grafted plant, Adenium Crispum can grow into a tall shrubby tree.
Adenium Multiflorum has brownish bark and bears white, pink, crimson and red flowers with predominant white base. It remains compact and grows in columnar style to attain a height of 3 meters. Adenium Multiflorum is also known as Impala Lily.
Adenium Boehmianum produces fleshy stem and can be grown easily from seeds, cuttings and grafting. Adenium Boehmianum is not grown commercially and thus cannot be found commonly.
Adenium Arabicum resembles Adenium Obesum and bears crimson and pink flowers. It can be grafted easily on a rootstock. Adenium Arabicum bears fleshy green leaves and makes a perfect show plant.
Adenium Swazicum is an evergreen dwarf shrub from Swaziland. It is usually used to develop hybrid plants because of its floriferous habit. Adenium Swazicum is relatively a hardy plant.
Flowering shrubs can add dramatic effects to your landscape design and home garden. You can grow and train them according to your requirements – as compact hedges, fences, climbers or just as pruned flowering shrubs growing to provide colorful effect to your landscape design throughout the year.
Shrubs are very versatile: evergreen, flowering round the year, producing dense foliage, bearing small berries, having variegated leaves and a many more interesting features. When you are selecting flowering shrubs for your garden or landscape, select shrubs that would grow well in your climate and fulfill your requirements (colors, textures, habits etc.)
Here is my selection of flowering bushes that you can grow in your garden or landscape.
Duranta Plumieri, Golden Dewdrop
Duranta Plumieri (Golden Dewdrop) is an evergreen flowering shrub that bears clusters of conspicuous flowers and dense leaves. When allowed to grow freely, Duranta can spread and rise up to 2 meters with stiff branches and beautiful clusters of tiny flowers. Each cluster grows numerous, trumpet-shaped flowers that can be 1.3 cm across. Duranta usually blooms in late summer or early fall depending on the climatic conditions. It can be trimmed and pruned lightly to make an evergreen compact hedge. Vigorous pruning should be avoided to allow bunches to develop and display nice blooms. Flowering is followed by fruition in the form of round, orange berries. On some plants, both flowers and fruit can be seen together.
Leaves of Duranta are small, dense and vary from green to dark green in color. Duranta prefers bright sunlight and can be propagated from cuttings or seeds. Originally belonging to West Indies, Duranta was named after a botanist called Castore Durante.
Duranta Plimieri produces small pointed-oval shaped leaves and mauve flowers. Duranta Ellisii bears white flowers. Duranta Grand Flora bears large flowers (up to 2 cm across). There are a number of other species of Duranta available that bear thorns or variegated foliage. Colors of flowers vary from mauve to white and violet to light blue.
Mussaenda makes an excellent flowering shrub for landscapes and gardens. In tropical climate, it grows as an evergreen shrub but sheds its leaves in colder climates. It can be grown as a small tree or pruned and dwarfed in to a nice shrub. Mussaenda belongs to Rubiaceae, the family Ixora and is originated from tropical zones of Asia and Africa.
Mussaenda bears colorful bracts (red, pale pink, white) and small flowers that vary in color from white, yellow and orange. The leaves are hairy and of soft green color. For best show of colorful foliage and blooms, Mussaenda should be planted in brightly-lit locations.
Mussaenda does not require much care and grows well in normal soil with just adequate supply of fertilizer and water. It should be pruned vigorously in late fall. It can be propagated by layering or cuttings.
Leaves of Mussaenda are used as vegetable in some parts of India whereas its root is used for its demulcent properties.
MussaendaErythrophylla produces crimson bracts and yellow flowers. MussaendaLuteola is a smaller shrub, attaining only 1.2 m in height. It bears yellow bracts and flowers. MussaendaCorymbosa has pale orange flowers and white bracts.
Bougainvillea is perhaps one of the most popular flowering shrubs grown in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It can be grown as a flowering shrub, hedge, fence, climber, potted plant, or even as bonsai. It grows easily in almost any soil and does not require much care. If pruned regularly and provided with adequate water and feed, Bougainvillea can make a showy plant for any landscape or home garden.
Bougainvillea produces pale-green to deep green leaves (some varieties have variegated leaves) and colorful bracts of various colors including purple, magenta, red, pink, yellow, salmon and white. Bougainville is named after L. A. de Bougainville who discovered this flowering shrub in Brazil.
Bougainville has countless varieties grown all over the world; however, almost all of them are hybrids of the four major species. Bougainville Spectabilis is a vigorous form and bears purple or rose-purple bracts. Bougainville Glabra has magenta bracts and oblong, bright green leaves. Bougainville Peruviana produces smaller, mauve-pink bracts, yellowish flowers and large, smooth leaves. Bougainville Formosa has solid clusters of pale magenta-pink flowers and usually bears variegated leaves.
Bougainvillea Mixed Flowers
Petrea Volubilis, Purple Wreath
Petrea Volubilis produces exotic and showy clusters of purple flowers. It can be easily trained as a climber to cover arches and pathways. It bears stiff green leaves of oval shape. Clusters of Petrea Volubilis flowers can be cut and used for ornamental purposes.
Petrea can be propagated from layering or by planting suckers. Originally belonging to Central America, purple wreath can be grown in tropical and sub-tropical climates as a flowering shrub. Petrea prefers bright sunlight and produces blooms in spring.
Tecoma Stans is a perfect flowering shrub for gardeners who want a decent showy shrub in their garden throughout the year. It bears elegant and showy green leaves, and trumpet-shaped fragrant yellow flowers. It can be raised as a small landscape tree as well.
Tecoma belongs to South America but grows in tropical regions all over the world. Usually, it flowers during cold weather, however most varieties keep blooming throughout the year. Tecoma can be propagated by seeds or cuttings.
Tecoma Chrysantha produces larger clusters of flowers and dense foliage. Tecoma Capensis has tendency to climb. It produces bright-orange flowers round the year. Tecoma Radicans is a perfect flowering shrub for covering walls or old trees because of its climbing habit. It bears scarlet, tubular flowers. Tecoma Grandiflora is a vigorous climber and produces orange or scarlet flowers during all months of the year. Tecoma Jasminoides is a nice evergreen climber with shiny, dark green foliage and wide open trumpet flowers of white or pink colors.
Allamanda is another evergreen flowering shrub that produces very showy yellow flowers round the year. It can also be grown as a climber, as groundcover, a compact hedge, an ornamental shrub or to cover arches and pathways. It can be pruned easily to train in to different shapes.
Allamanda produces glossy green leaves and yellow flowers that are usually 8-9 cm across. Allamanda grows in moist and brightly-lit locations but does not survive frost. Allamanada should be grown in well-drained and rich soil. It can be propagated from cuttings.
Allamanda Neriifolia is an evergreen and dwarf flowering shrub. It can be grown as a climber too. Allamanda Voilacea produces violet or purple flowers.