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ADENIUM obesum 'Black Ruby'

Image of Adenium obesum 'Black Ruby'

Mark A. Miller

Family

Apocynaceae

Botanical Name

ADENIUM obesum 'Black Ruby'

Plant Common Name

Black Ruby Desert Rose, Desert Rose

General Description

Desert rose is a hothouse baby with swollen “feet.” It is native to sub-Saharan Africa and Arabia and is a large perennial shrub to small tree with a much swollen base which is sometime buried underground. Grown for spectacular bell-shaped flowers, ‘Black Ruby' blossoms have white centers, red petals with a very dark red or 'black' edge which appear in summer in mass and few scattered throughout the year. The ovate leaves are clustered on the ends of many twisted branches, most with no petiole. It is usually leafless during the dry season.

Desert rose is very cold sensitive and will not tolerate cold soil, air or frost. Grow it in containers in cool to cold climates, outside only in frost-free locations. Desert rose must have well-drained soil, ideally slightly alkaline. It needs full sun, but benefits from a bit of shade in the hottest part of the day. Desert rose grows where dry winters and wet summers mimic its native habitat: water during growth in spring and summer and withhold it during winter's dormancy. Use desert rose on hot patios, to accent a western exposure or in desert gardens.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 10

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H2, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Cactus or Succulent

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    3'-15' / 0.9m - 4.6m

  • Width

    3'-5' / 0.9m - 1.5m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    Eastern Africa, Southern Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Soil Compaction

  • Growth Rate

    Very Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Xeric/Desert, Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Twisted/Contorted

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Red, Black

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Multi-Color

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Houseplant, Rock Garden / Wall, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No