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Home » Plant infomation

Adenium obesum  (Forssk.) Roem. & Schult.


Botanical Name


Adenium obesum (Forssk.) Roem. & Schult.

English Name


Desert rose, Impala lily, Sabi star, Kudu



Adenium somalense Balf.f., Adenium socotranum Vierh.





General Info


Succulent shrub or small tree, up to 4(–6) m tall, sometimes with a fleshy taproot; stem swollen at base up to 1(–2) m in diameter; bark pale greyish-green, grey or brown, smooth, with sticky, clear or white latex; branchlets glabrescent, pubescent at apex. Leaves arranged spirally, clustered at the end of branchlets, simple; stipules minute or absent; petiole up to 4 mm long; blade linear to obovate, 3–12(–17) cm × 0.2–6 cm, base cuneate, apex acute to rounded or emarginate, entire, slightly glaucous, dull green or pale green, leathery, pinnately veined with distinct or indistinct lateral veins. Inflorescence a more or less dense terminal cyme; bracts linear to narrowly oblong, 3–8 mm long, acuminate, pubescent. Flowers bisexual, regular, 5-merous, showy, usually appearing before the leaves; pedicel 5–9 mm long; sepals narrowly oblong to narrowly ovate, 6–12 mm long, hairy; corolla with funnel-shaped tube 2–4.5 cm × 0. 9–1.7 cm, reddish-pink to white suffused with pink, sometimes red-striped inside the throat, hairy to glabrous outside, glandular hairy on main veins inside, lobes 1–3 cm × 0.5–2.5 cm, spreading, pale pink to red with darker margins; stamens inserted near base of corolla tube, included or exserted, anthers forming a cone covering the pistil, base sagittate, 5–7 mm long, with long apical appendices; ovary superior, composed of 2 free carpels, glabrous, styles fused, slender, with well-developed clavuncula. Fruit consisting of 2 linear-oblong follicles, coherent at the base, 11–22 cm long, tapering at both ends, recurved, grey to pale grey-brown, opening by a longitudinal slit, many-seeded. Seeds linear-oblong, 10–14 mm long, pale brown, slightly rough, with tufts of long dirty white hairs at both ends.

Herb Effects

Chewed as abortifacient (bark)


PROTAbase: Adenium obesum



Medicinal Use

A decoction from the roots, alone or in combination with other plants, is used to treat venereal diseases; a root or bark extract is used as a bath or lotion to treat skin diseases and to kill lice, while latex is applied to decaying teeth and septic wounds. A root decoction as nose drops is prescribed for rhinitis. The latex is rubbed on the head against lice.



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