Cultivation and uses
Adenium obesum is grown as a houseplant in temperate regions. Numerous hybrids have been developed. Adeniums are appreciated for their colorful flowers, but also for their unusual, thick caudexes. They can be grown for many years in a pot and are commonly used for bonsai.
Because seed-grown plants are not genetically identical to the mother plant, desirable varieties are commonly propagated by grafting. Genetically identical plants can also be propagated by cutting. However, cutting-grown plants do not tend to develop a desirable thick caudex as quickly as seed-grown plants.
The genus Adenium has been held to contain as many as twelve species. These are considered by other authors to be subspecies or varieties. A late-20th-century classification by Plazier recognizes five species. Species include:
Adenium arabicum Balf.f. (Arabia)
- Adenium Arabicum subsp. Thai Socotranum (Thailand)
- Adenium boehmianum Schinz (Namibia, Angola)
- Adenium multiflorum Klotzsch. (Southern Africa, from Zambia south)
- Adenium obesum (Forssk.) Roem. & Schult.
- Adenium swazicum Stapf (Eastern South Africa)