Adenium socotranum - Socotra Desert Rose - Exotic Succulent / Bonsai - 5 Seeds

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This subspecies of Adenium obesum is only found on Socotra, the largest island in an isolated archipelago of the Republic of Yemen located south of the Arabian Peninsula in the Indian Ocean.  The island has a dry desert climate with strong monsoonal winds.  Most the island consists of limestone and its soils are infertile, clayey and alkaline.  The plant grows in gravelly, well-drained soil and limestone rock formations.  It is widespread on the plains and limestone plateau, and often abundant in on rocky foothills and escarpments.  It is found at sea-level and into semi-deciduous woodland at higher altitudes on the hills.

Adenium socotranum is the largest member of the Adenium genus and known for its bizarre appearance.  Mature plants growing in the wild typically have an enormous pachycaul trunk, and a few short branches extending from the top of the plant with sparse vegetation. (The word ‘pachycaul’ is derived from the Greek: pachy- meaning thick or stout, and Latin caulis- meaning the stem). The wild form of the plant varies with differences in wind patterns and other local conditions at the areas on the island where it grows. Minimal waxy leaves and the greatly reduced surface to volume ratio resulting from the globular or columnar shape of the plant minimizes water transpiration.

The plant has the capacity to store large amounts of water in the caudex between infrequent rains and fog events.  The poisonous, latex-like sap discourages predation.

A sap cycling system within the caudex prevents overheating and micro-anatomical epidermal protrusions reflect solar radiation.

Socotra roses are very slow growing, and mature plants in the wild may be several hundred years old.  In cultivation, our seedlings have reached a maximum height of about one meter after several years.  Seedling growth rates are highly variable under identical growing conditions and most our specimens of this age are much shorter. Leaves are arranged in dense terminal rosettes. 

Caudices.  The most prominent feature of the plant is its above ground caudex that can grow up to 2.5m in diameter and 3.5m high in the wild.  Caudices of immature plants in cultivation are typically conical but globular forms are also common.  The caudex has vertical striations of varying intensity.   Unlike related species of Adenium, the seedlings begin development of the caudex early and as the seedlings reach about 10cm in height the caudex is predominant and comprises the bulk of the plant.

USDA Zone - 10 - 11

Season to Sow - Spring