Bosom Jade is a prolific bloomer yet the plant stays small. This also makes it a good bonsai subject! Like all Adenium obesum hybrids they are profuse flowerer's and do so from as young as 9-12 months.
Adenium are succulents that come from dry arid conditions on the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa. They develop large fat trunks (caudex) for water storage and can rival other plants and trees such as the baobab tree that also store water this way. In the wild they can become huge and very impressive over time.
One of the beauties of Adenium is that they develop a fat caudex very early - seed grown Adenium show definite thickening of the trunk from several months old and this continues quite rapidly. They also flower while quite small - frequently at 25 cm in size.
Blooming can occur at any time of the year although more normally in spring and summer. Flowers on Adenium obesum are normally a variegated red and white, sometimes yellow, although they can range from this to a solid attractive red to pink. Cultivated Adenium are now available in solid single colours from red to white. Some resulting from selective breeding and possibly hybridization. Blooms on young plants are dis proportionally large, frequently up to 5 or 6 cm in length with the fluted bell being up to a similar width.
This plant is from the family Apocynaceae, which includes other well known species such as Allamanda, Nerium oleander and Plumeria (Frangipani). Evergreen in tropical to sub-tropical climates they lose their leaves in winter in cooler more temperate climates. Leaves are somewhat fleshy medium to dark green, to 15 cm by 3 cm and appear in clumps at the ends of branches. The thick trunk can be anywhere from a slate grey to silvery green to light brown to ochre. Trunk development in Adenium is always distinctive with no two being alike. In some plants the growth is basically vertical with horizontal branching while in others branch growth can be predominantly horizontal from the top of the trunk giving the plant a spreading flat-topped form.
Adenium make excellent and highly individual flowering bonsai. They adapt well to pot culture and happily accept root pruning and shaping. You can progressively expose the caudex with each root prune.
It can be grown from either cuttings or seed but the best caudex growth comes from seed grown specimens. Seed germination and seedling propagation is relatively simple and straightforward as long as some simple rules are followed (these are covered in the Growing Instructions).
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