Desert roses are extremely popular succulents that belong to the genus Adenium. Unlike typical succulents, Adenium plants grow to have a tree-like structure, making them popular both outdoors as specimen plants and indoors as decorative ornamentals! They are native to dry areas in sub-Saharan Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, lending them as houseplants or overwintered patio plants in cooler areas.
Luckily, desert roses are well-suited as bonsai trees, so even when they are grown indoors as small ornamentals, their showy trumpet-shaped blooms can still be enjoyed! These unusual plants are prized worldwide but are particularly popular in parts of Asia. In China, desert roses are known as wealth plants, said to bring wealth to their owner. On the other hand, in Thailand, they are a symbol of good luck!
Adenium flowers have been heavily cultivated worldwide, producing countless beautiful cultivars. Their flowers can be single, double, and fully double, as well as white, pink, red, purple, yellow, orange, almost black, and multi-colored. In cooler climates, they require a little extra care, but their delightful blooms make it well worth the extra effort!
Unique Desert Rose Varieties Every Gardener Should Know
#1 Adenium obesum
Adenium obesum is the most well-known desert rose flower. They typically have single, trumpet-shaped flowers that come in shades of red and pink, or more rarely white. These flowers can also sometimes boast a contrasting white central eye. In their natural habitat, A. obesum grows as tall as 9 feet, however, pot-bound individuals are usually a lot smaller and more manageable. This wonderful species has been heavily cultivated, and many beautiful cultivars exist! You can check our guide to learn how to care for desert roses.
#2 Amethyst (A. obesum)
Amethyst is a spectacular desert rose variety that will draw attention in any garden or home! It has striking fully double blooms that have pale lavender corollas with deep purple edging. Each petal is frilly-edged, and its rich color stands out against the green foliage.
#3 Arctic Snow (A. obesum)
This desert rose plant has beautiful 2-inch single flowers! Its trumpet-shaped blooms have a soft yellow inner throat and pure white petals with delicately crinkled edges. Arctic Snow will flower from an early age, making it a fantastic choice for small container gardens and bonsai!
#4 Arrogant (A. obesum)
Arrogant is the perfect desert rose variety to bring a splash of vibrant color into the garden or home! It produces masses of vivid scarlet single flowers with contrasting pale yellow inner throats ringed with magenta. These blooms can grow between 2 and 3 inches wide and stand out against the plant’s small, green leaves.
#5 Aurora (A. obesum)
The perfect variety for cottage-style, informal, or English-style gardens, Aurora has fully double, rose-like blooms, with noticeably pointed petals in its inner whorl. These flowers are a rich shade of buttery yellow that fades to soft peach towards the edge of their crinkled corollas.
#6 Baby Flame (A. obesum)
Baby Flame is a truly unique desert rose flower! This relatively new variety has single, trumped-shaped, starry flowers that grow as wide as 2.5 inches. These blooms have striking coloring, with white petals adorned with red veining, and contrasting yellow bases that extend to its inner throat. Each petal has a large, red central vein that runs from the tip to the inner throat. These central veins are surrounded by numerous smaller red veins.
#7 Beauty Cloud (A. obesum)
Beauty Cloud has single, 3-inch flowers with rounded, overlapping corollas. Its funnel-shaped blooms are bi-colored with pale pink petals “painted” with a raspberry pink central stripe that extends down its inner throat. These beautiful plants would work well as a specimen piece or look lovely in a cottage-style scheme!
#8 Black King (A. obesum)
This desert rose variety is particularly striking. It has deep purple almost black flowers with delicately frilled petal edges. Its velvety petals slightly overlap and have a vibrant red blotch at each petal base that contrasts nicely with its pale inner throat. Black King would work well as a specimen plant or surrounded by paler flowering plants to highlight its rich dark color.
#9 Black Romance (A. obesum)
True to its name, Black Romance is an extremely romantic desert rose flower that would look sensational in a cottage-style, traditional, or informal garden! This plant has rose-like double blooms with delicately frilled outer petals and a beautiful whorl of inner petals. Their corollas are bright red with dark crimson edges and pale pink to white bases. Black Romance is fairly disease-resistant and will grow well in a sunny area of the home.
#10 Double Bel-Air (A. obesum)
Double Bel-Air has starry double blooms and is a fantastic desert rose choice for bonsai. It has rich wine-colored petals that are decorated with a thin border of pure white along the petal edge. These bold plants are wonderful in cottage-style gardens alongside other cottage garden favorites such as peonies and roses!
#11 Double Black Steel (A. obesum)
Double Black Steel is a phenomenal plant with beautiful blooms that will demand attention in any garden or home! This desert rose cultivar has rose-like double flowers with corollas that are deep reddish-purple to almost black. They have lightly frilled outer petals and a rose-bud-like inner whorl.
#12 Double Citrine (A. obesum)
This brilliant and cheery desert rose plant is the perfect addition to any cottage-style patio or garden! It has double flowers which resemble roses, with rounded outer rays and an attractive inner whorl of petals. The corollas are buttery pale yellow with hot pink bases and a singular raspberry pink stripe on each petal. Grow it alongside other soft-colored desert roses or with peonies and roses.
#13 Double Ginger Anise (A. obesum)
A must-have for any tropical garden scheme, Double Ginger Anise has starry double blooms with pointed, ruffle-edged outer petals, and a small inner whorl of petals. What makes this desert rose type so striking is its peach-orange corollas that are decorated heavily with crimson veining and have coral petal edges.
#14 Double Golden Stripes (A. obesum)
Another wonderful addition to a tropical planting scheme, Double Golden Stripe is a bright and sunny desert rose cultivar! It has double starry blooms with ruffled inner petals. Its pointy corollas are sunshine yellow with a large contrasting central orange-red stripe running from base to tip.
#15 Double Purple Charms (A. obesum)
Double purple charm is a regal desert rose variety with sensational double blooms and rich purple color. Its flowers are starry with pointed outer petals and a beautiful whorl of inner petals. Each petal is icy white speckled with indigo, has an indigo central stripe, and indigo petal edges.
#16 Elegant Ballerina (A. obesum)
This dainty desert rose flower truly deserves the name Elegant Ballerina! Its single flowers have slightly overlapping, delicately frilled petal edges and delightful coloring. Each petal is cream, painted with pale pink and adorned with prominent crimson pink veining that extends down into its pale yellow throat. The trumpet-shaped blooms grow as wide as 2 inches and are borne in profusion during the blooming season.
#17 Garden Party (A. obesum)
Garden Party is a cheerful-looking Adenium variety with open-faced, trumpet-shaped flowers that can grow over 3 inches wide. These blooms have pure white corollas that have a central spattering of contrasting bright red, and yellow inner throats.
#18 Golden Carrot (A. obesum)
This fantastic A. obesum cultivar has elegant and showy fully double flowers. Each petal forms a sharp point at its tip and has slightly frilled petal edges. True to its name, Golden Carrot has golden-orange petals that are speckled with crimson, have crimson edges, and a crimson central stripe. The intensity and ratio of colors can vary with environmental conditions.
#19 Golden Millionaire (A. obesum)
Golden Millionaire is a stunning desert rose cultivar that has delightful rose-like flowers. Its fully double blooms have soft coloring making this desert rose look at home sitting in a cottage-style garden patio or on top of a coffee table indoors! The flowers have soft yellow petals decorated with a contrasting raspberry pink central stripe.
#20 Picotee (A. obesum)
Picotee is a striking and bold Adenium variety with single starry blooms. Its blooms are tubular, with each petal tapering off to a point at the tip. The corollas also have slightly frilled edges and can look slightly twisted in appearance. Picotee flowers have pale yellow inner throats, sometimes decorated with crimson pink vertical stripes, and crisp white petals that are painted with crimson pink along the petal edges!
#21 Star Cluster (A. obesum)
Star Cluster is a fantastic choice for an indoor bonsai or for adding a splash of vibrant color to patios, balconies, or courtyards! It has single, tubular blooms, with smooth-edged petals that curve back slightly. Their starry blooms are yellow, painted with deep red central markings that extend down into their inner throat.
#22 Super Noble Concubine (A. obesum)
This striking desert rose cultivar has large bold flowers that can reach up to 5 inches in diameter. These single, tubular blooms have open-faced rounded corolla with finely crinkled edges. Super Noble Concubine has pale yellow throats sometimes decorated with red vertical stripes and bright white petals that merge with its vivid red petal edges!
#23 The Peach (A. obesum)
The Peach is a wonderfully unique Adenium cultivar that produces numerous tubular-shaped pale peach single flowers. These blooms are peachy pink painted with soft pink and have contrasting deep red-orange inner throats. Its unique coloration would look simply stunning in a Japanese-style garden alongside pink and cream peonies!
#24 Adenium arabicum
Adenium arabicum is extremely similar in physical appearance and care needs to A. obesum. In their native habitat they can reach as tall as 16.4 feet, and when grown in pots have an extremely thick and short caudex. They flower between spring and fall, producing single, trumpet-shaped blooms in shades of red and pink!
#25 Adenium multiflorum
Adenium multiflorum is native to parts of tropical Africa and is a well-known Adenium species in South Africa. It grows up to 10 feet tall, has shiny brown to gray bark, and spends most of the year without leaves or flowers. It is a winter bloomer, producing vivid bi-colored, starry blooms in combinations of white, red, and pink.
#26 Beautiful Dreamer
This sensational hybrid cultivar would make a superb specimen piece in a cottage-style or traditional garden! Aptly named Beautiful Dreamer, this desert rose has large, fully double, rose-like flowers. Its petals are delicately frilled and are peachy-pink, with a raspberry pink central stripe and raspberry pink petal edges.
#27 Double Noble
Double Noble is a top choice for bringing a pop of color indoors or outdoors in patios and balconies! Its semi-double starry flowers have two layers of crisp white petals with hot pink edges.
#28 Good Night
Good Night is another stunning almost black desert rose variety! It has double rose-like flowers and extremely dark petals with a flash of bright red at the base and occasionally at the tips. However, in tropical conditions with 50% shade, this variety is entirely black with no red at all!
Pearl is an exquisite desert rose hybrid cultivar boasting large, fully double, rose-like flowers that appear intermittently from spring until fall! Its petals are pearl white with delicately crinkled, soft pink petal edges. Grow these wonderful plants indoors or outdoors in a container alongside peonies and roses in various shades of pink!
Logees, Desert Rose ‘Star Cluster’ (Adenium obesum)
NC State Extension, Sabi Star Adenium
South Africa National Biodiversity Institute, Adenium multiflorum
The Royal Horticultural Society, Adenium obesum