Adenium oleifolium Stapf
Adenium oleifolium occurs in South Africa and extreme southern Botswana. It is the smallest species in the genus. The caudex is subterranean, the stems are scarcely succulent, and rarely reach a foot tall. Plants in cultivation have small flowers are usually pale pink, with yellow throats and prominent red nectar guides. The anther appendages are just shorter than the tube, or may be slightly exserted. Wild plants come in a wide range of sizes and colors from white through pink to dark red.
Plant and foliage of A. oleifolium. The plant is in a 6-inch pot and is about 6 years old.
Flower of A. oleifolium. Note the yellow throat and moderately long anther appendages.
A. oleifolium selected for darker flower color.
Three seed-grown plants of A. oleifolium, several years old. Nectar guides may extend partway onto the petals. Those of A. crispum usually extend much farther toward petal tips. The petals are often narrow, but not as quilled as those of A. crispum. Leaves of A. oleifolium are longer and narrower than those of A. crispum, and lack the white veins. Photos: David Palzkill.
Adenium oleifolium in the Wild
A population of A. oleifolium near Uppington, Northern Cape, South Africa. The flower collection at right shows some of the variation at this locality. Variable traits include flower size, petal color and width, presence and prominence of nectar guides, and length of anther appendages. The variation is much greater than in any other Adenium taxon that I know of. Photos: Dawie Human.