Dhofar – Adenium obesum.


From my book ‘Plants of Dhofar’  this is Adenium obesum (name corrected to ‘Obesum’ the error pointed out by  Spinosina – thanks. Mea culpa for not reading the whole description on page 30 of the book) more commonly known as Desert Rose.

A plant that was treated with fear and a lot of respect in days gone by: Snakes were believed to get their poison from it and getting close would result in painful eye inflammation if care was not taken. The sap from the bark was used for medicinal purposes as a topical salve for inflammation of joints or limb paralysis. It is poisonous if eaten by animals, so the sap could be used as a fish or arrow poison.

The person collecting this bark should carry something iron and pray out loud while approaching the plant,  strip the bark as quickly as possible then depart without looking back; never return to the same area until a reasonable period of time has passed.
The bark was  pounded then put in warm water to soak, a small piece of iron included in the mixture made it more powerful and stopped the ‘evil eye’ of malcontents or evil spirits interfering with it.

13 thoughts on “Dhofar – Adenium obesum.

    1. Many thanks,
      Early afternoon if I recall and yes contrast it always a problem here, especially in the summer months when there is only about an hour at dawn & again before dark, when colours aren’t bleached out and the dynamic range is not far above what film or digital can really tolerate even with a Nikon D800 or a C41 film.

    1. There is always beauty in the desert, it’s just that most people are never lucky enough to see it.
      My favourite time is at night when nothing can be heard and the stars are so bright.
      There are times when it will rain & the flora and fauna appear as if by magic.

  1. Wonderful that a rose grows from such a formidable looking bush.
    I have desert rose dinnerware that I eat off of everyday. I am now wondering why such a flower would be chosen given what is known about it’s powerful qualities. I will pray loudly as I approach my diner tonight!

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