ISI 2010-8. Adenium ‘Fat Guys’ G. Joseph

Mark Dimmitt, coauthor of the 2009 book Adenium: sculptural elegance, floral extravagance, admits that he, like most other hybridizers working with this genus, have focused on floral characteristics, often at the expense of the other great attraction of these plants, namely their caudiciform tendencies. “That is another avenue to pursue”, Mark acknowledged during his presentation at the CSSA Convention in Tucson in April, 2009. Co-author Gene Joseph, of Plants for the Southwest nursery, has been walking down this other path for some time. While there is still room for further hybridization and selection, this offering is a good beginning by those with considerable insight into the potential of this genus. This cultivar consists of F1 hybrids, and some F2s, the unifying feature being that they develop fat, well-branched specimens.

The F1 parents came from Mark Dimmitt and are MAD 179, Adenium ‘Hansoti Dwarf’ and MAD 262, Adenium ‘Ram Ghandi’. According to Dimmitt, MAD 179 is “a slow-growing plant with a pronounced winter dormancy. It flowers profusely in the spring for two to three months; the flowers are good-sized, round, and light red, darker than most A. arabicum”. About MAD 262, he says it “is a more compact A. arabicum that I named ‘Ram Ghandi’ after the seed source. It flowers very heavily in spring”. Finally, about the hybrid, Dimmitt states: “Offspring of these two clones produce uniformly compact plants that grow more slowly than standard A. arabicum. Caudex development is good, usually with profuse basal branching. Flowers tend to be darker than typical A. arabicum”. While the flowers of these adeniums are as typically gorgeous as any, as of this writing Gene Joseph does not have any photos of the plants in flower. “I was overly impressed with the stems”, he confesses.

Vegetative propagation of selected clones is a very lengthy process with adeniums. Therefore, it seems expedient to distribute Adenium ‘Fat Guys’ as a strain selected and named by Gene Joseph for its uniformly adorable baby-fat; seedlings form a plump caudex in no time and just get fatter as they mature. They can serve as specimens worthy of any succulent collection and, for those who’d like to carry on the work, seed-stock for the next generation of “fat guys”. HBG 93163, $10.

Photo © 2010 by Gene Joseph. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 82 (2), March - April, 2010