Desert rose is native to tropical, subtropical, and desert regions of Africa. It
does not occur in North America, but it is popular as a house plant or bonsai.
Plants: Desert rose has a thick, swollen base that
tapers upward, producing several smooth branches. This is a drought deciduous evergreen,
meaning that is has leaves year-round, except in periods of extended drought. Then it drops
them to reduce water loss. Plants are 3-13' (1-4 m) in height.
Leaves: Leaves are succulent—thick, leathery, and water-retentive—and arranged
in spirals. They are obovate or elliptic, on short petioles. Each leaf is 3-4" (8-10 cm) × 1-1¼" (3-3.5 cm).
are tube-shaped, pink-to-red, opening into a five-petaled star 1½-2" (4-6 cm) in diameter.