|The garden in rain.|
I've taken time, also, to look at a few horticultural websites. However much one thinks one is familiar with the range of plants available or possible, there is always something to be surprised about. Today's revelation was the website of Siam Adenium, a Thai nursery specializing in the succulent genus Adenium (Apocynaceae). The five or so species are found in arid parts of Africa and Arabia and are all pretty much variations on a theme: the stems vary in obesity and the flowers in shape and colour, but are basically pink or white and pink. Siam Adenium has taken their breeding and selection to an extraordinary level of development, however, producing flowers in shades from yellow to almost black, some having bluish tints, and in a range of single and double flowers - an incredible achievement documented in full on their website, from which the two images below are taken.
|One of the new releases for 2011 from Siam Adenium|
I doubt that these exotic beauties will ever become very widely known here, but I'm sure that in the tropics they have a great future and I'd love to have the chance to see them at their best. I've been fortunate enough to see Adenium in Tanzania, Socotra and Yemen and it's always special to find, not only because it's a characterful plant with stumpy little branches emerging from a fat and often misshapen trunk, and hopefully a mass of flowers on top, but also because it is usually in joyously wild habitat - and I'd really prefer to think of Adenium as an untrammelled wild thing, not a pampered jade of Asia.
|With Adenium obesum in Yemen, 1999 (img: M. Zwaan)|