Adenium, Desert Rose, Sabi Star, Kudu

Hazard Information

Route:  Skin/Ingestion     Plant Part: Sap

Scale: High

Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, irregular heart rate,

Pale and cold extremities, tremors, drowsiness. More severe effects can include seizures, collapse and coma leading to death. Skin effects are irritation, eye inflammation, allergic reactions.



Common Name)

Adenium, Desert Rose, Sabi Star, Kudu

Latin Name (genus)

Adenium obesum


It is an evergreen succulent shrub in tropical climates and semi-deciduous to deciduous in colder climates, is also dependent on the subspecies or cultivar. Growing to 13 m in height, with pachycaul stems and a stout, swollen basal caudex. The leaves are spirally arranged, clustered toward the tips of the shoots, simple entire, leathery in texture, 515 cm long and 18 cm broad. The flowers are tubular, 25 cm long, with the outer portion 46 cm diameter with five petals. The flowers tend to red and pink, often with a whitish blush outward of the throat.


The plant exudes a highly toxic sap



Ingestion can cause both gastrointestinal and cardiac effects. The gastrointestinal effects can consist of nausea and vomiting, excess salivation, abdominal pain, diarrhea that may or may not contain blood. Cardiac reactions consist of irregular heart rate, sometimes characterized by a racing heart at first that then slows to below normal further along in the reaction. The heart may also beat erratically with no sign of a specific rhythm. Extremities may become pale and cold due to poor or irregular circulation. Reactions to poisonings from this plant can also affect the central nervous system. These symptoms can include drowsiness, tremors or shaking of the muscles, seizures, collapse, and even coma that can lead to death.

Oleander sap can cause skin irritations, severe eye inflammation and irritation, and allergy reactions characterized by dermatitis


Flowering Period

May - August


Tropical gardens & centres.