Meaning and Symbolism of Desert Rose

The desert rose, also known as Adenium Obesum, is a flowering plant in the Apocynaceae family. Desert rose is a succulent tree with thick leaves and swollen bases.Desert roses are a well-known and highly valued ornamental plants.

Native to Sub-Saharan Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, desert roses can survive in harsh arid climates. Desert roses, like all trees and flowers, have meaning and symbolism. Let’s take a look at what the desert rose means and symbolizes.

Desert Rose Meaning and Symbolism

The Desert rose is a one-of-a-kind plant with multiple meanings. The meaning and symbolism of this plant differ depending on culture and religion.

In Asian cultures, Adenium obesum represents wealth and abundance.

Adenium obesum is the Latin translation of the Arabic word oddaejn. Obesum is derived from the word obese, which refers to the plant’s swollen base!

Why is it known as the desert rose? The name desert rose refers to the tree’s ability to survive in arid environments, while rose simply refers to the color of the flowers.

The plant’s shape and ability to survive in harsh environments, however, serve as the central symbolism. The Desert Rose, in general, represents hope, resilience, and strength.

Although this lovely plant is typically associated with positive symbolism, its poisonous nature has led some cultures to associate it with death and delusions.

Desert Rose Color Meanings

Color meaning and symbolism in trees and flowers have always been important in every culture. As a result, the Desert Rose’s various shades, like all flowers, have different symbolic meanings. Let’s look at what the various colors of the desert rose mean?

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Red Desert Rose Color Meaning 

Red represents wealth in many Asian countries, including China and Thailand. As a result, red desert rose flowers are associated with wealth and prosperity. 

They make ideal gifts for someone starting something new, such as a business. 

Pink Desert Rose Color Meaning  

Pink is the most common color of the desert rose. Pink flowers are typically associated with femininity. However, this symbolism does not extend to pink desert rose flowers. Pink desert roses are associated with masculinity.

White Desert Rose Color Meaning 

White Desert Rose Meaning and Symbolism

White desert roses are associated with clarity, innocence, and new beginnings. They, like other white flowers, represent purity.

White Desert Roses are ideal gifts for someone about to embark on a new adventure because, among other things, they represent tranquility, rebirth, and calmness.

However, the meaning of the white desert rose is dependent on local culture. For example,in Buddhism, white desert roses represent purity, whereas in China, they represent loss and the unknown. White desert roses are symbolic of the spirit world in African communities.

Black Desert Rose Color Meaning

Black desert rose flowers do not yet have a meaning because they are new hybrids.

Spiritual Significance of Desert Rose 

The desert has a significant role in Buddhism. It is used to expel evil spirits in Buddhist meditations. Because of the swollen stem, it is also regarded as a fertility symbol in Buddhism.

Buddhists regard the desert rose as a flower of prosperity and wealth. The bulbous stem of the desert rose, which is often compared to Laughing Buddha’s big belly, is a symbol of abundance.

Significance of the Desert Rose in Feng Shui

The desert rose is an excellent feng shui plant and an excellent addition to any interior. Plants are thought to bring positive energy indoors and often represent growth in feng shui.

Because the desert rose symbolizes wealth and prosperity, choose a plant with a large stem. It is believed that doing so attracts fortune and good luck.

Significance of the Desert Rose in Chinese Spring Festival

The desert rose is heavily featured during the Chinese spring festival, also known as the Lunar New Year. The festival celebrates family reunions and is packed with colorful activities to usher in prosperity in the new year!

Cultural Significance of the Desert Rose

The desert rose has cultural overtones as well depending on different cultures. Here is what the desert rose means in different countries.


The desert rose is known as fu gui hua in China. Fu denotes attainment, GUI denotes majesty, and Hua denotes a flower. This loosely translates to a flower of abundance and wealth. This is where the desert rose’s main symbolism comes from. It is known as a wealth plant in China because they believe the larger the stem, the greater the wealth!


The desert rose is popular in India and is regarded as a symbol of good luck.


In Thailand, the desert rose is regarded as a plant of good energy. According to Thai folklore legends, planting the desert rose on Wednesday will provide you with more energy.


The desert rose is used as medicine in Oman. The plant’s stem, flowers, and leaves are combined, and the resulting concoction is used to treat sexually transmitted diseases. They also use the stem and root skin to treat skin diseases.


In Somalia, the plant is used to treat skin infections.


The white latex of the plant is toxic, and Kenyans use it to kill lice. The desert rose stem is crushed into powder and used to kill parasites in livestock.


The desert rose has medicinal properties in Nigeria. It is used to treat headaches, muscle pains, and skin conditions.

San Communities

Sub-Saharan African san communities are nomadic hunters and gatherers. They’ve discovered a way to use the toxins in the roots and latex in the stem to poison arrowheads during hunting trips.

Final Thoughts

The desert rose, scientifically known as adenium obesum, is a beautiful plant with deep meaning and symbolism derived primarily from its shape and ability to thrive in arid climates.

Flowers, too, have beautiful meanings. Different civilizations have used the plant to treat various ailments for generations. All parts of the plant are toxic to both pets and humans.

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