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ADENIUM CULTIVARS & HYBRIDS: CLASSIFICATION

The following classification system is a practical one and will work with all the cultivars that I am aware of at present. It envisages breaking up all Adenium selections into four broad GROUPS; these are based on species expression in the selection. Since the origin of most hybrids is not known, we can only do this based on outward characteristics or phenotype. Three main species are seen at work and all the others will fall into a "residual" fourth group.

Each GROUP has four CATEGORIES- these are determined by the main characteristic of horticultural interest for which the plant is being grown or can be differentiated by. For example, if an Adenium being grown for its flowers gives a variegated sport with equally good flowers, this variegated sport would still go into CATEGORY 2 - Leaf forms and not into CATEGORY 1- Flowers.

Each CATEGORY is subdivided into SUB-CATEGORIES which breaks up each characteristic that defines that category e.g. CATEGORY 1: FLOWERS (FL) is divided into seven SUB-CATEGORIES based on flower color.

This basic classification module is presented in the organization chart below.


Cultivar Code Box
Group

OB
Category

FL
Sub-Category

RD
Tag

OB-FL-RD-213

The boxes above represent the Cultivar Code that you will find on the top left of each Cultivar Sheet in the Cultivar Catalog. The first thee boxes represents specific characteristics of the Adenium selection as explained below. The TAG box at the end is a composite tag or label which will be unique for any particular selection and can be searched for through the Keyword Search option above.

1st Box: GROUPS

  • OB: Adenium obesum: The vast majority of cultivars and hybrids will fall into this group- in fact, unless a selection can be confidently placed in any of the remaining three groups, it would have to be put into Group AOB.

  • SW: Adenium swazicum- the most common species used in inter specific hybrids, the progeny are quite characteristic- short, tight anther tails; deeply colored corolla tubes (at least deep down); long, narrow slightly tomentose leaves, flower and inflorescence form and typical arrangement of newly opening leaves all identify A. swazicum blood in an Adenium selection.

  • SC: Adenium somalense var. crispum: another distinctive species being used a lot now. It shows its genes I the form of typical markings and venation in the flowers and often compact growth with narrow, bluish green leave with white veins. Flowers are usually small to medium in size and in clusters.

  • OT: the residual "Others" Group- this is where cultivars from other species such as A. arabicum, A. somalense var. somalense etc would go.

2nd Box: CATEGORY

    These are numbered 1 to 4:

  • FLOWERS (FL): the biggest category since Adeniums are mostly grown for their flowers.

  • LEAF FORMS (LF): for those Adeniums grown primarily for their leaves. In case a hybrid is grown for its flowers and its variegated leaf form is found, the leaf form will be designated to this category.

  • GROWTH FORMS (GF): Adeniums selected primarily for odd or different growth forms.

  • OTHERS (OT): residual category

3rd Box: SUB-CATEGORY

Flowers

Sub Categories:

  1. White (WH): Pure white flowers that do not show any hint of pink even after aging.
  2. Pastels (PA): lightly shaded flowers, mostly very light pinks. Any whites that show even slight hints of color are put here by default.
  3. Pinks (PK): relatively strong pinks- differentiation from the above is subjective.
  4. Reds (RD): obvious reds but again, problems are going to occur at the reddish pink-pinkish red interface. Maybe the RHS color chart will help.
  5. Purples (PU): flowers with a distinct purplish cast or color, again a subjective decision.
  6. Patterns (PT): these include all flowers with a distinct pattern- picotee, borders, stars etc. To be distinguished from flowers where the pattern is random, such as colored venation
  7. Other (OT): the residual sub category.

Leaf Forms:

Sub Categories:

  1. Variegation: Adeniums seem to present in a large number of variegated leaf forms, which will go here.
  2. Others: the residual category.

Growth Forms:

Sub Categories:

  1. Dwarfs: these are selections that are substantially more compact than the norm for that group, essentially genetic dwarfs like Khao Kae.
  2. Other: residual category.

4th Box : Tags

This is the TAG or label and contains a unique number, formed by the Group Acronym (AOB,ASW,ASC or AOT) followed by the Category and Sub-Category numbers, a dash and a unique number for that particular selection. Thus the number AOB FL RD-213 represents a selection of Adenium obesum, grown for its flowers, which are red and that this is selection number 213 for this subcategory.

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