Adenium obesum, more commonly known as the desert rose, is a flowering plant with bright red or pink flowers. Desert rose is native to countries south of the Sahara. In the United States, Adenium obesum is a house plant or, in warmer, dryer states, a garden plant. In Africa, hunters traditionally used the sap, bark and twigs of Adenium obesum to make a poison they applied to arrowheads. Adenium obesum by any other name is a highly dangerous member of the dogbane plant family.
The desert rose contains digitalis glycosides, which affect the heart. Symptoms of mild poisoning are likely to be vomiting and diarrhea. More serious signs include racing heartbeat, coldness, anorexia leading to a fatal heart attack. Because of the high toxicity of this plant, pet owners should avoid having it in the house or yard. Although the taste of the plant is unpleasant, it takes only small amounts to produce serious symptoms, according to Paws Dog Day Care. Emergency veterinary care is vital if your pup eats this plant.
- Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images