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The Desert Rose and Me: The perfect Love Affair

Updated on May 1, 2019

Several years ago I began a love affair with the Desert Rose. I have found this plant to be the most faithful, forgiving, and generous of all plants I own. It ignores the cold, it rarely asks for a drink, it constantly showers me with amazing flowers, what more could I ask from a loving liaison?

I was heartbroken after loosing my 6 year old beautiful Thai Crown of Thorns to a series of rainy days. As you may know this is a succulent plant that doesn't like a lot of water. The Thai Crown of Thorns is a larger specimen -there are many varieties- that grows bigger and more striking flowers than the common Crown of Thorns. I was captivated by the juxtaposition of the woody and thorny branches and the gorgeous orange blossoms next to the tear-shaped dark green foliage.

I found the Desert Rose to simulate this quality, which is probably what attracted me immediately to my first one. So the Desert Rose became my rebound plant, with similar attributes to the Crown of Thorns, but appearing a little more resilient, more long lasting. It was love at first glimpse. This was the perfect plant for me, and perhaps I could have more than one... It was too perfect not to.

Beautiful pink flower desert rose I own
Beautiful pink flower desert rose I own | Source

The Perfect Plant, The Desert Rose

There are rarely things that we can call perfect. Perfection is a subjective illusion in our minds. Everyone has different things they consider perfect. At the same time we always hear the say, nothing is perfect. Perfection is a goal that people like me are always trying to achieve in the little things we do. But of course it is too often unattainable; I think it is the journey to perfection that is perfect and worth savoring. What else can be perfect I sometimes wonder: a beautiful sunset, a colorful rainbow, a gorgeous waterfall; nature.

The Cascades, in Pembroke - VA
The Cascades, in Pembroke - VA

Nature at its Best

Nature is a force that has an incredible ability to give us pieces of perfection worth our admiration and delight. Even though nature can be cruel and destructive at times, it is an uncontrollable force that we can only observe happening. It is unpredictable, it always has a purpose, and it is perfect in its own way.

The Desert Rose is an astonishing example of Nature's perfection. How this plant survives in the scalding heat and inhospitable conditions of the deserts of Africa, holding water -like a camel- in its bulky trunk- for later use in the driest months, and managing to give us beautiful bright colored blooms? it is perfection at its best.

Two of my favorite desert roses by my pool
Two of my favorite desert roses by my pool

This plant is an Inspiration

I wanted to write an article about this magnificent specimen a long time ago. I did a lot of research on the history and specifications of the plant, and recommendations on how to grow them and care for them. But now, all this information seems cold and too obvious. You can find it in many reputable websites across the internet.

I decided to write from the heart, instead of an uninspiring summary of data about the plant, I wrote a poem. It transported to my youth when poetry writing was a common activity of mine, maybe the pursuit is calling me again...

Desert Rose in its Natural Habitat
Desert Rose in its Natural Habitat | Source

A Poem, Desert Rose

In the midst of the wind-shaped sand…
An oddly broad stalk stands high and proud 
Appearing strong and inexplicable, 
Masked in a swollen shell of secrets

Its magical flowers unpredictable…
Such a beauty it derives
From a stalky rocky egotistic trunk
That simulates to be unoccupied
Without a purpose, without a reason
In the midst of the wind-shaped sand…
This stalky trunk commits at last
To unveil the brightest bell-shaped riddles
That tell a story of brilliant miracles:
A rock is tender, a tree mysterious, 
A desert rose; somewhat ambiguous…

© 2018 Laura Grace


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