Pachycauls, Caudiciforms, aka Fat Plants
There's no doubt, the most popular succulent/xerophtye plant group at present are the Fat Plants. I've been to several cacti and succulent plant shows over the past several years and the prevailing favorites on the show benches, with judges and public alike, are the plants with swollen stems and roots. Their popularity began rolling in 1987 when Gordon Rowley wrote his book, Caudiciform & Pachycaul Succulents. Today, they are THE plants to acquire, grow, and show. Alas, I have not joined the masses, as I only have two Fat Plants. However, to become one of the "in crowd" I hereby celebrate and show off one of my two.
This plant was a year old seedling sent to me from another C&S grower in a trade for some winter hardy cacti in 2010. It was listed as Adenium arabicum, but as I understand it, that species has larger, pubescent leaves, and the leaves on my plant are glossy and smooth, no trace of hair or fuzz. Irregardless of the correct name, it is a nice example of a fat plant, and one of only two I own; so I like it.
My fat adenium has been outside all summer where it receives seven hours of sun daily and whatever rain we receive. When rainfall is inadequate I water it. I bring it inside in the winter and it becomes a house plant. I never force it to go dormant but it does lose some leaves in the winter, however I believe this is more due to adjustment to light levels rather than it asking for a period of dormancy. I do like the swollen stem and the multiple branches. It's very picturesque and a nice addition to my collection of succulents. Will I add more fat plants? I doubt it. My space limitations continue to dampen the addition of any new plants, and when space matters you tend to look down on plants that are.......well.... fat.