Adenia perrieri (Bottle Tree)

Scientific Name

Adenia perrieri Claverie

Common Names

Bottle Tree

Scientific Classification

Family: Passifloraceae
Genus: Adenia


Adenia perrieri is a climbing succulent with a caudex, up to 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter, that produces one or several green vines up to 10 feet (3 m) tall. The leaves are variable in shape and size, up to 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) long and up to 0.6 inch (1.5 cm) wide. There is a "snowflake" version of the typical leaves but with white spots on them. The flowers are small and greenish white.

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USDA hardiness zones 11a to 11b: from 40 °F (+4.4 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Adenias are summer growers and can be watered and fed regularly if planted in fast draining soil. Let the soil dry between watering if you are in a humid climate.

Most of your growth will be during the warm season and the plant will have the most leaves. The plant will also grow best with the leaves exposed to bright light, but the caudex shaded.

During the cool months protect the plant from frost to keep it alive. The plant normally rests during this period and water should be kept to a minimum. However, you can keep the plant active, if you can keep it above 50 °F (10 °C).

Their sap is poisonous, and they should be handled with caution, particularly when pruning.

Most cuttings do not produce a caudex so it is best to propagate by seeds. Adenias are either male or female so one of each is required to produce seeds.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Adenia.


Adenia perrieri is native to Madagascar.


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Adenia perrieri (Bottle Tree) - garden

Origin and Habitat: Adenia perrieri grows in sandy soil and on basalt rocks and Tsingy limestone pinacles in the Ambongo-Boina region. Madagascar.

Description: Adenia perrieri is a herbaceous climber growing up to 2 metres, occasionally to 3 metres long, arising from a tuberous rootstock (caudex). The rootstok serves as a water reservoir in times of drought, from it starts a short thin woody stem with one or several year green vining-like stems coming out of it with very lace-like deeply divided leaves in the spring. There is a popular a 'snowflake' version of the typical leaves but with white spots on them. This plant is definitely grown for its foliage, not the 'caudex'. The whole plant is glabrous.
Stems: The caudex is somewhat swollen and can grow to 20 centimetres in diameter and produces one or several year green vines that can reach a height of two or three metres.
Leaves: Variable in shape and size, 5-palmately dissected or divided, leaflets (segments) to 3.5cm long and 1.5cm wide. The leaf shape depends on the location. Places with natural vegetation and without bush fires have plants with the leaf segments being simple. In places where fires regularly occur, plants have leaf lobes that are deeply dissected
Flowers: Small greenish white. The filaments are inserted at or near the throat of the hyphanthium. The disc glands are absent.

Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Werner Rauh “Succulent and xerophytic plants of Madagascar”, Volume 1 Strawberry Press, 1995

Adenia perrieri Photo by: © Plantemania
Adenia perrieri water roots. Photo by: © Plantemania
Adenia perrieri Photo by: © Plantemania

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Cultivation and Propagation: Adenia perrieri is an interesting addition to a collection, but rarely seen in cultivation.
Growth rate: It grows well, though very slowly, but it possible to increase the speed of growth to some extent by providing adequate amount of water, warmth, and fertilizer during the active growing season, but it’s susceptible to rotting if too wet.
Exposure: It needs light shade, but the caudex should be in the shade, while the leaves prefer some sun. Avoid direct blasting sun in summer. Bright light if grown indoors.
Soil: In pots it needs a very porous potting medium (add pumice, vulcanite, and perlite). It does better in a rather acidic soil.
Waterings: Water frequently while plant is in full growth, but keep dry during the winter after the branches have died back. It rot easily and do NOT like a lot of water when it has no leaves.
Fertilizer: Benefits from moderate doses of a well-balanced, slow-release fertilizer.

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