Calotropis gigantea

<< Previous | Next >>
toggle captions

Name and publication

Calotropis gigantea (L.) W. T. Aiton, Hortus kew. Ed. 2, 2: 78 (1811).

Description

Giant milk-weed bears a follicle 2.5-12 cm long, balloon-like, filled with many seeds attached to a “parachute” of fine, silky fibers. In the potpourri trade, the fruits are known as “land lotus petals” or “trevo leaves.”

Nativity and distribution

Calotropis gigantea is native to Iran, China, the Indian Subcontinent, Indo-China, and Malesia and widely cultivated for the seed fibers, used like kapok, and the fibrous bark, used in textiles, fishing nets, and bowstrings. To a lesser extent, C. procera (Aiton) W. T. Aiton of Africa and Asia, is also used similarly.

Family

Asclepiadaceae, also placed in Apocynaceae

Synonymy

Asclepias gigantea L.