Calotropis procera

Calotropis procera (Aiton) Dryand

Common Names: Giant Milk Weed, Wild Down, Wild Cotton, St. Thomas Bush

Family: Apocynaceae

Habit: Calotropis procera grows as a glabrous or pubescent, shrub to small tree up to 6 m in height.  The leaves are oppositely arranged to 30 cm, obovate to suborbicular, with an entire margin and acuminate leaf apex. Young leaves with white pubescence losing it as the leaf ages.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in axillary cymes. The calyx has 5 unfused, inside purple sepals. The corolla has 5 pubescent, fused, purple inside and green white outside, petals. There are 5 unfused stamens. Within the flower there are appendages (crown) that arise from the corolla. The superior ovary has 2 locules with many ovules.  The fruit is a swollen follicle at maturity.

Habitat: Calotropis procera grows in Human Altered environments (yards and old fields).

Distribution: Calotropis procera is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago but does occur throughout the islands. It is native to dry tropical Asia and Africa but is widespread in western hemisphere tropic and subtropical countries.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Calotropis procera is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.

It is used as an ornamental in yards.

The milky sap is toxic!