Calotropis gigantea

(Click image to Enlarge)

Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

  • Botanical Name : Calotropis gigantea (L.) Dryand.
  • Synonyms : Asclepias gigantea L.
  • Common Name : Safed Aakdo, Moto Aakdo
  • Plant Family : Asclepiadaceae
  • Plant Form : Shrub
  • Occurrence (Sectors) : 1, 2, 5
  • Occurrence (Special Areas) : Indroda Park, Ayurvedic Udyan

About Calotropis gigantea Plant :

  • Habit : A large shrub, much branched, gregarious, young branches covered with white, cottony hairs, contains milky latex.
  • Stem : Erect, branched, cylindrical, solid, contains milky latex.
  • Leaves : 4-8 inches long, decussate, obovate or elliptic-oblong, shortly acute, subsessile, cordate or often amplexical at the base.
  • Inflorescence : Umbellate cymes.
  • Flowers :
    • Large, white, not scented, peduncles arising between the petioles.
    • Flower-buds ovoid, angled, Calyx lobes 5, divided to the base, white, ovate; corolla broadly rotate, valvate, lobes 5, deltoid ovate, reflexed, coronate-appendages broad, obtusely 2-auricled below the rounded apex which is lower than the staminal-column.
    • Stamens 5, anthers short with membranous appendages, inflexed over the depressed apex of the pentagonal stigma.
    • Pollinium one in each cell, pendulous caudicles slender.
    • Carpels 2 distinct, styles 2, united to the single pentagular stigma, ovary 2-celled, ovules many.
  • Fruit : A pair of follicles with many, hairy seeds.
  • Flowering and Fruiting Time : November-April
  • Significance :
    • Common as weed in waste lands.
    • The root, bark and milk used in medicine for the treatment of dysentery cutaneous affections.
    • The leaves are applied on paralysed parts, painful joints.
    • The milk is useful in leprosy and ringworm.