Calotropis procera

(Click image to Enlarge)

Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

  • Botanical Name : Calotropis procera (Willd.) Dry and.Ex W. Ait.
  • Synonyms : Asclepias procera Willd.
  • Common Name : Aakdo, Nano Aakdo
  • Plant Family : Asclepiadaceae
  • Plant Form : Shrub
  • Occurrence (Sectors) : 1 - 30
  • Occurrence (Special Areas) : Gujarat Forestry Research Foundation, Indroda Park, Ayurvedic Udyan, Sarita Udyan, Van Chetana Kendra, Infocity, Basan

About Calotropis procera Plant :

  • Habit : A large shrub, much branched, contains milky latex.
  • Stem : Herbaceous, lower portions woody, aerial, erect, branched, cylindrical, solid, lower portions smooth, upper portions covered with woolly hairs, pale green, contains milky latex.
  • Leaves : Cauline and ramal, acute, hairy, woolly, unicostate reticulate, hermaphrodite, pentamerous, hypogynous and cyclic.
  • Inflorescence : Polychasial cymes.
  • Flowers :
    • Large, purplish, sometime white, not scented, bracteates, bracteolate, pedicellate, complete, actinomorphic, hermaphrodite, pentamerous, hypogynous and cyclic.
    • Calyx made up of 5 sepals, polysepalous, quincuncial.
    • Corolla made up of 5 petals, gamopetalous, twisted, coloured.
    • Stamens 5, united with the stigma to form gynostegium, each stamen is represented by two pollinia with their retinaculae.
    • The pollinia of the adjacent anthers are joined by their retinaculae to corpusculum in a groove, to form a unit known as translator.
    • A coronary outgrowth is present at the back of each stamen.
    • Carpels 2 distinct, ovaries free but upper portion of style and stigma are fused, superior, placentation marginal, ovules many per locule, stigmatic head pentagonal.
  • Fruit : Etaerio of follicles.
  • Flowering and Fruiting Time : Throughout the year.
  • Significance :
    • Fiber extracted from stem is made into cordage.
    • Floss from seeds is used as stuffing material.
    • Milky juice is used as an infanticide and abortifacient.
    • The leaves are insecticidal and are also used in fomentation.