Calotropis procera (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Calotropis procera (Aiton) Aiton f.

Protologue: Hort. kew. 2, 2: 78 (1810).


Asclepias procera Aiton (1789).

Vernacular names

  • Apple of Sodom, rubberbush, calotropis (En). Calotrope (Fr)
  • Laos: kok may, dok kap, dok hak
  • Vietnam: bồng bồng, lá nhỏ.


From tropical and subtropical Africa, through Saudi-Arabia and the Middle East to the Indian subcontinent, Indo-China and Thailand, and introduced in drier areas of Australia, Central and South America and the Mascarene Islands. Probably also introduced or spread to South-East Asia.


In Africa and India, the latex is used as a rubefacient and to extract guinea worms. The dried root bark is used in a soup to treat colic and as a stomachic. The burnt root is made into an ointment for skin eruptions and ulcers.


A large erect shrub up to 4 m tall, stems much branched at the base; leaves oblong-obovate to broadly obovate, 9-15 cm × 5-10 cm, sessile; cymes 4-10 cm in diameter, peduncle 5-8.5 cm long, pedicel 1.5-4 cm long, calyx lobes ovate-lanceolate, 5-6 mm × 3-4 mm, corolla 2.5 cm in diameter, lobes ovate-lanceolate, 6-8 mm × 4-5 mm, cream or greenish-white at the base and purple-violet towards the tip of the lobes, corona with 5 broad scales, adnate to and equalling or longer than the staminal column, basal horn incurved, bifid, without auricles, cream coloured, glabrous; follicles often in pairs, subglobose to obliquely ovoid, inflated, 6-12.5 cm × 3-7 cm. C. procera is common in semi-arid conditions on sandy soils, and a weed in cropped land.

Selected sources

38, 66, 92, 185, 249, 255, 532, 572, 683, 696, 760, 788, 891, 973.


R. Kiew