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Milkweed, Bowstring hemp, Mandar, bowstring hemp, crown flower, giant calotrope, giant milkweed, swallow-wort • Bengali: আকন্দ aakanda • Hindi: अर्क arka, सफ़ैद आक safed aak • Malayalam: ചുവന്നഎരിക്ക് chuvannaerikk, വെള്ളെരിക്ക് vellerikk • Manipuri: অংকোত angkot • Marathi: अर्क arka, अर्की arki, रुई rui, रुइटी ruiti • Sanskrit: alarka, अर्क arka, अर्की arki, हृस्वअग्निः hrasvagnih, सदापुष्प sadapushpa • Tamil: எருக்கு erukku, மலையெருக்கு malaiyerukku • Telugu: జిల్లేడి పువ్వు jilledi puvvu, జిల్లేడు jilledu, నల్లజిల్లేడు nallajilledu, ఉచ్చింత uccinta, ఉచ్చిత uchchinta;
.
   It’s bark & root are used as medicine for dysentry, its tincture of leaves are used for curing fever, it’s latex which is highly poisonous is used as purgative. Also when thorn entered to foot after removing the thorn its milk applied to reduce the pain;
   The leaves, root, bark and milky latex is used in traditional medicine. It is used in some ayurveda preparations for hair related treatment, used in preparing medicine for snake bite. Due to its toxicity the latex was used to make poison arrows;  
   On old threads of Calatropis as written the garland of leaves is offered to god Maruti or Hanuman. Today is Ramnavami. After six days will be Hanuman Jayanti. When we can see all temples flooded with calatropis/ rui. The calatropis which produce white flowers not with purple shade is called Mandar. Loved by lord Ganesha;
In Southern India especially Tamil Nadu , the flowers are offered to Lord Ganesha during the Ganesha festival as well as in the pullaiyar koils (temple)..;
   In Western and Central, northern Part of India leaves are offered to lord hanuman and on Saturday people make garland offered. You see near Hanuman Temple. The White variety of Calotropis gigantea (L.) is used in religious matter;
   Its also a plant of 21 Ganesh-patri of Lord Ganesha, so also offered to Lord Ganesha too;
The floater for the seed is as soft as silk cotton, and often used in pillows;
The caterpillar of Plain Tiger feeds on flower bud as well;
.
Differences:
C. procera: Flower buds subglobose; corolla 1.5-2 cm across; lobes broadly ovate or ovate-triangular, 0.7-1 cm long; corona lobes equalling or exceeding gynostegium, straight on back above spur; apex bifid without auricles.
C. gigantea: Flower buds cylindrical; corolla 2.5-3.5 cm across; lobes long ovate or oblong, 1-1.5 cm long, reflexed; corona lobes shorter than gynostegium, curved on back above spur; apex rounded with two auricles.
.
Keys:
The corona highly elevated like a pyramid sometimes even above the petals…..C.gigantea.
Petals high above the corona which is near bottom of the flower…………………..C. procera
.
Flower buds like “modak” (during Ganesha festival, modaks are made) – C. gigantea
Flower buds like “pedha”. (I am sure every one knows the shape of Pedha) ………….C. procera
.

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Calotropis giganteaFlower close up of Calotropis gigantea from our farm.


Beautiful capture of this flower. The pollinia are clearly seen.


Nice photographs !!! These are some of mine.


Yes … I too have seen Carpenter bee foraging nectar (?) or some floral exudate that resulted in pollination.
Visitation of small bees and butterflies (rare) would not help in pollination in this case.
The caterpillar of Plain Tiger feeds on flower bud as well.


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Calotropis gigantea Calotropis gigantea (Family: Asclepiadaceae) at Dehri (Murbad region, Maharashtra). (Seeds)


In saudi Arabia, Calotropis gigantea is a small tree



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Hooghly : Calotropis gigantea (L.) W. T. Aiton :  Attachments (6).  7 posts by 4 authors.
This seems to be the white variety of Calotropis gigantea (L.) W. T. Aiton.
The purple variety is very common can spread in wild. Usually white variety plants are planted.

This is SWET AAKANDA in Bengali


Yes … Nice photographs


This is a rare variety. Flowers are usually light blue in colour, but here it is white?


In North India this variety is very common


Thank you …, here the lilac/purplish variety is more common.


This white variety is commonly planted in rural home yards, for its medicinal properties. Flora Indica informs, “URKA is the Sanskrit name of the lilac variety and Ulurka the name of white.”



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Calotropis gigantea—-for sharing and validation : 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (2)

Pic taken at ambyvalley rd., lonavala, pune in march14.


Yes …, the flowers and fruit imply this to be Calotropis gigantea ..



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SYMBIOSIS : 759 : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (1)

Attaching an image of a Carpenter Bee on the flowers of Calotropis gigantea.This species had white flowers.



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SYMBIOSIS : 760 : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (1)

Attaching an image of a Carpenter Bee on the flowers of Calotropis gigantea (in this case the flowers are of lavender colour.



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SYMBIOSIS : 763 : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (1)

Attaching an image of a Plain Tiger butterfly on the flowers of Calotropis gigantea.



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CALOTROPIS GIGANTEA : HOST PLANT FOR PLAIN TIGER BUTTERFLY : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (16)

 I started observing activities of Plain Tiger butterfly on Calotropis gigantea (AK/ ARKA/ AKANDA ) 28-3-2015. I located larvae of different stages and waiting to see pupa and then butterfly to emerge. But I could not find a single pupa in the entire area. Next I took 3 larvae to my residence along with branches of the host plant. The larvae grew in my presence and they pupated in due course of time. A Plain Tiger butterfly emerged only from one pupa. I made the following observations during 28-3-2015 to 28-4-2015.

( a ) Larvae of Plain Tiger butterfly are eaten by ants.
( b ) Newly formed pupa is attacked by ants.
( c) Butterflies don’t emerge from all pupa.
The life cycle of Plain Tiger butterfly is depicted in 16 images which are self explanatory.


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Hooghly-skMAY08/09 Calotropis gigantea (L.) W.T.Aiton : 2 posts by 1 author. Attachments (4)

What should be accepted name (1) Calotropis gigantea (L.) W.T.Aiton (2) Calotropis gigantea (L.) Dryand.?


Calotropis gigantea (L.) W.T.Aiton should be the correct citation as IPNI cites the only one reference once. Is it is possible to provide Dryand reference with year. Aiton made combination in 1811.



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Dark purple flowers of Calotropis gigantea : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (2)
I observed a Calotropis gigantea shrub with very dark flowers from Marsur area of Anekal Taluk, Bengaluru.


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Calotropis gigantea : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (1)
Name of species-        Calotropis gigantea
Common Name-         Milkweed, Swet Ark
Family-                       Apocynaceae
Photo taken on-         12 July, 2008
At-                             Sadashiv jyotirling, Kukas, Jaipur, Rajasthan
Description-        Dry leaf powder used for treating wounds and boils. leaves found to be effective on elephantiasis. flowers along with jaggery are useful against cough and improving appetite. the mixture of latex, turmeric and sesame oil, useful in treating scabies. Leaves and flowers used for worshiping lord Hanuman.
position : Very common



Images by tspkumar

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It is my pleasure to share few images of Calotropis gigantea (Apocynaceae 

Habit: Shrub 

Habitat: Waste land 

Sighting: Chikmagalur and Tumkur, Karnataka, about 1000 msl and 800 msl 

Date: 29-05-2014, 06-09-2014, 08-12-2014 and 10-08-2015



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Calotropis gigantea (L.) W. T. Aiton (accepted name) : 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (2)
Location: Biratnagar, Nepal 

Date : 8 May 2013

Altitude : 260 ft.
Nepali Name : आँक Aank 


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Calotropis gigantea ABMAR2017/02 : 2 posts by 2 authors. 6 images.
This again is from my recent trip to Andhra Pradesh. I believe this is the Giant Milkweed, Calotropis gigantea. Please correct me if I am wrong.
Calotropis giganteaGiant Milweed, Aak
Madanapalle, Andhra Pradesh,
25 Feb. 2017

I think you are right.



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CALOTROPIS : HOST PLANT FOR PLAIN TIGER BUTTERFLY : 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (2)

Attaching two collages. In the first one images of Calotropis gigantia and Calotropis procera (host plant for PLAIN TIGER) are there along with images of larva and a pupa. The second collage depicts the journey of a larva to pupa. There are three pupa in our house at present, in case butterflies emerges in due course, I will upload.


Superb collage.

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Fwd: LIFE CYCLE : PLAIN TIGER : 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (3)

In continuation to the earlier upload (Calotropis : Host plant for Plain Tiger). Butterfly is released from one of the pupa. Uploading in the form of a collage.

For ready reference two more relevant collages are also uploaded.

wonderful


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Calotropis gigantea (L.) Dryand. ??? : 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (2)
Location: Kolkata, India
Date: 8 September 2017
Elevation : 25 ft.

Very common in waste places.

Thanks, … I also agree.



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TMC Biodiversity Park  Thane

Date: April 15, 2018 … Altitude: about 15 m (50 feet) asl
Calotropis gigantea  (L.) Dryand.



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at Honeymoon Island, Chilika. Feb. 2008; On 15/6/08 in Hyderabad, AP; On 20/7/08 in Hyderabad, AP; on 9.5.09- Yamuna Bio diversity park, Delhi; 20-06-2010: Bhaje Caves, Lonavala region; West Bengal– Aug’10; A Calotropis – indiantreepix | Google Groups Giant milkweed – indiantreepix | Google Groups
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Sharing.. Beauty of seed dispersion Stages 09042011 PJ1: Pl find attached Riped Calotropis gigantea (Asclepiadaceae family). Photographed by me during August 2009 in Kaiga. (Ready for dispersion stage 1,2,3,4&5) . It’s bark & root are used as medicine for dysentry, its tincture of leaves are used for curing fever, it’s latex which is highly poisonous is used as purgative. Also when thorn entered to foot after removing the thorn its milk applied to reduce the pain.


– Awesome picture .., at the first look I thought it was a bird!!


– The floater for the seed is as soft as silk cotton, and often used in pillows.


– when reading “silk cotton, and often used in pillows” a question came to my mind. Is it the same as Shevari (Marathi)?


– … indeed yes, …


– In that case i think, it has some medicinal value. I remember, my grandmother had a pillow with Shevari. I don’t remember any more, what is the effect of this pillow. perhaps someone knows more.


– I doubt about this silk cotton for pillows. Sewaricha means that from SAWAR or true silk cotton either Ceiba pentandra or Bombax ceiba


– ..’s query of “sewari cha kapus” may have sprung up looking at the posted “rui cha kapus“.


– I don’t think the silk cotton of Calotropis gigantea or C. procera are widely used for making pillows instead the silk cotton of Bombax ceiba and B. malabarica and off course Gossypium hirutum and other species of
Gossypium are frequently used for making piloows and cushins. Yes medicinal values of  Calotropis gigantea or C. procera are much talked  about and these plants are used by villagers as medicinal plants.


Rui (Calotropis gigantea) is not same as Shevari OR Savar (Bombax ceiba, Bombax insigne, Ceiba pentandra)  

About their use in pillows:
Bombax ceibaShevari (silk-cotton) is used tor certain to stuff pillows
Calotropis giganteaRui is also used
Other friends may throw more light on this subject.
    Photos in my flickr photostream:
Rui
Calotropis gigantea: Flickr
Lal Savar, OR Savar
Bombax ceiba: Flickr
Dev Savar
Bombax insigne: Flickr
Safet Savar
Ceiba pentandra: Flickr

    Why this silk-cotton (shevari) is used for pillows ?
One of the reason could be:
… it does not absorb moisture easily … needs validation
… it does not form lumps or knots … regular cotton (Gossypium) has greater tendency to knot … needs validation.


As per my knowledge the silk cotton tree is sawar or sewari. The cotton of it is called as sewari cha kapus. Not only pillows but even beds were made with it. If you have seen the capsule/ fruit of this tree open you also will be able to see the amount of cotton produced and can get the feel too.
If I am not mistaken it has coolent effect as well as very soft hence silk cotton.
Rui is calatropis which has the cotton called Mhatari. Do you remember? We use to run behind these Mhataries\ old ladies to catch them. You can also see the quantity of cotton produced by each capsule. Rui or calatropis is mainly known for the medicinal values given on the thread. On old threads of Calatropis as written the garland of leaves is offered to god Maruti or Hanuman. Today is Ramnavami. After six days will be Hanuman Jayanti. When we can see all temples flooded with calatropis/ rui. The calatropis which produce white flowers not with purple shade is called Mandar. Loved by lord Ganesha.


– In Bremen university there is a parkway and in late summer, the whole area is white with cotton of these trees. Everytime when I went along this way I used to think of sevari and the pillow of my grandmother. I don’t go to the university regularly anymore. At present the trees are just getting new leaves. But I shall try to take fotos of those trees to find out what these trees are.

    … had listen down why he likes this group. I like this group because every day I find myself for a couple of hours in India, and I enjoy my stay there.


– My above  photos were shot in a span of  30 days to capture all the stages of the fruit that grew into a full pod, ripened and crack open to set the seeds afloat…. I never imagined that the seed dispersion topic would become such a wonderful subject for discussion.
Thank you all those who replied for my posting. I could not reply individually as i was attending workshop on “COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION ON BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION” also I have exhibited around 460 photographs  of nature & wild life on the invitation of DEPARTMENT OF BIOSCIENCES  MANGALORE UNIVERSITY inaugurated by Prof. M. Abdul Rahiman former VC Kannur & Calicut University , Prof. T.C.Shivashankar Murthy , Hon. VC Mangalore University , Former VC of Kuvempu University & many professionals of zoology, botany etc..  . Even the seed dispersion photo was a center of attraction. Pls find attached photos of above event.



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Calotropis gigantea from Bel pattar Haerbal garden Samalkha Panipat: Calotropis gigantea
From Herbal garden Samalkha Panipat

ome author treat this as var. alba (white flowers)


I think old thread should exist on it. As in Marathi it is called Mandar, loved by Lord Ganesha.


In Southern India especially Tamil Nadu , the flowers are offered to Lord Ganesha during the Ganesha festival as well as in the pullaiyar koils (temple)..


Yes .. But as per theplantlist.org Calotropis gigantean (L.) Dryand. is an accepted <http://www.theplantlist.org/about/#accepted> name

Its individual perception,


I think the first line of my mail was to be considered.
I had written that old thread should exist. Because I remember the discussion on the group of white and purple colour flower Calatropis. Latter a whole series of fruit dehiscence also appeared on the group.
Whether to offer to any god is our perseption. But I was more focused on prior scientific discussion.
Sorry the discussion got washed away from the main thread.
Anyway the photographs of the flowers sent by you are really good.


But in Western  and Central, northern Part of India leaves are offered to lord hanuman and on Saturday people make garland offered. You see near  Hanuman Temple. The White variety of Calotropis gigantea (L.) is used in religious matter.

you have written about leaves of Rui Calatropis??es leaves are offered to Lord Hanumana.
What I HAD WRITTEN WAS ABOUT MANDAR
It is the variety? of Calatropis producing the white flowers. The white flowers are offered to Lord Ganesha!


May be, but I have not seen or heard about offering white flowers to Ganesha. May be in South the custom may be.


It is a medicinal plant too. The leaves, root, bark and milky latex is used in traditional medicine. It is used in some ayurveda preparations for hair related treatment, used in preparing medicine for snake bite. Due to its toxicity the latex was used to make poison arrows.


please dont confuse yourself with Local names, i think in Marathi it is called as Rui, whereas in Sanskrit or Hindi its Mandar or Arkapatra In many states, leaves are offered to Lord Hanumana
Its also a plant of 21 Ganesh-patri of Lord Ganesha, so also offered to Lord Ganesha too

local name in jharkhand is aak or aakwan
medicinal uses but latex is highly toxic so pls use with precaution & safe of eyes.
nice photograph


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Calotropis gigantea: I am a research scholar and want to collect flowers of calotropis gigantea flowers for my study. Can you please tell me the place from where i can get them in large quantity so that my work can be easily started.


I stay in delhi, would be thankful if you can define place nearby where i can get the flowers.


HOW MANY defines your larger quantity?
one source is flower market… esp during thursday and monday when Shiv Bhagwan puja happens traditionally…
Dry arid roadsides and countrysides are full of them where the apartment building boom has not destroyed the local wild flora and then some farms where puja flowers are grown commercially are good starting places to start your search …
near Delhi, I would think, you should have a lot of dry arid places, roadsides where any unemployed person could be trained to collect them for you…. I imagine.. like the so called wild-crafters employed by Ayurvedic herb dealers…
hope this gives some food for thought? and useful ideas…



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Calotropis gigantea@Devbagh: Calotropis gigantea
I couldn’t resist capturing this beautiful Rui flower here at Devbagh a fortnight back.


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Calotropis species: I have dug out differences between two species of Calotropis C. procera and C. gigantea, often confused. I am also uploading the photographs to compare.
C. procera: Flower buds subglobose; corolla 1.5-2 cm across; lobes broadly ovate or ovate-triangular, 0.7-1 cm long; corona lobes equalling or exceeding gynostegium, straight on back above spur; apex bifid without auricles.
C. gigantea: Flower buds cylindrical; corolla 2.5-3.5 cm across; lobes long ovate or oblong, 1-1.5 cm long, reflexed; corona lobes shorter than gynostegium, curved on back above spur; apex rounded with two auricles.

I am uploading my photographs.


Calotropis gigantea is also found in the color shade of violet (like that of C. procera).

Yes both colours are met in C. gigantea. That is the reason I did not mention colour in the key.


Yes …. one point i want to share.. C. gigantea can be found quite commonly in Mumbai areas. i used to wonder and search for the other species ie. C. procera in the same area during my Research period, but when i came to Pune, i could found quite number of C. procera. it was also observed at Ahmednagar, Beed, Aurangabad, Akola, and other parts of Maharashtra (but in these areas C. gigantea is comparatively lesser than C. procera).


hey forgot the colour?

one is white and the other purple


Very nicely illustrated photographs of both the species.
The easiest way to remember the difference in simple words.
The corona highly elevated like a pyramid sometimes even above the petals…..C.gigantea.
Petals high above the corona which is near bottom of the flower…………………..C. procera

Both the plants including the white variety are common in Pune.


Pl. confirm which species is the attached image ( i.e. calotropis gigantea or calotropis procera)


This is Calotropis gigantea.


Another way to differentiate would be –

Flower buds like “modak” (during Ganesha festival, modaks are made) – C. gigantea
Flower buds like “pedha” .(I am sure every one knows the shape of Pedha………….C. procera..
I found this differentiation is very easy to identify these species.

Interesting … Sending some of my photographs. My previous photographs are available in the archives of this group. [Wish someone would tell me how to copy & paste a previous mail in this new format while using a Yahoo account or else wish … would revert to the original format when it was so much easier].


Thanks to all for replies.
Close up comparision of flowers (Photos by …)
Flickr


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Calotropis gigantea [white] Sveta Arka: Calotropis gigantea [white] Sveta Arka
Photographed near Kurnool on 13.06.2012



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Calotropis gigantea from Kamrup district, Assam: Attaching images are Calotropis gigantea (L.) R.Br.
Date :08/11/12
Location: Mirza [Dist- Kamrup(Rural)]
Family : Asclepiadaceae
Genus & Species :Calotropis gigantea (L.) R.Br.
Habitat: Grows on bank of pond
Habit :shrub
Flower : Large,
Fruits :not seen


Yes … Nice photographs



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Calotropis gigantea var.white: Today at Kanakeshwar, Alibag
Calotropis gigantea var. white
Local Marathi name: Rui, Mandar


I want to know that, is there a variety in C. gigantea as you wrote var. white or just for information about while flower.
please clarify me



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Mahabharat does not mention many plant species in the narration. In this regard Ramayan is unique, it mentions almost 150 distinct plant species. Valmiki was a great observer of nature.

The most important tree mentioned in Mahabharat is SHAMI(Prosopis cineraria). Another plant I found is ARKA.
This plant is mentioned in story of Upamanyu. Most of you must be aware of this story. It goes like this.
Rishi Ayoda Dhaumya had three disciples. One of them was Upamanyu. He was supposed to look after the cattle of Guru. Guru never asked him to take food but he observed that Upamanyu was healthy. Guru asked him how come he maintains good health without taking food. Upamanyu replied that he beg and survives on alms. On this Guru told him he must deposit it with Guru whatever he gets as alms. Upamanyu told that it would be done.
Few days passed, Guru asked him what did he eat as we was depositing all the items to the Guru. On this Upamanyu told that he ask for alms second time. Guru told him that this practice should discontinue. Next time when Guru asked him the secret of his health, he told that he drinks milk from the cows. Guru told him to discontinue this practice. Next time he told Guru that he drank froth thrown out by the calves. Guru told him to stop that. As there was no other alternative Upamanyu ate Arka (Callotropis gigantia), turnd blind and fell into a well. Guru came with other disciples and rescued him.
This what available literature says about toxicity of the plant under reference.
Callotropis is a poisonous plant. The milky latex sap of the plant is known to cause keratoconjuncivitis and reversible vision loss.”

Attaching an image of this plant. Incidentally it is a host plant for Plain Tiger butterfly.


superb photo to go with a sad lesson in a story


Thanks … to remind the story, which I had read and what I remember is that the Guru came to rescue him and Upmanyu got back the vision, may be some other plant he tried to cure him.

Thanks again for the post and pic…


 


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References:

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