Articles on this page are available in 1 other language: Spanish (5) (learn more)

Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

Shrub or small tree with a rough corky bark, stems producing copious latex when broken. Leaves glaucous, ± sessile; inflorescence terminal; flowers purplish-pink and white; fruits inflated; seeds with pappus of silky hairs.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Derivation of specific name

procera: very tall
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Miscellaneous Details

"Notes: Western Ghats, Dry Localities"
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Distribution

Worldwide distribution

Tropical Africa and Asia
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Maharashtra: Common throughout Karnataka: Belgaum Tamil Nadu: Theni
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Distribution in Egypt

Nile region, oases, Egyptian desert, Res Sea coastal strip, Gebel Elba, Sinai, (St.Katherine), Napq.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Source: Bibliotheca Alexandrina - EOL Ar

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Global Distribution

Morrocco, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Palestine, Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Source: Bibliotheca Alexandrina - EOL Ar

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Tropical Africa, W. Asia, Tropical Himalaya, India.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

Morphology

Elevation Range

170-600 m
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Description

Shrubs or small trees to 6 m tall. Petiole very short; leaf blade grayish green or hoary white, ovate to obovate, 10-30 × 5-15 cm, base cordate, apex abruptly pointed. Cymes umbel-like, 3-10-flowered, finely woolly; peduncle 2-5.5 cm. Pedicel 1.5-2.5 cm. Sepals elliptic or ovate, ca. 5 × 3 mm. Flower buds subglobose. Corolla white outside, pinkish inside, 1.5-2 cm in diam.; lobes with purple-brown apices, broadly ovate or ovate-triangular, 7-10 × 6-10 mm, spreading. Corona as long as gynostegium. Follicles subglobose to obliquely ovoid, inflated, 6-10 × 3-7 cm, pericarp thick, spongy. Seeds ca. 6 × 4 mm; coma 3.5-5 cm. Fl. May-Dec. 2n = 22.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Diagnostic Description

Diagnostic

Habit: Shrub
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Synonym

Asclepias procera Aiton, Hort. Kew. 1: 305. 1789; A. gigantea Jacquin, not Linnaeus.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Sandy desert plains, alluvial soils, close to cultivation.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Source: Bibliotheca Alexandrina - EOL Ar

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Habitat & Distribution

Cultivated for medicine in S Guangdong, Guangxi, S Yunnan [Afghanistan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, Vietnam; Africa, SW Asia, introduced to Australia and Central and South America]
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Population Biology

Frequency

Locally common and invasive
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Perennial.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Source: Bibliotheca Alexandrina - EOL Ar

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Calotropis procera

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Calotropis procera

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 10
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Calotropis procera

"Apple of Sodom" redirects here. For other uses, see Apple of Sodom (disambiguation).

Calotropis procera is a species of flowering plant in the dogbane family, Apocynaceae, that is native to North Africa, Tropical Africa, Western Asia, South Asia, and Indochina. The green globes are hollow but the flesh contains a toxic milky sap that is extremely bitter and turns into a gluey coating resistant to soap.

Common names for the plant include apple of Sodom,[1] Sodom apple, stabragh[citation needed], kapok tree,[1] king's crown,[2] rubber bush,[1] or rubber tree.[1] The name apple of Sodom derives from the Hebrew Tapuah Sdom.[3]

History[edit]

The fruit is described by the Roman Jewish historian Josephus, who saw it growing near Sodom: "...as well as the ashes growing in their fruits; which fruits have a color as if they were fit to be eaten, but if you pluck them with your hands, they dissolve into smoke and ashes." (Whiston 1737: Book IV chapter 8 section 4)[4]

In his Biblical Researches in Palestine, Edward Robinson describes it as the fruit of the Asclepias gigantea vel procera, a tree 10–15 feet high, with a grayish cork-like bark called osher by the Arabs. He says the fruit resembled a large, smooth apple or orange, hanging in clusters of three or four. When pressed or struck, it exploded with a puff, like a bladder or puff-ball, leaving in the hand only the shreds of the thin rind and a few fibers. It is filled chiefly with air, which gives it the round form. In the center a small slender pod runs through it which contains a small quantity of fine silk, which the Arabs collect and twist into matches for their guns.[3] The plant, however, is not native solely to Palestine. It is known to occur throughout the tropical belt and is also common in the West Indies (e.g. Jamaica), where the locals know it as "pillow cotton". When the ripe "apples" burst, the fibrous contents are ejected along with the seeds. The former are collected by the Jamaicans and used for filling pillows.

Sodom apple is listed in the Mishnah and Talmud. The fibers attached to the seeds may have been used as wicks. However the Mishnah forbids this for the Sabbath.:[5] "It may not be lighted with cedar-bast, nor with uncombed flax, nor with floss-silk, nor with willow fiber, nor with nettle fiber.- Sabbath Chapter 2"[6]

Some biblical commentators believe that the Sodom Apple may have been the poisonous gourd (or poison-tasting gourd) that led to "death in the pot" in 2 Kings 4:38–41. In this story, a well-meaning servant of the prophet Elisha gathers herbs and a large quantity of the unknown gourds, and casts them into the pot. After the outcry from the band of prophets, Elisha, instructs them to cast flour into the stew pot, and they are saved.[7] The fibre of the Sodom Apple may have been used for the linen of the high priests.

In 1938, botanists Hannah and Ephraim HaReuveni, authors of the "The Squill and the Asphodal," speculated that Jeremiah’s arar was the Sodom apple.[5]

Chemical properties[edit]

The milky sap contains a complex mix of chemicals, some of which are steroidal heart poisons known as "cardiac aglycones". These belong to the same chemical family as similar chemicals found in foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea). The steroidal component includes an hydroxyl group in the C3β position, a second attached to the C14 carbon, a C/D-cis ring junction and an α,β-unsaturated-γ-lactone in the C17 position. In the plants, the steroidal component is commonly attached via a glycosidic link to a 2-desoxy or a 2,6-didesoxy sugar molecule. The features described are those required for toxicity but in addition there can be other substitutions into the steroid nucleus. These can be a C19-aldehyde in place of the more usual methyl group in this position as well as additional hydroxyl functions and sometimes epoxide structures.

In the case of the Calotropis glycosides, their names are calotropin, calotoxin, calactin, uscharidin and voruscharin (the latter two involve rare sugars with nitrogen and sulphur in the structures). The steroidal moiety (known as "calotropagenin", formula C23H32O6) has one of the more unusual structures. The C-19 formyl (CHO) group is present and there is an additional secondary alcohol as well as the common C3 and C14 hydroxyl functions. The position of this third hydroxyl function remains in some doubt. It was apparently established by the Swiss group under Thadeus Reichstein[8] as being in the C2 position with an equatorial configuration. However, this assignment does not explain some of the known features and behaviours of this molecule, in particular the absence of spin-spin coupling of the two axial protons associated with their geminal hydroxyl groups and the failure to react with iodate in a cleavage reaction which the presence of such a viscinal 1,2-diol would require.

Literary and musical references[edit]

John Milton alludes to this plant in his epic poem, Paradise Lost, while describing the fruit that Satan and his cohorts eat after having tempted Adam and Eve to eat an apple from the Tree of Good and Evil:

...greedy they pluck'd

The Frutage fair to sight, like that which grew
Neer that bituminous Lake where Sodom flam'd;
This more delusive, not the touch, but taste
Deceav'd; they fondly thinking to allay
Thir appetite with gust, instead of Fruit
Chewd bitter Ashes, which th' offended taste
With spattering noise rejected: oft they assayd
Hunger and thirst constraining...

(bk. 10, ll. 520–528)

Marilyn Manson recorded a song bearing the plant-name "Apple Of Sodom" for the soundtrack album of the 1997 David Lynch film Lost Highway.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Calotropis procera (Aiton) W. T. Aiton". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2001-10-19. Retrieved 2010-06-26. 
  2. ^ "Australian Plant Names Index". Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  3. ^ a b The Jewish Encyclopedia: Apple of Sodom
  4. ^ Whiston, William (1737): Josephus' The War of the Jews, translated by William Whiston
  5. ^ a b Botany, Prophecy, and Theology
  6. ^ Flora of Ein Gedi
  7. ^ NIV Application Commentary on Kings; cf. Cogan and Tadmore, II Kings, p. 58
  8. ^ F. Bruschweiler, K. Stockel & T. Reichstein, Helv. chim. Acta., (1969), 51, 2276
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Notes

Comments

The bark and leaves are used for the treatment of leprosy and asthma, respectively.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!