Family:
Apocynaceae
Scientific Name:
Calotropis spp
Toxins:
cardiac glycosides
Flower Color:
Found:
ornamental, landscaping, overgrazed pastures, rangeland, roadsides, coastal dunes

Geographical Distribution

Roostertree distribution - United States

Roostertree

Calotropis spp

Crown flower, Giant milkweed
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Roostertree (Calotropis spp) is a genus of flowering plants from the milkweed family. They are native to southern Asia and North Africa. It has been introduced and has naturalized in parts of Australia, a number of Pacific Islands, Central and South America, and most Caribbean Islands. In the United States, it has naturalized in California and Hawaii.

Calotropis spp are broadleaf, milky-sapped, evergreen shrubs or small trees. They produce showy pale purple to white flowers which attract butterflies.

All parts of these plants are toxic, containing cardiac glycosides such as calotropin, calatoxin, and uscharin. In addition, the latex contained in the stem irritates the mucous membranes and skin, causing irritant contact dermatitis.

Symptoms

  • Arrhythmias
  • cardiac arrest
  • tremors
  • ataxia
  • seizures
  • coma