|Etymology||Genus||Beautiful (kalos) ship's keel (tropis); referring to the ridged floral members|
|Synonyms||Asclepias gigantea L., Periploca cochinchinensis Lour.|
|Common Names||Giant Milkweed, Crown Flower|
|Status||Exotic: Cultivated Only|
|Form||Shrub or small tree|
|Native Distribution||Indian subcontinent, southern China, Indochina, Malaysia, and Indonesia|
The Giant Milkweed contains a number of toxins, with the effects ranging from skin irritation (from the exudes) to cardiac and nervous disorders (when consumed) (Globinmed, 2010). It is one of the host plants for the caterpillar of the Plain Tiger butterfly (Danaus chrysippus chrysippus).
In its native habitat, Calotropis gigantea is found in coastal areas (Malaysia) to semi-desert areas deeper inland (Pakistan) (Ng, 2010).
The Giant Milkweed in a butterfly garden.
It splits to open numerous brown seeds with white hairs.
Leaves are large and have a cordate base.
The carpenter bee is a frequent visitor to the flowers.
The fruit is a green capsule.