08 May 2020

Giant Milkweed – Abu Arish

Whilst birding the Abu Arish area of southwest Saudi Arabia I came across a number of Giant Milkweed Calotropis procera. This is a species of flowering plant in the family Apocynaceaethat is native to North Africa, tropical Africa, Western Asia, South Asia, and Indochina. The green fruits contain a toxic milky sap that is extremely bitter and turns into a gluey coating which is resistant to soap. Common names for the plant include Giant Milkweed, Apple of Sodom, Sodom apple, Dead Sea Apple and rubber tree. The name Apple of Sodom and Dead Sea Apple comes from the fact that the ancient authors Josephus and Tacitus described it as growing in the area of biblical Sodom.
Giant Milkweed