I must admit it was these Large Seed Pods which resembled Alien Space Ships that attracted me to this Solitary Vine near Bhuleshwar Village ( near Pune), Maharashtra , India.( there are several blogs on this region including the last one titled TEMPLE “TWEETS” and ULRAMARINE BLUE )
On drawing closer they jostled a memory cell and I recalled seeing these Purple Violet Flowers first near Rao Jodha Park, Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur , Rajasthan, India almost a year ago. ( Do read a previous blog titled GOLDEN GRASS which introduces the Rocky Deserts of Rajasthan)
The Indian Rubber Vine ( English) , Cryptostegia grandiflora ( Scientific Name) though often seen in India has it’s origins in the African Island of Madagascar .
The English name of Rubber Vine or Rubber Bel in Hindi is derived from the fact that it secretes a Milky sap which is the basis of a Rubbery Latex.
The flowers resemble the Purple Allamanda ( Origin in North America) which also belongs to the Oleander Family, Apocynaceae much like the Indian Rubber Vine.
The Rubber Vine like most family members of the Oleander Family bear highly poisonous toxins.
The Leaves contain cardiac glucosides which can cause severe poisoning leading to death if ingested in large quantities. The Milky Sap exuded by the Leaves, Stem and the Seed Pod can cause dermatitis and trigger off various allergies. ( do read a blog titled ” BLEEDING TREES “ which showcases how Natural Rubber is tapped in Kerala, Southern India)
Despite the rather frightening details mentioned above the Indian Rubber Vine has been used by Traditional Medicine in various countries across the world.
Another interesting feature of these hardy Shrubs or Vines is that they have extremely Deep Roots which can extend to over 13 metres ( 39 feet ) below the ground making them very sturdy survivors.
I have mentioned previous blogs so can relish the intertwining of various subjects and be Enchanted by the Marvels of Nature.