other names: Asclepias gigantea vel procera, Milkweed, استبرق
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. It is commonly known as apple of Sodom. Its fruits are like green globes which are hollow but the flesh contains a toxic milky sap that is extremely bitter and turns into a gluey coating resistant to soap.
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, leaving in the hand only the shreds of the thin rind and a few fibers. It is filled chiefly with air ,in the center a small slender pod runs through it which contains a small quantity of fine silk, where the locals know it as "pillow cotton". It is used as hypoallergenic filling for pillows.
Milkweed is named for its milky juice which consists of a latex containing alkaloids and several other complex compounds including cardenolides. Some species are known to be toxic. Many natives of South America and Africa used arrows poisoned with these glycosides to fight and hunt.
Milkweed latex contains about 1 to 2% latex, and was attempted as a source of natural rubber.