Madagascar rubber vine

Cryptostegia madagascariensis

Common name:

Madagascar rubber vine

Scientific name:

Cryptostegia madagascariensis

Alternative common names:

None recorded.

Woody vine with milky sap, its stems are greyish-brown and have a whitish warty spots. The leaves are 2-11cm long and leathery, greenish in colour. Pink or purple tubular flowers (30-40mm long) with five petals. It produces pods, 50-90mm long which contains numerous seeds.

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?

    North-western Madagascar and invasive in Hawaii and Australia.

    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    NEMBA Category 1b

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    Limpopo and North West Provinces.

    How does it spread?

    Seeds dispersed in the wind and movement of floodwater and mud.

    Why is it a problem?

    Able to climb and cover trees. The milky sap is extremely poisonous to livestock and humans. It contains cardiac glycosides which have a negative impact on the heart. The powdery dust from dry plants can cause severe coughing, swelling of the nose and blistering of the eyelids.

    What does it look like?

    Leaves:Thick, glossy and dark green in colour. Flower: Bell shape, five petaled flowers are pink to light purple in colour. Fruit/seeds:Seed pods are 50-90mm long, oval and filled with many feathery white seeds.

    Does the plant have any uses?

    Planted as a garden ornamental due to its attractive pink flowers.