Madagascar rubber vine

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 Information

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.

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