Friday, March 7, 2008

Erukkum flower - clarifications from MNS members

Ashok was enquiring as to what the name for the Erukkum flower is - The one used for Vinayaka/Ganesha.

The botanical name for erukkum (erukkan, erukku) is *Calotropis gigantea *and
for vellai erukkan it is *Calotropis procera. *Both belong to the family
Asclepiadaceae.

The common names are Giant Milkweed and Sodom's Apple (West Asia).

Painted grasshopper feeds on Erukkam (C. gigantea & C. procera ) leaves.
Plain tiger butterfly(Danaus chrysippaus) lays eggs on Erukkam leaves. Log
on to the link given below & read more.
http://www.iisc.ernet.in/~currsci/aug102006/263.pdf

Infact both are native Indian Sps. the difference is
C.gigantea flowers are White to purple, rarely light green yellow or white. Flowers not scented where as C.procera White to pink, scented.
Another difference is C.gigantea generally grows up to a large size (8 to 10 ft) while c.procera is shorter and grows up to 3 -- 6 ft.

3 comments:

Venkatesh said...

I tried to use this flower since they are plenty in my place. But then, it wilts away so soon. Has anybody else tried to use it in Ikebana ??

Anonymous said...

I will now look for c. Procera as the light pink flowers has not caught my attention, but I do recollect seeing the plant about 5ft. tall.

Malathi

flowergirl said...

Mom said that she had used it in the past, and it stayed well.

Maybe we should have a workshop with it.