Common name: Rubber vine • Hindi: Rubber ki bel रबर की बेल • Tamil: பாலை Palai • Marathi: Vilyati-Vakundi • Kannada: hambu rubber gida • Malayalam: pala, palay • Telugu: ganta paala, rabbarutheega
Botanical name: Cryptostegia grandiflora Family: Apocynaceae (Oleander family)
Rubber vine is a self supporting, scrambling,
many-stemmed vine that grows to 2 metres tall with long trailing whips.
Flowers are large and showy, with five white to light purple petals
in a funnel shape. The flowers resemble those of the purple Allamanda
(Allamanda violacea) A milky sap oozes from stems, leaves and seedpods
when cut or broken. The Rubber Vine originates from Madagascar and was
formerly grown there and later in India to produce a poor quality rubber
latex. Leaves are dark green and glossy, 6-10 cm long, 3-5 cm wide and in
opposite pairs. Roots go very deep, and have been found at a depth of 13 meters
in mine shafts. Roots of seedlings are twice as long as shoots. The growth
form of rubber vine differs depending on the surrounding conditions. They
can form dense canopies of overlapping plants with long whips, form towers
upto 30mts high the height of native trees and grow as freestanding
shrubs in the absence of other vegetation. The seedpods are rigid,
10-12 cm long, 3-4 cm wide and grow in pairs at the end of a short stalk.
The Rubber Vine is poisonous it contains glucosides interfering with the
heart, and ingesting will provoke stomach and intestinal upset.
|Photographed in Tibetan Market, Delhi.|