Caustic Vine
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Caustic Vine
ative Photo: Gunwant Mahajan
Common name: Caustic Vine, Milk rope, Sacred soma, Soma • Hindi: Khir-khimp • Kannada: ಸೋಮ Soma, ಕೋಡಂಬಳ್ಳಿ Kodamballi
Botanical name: Cynanchum viminale    Family: Apocynaceae (Oleander family)
Synonyms: Sarcostemma viminale, Cynanchum viminale, Apocynum viminale

Caustic Vine is a succulent climbing plant. Stems and branches are mostly prostrate or scrambling over other vegetation, grey-green, producing milky sap when broken. The lower part of the stem has a thick corky bark. The leaves are reduced to scales. Star-shaped, creamish-yellow-green flowers are borne in spherical umbels, sweetly scented. Fruits are carrot-shaped, containing seeds with a pappus of white, silky hairs. Caustic Vine is native to India, Africa and Australia.
Medicinal uses: Plant extract is given in digestive disorders. Plant paste is applied on fractured bone.

Identification credit: Gunwant Mahajan Photographed at Markal, near Alandi, East of Pune.

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