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200 species in between 45 and 50 genera are found in tropical and warm temperate regions of the Old World especially in tropical Africa. This family was formerly included in the family Asclepiadaceae.

[Summary yet to be added]

Cryptostegia grandifloraRoxb. ex R.Br.
[syn. Nerium grandiflorum Roxb.]
Rubber Vine, Palay Rubbervine, Purple Allamanda

When the vine is dry, a fine powdery dust which emerges causes violent coughing, swelling of the nose and blistering of the eyelids. Not all individuals are affected (White 1923, Morton 1958). The acrid sticky milky sap is a drastic irritant to the skin. Gloves should be worn when pruning or working with the plants (Oakes and Butcher 1962).

Cryptostegia madagascariensis Bojer ex Decne.
Madagascar Rubber Vine

Hardin and Arena (1974) included this species in a list of plants known or suspected to cause dermatitis.

Periploca nigrescens Afzel.
[syn. Parquetina nigrescens Bullock]

This plant, found in West Equatorial Africa, forms a slender twining shrub which may climb up to the tops of forest trees (Irvine 1961). Irvine (1961) recorded that the leaves of Parquetina nigrescens, which cause a burning sensation, are applied to heal wounds in French Equatorial Africa. He also notes that the young scorched leaves are rubbed on the skin in Sierra Leone for craw-craw (a form of filiariasis), and that the Mendes use the latex for [unspecified] skin trouble.


  • Hardin JW, Arena JM (1974) Human Poisoning from Native and Cultivated Plants, 2nd edn. Durham, NC: Duke University Press [WorldCat] [url]
  • Irvine FR (1961) Woody Plants of Ghana. With special reference to their uses. London: Oxford University Press [doi] [WorldCat] [url] [url-2]
  • Morton JF (1958) Ornamental plants with poisonous properties. Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society 71: 372-380 [url] [url-2]
  • Oakes AJ, Butcher JO (1962) Poisonous and Injurious Plants of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Miscellaneous Publication No. 882. Washington, DC: Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture [WorldCat] [url] [url-2]
  • White CT (1923) Weeds of Queensland No 31. The rubber vine (Cryptostegia grandiflora). Queensland Agricultural Journal 19: 286-287

Richard J. Schmidt

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