Fruit and seed morphometry and seed structure of the potentially invasive Calotropis procera (Aiton) W.T. Aiton (Apocynaceae)

keywords: Apocynoideae, Mexico, seed morphology, seed morphometry


Background: Calotropis procera is a plant native in the tropics and subtropics of Asia and Africa. In Mexico, its presence is now registered in Yucatán, Quintana Roo and Oaxaca.

Questions and / or Hypotheses: Fruit and seed morphometry vary among places where it is native or exotic? Are seed structures well identified in Calotropis procera?

Studied species: The exotic Calotropis procera has been already reported in several states in Mexico, however, information about its reproductive biology in Mexican populations is scarce.  

Studied site and dates: Fruits were collected in Oaxaca, Mexico in September 2019.

Methods: We obtained fruit and seed morphometric data and seed images with microscopy.

Results: The fruits are green and ovoid. The average number of seeds per fruit is 364 ± 86 (SD). The seed is brown and flattened dorsoventrally. The length of the seeds is 8.37 ± 0.413 mm, the width is 5.01 ± 0.39 mm, and the weight is 10.5 ± 7.86 mg. The position of the hilum and the micropyle is reported and the occurrence of two types of trichomes on the testa. We suggest that the protrusion on the ventral surface of the seed is the raphe.

Conclusions: From data obtained we concluded that fruit and seed characteristics are well conserved in this species. We confirmed the position of the hilum and micropyle and reported the presence of two types of trichomes in the testa. Location of the raphe is suggested, providing information that may be useful for future taxonomic studies.


Download data is not yet available.
Fruit and seed morphometry and seed structure of the potentially invasive <em>Calotropis procera</em> (Aiton) W.T. Aiton (Apocynaceae)


Abdel-Farid I, El-Sayed M, Mohamed E. 2013. Allelopathic potential of Calotropis procera and Morettia philaeana. International Journal of Agriculture and Biology 15: 130-134.

Al Nawaihi AS, Hassan AA, Elwan ZA. 2006. Exomorphic seed characters of some species of the Apocynaceae s.l. in Egypt. Feddes Repertorium 117: 437-452. DOI:

Al Sulaibi MAM, Thiemann C, Thiemann T. 2020. Chemical constituents and uses of Calotropis procera and Calotropis gigantea - A review (Part I - The Plants as Material and Energy Resources). Open Chemistry Journal 7: 1-15.

Alvarado-Cárdenas LO, Lozada-Pérez L, Islas-Hernández S, Cortez EB, Maya-Mandujano KG, Chávez-Hernández MG. 2020. Apocináceas de ayer y hoy. Conocimiento histórico y reevaluación de la diversidad y distribución de Apocynaceae en México. Botanical Sciences 98: 393-416. DOI:

Bairagi SM, Ghule P, Gilhotra R. 2018. Pharmacology of Natural Products: A recent approach on Calotropis gigantea and Calotropis procera. Ars Pharmaceutica 56: 37-44. DOI:

Begum N, Sharma B, Pandei RS. 2010. Evaluation of Insecticidal Efficacy of Calotropis procera and Annona squamosa ethanol extracts against Musca domestica. Journal of Biofertilizers and Biopesticides 1: 1000101. DOI:

Bebawi FF, Campbell SD, Mayer RJ. 2015. Seed bank and age to reproductive maturity of Calotropis procera (Aiton) W.T. Aiton in the dry tropics of northern Queensland. The Rangeland Journal 37: 239-247. DOI:

Bhaskar VH, Ajay SS. 2009. Antimicrobial activity of Calotropis procera. Asian Journal of Chemistry 21: 5788-5790.

Bozzola JJ, Russel LD. 1999. Electron Microscopy: Principles and Techniques for Biologists. Massachussets, United States: Jones and Bartlett Publishers Inc. ISBN: 978-076-3701-92-5.

Bufebo B, Tessema T, Fisshaie R. 2016. Spatial distribution and abundance of invasive alien plant species in Gano Gofa zone, Ethiopia. International Journal of Innovative Research and Development 5: 23-33.

Carnevali G. 2010. La invasión que aparentemente no fue: Calotropis procera (Aiton) R.Br. (Apocynaceae). Desde el Herbario CICY 2: 78-79.

CONABIO [Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad]. 2023. Búsqueda de especies exóticas invasoras. (accessed May 2023).

Dhileepan K. 2014. Prospects for the classical biological control of Calotropis procera (Apocynaceae) using coevolved insects. Biocontrol Science and Technology 24: 977-998. DOI:

Endress ME, Liede-Schumann S, Meve U. 2014. An updated classification for Apocynaceae. Phytotaxa 159: 175-194. DOI:

Endress ME, Meve U, Middleton DJ, Liede-Schumann S. 2018. Apocynaceae. In: J.W. Kadereit JW, Bittrich V, eds. Flowering Plants. Eudicots, The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants 15. New York: Springer International Publishing, pp. 207-411. DOI:

Fabricante JR, Araújo de Oliveira MN, de Siqueira-Filho JA. 2013. Aspectos da ecología de Calotropis procera (Apocynaceae) en um area de Caatinga alterada pelas obras do Projetos de Integração do Rio São Francisco em Mauriti, CE. Rodriguésia 64: 647-654. DOI:

Font-Quer P. 2001. Diccionario de Botánica. Barcelona, Spain: Ediciones Península. ISBN: 978-848-3073-00-1

Gabr D. 2014. Seed morphology and seed coat anatomy of some species of Apocynaceae and Asclepiadaceae. Annals of Agricultural Science 59: 229-238. DOI:

Galal TM, Farahat EA, El-Midany MM, Hassan LM. 2015. Effect of temperature, salinity, light, and time of dehiscence on seed germination and seedling morphology of Calotropis procera from urban habitats. African Journal of Biotechnology 15: 1275-1228. DOI:

García E. 1990. Climas, 1: 4000 000. IV.4.10 (A). Atlas Nacional de México. Vol. II. México Ciudad de México: Instituto de Geografía, UNAM.

Goyder D, Nicholas A, Liede-Schumann S. 2007. Phylogenetic relationships in the subtribe Asclepiadinae (Apocynaceae: Asclepiadoideae). Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 94: 423-434 DOI:[423:PRISAA]2.0.CO;2

Hassan LM, Galal TK, Farahat EA, El-Midany MM. 2015. The biology of Calotropis procera (Aiton) W.T. Trees 29: 311-320. DOI:

Heneidak S, Hassan AR. 2005. Taxonomic significance of the seed characters of certain species of tribe Asclepiadeaein Egypt. Taeckholmia 25: 91-109. DOI:

Herrera CM. 1991. Dissecting factors responsible for individual variation in plant fecundity. Ecology 72: 1436-1448. DOI:

Ilçim A, Güzel-Özay S, Kökdil G. 2010. Exomorphic seed characters an anatomy of leaf and stem of some Vincetoxicum (Asclepiadaceae/Apocynaceae) species from Turkey. Journal of Faculty of Pharmacy of Ankara University 39: 1-16.

INEGI [Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía]. 2005. Prontuario de información geográfica municipal de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos. Santo Domingo Tehuantepec, Oaxaca. (accessed May 2023).

Jabeen K, Waheed N, Iqbal S. 2013. Antifungal potential of Calotropis procera against Macrophomina phaseolina. Life Science Journal 10: 572-576.

Kaur A, Batish DR, Kaur S, Chauhan BS. 2021. An overview of the characteristics and potential of Calotropis procera from botanical, ecological, and economic perspectives. Frontiers in Plant Sciences 12. DOI:

Labouriau LG, Valadares ME. 1976. On the germination of seeds of Calotropis procera (Ait.) Ait.f. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências 48: 263-284.

Leal LC, Meiado MV, Lopes AV, Leal IR. 2013. Germination responses of the invasive Calotropis procera (Ait.) R. Br. (Apocynaceae): comparisons with seeds from two ecosystems in northeastern Brazil. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências 85: 1025-1034. DOI:

Levin DA. 1973. The role of trichomes in plant defense. The Quarterly Review of Biology 48: 3-15.

Lottermoser BG. 2011. Colonisation of the rehabilitated Mary Kathleen uranium mine site (Australia) by Calotropis procera: toxicity risk to grazing animals. Journal of Geochemical Exploration 111: 39-46. DOI:

Maheswari-Devi H. 1964. Embryological studies in Asclepiadaceae. Proceedings: Plant Sciences 60: 52-65.

Manrookar VB, Mandge AV, Gachande BD. 2014. Antifungal activity of leaf and latex extracts of Calotropis procera (Ait.) against dominant seed-borne storage fungi of some oil seeds. Bioscience Recovery 6: 22-26.

Maron JL, Vila M, Bommarco R, Elmendorf S, Beardsley P. 2004. Rapid evolution of an invasive plant. Ecological Monographs 74: 261-280. DOI:

Márquez-Guzmán J, Wong R, Pérez-Pacheco M, López-Curto L, Murguía-Sánchez G. 2016. Técnicas de laboratorio para el estudio del desarrollo en angiospermas. Ciudad de México. Las Prensas de Ciencias. ISBN: 978-607-02-8252-2

Meadley GRW. 1971. Calotropis, or rubber tree (Calotropis procera (Linn.) Dryand.). Journal of Agriculture 12: 69 -71.

Meek G. 1977. Practical Electron Microscopy for biologist. New Jersey, United States: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN: 978-047-1995-92-0

Meira RMSA, Francino DMT, Ascensão L. 2014. Oleoresin trichomes of Chamaecrista dentata (Leguminosae): structure, function, and secretory products. International Journal of Plant Sciences 175: 336-345. DOI:

Medina MC, Sousa-Baena MS, Valle-Capelli N, Koch R, Demarco D. 2021. Stinging Trichomes in Apocynaceae and their evolution in Angiosperms. Plants 10: 2324. DOI:

Menge EO, Stobo-Wilson A, Oliveira SLJ, Lawes M. 2016. The potential distribution of the woody weed Calotropis procera (Aiton) W.T. Aiton (Asclepiadaceae) in Australia. The Rangeland Journal 38: 35-46. DOI:

NaturaLista. 2023. Algodoncillo gigante africano. México: CONABIO. (accessed May 20, 2023).

Navarrete-Sauza E, Rojas-Aréchiga M. 2023. Germination of the exotic Calotropis procera (Aiton) W.T. (Apocynaceae) in Mexico. Botanical Sciences 101: 854-864. DOI:

Oliveira-Bento SRS, Torres SB, Oliveira FN, Paiva EP, Bento DAV. 2013. Biometria de frutos e sementes e germinação de Calotropis procera Aiton (Apocynaceae). Bioscience Journal, Uberlândia 29: 1194-1205.

PANTONE®. 2019. Process Color System Guide.

Parihar G, Balekar N. 2016. Calotropis procera: A phytochemical and pharmacological review. Thai Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 43: 115-131.

Parsons WT, Cuthbertson EG. 2001. Noxious Weeds of Australia. Melbourne, Australia: CSIRO Publishing. ISBN: 978-090-9605-81-0.

Pergl J, Müllerová J, Perglová I, Herben T, Pyšek, P. 2011. The role of long-distance seed dispersal in the local population dynamics of an invasive plant species. Diversity and Distributions 17: 725-738. DOI:

PIER. 2011. Calotropis procera. (accessed May 22, 2023).

Potgieter K, Albert VA. 2001. Phylogenetic relationships within Apocynaceae s.l. based on trnL intron and trnL-F spacer sequences and propagule characters. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 88: 523-549. DOI:

Quazi S, Mathur K, Arora S. 2013. Calotropis procera: An overview of its phytochemistry and pharmacology. Indian Journal of Drugs 1: 63-69.

Rahman MA, Wilcock CC. 1991. A taxonomic revision of Calotropis (Asclepiadaceae). Nordic Journal of Botany 11: 301-308. DOI:

Rasik AM, Raghubir R, Gupta A, Shulka A, Dubey MP, Srivastava S, Jain HK, Kulshrestha DK. 1999. Healing potential of Calotropis procera on dermal wounds in Guinea pigs. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 68: 261-266. DOI:

Ruzin S. 1999. Plant Microtechnique and Microscopy. New York, United States of America. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-508956-1.

SEMARNAT 2023. [Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales] 2023. Lista de especies exóticas para México. Anexo I: Listado de plantas. (accessed May 2023).

Sen DD, Chatterji SN. 1965. Ecological studies on Calotropis procera (Ait.) R. Br. Australian Arid Zone Research Conference. C. 25-26.

Sharma GP, Kumar M, Raghubanshi S. 2010. Urbanization and road-use determines Calotropis procera distribution in eastern Indo-Gangetic plain, India. Ambio 39: 194-197. DOI:

Sousa-Sobrinho M, Machado-Tabatinga G, Machado CI, Lopes AV. 2013. Reproductive phenological pattern of Calotropis procera (Apocynaceae), an invasive species in Brazil: annual in native areas; continuous in invaded areas of Caatinga. Acta Botanica Brasilica 27: 456-459. DOI:

Taghvaei M, Sadeghi H, Khaef N. 2015. Cardinal temperatures of the medicinal and desert plant, Calotropis procera. Planta daninha 33: 671-678. DOI:

Thomson JD. 2001. The biology of an invasive plant. BioScience 41: 393-401. DOI:

USDA [United States Department of Agriculture]. 2023. Agricultural Research Service, National Plant Germplasm System: Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN Taxonomy). National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. (accessed May 22, 2023).

Watts S, Kariyat R. 2021. Morphological characterization of trichomes shows enormous variation in shape, density and dimensions across the leaves of 14 Solanum species. AoB Plants 13: plan071. DOI:

Wagner GJ, Wang E, Sheperd RW. 2004. New approaches for studying and exploiting an old protuberance, the plant trichome. Annals of Botany 93: 3-11. DOI:

How to Cite
Navarrete-Sauza, E., Rojas-Aréchiga, M., Pérez-Pacheco, M. K., & Márquez-Guzmán, J. (2024). Fruit and seed morphometry and seed structure of the potentially invasive Calotropis procera (Aiton) W.T. Aiton (Apocynaceae). Botanical Sciences, 102(2), 447-463.