Rare plants need to be propagated to protect them!

Guest post by Nandan Kalbag

Certain wild plants, native to India, need to be introduced in gardens. One such climber is Oxystelma esculentum. Its common names are Dudhani and Dugdhika (in Marathi) as well as Rosy milkweed vine (in English). It is a medium size climber with very dense foliage. Flowering occurs mainly in Summer & Monsoon.The common variety is with flowers having pink center. However, I als0 found a pure white variety in CME Pune.

It is easily propagated from stem cuttings. It is a host plant for caterpillars of Common Tiger butterfly.

Purple variety of

Purple variety of “Oxystelma esculentum” creeper, also called as “Dudhaani” (Marathi).

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White variety of “oxystema esculentum”

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Twin pods of Dudhaani, typical of the family it belongs to, Asclepiadaceae

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Elongated, narrow leaves of Dudhaani

Striped_Tiger_(Danaus_genutia)_in_Hyderabad,_AP_W_245

The Striped Tiger “Danais genutia” is a milkweed butterfly (subfamily Dadiinae, Family Nymphalidae) commonly found in India. It has a variety of host plants, including “Oxystelma esculentum”. (Image credit : JM Garg on Wikimedia Commons, CC-by-SA 3.0)

The caterpillar of the Striped Tiger. Watch out for these on “Oxystelma esculentum”. (Image credit : School of Ecology and Conservation, UAS Bangalore , Wikimedia Commons, CC-by-2.5)

Note: Images other than those with specified credits are copyrighted to Nandan Kalbag.

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