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Sarcostemma viminale Khanon-199.jpg
Sarcostemma viminale
Scientific classification

Sarcostemma australe

Sarcostemma is a genus of flowering plants in the dogbane family, Apocynaceae, first described as a genus in 1810. The name is derived from the Greek words σαρκὸς (sarkos), meaning "flesh," and στέμμα (stemma), meaning "garland".[2] Members of the genus are known generally as climbing milkweeds or caustic bushes. They are found across Africa and tropical Asia, in Australia, and in parts of North America. These plants are perennial flowering shrubs with trailing vines or lianas. They are often adapted to heat and/or desert conditions. Some have few or no leaves and photosynthesize in the tissues of the green stems. The soft stems are filled with a milky white latex that is poisonous and caustic in some species. The flowers have a ring of thick tissue at the base which extends into hollow spherical appendages within the flower corolla.


The taxonomic status of this genus is contested.

The genus Sarcostemma has been shown to be nested within the genus Cynanchum, and in 2012 Sarcostemma was put into synonymy with Cynanchum.[3][4] Thus Sarcostemma viminale has been renamed Cynanchum viminale. However this change has not been accepted by all taxonomists and the name Sarcostemma remains in use by a minority.[5]

  1. Sarcostemma acidum (Roxb.) Voigt - S China, India, Nepal, N Indochina[7]
  2. Sarcostemma andinum (Ball) R.W. Holm. - Peru
  3. Sarcostemma angustissima R.W.Holm - Galápagos
  4. Sarcostemma arenarium Decne. ex Benth. - Baja California Sur
  5. Sarcostemma bilobum Hook. & Arn. - Guerrero in Mexico
  6. Sarcostemma brunonianum Wight. & Arn. - Sri Lanka
  7. Sarcostemma clausum (Jacq.) Schult. - Florida; much of Latin America + West Indies
  8. Sarcostemma crispum Benth. - Aguascalientes in Mexico
  9. Sarcostemma cynanchoides Decne. - Coahuila in Mexico
  10. Sarcostemma elegans Decne. - Mexico
  11. Sarcostemma glaucum Kunth - Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Peru
  12. Sarcostemma hirtellum (A.Gray) R.W.Holm - California, Arizona, Nevada
  13. Sarcostemma lindenianum Decne. - Honduras, Yucatán
  14. Sarcostemma lobatum Waterf. - Oklahoma
  15. Sarcostemma madagascariense Desc. - Madagascar
  16. Sarcostemma pearsonii N.E.Br. - Namibia
  17. Sarcostemma refractum (Donn. Sm.) L.O. Williams - Chiapas, Guatemala
  18. Sarcostemma secamone (L.) Bennett - India
  19. Sarcostemma stocksii Hook.f. - Pakistan
  20. Sarcostemma torreyi (A. Gray) Woodson - Texas, NE Mexico
  21. Sarcostemma welwitschii Hiern. - Angola
Formerly included[6]

moved to other genera (Cynanchum, Funastrum, Leptadenia, Philibertia, Tetraphysa)

  1. S. antsiranense, syn of Cynanchum antsiranense
  2. S. aphyllum, syn of Cynanchum viminale
  3. S. campanulatum, syn of Philibertia campanulata
  4. S. carpophylloides, syn of Funastrum gracile
  5. S. decorsei, syn of Cynanchum decorsei
  6. S. donianum, syn of Philibertia gilliesii
  7. S. elachistemmoides, syn of Cynanchum elachistemmoides
  8. S. esculentum, syn of Oxystelma esculentum
  9. S. flavum, syn of Funastrum flavum
  10. S. gilliesii, syn of Philibertia gilliesii
  11. S. gracile, syn of Funastrum gracile
  12. S. grandiflorum, syn of Philibertia gilliesii
  13. S. hastatum, syn of Philibertia solanoides
  14. S. implicatum, syn of Cynanchum implicatum
  15. S. incanum, syn of Philibertia gilliesii
  16. S. insigne, syn of Cynanchum insigne
  17. S. lehmannii, syn of Tetraphysa lehmannii
  18. S. lysimachioides, syn of Philibertia lysimachioides
  19. S. marsupiflorum, syn of Philibertia solanoides
  20. S. mauritianum, syn of Cynanchum luteifluens
  21. S. membranaceum, syn of Cynanchum membranaceum
  22. S. mulanjense, syn of Cynanchum viminale subsp. mulanjense
  23. S. odontolepis, syn of Cynanchum viminale subsp. odontolepis
  24. S. odoratum, syn of Funastrum odoratum
  25. S. oresbium, syn of Cynanchum oresbium
  26. S. pannosum, syn of Funastrum pannosum
  27. S. pyrotechnicum, syn of Leptadenia pyrotechnica
  28. S. quadriflorum, syn of Philibertia solanoides
  29. S. resiliens, syn of Cynanchum resiliens
  30. S. rotundifolium, syn of Funastrum pannosum
  31. S. solanoides, syn of Philibertia solanoides
  32. S. stipitaceum, syn of Cynanchum viminale subsp. stipitaceum
  33. S. stipitatum, syn of Philibertia stipitata
  34. S. stoloniferum, syn of Cynanchum stoloniferum
  35. S. tetrapterum, syn of Cynanchum viminale
  36. S. tomentellum, syn of Funastrum pannosum
  37. S. trichopetalum, syn of Funastrum trichopetalum
  38. S. vailiae, syn of Philibertia picta
  39. S. vanlessenii, syn of Cynanchum vanlessenii
  40. S. variifolium, syn of Philibertia solanoides
  41. S. viminale, syn of Cynanchum viminale


  1. ^ "Genus: Sarcostemma R. Br". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2005-11-28. Retrieved 2011-01-27.
  2. ^ Quattrocchi, Umberto (2000). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names. 4 R-Z. Taylor & Francis US. p. 2388. ISBN 978-0-8493-2678-3.
  3. ^ Goyder, D.J 2008 Nomenclatural changes resulting from the transfer of tropical African Sarcostemma to Cynanchum (Apocynaceae: Asclepiadoideae) Kew Bulletin 63:3
  4. ^ Ulrich Meve, Sigrid Liede-Schumann 2012. Taxonomic dissolution of Sarcostemma (Apocynaceae: Asclepiadoideae). Kew Bulletin 67:4
  5. ^ Schmelzer, G. H. ; Gurib-Fakim, A. ; Arroo, R. R. J. ; Bosch, C. H. ; de Ruijter, A. ; Simmonds, M. S. J. 2008 “Plant Resources of Tropical Africa, Volume 11: Medicinal Plants 1” Backhuys Publishers, Wageningen, Netherlands.
  6. ^ a b The Plant List, Sarcostemma
  7. ^ Flora of China, Vol. 16 Page 202 肉珊瑚 rou shan hu Sarcostemma acidum (Roxburgh) Voigt. 1845. Hort. Suburb. Calcutt., p. 542.

External links[edit]

Media related to Sarcostemma at Wikimedia Commons Data related to Sarcostemma at Wikispecies