Allamanda cathartica


Family:Belongs to the Apocynaceae family, which includes the large Ditta Bark Tree (Alstonia scholaris), Frangipani or Plumeria (Plumeria rubra), and another Allamanda with a larger flower (A. hendersonii).

Description: Beautiful, quick-growing, woody shrub, sometimes trained as a clambering vine 6 m (20 ft) or more high, with poisonous milky sap; flowering and fruiting year-round; leaves in whorls, usually 4 per node, dark green and pointed, smooth, shiny, with waxy surface, 8-10 cm long (3-4 in); attractive, usually bright yellow flowers, are large, five petaled, bell shaped, 8-13 cm across (3-5 in), usually in a bunch of 3-4; purple and cream varieties also known; fruit a large, spiny capsule; all parts of plant considered toxic; leaves contain a cathartic (purgative), hence name of plant.

Natural Habitat: Grows well in most soils of tropics and sub-tropics, but becomes chlorotic in very alkaline conditions; propagation by seed and cuttings.

Origin and Distribution: Native of Brazil; now naturalized throughout Caribbean, and found in tropics and sub-tropics in general.

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