Erukk (Calotropis gigantea)

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The flowers are long lasting, and in Thailand they are used in floral arrangements. The extract of flowers and leaves has shown hypoglycemic effect in preclinical studies.[5] They were favored by the Hawaiian Queen Liliuokalani, who considered them a symbol of royalty and wore them strung into leis. In Cambodia, they are used in funerals to decorate the urn or sarcophagus and the interior of the house holding the funeral. The fruit is a follicle and when dry, seed dispersal is by wind. In Indonesia its flowers are called widuri. According to the Shiva Purana, the madar flower/crown flower is very much liked by Lord Shiva; therefore the crown flower and its garland are offered to Lord Shiva for peace, prosperity and stability in society.[6] The Crown flower is also one of the major parts of the nine astrological trees (Navagrah tree).

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Calotropis gigantea, the crown flower, is a species of Calotropis native to CambodiaVietnamBangladeshIndonesiaMalaysia, the Philippines,[citation needed] ThailandSri LankaIndiaChinaPakistanNepal, and tropical Africa.[2]

It is a large shrub growing to 4 m (13 ft) tall. It has clusters of waxy flowers that are either white or lavender in colour. Each flower consists of five pointed petals and a small “crown” rising from the center which holds the stamens. The aestivation found in calotropis is valvate i.e. sepals or petals in a whorl just touch one another at the margin, without overlapping. The plant has oval, light green leaves and milky stem. The latex of Calotropis gigantea contains cardiac glycosidesfatty acids, and calcium oxalate. The roots also contain Calotropone.[3]

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