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Calotropis procera facts for kids

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Apple of Sodom
Tapuach-sdom.jpg
Apple of Sodom near the Dead Sea in Israel
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Genus: 'Calotropis'
Binomial name
Calotropis procera

Apple of Sodom (Calotropis procera) is a species of plant. It is also known as Roostertree. It belongs in the subfamily Asclepiadoideae.

It is native to North Africa, Central Africa, Western Asia, South Asia, and Indochina. It has been naturalized in Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Hawai'i, and southern California.

When pressed or struck, it explodes with a puff, like a bladder or puff-ball, leaving in the hand only the shreds of the thin rind and a few fibers. It is filled chiefly with air, which gives it the round form. In the center a small slender pod runs through it which contains a small quantity of fine silk, which the Arabs collect and twist into matches for their guns. The plant, however, is not native solely to Palestine. It is known to occur throughout the tropical belt and is also common in the West Indies (e.g. Jamaica), where the locals know it as "pillow cotton". When the ripe "apples" burst, the fibrous contents are ejected along with the seeds. The former are collected by the Jamaicans and used for filling pillows.

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