Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Calotropis gigantea
(Yercum fibre)



Calotropis gigantea (Yercum fibre)


  • Last modified
  • 21 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Calotropis gigantea
  • Preferred Common Name
  • Yercum fibre
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Calotropis gigantea (L.) Dryand. ex W. T. Aiton

Preferred Common Name

  • Yercum fibre

International Common Names

  • Spanish: Mudar
  • French: Mudar

Local Common Names

  • Germany: Akonfaserstrauch
  • Italy: Seta di calotropis

EPPO code

  • CTRGI (Calotropis gigantea)

Summary of Invasiveness

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The following summary is from Witt and Luke (2017):


Large shrub (to 4 m tall); sometimes branching from the base; exudes copious amounts of milky sap when damaged.


China, Iran, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Reason for Introduction

Medicine and ornament.


Roadsides, disturbed land, wasteland, urban open spaces, fallow land, croplands, gullies, lowlands and floodplains.


C. gigantea occurs sympatrically with C. procera in many parts of Kenya and Tanzania. As such, their impacts may be considered to be similar. Invades degraded rangeland pastures, river flats and coastal dunes.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Gentianales
  •                         Family: Apocynaceae
  •                             Genus: Calotropis
  •                                 Species: Calotropis gigantea

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 10 Jan 2020
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes


KenyaPresentIntroducedInvasiveWitt and Luke (2017)
TanzaniaPresentIntroducedInvasiveWitt and Luke (2017)


ChinaPresentCABI (Undated)Present based on regional distribution.
-GuangdongPresentCABI (Undated a)
-GuangxiPresentCABI (Undated a)
-SichuanPresentCABI (Undated a)
-YunnanPresentCABI (Undated a)
IndiaPresentCABI Data Mining (Undated)
-Tamil NaduPresentCABI Data Mining (Undated)
IndonesiaPresentCABI (Undated a)
IranPresentCABI (Undated a)
LaosPresentCABI (Undated a)
MalaysiaPresentCABI (Undated a)
MyanmarPresentCABI (Undated a)
NepalPresentCABI (Undated a)
PakistanPresentCABI Data Mining (Undated)
Sri LankaPresentCABI (Undated a)
ThailandPresentWitt and Luke (2017)

Uses List

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  • Ornamental

Human food and beverage

  • Spices and culinary herbs


  • Fibre
  • Poisonous to mammals

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Traditional/folklore

Distribution References

CABI Data Mining, Undated. CAB Abstracts Data Mining.,

CABI, Undated. CABI Compendium: Status inferred from regional distribution. Wallingford, UK: CABI

CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI

Witt A, Luke Q, 2017. Guide to the naturalized and invasive plants of Eastern Africa. [ed. by Witt A, Luke Q]. Wallingford, UK: CABI. vi + 601 pp. DOI:10.1079/9781786392145.0000

Distribution Maps

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