Secamone alpini, commonly known as monkey rope or in Afrikaans bobbejaantou (baboon rope), is a robust liana, a woody climbing plant that reaches the tops of tall trees, hanging from them and sometimes destroying their support plants by an abundance of foliage or strangling stems.
A member of the Apocynaceae family, injured plant parts exude a sticky, milky latex. The much-branched stems are pale brown, tough and woody. The upper stems are bright green and leafy.
Minute, five-pointed star-shaped flowers, creamy white with hairy corollas, grow in many-flowered, branched inflorescences from leaf axils. They appear from late spring to midsummer.
Long, thin, green fruit, in the form of cylindrical follicles grow in diverging, opposite pairs. The follicles become up to 8 cm long and 8 mm in diameter. They split open when ripe, releasing the small seeds in the care of the wind. Dispersal is facilitated by a tuft of silky white hairs attached to each seed.
The species distribution is large, from the southern Cape along the eastern parts of South Africa to tropical Africa, as far as Kenya. The habitat of this species is forest margin and thicket. The species is not considered to be threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century (The Tree Society of Southern Africa, 1974; Gledhill, 1981; www.redlist.sanbi.org).