Sarcostemma viminale

Botanical name

Sarcostemma viminale

Other names

Melktou (Afrikaans)

Family 

Asclepiadaceae

Dimensions

A vigorous succulent creeper growing in trees and shrubs up to several meters, sometimes stifling them; a shrub itself, if no support from another plant available

Description of stem

Leafless plant consisting of smooth, cyllindric green stems; lower base stems has a corky bark; exudes a milky latex when damaged

Description of leaves

No leaves

Description of flowers

Five yellow sepals curving upwards around less conspicuous white flower parts; summer to autumn

Description of seed/fruit

Follicles like a pair of horns, brown when ripe,opening to release soft hairy seeds

Description of roots

 

Variation

 

Propagation and cultivation

 

Tolerances

 

Uses

A gardening possibility where space is available

Ecological rarity

 

Pests and diseases

 

Other

May poison livestock in times of scarce grazing

Location

Grassland and bushveld, the hot and drier parts of the country

Distribution

Common in most of the inland parts of South Africa

Country

South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Southern Africa up to Kenya