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Strophanthus preussii


Strophanthus preussii Engl. & Pax.

Family Name: Apocynaceae
Synonyms: Strophanthus bracteatus
Common Name: Corkscrew Flower, Poison Arrow Vine, Spider Tresses, Tassel Vine, Climbing Oleander


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Climber, Vine & Liana, Shrub
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular
Maximum Height 0.7 m to 4.0 m
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 3.5 m


Native Distribution Tropical Africa
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Secondary Rainforest, Monsoon Forest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal

Description and Ethnobotany

Others - Plant Morphology Woody scrambling shrub or weak climber. Grown for unusual-looking flowers whose petals are attractively fringed with maroon-purple "streamers" of up to 30cm length.Flowers clustered in bunches, slightly fragrant. maroon throat, petal colour ages from white to cream to pale yellow.Injured plant surfaces produce toxic milky-white sap.
Ethnobotanical Uses Food (Herb and Spice)
Others: Stems used to make bows in Nigeria. Seeds contain toxic alkaloids and sometimes used as poison. Tannin-rich sap used to treat wounds, sores and venereal diseases.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Fragrant (Flowers) (Day)
Landscape Uses General
Thematic Landscaping Fragrant / Aromatherapy Garden, Naturalistic Garden
SGMP Treatment
Usage Hazard - Cons Toxic Upon Ingestion
Usage Hazard - Cons Remarks Plant sap contains toxic alkaloids.

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic (Explosive Dehiscence)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Glossy / Shiny, Raised / Sunken Veins, Thick
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate, Obovate, Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Cuspidate
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse
Typical Foliar Area Notophyll ( 20.25cm2 - 45 cm2 )
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Bark Colour(s) Reddish-brown, purplish-brown
Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground (Fibrous Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White, Purple, Red, White
Flower Symmetry Radial
Individual Flower Shape Campaulate / Bell-shaped
Inflorescence Type Panicle
Flowering Period Free-Flowering
Flowering Opening Time Daytime
Flower Lifespan on Plant Several Days
Flowering Habit Polycarpic
Inflorescence Size Remarks Flower colour darkens from white to cream to pale yellow; Maroon-purple markings on tube and petals remain unchanged.

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Brown
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Dehiscent Dry Fruit , Silique

Image Repository



Master ID 211
Species ID 1507
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 04 March 2024.