The Apple of Sodom as in … and Gomorrah

mystery tree – old airport

Earlier this month on one of our morning walks – Billy asks – What is that?

It looked vaguely familiar. It is about as tall as I am, has slightly misshaped large fruits, and small flowers. I think it might be some sort of cocoa plant, except it isn’t. I don’t think much more of the mystery tree.

Until. Thursday, when I am going walkabout at the old airport. I wander over to check it out more carefully. 

The flowers.
The fruit – or is it a veggie? Actually – it is a seed pod!
Calotropis Procera – HUGE milkweed – Apple of Sodom

When I see the seeds I realized that this is a monster milkweed. A milkweed tree.  Google declares it to be Calotropis Procera – Apple of Sodom. (Solanum linnaeanum is also called Apple of Sodom.) But this big thing is the Biblical Apple of Sodom. Josephus, that ever popular Roman Jewish historian saw  growing near Sodom: “…as well as the ashes growing in their fruits; which fruits have a color as if they were fit to be eaten, but if you pluck them with your hands, they dissolve into smoke and ashes.” 

The Apple of Sodom has been used by John Milton, Marilyn Manson, JS Bach and others as an allegory for something that looks great on the outside – but is something else entirely on the inside. Did I mention it’s latex sap contains some serious cardiac poisons? 

Have a nice day. An Apple of Sodom a day keeps long life away. A totally unpleasant plant. 

The menu from the Asylum for today has Lobster Mac and Cheese as a choice. I will have Avocado Mac and Cheese. 

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