Gomphocarpus fruticosus (L.) W.T. Aiton
subsp. fruticosus

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Gomphocarpus fruticosus subsp. fruticosus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Nr Odzani R. bridge

Gomphocarpus fruticosus subsp. fruticosus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Nr Odzani R. bridge

Gomphocarpus fruticosus subsp. fruticosus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Nr Odzani R. bridge

Detailed records: Display species records QDS maps by: Google Maps Point records by Google Maps

Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Asclepias fruticosa L.
Common names: Milkweed (English) Mufuramvuu (Shona) Musasasa (Shona) Wild cotton (English)
Frequency:
Status: Native
Description:
Shrubby perennial herb, usually branching from near the base. Stems woody near the base, densely pubescent. Leaves opposite, linear to linear-lanceolate, 4-12 cm long, leathery, more or less densely pubescent and with soft white hairs on the midrib and margins, pointed and mucronate at the apex; margin often rolled under. Flowers in extra-axillary, 4-12-flowered nodding umbels. Corolla reflexed, white or cream; corona lobes attached c. 1.5mm above the base of the staminal column, cream to green, more or less as tall as the column, laterally compressed. Follicle erect on a twisted pedicel, ovoid, inflated, up to 7 × 2.5 cm, distinctly beaked, more or less densely covered in soft bristles.
Notes: It is similar to Gomphocarpus physocarpus but can be distinguished by the fruits, which are more spindle-shaped, ending in a distinct tapering point. When the fruit dries and splits, it releases black seeds, which have long silky hairs attached to enable them to be spread by wind..

Note that the specimen in the photo left is atypical in that it shows the single-stemmed growth form, normally associated with G. physocarpus.
Derivation of specific name: fruticosus: shrubby or becoming shrubby
Habitat: In open terrain, along roadsides and riverbanks and in disturbed areas.
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: SW Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, South Africa.
Zimbabwe distribution: W,C,E,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Danaus chrysippus aegyptius (Food plant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Saturday 22 November 2008
Literature:

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 25.

Fabian, A. & Germishuizen, G. (1997). Wild Flowers of Northern South Africa. Fernwood Press, Vlaeburg. Pages 312 - 313. as Asclepias fruticosa (Includes a picture).

Goyder, D.J. & Nicholas, A. (2001). A revision of Gomphocarpus R. Br. Kew Bulletin 56 Pages 782 - 785.

Kirby, G. (2013). Wild Flowers of Southeast Botswana Struik Nature, Cape Town South Africa Page 55. (Includes a picture).

Pooley, E. (1998). A Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region. Natal Flora Publications Trust. Durban. Page 168.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 27.

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 197.

Van Wyk, B. & Malan, S. (1988). Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of the Witwatersrand and Pretoria Region Struik, Cape Town Pages 96 - 97. as Asclepias fruticosa


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Other sources of information about Gomphocarpus fruticosus subsp. fruticosus:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Gomphocarpus fruticosus subsp. fruticosus
Flora of Caprivi: Gomphocarpus fruticosus subsp. fruticosus
Flora of Mozambique: Gomphocarpus fruticosus subsp. fruticosus
Flora of Zambia: Gomphocarpus fruticosus subsp. fruticosus

External websites:

Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Gomphocarpus fruticosus
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Gomphocarpus fruticosus
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Gomphocarpus fruticosus
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Gomphocarpus fruticosus
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Gomphocarpus fruticosus
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Gomphocarpus fruticosus
Ispot Southern Africa : Gomphocarpus fruticosus
JSTOR Plant Science: Gomphocarpus fruticosus
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Gomphocarpus fruticosus
Tropicos: Gomphocarpus fruticosus
West African Plants database: Gomphocarpus fruticosus


Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-16

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2016). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Gomphocarpus fruticosus subsp. fruticosus.
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=145690, retrieved 24 July 2016

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