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

Selected images: Click on each image to see a larger version and details of the record View all images (19)

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) Wild cotton (English)
Status: Native
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.
Derivation of specific name: fruticosus: shrubby or becoming shrubby
Habitat: In open terrain, along roadsides and riverbanks and in disturbed areas.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: SW Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, South Africa.
Malawi distribution: 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

Binns, B. (1968). A First Check List of the Herbaceous Flora of Malawi The Government Printer, Zomba, Malawi Page 21. as Gomphocarpus fruticosus

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 19.

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.

Goyder, D.J., Gilbert, M.G. & Venter, H.J.T. (2020). Apocynaceae (Part 2) Flora Zambesiaca 7(2) Pages 291 - 295. (Includes a picture).

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

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 20.

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.

Steedman, E.C. (1933). Some Trees, Shrubs and Lianes of Southern Rhodesia. Page 70. As Asclepias fruticosa

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

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
Flora of Zimbabwe: Gomphocarpus fruticosus subsp. fruticosus

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Gomphocarpus fruticosus
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Gomphocarpus fruticosus
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Gomphocarpus fruticosus
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Gomphocarpus fruticosus
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Gomphocarpus fruticosus
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Gomphocarpus fruticosus
JSTOR Plant Science: Gomphocarpus fruticosus
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Gomphocarpus fruticosus
Plants of the World Online: Gomphocarpus fruticosus
Tropicos: Gomphocarpus fruticosus
Wikipedia: Gomphocarpus fruticosus

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Gomphocarpus fruticosus subsp. fruticosus.
https://www.malawiflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=145690, retrieved 22 July 2024

Site software last modified: 3 April 2018 9:36pm
Terms of use