Gastrolobium bilobum

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Heart-leaved poison
Curtis's Botanical Magazine - Plate 2212 - Gastrolobium bilobum.jpg
An illustration from Curtis's Botanical Magazine (1818).
Scientific classification
G. bilobum
Binomial name
Gastrolobium bilobum
  • Gastrolobium corymbosum Turcz.

Gastrolobium bilobum, commonly known as heart-leaved poison, is a bushy shrub which is endemic to south west Western Australia.

The species is a member of the family Fabaceae and is probably the most toxic species in the genus Gastrolobium, containing high levels of monofluroacetic acid.[1][2]

The species grows to a height of up to 4 metres. Between late winter and early summer (August to December in Australia) it produces yellow-orange pea-flowers with a central yellow area encircled by a band of red, and a maroon keel. The leaves are cuneiform, obovate or elliptic.[3]

The species was first formally described by botanist Robert Brown and published in Hortus Kew in 1811.[4]

In the nineteenth century as a plant within the group of gastrolobium, it was written about in the local press.[5] This continued into the early and mid twentieth century, due to the affects on agriculture.[6][7][8]

It has been further analyzed within the Australian Nucleotide and Protein sequencing.[9]

The vernacular name has been common for over 140 years, and is inappropriate due the leaves being wedge shaped, not heart shaped as the name suggests.

It occurs in the south-west of the state, usually on granite-based soils on peaks and outcrops as well as along rivers. It is associated with karri and marri forest as well as mallee and heathland.[10][11]


  1. ^ Gardner, C.A. and Bennetts, H.W. (1956) The Toxic Plants of Western Australia Perth, West Australian Newspapers. p. 76
  2. ^ Chandler, G. T.; M.D. Crisp; L.W. Cayzer & R.J. Bayer (2002). "Monograph of Gastrolobium (Fabaceae: Mirbelieae)" (PDF). Australian Systematic Botany. 15 (5): 619–739. doi:10.1071/SB01010. page 639
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "THE GASTROLOBIUM OR POISON PLANT". The Perth Gazette and West Australian Times. 4 (29). Western Australia. 24 April 1868. p. 2. Retrieved 1 March 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ "POISON PLANTS". The Daily News. XLI (14, 681). Western Australia. 1 April 1922. p. 8 (THIRD EDITION). Retrieved 2 March 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ "POISON PLANTS OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA". Pingelly-Brookton Leader. I (12). Western Australia. 24 December 1925. p. 4. Retrieved 1 March 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  8. ^ "A SERIOUS POISON". Western Mail. XLIV (2, 273). Western Australia. 5 September 1929. p. 48. Retrieved 1 March 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  9. ^ Australian Nucleotide (DNA/RNA) and Protein sequences from Australian organisms in the species Gastrolobium bilobum, QFAB, retrieved 1 March 2017
  10. ^ Aplin, T.E.H (1973), Poison plants of Western Australia : gastrolobium and oxylobium, Department of Agriculture, retrieved 1 March 2017
  11. ^ Aplin, T. E. H; Western Australia. Department of Agriculture (1968), Heart-leaf poison, river poison, Stirling Range poison, Western Australian Department of Agriculture], retrieved 1 March 2017

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