Gomphocarpus fruticosus

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Gomphocarpus fruticosus
Asclepias fruticosa fruits.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Genus: Gomphocarpus
Species: G. fruticosus
Binomial name
Gomphocarpus fruticosus
(L.) W.T.Aiton

Gomphocarpus fruticosus (syn. Asclepias fruticosa) is a species of milkweed native to South Africa.[2] It is also common in New Zealand where it is the main host of the monarch butterfly.[citation needed] The plant's tissues contain sufficient cardenolides that consumption of significant quantities of the plant's leaves, stems, or fruit may lead to death in livestock and humans.[3][4][5]

The species is closely related to Gomphocarpus physocarpus.


  1. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species, version 1.1".
  2. ^ Clive Bromilow; Problem Plants of South Africa, Briza Publications 2001 ISBN 1-875093-27-3
  3. ^ Van Wyk, Van Oudshoorn & Gerike: Medicinal plants of South Africa, Briza Publications 1997. ISBN 1-875093-09-5
  4. ^ Philip H. Quanjer. "Milk Weed Asclepias fruticosa". Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  5. ^ p. 36 in D. Jesse Wagstaff (2008). International Poisonous Plants Checklist, An Evidence-Based Reference. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fla.

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