This project is supported by The Central Qld Coast Landcare Network through funding from the Australian Government's Caring for our Country

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RED-HEAD COTTON BUSH

(Asclepias curassavica, fam. Apocynaceae)

Asclepias curassavica Asclepias curassavica Asclepias curassavica Asclepias curassavica Asclepias curassavica
Erect perennial herb with copious milky sap, growing 1-1.5m. Stems green at the base and purplish toward the top.
Form or habit: Herb
Latex:Present
Leaf:Simple Opposite

Opposite, 70-100 x about 12mm, dark green, tapering at both ends, growing mainly from the upper stems

Flower conspicuous: Conspicuous
Flower colour: Bright red with yellow centres
Flower description:Borne in terminal umbels.
Fruit conspicuous: Conspicuous
Fruit colour: Tan to brown
Fruit: Dry
Fruit description: Narrow follicles tapered at each end and about 70 x 12mm. Seeds small, very light, tan to brown, 6-7mm long, with tufts of long, white silky hairs.
Habitat:
Distribution:
Food source for:
Toxicity:Toxic or irritant to domestic pets
Origin:West Indies
Weed:Yes
Weed status:Environmental/garden escapee
Notes:Spread by: Wind dispersed seed Invades/threats: Disturbed or unmanaged areas, uncultivated pastures and along fence lines.
Notes: Probably introduced as a garden ornamental in 1880’s; now common in coastal and sub-coastal areas. Poisonous to stock but rarely eaten.
Information sources: Mackay Regional Pest Management Group (2011) Weeds of the Mackay Whitsunday Region.

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