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  GRIN Taxonomy for Plants
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Taxon: Gomphocarpus fruticosus (L.) W. T. Aiton subsp. fruticosus

Genus: Gomphocarpus
Family: Apocynaceae subfamily: Asclepiadoideae tribe: Asclepiadeae subtribe: Asclepiadinae. Also placed in: Asclepiadaceae
Nomen number: 17853
Name verified on: 25-Jan-2012 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last updated: 25-Jan-2012
No species priority site assigned.


See other conspecific taxa:

Common names:

  • balloon-cotton   (Source: Noxweed Aust ) – English
  • bristle-fruit silkweed   (Source: PROTA4U ) – English
  • Cape-cotton   (Source: Noxweed Aust ) – English
  • cottonbush   (Source: PROTA4U ) – English
  • duckbush   (Source: Noxweed Aust ) – English
  • gooseplant   (Source: Zander Ency [as Asclepias fruticosa]) – English
  • mobydick   (Source: PROTA4U ) – English
  • narrow-leaf cottonbush   (Source: Noxweed Aust ) – English
  • swanplant   (Source: Noxweed Aust ) – English
  • wild cotton   (Source: Websters Dict [as Asclepias fruticosa]) – English
  • faux cotonnier   (Source: PROTA4U ) – French
  • ouatier marron   (Source: PROTA4U ) – French
  • petite ouate   (Source: PROTA4U ) – French
  • Baumwoll-Seidenpflanze   (Source: Zander Ency [as Asclepias fruticosa]) – German
  • ballongbuske   (Source: Vara kulturvaxt namn ) – Swedish

Economic importance:


Distributional range:

    South Tropical Africa: Angola; Malawi; Mozambique; Zambia; Zimbabwe
    Southern Africa: Botswana; Lesotho; Namibia; South Africa - Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Northern Cape, Western Cape; Swaziland

    Macaronesia: Portugal - Azores, Madeira Islands; Spain - Canary Islands
    Northern Africa: Morocco
    Northeast Tropical Africa: Sudan
    West-Central Tropical Africa: Cameroon
    West Tropical Africa: Cote D'Ivoire; Guinea; Senegal
    Western Indian Ocean: Madagascar; Mauritius; Reunion
    Western Asia: Cyprus; Turkey
    Indian Subcontinent: India
    Australia: Australia
    New Zealand: New Zealand
    Southeastern Europe: Albania; Croatia; Greece [incl. Crete]; Italy [incl. Sardinia, Sicily]
    Southwestern Europe: France [incl. Corsica]; Portugal; Spain [incl. Baleares]
    Northern South America: Venezuela
    Western South America: Peru - Moquegua

      Adventive: (links to other web resources are provided for some distributions)
    Southwestern U.S.A.: United States - California

  • also cultivated


  • Germishuizen, G. & N. L. Meyer, eds. 2003. Plants of southern Africa: an annotated checklist. Strelitzia 14.
  • Goyder, D. J. & A. Nicholas. 2001. A revision of Gomphocarpus R. Br. (Apocynaceae: Asclepiadeae). Kew Bull. 56:784–785.


Check other web resources for Gomphocarpus fruticosus (L.) W. T. Aiton subsp. fruticosus:

  • PLANTS: USDA-NRCS Database of Plants of the United States and its Territories
  • SIBIS: South African National Biodiversity Institute's (SANBI) Integrated Biodiversity System
  • On-line Flora of Zimbabwe
  • TROPICOS: Nomenclatural and Specimen Database of the Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Mansfeld: Mansfeld's World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops

Check other databases for images:

  • Google Images Images Note: Be advised that their identity may be inaccurate. Proper identification of a plant may require specialized taxonomic knowledge or comparison with properly documented herbarium material.

Abbreviations & symbols in GRIN Taxonomy

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Cite as:
USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program.
Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database].
National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.
URL: (28 August 2015)

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