Narrow-leaved Cotton-bush Milkweed

Gomphocarpus fruiticosus (?)

Gomphocarpus fruiticosus photo © by Michael Plagens

Among roadside vegetation in the Kerio Valley, Baringo County, Kenya. December 2015.

Milkweeds are usually an easy-to-recognize group of plants. The five pointed flowers usually have a distinct corona about the central stigma and they are very often arranged in an umbrella-like cluster. Bright white latex exudes from broken stems or leaves. Finally the pod-shaped fruits are typically borne in pairs and in this case contain many cottony seeds. This species grows about a meter tall and is mostly herbaceous. The leaves are lance-shaped. Most images of G. fruiticosus show white petals whereas these are yellow; the long beak of the fruit is consistent.

fruit of Gomphocarpus fruiticosus Kerio Valley, Kenya, photo © Michael Plagens

Asclepiadaceae -- Milkweed Family
(now included in the Apocynaceae -- Dogbane Family)

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 10 Feb. 2016