Cotton- leaf physic nut

Cotton- leaf physic nut

Japhrota gossypiifolia

Common Name:

Cotton- leaf physic nut

Scientific Name:

Japhrota gossypiifolia


Alternative common names:

American purging nut, Bellyache bush, Black physic nut,

Description:

Deciduous or evergreen shrub to 2m high, main stem woody, exuting brownish latex. Leaves are reddish- brown or purplish- green, deeply 3-5 lobed, leaf margins and petioles glandular- hairy, 60- 100 x 80- 140 mm. Flowers are red, petals 4 x 2 mm in branching inflorescences to 115 mm long. Fruits are green turning brown, 3 lobed capsules, c. 10 mm long, splitting to release 3 light brown seeds c. 7 mm long. 

Additional Information


Where does this species come from?

Mexico and South America

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

NEMBA - Category 1b

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Limpopo Province

How does it spread?

Seeds spread by water or in mud adhering to animals and vehicles

Why is it a problem?

Invades watercourses, dongas, overgrazed land, roadsides, around habitation. Seeds are poisonous and contact with the plant may cause dermatitis.

What does it look like?

Leaves: Capsule- green turning brown, 3 lobed, c. 10 mm long, splitting to release 3 light brown seeds, c. 7 mm long

Flowers: Red, petals 4 x 2 mm, in branching inflorescences to 115 mm long. Flowers appear from summer to autumn.

Fruit/seeds: Alternate, leaves are reddish- brown or purplish- green, deeply 3-5 lobed, leaf margins and petioles glandular- hairy, blade 60- 100 x 80- 140 mm

Does the plant have any uses?

Cultivated for hedging an as a purgative

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