Narrow Leaf Cottonbush Gomphocarpus fruticosus
Cottonbush has dull green, narrow leaves and is an erect perennial herb or shrub that can grow to 0.5 to 1.5m high. From February to July it produces small white cream flowers that become a puffy fruit which opens to produce fluffy white seeds that are easily dispersed by the wind.
Cotton bush can be found in degraded pastures, around water courses and wetlands, on roadsides and disturbed areas. It is toxic to stock and exudes a milky sap when damaged, which can cause skin irritations therefore any contact with the plant must include the wearing of gloves.
Small plants can be removed by hand and removing all the roots is preferred as it can re-sprout. Hand removal can also cause mature fruits to open and disperse seed, meaning the fruits may need to be removed first. Larger plants can be sprayed with glyphosate or metsulfuron methyl which is best applied in late spring and early summer before seed set.
More information can be found on the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development website Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development websiteopens in a new window.