Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Gomphocarpus fruticosus (L.) Spreng.

Half hardy, upright, deciduous sub-shrub with linear, lance-shaped leaves and axillary clusters of cup-shaped, creamy-white flowers in summer, followed by ovoid, softly-spiny, silver-green fruit.  To 1.5m.  [RHSE, Don].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘An old inhabitant of our greenhouses, where it thrives well and frequently ripens its seeds.  but the plant should be removed out of the greenhouse or the seed-vessels be plucked off before they burst, otherwise the down of the seeds being blown about the house, and adhering to whatever it touches, is apt to disfigure all the surrounding foliage.’  [BM t.1628/1814].  Introduced to Britain in 1714.  [JD].

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1857 catalogue [T.71/1857].


Published Feb 26, 2009 - 03:01 PM | Last updated Feb 23, 2010 - 02:01 PM

Illustrated are lance-shaped leaves and clusters of cup-shaped, creamy-white flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.1628, 1814.

Gomphocarpus fruticosus (L.) Spreng. | BM t.1628/1814 | BHL

Family Asclepiadaceae
Region of origin

Southern Africa

  • Asclepias fruticosa L.
Common Name

Milk bush

Name in the Camden Park Record

Asclepias fruticosa 

Confidence level high