• Originally from Argentina, this plant is now widespread in disturbed places, e.g. along roads, in old lands and on trampled veld.
• It is a common weed on the banks of inland rivers and is often also found as a garden plant.
• Now a declared weed that has to be eradicated in South Africa.
General: It is a slender, loosely branched evergreen shrub with long, lax shoots, or an erect tree growing up to 5 m high.
The stems are weak and the plant lives at most for a few years and is often an annual
Leaves: Alternate, smooth, blue-green, leathery and can be very large (up to 20 cm long) on young plants.
Flowers: In loose bunches at the ends of branches. Yellow, narrowly tubular and pendulous.
Fruit: A papery capsule 2-chambered and contains many small golden-brown seeds. In contrast to flowers, fruits are borne erect.
Contains an alkaloid – anabasine.
Central nervous and urogenital system.
CNS: The symptoms are the same as those for nicotine poisoning, viz; salivation, rapid pulse and breathing, slight tremor of the eyelids, lips and muscles, followed by spasms.
Urogenital: Anabasine results in malformations (arthrogryposis, cleft palate, deformed head) in lambs if fed to ewes during gestation (30 - 60 days of gestation).
Colour photos. Final web-ready size: JPEG, 72 ppi. Photo 1: 39 kb; Photo 2: 33.5 kb; Photo 3: 25.9 kb; Photo 4: 9.7 kb; Photo 5: 18.4 kb. Original TIFF file housed at the Dept. of Paraclinical Sciences, Section Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Pretoria.