SPECIES: Gastrolobium appressum — Scale-leaf Poison


Beware. It may look like a sweet, innocent plant - but don't be fooled. This native, endemic to the south-west of Western Australia, was discovered after it was found to be responsible for sheep mortalities in the 1800's. Scale-leaf Poison is a spindly, densely-branched shrub with flat, leathery leaves that grow overlapping each other along the stem - resembling fish scales. Ah-ha, the name! Flowers are multicoloured - mostly red, orange or purple - are streaked, spotty or blotchy. Scale-leaf Poison contains a toxic substance used in 1080 poison for the control of feral animals, however all species of domestic animals do not have tolerance when the plant is ingested.

Photo: M Fagg

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