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Bellyache bush

Weed Habitat 

  • Native to the Caribbean and tropical America, Bellyache bush is a garden escape now naturalised in various areas of North Queensland on degraded lands and along river banks and roadsides.
  • Seeds toxic to animals and humans.


  • Erect shrub 2.5-3 m tall with thick, sappy stem
  • Stems, leaf stalks and leaf margins covered with course, sticky, brown hairs.
  • Young leaves purple, sticky, deeply divided into 3 rounded lobes. Older leaves bright green, about 10cm diameter, up to 5 lobes.
  • Flowers small, purple-red with yellow centers, clustered on stalks in leaf axis of upper foliage.
  • Fruit capsules smooth, 3-lobed and oval-shaped, about 12 mm across, contain 3 dark seeds.

Jatropha gossypifoliaJatropha gossypifoliaJatropha gossypifoliaJatropha gossypifolia


Plant Type

Leaf Arrangement

Other weed identifiers

Plant Life Cycle

Weed Declaration

This species is declared Restricted Matter under the Biosecurity Act 2014 for further information on declaration refer to your Local Government or the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. It is also a Weed of National Significance.

Weed Spread