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Cape Hop Bush, Kapok Bush

Cape Hop Bush, Kapok Bush
Photo: K&C Benz
Invasive Plant
Cape Hop Bush, Kapok Bush
Aerva javanica

This plant was originally introduced to assist with the revegetation of degraded soils in various parts of Australia, however it has since spread and naturalised across vast regions of northern Australia. The plant is an erect, multi-stemmed, soft-wooded, perennial herb to 1.6 m high. It has broad leaves that are densely covered in short, branched hairs, giving it a grayish appearance. Flowers and fruits for most of the year.



  • The plant is an alien introduction. The many seeds from this plant germinate easily.
  • The Kapok bush is cultivated and utilised by the indigenous peoples.
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Alternative Plants

Pearl Bluebush
Photo: Stan Shebs
Alternative Plant Pearl Bluebush
Maireana sedifolia
Trees and Shrubs

Highly attractive, slow to medium growing small shrub that will do well in the garden or in a rockery. It may reach a height of a little over a metre when mature, but it will spread up to 2 m if allowed. Endemic to the Alice Springs area, it prefers dry conditions and care should be taken not to over-water it. It is frost tolerant. Although local in origin, it may be hard to obtain through garden centres.

Silky Eremophila
Photo: Macbird Floraprint
Alternative Plant Silky Eremophila
Eremophila nivea
Trees and Shrubs

An appealing soft, grey foliaged shrub that has a medium growth rate and may reach 2 m high by 0.5m wide when mature. It produces attractive lilac flowers throughout the spring and summer months and dislikes wet soils, so is best watered sparingly. It is frost tender so should be planted in a spot that receives protection in the colder months.

Silver Ball
Photo: Gary Dinham
Alternative Plant Silver Ball
Eremophila glabra
Trees and Shrubs

A pretty, compact and lowgrowing shrub to 1m by 1m wide. It has grey foliage and attractive red flowers. Its foliage colour forms an excellent contrast, especially when it is mass planted as a border along pathways with taller, green plants behind. It does best in full-sun to light shade positions and will tolerate frost and drought conditions.

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