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Burning Bush (Burningbush, Kochia, Fireweed, Firebush, Mexican Fireweed, Summer Cypress, Belvedere)

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  • Common Name: Burning Bush (Burningbush, Kochia, Fireweed, Firebush, Mexican Fireweed, Summer Cypress, Belvedere)
  • Latin Name: Bassia scoparia; syn. Kochia scoparia
  • Family Name: Amaranthaceae/Chenopodiaceae
This is not a plant to be offered to tortoises.

Depending on the soil in which it is grown, Burning Bush can be very high in protein (which is not recommended for most tortoises), and under conditions of stress (usually because of drought) it produces toxic nitrates.  Mature plants are also high in oxalates, which bind with calcium in the blood stream to form calcium oxalates that can cause kidney and liver damage, and cases of death caused by ingesting large amounts of this plant have been noted in cattle, sheep and horses.

The small flowers emerge as green, but then change colours as the leaves change progressively to yellow, orange and red.  Do not confuse with Dictamnus albus (also called Burning Bush).
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