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Poisonous Plants

Not all plants listed here are deadly, the reactions vary widely from mild to dead in minutes.

  • Alsike Clover
    Apricot Tree – see cherry tree
    Baneberries – intensive digestive upset
    Black Locust – bark, sprouts, foliage – nausea, weakness and depression
    Black walnut – be careful to get shavings which contain no black walnut
    Box Wood – lethal
    Braken Fern – often poisons horses – nervous symptoms characteristic of vitamin b1deficency –
    can be poisoned by braken in hay or bedding
    Cherry Trees -twigs and foliage -can be lethal- antidote is effective if given very quickly- very common tree
    Chives – affects liver and kidneys
    Christmas Rose -butter cup family
    Cocklebur-found on pond shores
    Corn Cockles
    Crimson clover
    Daphne – small red or yellow berries cause severe mouth burns
    Dutchman’breeches – grows in pastures and have caused loss of livestock
    Elderberry – digestive upset
    Foxgloves – fresh or in hay – irregular heart beat and pulse
    Ground Ivy – Lethal – causes slobbering ,sweating, pupil dilation
    Horseradish – becomes excited, in pain – loses weight even though eating
    Horse chestnuts – related to buckeyes which are poisonous – no evidence that chestnuts are
    Irises – fleshy root
    Jack-in-the-pulpit – contains oxalate crystals
    Japanese maple
    Japanese Yew
    Larkspur -found in flower gardens or wild – leaves and roots
    Leafy Spurge
    Lily’s – (some not all)-bulb
    Lily-of-the valley
    Lupine -western variety has caused lots of livestock deaths
    May apple – animals occasionally poisoned – 16 active toxic principles
    Mountain Laurel – VERY DEADLY
    Oaks – acorns -in large amounts -gradual kidney damage in livestock
    Oleander –deadly
    Onions – a few are fine but large amounts for several days will destroy red blood cells
    Sheep laurel
    Peach Tree – see cherry tree
    Plum Tree – see cherry tree
    Pond Scums – algae
    Potatoes – leaves and vines the normal healthy tuber itself is harmless
    Red Maple
    Rubarb – leaf
    Rubber Tree – contains a strong irritant called Euphorbia can cause colic.
    Saint Johns Wort
    Star-of-Bethlehem-onion like weed that has caused extensive loss to livestock
    Sensitive Fern
    Skunk Cabbage
    Sudan Grass- under 18″ dark green
    Sweet Pea – seeds produce skeletal deformity
    Tomatoes – vines may be poisonous
    Waterhelmlock – tubular roots sometimes have enough toxin that one root can kill – violent and painful
    White Snakeroot — horse?? but it does effect cows and people if they drink the milk of cows that have
    eaten white snakeroot
    Yew – can be deadly – greenish-yellow on the under surface – no white stripe

Most horses that have enough forage will not eat what is poisonous.
BUT if hand fed a horse may eat what it shouldn’t, if there is very little forage left they may eat what
they normally would not.
Some of the plants listed above, can kill in one mouthful, others like the onion take a lot to to damage.

This list is not complete. There are over 700 plants in the US and Canada that are poisonous.

It can’t be said enough. CALL YOUR VET if you suspect a problem with plant poisoning.



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