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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

FDA Poisonous Plant Database

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AUTHOR(S): Anonymous
TITLE: Reducing livestock losses from milkweed poisoning in the western states.
YEAR: 1958 CITATION: U S Dep Agric Pamphlet, PA-326(), 3 pp [English]
FDA #: F04981
ABSTRACT: Article: Several species of milkweeds may poison range animals. Species that cause heavy livestock losses are listed below in order ot toxicity. Common Name/ Botanical Name/ Distribution none/Asclepias labriformis/Eastern Utah Westernwhorled milkweed/A. subverticillata/southern UT, AZ to KS &TX Wooly pod milkweed/A. eriocarpa/California Mexican whorled milkweed/A. fascicularis/WA, ID, CA E. whorled milkweed/A. verticillata/Atlantic coast & Mississippi valley Milkweed poisoning occurs frequently in sheep and occasionally in cattle and horse. Most livestock losses are a result of concentrating hungry animals around milkweed infested corrals, bed grounds, and driveways. Poisoning also may occur if animals are fed hay containing large amounts of milkweed. The leaves and other aboveground portions of the plant are poisonous. They contain a resinous substance and several glucosidal substances. Milkweeds are dangerous at all times, but are most poisonous during the active growing season. Where and When it Grows: These plants are often found in sandy soils of plains and foothills. They grow on ranges and abandoned farms, along roadsides, in pastures, and in ditches, old fields, and other waste places. Milkweeds start growth in the early spring. How it Affects Livestock: An average-sized sheep that eats 1 to 3 ounces of green leaves of one of the more toxic species is likely to die of poisoning. It may die within a few hours or it may live 2 to 4 days. Symptoms of milkweed poisoning: 1. Loss of muscular control, 2. Staggering and falling, 3. Violent spasms, 4. Bloating, 5. Rapid and weak pulse, 6. Difficulty in breathing, 7. Respiratory paralysis. How to Reduce Livestock Losses: Animals usually eat milkweeds when good forage is scarce. Livestock owners can reduce losses by keeping animals away from milkweed areas, especially along driveways, when bands of sheep are trailed from one range to another. Supplemental feeding is usually beneficial. Eradication of milkweeds in large areas is not practicable. In small areas, the plants may be destroyed by treating them with a herbicide, such as 2,4,5-T
GRIN #: 404184 Exit Disclaimer
COMMON NAME
STANDARD COMMON NAME
FAMILYAsclepiadaceae
LATIN NAMEAsclepias eriocarpa
STANDARD PLANT NAMEAsclepias eriocarpa Benth.
COMMON NAME
STANDARD COMMON NAME
FAMILYAsclepiadaceae
LATIN NAMEAsclepias fascicularis
STANDARD PLANT NAMEAsclepias fascicularis Decne.
GRIN #: 316571 Exit Disclaimer
COMMON NAME
STANDARD COMMON NAME
FAMILYAsclepiadaceae
LATIN NAMEAsclepias labriformis
STANDARD PLANT NAMEAsclepias labriformis M. E. Jones
GRIN #: 316575 Exit Disclaimer
COMMON NAME
STANDARD COMMON NAME
FAMILYAsclepiadaceae
LATIN NAMEAsclepias subverticillata
STANDARD PLANT NAMEAsclepias subverticillata (A. Gray) Vail
GRIN #: 103167 Exit Disclaimer
COMMON NAME
STANDARD COMMON NAME
FAMILYAsclepiadaceae
LATIN NAMEAsclepias verticillata
STANDARD PLANT NAMEAsclepias verticillata L.
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