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Amianthium muscaetoxicum Minimize
FLY POISON - Amianthium muscaetoxicum
FLY POISON - Amianthium muscaetoxicum

Images on this page contributed by: Ann F. Rhodes, PhD, Director of the Pennsylvania Flora Project

Amianthium muscaetoxicum


Fly poison has basal grass-like leaves and white flowers with dense racemes.
Geographic range
Found in moist soils and open woodlands in the eastern United States, fly poison emerges in the spring before most other forages.
Toxic principle
Several toxins have been identified in fly poison. These include cevanine-type veratrum ester alkaloids, amianthine, and jervine, which is a teratogen.
Leaves and bulbs are neurotoxic. In sheep and cattle, the toxic dose is 0.1-0.2% body weight and the lethal dose is 0.3% body weight of green plant.
Clinical signs
After a few hours, excessive salivation and vomiting are seen. Later signs include colic, weakness, incoordination, and labored respiration. Clinical signs generally disappear within 1-2 days. In cases of ingestion of large amounts of the plant, animals may die due to respiratory failure within the first day.
Small scattered hemorrhages may be seen.
There is no effective treatment.

Read more in the Poisonous Plants of Pennsylvania Publication

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