DUTCHMAN'S BREECHES, WILD BLEEDING HEART
- Dicentra has delicate, fern-like leaves with characteristic heart-shaped pink to white flowers.
- Geographic range
- Found in the eastern and western United States. Usually found in moist, rich soils of forests and woodlands.
- Toxic principle
- Isoquinolone alkaloids (protoberberins) are poisonous to cattle and horses but are not toxic to sheep. Other alkaloids in Dicentra may be responsible for poisoning in sheep.
- Clinical signs
- In cattle, muscle tremors, staggering, and incoordination are seen. If a larger amount of plant is ingested, projectile vomiting, convulsions, and lateral recumbancy with extensor rigidity may be seen. Animals rarely die from Dicentra poisoning.
- None. Animals often recover when access to the plant is removed. A saline cathartic may be given to reduce further absorption of the toxins.
Read more in the Poisonous Plants of Pennsylvania Publication