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Poisonous Plant Dangers Around The Home For Babies, Toddlers, and Children

 

General poisoning notes:

Seaside arrow-grass (Triglochin maritima) is a native plant found sporadically across Canada in saline, brackish, or fresh marshes and shores. This plant contains cyanogenic glycosides, which can release HCN during mastication by animals. Poisoning occurs primarily with ruminants, including cattle and sheep. The concentration of toxic chemicals increases during times of moisture depletion (Majak et al. 1980, Cooper and Johnson 1984, Poulton 1989).

References:

Beath, O. A., Draize, J. H., Eppson, H. F. 1933. Arrow grass - chemical and physiological considerations. Univ. Wyo. Agric. Exp. Stn. Bull., 193. 36 pp.

Cooper, M. R., Johnson, A. W. 1984. Poisonous plants in Britain and their effects on animals and man. Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, England. 305 pp.

Nomenclature:

 

Scientific Name: Triglochin maritima L.

Vernacular name(s): seaside arrow-grass

Scientific family name: Juncaginaceae

Vernacular family name: arrow-grass

Go to ITIS*ca for more taxonomic information on: Triglochin maritima

References:

Agriculture Quebec. 1975. Noms des maladies des plantes du Canada/ Names of plant diseases in Canada. , Quebec City, Que., Canada. 288 pp.

Alex, J. F., Cayouette, R., Mulligan, G. A. 1980. Common and botanical names of weeds in Canada/Noms populaire et scientifiques des plantes nuisibles du Canada. Revised. Agric. Can. Publ., Ottawa, Ont., Canada. 132 pp.

Bailey, L. H., Bailey, E. Z. 1976. Hortus third. Revised. MacMillan, New York, N.Y., USA. 1290 pp.

Scoggan, H. J. 1978, 1979. The flora of Canada. Nat. Mus. Nat. Sci. (Ottawa) Publ. Bot. 7(1)-7(4). 1711 pp.

Van Wijk, H. L. 1911. A dictionary of plant names. Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, The Netherlands. 1444 pp.

Victorin, M. 1964. Flore Laurentienne. 2nd ed. Univ. Montreal, Montreal, Que., Canada. 952 pp.

Geographic Information

 

Alberta
British Columbia
Labrador
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Northwest Territories
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Yukon Territory

References:

Bailey, L. H., Bailey, E. Z. 1976. Hortus third. Revised. MacMillan, New York, N.Y., USA. 1290 pp.

Boivin, B. 1966, 1967. Énumération des plantes du Canada. Provencheria 6. Nat. Can. (Que.) 93: 253-274; 371-437; 583-646; 989-1063. 94: 131-157; 471-528; 625-655.

Image or illustration

seaside arrow-grass:

 

Images: images.google.com

Toxic parts:

all parts
flowers
leaves

References:

 

Majak, W., McDiarmid, R. E., Hall, J. W., Van Ryswyk, A. L. 1980. Seasonal variation in the cyanide potential of arrowgrass (Triglochin maritima). Can. J. Plant Sci., 60: 1235-1241.

Notes on Toxic plant chemicals:

Two cyanogenic glycosides, triglochinin and taxiphillin, have been found in seaside arrow-grass. The cyanogenic levels in leaves are substantially elevated during periods of severe moisture stress. Newly initiated spikes (flowering stalks) yielded high levels of glycosides. Spikes therefore pose a potential threat if they are selectively grazed. A cyanogenic glycoside content of 50 mg/100 g of green seaside arrow-grass is considered lethal, even if only 0.5% of body weight is ingested (Majak et al. 1980, Cooper and Johnson 1984).

Toxic plant chemicals:

taxiphillin
Image of taxiphillin

triglochinin

Chemical diagram(s) are courtesy of Ruth McDiarmid, Biochemistry Technician, Kamloops Range Station, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Kamploops, British Columbia, Canada.

References:

Majak, W., McDiarmid, R. E., Hall, J. W., Van Ryswyk, A. L. 1980. Seasonal variation in the cyanide potential of arrowgrass (Triglochin maritima). Can. J. Plant Sci., 60: 1235-1241.

Poulton, J. E. 1983. Cyanogenic compounds in plants and their toxic effects. Pages 117-157 in Keeler, R. F., Tu, A. T., eds. Handbook of natural toxins. Vol. 1. Plant and Fungal toxins. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, N.Y., USA. 934 pp.

Animals/Human Poisoning:

Note: When an animal is listed without additional information, the literature (as of 1993) contained no detailed explanation.

Cattle

General symptoms of poisoning:

convulsions
death by asphyxiation
nervousness
recumbency
trembling
vomiting

Notes on poisoning:

Cyanide poisoning from seaside arrow-grass is similar to symptoms discussed under sheep.

References:

Cooper, M. R., Johnson, A. W. 1984. Poisonous plants in Britain and their effects on animals and man. Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, England. 305 pp.

Sheep

General symptoms of poisoning:

convulsions
death by asphyxiation
nervousness
recumbency
salivation
trembling
vomiting

Notes on poisoning:

Cyanide poisoning of sheep by seaside arrow-grass includes the following symptoms: nervousness, trembling, erratic breathing, convulsions, recumbency, and death. Postmortem findings reveal bright red blood and the smell of bitter almonds in the stomach. Treatment, if started early enough, can be successful. Intravenous injections of an aqueous solution of sodium thiosulfate have proved to be effective (Cooper and Johnson 1984).

References:

Cooper, M. R., Johnson, A. W. 1984. Poisonous plants in Britain and their effects on animals and man. Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, England. 305 pp.

Information Source: ©Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System, Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility.

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