University of Maryland Extension

toxic plants

Toxic Plant Profile: Rhododendron and Azalea

Accidental poisoning of livestock is statistically most likely to occur from ingestion of plants in pasture or hay, but poisoning can also occur from ingestion of ornamental plants. One common ornamental in our area – rhododendron – is toxic to livestock and can be fatal. Rhododendron is a genus of...

Toxic Plant Profile: Yew

Unlike most of the toxic plants we have featured recently, yew is not commonly found in pastures or hay but is rather an ornamental plant. For this reason, yew poisoning is uncommon – but it’s not unheard of. Yew is highly toxic to livestock and even to humans. There are several species of trees...

Toxic Plant Profile: Milkweed and Dogbane

Milkweed is relatively well-known because it’s the primary food source for monarch butterfly larvae. It is, however, toxic to livestock. Dogbane, while lesser-known, is a milkweed relative that is also toxic. There are actually over 140 species of milkweed plants that collectively make up the genus...

Toxic Plant Profile: Sorghums

This article originally appeared in the September 2015 issue of Harford County's "Ag Notes" newsletter. Last month, our featured toxic plants were those in the Prunus genus, which most notably includes cherries, peaches, and plums. The toxic agent in Prunus species is hydrogen cyanide. Hydrogen...

Toxic Plant Seminar

Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Harford County Extension Office
Do you know what plants in your pasture pose a threat to your livestock? What steps are you taking to reduce your animals’ risk of eating something toxic? Dr. Anna Snarski and Extension Educator Sara BhaduriHauck will discuss the principles of plant toxicity, identification of toxic plants, and...

Toxic Plant Profile: Prunus Species

All 400-plus Prunus species are toxic to livestock. Prunus is a genus comprised of both deciduous and evergreen plants, but the most commonly recognized species are the stone fruits: cherries, peaches, plums, almonds, apricots, and nectarines. All parts of the plant are toxic except the mature...

Toxic Plant Profile: Hemlock

poison hemlock flowers
There are two types of hemlock: water hemlock and poison hemlock. Although counterintuitive, water hemlock is ten times more poisonous than poison hemlock. Water hemlock is a native perennial that thrives in wet areas. This is the most poisonous thing an animal can eat. All parts of the plant are...

Toxic Plants and Accidental Poisoning

Many plants that are commonly found in and around pastures and hay fields can cause poisoning in livestock animals. In many cases it may be impossible to completely remove all toxic plants, but having the proper knowledge about how to manage against poisoning by toxic plants can be enough to...
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