Dutchman's-breeches (Common name)

General poisoning notes:

Dutchman's-breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) is a native herb found in the rich woodlands of eastern Canada. The plant has been shown to cause poisoning when fed to cattle under experimental conditions. The underground tubers caused more severe symptoms. When plant tubers were fed at 2 kg/100 kg of animal weight, various symptoms occurred, including trembling and convulsions (Black et al. 1923). Poisoning may occur during the spring, when the ground is soft and the tubers might be dug up.

References:

  • Black, O. F., Eggleston, W. W., Kelly, J. W., Turner, H. C. 1923. Poisonous properties of Bikukulla cucullaria (Dutchman's-breeches) and B. canadensis (squirrel-corn). J. Agric. Res., 23: 69-78.

Nomenclature:

Scientific Name:
Dicentra cucullaria (L.) Bernh.
Vernacular name(s):
Dutchman's-breeches
Scientific family name:
Fumariaceae
Vernacular family name:
frumitory

Go to ITIS*ca for more taxonomic information on: Dicentra cucullaria

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

  • New Brunswick
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Quebec

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

Images: Dutchman's-breeches - Google Search

Notes on Poisonous plant parts:

When the plant was fed to cattle during experiments the underground tubers caused more symptoms than the aboveground portion of the plant (Black et al. 1923).

Toxic parts:

  • leaves
  • tubers

References:

  • Black, O. F., Eggleston, W. W., Kelly, J. W., Turner, H. C. 1923. Poisonous properties of Bikukulla cucullaria (Dutchman's-breeches) and B. canadensis (squirrel-corn). J. Agric. Res., 23: 69-78.

Notes on Toxic plant chemicals:

Several isoquinoline alkaloids have been found in Dicentra species, including aporphine and protopine. The degree of toxicity of the various alkaloids is not known (Black et al. 1923). Protopine is also found in the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum).

Toxic plant chemicals:

  • aporphine
  • protopine

References:

  • Black, O. F., Eggleston, W. W., Kelly, J. W., Turner, H. C. 1923. Poisonous properties of Bikukulla cucullaria (Dutchman's-breeches) and B. canadensis (squirrel-corn). J. Agric. Res., 23: 69-78.

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:

Notes on poisoning:

Experimental feeding of cattle caused the animals to become nervous, run back and forth, violently eject stomach contents, tremble, convulse, and fall down with the legs extended and rigid. The cattle were able to rise again and recover after a while (Black et al. 1923).

References:

  • Black, O. F., Eggleston, W. W., Kelly, J. W., Turner, H. C. 1923. Poisonous properties of Bikukulla cucullaria (Dutchman's-breeches) and B. canadensis (squirrel-corn). J. Agric. Res., 23: 69-78.

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