golden-chain (Common name)

General poisoning notes:

Golden-chain (Laburnum anagyroides) is an outdoor ornamental that survives only in southwestern Ontario and coastal British Columbia. This plant contains cytisine, an alkaloid, which has caused poisoning and death in cattle, dogs, horses, swine, and humans after twigs, fruit pods, and seeds were ingested. Most of the cases of poisoning are found in European literature. Children and family pets should be prevented from ingesting the pods or seeds (Cooper and Johnson 1984, Lampe and McCann 1985, Fuller and McClintock 1986).

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.
  • Fuller, T. C., McClintock, E. 1986. Poisonous plants of California. Univ. California Press, Berkeley, Calif., USA. 432 pp.
  • Lampe, K. F., McCann, M. A. 1985. AMA Handbook of poisonous and injurious plants. American Medical Assoc. Chicago, Ill., USA. 432 pp.

Nomenclature:

Scientific Name
Laburnum anagyroides Medic.
Vernacular name(s)
golden-chain
Scientific family name
Leguminosae
Vernacular family name
pea

Go to ITIS*ca for more taxonomic information on: Laburnum anagyroides

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

  • Plant or plant parts used in or around the home.

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: Golden-chain - Google Search

Notes on Poisonous plant parts:

All parts of the plant contain the alkaloid cytisine, but the bark and seeds have the highest amount of the chemical. The leaves become less toxic as the fruit pods develop, which become more toxic (Cooper and Johnson 1984).

Toxic parts:

  • all parts
  • bark
  • leaves
  • seeds

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.

Toxic plant chemicals:

  • cytisine

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.

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:

Ingesting twigs and pods of golden-chain have produced toxic symptoms including stiff, unsteady gait, violent tremors, recumbency, and death. Milk yield has been reduced, and large yellow clots were found in the milk (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.

Dogs

General symptoms of poisoning:

Notes on poisoning:

Dogs that were poisoned experienced convulsions and died after chewing golden-chain sticks (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.

Horses

General symptoms of poisoning:

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.

Humans

General symptoms of poisoning:

Notes on poisoning:

Most cases of human poisoning occur when children eat the pods or seeds by mistake. Symptoms develop rapidly within half an hour because cytisine is rapidly absorbed through mucous membranes of the mouth, stomach, and intestine. Nausea, vomiting, pupil dilation, weakness, breathing difficulty, dizziness, and muscular incoordination can result. Ingesting large quantities can be fatal. In one case, a man ingested 23 pods of golden-chain and died. Toxicological analysis showed that 35-50 mg of cytisine had been absorbed (Cooper and Johnson 1984, Fuller and McClintock 1986).

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.
  • Fuller, T. C., McClintock, E. 1986. Poisonous plants of California. Univ. California Press, Berkeley, Calif., USA. 432 pp.

Swine

General symptoms of poisoning:

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.

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