Stinkweed (Common name)

General poisoning notes:

Stinkweed (Thlapsi arvense) is a naturalized herb found in fields and waste places across Canada. The plant contains sufficient quantities of glucosinolates to be toxic. During dry periods, cattle in western Canada have ingested hay containing high quantities of stinkweed. Poisoning, death and abortion occurred (Smith and Crowe 1987). See Brassica oleracea for additional notes on glucosinolate poisoning.

References:

  • Cheeke, P. R., Shull, L. R. 1985. Natural toxicants in feeds and poisonous plants. AVI Publishing Company, Inc., Westport, Conn., USA. 492 pp.
  • Majak, W., McDiarmid, R. E., Benn, M. H., Willms, W. D. 1991. Autolysis of Thlapsi arvense in bovine rumen fluid. Phytochemistry (Oxf.), 30: 127-129.
  • Martin, T., Morgan, S. 1987. What caused the photosensitivity in these dairy heifers. Vet. Med. Small Anim. Clin., 82: 848-851.
  • Smith, R. A., Crowe, S. P. 1987. Fanweed toxicosis in cattle: case history, analytical method, suggested treatment, and fanweed detoxification. Vet. Hum. Toxicol., 29: 155-159.

Nomenclature:

Scientific Name:
Thlaspi arvense L.
Vernacular name(s):
stinkweed
Scientific family name:
Cruciferae
Vernacular family name:
mustard

Go to ITIS*ca for more taxonomic information on: Thlaspi arvense

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

Images: stinkweed - Google Search

Toxic parts:

  • leaves
  • seeds

References:

  • Best, K. F., McIntyre, G. I. 1975. The biology of Canadian weeds 9. Thlaspi arvense L. Can. J. Plant Sci., 55: 279-292.
  • Cheeke, P. R., Shull, L. R. 1985. Natural toxicants in feeds and poisonous plants. AVI Publishing Company, Inc., Westport, Conn., USA. 492 pp.
  • Smith, R. A., Crowe, S. P. 1987. Fanweed toxicosis in cattle: case history, analytical method, suggested treatment, and fanweed detoxification. Vet. Hum. Toxicol., 29: 155-159.

Notes on Toxic plant chemicals:

Tests of stinkweed showed that the allylthiocyanate (a glucosinolate) content is sufficient to cause sickness and death in cattle; fatalities occurred at about 65 mg/kg of body weight. The amount of this chemical varies with the stage of maturity of the plant; the highest amount is in the seeds (Smith and Crowe 1987, Majak et al. 1991).

Toxic plant chemicals:

  • glucosinolates

References:

  • Best, K. F., McIntyre, G. I. 1975. The biology of Canadian weeds 9. Thlaspi arvense L. Can. J. Plant Sci., 55: 279-292.
  • Cheeke, P. R., Shull, L. R. 1985. Natural toxicants in feeds and poisonous plants. AVI Publishing Company, Inc., Westport, Conn., USA. 492 pp.
  • Majak, W., McDiarmid, R. E., Benn, M. H., Willms, W. D. 1991. Autolysis of Thlapsi arvense in bovine rumen fluid. Phytochemistry (Oxf.), 30: 127-129.
  • Smith, R. A., Crowe, S. P. 1987. Fanweed toxicosis in cattle: case history, analytical method, suggested treatment, and fanweed detoxification. Vet. Hum. Toxicol., 29: 155-159.

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:

Cattle that ingested hay containing between 25-100% stinkweed were colicky and some abortions occurred. Necropsy of cows revealed revealed massive submucosal edema of the wall of forestomachs, particularly in the rumen. Lowering the rumen pH to 5 reportedly stops the allylthiocyanate from forming. However, more recent work found that lower pH did not significantly affect the liberation of allylthiocyanate. Administering large doses of piperazine (110 mg/kg) to rapidly reduce the concentration of toxin has been suggested. Ensiling hay containing stinkweed apparently prevented liberation of allylthiocyanate (Smith and Crowe 1987). Yield of the chemical is a function of the diet, with alfalfa herbage allowing the lowest release quantity (30%) and alfalfa hay the highest yield (72%) (Majak et al. 1991).

References:

  • Cheeke, P. R., Shull, L. R. 1985. Natural toxicants in feeds and poisonous plants. AVI Publishing Company, Inc., Westport, Conn., USA. 492 pp.
  • Majak, W., McDiarmid, R. E., Benn, M. H., Willms, W. D. 1991. Autolysis of Thlapsi arvense in bovine rumen fluid. Phytochemistry (Oxf.), 30: 127-129.
  • Martin, T., Morgan, S. 1987. What caused the photosensitivity in these dairy heifers. Vet. Med. Small Anim. Clin., 82: 848-851.
  • Smith, R. A., Crowe, S. P. 1987. Fanweed toxicosis in cattle: case history, analytical method, suggested treatment, and fanweed detoxification. Vet. Hum. Toxicol., 29: 155-159.

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