Yellow Iris (Common name)

General poisoning notes:

Yellow iris (Iris pseudacorus) is a naturalized plant found in wet areas in parts of southern Canada. This plant has poisoned cattle and swine and may cause similar symptoms in humans if the rhizomes are ingested. The plant juices can cause dermatitis in sensitive humans. In British Columbia cattle were poisoned by a cultivated blue-flowered Iris species. The symptoms of that poisoning are described under this species (Bruce 1920, Cooper and Johnson 1984).

References:

  • Bruce, E. A. 1920. Iris poisoning of calves. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc., 56: 72-74.
  • 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:
Iris pseudacorus L.
Vernacular name(s):
yellow iris
Scientific family name:
Iridaceae
Vernacular family name:
iris

Go to ITIS*ca for more taxonomic information on: Iris pseudacorus

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

  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • 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: yellow iris - Google Search

Notes on Poisonous plant parts:

Ingesting the rhizome causes poisoning in animals, and the plant juices cause dermatitis in sensitive individuals (Cooper and Johnson 1984).

Toxic parts:

  • plant juices
  • rhizome

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.

Notes on Toxic plant chemicals:

The toxin in Iris species has not been confirmed, but a glycoside, iridin (or irisin), has been implicated (Cooper and Johnson 1984).

Toxic plant chemicals:

  • iridin

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 yellow flag rhizome has apparently caused diarrhea and bloody feces in cattle in Europe. The toxin can survive drying because yellow flag in hay causes diarrhea (Cooper and Johnson 1984).

In a case in British Columbia, cattle ingested rhizomes from an unidentified blue-flowered cultivated Iris species. Three calves showed symptoms and died within 4 days. Initial symptoms included recumbency and excessive salivation. The glands of the head and throat became hard and enlarged. Raised sores appeared on the lips and muzzle, becoming yellowish scabs that irritated animals. Acute abdominal pain occurred, and bloody feces were passed. Death followed. Postmortem findings showed irritation of the lower stomachs and intestines. The kidneys, liver, and spleen were very dark-colored. Unfortunately, the identity of this iris was never determined (Bruce 1920). Livestock should be denied access to any Iris species that grow in the wild or in gardens, because ingestion may cause poisoning.

References:

  • Bruce, E. A. 1920. Iris poisoning of calves. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc., 56: 72-74.
  • 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:

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.

Swine

General symptoms of poisoning:

Notes on poisoning:

Swine that ingest rhizomes suffer diarrhea; one sow hemorrhaged, aborted, and died (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.

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