Agrostemma githago (Scientific name)

General poisoning notes:

Purple cockle (Agrostemma githago) is a naturalized herb found across southern Canada. The seeds are contaminants of wheat seeds and they are considered to be poisonous to poultry, cattle, and humans. Human poisoning is rare. Feeding trials have been conducted with ground seeds, which are unappetizing to poultry (Quigley and Waite 1931).

References:

  • Hardin, J. W., Arena, J. M. 1969. Human poisoning from native and cultivated plants. Duke University Press, Durham, N.C., USA. 167 pp.
  • Heuser, G. F., Shumacher, A. E. 1942. The feeding of corn cockle to chickens. Poult. Sci., 21:86-93.
  • Quigley, G. D., Waite, R. H. 1931. Miscellaneous feeding trials with poultry. Univ. MD. Agric. Exp. Stn. Bull., 325: 343-354.

Nomenclature

Scientific Name:
Agrostemma githago L.
Vernacular name(s):
purple cockle
Scientific family name:
Caryophyllaceae
Vernacular family name:
pink

Go to ITIS*ca for more taxonomic information on: Agrostemma githago

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

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

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Toxic parts:

  • Seeds

References:

  • Heuser, G. F., Shumacher, A. E. 1942. The feeding of corn cockle to chickens. Poult. Sci., 21:86-93.
  • Quigley, G. D., Waite, R. H. 1931. Miscellaneous feeding trials with poultry. Univ. MD. Agric. Exp. Stn. Bull., 325: 343-354.

Notes on Toxic plant chemicals:

Purple cockle (Agrostemma githago) contains the saponin githagin, which is toxic mainly to poultry. The toxin is destroyed in seeds at 50 C. The following quantities have been found to be toxic in experiments with animals:

  • Calf 0.0025% of body weight
  • Poultry : 0.0025%
  • Pig : 0.0010%
  • Dog : 0.0009%

Most feeding experiments have been conducted on chickens (Quigley and Waite 1931; Heuser and Schumacher 1942).

Toxic plant chemicals:

Githagin

References:

  • Heuser, G. F., Shumacher, A. E. 1942. The feeding of corn cockle to chickens. Poult. Sci., 21:86-93.

Animals/Human Poisoning:

Note: When an animal is listed without additional information, the literature (as of 1993) contained no detailed explanation.

Humans

General symptoms of poisoning:

Notes on poisoning:

Purple cockle (Agrostemma githago) seeds can contaminate wheat because the seeds are difficult to screen. Highly contaminated wheat is unsalable. The seeds are a danger if present in home-ground wheat, corn, or oats (Hardin and Arena 1969).

References:

  • Hardin, J. W., Arena, J. M. 1969. Human poisoning from native and cultivated plants. Duke University Press, Durham, N.C., USA. 167 pp.

Poultry

General symptoms of poisoning:

References:

  • Heuser, G. F., Shumacher, A. E. 1942. The feeding of corn cockle to chickens. Poult. Sci., 21:86-93.
  • Quigley, G. D., Waite, R. H. 1931. Miscellaneous feeding trials with poultry. Univ. MD. Agric. Exp. Stn. Bull., 325: 343-354.

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