Phalaris arundinacea (Scientific name)

General poisoning notes:

Reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea) is cultivated and has also escaped across much of southern Canada. The plant grows well in poorly drained soils subject to prolonged flooding. The plant has caused animal performance lower than the nutritional composition of the plant suggests. Sheep in New Zealand exhibited Phalaris staggers, which includes distress, convulsions, and death. No cases of this have been reported in North America (Majak et al. 1979, Cheeke and Schull 1985).

References:

  • Cheeke, P. R., Shull, L. R. 1985. Natural toxicants in feeds and poisonous plants. AVI Publishing Company, Inc., Westport, Conn., USA. 492 pp.
  • Corcuera, L. J. 1989. Indole alkaloids from Phalaris and other gramineae. Pages 169-177 in Cheeke, P. R., ed. Toxicants of plant origin. Vol. I. Alkaloids. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, Fla., USA. 335 pp.

Nomenclature:

Scientific Name:
Phalaris arundinacea L.
Vernacular name(s):
reed canarygrass
Scientific family name:
Gramineae
Vernacular family name:
grass

Go to ITIS*ca for more taxonomic information on: Phalaris arundinacea

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
  • Newfoundland
  • Northwest Territories
  • 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:

  • leaves

References:

  • Corcuera, L. J. 1989. Indole alkaloids from Phalaris and other gramineae. Pages 169-177 in Cheeke, P. R., ed. Toxicants of plant origin. Vol. I. Alkaloids. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, Fla., USA. 335 pp.

Notes on Toxic plant chemicals:

Several indole alkaloids are found in reed canarygrass, including hordenine, gramine and 5-methoxy-N-methyltryptamine. Other indole alkaloids were also found. In the interior of British Columbia the concentration of the latter two was found to increase towards the end of the growing season. Differences were also found in various cultivars. Cultural practices and environmental factors such as moisture stress may also increase the amount of alkaloids (Majak et al. 1979, Corcuera 1989).

Toxic plant chemicals:

  • gramine
  • hordenine
  • 5MMethyltryptamine

References:

  • Corcuera, L. J. 1989. Indole alkaloids from Phalaris and other gramineae. Pages 169-177 in Cheeke, P. R., ed. Toxicants of plant origin. Vol. I. Alkaloids. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, Fla., USA. 335 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:

Sheep in New Zealand have developed Phalaris staggers. Symptoms include incoordination, stiff stilted gait, muscle spasms, convulsions, recumbency, and death. Similar symptoms have not been recorded in North America. Gross lesions are found in the nervous system, including gray to blue discoloration of the brain stem and yellow brown granules in the cytoplasm of nerve cells (Cheeke and Schull 1985).

References:

  • Corcuera, L. J. 1989. Indole alkaloids from Phalaris and other gramineae. Pages 169-177 in Cheeke, P. R., ed. Toxicants of plant origin. Vol. I. Alkaloids. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, Fla., USA. 335 pp.

Sheep

General symptoms of 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.

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