Sarcobatus vermiculatus (Scientific name)

General Poisoning Notes:

Greasewood (Sarcobatus vermiculatus) is a native shrub found in western Canada from southwestern Saskatchewan to southeastern British Columbia. In the western United States, sheep that ingested this plant became ill and died. Oxalates are present in all parts of the plant but are concentrated in the leaves. This plant is regarded as valuable forage. Toxicity can be avoided with good animal management (Kingsbury 1964, 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
  • Kingsbury, J. M. 1964. Poisonous plants of the United States and Canada. Prentice-Hall Inc., Englewood Cliffs, N.J., USA. 626 pp.
  • Scimeca, J. M., Oehme, F. W. 1985. Postmortem guide to common poisonous plants of livestock. Vet. Hum. Toxicol., 27: 189-199.

Nomenclature:

Scientific Name:
Sarcobatus vermiculatus (Hook.) Torr.
Vernacular name(s):
greasewood
Scientific family name:
Chenopodiaceae
Vernacular family name:
goosefoot

Go to ITIS*ca for more taxonomic information on: Sarcobatus vermiculatus

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
  • 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

Images: Sarcobatus vermiculatus - Google search

Toxic parts:

  • leaves

References:

  • Kingsbury, J. M. 1964. Poisonous plants of the United States and Canada. Prentice-Hall Inc., Englewood Cliffs, N.J., USA. 626 pp.

Notes on Toxic Plant Chemicals:

Oxalates are found in greasewood. On a dry-weight basis the total content was measured at between 10 and 22%, mostly as soluble salts. The oxalate content is greatest in the leaves, the amount increasing with maturity. Ingesting plant material equal to 1.5-5.0% of and animal's body weight can cause toxicity in sheep (Kingsbury 1964).

Toxic Plant Chemicals:

  • oxalate

References:

  • Kingsbury, J. M. 1964. Poisonous plants of the United States and Canada. Prentice-Hall Inc., Englewood Cliffs, N.J., USA. 626 pp.

Animals/Human Poisoning:

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

Sheep

General Symptoms of Poisoning:

Notes on Poisoning:

In the western United States, 1000 sheep were lost at a single time. Symptoms occur within 3-5 h of ingesting a toxic quantity of greasewood plant. Symptoms may occur abruptly after animals have been watered. Toxic signs include depression, weakness, prostration, coma, and death. Respiration and heart action grow progressively weaker, and death occurs in 12-20 h. Hypocalcemia is caused by the formation of calcium oxalate in the system. Microscopic lesions occur in the kidney tubules (Kingsbury 1964, Scimeca and Oehme 1985).

References:

  • Kingsbury, J. M. 1964. Poisonous plants of the United States and Canada. Prentice-Hall Inc., Englewood Cliffs, N.J., USA. 626 pp.

Another search?