Vicia sativa

General poisoning notes:

Common vetch (Vicia sativa) was introduced as a forage plant and is naturalized across much of Canada. Some horses and other livestock that ingested the plant were poisoned. However, these reports are in the older European literature. In the western United States, poultry that ingested the seeds of common milk vetch were poisoned and died. Common milk vetch contains a neurolathyrogen that may be partly responsible for neurolathyrism, which usually occurs in humans in India and is associated with species of grass pea (see notes under Lathyrus sativus) (Cooper and Johnson 1984, 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.
  • 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:
Vicia sativa L.
Vernacular name(s):
common vetch
Scientific family name:
Leguminosae
Vernacular family name:
pea

Go to ITIS*ca for more taxonomic information on: Vicia sativa

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
  • Labrador
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland
  • 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: Vicia sativa - Google Search

Toxic parts:

  • seeds

References:

  • Cheeke, P. R., Shull, L. R. 1985. Natural toxicants in feeds and poisonous plants. AVI Publishing Company, Inc., Westport, Conn., USA. 492 pp.

Notes on Toxic plant chemicals:

The toxic amino acid, beta-cyano-L-alanine, is a neurolathyrogen that affects the nervous system (Cheeke and Schull 1985, Roy and Spencer 1989).

Toxic plant chemicals:

  • beta-cyano-L-alanine

References:

  • Cheeke, P. R., Shull, L. R. 1985. Natural toxicants in feeds and poisonous plants. AVI Publishing Company, Inc., Westport, Conn., USA. 492 pp.
  • Roy, D. N., Spencer, P. S. 1989. Lathyrogens. Pages 169-201 in Cheeke, P. R., ed. Toxicants of plant origin. Vol. III. Proteins and amino acids. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, Fla., USA. 271 pp.

Animals/Human Poisoning:

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

Chickens

General symptoms of poisoning:

Notes on poisoning:

In western Oregon, some chicks died after ingesting seeds of common milk vetch. Symptoms included blindness, convulsions, and a a pronounced chirping, resembling a pyridoxine deficiency. Experimental feeding of a diet containing 30-80% seeds has caused these symptoms in poultry (Cooper and Johnson 1984, 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.

Horses

General symptoms of poisoning:

Notes on poisoning:

Older European literature describes poisoning of livestock after the animals ingested common vetch. The symptoms included skin lesions, hair loss, digestive disturbances, and sometimes a loss of use of hindquarters. Postmortem examination revealed enlargement of the liver. These problems have not been reported recently (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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