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Maple Leaves

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Maple Leaves

Notes on poisoning: Trifolium repens


General poisoning notes:

White clover (Trifolium repens) is widely cultivated across Canada and has also become naturalized throughout much of the country. Under certain circumstances this valuable plant can cause problems in animals. White clover can cause bloat in livestock. It has caused laminitis in horses and cattle. After they are ingested, some varieties can liberate HCN, causing cyanogenic poisoning in animals. White clover is also reported to become estrogenic if infected with various fungi (Cooper and Johnson 1984, Cheeke and Schull 1985).

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.

Hall, J. W., Majak, W. 1989. Plant and animal factors in legume bloat. Pages 93-106 in Cheeke, P. R., ed. Toxicants of plant origin. Vol. III. Proteins and amino acids. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, Fla., USA. 271 pp.

Nomenclature:

Scientific Name: Trifolium repens L.

Vernacular name(s): white clover

Scientific family name: Leguminosae

Vernacular family name: pea

Go to ITIS*ca for more taxonomic information on: Trifolium repens

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
Labrador
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Northwest Territories
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Yukon Territory

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

Trifolium repens:

Images: images.google.com

Toxic parts:

all parts

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:

Two cyanogenic glycosides, linamarin and lotaustralin, are found in white clover. In young leaves, the cyanogen levels may reach 350 mg of HCN per 100 g of tissue, with lotaustralin predominating. Cyanogenesis is controlled by two independently inherited genes in white clover. Only plants possessing at least one dominant functional allele of both genes liberate HCN when damaged. Some cultivars are capable of liberating HCN and others are not (Poultan 1989).

Toxic plant chemicals:

linamarin
Image of linamarin

lotaustralin
Image of lotaustralin

Chemical diagram(s) are courtesy of Ruth McDiarmid, Biochemistry Technician, Kamloops Range Station, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Kamploops, British Columbia, Canada.

References:

Poulton, J. E. 1983. Cyanogenic compounds in plants and their toxic effects. Pages 117-157 in Keeler, R. F., Tu, A. T., eds. Handbook of natural toxins. Vol. 1. Plant and Fungal toxins. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, N.Y., USA. 934 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:

bloat

References:

Hall, J. W., Majak, W. 1989. Plant and animal factors in legume bloat. Pages 93-106 in Cheeke, P. R., ed. Toxicants of plant origin. Vol. III. Proteins and amino acids. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, Fla., USA. 271 pp.

Horses

General symptoms of poisoning:

laminitis

Notes on poisoning:

Laminitis is characterized by tenderness, swelling, and inflammation around the hooves. In Britain severe laminitis has been reported in cattle as well (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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Date modified: 2009-09-01