Erect, branching, perennial herb, .8 to 1.8 m tall, with milky sap arising from creeping, underground rootstock. Leaves opposite, ovate to elliptic, 4 to 14 cm long, 1.5 to 6 cm wide, smooth margins. Flowers white to greenish white in terminal flat-topped clusters, usually overtopped by the leafy branches. Fruit long, slender, paired, drooping follicles, 10 to 22 cm long, 2 to 3 mm in diameter. Seeds elongated and smooth. Found throughout the south, most abundant in edges of woods, roadsides, pastures and waste places.
A resinoid and glucoside are found in the leaves and stems of this plant, whether green or dry. It is quite toxic and requires only 15-30 grams of green leaves to kill a horse or cow. Livestock can be poisoned in spring, summer or fall.
Symptoms include increased temperature and pulse, dilated pupils and off feed. The mucous membranes are discolored and the extremities are cold.
Intravenous fluids and gastric protectants are suggested.
Perennial, silky villous, rhizomatous herb with erect stems,.3 to 1.2 m tall. Leaves finely 2 to 3 pinnately divided, the smaller segments linear to ovate, hairy. Flowers about .5 cm broad; borne in heads with white to pink ray flowers; heads borne in dense terminal clusters. Seeds oblong, slightly flattened, 2 to 3 mm long, pappus absent. Found throughout all the southern area east of the Mississippi River; most common in pastures, roadsides, dry hillsides, open woods and waste places.
This plant contains the alkaloid, achillain, and glycosides but is not considered to be highly toxic. Consumption of the plant may cause a disagreeable odor or taste in milk or in the meat of slaughtered animals. All livestock should be considered susceptible.
Mucous membrane contact with the plant causes irritation and inflammation. Gastrointestinal upset including diarrhea may occur.
Use intestinal protectives.