Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Poisonous Plant Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #367024

Research Project: Understanding and Mitigating the Adverse Effects of Poisonous Plants on Livestock Production Systems

Location: Poisonous Plant Research

Title: Larkspur poisoning of cattle: plant and animal factors that influence plant toxicity

item Green, Benedict - Ben
item Gardner, Dale
item Stonecipher, Clinton - Clint
item Lee, Stephen
item Pfister, James
item Welch, Kevin
item Cook, Daniel
item Davis, Thomas - Zane
item Stegelmeier, Bryan

Submitted to: Rangelands
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/13/2020
Publication Date: 2/1/2020
Citation: Green, B.T., Gardner, D.R., Stonecipher, C.A., Lee, S.T., Pfister, J.A., Welch, K.D., Cook, D., Davis, T.Z., Stegelmeier, B.L. 2020. Larkspur poisoning of cattle: plant and animal factors that influence plant toxicity. Rangelands. 42(1):1-8.

Interpretive Summary: Toxic larkspurs (Delphinium species) often poison and kill cattle in western North America. The purpose of this report is to provide basic information about larkspur and larkspur poisoning in cattle, and to describe recent research advances and solutions for larkspur poisoning in cattle.

Technical Abstract: - Toxic larkspurs (Delphinium species) cause large economic losses from cattle deaths, increased management costs, and reduced utilization of pastures and rangelands. -Larkspur toxicity to cattle can vary by geographic location due to toxic alkaloid content. -Larkspur alkaloid chemistry can be used to predict plant toxicity. -There are differences between cattle breeds and their responses to larkspur. -As cattle age from yearlings to 2-year olds, they become less susceptible to larkspur. -Heifers are 3x more susceptible to larkspur poisoning than either bulls or steers suggesting that they must be managed differently on larkspur-containing rangelands.