Now that Spring is here for those of us in the northern hemisphere, I have been exploring the plants I have growing wild in my yard. I have almost 2 acres, so it’s a pretty big yard. I know the BlackBerry bushes and honeysuckle, but I thought I knew other things and I was wrong. So, before I make me some dandelion tea out of a weed that I thought was dandelion, I will take a picture and check it out. This green witch thing is dangerous to me!
All species of the genus Senecio are poisonous if ingested, texas Ragwort is no exception. It contains alkaloids that accumulate in the body over time, mostly damaging the liver, but also other organs. All parts of the plant contain these toxic compounds, and even small amounts of ingested plant material can cause poisoning.
Symptoms include a dull pain in upper parts of the abdomen, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, jaundice, and upper gastric pain. If the poisoning is chronic, texas Ragwort can cause serious damage to internal organs. However, cases of human poisoning are very rare, considering that the plant doesn’t look edible or very attractive.