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.
I did a lot of foraging in my yard last spring. I used a plant identifying app but it was Not correct on everything!!! So check several sources if you are unsure.
I still have things in my yard I’m not absolutely sure about so I’m just gonna let them be until I know for sure.
Always a great reminder to double (or triple!) check plants. And when in doubt (even if it’s just 1%)- it’s always best to just leave it be. There are some wonderful healing plants out there and there are some horrific poisonous plants out there- and it’s shocking how similar they can look!
This is a really valuable bit of wisdom, so thank you for taking the time to share it, @Ostara!
It sounds like you are being smart and mindful about the plants nearby, so enjoy your springtime exploring, Ostara!