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A Manual of Poisonous Plants 

Chiefly of Eastern North America, with Brief Notes 

on Economic and Medicinal Plants, 

and Numerous Illustrations 


L. H. PAMMEL, Ph. D. 

Professor of Botany, Iowa State College 
Agriculture and Mechanic Arts 











Part II 




Key for Pi,ant Kingdom 153-158 

Myxothallophyta 158-160 

euthallophyta 160 

schizophyta 160 


schizophyceae 184-188 

Flagei,i,atae 188 

EuPHYCEAE 188-194 

PeridinalEs 188 

Bacillariales 188 

Conjugatae 189 

Chlorophyceae 190 

CharalEs 193 

Phaeophyceae 194 


RhodophycEae 194 

EuMYcETEs 195-307 

Phycomycetes 195-209 

Zygomycetes 195-204 

OoMYCETEs 204-209 

Basidiomycetes 209 

Hemibasidii 210-220 

eubasidii 220 

AscoMYcETEs 247-281 

Fungi Imperfecti 281-306 

Lichens 307 

Embryophyta Zoidiogama 308-325 

Bryophyta 308-312 

Pteridophyta 312-325 

FiwcALEs 313-322 

EquisetalEs • . 322-325 

Embryophyta Siphonogama of Spermatophyta 325-802 

Gymnospermae 325-332 


Angiospermae 332 

monocotyeedoneae 332-395 

Pandanales 332 

Heeobiae 332 

Geumiflorae 336-369 



Arch ichla m ydeae 


SalicalEs . 







Proteales . 









MalvalEs . 
Metachlam YDEAE 
Ebenales . 
Contortae . 
rubiales . 
Catalogue of Poisonous Plants 
Bibliography of Poisonous Plants 


Honey Colored Armillaria 

Amanita sp 

Deadly Amanita 

A. Yucca. B. Greasewood and Tetradymia 

Death Camas 

Wild Indian Corn : Swamp Hellebore . . . . 

Pennsylvania Smartweed 

Wild Cherry 

Lupine in flower 

Great Basin Lupine 

Common Milkweed ......... 

A. Rhododendron ; Hydrangea. B. Mountain Laurel, 




Cowbane— \'ery Poisonous. (After \'asey) 


Organisms without chlorophyll, the vegetative body a naked mass of proto- 
plasm with many nuclei; reproduction asexual, spores free or enclosed in 
sporangia; spores produce motile swarm spores or amoeboid bodies. 

A. Myxothallophyta. 158 

Cells generally with cell membrane, with one or more generations ; sexual 
reproductions frequently absent, the fertilized spores when present with one cell, 
which later separates from the mother plant, or a several celled body resulting 
from the fertilization of the female fructifying body, which later develops into 
a new plant. B. Buthallophyta. 160 

Small unicellular organisms, never green but frequently of other colors, 
blue greens, etc. ; reproduction asexual by fission ; spores formed in the interior 
of the cell or by transformation of vegetative cells into the endospores or 
arthrospores ; nuclei absent, but a so-called "Central body" occasionally present ; 
coloring matter equally distributed. I. Schisophyta. 160 

Unicellular organisms generally colorless at least never green ; membrane, 
consisting of a chitin-like substance, occasionally gelatinous ; cells frequently 
with cilia ; reproduction by fission ; spores when present endospores or arthro- 
spores. Schizomycetes. 161 

Unicellular organisms like the preceding, cells contain chlorophyll and 
phycocyanin consisting of blue, blue-green, violet, or reddish pigments; swarm 
spores absent. Schisophyceae. 184 

One-celled- organisms with nucleus sharply differentiated; protoplasmic body 
with a simple denser protoplasmic membrane, pseudopodia absent, motile during 
most of their existence ; cilia 1 or more, and with 1 or 2 pulsating vacuoles ; 
chromatophores occasionally absent; reproduction asexual by longitudinal 
division. II. Flagellatae. 188 

Plants occurring mostly in water, always with cell-membrane and nucleus ; 
green or other colors (brown or red) mixed with the green. 

III. Euphyceae. 188 

Small unicellular organisms occasionally forming chain-like colonies. Cells 
possess two long cilia which arise from a furrow in the ventral surface. Found 
mostly in the plankton of salt water. Peridinales. 188 

Small one-celled organisms of brown color, the chlorophyll masked by 

diatomin found in chromatophores; cell-wall consisting of silica with a girdle 

^Hand fine lines; reproduction asexual; division parallel to the long axis of the 

^organism, and the formation of auxospores and sexual, by the formation 

of auxospores by conjugation. Bacillariales. 188 

^sg Chlorophyll green algae ; membrane without silica ; reproduction by division, 



swarm cells absent ; sexual reproduction by zygospores through the union of two 
quivalent gametes. (Aplanogametes). Conjugatae. 189 

Chlorophyll green plants, occurring singly or in colonies (threads or flat- 
tened bodies) ; one or more nuclei, reproduction asexual by producing multilateral 
zoospores and nonmotile aplanospores; sexual by the copulation of zoogametes, 
or spermatozoids and oospheres ; the spores produce a new plant directly or 
generally produce swarm spores. Chlorophyceae. 190 

Plants of brackish or fresh water, consisting of internodes, short whorls 
of cylindrical branches, cells nucleated; growth from an apical cell; asexual 
reproduction by means of bulbils and vegetative threads; sexual reproduction 
by egg-cells and spermatozoids, the latter are spirally coiled in the cells of the 
antheridium ; the egg cell is contained in a spirally coiled structure and after 
fertilization becomes an oospore. Chorales. 193 

Brown algae, chlorophyll masked by a brown coloring matter, phycophaein ; 
reproduction sexual and asexual, swarm spores, sperm cells and egg cells; 
marine ; tetragonidia absent. Phaeophyceae. 194 

Brown algae; reproductive bodies without motion; tetragonidia present. 

Dictyotales. 194 

Red or violet algae; chromatophores contain chlorophyll and a red coloring 
matter (phycocrythrin and rhodophyll) ; reproduction sexual and asexual; 
m':stly marine. Rhodophyceae. 194 

Parasitic or saprophytic plants with one or more cells, chlorophyll absent, 
wirh apical growth; mycelium usually evident; reproduction sexual and 
asexual, generally the latter; asexual by the formation of zoospores, conidia 
or spores. IV. Eumycetes. 195 

The vegetative body mostly 1-celled, tubular, asexual by the formation of 
spores or endospores sexual by the formation of zygospores. 

Phycomycetes. 195 

Copious nonseptate branched mycelium, asexual reproduction by endospores 
or chlamydospores; sexual by zygospores. Zygomycetes. 195 

Mycelium occasionally sparingly developed, tubular, asexual ; reproduction 
by swarm spores or conidia; sexual by the formation of oospores. 

Oomycetes. 204 

Mycelium, many celled; reproduction asexual or sexual by union of nuclei; 
conidia borne on basidia, number various. Basidiomycetes. 209 

Mycelium many celled ; reproduction sexual and asexual ; the latter by 
conidia; pycnidia and spermogonia with spermatia ; sexual spores in sacs known 
as asci ; spores called ascospores. Ascomycetes. 247 

Fungi whose spores are not in sacs, or consist of sterile mycelium. Forms 
like Oidium, Ozonium, or Mycorrhiza. Fungi Impcrfccti. 281 

Organisms consisting of a fungus and an alga. Spores cither in sacs 
(Ascolichenes) or borne like toadstools (Hymenolichenes) . Lichenes. 307 

Plants with stem, root and leaf; cormophyte or in some cases thalloid. 
Two generations, gametophyte and sporophyte; antheridium with sperm cells; 
tube cell absent. C. Bmhryophyta Zoidiogama. 308 

Many celled differentiated structure frequently with leaves and stem or 


thalloid in some cases. Male (antheridium) and female (archegonium) organs 
are produced. Asexual spores in spore cases which open at the top, in true mosses. 

I. Bryophyta. 308 

Spores alike or unlike, microspores and macrospores developing into flat 
or irregular prothallia ; these bear the reproductive organs, (antheridia and 
archegonia) ; flowers and seeds absent; usually a well developed vascular system. 

II. Pteridophyta. 312 

Plants with a microsporangium (anther) containing the microspores (pollen 
grains) which develop a tubular body, the prothallium (pollen tube) a macro- 
sporangium (ovule) containing the macrospore (embryo-sac) which develops 
into a minute prothallium ; this remains enclosed in the macrosporangium ; 
after the fertilization of the egg cell in the macrospore a seed develops; plants 
with flowers and usually well developed tissues, the epidermis, parenchyma and 
vascular. (Bmbryophyta Siphonogama) . D. Spermatophyta. 325 

Ovules not enclosed in an ovary. I. Gymnospermae. 325 

Resinous trees or shrubs; wood with tracheids, tracheae usually absent; 

fruit a cone of dry or fleshy scales. Coniferae. 327 

Ovules enclosed in an ovary. II. Aiigiospcrmac. 332 

Embryo with 1 cotyledon ; stem without distinction into pith, wood, and 
bark ; endogenous ; leaves usually parallel veined ; flowers generally on the plan 
of 3. 1. Monocotyledonae. 332 

Flowers generally small, unisexual, regular with persistent perianth ; 6 or 3 
stamens ; carpels free or rarely united ; fruit a berr}', drupe or nut ; embryo 
small ; endosperm copious. Principes. 369 

Palm-like plants with palm-like leaves ; flowers naked or with thick leaves 
of perianth; carpels 2 or 4 with 2 or 4 placentae. Synanthae. 

Mostly fleshy herbs or thalloid floating plants ; inflorescence a fleshy spadix 
subtended by a spathe or naked or reduced to few or solitary flowers on the 
margin or back of a thalloid body. Spathiflorae. 370 

Herbs generally with narrow leaves ; flowers usuallj^ complete, their parts 
mostly on the plan of 3; corolla regular or nearly so; ovary compound superior; 
endosperm mealy. Farinosae. 2>12 

Mostly herbs ; flowers with a well developed perianth, usually regular and 
complete; usually on the plan of 3; ovary superior or inferior, compound; 
endosperm fleshy or horny. Liliiflorae. 374 

Large herbs; flowers irregular; ovary inferior, compound; composed of 
several united carpels ; seeds generally arillate, frequently with perisperm and 
endosperm. Scitamineae. 390 

Herbs, tropical species frequently epiphytes ; flowers very irregular, or in 
one family regular, generally complete and perfect ; parts of the perianth in 
3's or 6's; ovary inferior, compound; seeds numerous; endosperm present or 
absent. Microspennae. 392 

Embryo usually with two cotyledons; stem usually with wood, pith and 
bark marked, usually exogenous ; leaves mostly netted veined ; flowers fre- 
quently on the plan of 5. 2. Dicotyledoneae. 395 

Petals separate or distinct from each other or wanting ; occasionally some 


carpels united; in one division ovules with many megaspores. In most plants 
of the other division there is a single megaspore with synergidal and antipodal 
cells. (Choripetalae and Apetalae). a. Archichlamydeae. 395 

Tropical plants with monoecious flowers and branches with a longitudinal 
ridge in which the stomata are hidden. Verticillatae. 395 

Dicotyledonous herbs ; petals and sepals absent ; flowers small spicate with 
bractlets. Piperales. 396 

Trees or shrubs ; flowers small, in catkins, imperfect ; sepals and petals 
none; leaves simple; fruit a many-seeded capsule; seeds with tufts of hairs 
at one end. Salicales. 396 

Trees or shrubs ; leaves simple ; flowers small, monoecious or dioecious, in 
catkins; perianth absent; ovary 1-celled: style short; stigmas 2; endosperm 
none. Myricales. 397 

Woody plants with simple leaves ; flowers, staminate spicate, pistillate soli- 
tary. Balanopsidales. 399 

Shrubs or trees ; flowers small, dioecious, in catkins ; leaves simple, alter- 
nate, petioled, perianth absent in staminate flowers ; pistillate, subtended by 
bractlets; ovary 1-celled; endosperm thin. Leitneriales. 400 

Trees with alternate, pinnately-compound leaves ; flowers monoecious, with 
bractlets, staminate in catkins, pistillate, solitary or several ; ovule solitary, 
erect; fruit a drupe, indehiscent or dehiscent, with woody husk, seed large 
2-4 lobed ; endosperm none. Juglandales. 400 

Trees or shrubs; flowers small; calyx usually present; monoecious, or 
rarely dioecious, in catkins ; pistillate flowers subtended by an involucre which 
becomes a bur or cup in fruit. Fagalcs. 402 

Shrubs, herbs or trees ; calyx present but corolla absent ; flowers small, not 
borne in catkins, monoecious, dioecious or polygamous; ovary 1-celled superior. 

Urticales. 404 

Shrubs, trees or herbs with scattered leaves ; flowers in spikes, racemes 
or panicles usually perfect; single carpel. Proteales. 415 

Herbs or shrubs; generally parasitic; calyx present; corolla absent; flowers 
perfect, or imperfect; a single inferior ovary; fruit various. Santalales. 415 

Generally vines or herbs; leaves cordate, or reniform; corolla absent; calyx 
inferior; tube wholly, or partly adnate to ovary: flowers perfect. 

Aristolochiales. 416 

Generally herbs, occasionally trees, shrubs or twining vines ; leaves simple, 
mostly entire ; flowers small, regular, perfect, dioecious, monoecious or poly- 
gamous; petals absent; stamens 2-9; filaments filiform or subulate; ovary 
superior onc-cellcd ; ovule solitary; fruit an achene; endosperm mealy. 

Polygonalcs. 417 

Generally herbs, occasionally shrubs; flowers perfect; corolla usually ab- 
sent, when present polypetalous ; calyx present; ovary superior; embryo coiled 
curved or annular; albumen present. Centrospermae. 423 

Herbs, shrubs or trees; calyx usually of separate sepals; corolla generally 
present, polypetalous; ovary superior; carpels many usually separate; stamens 
generally free and more numerous than sepals. Raiiales. 444 


Generally herbs; flowers regular and perfect; petals generally separate; 
stamens free; ovary compound, superior; free from calyx. Rhoeadales. 479 

Carnivorous plants ; flovirer scapose ; corolla with separate petals or nearly so 
sepals generally distinct; stamens free; ovary compound superior. 

San-aceniales. 497 

Herbs, shrubs or trees; usually with petals which are separate; stamens 
generally perigynous or epigynous; sepals generally united or confluent with 
receptacle which is concave ; carpels 1 or more distinct or united into a com- 
pound ovary. Rosales. 498 

Trees, shrubs, or herbs ; usually with petals which are separate,, united in 
some or entirely wanting; sepals mostly distinct: stamens few or occasionally 
more than twice as many as the sepals ; alternate or opposite with them ; ovary 
compound, superior. Geraniales. 574 

Trees, herbs or shrubs; petals usually present and separate; sepals generally 
distinct; stamens opposite usually fewer than sepals or as many, occasionally 
more than twice as many ; ovary superior, compound ; ovules pendulous. 

Sapindales. 604 

Shrubs, small trees or occasionally vines; leaves generally alternate; flow- 
ers, small, regular; stamens as many as sepals or calyx lobes alternate or oppo- 
site with them; ovary compound superior; ovules erect. Rhaiiuiales. 620 

Trees, shrubs or herbs ; leaves simple, mostly alternate ; flowers regular, 
usually perfect; sepals separate, or more or less united; petals separate, or 
wanting; stamens usually numerous; ovary superior, compound; disk incon- 
spicuous or none. Malvales. 621 

Shrubs, trees or herbs ; flowers generally complete, perfect, and regular 
or irregular in some ; sepals distinct, or more or less united ; petals almost 
always present and distinct; stamens usually numerous; ovary compound, super- 
ior ; placentae mostly parietal. Parietales. 627 

Fleshy plants, leafless, or with small leaves, generally spiny ; flowers mostly 
solitary, sessile, regular, perfect and showy; calyx tube adnate to ovary; limb 
many-lobed; petals numerous; stamens numerous; ovary 1-celled; ovules num- 
erous ; fruit a berry. Opuntiales. 634 

Shrubs, trees or herbs ; leaves simple ; petals usually present and distinct ; 
calyx 4-5 lobed or entire and petals wanting in Thymeleales, superior or in- 
ferior ; • ovary 1 or more celled ; ovules 1 or numerous. Myrtiflorae. 637 

Herbs, shrubs or trees with petals; leaves of calyx usually 5; stamens 4 to 
5 ; ovary epigynous, adnate to calyx ; ovule, 1 in each cavity. 

Umbellales. 645 

Petals partly or wholly united rarely separate or wanting; coherence varia- 
ble in some cases; tubular or funnel-form. (Sympetalae or Gamopetalae). 

b. Metachlamydeae. 664 

Flowers complete, regular with lobed or distinct calyx; corolla cleft gamo- 
petalous ; stamens free from corolla ; ovary compound. Ericales. 664 

Mainly herbs; corolla gamopetalous ; calyx generally free from ovary; 
stamens borne on corolla, as many as its lobes, or twice as many, or more. 

Priinulales. 675 



Trees or slirubs; alternate, simple leaves; flowers generally regular; calyx 
free from ovary, inferior; corolla gamopetalous or polypetalous ; stamens borne 
on tube, at base of corolla. Ebenales. 679 

Trees, shrubs, herbs or vines, generally with opposite leaves ; flowers regu- 
lar; corolla generally gamopetalous, or rarely polypetalous or wanting; stamens 
borne mostly in lower part of corolla, as many as lobes or fewer, alternate; 
ovaries 2 and distinct. Contorfae. 670 

Rarely trees, shrubs, generally herbs ; corolla nearly always gamopetalous, 
regular or irregular; stamens adnate to corolla tube; ovary one, superior com- 
pound. Tubiflorac. 6Q8 

Herbs frequently acaulescent or caulescent with opposite or alternate leaves ; 
flowers small, perfect, polygamous or monoecious ; calyx 4-parted ; corolla free ; 
stamens 2 or only 1; ovary sessile, superior, 1-2-celled or falsely more celled; 
fruit a pyxis. Plantaginales. 739 

Plants with gamopetalous corolla; stamens as many as corolla lobes; and 
alternate with them, or occasionally fewer, or twice as many ; ovary compound 
inferior, adnate to calyx tube or ovary 1 or more celled ; ovules 1 or more in 
each cavity of ovary; leaves opposite or verticillate. Ritbiales. 7AQ 

Herbs or rarely shrubs with gamopetalous corolla or occasionally petals 
separate; stamens as many as corolla lobes or fewer; anthers generally united; 
ovary inferior. Cainpanulatae. 74S 


Fungus-likc organisms without chlorphyll, regarded by some as animals: 
intermediate, in some respects, between animals and plants and hence called 
Mycetozoa by Rostafinski. In their vegetative condition, they consist of naked 
masses of protoplasm with many nuclei, the mass of protoplasm being called 
the Plasmodium which creeps about on the substrata changing in form and 
thrusting out processes called pseudopodia whicii may later coalesce. After 

Fig. 20. Sliinc Mould (Tricli- 
ia 7'aria). a. l?cf(ire Kciniina- 
tion. 1), c, d. Different stages 
in germination. d, e. Amoe- 
boid body with flagellum. After 



Fig. 18. Various slime moulds, a — f. Club root of Cabbage; Phsmodiphora Brassicae: 
a. Swollen root; b. Spore; c. Spore germinating; d. Plasmodium; e. Cells showing agrgregated 
masses; /. Spores in cells; g. Lycogola epidendron; It, j. Plasmodium with branches; t. Spore; 
k. Spore germinating showing cilium; m. Stemonitis; 1. Stipe; 2. Columella; o. Capillitium; 
p. Trichia decipiens; sp. Sporangia; q. Elater; r. Spore. 



a shorter or longer period the protoplasm contracts forming little heaps which 
contain the spores; the parts of the reproductive body are called the sporangium 
or spore case, the peridiiini or the wall of the case, the stipe or stalk, the 
columella or central axis in the spore case, the capillitium or fine threads, and 
the spores. The spores after absorbing water, germinate b}' breaking the wall 
and move about by means of cilia ; sexual reproduction is entirely absent. 

The division Myxothallophyta includes three classes: Acrasieae without 
swarm cells; Plasinodioplwrales of which the club root of Cabbage, Plasmodio- 
phora Brassicae is an example (a very destructive parasite upon cabbage, 
turnip, etc., in Europe and the Eastern States) ; and Myxogasteres which con- 
tains a great many species and genera common on spent tan bark, rotten logs, 
and the ground. Of the third class Siemonitis, Pliysaruin, Lycogola and Fuligo 
are common genera. No species of this class is poisonous so far as known. 


Cells generally with cell membrane, with one or more generations, sexual 
reproduction frequently absent, the fertilized spores when present, with 1 cell 
which later separates from the mother plant, or a several-celled body resulting 
from the fertilization of the female fructifying body, which later develops 
into a new plant. This division includes such plants as bacteria, blue green algae, 
the green algae, rusts, smuts, mildews, moulds, pufFballs, mushrooms and toad- 


Small unicellular organisms, never green but frequently of other colors, 
blue greens, etc., reproduction asexual by fission, spores formed in the interior 


Fig. 19. Schizophyta. Scliizomycetes Bacteria. 1 and 2. Bacillus subtilis 3 and 4. 
Bacillus anthracis. 1, 3 and 4x1000. 1, 3, and 4 after Friinkel and Pfeiffcr. 2 after Migula. 



of the cell by the transformation of vegetative cells into endospores, or by the 
transformation of ordinary vegetative cells into arthrospores ; nuclei absent, 
but a so-called "central body" occasionally present ; coloring matter equally 
distributed. This sub-division includes the Bacteria or Schizomycetes and the 
Blue-green Algae or Schizophyceae. 

9^ ^i^^Jf; 



Fig. 20. Schizophyta. Shizomycetes. Bacteria with flagellae. 1. Planococcus citrus 
2. Pseudomonas pyocyanea. 3. Pseudomonas syncyanea. 4. Bacillus typhi. 5. Spirillum 
comma. 6. Spirillum rubrum. Fig. 1-6x1000; all after Migula. 


Schizomycetes is one of the two classes of the sub-division Schizophyta. All 
the members of this sub-division are characterized by having no known sexual 
method of reproduction, multiplying by means of simple fission or cell division. 
The bacteria are distinguished from the first, or Schizophyceae, by the absence of 
the blue-green coloring matter which is characteristic of these forms. The two 
sub-divisions approach each other very closely at some points, particularly among 
the branched bacteria. The shape of the bacteria is used as the character in the 
separation of the families. They are either rod-shaped, and unbranched, 
spherical, bent, or spiral and straight and branched, and v/ith or without sheath- 
ing, covering, or membrane. Five families are distinguished by Migula. Some 
of these contain considerable numbers of bacteria important from their toxigenic 

Bacteria are among the smallest of living beings, some undoubtedly being 
so small that they cannot be seen with the highest powers of the microscope. 
Others are large enough so that they may be seen as minute specks by the naked 
eye. In other words, they vary from less than 1/10 fj. to 100 fx. They may be 
arranged in the case of the rod-shaped forms or bacilli, either singly or in chains. 
The same is true of the spirilla, or spiral forms. The cocci or spherical forms 
may be single, in pairs, in regular mass of 4 and multiples of 4, in chains, in 
irregular clusters, or imbedded in gelatinous mass forming zoogloeae. Multi- 



plication, as before stated, is by simple fission or cell division. Growth takes 
place very rapidly in many forms, some being capable of growing to their full 
size and dividing to form two individuals in twenty minutes to half an hour. 
Under favorable conditions, this rapidity of multiplication explains the import- 
ance of the results obtained, and the products formed from such small plants. 
Some forms are capable of moving or swimming about by means of whips or 
rtagella placed on all sides or simply at the ends. Other forms move by a 
sinuous or snake-like bending of the body. Many forms are incapable of motion. 
Spores are formed by many species ; they are called endospores when formed 
singly within the bacterial cell, and arthrospores when formed by increase in 
size of the cells of the filament or part of a filament and its splitting into a 

Fig. 21. The root tubercle organism {Rhizobium Icguminosarum). 1. General view 
of root showing tubercles. 7. Root hair nnd strand with enlargcnu-nts at a and e. 25. 
Cross-section of root at h bacterial tissue. 30. Cells of clover plant filled with the organism 
nucleus at »i. 26. Rod and y sliaped organisms from 30 more enlarged. 31. Single cell 
containing bacterioids. After Frank. 



number of small cells. These spores serve, on account of their great resistance 
to dessication, and other unfavorable conditions, to tide the organism over until 
suitable conditions once more obtain. Bacteria are universally distributed, 
abounding in the soil, in the water, and being present often in the air, except 
at high altitudes. Normally, they are absent from the tissues of living animals 
and plants, but are to be looked for practically everywhere else. Their food 
requirements are as various as their habitats. Some require the most complex 
organic compounds, while others cannot live in the presence of such, but man- 
ufacture their own food from inorganic substances. Most bacteria lie between 
these two extremes. In respiration, some bacteria require oxygen or air, others 
will not develop in its presence. Most species require an abundance of moisture 
for their development, but many species will withstand a considerable amount of 
drying. Light inhibits the growth and in many cases destroys the bacteria. 
As to heat requirements, some live only in hot water, others will develop upon 
the surface of ice, some best at blood heat, while most develop between 15° 
and 22° C. 

Fig. 22. Schizophyta. Schizomycetes. Nodule forming bacteria. Rhisobiinn Icgitmin- 
osarum. 1. Root tubercle of Lupine. 2. Cross-section of nodule. 3. Cell showing bacteria 
X 600. 4. Bacteria x 1500. After Woronin and Fischer. 

Bacteria are also important in connection with the decomposition of organic 
matter. The nitrifying bacteria in the soil change the complex albuminous 
substances into nitric acid. This uniting with a base forms nitrates. The tu- 
bercle bacteria like Rhizobitim legtiiiiinosanim are in mutual relation with 
clover and other leguminous plants and are important in the acquisition of 
nitrogen. Some bacteria play an im'portant part in the dairy industry, the 
aroma and flavor of butter being due to these. Some, like the red milk or- 
ganism (Bacillus prodigiosus), produce bad and disagreeable odors or cause 
the milk to become viscid or colored. Vinegar is produced by the acetic acid 
bacillus (Bacillus aceticus). Some bacteria produce diseases of plants like 
Fire blight of apples (Bacillus amylovorus), Cabbage rot (Pseudoiiionas catii- 
pestris), Sorghum Blight, Corn wilt, etc. Some bacteria produce diseases of 
insects like Foul brood of bees. Silk worm disease, etc. 

Bacteria ; Poisonous Properties. It is believed best to consider in a general 
way, the various poisonous principles which are developed by bacteria before 
the discussion of the specific organisms and their specific poisons. Inasmuch as 
bacteria play a very important part in nature in breaking down dead tissues of 
all kinds, destroying them and returning them to their elements, or forming 
simple compounds, it is to be expected that among the multitude of chemical 
substances which are developed, there would be some which would be harmful 



when taken into the body of man or animal. In fact, sucli decomposition pro- 
ducts are known and as most of them, probably all, are basic, containing nitro- 
gen, they have been grouped with that general class of vegetable alkaloidal sub- 
stances called Ptomains. If other poisonous substances than Ptomains are 
developed , they are not known at the present time. In addition to these poison- 
ous substances that arise as decomposition, other poisonous substances are pro- 
duced by certain bacteria which are strictly synthetic, that is not produced 
by the breaking down of complex compounds into more complex forms. The 
exact chemical nature of these substances is not understood, the reasons for this 
being that they are extremely unstable, it being impossible to heat them 
without destroying, and they cannot be recognized by any known chemical 
means. They must be distinguished and differentiated, and often detected only 
by animal inoculation and experimentation. These soluble substances excreted 
by the bacteria are called toxins. The term toxin is rather an unfortunate choice, 
because it refers simply to their poisonous properties. In the broad sense, any 
poisonous substance is a toxin, but in the sense in which it will be here used, 
toxin indicates specific bacterial poisons excreted into the medium in which the 



'% % 

Fig. 23. Bacillus cloaccac 
from corn, cntise of corn 
disease, also found in sewage. 
Supposed at one time to pro- 
duce toxic substances to which 
was attributed the corn stalk 
disease. After r.inrill. 

Fig. 24. Sorghum niifiht (Bacillus Sorf^hi). !> Voung plant infected with the organistr. 
a leaf and sheath, c Bacilli. Modified after Kellerman and Swingle. 

organism is growing, and producing upon inoculation, anti-toxins. In addition 
to the products above mentioned, manj^ bacteria undoubtedly owe their pois- 
onous or intoxicating qualities to the fact that the protoplasm of living matter 
of the organism is poisonous or contains poisonous substances which are not 
excreted into the surrounding medium. When bacteria of this type are allowed 
to grow in favorable culture media for a considerable length of time, there is 
a certain amount of self-digestion or autolysis which takes place and these 


poisonous contents of the cells are liberated and then go into solution. They 
may be liberated, also, by grinding the bacteria, and extracting with water. 
These poisonous protoplasmic substances have been called toxalbumins, but this 
term commits one to the supposition that all of this type of poisonous sub- 
stances are proteid in nature. This has been by no means proven, consequently 
the term endotoxins is to be preferred. 

The following terms used in discussions of immunity will need defining. 

An Antitoxin is a substance capable of neutralizing a toxin by combining 
with it, and is produced in the animal body as a reaction to the introduction of 
a toxin in non lethal doses. 

A Bacterial Agglutinin is a substance produced in the animal body as a re- 
action to the presence of certain bacteria or their products. When introduced 
into a suspension of the organism the agglutinin will cause the bacteria to clump 
(agglutinate) into groups. 

A Bacteriolysin is a substance produced in the animal body as a reaction 
to the presence of bacteria or their products which will destroy and dissolve 
the corresponding (homologous) organisms. 

An Opsonin is a substance found in the blood serum which will unite with 
bacteria and render them positivelj'^ chemotactic for the white blood cells. This 
preliminary union of opsonin and bacterium seems to be necessary before en- 
gulfment and destruction of the bacteria by the white blood cells can take place. 

In discussing the specific effects and products of the various species of 
bacteria, there would be an advantage in grouping these bacteria, according to 
the substances produced, and their effect upon animals and man. However, 
that this portion may be in keeping with the remainder of the text, the specific 
effect will be discussed and noted under each organism, and the organisms put 
in their correct place in the genera of Migula's system of classification. In many 
instances, bacteria not closely related produce effects that are very similar; 
in some of these cases, the discussion will be under the first of that group 
reached, the remainder of the group will contain simply the reference to the 
form under which the discussion is given. 


Organisms globose or spherical in a free state, not elongated in any direc- 
tion before division into one, two, or three planes, when united in pairs or 
groups, sometimes flattened on the proximal sides, containing five genera, three 
of which are of importance from our point of view. 


Cells cylindrical or oval, dividing only in one plane, cells straight, rod- 
shaped, without sheath, either non-motile or motile, by means of flagella ; con- 
tains three genera. 


Cells cylindrical, dividing in one plane, not straight, being bent or spiral, 
and without sheath; contains four genera. 


Cells cylindrical, dividing in only one plane, enclosed in a sheath; contains 
five genera. 




Cells cylindrical, dividing in only one plane, destitute of the sheath, united 
into threads containing sulphur granules, usually motile by means of the un- 
dulating membrane. One genus only. 

Fig. 25. Clilaniydobactcriaceae and Beffgiatoaceae. 1. Beggialoa alba, s Sulfur gran- 
ules X 800. 2-4. Cladothrix dichotoma; 2 Caenobium x 350. 3. Part of filament magnified 
lOOO times. 4. Cells with flagellae x 1000. 5. Crcnothrix polyspora\ a, young threads; b, 
threads separating into bodies; c, older threads with spores x 1000. Fig. 1, 2, and 5, after 
Zopf, Fig. 3 and 4 after Migula. 


In the vegetative stage these occur as swarming rod-shaped organisms held 
together by a gelatinous substance secreted by the cells; they show slow creeping 
movements. They form cysts in which the spores occur. This very peculiar 



Fig. 26. Myxobacteriaceae. Clwn- 
dromyces pedunculate. 1. Gener- 
eral- form of fructification, cyst and 
pedicel. 2. Single cyst. 3. Rods 
forming the mass in cyst. After 

group first described by Thaxter lives on the dung of aniinals and in habit re- 
sembles the Slime Moulds or Myxomycetes. 


Micrococcus pyogenes, Var. albus, Rosenbach 

White-pus Coccus. 

This organism, when grown upon artificial media, produces no pigment, 
otherwise it is identical with the following. 

Micrococcus pyogenes, Var. aureus, Rosenbach 

Golden-pus Coccus. 

Infections produced. This organism, or the preceding, or both, are found 
very generally associated with, and usually as the cause of wound infection and 
suppuration in general. They are usually found in furuncles, abscesses, car- 
buncles, and other inflammatory processes affecting the surface of the body. 
When present under certain conditions in the blood or various internal organs, 
they cause pyemia, septicemia, ostemyelitis, inflammations of serous mem- 
branes such as pleuritis, peritonitis, ulcerative endocarditis, etc. 



Pathogenesis. Infection with this micrococcus causes a marked hyper- 
leucocytosis. Its presence in tissues is generally followed by the production 
of pus made up of serum, polymorphonuclear leucocytes, disintegrated tissue, 
and the bacteria. Ordinarily, the area of infection and inflammation is walled 
off by an infiltration of the surrounding tissues by these polymorphonuclear leu- 
cocytes, forming the so-called pyogenic membrane. 

Poisonous properties. In 1894, Van der Velde discovered that sterile fil- 
trates from cultures of Micrococcus contain an hemolysin, which he termed 
staphylotoxin. In 1901, Neisser & Wechsberg studied this hemolytic substance 
and gave to it the name staphylolysin. This substance will cause the erythrocytes 
to dissolve whether within or without the body. A true toxin, leucocidin, is 

produced under certain conditions. It causes the 
leucocytes to swell up and their nuclei to disap- 
pear. Leucocidin and staphylolysin differ from the 
true toxins in that they are not capable of pro- 
*; ducing anti-toxins after having been heated, i. e., 
toxoids are not formed. The normal blood 
serum, however, of man and animals contains 
more or less of this anti-toxin. The presence of 
an endotoxin has not been demonstrated. 

Immunity. The resistance of the body may 

Fig. 27. Pus organism (Staphy- be heightened by immunization with pure cultures 
lococcus pyogenes aureus) shown in., ."_ .. jtjij 

irregular bunches. After Fliigge. of the organism. Immunity IS undoubtedly due 

in large part to the phagocytic activity of the leucocytes. It seemed that vir- 
ulence of the organism has very little relation to the production of toxins by 
them for some very virulent types produce very sinall quantities of toxin. There 
is some substance secreted which is positively chemotactic to the phagocytes. 
Immunization is not due to the production of bacteriolysins in the blood. Im- 
mune sera have been produced, but have not proven to be of any practical 
im'portance. Vaccination is held by Wright to raise the opsonic index of the 
blood; to this he attributes increased resistance. Agglutinins are present in 
normal sera in most cases, but systematic injection greatly increases the ag- 
glutinating power of the blood. 

Micrococcus capriiius. Mohlcr and Washburn 

Disease produced. Takosis. 

Animals originally infected. Angora goats. 

Susceptible animals. AIousc, guinea pig, rabbit. 

Animals naturally immune. White and brown rat, chicken, dog, and sheep. 

Pathogenesis. Anatomically characterized by emaciation and anemia, con- 
gested pneumonic areas in the lung, splenitic atrophy, and induration, spleen 
often being attached to the diaphragm and ncighlwring organs by fibrous tissues. 
The mucous membranes exhibit necrosed areas of mucosa and bacteria arc 
distributed through the blood, consequently may be isolated from any of the 
internal organs. 

Poisonous properties. Microscopically, tlic lungs are found with many of 
the terminal bronchioles and alveolae filled mucus and desquamated epithelium, 
in the liver, hyperaemia with fatty degeneration of periphery of many of the 
acini, catarrhal nephritis, localized areas of parenchymatous degeneration in 


the heart; capsule of the spleen thickened and contracted. Small intestines with 
a local superficial or completed necrosis of the glandular areas. The blood 
examination shows polycythemia, leucocytosis, and in advanced stages, general 
poikilocytosis. True toxins not produced. 

Immunity. Filtrates seem to have some immunizing power, probably either 
bactericidal or opsonic. The serum of immune animals has little or no im- 
munizing power. Sterilized cultures and filtrates heated for thirty minutes at 
60° C. lose their immunizing power. 

Miccrococcus meningitidis, (Diplococctis intracelliilus meningitidis, Weichsel- 

baum ) 

Name of disease. Epidemic cerebro-spinal meningitis. 

Animals infected naturally. Man. 

Animals susceptible. None, except when injected into a cavity in large 
quantities. Subdural inoculations in most cases produce a meningitis which, 
however, does not agree with that produced in man. 

Pathogenesis. Severe inflammation of the meninges of both brain and 
spinal column characterized by the production of considerable quantities of pus. 
The lumbar puncture and a microscopic examination of the pus will show the 
organisms present in large numbers. Probably the organisms sometimes reach 
the blood stream, and secondary infections are produced in various parts of 
the body by metastisis. It is very probable that the organism is present in 
acute rhinitis, and that the infection of the brain and spinal cord is secondary. 

Poisonous properties. Lipierre extracted what he called a toxin with 
glycerine, from old culture. 

Immunity. Second attacks of the disease are very rare. Lipierre claims 
to have immunized animals with the toxin and with cultures produced 
a preventive curative serum from immunized animals. Davis states that there 
is developed a bactericidal property in the serum, and also agglutinins. 

Micrococcus lanceolatus, Fraenkel 

Disease produced. Acute infectious pneumonia. 

Animals infected naturally. Man (and domestic animals). 

Animals susceptible. Rabbit, guinea-pig, dog, and mouse. 

Animals immune. Chicken and pigeon. 

Pathogenesis. The lungs are most frequently the seat of infection. The 
infected portion passing through several stages; first, that of congestion, in 
which the air cells become filled with blood serum and red corpuscles, the 
former coagulates, the tissues become liver-like in consistency ; this is followed 
by a marked invasion of leucocytes; the contents of the air cells soften and 
are absorbed and discharged. In most cases of the disease, blood infection prob- 
ably occurs, consequently, in many cases, infection of various other organs. 
Pleuritis is most common, then pericarditis, and even generalized peritonitis, 
endocarditis, arthritis, meningitis, otitis media, conjunctivitis, osteomyelitis, and 
degenerations in various internal organs, particularly the kidneys and liver. 

Poisonous properties. Poisonous substances are produced in greater or 
smaller quantities in culture media, but no true soluble toxin. Presumably, 
there is present an endotoxin. The pneumotoxin seems to be toxic toward all 
the organs of the body. 

Immunity. Immunity is probably due largely to phagocytosis, and it is 


likewise probable therefore, that it is due in large part to the opsonin content 
of the blood. There are no bactericidal or anti-toxic substances formed in 
immune blood. The blood serum of an immunized individual exhibits an in- 
creased agglutinating power. Immune sera for the prevention of the disease 
have not proven a success. 

Micrococcus ietragcnus, Gaffky 

Disease produced. Associated with the tubercle-bacillus, and probably of 
importance in complicating the pus infections. 

Animals infected. Man and animals. 

Animals susceptible. White mouse, and guinea-pig. 

-Animals inmiune. House-mouse, field mouse, dog, and rabbit. 

Pathogenesis. Inoculation of white mouse causes fatal bacteremia. The 
organism is found in tubercular infections, and probably hastens the necrosis 
of infected tissue. In some cases it may be the primary infecting agent. 

Poisonous properties. Not known. 

Immunity. Not known. 

Micrococcus catarrliallis, Seifert 

Disease produced. Superficial inflammations of the respiratory tract and 

Animals infected. Man. 

Animals susceptible. None of the laboratory animals are susceptible, except 
when the organism is introduced in very large quantities. 

Pathogenesis. Probably the primary cause in some cases of conjunctivitis, 
bronchitis, and catarrh, and in general superficial inflammations of the respira- 
tory passages. 

Poisonous properties. Not known. 

Immunity. Not known. 

Micrococcus gonorriieac, {Diplococcus of Neisser) 

Disease produced. Gonorrhea. 

.Animals infected. Man. 

-Animals susceptible. None of the laboratory animals are susceptible. 

Pathogenesis. Producing a severe inflammation of the mucous membranes 
of the urethra accompanied by blennorrhea. Secondary infection of fallopian 
tubes, ovaries, urethra, etc., may occur. 

Poisonous properties. Not known. 

Immunity. Probably some immunity is developed after infection, but is 
not lasting. No method of ininnmizing is known. 

Strct^lococcus cqui, Schiitz 

Disease produced. Strangles. 

Animals susceptible. Horses, asses, and tiieir Iiyl)ri(ls, and mouse. 

Pathogenesis. Producing a severe catarrh of the nasal nmcosa, with a 
swelling of the sub-maxillary, and pharyngial lymphatic glands, abscesses gen- 
erally form in the latter. May terminate in pharyngitis in a purulent pneu- 
monia or plcuritis. Sometimes cutaneous exanthemata. Metastatic abscesses 
may appear in various lymph glands. 


Poisonous properties. Not fully studied, but probably the same as those 
of the next organism, Streptococcus pyogenes. 
Immunity. Not known. 

Streptococcus pyogenes, Rosenbach. (Streptococcus erysipelatos, Fehleisen) 

Disease produced. This organism in various forms of inflammation and 
septic inflammation in general, sometimes alone, sometimes associated with 
Micrococcus pyogenes albus, and aureus. Its speci- 
fic cause, in many instances of septicemia, pyemia, 
phlegmon, abscesses, boils, erysipelas, ulcerative en- 
docarditis, periostitis, otitis, meningitis, pneumonia, 
lymphangitis, bronchitis, inflammation of the serous 
UK-nibranes, as pericarditis, pleuritis, peritonitis arth- 
iiis, enteritis, endometritis, tonsillitis, salpingitis, has 
Fig. 28. I'us organism.been held by some authors to cause rheumatic fevers 
fhains^'^^ith' 'pus S^x^'oo. Af"and also scarlet fever. Probably many so-called ter- 
ter Fliigge. minal infections are produced by this organism. 

Pathogenesis. The organism is one of the pyogenic forms reacting much 
as the Micrococcus pyogenes, as has been described. 

Poisonous properties. In many strains of Streptococcus pyogenes, there 
is present an endotoxin. This is little understood, however, at the present 
time. It is found that this endotoxin varies greatly; in some cases none at all 
being found in virulent types. It is susceptible to heat; organisms killed by 
chloroform being more poisonous than those killed by heat. Virulent streptococ- 
ci also produce an hemolytic toxin called streptocolysin. This is a true toxin. 
The blood in fatal cases of streptococcic septicemia is often laked. The toxin 
is destroyed at a temperature of 70° for two hours and by peptic digestion. 
Substances which kill the leucocytes are also present in certain strains and inhibit 
phagocytosis. It is very probable that the pathogenic character of this organ- 
ism is not entirely explained by its known toxic properties. 

Immunity. Immunity against infection of streptococcus is probably due 
largely to the presence of opsonins in the blood, and the consequent activity of 
the phagocytes. Sera of animals which have been immunized by inoculation of 
non-virulent or killed cultures seems to have some protective effect. Such has 
not come into general use, however. Agglutinins are produced for most strains. 


Bacillus suipcstifcr, Salmon & Smith * 

Disease produced. Hog cholera. Probably not the primary cause, but as- 
sociated with some unknown ultra-microscopic organism. 

Animals infected. Swine. 

Animals susceptible. Rabbits. 

Pathogenesis. Post mortem examination reveals numerous petechiae, ecchy- 
moses, and extravasations of blood into various tissues. This latter is par- 
ticularly evident beneath the serous membranes. The spleen is enlarged, soft, 
and engorged. In subacute cases, large intestinal ulcers are formed. 

Poisonous properties. Novy gave the name susotoxin to a poison base 
which he discovered in pure cultures. This is probably not a specific poison 
of the organism, certainly not a toxic. 


Immunity. Vaccination with killed or attenuated cultures develops an im- 
munity, while vaccination against this particular organism is successful, it is 
not of practical importance, because of the fact that this particular organism 
is not the primary cause of the disease. Agglutination is well marked, and has 
been used in diagnosis. 

Bacillus piscidus acjilis, Sieber 

Disease produced. No specific name given. 

Animals infected. Fish. 

Animals susceptible. Frogs, mice, rabbits, dogs, and guinea-pigs upon inoc- 

Pathogenesis. Disease is marked by shortness of breath, unrest, apathy, 
and finally paralysis. 

Poisonous properties. The filtrate of cultures is poisonous, also the dis- 
tillate. Cadaverin, and other known ptomains have been obtained from cultures. 


Bacillus coli, {Bacterium coli commune, Escherich) 

Disease produced. This organism is a normal inhabitant of the intestinal 
tract of man and animals but under certain conditions produces inflammation 
of the internal organs, such as choleocystitis, peritonitis, meningitis, cystitis, 
suppurative nephritis, and even generalized septicemia. 

Pathogenesis. This organism is not highly pathogenic under ordinary con- 
ditions, and when found in inflammatory processes, it is generally associated 
with other organisms. Undoubtedly, one of the reasons why this organism is 
found in various organs in post mortems, is the fact that it gains entrance into 
the blood just before death, producing the so-called agonal invasion. 

Poisonous properties. No specific coli-toxin has been produced. 

Immunity. Animals may be immunized by the injection of killed cultures. 
The immunization resulting from the formation of bactericidal amboceptors and 

Bacillus enicritidis. Gacrtner 

Disease produced. Meat poisoning. 

Animals infected. Man. 

Animals susceptible. Mouse, guinea pig. rabbit, pigeon, lamb, and goat. 

Animals immune. Dog, cat, rat, pigeon, and sparrow. 

Pathogenesis. It is believed at the present time, that many of the so-called 
cases of ptomaine poisoning which have occurred in the past, and been recorded 
as such in medical literature, are due to the presence of this organism, and its 
soluble toxin. The organism has been isolated repeatedly from spleen of fatal 
cases. The disease is contracted by eating infected meat, and is characterized 
by vomiting, and violent diarrhoea, followed by collapse, head-ache, and not 
infrequently urticarial or herpetic eruptions. Anatomical findings are not speci- 
fic. Meat undoubtedly is infected only when coming from animals sick with 
an intestinal or general infection before they were slaughtered. 

Poisonous properties. The organism produces in the meat, a soluble heat- 
resistant toxin in considerable quantities. This toxin in its heat-resisting 
properties, differs from most toxins and also in the fact that no anti-toxins 
are produced. Sufficient toxin is usually present to give the first effects of the 



disease. The organism itself may or may not gain entrance into the circula- 
tion or organs. 

Immunity. As before stated, anti-toxins are not developed. Agglutinins, 
however, are developed. 

Bacillus typhosus, Zopf 

Disease produced. Typhoid fever. 

Animals infected. Man. Inoculation of experimental animals usually 
negative, except when injected in considerable quantities. 

ri u.'i' l-mm ifm'\ immii' ■mil 



Fig. 29. Typhoid fever bacillus. (Bacillus typhosus). 
Section from spleen showing bacteria clustered in center. 
After Fliigge. 

Pathogenesis. The organism invades the solitary lymph nodes and Peyer's 
patches in the intestine and produces more or less necrosis and sloughing of 
tissue. By means of the lymphatic channels, the internal organs are all infected, 
particularly the spleen which becomes very much enlarged. The bacilli invade 
the blood, and hence the disease is a true bacteremia. When they lodge in bony 
tissues, osteitis, periosteitis, and osteomyelitis may be produced. 

Poisonous properties. No soluble toxin has been discovered, an endotoxin, 
however, is present and may be secured through self digestion in cultures, or by 
grinding and extracting the bodies of the bacteria. 

Immunity. No true anti-toxin serum has been produced, inasmuch as no 
toxin has been discovered. The blood serum of typhoid patients agglutinates 
the bacteria. Vaccination with killed cultures produces an immunity which lasts 
probably in most cases several years. The blood serum of animals immunizes 
against typhoid bacilli, but is not used because it is quickly thrown out of the 
system when injected, and because it possesses very little curative quality. 





Bacillus tctaiii, Fliigge 

Disease produced. Tetanus, or lock-jaw. 

Animals infected. Man. white mouse, rabbit, guinea pig, mouse, rat, horse, 
to a less degree cattle and most other warm blooded 
mammals. Most birds, amphibians, and reptiles are 
^^ / y p immune. 

\ / x> I Pathogenesis. There are no gross characteristic 

anatomic changes, but microscopic degenerative lesions 
may be found in the ganglionic cells. The disease is 
characterized usually by a tetanus or rigidity of mus- 

Poisonous properties. .\ tetanus toxin is pro- 
duced in quantities in media. It is believed to con- 
Fig. 30. Tetanus Bacillus, tain two principles ; the first of which, the more im- 
?od1!'"'a.'''vegeta?ivrstage'! portant, afifects the nerves, and is called tetanospas- 
b. Spore stage. After Ab- min ; the second which is hemolytic in its action is 
called tetanolysin. The toxin is destroyed by gastric 
and pancreatic digestion. It has a strong afBnity for 
nervous tissue ; in test tube, practically all of the toxin will become fixed. It 
is absorbed in the body by the motor ends of the nerves and passes through 
this by means of the axis cylinders to the ganglionic cells. 

Immunity. Natural immunity is probably in part at least, phagocytic in 
nature, but the presence of a toxin in the blood or in the body causes the 
production of the anti-toxin. The serum of animals immunized by toxin in- 
jections, contains quantities of this anti-toxin, so that it is used in immunization 
against, and in the cure of tetanus. 

Bacillus botulinus. Von Ermengen 

Diseases produced. Botulism, or meat poisonmg. 

. Animals infected. Man, principally. 

Animals susceptible. Guinea pig. , '■■'^•••^'^- -^^ organism 

^ ^ '^ found in sausage. Hacillus 

Animals immune. Dog and rat. boiuiiinis. After Jordan. 

Pathogenesis. The ingestion of meat conlaininfi Iiacillus liotulinus is fol- 
lowed, in from a day to a day and a half, l)y salivation, ptosis, bulbar paralysis, 
and death in from 25 to 50 per cent of the cases. It produces degeneration 
of glandular organs anid vascular endothelium and consequent hemorrhages. 

Poisonous properties. The organism growing in meat produces a character- 
istic toxin and it is this toxin already formed which produces disease, and not 
the proliferation of the organism after gaining entrance to the body. It has 
been found in decomposed hams, and sausages. The toxin differs from that 
of diphtheria and tetanus in that it 'is not digested by the gastric juice. It has 
a special affinity for nervous tissues, but is not so selective as tetanus toxin. 

Immunity. Immunization with the toxin results in the formation of an 
anti-toxic scrum which may be used in inmiunizing against the disease, or in 
curing. However, this disease is so rare that it is of no iimimercial importance 
in this country. 

Bacillus ak-ci, Chesire & Chi ync 

Disease produced. European foul brood. 
Animals infected. Ilonev bees. 


Animals immune. None of the higher animals contract the disease when 
the organism is inoculated. 

Pathogenesis. Destroys the larva of the honey bee. 
Immunity. Not known. 

Bacillus larvae. White 

Disease produced. American foul brood. 
Animal infected. Honey bee. 
Animals immune. All higher animals. 
Pathogenesis. Destroys the larva of the honey bee. 
Poisonous properties. Not known. 
Immunity. Not known. 

Bacillus anthracis-symptomatici, Kruse 

Disease produced. Black leg, Quarter evil or symptomatic anthrax. 

Animals commonly infected. Cattle. 

Animals susceptible. Guinea pig, hog, dog, and rabbit. 

Animals immune. Bird, horse, goat. 

Pathogenesis. Irregular emphysematous pustules and areas. Muscles con- 
tain dark areas with blood serum and gas bubbles. 

Poisonous properties. Doubtful, probably an endo-toxin. 

Immunity. Established by vaccination with the Bacillus attenuated by 
exposure to heat and drying. 

Bacillus oedonatis, Zopf 

Disease produced. Malignant oedema. 

Animals infected. Horse, sheep, goat, mouse, guinea pig, rabbit, dog, pig, 
chicken, and pigeon. 

Animals immune. Cattle. 

Pathogenesis. There is little blood infection by the organism, but a general 
emphysema of the sub-cutaneous tissues, the gas bubbles being usually very 
numerous. Any of the body tissues may be affected. 



Fig. 30b. Malignant Oedema. Bac- Fig. 30c. Malignant Oed- 

illui oedematis maligni. A. From ema. Bacithis oedemati ma- 

spleen of guinea pig. B. From lung Hgni. Spores and rods. Af- 

of mouse. Both x 700. After Koch. ter Abbott. 

Poisonous properties. Not definitely known. 

Immunity. Immunization may be affected by vaccination with attenuated 

cultures. Attenuation is arrived at by passage of the organism through white 


Bacillus murisepliciis, Koch 

Disease produced. Mouse septicemia. 

Animals susceptible. Hog, rabbit, mouse, white rat, pigeon, and sparrow. 

Animals immune. Horse, cow, ass, guinea pig, cat, chicken, and goose. 

Pathogenesis. The organism has been isolated from poisonous meat. In- 
oculations produce a true bacteremia. Microscopic examination shows the organ- 
ism to be present principally in the capillaries. The spleen is enlarged, but 
otherwise, the internal organs show no characteristic lesions. 

Poisonous properties. Unknown. 

Immunity. Vaccination with killed or attenuated cultures, immunizes, but 
the serum of immunized animals possesses little curative power. 

Bacillus psitlicosis, Xocard 

Disease produced. Epidemic pneumonia contracted from diseased parrots. 
Animals infected naturally. Parrots and man. 

Animals susceptible. White and gray mouse, pigeon, rabbit, and guinea pig. 
Animals immune. The dog is partially immune. 

Pathogenesis. The disease is a true bacteremia, being associated in man 
with pneumonia. 

Poisonous properties. Not known. 

Bacterium influenzae, Lehman & Neumann 

Disease produced. Influenza in man. 

Animals susceptible. Rabbit, and guinea pig. 

Animals immune. Most of the other laboratory animals. 

Pathogenesis. Produces purulent bronchitis, and pneumonia. Sometimes 
there is metastatic infection of other organs producing diseases such as en- 

Poisonous properties. The toxin is intracellular, probably an endotoxin. 

Immunity. Vaccination and inoculation do not confer a lasting immunity, 
in fact, infection in many cases tends to predispose to the disease. 

Bacterium cajicrosi, Kruse 

Disease produced. Chancroid, or soft chancre. 

Animals infected. Man. 

Animals susceptible. Some of the monkeys. 

Animals immune. Other laboratory animals. 

Pathogenesis. Disease produced appears first as a small red, papule which 
becomes larger, and ulcerates. The inguinal and other lymph nodes enlarge and 
ulcerate. Primary infection most frequently upon the genitalia, other tissues 
not frequently involved. 

Poisonous properties. Not known. 

Immunity. Acquired. 

Bacterium piieuiiioniae, Zopf 

Disease produced. Pneuniouia. 

Animals infected. Man. 

Animals susceptible. Guinea pig, and rabbit. 


Pathogenesis. The organism, probably an avirulent type, is found in normal 
saliva. Under some conditions, either alone or with other organisms, produces 
pneumonia or metastatic endocarditis, otitis media, and tonsillitis. 

Poisonous properties. 

Iminunity. Not permanent, probably opsonic in nature. 

Bacterium cholerae, Kitt 

Disease produced. Chicken cholera, and rabbit septicemia. 

Animals infected. Chicken, pigeon, goose, duck, rabbit, and mouse. 

Pathogenesis. Generalized septicemia with minute hemorrhages, peritoni- 
tis, or the formation of diptheritic areas. 

Poisonous properties. Not known. 

Immunity. Agglutinins well developed and immunization with killed or 
attenuated cultures induces the formation of bacterolysins and probably opsonins. 
In cultural and pathogenic character, this organism is closely related to the 
four following, all being classed under the general group of organisms produc- 
ing diseases known as pasteurellosis. 

Bacterium suicida, Migula 

Animals infected. Hog. 

Animals susceptible. Rabbit, giiinea pig, and less so chicken and pigeon. 
See preceding. 

Bacterium sanguinarium, Moore 

Disease produced. Infectious leukemia. 
Animals infected. Chicken. See preceding. 

Bacterium bovisepticum, Kruse 

Disease produced. Hemorrhagic septicemia. 
Animals infected. Cattle. See preceding. 

Bacterium avium, Moore 

Disease produced. Roup. 
Animals infected. Chicken. 

Bacterium asthcneae, Dawson 

Disease produced. Asthenia or going light. 

Animals infected. Chicken. 

Animals susceptible. Guinea pigs, and rabbits. 

Pathogenesis. ? 

Poisonous properties. Xot known. 

Immunity ? 

Bacterium aiilhracis, Migula 

Disease produced. Anthrax or splenic fever. 
Animals infected. Mouse, guinea pig, rabbit, sheep, cattle, man. 
Animals immune. Carnivora. 

Pathogenesis. Oedema at point of inoculation, spleen very much enlarged, 
pulpy, internal organs generally hypcraemic. The organism is to be found in 



the blood in all parts of the body. Acute degenerative in parenchymatous 

Poisonous properties. Neither a soluble toxin nor an endotoxin has been 
demonstrated, though there is abundant evidence in the tissues of intense in- 

Immunity. Immunity may be developed by the inoculation with cultures 
of the organism grown at high temperatures. The blood serum of animals thus 
immunized possesses some immunizing power. Opsonins are probably important. 


'■'f^^'^-iyXl*U P^■■^ 




9 mi: 

■ ^:>. A^ 

Fig. 30d. A section of liver showing anthrax bacillus 
(BaciUus antliracis) in blood vessels x 700. After Fliigge. 


Vig. 30p. Same. a. From culture medium, b. 
I/ater stages forming spores. 


Bacterium necrophorus, Flugge 

Disease produced. Necrosis in various organs. 

Animals infected. Calves, lambs, cattle, sheep, goats, antelope, reindeer, 
red deer, roe, horses, asses, hogs, kangaroos, rabbits, dogs, chickens, kite, 
guinea pigs, and on experiment mice and pigeons. 

Pathogenesis. The local lesion is sharply marked off, usually yellowish, 
or of a dull brown, of a yeasty consistency, and having a characteristic odor of 


o ftp ' 




fig. 30f. Bacillus of Splenic Fever. Bacillus anthracis. Spore formation and spore 
germination. A. From the spleen of a mouse after 24 hours culture in nutrient solution. 
B. Germination of spores x 650. C. The same x 1650. After Koch. 

old cheese and glue. Often produces a diptheritic false membrane. It has 
been described as producing the following in various animals. Necrotic derma- 
titis, sheep-pox, abcesses in rabbits, necrobacillosis of the hoof, necrosis in 
digestive tract, stomatitis, vaginitis, metritis, foot-rot of cattle and sheep, 
necrotic omphalophlebitis in young animals, jointill, multiple necrosis in the 
liver, lungs, and avian diptheria, etc. 

Disease produced. Diphtheria. 

Poisonous properties. 


Bacterium diphtheriae, (Fliigge) 

Animals infected. Man. 

Animals susceptible. Horse, guinea pig, rabbit, mouse. 

Pathogenesis. Local and general phenomena caused by a soluble toxin, and 
necrosis of mucous surfaces, and the underlying tissues, and false membrane 
often forms consisting of fibrin, leucocytes, etc. There is a mild leucocytosis, 
probably due in most cases to the co-ordinate activity of streptococci. 

Poisonous properties. A true toxin is produced in the body and when 
grown in artificial media. It is this toxin which causes the characteristic clinical 
picture in diptheria. 

Immunity. Injection of non-fatal doses of diptheria toxin results in the 
production of an abundance of anti-toxin in the blood. This blood serum has 
powerful cur-.itive and prophylactic properties, and has obtained wide usage in 
general practice. 


Bacterium tuberculosis, (^Koch) 

Disease produced. Tuberculosis, consumption. 

Animals infected. Probably no animal is immune to all of the varieties 
of this organism. 

Pathogenesis. The disease generally runs a chronic 
course, affecting practically all of the organs in the body. \\ ^ O 
In man, characteristic lesions are to be found in the lungs, , \ 

in cattle generally on the peritoneum. The disease is char- "^ ^ 

acterized by the formation of numbers of nodules in the tis- ^ "i^/ ^ 

sues, verying in size from a pin-point to that of an egg. At ^ >^ 

first, these are hard, and firm throughout, but as they grow pjg jgg Tuber- 
larger, generally casease. Microscopically, these tubercules '^'^ organisms. Bac- 

. . tentiin tuberculosis. 

are characterized by the presence m the center of the so- After Mohler and 
called giant cells with numerous nuclei surrounded by con- Washburn, 
centric rings of epithelioid and lymphoid cells. 

Poisonous properties. Not definitely or thoroughly understood, but prob- 
ably an endotoxin. The killed bodies of the bacteria or the product of their 
growth in media when injected into animals affected by tuberculosis, cause a 
characteristic temperature reaction. The material thus injected into animals 
for diagnostic purposes, is called tuberculin, and is in general used in veterinary 

Immunity. Agglutinins are produced in infected animals. Recovery from 
the disease occurs in many cases doubtless from the walling in of the bacteria. 
Artificial immunity may be experimentally produced by increasing the opsonic 
content of the blood, but as yet no accepted method of immunization has been 

Bacterium mallei, (Loffler) Aligula 

Di.sease produced. Glanders, and farcy glanders. 

Animals infected. Usually the horse and ass. 

.\nimals susceptible. Man, goat, cat, hog, field mouse, wood mouse, rabbit, 
guinea pig, hedge hog. 

Animals immune. Cow, house mouse, white mouse, and rat. 

Pathogenesis. The lesions usually appear in the horse and ass in the form 
of discrete, sharply marked ulcers upon the mucous membrance of the nose. 
The ulcers once formed generally remain open and continue to discharge pus. 
The lymphatic glands are infected, and generally the submaxillary glands en- 
large and ulcerate. Infection of the lungs often occurs through inhalation. 
Another type of the disease is characterized by infection of the sub-cutaneous 
lymph channels, which become enlarged and ulcerate, breaking through the skin 
at various points. 

Poisonous properties. This organism produces some poisonous principle 
similar in a sense to that found in tuberculin and under the name of niallein 
is used in the diagnosis. 

Immunity. Successful imnnini/'.alidn of animals against glanders has not 
been accomplished. 

Bacterium leprae, (Hansen) Lehmann Neumann 

Disease produced. Leprosy. 
Animals infected. Man. 



Animals immune. Laboratory animals. 

Pathogenesis. The organism is found present in leprous tissues, almost 
filling the cells in many instances. Several types of leprosy are differentiated 



Fig. 30h. Glanders bacillus, a. Section through "glandereal" 
tissue, tlie small rods massed or single, b. Bacilli stained with 
methyl-blue. After Fliigge. 

on the basis of the organ or tissues in the body infected. In many of its 
aspects, the disease resembles tuberculosis. 

Poisonous properties. The organism has not been successfully cultivated. 
Poisons are unknown. 


Bacterium pesfis, Lehmann-Neumann 

Disease produced. Bubonic plague. 

Animals infected. Man. 

Animals susceptible. Rat, guinea pig, monkey. 

Pathogenesis. Infection usually cutaneous. The lymph glands become 
swollen, and hemorrhagic and undergo more or less extensive necrosis, gen- 
eralized septicemia in many cases, pneumonia and hemorrhages in various 
mucous membranes, especially in the stomach and endothelial surfaces, such as 
the pericardium and in various parenchymatous organs, with extreme degenera- 
tion of the latter. Spleen swollen. 

Poisonous properties. The toxic substance is obscure. The filtrates from 
young cultures usually show little, or no toxicity; the older, more. The toxic 
substance seems to be susceptible to heat and is present in cultures killed by 

Immunity. Immunity may be conferred by the injection of sterilized or 
attenuated cultures, and this vaccination is practiced in some Asiatic countries. 

Microspira cojiiiiia, Schroeter 

Disease produced. Asiatic cholera. 

Animals infected. Man. 

Animals susceptible. Laboratory animals naturally are immune to the 
disease, but by preventing peristalsis, and neutralizing the acid gastric juice, 
some experimenters have succeeded in producing the disease. The guinea pig 
is susceptible to intraperitoneal inoculation. 



•', c\ 


Fig. 30i. Cholera organism. Microspira 
comma. From the margin of a drop of broth 
containing pure culture of the Spirillum, a. 
Long spiral filaments. All x 600. After 

Pathogenesis. It is essentially an intestinal disease, the organism living 
within the intestines. The characteristic lesions are produced through the 
absorption of the poisonous matters there produced. Large and small intestines 
deeply congested, diarrhoea, Peyer's patches and glands swollen, eventually 
mucosal necrosis in part. Ulcers eventually form, though perforations are rare. 
The parenchymatous organs show marked signs of degeneration; the vascular 
system, the nervous and respiratory systems show no characteristic lesions. 

Poisonous properties. The essential poison is intracellular, undoubtedly an 
endotoxin. It is found in the filtrate of old cultures and in solution of bacterial 

Immunity. Produced by considerable quantities of bacteriolysins and prob- 
ably opsonins. Agglutinins are also produced. Vaccination with killed or at- 
tenuated cultures has proven fairly successful, but not the use of the blood 
serum of immunized individuals as a curative or a prophylactic agent. 


Spirochaeta pallida 

Disease produced. Syphilis. 
Animals infected. Man and ape. 
Animals immune. Other animals. 

Pathogenesis. Produces primary lesions in form of ulcers at the point of 
inoculation, second as gummata in the parenchymatous organs. 
Poisonous properties. Not known. 
Immunity. Not well understood. 

Spirochaeta aiiscriua, Sakharoff 

Disease produced. Goose septicemia. 

Animals infected. Goose. 

Animals susceptible. 

Pathogenesis. Producing septicemia. 


Spirocliacia Obcniicicri, Cohn 

Disease produced. Relapsing fever. 

Animals infected. Man. 

.-Xnimals immune. Mouse, ral)l)it. sheep, and hog. 

Pathogenesis. Produces relapsing fever in man. 





Cladotlirix bovis (Bollinger) 

The mass consists of several distinct zones of different elements, the central 
portion granular with small round bodies radiating out from this tangled mass 
of thread-like bodie?, the outer portion consisting of conspicuous club-shaped 
cr'r.nies. The organism is quite polymorphic. In cultures the threads are from 
3 10 to 5-10 fji. in thickness with flask-shaped or bottle-like expansions. The 
organism may be grown upon all the artificial media. The colonies appear as 
small gray dots with translucent, radiating filaments. If kept for a few days at 
37° C. they are opaque and nodular, later they show a whitish downy appear- 
ance. In blood serum the nodules are yellowish or blood-red in color ; on agar 
agar the color becomes brownish with age ; on potato, reddish-yellow and the 
white down makes its appearance early. 

Distribution. Widely distributed both in Europe and North America. 

Pathogenic properties. The organism was discovered by Langenbeck in 
1845, but was not described until 1878 by Bollinger. Israel in 1874-78 called 
attention to the disease in man, and Bostrom in 1899 made a careful study of 
the disease. The disease is not common in man but cases have been described 
by Murphy and Ochsner and Senn of Chicago. Two of the cases described by 
Murphy began with tooth-ache and swelling of the jaw. 

The disease may be caused by direct inoculation of pus, but there is good 
reason to believe that not an infrequent source of infection is by means of 
barley and other grains. There is reason to believe that it occurs in nature 
as a saprophyte. The history of many cases reported in man seem to indicate 

Fig. 30j. Lumpy Jaw Cladotlirix bovis showing the radiating masses. At the left, the 
club-shaped bodies and branches (After Ponfick). At the right, one of the millet like 
bodies less magnified. After Fliigge. 


this kind of infection and it is a well-known fact that certain fields are the 
source of infection. Dr. McFarland says: 

When inhaled, the organisms enter the deeper portions of the lung and cause a 
suppurative broncho-pneumonia with adhesive inflammation of the contiguous pleura. After 
the formation of the pleuritic adhesions the disease may penetrate the nevirly formed tissue, 
extending to the cliestwall, and ultimately form external sinuses; or, it may penetrate the 
diaphragm and invade the abdominal organs, causing interesting and characteristic lesions 
in the liver and other large viscera. 

Another allied disease is the Mycetoma, or Madiu'a-foot ( Cladrotliix ma- 
dureae), which is found in India, especially in the province of Scinde, but 
occurs also in other parts of Asia; in Europe and northern Africa, and a few 
cases have even been reported in North America. 

Another Cladrothrix farcinica, found in Guadaloupe country, is character- 
ized by a superficial lymphangitis and lymphadenitis extending to the tracheal 
and axillary glands. The glands enlarge, suppurate, and discharge a pus. 
The internal organs have a pseudo-tubercular appearance. 

The organism consists of long delicate filaments, characterized by distinct 
branching; the old cultures are rich in spores. The organism has been culti- 
vated in the usual media. 

It is pathogenic for guinea pigs, cattle and sheep. The culture is virulent 
for some time. 

The papers by Nocard on the farcinica organism and a paper l)y Musgrove, 
Clegg and Polk on streptothrix should be consulted. 


Unicellular organisms common in fresh and salt water. They contain blue, 
blue-green, violet, or reddish pigments; swarm spores absent; are common in 
fresh and salt water; simple in structure; existing as a single cell or as a 
chain held together by a gelatinous envelope, or in small colonies ; chlorophyll 
and other pigments not in definite bodies but distributed throughout the cell- 
contents or else forming a sheath which lines the cell-wall ; reproduction occurs 
by simple division ; some fonns produce spores which are thick walled thus 
enabling the organism to live over unfavorable conditions; after a period of 
rest these spores germinate and again reproduce in the vegetative way by 
fission or division. Some of the more common, more or less injurious types 
found ill water are Oscillatoria, Anabaena, Clathrocystis and Nostoc. Cells 
contain phycocyanin and chlorophyll, the latter not visible because of the former. 


Cells spherical, singly or collected in colonies surrounded by a copious cov- 
ering of mucilage forming gelatinous colonies of various sizes. The genus 
Merismopcdia consists of flat rectangular colonies. Cell-division occurs in two 
directions. The genus Gleocapsa has spherical cells united into colonies, the 
cell with a thick colorless, brown yellow or violet coat. Some of the species 
are common in fresh water. 

Chithrocystis. Henfrcy 

This alga occurs in colonies which are at first solid, but later become perfor- 
ated. The colonics arc held together by a gelatinous matrix. The cell contents 
are blue green, or rose-purple in color. The species most commonly found is 
the C. aeruginosa, occurring not only in Europe, but very widely scattered in 


Fig. 31. Schizophyta. Schizophyceae. Blue Green Algae. 1. Chrococcus turgidus 
X 400. 2. Gloeocapsa sanguinea x 400. 3. h'ostoc verriicosum. 3a. A pair of chains. 
4. Cluimaesiphon confervicola x 400; at the right, a caenobium; at the left, germinating 
arthrospores. 5. Rivularia minutula x 200. 6. Anabaena macrosperma x 100; at the right, 
a caenobium; at the left, germinating arthrospores. 7. Plectonema Tomasinianum x 200. 

8. Filaments of Tolypothrix aegagropila; c — central body, ch — chromatin bodies, x 100. 

9. Lyngbya aestuarii x ISO; at the right filiaments with hormogonia (ho). In all figures, 
sp — spores, h — heterocyst. Fig. 1, 2, 3, after Cooke; Fig. 4, 5, 7, after Hausgirg; Fig. 8, 
after Nadson; Fig. 3a, 6, 9, after Wettstein. 

North America, especially common in ponds and the plankton of lakes. Other 
species are C. roseo-persicina and C. Kutsingiana, the former being especially 
common in ponds and ditches which contain a great deal of decaying vegetable 
matter. The latter species is now generally referred to the genus Coleosphaer- 
ium, and the C. aeruginosa to the genus Microcystis. 


Cells in filaments, apical cells disc-shaped with sheaths variable, sometimes 
wanting, heterocysts absent; form hormogonia. Common representatives, Oscilla- 
toria and Lyngbya which at times are common in fresh water. 

Oscillatoria, Vauch 

The plant consists of more than one cell forming a simple filament held 
together by a common but stout gelatinous sheath, the cells being packed to- 


gether like a row of lozenges. A few of the cells fall out of the sheath form- 
ing what is called a hormogonium. This starts a new filament which has a 
characteristic movement hence the name Oscillatoria. Oscillatoria is common 
in hot springs sometimes also covering damp soil in greenhouses. It is mainly 
through decomposition that these algae become noxious. 


Cells spherical in unbranched chains frequentl}' torulose ; sheaths gelatinous 
frequently forming jelly-like masses; reproduction by hormogonia and spores. 
Many species of the order are troublesome in water supplies. Some species 
of the genus Nostoc are used as food. 

Nostoc, Vaucher 

Colonies in flexuose chains united in definite gelatinous investment; cells 
usually spherical or ellipsoidal ; heterocysts terminal or intercalary ; spores 
spherical or oblong. These algae are very common in the lakes in southern 
Minnesota, Northern Iowa, and elsewhere in the United States. By decomposi- 
tion, Nostoc produces disagreeable products. Dr. Arthur, some time ago. found 
Nostoc in quantities in the lakes of southern Minnesota and at one time it was 
supposed one species produced poisoning of cattle. Dr. Arthur, however, did not 
attribute the poisoning to this alga. One of the species of this genus frequently 
found is Nostoc verrucosum common in both the Old and New World. 

Anahacmi, Bory 

Filaments straight or curved, surrounded by a thin sheath united to form 
a flocculent mass : heterocyst and spores intercalary. This alga also forms 
filaments which are free or united in a mass. In the filaments occur the vege- 
tative cells, the heterocysts, whose function is not known, and a spore which 
serves to start the organism again. This organism causes much annoyance 
in water, not only in North America but in Europe. Dr. Farlow some years 
ago referred to its injurious properties. It has also been frequently mentioned 
by Parker as contaminating water supplies in Massachusetts ; others have no- 
ticed it in New York, and Dr. Trelease has found it in Madison. Wisconsin. 
The latter writer says in speaking of the Waterbloom and other algae : 

After a warm spring, on my return to Madison, June 26, 1887, I observed a considerable 
nuantity of putrid scum on the shore of Fourth Lake, but the south wind scattered it before 
specimens of it could be obtained. The succeeding fortnight was liot, and after a couple of 
calm days, succeeding a strong wind from the north-west, the southern half of the lake 
was filled with suspended i>articles about a millimeter in diameter. These consisted exclusive- 
ly of Anabaena Hassallii, already in full fruit; the spores were the customary Spliaerozyga 
arrangment, in a collection made June 20th. 

This algae is common in many of our northern lakes and is a frequent 
pest in water reservoirs, producing pig-pen odors and bad taste of water. 


iMJiform filaments attenuated from base to apex, heterocysts basal or rarely 
absent; sheath tul)nlnr. j^tl.itinous, or membranous . 

Glocotricliid, J. Ag. 

Free floating colonies solid when young but inflated and hollow when 
old ; the filaments radiating from the centre outwards. 


Gloeoirichia Pisum, (Ag.) Thur. 

It forms small green spherical bodies about 1 millimeter in diameter, floating 
at various depths in the water. It consists of a mass of tapering threads ar- 
ranged radially in the gelatinous matrix. The apices of the threads protrude 
more or less, giving it a bristly appearance. The base of each filament contains 
a heterocyst and above it a slender cylindrical spore and beyond it the ordinary 
vegetative threads of the alga. 

According to Dr. Arthur it is common in Minnesota. He found it common 
in Waterville, Lake Minnetonka, Lake Phelan in Minnesota and East Okoboji 
Lake in Iowa. It was thought by the people of Waterville, Minnesota, that 
this alga caused the death of cattle which drank the water. The history of these 
cases is recorded by Dr. Arthur as follows : 

"That some of the animals had drunk of the water and scum a few hours only before 
they died was positively known, and that all had done so seemed from circumstances quite 
probable. After the most careful examination the only plausible hypothesis that could be 
advanced to account for the death of the animals was that the alga present possessed some 
toxic or other baneful properties sufficiently powerful to kill a cow in a half hour or more 
after drinking freely of it. The well-established reputation of all the algae for innocuous- 
ness made this hypothesis appear from the very first extremely improbable, but for want 
of the slightest hint in any other direction it was thought worth while to bear it in mind, 
and to investigate the matter further. 

About the middle of June, 1884, word was received that eight cattle had died on the 
shore of Lake Tetonka. I at once started for Waterville, arriving on the twentieth and 
found the algae less abundant than in 1882, but still making the water green some fifty 
feet or more out from the shore toward which the wind had been blowing several hours. 
Although the conditions were not the most favorable, yet it seemed best to attempt a direct 
experiment by giving the animals water charged with algae. After much delay the services 
of Prof. M. Stalker, state veterinarian of Iowa and professor of veterinary science in the 
Iowa Agricultural College, were secured to conduct the experiment. A horse and calf were 
employed. On June 30th, Prof. Stalker, with the assistance of Prof. Edward D. Porter 
of the university of Minnesota, and in the presence of citizens of Waterville. made the 
tests, the writer being unable to remain. The animals had not been permitted to drink 
for some twenty-four hours previous, and were consequently thirsty enough to take a large 
amount of water well charged with the algae. No bad results of any sort followed. 

The thorough and able manner in which the test was made leaves no reasonable doubt 
of the perfect harmlessness of the algae in a growing condition. I append this last clause, 
because the citizens of the place still believe that the algae are at the root of the trouble, 
and that the test did not show it because they were not made at the right stage of their 
occurrence. Although no sufficient study of the habits of this plant has yet been made to 
enable one to speak with certainty, yet it does not appear from present data that in some 
other stage it would give different results, unless it be when decaying, when it turns 
brown or reddish brown and gives off a peculiar stench. At this time the microscope 
shows the cells of the algae to be swarming with bacteria. Whether these are other than 
the common and harmless bacteria of putrefaction it is at present impossible to say. The 
probabilities are, however, entirely against the hypothesis that the decaying algae or the 
accompanying bacteria have anything to do with the trouble. 

We are therefore obliged to sum up the economic part of this investigation by stating 
that the death of the animals is probably not due to the suspected algae, and that no clue 
to the real cause has yet been obtained." 

Dr. Arthur in a recent communication states that he has had no evidence 
so far that these algae are poisonous. That the death of these animals was 
probably due to bacteria found in the marshes. 


Quite a number of additional genera are known to occur in our fresh 
waters; among them the Glococapsa with cells single or in groups surrounded 


by a gelatinous envelope, cell contents bluish green, brownish or reddish; 
Merismopedia, with division in two directions, cells arranged in tabular groups 
of 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, etc.; Lyngbya, with filaments enclosed singly in a sheath, 
branchless or occasionally branched, cell contents blue and granular. 


One-celled organisms with nucleus, sharply differentiated protoplasmic body, 
some with a simple membrane, pseudopodia absent, motile during most of their 
existence ; cilia 1 or more and with 1 or 2 pulsating vacuoles ; chromatophores 
occasionally absent ; reproduction asexual by longitudinal division. The Eiigle- 
nalcs contain the family Euglenaceae. The most common of these is the Buglena 
viridis which occurs in stagnant pools. Cells are elongated spindle-shaped, cilia 
1 and with a red eye spot at one end. Water where these are abundant is not 
wholesome. The Vroglena forms small sphaeroidal nearly colorless colonies, 
the central portion of the colony is a hollow space filled with mucilage and the 
ciliated cells are arranged around the periphery; vegetative multiplication occurs 
by simple fission and by zoogonidia. The Uroglena, when occurring in large 
quantities produce a fishy, oily odor. The related Synura produces an odor 
of ripe cucumbers with a bitter and spicy taste. 


Plants mostly occurring in water, always with a cell-membrane and nucleus. 
Green or other colors mixed with the green (brown or red). This includes all 
of the algae or thallophytes that contain chlorphyll which is, however, fre- 
quently masked because of other pigments like red and brown. 


Small 1-celled organisms of brown color, the chlorophyll masked by diatomin 
found mostly in the plankton of salt water. 


Small 1-celled organisms of brown color, the chlorophyll masked by diatomin 
of the chromatophores; cell-wall consisting of silica with a girdle and fine lines; 
reproduction asexual parallel to the long axis of the organism and the forma- 
tion of auxospores and sexual auxospores by conjugation. 

The diatoms are especially important in considering water supplies since 
they are widely distributed and at times very common. The diatom is like a 
pill box, made up of two parts, one fitting tightly within the other ; the walls 
are strongly silicified and marked with fine lines; the cell contents are colored 
brown. Economically, these algae are of some importance as food for fishes, 
in manufacture of dynamite, and for polishing. 

Dr. Moore, speaking of Diatoms in water says : 

There are only a few species which are known to give rise to serious trouble in water 
supplies, but these occur quite frequently and in great quantities. Sometimes the infected 
water has an odor, variously described as resembling fish or geraniums, and the taste is 
disagreeable enough to render it quite unfit for use. This condition is often produced by 
Asterionclla. In addition to this effect, however, diatoms are extremely troublesome when 
contained in water to be used for the manufacture of paper or for laundry purposes, becaus* 



of the greenish-brown coloring matter they contain, which stains articles coming in contact 
with it. Whipple has observed that the growth of diatoms seems to depend upon certain 
definite conditions of the water — that is, they do not develop when the bottom of the pond 
or reservoir is quiet: but in spring and fall, when the rising or lowering temperature causes 
the water to circulate and a good supply of air and nitrates is obtained, the growth is most 
luxuriant. Thus, it is seen that temperature is only an indirect cause, and not one that need 
be taken into account Dv itself. 

Fig. 32. Diatoms. Pinniilaria firidU. 1. 
View showing markings in wall, c — central nodule; 
e — polar nodules; r — raphe. 2. Girdle view, s — 
silicified cell walls; g — girdle bands. 3. In process 
of division. Fig. 1 and 2 after Pfitzer; Fig. 3 
after Wettstein. 


Chlorophyll-green algae, membrane without silica ; reproduction, swarm 
ceils absent; sexual reproduction by forming zygospores through the union of 


The desmids are green unicellular organisms represented by such 
genera as Cosiiiariuiu, and are found mostly with other algae. They are not 
especially troublesome. Common genera are Closteriiim, Cosmarium, and Des- 

The filaments of Zygnema are small consisting of a single series of cylin- 
drical cells placed end to end, occasionally with a slight constriction at the 
points of junction. Each cell has two star-shaped chloroplasts, each one con- 
taining a large pyrenoid. 

Spirogyra, Link 

Spirogyra is a common alga everywhere in our fresh waters, especially in 
quiet waters as in ponds and ditches. The filaments are simple, occur in bright 
green masses, often several feet long: cells cylindrical, variable in diameter and 
relative length ; wall smooth and slightly gelatinous ; chlorophyll arranged in 



Pig. 32a. Lower figure, two views of diatom. 
in lateral view; / upper view. Upper figure, a desmid 
Closterium ; clil — choroplastid. Charlotte M. King. 

1 or more spiral bands, depending upon the species ; nucleus is generally situated 
in the central portion of the cell ; in the chlorophyll band occur what are known 
as the pyrenoids ; reproduction both asexual, by the simple cutting off of the end 
cell, and sexual, by conjugation through the union of two cells. 


Cells cylindrical, unbranched forming threads, chroiiiatophores present, in 
masses or spiral bands. Formation of zygospores. 


Chlorophyll-green plants, occurring singly or in colonies, (threads or flat- 
tened bodies) with one or more nuclei; reproduction asexual by producing 
multilateral zoospores and aplanospores ; sexual by the copulation of zoogametes, 
or spermatozoids and oosplicrcs; the spores produce a new plant directly or 
generally form swarm spores. Water net {Hydrodiclyon reticulatuiii), Pedias- 
trum and Scctiedcsmus are common in fresh water; Pleurococcus is common on 
trunks of trees. The Confcrvales contain the sea lettuce. Viva latissima, which 
is used as food, the Conferva with slender green filiamcnts common in fresh 
water, the Cladophora fracfa in fresh water. Cladophma is a common alga 
and is quite rough to the touch, and may therefore easily l>c distinguished from 
Splrogyra or Zyf/tienia. The frond of Cladophora is branched, with many- 



Fig. 33. Fresh Water Green 
Slimes. Conjugatae. Left hand figure; 
n — Zygnema. 1. Stellate chlorophyll 
grain. 2. Zygospore. Right hand fig- 
ure., s — Spirogyra chlorophyll in a 
spiral band. 1, 2, 3 and 4, in different 
stages of conjugation. 4. Zygospore. 

Fig. 33a. Botrydiaceae. Green 

Scum. Botrydiiim grantilatum. 1. A 

single large zoosporangium. 2. Rhizoid 

nucleated cells or, in some instances, only 1 or 2; chloroplasts occur on the mar- 
gins with a single pyrenoid in each piece of the reticulum. The Siphoneae 
contain the Vaucheria, found in damp ground, the long unsegmented threads of 
which produce antheridia and oogonia, and the Botrydhim granulatum found 
on damp ground. 


Unicellular organisms or forming colonies, each cell with a single chroma- 
tophore; forms gametospore? and oospores. 

Paiidorina, Bory 

The algae of this genus are collected together in spherical or subspherical 
colonies known as caenobia. Each caenobium contains about 16 cells closely 
packed within a gelatinous envelope ; the cells are pyramidal in shape and reach 
almost to the center of the spherical colony; each cell produces 2 cilia. 

Volvo. v, (L.) Ehrenb. 

Volvox consists also of globose colonies known as caenobia, each consisting 
of a large number of small cells from 200 to 22,000, arranged in a single layer 
within a gelatinous sheath ; the caenobium is a hollow sphere, the cells being 
connected by protoplasmic threads of varying stoutness; each cell has a distinct 
chloroplast, 2 or more contractile vacuoles and a number of cilia ; reproduction 
occurs through asexual methods or by fertilization; in fertilization, the sperm 



Fig. 34. Chlorophyceae. Pond Scum. 
Pandorina Morum. a. Floating caenobium. b 
and c. Zoospores, d. Zoospores conjugating, 
e. Process of conjugation complete, f. Zygo- 
spores. After Luerssen. 

Fig. 35. Bladder Wrack, f'ucus ^esiculosiis. <i. Section tlirovigli conceptacle contain- 
ing oogonia. b. Single oogonium with egg cells, c. Egg cells escaping, d. Antheridjum 
with sperm cells. e. ICgg cells in jiroccss of fi-vtilization. surrounded by sperm cells. 
/. Germination of spores, rbizoid below, g. Single sjicrm cells. After Thuret. 



cell, coming from the antheridium, unites with the egg cell which is contained 
in the oogonium ; the caenobium because of the cilia has a rolling motion. 
Several species are common like V. globator and I', minor. 

Eudorina, Ehrenb. 

The caenobium is globose or subglobose rarely ellipsoid and normally con- 
sists of 32 cells arranged within the periphery of a copious mucilaginous mass; 
each cell contains 1 or more pyrenoids; reproduction takes place as in Pandorina. 
Eudorina like Pandorina produces a faintly fishy odor. 


Plants of brackish or fresh water, consisting of internodes; short whorls 
of cylindrical branches ; cells nucleated ; growth from an apical cell ; asexual 
reproduction by means of bulbils and vegetative threads; sexual reproduction 
by egg-cells and spermatozoid?, the latter spirally coiled in the cells of the 

Fig. 36. Bladderwrack. Fucus vesiculosus. 
Air spaces shown in light areas (0 ; concep- 
tacles (s") containing reproductive bodies. After 



anther idium ; the ^g cell is contained in a spirally coiled oogonium and after 
fertilization becomes an oospore. The Stoneworts or Charas are common i: 
brackish water, and though not injurious frequently stop up canals and fill pond- 
so that it becomes necessary- to pull them out. 


Brown algae : chloroiAyll marked by a brown coloring matter, phycophaev. 
reproduction sexual and asexual, swarm spores, sperm cells and egg cells ; 
marine : tetragonidia absent. 

The Phaeosporeae contain the Laminariaceae : the Devil's Apron, Laminana 
digitata, and other species from which iodine and mannite are derived. The 
Macrocysfis pyrifera is of great length. The Clyclosporeae contain the family 
Fucaceae, the common Bladderwrack i^Ftuus vesiculosus) from which iodine. 
bromine and soda are obtained. The Sargasso weed {Sargassum hacciferum 
found in the Atlantic ocean is also abundant in the Sargasso Sea. 


Brown algae ; reproductive bodies without motion ; tetragonidia present 
This group contains a single order Dictj-otaceae comprising a few genera. 


Red or violet algae; chromatophores contain chlorophyll and red coloring 
matter (phycoer>-thrin and rhodoph}ll) ; reproduction sexual and asexual; most- 
ly marine. The red sea weeds are divided into several classes and numerous 
orders. The sub-class Florideae contains most of the species. Food is ob- 
tained from several species and the carrageen is furnished by Chondrus cris- 
pus, agar agar is obtained from Gracihria lichenoides found in the Indian 
Ocean. The Gloiopeliis coliformis and other species are used by the Japanese 
as food. Many of the species are prettj- and are much gathered on the sea coast 

Fig. .'". i>-- 5c* Weed, Semclion multsAdum. 1. Branch with carpogonium and 
antheridium. 2-4. Different stages of development. S. Lejoliria medilerranfa with antheridi- 
nm, carpogonium and spores, a — antheridia. c and o — carpogonia, t — trichogyne, s — spena 
cells, e — spores, f — fruit, .\fter Thuret and Bomet. 



Parasitic or saprophjtic plants with one or more cells, chlorophyll absent 
with apical growth ; myceUum usuallj- evident ; reproduction sexual and asexual, 
generally the laner; asexual by the formation of zoospores, conidia or spores. 


Thallus generally of a single branched tubular thread; septa in connection 
with the reproductive bodies only; threads containing many nuclei; reproduc- 
tion sexual and asexual, in the latter the spores generally in sporangia (Mu^or) ; 
conidia in chains (Albugo), or at the end of the hjphae {Plasmopara^ : re- 
production sexual by copulation forming zygospores {Mucor) or oospores in 
Plasmopara and Albugo. 


Parasites or saprophj-tes: mjcelium branched not septate, or septa in con- 
nection with the formation of the reproductive bodies; reproduction sexual by 
endospores, acroconidia, or chlamydospores. A group of fungi represented by 
the Fly Fxmgus (Empusa) and Common Black Mould (J/ucor). 


Sporangia with colimiella, many spored, zygospores between the threads of 
the mycelium. Few species have the two sexes united on the same plant : gen- 
erally they are on the separate individuals. According to Blakeslee, Sporcdima 
contains both sexes (homosporangic, homosporic, homophj-tic and homothallic). 
Phycomyces is dioecious, the zj-gospores producing at germination but one kind 
of germ tube which gives rise to a sporangium containing both male and female 
spores, (homosporangic, heterosporic, homoph>-tic, heterothallic) Mucor mucedo 
has sexes separated on different individuals but two different kinds of germ 
tubes are formed by the germination of the zygospores, (heterosporangic. heter- 
osporic, heteroph\-tic, and heterothallic). Zygorrh}-nchus is heterogamic. The 
same author* has recenth- reviewed the literature. 

About 85 species widely distributed. The Phycomyces was first foimd in 
oil kettles, and not infrequently in oil cakes. Sporodinia are parasitic on larger 
fungi. Pilobolus crystallinus is common on horse manure, the conidiophore 
being enlarged. The sporangia look like "fly specks" on the wall. This fimgus 
is not injurious. 

Mucor (Micheli) Link. Mucor. Mould 

Mycelium creeping, conidiophores simple or branched; sporangia spherical 
or pear-shaped: columella well developed, wall of sporangium mucilaginous, in 
some cases chlamydospores. or forming small chains or "q,-sts"'; zj-gospores 
produced by the fertilization of two gametes. 

A genus of wide distribution of 50 species. The life history- of a common 
species, the Mucor stolonifer (Rhizopus nigricans) found on bread and de- 
cayed fruits is as follows. The gray felted mycelium spreads through the 
substratum, and on the surface small black bodies, the sporangia, are produced. 
The conidiophore arises from the felted mycelium and bears an enlarged spher- 
ical head, the sporangium, within which, occur the spores. On adding water 

* Bot- Gazette igo^-AlS. Reprint. 



Fii.'. ,5y. I'.!ack Moulds. Zvgomvcctis. 1-5. Mucor muccdo. 1. Mycelium and young 
sporangium x 25. 2. Ripe sporangium x lOO. .•?. The same in optical view x 100. 4. In 
process of fertilization x 80. 5. Zygospore (s), greatly magnified. 6-7. Cliaetochuiuim 
Jonesii. 6. Conidia x 150. 7. Zygospores. 8-9. Fertilisation and formation of /ypospores 
in 9. 10. Conidioi)li(>res of Svnct'plwlis iiitcnnedin x 100. 11-1.^. Frrti;i«iti.)n and forma- 
tion of zygospores in S. contu x 300. 14. Conidiophore. gelatinous enlargements and black 
sporangium of Filolobus cryslallinus x 30. 15. Fertilization of Morticrclln Roxlatinskti x 300. 
1-7, 14-15 after Brefeld, 8-13 afttr Van Tieghem. 



to the specimen, the wall of the sporangium collapses and the end of the stalk, 
known as the columella, turns back, giving it something of the appearance of 
an umbrella. The columella, before it collapses, projects into the sporangium. 

Fig. 40. Mucor Rouxii. Conidio- 
phore. 2. Gemmae. 3. Chlamydo- 
spores. All greatly magnified. 1 after 
Vuillemin. 2 after Calmette. 3 after 
Wehmer. (Modified by Charlotte M. 

The spores germinate readily when placed in a moist atmosphere. In 
addition to the production of a sporangium a stalk may bend over and cause 
the further extension of the fungus by producing what is known as a stolon. 

In some species small, round, or elongated spores are produced in the 
mycelium which are known as chlamydospores, and spread the fungus. In 
addition to the formation of spores in the sporangium, zygospores are pro- 
duced in some species ; two threads of the mycelium lie in proximity and nearly 
parallel, each produces a tube ; these meet, the walls are absorbed, and, just 
back of the meeting point, a cell is cut ofif. The contents from the old cells 
pass into the newly formed cell. We also observe that the cell of one arm is 
somewhat smaller than that of the other. This spore is a resting spore or zygo- 
spore. It lies dormant for a period, then germinates by forming directly a con- 
iodiophore with its sporangium containing the spores. 

Prof. Blakeslee has shown with reference to the fertilization of some of 
the species of Mucor that it requires a male and a female plant. In speaking 
of Mucor niucedo he says : 

Mucor mucedo has the sexes separated on different individuals as in Phycomyces. but two 
different kinds of germ tubes are formed by the germination of its zygospores. While some 



germ tubes are male and produce only male spores, others are female and produce only- 
female spores in the germ sporangium. The sporophyte as well as the gametophyte, there- 
fore is unisexual. 

"Raggi," used in the manufacture of Arrack, contains Mucor Orysae 
{Rhizopus) which transforms rice starch into dextrose, the latter being then 
fermented by yeasts forms blackish brown sporangia and has a pear-shaped 
columella. Mucor Rouxii of Calmette is commonly grown in China, where it is 
found on rice husks and is made from these into Chinese yeast. It changes rice 
starch into sugar and has been used to some extent for manufacture of alco- 
holic drinks. 

M. racemosus, common in decaying fruit, produces alcoholic fermentation. 
Mucor fusigcr is parasitic on species of Collybia; M. Melittophtorus was found 

Kig. 41. Common Hlack Mould {Mucor stolonifer or Rhizopus nigricans). 1. Sporangia 

and method of spreading by stolons. 2. Same, showing rhizoids, conidiophore, columella, 

sporangium and spore. 3. Zygospore, showing method of conjugation. 4. Zygospore 
germinating; k, conidiophore. 

in the stomachs of bees; M. nigricans was found by Neumann (1892) and later 
by Artanet (1893) in the eye of poultry but Barthelat does not consider it 

Mucor corymbifer, F. Cohn. 

Delicate, white mycelium spreading over the surface of the substratum; 
conidiophores appressed, spreading; branched sporangia in umbellate clusters, 
the lower sporangia smaller than the upper, the latter 70 yx diameter; wall 



Fig. 42. Mucor corymbifer after the bursting of the sporangium. After L,ichtheim. 

colorless, smooth, collapsing; spores colorless, small 2x3 fj..; columella club- 
shaped, brownish frequently papillate. 

Distribution. Probably tropical, found in tropical drugs, in Europe and the 
United States. 

Pathogenic properties. Lichtheim recognized this species as pathogenic. 
It grows better at a temperature of blood. When introduced into the circula- 
tion of guinea pigs, it produces death in 48 to 72 hours. Mycelium is found in 
kidneys, spleen and Peyer's patches of intestines which are swollen and ulcerat- 
ed. Huckel found the organism in the human ear. Dr. Wolffner in Dr. Tre- 
lease's laboratory in St. Louis, Mo., cultivated the organism from the human 
eye. The clinical record of this case was as follows : A farmer near St. Louis, 
was cutting corn with an old fashioned corn knife. A small piece of corn 
stalk flew into his eye, later inflammation set in followed by inability to see. 
Dr. Wolffner found a film over the surface. This film was removed and later 
Mucor corymbifer developed from it. It has been frequently found in ulcerated 
portions of the lungs, intestines, nasal cavity, and in the auditory canal. Dogs 
are immune. 

The earliest recorded case of mucor in pneumonomycosis was made by 
Furbringer, who had under observation three cases of a disease in two of which 
he found a Mucor. According to Dr. H. C. Plaut, the cases of otomycosis are 
not infrequent in India. According to Siebenmann it occurs in .5-1 percent in 
all diseases of the ear, and males, especially farmers and gardeners, are more 
predisposed than females. According to Hatch and Row, ear mycosis is com- 
mon in India, they having observed 22 cases in one month. The most common 
fungi found in the ear are Verticil Hum graphii, Aspergillus fumigatus, A. niger, 
and A. flavus. A. nidulans is somewhat rare, as is Mucor septatus. The 
Aspergilli will be treated more at length in another connection. 



Fig. 43. Black Mould, Mucor rhisopodiformis. 
Branched conidiophores, large columella and discharged 
spores around the same. After Lichtheim. 

Mucur Trichisi, Lucet and Costantin 
This diflfers from M. corymbifer in a few characteristics of sufficient im- 
portance to cause Lucet and Costantin to consider it a distinct species, M. 
Trichisi having larger sports which are 4 M in diameter and sporangia 35 M 
in diameter. It was isolated from epidermal scabs appearing on a horse affected 
with tinea, produced by Trichophyton minimum. The M. Regnieri described 
by the same authors is similar to the preceding. 

Mucor rhizopodiformis, F. Cohn 

Mycelium at first snow-white then gray, conidiophore single or clustered, 
brownish, 125 M long, small rhizoid processes, columella broad, constricted at 
the base; sporangia spherical, at maturity blackish, spores spherical colorless, 
5-6 M in diameter. Closely allied to M. stolonifcr or M. inaequalis. 

Distribution. Not uncommon on bread in Europe. 

Pathogenic properties. Pathogenic like the preceding. When introduced 
into the circulation of guinea pigs it produces inflammation and the tissues of 
the spleen, liver and intestines are found to contain the mycelium of the fungus. 
The animal becomes inactive, lies on its side and drops its head. Small masses 
of the mycelium may be found in the kidneys. 

Mucor piisillus, Lindt. 

Mycelium spreading, with numerous chlamydosporcs which are capable of 
germination ; conidiophores generally branched ; sporangia spherical, brownish, 
30-40 M in diameter; spores ellipsoidal or spherical, 5-8 m long, 3-5 m in diameter; 
columella pear-shaped ; zygospores seldom produced, spherical, 70-84 m in dia- 
meter, roughened, chlamydosporcs abundantly produced : species capable of 
changing cane sugar into invert sugar, producing the ferment invertase. 

Distribution, and hosts. Widely distributed in both Europe and North 
America, occurring on various decaying objects. 


fig. 44. Mil cor racemosus. Frag- 
ment of mycelium, which has under- 
gone conversion into chains of oidia 
X 120. After Brefeld. 

Fig. 45. Mould. Mucor race- 
mosus. 1. Branched sporophore or 
conidiophore x 80. 2. Optical sec- 
tion of sporangium x 300. After 

Pathogenic properties. Said to be pathogenic for various birds but Pierre 
Savoure, after some extensive experiments thinks that it plays no part in 
disease. It was not pathogenic for rabbits and guinea pigs. Bollinger states 
that it occurs in the respiratory tract of birds w^here it produces mucormy- 
cosis. It has been observed in cutaneous lesions in cavalry horses in France, 
although culture did not yield this fungus but yielded a trichophyte instead. 

Mucor ramostis, Lindt. 

Mycelium spreading in the substratum, small, branched, at first white then 
becoming grayish-white ; sporangia black, spherical with marginal spines 60-80 ^ 
in diameter; columella ovate, light brown, 50 M wide; spores somewhat spheri- 
cal. 3-3.5 M in diameter, colorless. 

Distribution and Habitat. Found in Europe, not abundant. 

Pathogenic properties. Pathogenic for birds. Grows only at a temperature 
of blood, minimum 20-25° C, maximum 50-58°. optimum 45°. 

Mucor ramosus, Lindt 

Mycelium branching, abundant in the substratum and superficial conid- 
iophores 5-15 M wide; sporangia blackish, membrane but slightly colored, 70 M 
in diameter ; columella rounded at the end or blunt ; spores colorless, with 
delicate membrane, smooth, 3 to 4 m x 5-6 z^. This resembles M. corymbifer 
except in the character of the spores. 

Pathogenic properties. Pathogenic for guinea pigs, death occurring in 30 to 
26 hours. 



Mucor septatus, Siebenmann. 

Mycelium at first white, later grayish ; sporangia light yellowish brown, 
sporangia small; colmuella colorless; conidiophore branched; spores small 2.5 m 
in diameter. 

Distribution and Habitat. Found in Europe. 

Pathogenic properties. Pathogenic for human beings, found in the ear. 

Mucor cquiniis. (Costaiitin and Lucet), Pammel 

Mycelium branched, at first white or whitish, floccose with simple pedicels 
withous rhizoid processes, erect or suberect, becoming fascicled, hyphae 8-12 M 
in diameter ; columella spherical or subspherical 20- 50m in diameter ; spore 
roundish or slightly angular smooth 4 M in diameter, chlamydospores numerous 
especially at blood temperatures. 

Distribution. First found in Europe. 

Pathogenic properties. Found in horses. Guinea pigs and rabbits inoculat- 
ed peritoneally die on the 5th or 6tli day. 

Mucor parasiticus (Lucet and Costantin), Pammel. 

Mycelium spreading, branched, brownish fawn color producing stolons and 
rhizoids; sporangia-bearing peduncles branched; conidiophores 12 to 14 m wide 
1-2 cm. long; columella ovoid pyriform slightly brownish 7-30 M high; sporangia 
8 to 37 m; lateral sporangia similar but smaller. Grows readily in nutrient 
media. The rhizoids sink into the substance, the simple conidiophores rise from 
the rhizoids. Lucet and Costantin placed this species in a new genus Rhizomucor. 

Pathogenic properties. It is essentially parasitic and was isolated from 

lb. Hmfusa splwcrosf'crma. 1. Larvae of Cabbage But- 
Conidiophorcs and conidia x 300. 4. Conidiuiu .x 600. 

...^ _ ._.. _^^ 350. 6. Single zygospore x 600. 7-12. Coiiidiobolus 

utric'uYosus;^ iound on' The" gelatinous fungi like the Jew's Ear (Auriciilarw). 7. Conidio- 
phore X HO. 8-9. Same, much enlarged. 9. Discharging conidium .10-12. I'ertilization 
and forming zygospore. After Brefeld. 

Fig. 46. I'jitomopthoraceae. 
terfly. 2. Sectional view. 3. 
5. Mycelium with zygospores 



the sputum of a tubercular patient. It is pathogenic for rabbits and guinea 
pigs when inoculated. Lucet and Costantin think that cases of mucormycosis 
are more frequent than generally supposed. Meyer seems to have made the 
first observation of a Mucor in animals having observed it in the lungs of a 
jay. Heisinger in 1821 found a Mucor in the lungs of a goose. 


Fig. 47. Fly Fungus. Empusa Mtiscae. 1. Empusa on fly surrounded by a halo. 
2. Part of body of fly; general fructifying part (O; conidia (c) and secondary conidia 
X 80. 3. Fully formed conidiophore with conidium (c) and vacuole (v) x 300. 4. Tubular 
conidiophore projecting a conidium (c) surrounded by part of the plasma (g) of the con- 
idiophore. S. Conidium (c) with a secondary conidium (sc). 6. Conidium (c) forming a 
mycelium tube 300. 7. Secondary conidium (c) germinating x 300. 8. Part of chitin- 

ous integument of fly with conidium (c) penetrating the integument x 500. 9. Fatty bodies 
of fly containing mycelium of parasite x 300. 10. Yeast-like sprouting cells (c) from the 
fatty bodies of a fly x 500. After Brefeld. 




Mycelium abundant, generally parasitic on living insects; multi-nucleate, 
non-septate or may become septate; asexual reproduction by means of conidia 
which are cut off from the end of the sporophore; conidium with one or many 
nuclei; conidia forcibly ejected; sexual reproduction by means of zygospore; 
azygospores without fertilization also frequent. One of the most common 
species of this family is the House Fly Fungus Empusa Muscae. Enipusa 
sphaerosperma is found on the larvae of Cabbage butterfly; £. Grylli is on the 
Rocky Mountain Locust and the Macrospora cicadina is found on the Cicada. 
Basid'wbohis ranarum occurs on frog excrement. 

Fig. 48. Peronosporaceae. White Rust. Albugo canida. 1. Inflorescence of Shepherd's 
Purse with fungus. 2. Mycelium with haustoria (/t) x 390. 3. Conidiophores and conidia 
(spores) in chains x 400. 4 and 5. Formation of zoospores in conidia x 400. 7. Oogonium 
(o) and antheridium (o) attached, mycelium shown below. 8. Oospore with thick wall. 
9. Germinating oospore forming a zoosporangium. 10. Zoospore. 7-10x400. 6. Ger- 
minating Zoospore. After DeBary. 


Mycelium occasionally sparingly developed, tubular, asexual ; reproduction 
by swarm spores or conidia; sexual by the formation of oospores in the 
Peronosporaceae and Saprolegniaceae. 

Synchitrium has a much reduced mycelium. Sexual reproduction found 
only in some of the genera of the fainily Chytridiaceae. The non-septate 
mycelium is reduced to a single sac shaped cell forming a kind of gall in the 
host plant. One species of Synchytrium, the 5. deci picas, occurs on the Hog-pejt 
(Amphicarpaea monoica). 

The family Pythiaceac contains a destructive parasite of seedlings, the 
Pylhium DcBaryanum and the P. prolifcrum upon dead insects in water. 


Mycelium generally well developed. Reproduction sexual and asexual; in 
sexual reproduction oogonia and antheridia ; asexual spores, conidia, or zoo- 


Many members of this group are destructive parasites to cultivated plants 
like the potato rot fungus (Phytupthora infestans), the onion mildew (Peron- 
ospora Schleidcniana), the lettuce mildew (Bremia Lactucae), the mildew of 
the sunflower {Plasmopara Halstedii), the Clover mildew (Peronospora tri- 
foliorum) which may be injurious to animals, the millet mildew (Sclerospora 
graiiiinicola) which may also be injurious. As a type of this family the 
downy mildew of the grape (Plasmopara viticola) may be taken. It appears 
during the early summer and continues till frost. Leaves, berries and stem 
are affected. The upper surface of the leaf shows yellow patches, underneath 
a white frosty mould. A section through the leaf will show the mycelium 
vegetating between the cells. The mycelium gives rise to the fruiting branches 
of the fungus, the conidiophores, which pass out through the stomata. The 
conidiophores are dichotomously branched, and at their ends bear the conidia. 
When these conidia are placed in water they begin to change, at the end of an 
hour, they swell and the contents divide. According to Dr. Farlow "at the 
expiration of an hour and a quarter the segments had resolved themselves into 
a number of oval bodies" which before long succeeded in rupturing the cell- 
wall and making their escape from the mother cell. Each of these zoospores 
is provided with two cilia. In some, zoospores are not produced, but the whole 
mass passes out, which soon produces a tube. The zoospores produce germ 
tubes which probably pierce the leaf of the grape. The temperature most favor- 
able for germination is between 25° and 35° C. Inoculation experiments with 
the grape vine mildew show that on the second day the disease appears. Sexual 
method of reproduction takes place later in the season and occurs in the leaf. 
A slight swelling appears at the ends of the branches of the mycelium, which 
is spherical in shape, the cell-wall being thick and pale yellow in color. The 
whole rounded mass is called the oogonium. The central part is the oosphere. 
A small body is developed from another (or the same thread) which lies along- 

Fig. 49. 1. Downy Mildew. Peronospora calotheca. Mycelium between the cells send- 
ing haustoria into the cells, x 390. 2. Potato Rot Fungus {Phytophthora infestans), 
conidiophores, conidia home on the branches. 3. Single conidium forming, zoosporangium 
and the zoospores. 4. Discharge of zoospores. 5. Single ciliated zoospore. 6. Oogonium 
io) and antheridium (a). 7. Oospore and antheridiuni (ci) of Peronospora alsinearum x 390. 
«. Conidiophore and conidia of Basidiophora entospora found on leaves of Erigeron x 200. 
9. Germinating conidia of Bremia Lactucae (the Lettuce Downy Mildew). 10. Conidium 
of Peronospora leptosperma germinating x 300. 1-7 9-10 after DeBary, 8 after Cornu. 



side of the oogonium ; the anthcridium. This pierces the oogonium and the 
protoplasm of the antheridium passes into the oosphere. 

In the species that have been studied like Peronospora parasitica, and Al- 
bugo Candida, the oosphere or egg cell contains a single nucleus, situated about 
at the center, the remaining nuclei having passed into the peripheral layer of the 
protoplasm of the periplasm. 

A single male nucleus passes from the antheridium into the egg cell and 
fuses with the nucleus of the egg cell. Numerous investigations in this line 
have been made by Stevens,* Berlese,t and Wager. $ It is probable that the 
course of reproduction is similar for other species. 

In fertilization karyokinetic changes occur. The protoplasm surrounding 
the oosphere is used to build up the wall of the oospore. Germination of 
oospore probably takes place in the spring. In Albugo or Cystopus the conidia 
are borne in a moniliform chain. 

Fig. .so. Downy Mildew of Clover (Peronospora 
trijoliornm). a. Conidiophore. c. Stoma. h. Con- 
idium; common in JCurope on Red Clover, may be in- 
jurious to animals. After Smith. 

• Bf.t. Caz. 28:149; 23:77; 34:420. 
+ lahrl). f. wiss. Bet. 31:159. 
t Annals of Bot. 4:127; 14:263. 



Fig. 51. At the left, leaf of Green Foxtail (Setaria viridis), 
containing the oospores of Sclerospora graminicola, a single spore 
at a. After Trelease. At the right, spike affected by the same 
fungus; b spikelet enlarged. The figure at the right, oospores from 
Hungarian grass; oog — Oogonium, oos — oosphere; oo — Oospore. 
The middle figure, Halsted; the right hand, Ciiarlotte M. King. 



In some forms the oospores are rare, and in the potato rot fungus they 
have apparently not been found. In some members of this group oospores are 
formed without fertilization, (Parthenogenesis). 

Dr. G. P. Clinton,* who has made a careful study of the Lima Bean Mil- 
dew {Phytoptlwra PhaseoU) and the potato rot fungus {Ph. infcstans) has 
been unable to find that the mycelial thread of the antheridium had the same 
origin as the one which bears the oogonium. It is possible that the fertiliza- 
tion is accomplished in a manner similar to that given for some of the Mucors. 
He says in a discussion of the potato rot fungus, "All of these facts are now in 
favor, rather than against distinct mycelial strains (heterothallic forms) except 
the last, which might indicate a homothallic form, one which contains both 
antheridia on the same mycelium." 


Hyphae, long branched, undivided; zoosporangia cylindrical oo.spores pro- 
duced from sexual organs, terminal cells are cut off and converted into either 

Fig. 52. Saprolegniaccae. Water Mould. 1-3. SaprolcgHia Thurcti x 200. 1. Zoo- 
sporangium before the discharge of spores. 2. Same witli biciliated spores hHiig <Hs- 
charged. 3. The large spherical body, an oogonium and many oospores. 4. Dictyuchus 
clavalus, o — oogonium, a — antheridium. 5. Atlxn'cs Bnnnui. zoospovangium with germinat- 
ing zoospores. 6. Af'lwiwiityces stcllatus: o — oo;ronium and a — antiKMidium x 390. 7. ''. 
Lcptomitus lactcus. 7. Young zoosporangium x 200. 8. Part of older ^oosporangium with 
zoospores (j/>) and cellulose grains (c) x 300. 9. Zoospores x 430. Fig. 1-3 after Thuret. 
4-6 after DeBary. 7-9 after Pringshcim. 

' Rep. Con. .\grl. F.sp. Sta. 190.i: 304. 


oogonia or antheridia. The oogonia may give rise to one or many oospheres or 
egg cells. The antheridia are tubular and spring from the hyphae below the 
oogonia. They apply themselves to the oogonia and send out fertihzation 
tubes to the egg cells. The latter then develop into oospores. The asexual 
method occurs as follows : An examination of the young threads of Saprolegnia 
will show long filaments which in places are filled with granular protoplasm. 
Some of these threads are separated from the rest of thread by a cell-wall. 
Soon the protoplasm arranges itself into polygonal areas. When mature the 
sporangium breaks and the zoospores are discharged into the water. When 
emptied a new sporangium is formed by the filament growing up into the old 
one, or in some cases a branch buds out below the oogonium. 

Recent investigations indicate that the egg cell contains numerous nuclei, 
but as a general thing they are all degenerate but one. The antheridia also 
contain many nuclei. According to the investigations of some, one male nucleus 
enters the egg cell and fuses with its nucleus. 

Trow,* Davis,t and Kauffman X have thrown light upon the development of 
the reproductive body. 

Saprolegnia. Nees von Esenbeck. Water mould 

Delicate branching hyphae, zoosporangia open from a terminal pore, zoo- 
spores pear-shaped with 2 terminal cilia. About 11 species common on decaying 
objects in water. 

Saprolegnia inonoica (Pringsheim) De Bary 

Zoosporangia cylindrical ; antheridia usually in close proximity to the 
oogonia frequently originating from the same branch ; oogonia from short 
lateral branches ; oospore spherical 16 to 22 m in diameter, germ tube formed 
in germination. 

Distribution. Widely distributed in North America and Europe. 

Pathogenic properties. Occurs on dead insects thrown into the water, par- 
asitic on living fish and crayfish. Frequently troublesome in aquaria. The S. 
Thureti, DeBary and Achlya prolifera are found on sick fish and crayfish. Hoff- 
mann in 1867 stated that fish in aquaria died under the influence of Miicor 
niuccdo and Saprolegnia. 

It is doubtful, however whether the Mucor produced death. 


Conidiophores arise from a many-celled, well developed mycelium, hyphae 
either separate or forming masses; texture soft, powdery or leathery: the 
spores various, in the most common type, the basidiospore is borne on special 
structures known as basidia, from which arise little bodies called sterigmata into 
which some of the protoplasm of the basidium passes. In one group the mycel- 
ium consists of septate, branched threads, at maturity nearly disappearing be- 
cause of gelatinization ; mycelium gives rise to chlamydospores formed en- 
dogenously; reproduction sexual and asexual, usually the latter; comprises 
the sub-classes, Hemibasidii and the Eubasidii. 

• Annals of Botany. 18:541. 
t Bot. Gaz. 35:233. 
JAnn. of Bot. 22:361. 



^lyceliuin, local or wide-spread, hjaline, septate, branched, bccoining com- 
pact and giving rise to endogenous spores ; the chlamydospores ; color varies, 
in germination the spores produce a promycelium of terminal or lateral sporidia. 
These may propagate by budding like the yeast plant. The families are Ustila- 
ginaceae and Tilletiaceae. 

This includes two families mentioned in the Hemibasidii. 


Usually parasitic fungi in the tissues of living plants ; sori usually exposed, 
forming dusty masses; spores germinate by means of the septate promycelium 
which gives rise to terminal or lateral sporidia. In some cases, these multiply 
like the yeast plant, or else produce infection threads. The order contains about 
300 species, with the following genera in North America : Ustilago, Sphacelotheca, 
Melanopsichium, Cintractia, Schisonella, Mykosyrinx, Sorosporiuiu, Thecaphora, 
Tolyposporiitm, Tolyposporella, Testicularia. Many plants of the order are 
destructive parasites occurring upon economic plants like millet, timothy, pink, 
etc.. and one species, the Ustilago esculenta on Zisania latifolia is edible, being 
used by the Japanese for food. 

Ustilago, Pers. Smuts 

Mycelium septate, branched, gelatinous, sori on various parts of the host, 
at maturity dusty, usually dark colored; spores single produced in the fertile 
threads of the mycelium, the latter entirely disappearing at maturity ; promycel- 
ium septate, sporidia terminal or lateral, producing infection threads; secondary 
spores formed in the manner of yeast in nutrient solutions. The largest genus 
of smuts. About 250 or 260 species. Many of them are destructive parasites 
on cultivated and wild plants. 

The Ustilago niiniina occurs upon the porcupine grass, (Stipa spartca), and 
the Ustilago bromivora upon the brome grass. 

Ustilago Zeae. (Beck). Ung. Corn Smut 

Sori in the female or staminate inflorescence, leaves and nodes usually 
forming irregular swellings of variable size ; at first covered by a membrane 
consisting of the gelatinized threads and tissues of the plant ; soon rupturing, 
which exposes the blackish or brownish spores ; spores sub-globose or spherical 
or irregular; echinulate 8-11 M or sometimes 15 m long; spores germinate readily 
under favorable conditions ; spore consists of an outer wall, which is spiny, 
and an inner more delicate, the endospore; the germ tube or promycelium as it 
is called, normally bears lateral bodies, the sporidia, but under more favorable 
conditions of food these maj' branch and bear secondary conidia. If the nutrient 
material is not exhausted this process of budding may be continued for a long 
time. These spores may propagate in a decoction of manure. It will then be 
seen that these budding conidia may be a center of infection. 

The conidia as well as the secondary conidia are blown about by the wind 
and under proper conditions cause the infection of the corn plant. Several 
years ago Mr. F. C. Stewart made some extended studies of the germination 
of corn smut in which it was shown that the thermal death point of smut 



Fig. 53. Maize smut {Ustilago zcae^. Ear affected, c. Bracts, e. Smut boils, r. 
lels. 1. In staminate flowers. Fig. 54. Smut boil making its appearance at the nodes. 
M King). 2. Foxtail Smut (f/. neglecta). 3. Covered bmut of Barley (t/. Hoidei). 




Fig. 55. 1. Maize Smut (Ustilago seae). Cells showing threat! uf mycelium passing 
from cell to cell; (a) thread shows through; (/?) section of cut sheath and thread. 2. Corn 
Smut, Spores in process of germination; each spore is sending out a tube with small lateral 
bodies. 3. The same. s))nrcs gerniinatinR in nutrient solution sprouting like yeast. From 
U. S. Dept. Agr. 4. Kernel Smut of Sorghum (Sfi/iacf/of/tnti S/n/ti) on Sorghum. 


spores is 15 min. 105°-106° C. in dry oven, and 52° C. when immersed in water; 
and that corn is unable to come through an inch of soil after 15 minutes treat- 
ment with water at 70.5° C, and in dry oven at 78° C. Brefeld found that 
smut spores produced an abundance of secondary conidia when they were ger- 
minated in sugar solution, but with us this has never been a very satisfactory 
method of propagating them as the cultures soon became infected with bacteria 
which materially check the progress of the germination of spores. 

Distribution and Hosts : Corn smut is found from the Atlantic to the 
Pacitic wherever corn is cultivated, also in other parts of the world. In addi- 
tion to occurring upon corn, it is found upon teosinte. 

Poisonous properties. It has been held by many that corn smut is injurious 
to cattle. This has been a common belief in some quarters. In some kinds 
of smut a small amount of ergotin is found. Kedsie reports the following 
composition: Moisture, 8.30 per cent; albuminoids, 13.06 per cent; carbohy- 
drates, 25.60 per cent; cellulose, 24.69 per cent; sugar, 4 per cent; fat, 1.35 
per cent ; ash, much sand, 25.5 per cent. Professor Kedsie was unable to find 
any poisonous alkaloids. In 1868, the United States department of agriculture 
employed Professor Gamgee to ascertain the cause of the cornstalk disease 
Professor Gamgee records his experiences as follows and concludes that smut 
is not injurious : 

One cow was fed thrice daily one and one-half pounds of cornmeal and three ounces 
of smut, mixed with as much cut hay as she would eat. The second had the same allow- 
ance, but wet. The amount of smut given in each case was increased to six ounces. The 
cow fed on dry food lost flesh. Eight days later the dose of smut was increased to twelve 
ounces three times a day. The cow on the wet food gained in condition, the other one lost. 
In three weeks the two cows consumed the forty-two pounds of smut. They had a voracious 
appetite the whole time, and the only indication of a peculiar diet was a very black color 
of the excrement and the loss of flesh by one animal, although liberally fed on nutritious 
diet, which, however, was given in a dry state. It is evident that smut is not a very active 
poison in combination with wholesome food, and especially if the animal is allowed moist food, 
and plenty of water to drink. 

Prof. W. A. Henry, in his work on "Feeds and Feeding" speaking of wnrk 

done by the Bureau of Animal Industry, Clinton D. Smith and Gamgee, says : 

In experiments by the Bureau of Animal Industry, U. S. Department of Agriculture, 
Washington, corn smut was fed to heifers without ill effects. With all the trials but one 
ending without disaster, it seems reasonable to conclude that corn smut is at least not a 
virulent poison, if, indeed, it is one in any sense of the word. It is probable that in the 
Wisconsin cases, where one cow died and the other was indisposed, the animals suffered 
because of eating too much highly nitrogenous material rather than anything poisonous. 
Worse results might have followed the feeding of the same volume of corn meal or cotton 
seed meal. It would seem that there is little or no danger from corn smut unless cattle 
consume a large quantity. This is possible where they are allowed to roam through stock 
fields and gather what they will. There may be cases where animals seek out the smut 
and eat inordinately of it. 

A few years ago Prof. Smith of the Michigan Agricultural College gave 
the results of some experiments with corn smut. Varying amounts of smut were 
fed to three grade Shorthorn cows and one grade Jersey. Two of the cows 
were started with two ounces a day and increased to eleven pounds. Two others 
were started with two ounces and increased to a pound. The test lasted 
forty-nine days. They appeared to relish the smut. It produced no signs of 
abortion in pregnant cows, the milk yield was normal. Prof. Smith concludes 
that the smut in corn fields is not likely to prove injurious. 

Beal states that under certain conditions smut is likely to be injurious to 



Fig. S5a. 1. Sprouting Grass Smut {Ustilago panici-miliacei) showing large swelling in 
upper ]iart of plant. C. M. King. 2. Millet smut (Ustilago Crameri). a, spores; b, glumes 
of millet grains filled with a powdery mass of spores. C. M. King. 3. Kernel of smut 
corn (Ustilago I'isclteri) on maize. Spores at right. Below a sectional view of an affected 
kernel. Pammel and King. 

cattle. The experiments made by Moore also indicate, as do those of Smith, 
that smut is not injurious. 

Beginning on the morning of Januar\' 17, 1894, and continuing until noon 
of February 2 (sixteen and one-half days), the heifers were fed morning and 
evening from two to three quarts of a mixture of equal parts by weight of cut 
hay and a mixture of corn meal, middlings and wheat bran, and sixteen quarts 
of smut. No injurious affects were observed by Moore. It seems reasonable 
to conclude from these experiments that under proper conditions corn smut is 
not injurious. In our experience no cases have ever been reported to us where 
cattle were supposed to have died from eating corn smut. 

Professors Veranus A. Moore and Theobald Smith after making an ex- 
haustive investigation of the so-called corn stalk disease, came to the conclusion 
that "corn smut is probably not very poisonous, but when fed in considerable 
quantity no doubt produces injurious symptoms." Miquel in an old work on 
poisonous plants published in 1838 in Dutch regarded the smuts as poisonous. 

Dr. Peters of the University of Nebraska, makes the following comments 
on the subject of corn smut: 

M a Farmers' Institute at David City a gintlcman stated that he had often hcar.l his 
neighbors say, and he had also read the same in agricultural papers, that cornstalk disease 
was caused by corn smut. He had the opportunity to make the test for himself. He was 
compelled to clear the farm he rented of the smut. His son gathered the smutty stalks 
into a yard where two cows ate considerable of the smutty leaves. No bad results followed, 
as witnessed by the gentleman himself and the owner of the place. 


Mr. J. J. Jolliffe in the Drovers' Journal of February 7, 1902, says: 
I have never had any bad results from smut. I have watched the stock eat ears that 
seemed 75 percent smut, and they devoured them apparently with as much avidity as sound 
ears, never affecting the health or appetite in the least. 

We have seen cattle die in fields where there was no smut whatever on the stalks and 
also in some fields that had previously been cleaned as good as one could clean them from 
this smut; the cattle died in spite of this precaution. Often the owner of the neighboring- 
fields, in which large quantities of smut were found, did not believe this theory and allowed 
his cattle to run in the stalks promiscuously without suffering any losses. 

At the Illinois Experiment Station about sixty pounds of corn smut were 
fed to a grade Jersey steer, with grain and hay as follows': 

From December 13, 1889, to January 2, 1890, 120 pounds of grain, 105 pounds of hay, 
JO pounds of smut, and 371 pounds of water were given. From January 2 to January 24, 
1890, 176 pounds of grain, 135 pounds of hay, and 39 pounds of smut were fed and 366 
pounds of water given. When the experiment was begun, December 13, 1889, the steer 
weighed 560 pounds. January 2, 1890, he weighed 551 pounds, and January 24, 555 pounds. 
No evidence of disease was discovered. 

Dr. Kilborne records two experiments to test the effects of corn smut. 
In the first case the smut used came from a field in which several animals had 
died within five days after they had been turned into it. Three two-year-old 
steers were fed exclusively on smut-laden stalks and free smut mixed with a 
small quantity of a mixture of corn meal and wheat bran, for seven days with- 
out ill efifects. He concludes : "It is safe to say that these animals consumed 
a much greater quantity of smut than the animals which died in the fields." 
In the second case, two heifers were fed in addition to corn and hay, sixteen 
quarts of smut morning and evening for sixteen and a half days. This feeding 
continued for several months. The animals appeared healthy at the termination 
of the experiment. 

Dr. N. S. Mayo records the experience of a farmer near Manhattan, who 
gathered the smut from the field and placed it within an enclosure. The cattle 
broke into the enclosure one night where the smutty corn was thrown and ate 
all they wished, but no injurious effects were observed. 

Usiilago avenae (Pers.) Jens. Oat Smut 

Sori found in the spikelets forming a dusty olive brown mass, usually 
destroying the whole of the inflorescence or only a part ; the spore mass at first 
covered by a membrane which later breaks, thus allowing for the scattering 
of the spores; spores olive brown, lighter colored on one side, spherical to sub- 
spherical or somewhat angular, minutely roughened, 6-9 M in length. Spores 
germinate readily in water; infection takes place at the time of germination 
of the oats. 

Distribution and hosts. Found wherever oats (Avena sativa) is cultivated 
also on wild oats, (A. fatua). 

Poisonous properties. Probably not any more injurious than corn smut. 
When present in large quantities it may produce a sore throat, because of 
irritation. This fact is mentioned by White. The following note from Dr. 
White refers to another species found upon grass : 

The inflammation affects almost exclusively the face and genitals. It begins upon the 
former with a violent itching in about twenty-four hours after contact with the reeds, which 
is followed by a uniform redness, especially marked about the orifices, and swelling of the 
eyelids. The appearance of the patient strongly resembles that of erysipelas. Later small 
vesicles develop, terminating in persistent excoriations. 

Upon the male genitals it begins also with itching, followed by general swelling, with 
intense redness of the scrotum, and later by vesicles filled with a yellow serum, terminating 



Fig. 56. A. Oat Smut (Ustilago avcnae). From U. S. Dept. of Agrl. B. Tall 
Meadow Oat Smut {Ustilago perennans). 

Fig. S6a. Porcupine Grass Smut (.Ustilago hypodites) affecting parts of inflorescence 
and culm; a, spores, said by Dr. White to be an irritant. C. M. King. 


in persistent and very painful erosions. The penis is sometimes affected, producing an 
inflammatory phimosis. 

Delicate skins are most easily affected, and a moist condition favors the action of the 
parasite. Similar effects were produced upon the skin of the rabbit, by applying to it 
after being shaved some of the fungus removed from the reeds. 

"After reading the above, I wrote to Prof. W. G. Farlow of Cambridge, our authority 
in crytogamic botany, with regard to the occurrence of this species in America, and received 
the following reply:" 

Your information about the poisonous character of Ustilago hypodites is something quite 
new to me. I do not know of any reference to the subject in botanical books. The spores 
of Ustilagineae are known to be at times irritants when they reach the air-passages, but 
they are not poisonous to handle. U. hypodites, a species whose characters are not very 
well marked, I may say, has been found in two places in this country. J found it at 
"Wood's Holl, Mass., on Phragmites (reed). It was found by Curtis in North Carolina on 
Arundinaria, the cane, and what is probably the same species occurs in Iowa on a species of 
Stipa. The fungus may be much more common in this country than is now supposed, as few 
persons have collected fungi of this order. 

Ustilago maydis, the corn-smut, grows upon our maize, and U. segetum attacks several 
of our grains, wheat, oats, barley, and our grasses; but I have never heard of their pro- 
ducing any irritative action upon the skin." 

Ustilago nuda (Jens.) Kell. & Sw. Barley Smut 

Mycelium found in spikelets forming a dusty olive brown spore mass, pro- 
tected by a thin membrane which soon becomes ruptured and allows for the 
dispersal of the spores. Spores lighter colored on one side, minutely roughened, 
spherical, subspherical or elongated; S>-9 /J- in length. Infection probably takes 
place at the time of flowering of barley. 

Poisonous properties. Like the preceding. Ustilago Hordei, found upon 
barley, differs from the species described because of an adhering purple black 
spore mass covered permanently by the lower parts of the glumes. 

Distribution and hosts. Found wherever barley is cultivated in Europe and 
North America. 

Ustilago I'ritici (Pers.) Jens. Wheat Smut 

Spore masses found in the spikelets of the inflorescence forming black or 
olive brown mass ; usually destroying the entire floral parts, and later spores 
are scattered by the wind ; spores usually spherical or nearly spherical or 
somewhat elongated, minutely roughened, 5-9 M in length. 

Distribution and hosts. Common upon wheat wherever cultivated in Eu- 
rope, Australia and North America and South America. 

Poisonous properties. Probably injurious like the preceding smuts. 

Ustilago Panici-glauci (Wallr.) Wint. 

Sori in spikelets infecting all the spikes; spore masses enclosed by glumes, 
with a rather firm membrane; soon ruptured, permitting the scattering of the 
spores ; spores dark brown, usually spherical or ovoid, occasionally elongated, 
rather prominently echinulate, 10-14 M in length. 

Distribution. Widely distributed in Europe and North America. One of 
the most common smuts wherever foxtail grows. 

Poisonous properties. It is supposed by some farmers to cause abortion 
but there is nothing to support this view. According to Professor Power it 
contains a small amount of ergotin. Possibly injurious like the other species 
of smut. 




l-ig. 57. Snnil hiioics of various kinds. 1. Tall meadow 
oat .smut (Ustifago percnmuxs). 2. Timothy smut (U. striae- 
formis). 3. Rye smut (Urocystis occulta). 4. Clieat smut 
(.Vstilago bromhora). 5. Foxtail smut ( L'. ncglccta). 6. Mil- 
It t smut (U. panici miluicei). 7. Sandbur smut (U. Ccsatii). 
8, 9. Tilletio germinating. 10. Seciindary spores from conid- 
ia. 11, 12. Urocystis spores germinating. 13, 14. Mycelium 
of same. h. Suckers or hnuMoria. /;. Ilyphae passing from 
one lenf to another. 8-14 after Wolff. 


Mr. W. A. Kelty informs me that the smartweed smut ( Ustilago utriculosa) 
often produces severe irritation of the hands when corn is husked. 


Mycelium becoming gelatinized in the tissues; the promycelium gives rise to 
the terminal cluster of elongated sporidia which fuse or do not fuse in pairs, 
producing secondary sporidia which may be alike or unlike, or the sporidia 
germinate directly into infection threads. About 150 species, of which Tilletia 
is the most important genus; aside from the two species described below one 
species, T. secalis is found upon rye, T. hordei upon barley,, etc., Neovossia 
lowensis on Phragmites communis, Urocystis occulta on rye, Urocystis agropyri 
upon quack grass, and Bntyloma ranunculi upon anemone. 

Fig. 58. Wheat Bunt {Tilletia foetens). At the left, a beardless variety with bunt 
kernels. At the right, a bearded variety with bunt kernels. From U. S. Dept. Agrl. 

Tilletia, Tul. Bunt 

Sori in various parts of the plant, usually in the ovaries, forming a dusty 
spore mass; spores 1-celled, formed singly in the ends of the mycelial threads, 
promycelium of germinating spore short with a terminal cluster of elongated 
sporidia. 53 species are reported for the genus. 

Tilkiia foetens (B. & C.) Trel. Stinking Smut or Bunt 

Sori in the ovaries, wheat glumes more or less spreading; spores light to 
dark brown, oblong or sub-spherical, or spherical or sometimes irregular, 



16-20 M in diameter; bad odor just before maturity and retaining the odor even 
in stored gram. 

Distribution and hosts. Common in eastern North America, also in Canada 
and Manitoba. 

Poisonous properties. It produces a bad odor when it occurs in flour and 
also gives the same a dark color and makes it unsalable. 

Tilletia Tritici (Bjerk.) Wint. Wheat Bunt 

Sori in the ovaries of wheat ovate or oblong, glumes spreading; spores 
chiefly spherical or sub-spherical; 16-22 fi in diameter, light to dark brown 
with winged reticulations. Infection of this and the preceding smut occurs 
at the time of germination of wheat, hence all of the stalks growing from the 
single wheat kernel become infected, mycelium growing upward with the growth 
of the plant. 

Distribution and hosts. Common upon wheat wherever cultivated. Re- 
ported as destructive and abundant in Michigan, Montana, and Kansas. 

Poisonous properties. Same as in the preceding species. 


Conidiophores with true basidia; reproduction generally asexual, sexual in 
some cases through the fusion of nuclei; spores cut off from the ends of the 
threads or borne on little sterigmata. The group is divided into two divisions 
according to the form of the basidia: Protohasidiomycetes, the rusts and gela- 
tinous fungi; Autobasidiomycetes, toad stools, mushrooms, and puff balls. 


Fig. 59. The Gelatinous Fungi. Tremellineac. 1. Trrmclla lutcscens on wood. 2. 
Cross section through hynienium. 6— Basidia, c— Conidia, if— Basidiospores, x 450. Z.Ex\d%a, 
truncate. 4. Tremcllodon gelatxnosum. 5. Basidia of the same x 560. 1-3 after Brefeld. 
4-5 after Mueller. 



Parasitic or saprophytic plants; basidia with longitudinal or cross septa; 
mycelium septate, branched, either in the interior of the plant as parasites or 
ramifying the substratum ; spores various. The following types occur : sper- 
matia, aecidiospores, uredospores, teleutospores, and sporidia; the spermatia 
are always accompanied by other spores, generally with the aecidiospores ; the 
aecidiospores are 1-celled and occur in cups; the uredospores are 1-celled, occur 
in a powdery mass, and germinate immediately; teleutospores arise from the 
same mycelium that produces the uredospores, one or more cells, on germina- 
tion they produce a promycelium that bears the sporidia. This group contains 
the following families : Bndophyllaceae with a fungus parasitic on the leaves 
of spurge, stonecrop and house-leek; Melatnpsoraceae including several important 
economic fungi; Pucciniaceae containing a large number of genera; the Auri- 
culariaceae, gelatinous fungi common on decaying wood. 


Teleutosori forming incrustations on the surface of leaves; uredosori 
powdery; aecidia without pseudoperidium (Caeoma) or with well developed 

Fig. 60. Uredineae. Teleutospores of different 
genera germinating. By germination originate the 
promycelia which divide into cells, each of 
which produces a conidium. 1. Uromyces Fabae x 
460. 2. Triphragmium Ulmariae x 370. 3. Mel- 
ampsora betulina x 370. 4. Pliragmidium Rubi x 
370. t — Teleutospore; sp — Conidium. After Tulasne. 


pseudoperidium ; urcdospores 1-celled occurring singly or in groups with or 
without pseudoperidium; paraphyses present, teleutospores 1-4-celled, closely or 
loosely united in the plant underneath the epidermis ; Calyptospora Goeppertiana 
occurs upon the huckleberry and blueberry, (Vaccinium) connected with the 
Aecidium columnare, a very troublesome parasite upon Abies. The Melampsora 
populina occurs on the cotton-wood, the cotton-wood rust forming red sori on 
the leaf of the cotton-wood, with waxy incrustations. The other troublesome 
parasite, the Chrysomyxa Rhododendri occurs upon Rhododendrtim. There are 
about 100 species in the family. 

Coleosporiunu Lev. 

Teleutosori forming flat waxy masses in the leaf; teleutospores composed 
of several vertical cells enclosed in a thick transparent membrane ; each cell 
germinates by a single undivided promycelium which produces at the end a 
single sporidium; uredosorus reddish or orange, powdery; spores spherical or 
sub-spherical, ovate, elliptical, oblong or cylindrical, produced in basipetal chains. 
A small genus of 30 species. 

Coleosporium Solidagmis (Schw.) Thiim. Golden Rod Rust 

Uredosori rounded, soon pulverulent and scattered, orange spores in short 
chains, spherical, oblong, or sub-cylindrical spiny, 20-35 x 15-20 f* ; the teleu- 
tosori at first orange, becoming red, flat often confluent forming waxy crusts; 
Teleutospores cylindrical or somewhat clavate generally 4-celled 60-70x15x25 M, 
occasionally longer. 

Distribution and hosts. Found in various Compositae, notably Solidago 
canadensis, S. serotina, etc., Vernonia noveboraccnsis and Sonchus. Occurs in 
both Europe and America. 

Poisonous properties. Suspected of being injurious to horses; possibly 
produces stomatitis. Referred to at length under Golden Rod. 


Teleutospores with a short or long pedicel; spores single or in groups; 
spores one or more celled; frequently interspersed with paraphyses; spore mass 
powdery or gelatinous ; sporidia arising either from the promycelium or from 
a similar sterigma after segmentation of the spore contents; aecidia with or 
without pseudoperidia; uredospores 1-celled, arising from the conidiophores. 
Includes the Gymnosporangiuni macropus which produces its aecidium stage 
on the apple and the teleuto stage on the red cedar, the cedar apple gall with 
its long gelatinous horn being characteristic; and various aecidia connected 
with various rusts. Many species have a well marked alternation of generation, 
an aecidium on one host and the uredo and teleutospores on another host. The 
Hemileia vasiatrix produces the coflfee leaf disease of Asia, Phragmidium sub- 
corticttm, the rose rust. This large family contains 1500 species. 

Recent investigations on the subject of the fertilization and reproduction 
in the rusts have been made by Profs. Olive, Blackman, Christman, Holden and 
Harper, and others. These studies seem to indicate that fertilization occurs, 
but that this fertilization is not, as was thought by the older writers, to be com- 
pared with that which occurs in some of the Ascomycetes. The older view 
was that the spermogonia were male organs and form a strictly morphological 
standpoint comparable to the structures of like character found in that group of 






Fig. 61. Uredosori of Tickle Grass 
Rust. {Puccinia emaculata). 

Fig. 61a. Teleutosori of Puccinia 
coronata on leaf of oats. Sheath af- 
fected with Puccinia graminis. 


plants. Clements arranges the rusts with the Ascomycetes. He considers that 
the apothecium is reduced.** 

Puccinia, Pers. Rust 

Teleutosori flat, usually powdery masses ; teleutospores separate with pedi- 
cels, usually consisting of 2 cells, occasionally 1-celled, or sometimes more than 
2 cells; the germ pore of the upper cell, at the apex, the lower cell with the 
germ pore placed laterally below the septum; the promycelium septate with 
several sporidia. The teleutospores germinate immediately in some species, in 
others after a period of rest. About 700 species. 

Puccinia graminis, Pers. Common Grass Rust 

The aecidiospores generally circular, thick swollen with reddish spots sur- 
rounding the infected area, yellow below; peridia cylindrical with whitish torn 
edges; spores subglobose smooth orange yellow, 15-25 m in diameter; spermo- 
gonia on the upper surface consisting of small black dots, uredosori orange red, 
linear but often confluent, forming long lines, powdery masses ; spore elliptical, 
ovate or pyriform, echinulate, orange yellow 25-38 x 15-20 m; germ pores 2 
above the center on each side ; teleutosori persistent ; open, generally forming 
lines on the sheaths, stems and inflorescence; teleutospores fusiform clavate 
constricted in the middle generally smaller below the apex, thickened, rounded 
or pointed smooth chestnut brown 15-20x35-65 m; pedicels long and persistent. 

The life history of common grass rust is as follows: The common rust pro- 
duces three stages. One stage occurs in the barberry and is known as the 
cluster cup fungus. This stage makes its appearance in the northwest some 
time during the month of June, in the latitude of Ames, a little before the 
middle of the month. An examination of an affected leaf will show small black 
specks on the upper surface, surrounded by a yellow spot; this is known as the 

* The Genera of Fungi. 5. 98. 

** Christman in his studies (Bot. Gaz. 39:267; Trans. Wis. Acad. Sci. 15:517; Bot. 
Gaz. 44:18.) of the common rose rust (Pliragmidium spcciosiim) finds that the ends of 
the hyphae produce a terminal sterile cell and a lower fertile one; the fertile cells fuse in 
pairs with one another, the cell walls breaking down. The nuclei lie side by side and 
divide, two of the daughter nuclei remaining in the lower part and two passing to the 
upper part of the dividing cell. Then the upper portion becomes separated by a trans- 
verse wall and becomes the first spore mother cell. These fusing cells are approximately 
equal. Blackman (Ann. Bot. 18:323, See also Ann. Bot. 20:35.) in his studies of 
another species of the same genus, states that the fertile or female cell contains a larger 
nucleus and that the male cell is reduced; that the hyphae which gave rise to an aecidiuni 
first cut off a sterile cell, and the cell below which at first only contains a single nucleus 
becomes binucleated because of the passage of the nucleus from an adjoining cell. Suc- 
cessive divisions of the nuclei occur and finally we have a chain of spore mother cells; 
each having a pair of nuclei. 

Dr. Olive (Annals of Bot. 22:331. Bull S. Dak. Agrl. Ex. 81:119) who has made 
a close careful study of Triphragmium ulmariae comes to the conclusion that two fusing 
gamets as well as their nuclei are approximately equal, and that the two garnets differ 
somewhat in time of development. "That the apparently normal and regular occurence 
at the base of certain young aecidia of one to many multinucleated cells, points to the 
necessity of a broader conception as to the mode of development of the accidium-cup than 
that held by either Blackman or Christman. While the part which these multinucleated 
cells take in the development of the accidium is as yet somewhat obscure, the evidence 
appears to point to the conclusion that they are sporophytic structures and that they result 
from the stimulated growth which followed sexual cell fusions. Should this prove true, 
it is obvious that the 'fusion cell' does not at once function as a 'basal cell', at the bot- 
tom of each spore-row, as maintained by Christman for this type of Rust. Further, the 
occurrence of occasional instances suggesting 'nuclear migrations,' undoubtedly of a path- 
ological nature, between the multinucleated cells of Puccinui Cirsi>lattceolati, throws doubt 
on the idea as to the normal origin of the binucleated condition in the aecidium-cup by 
this means." 

It may be of interest further to state that Ilolden and Harper (Trans. Wis. Acad. 
Sci. 14:63.) have studied a species of Coleosporium and find that the fusion nucleus divides 
in a manner similar to that of higher plants. 



Fig. 62. Some Rusts. A, B. D. E. 
Puccinia graminis. A. Aecidium or 
Cluster-cup on Barberry; a aecidium, 
.? spermogonia on upper surface. B. 
Uredo spores; u one-celled, teleuto- 
spores two-celled. C. Germination of 
uredospores showing long tube. D. 
Connection of stem showing two-celled 
teleutospores. E. A teleutospore 
germinating with promycelial tube (/>) 
and sporidia {sp). F. Two-celled 
teleutospores of Puccinia coronata on 
oat leaf. _ G. Teleutospores of Phrag- 
fnidium incrassatum. All much en- 
larged. A and G after Luerssen. B- 
D after DeBary. E after Tulasne. 


spermogonial stage; the flask-shaped bodies are called spermogonia and contain 
the spermatia which do not germinate; their function is not known. A sweetish 
fluid, which attracts insects, is frequently found in connection with these. 
Directly opposite the flask-shaped bodies are small globular affairs, "cups," 
(aecidia), slightly irregular on the margins. Owing to their upward growth 
they rupture the epidermal cells, and finally the lining layer of cells of the cups 
also breaks, thus exposing a large number of 1 -celled spores borne in chains. 
These spores arise from short stalks contained at the base of these cups; the 
cluster cup spores are known as aecidiospores and are transported by the wind 
and other agencies, and have the power to germinate soon after maturity. When 
the proper host — a grass, such as bent grass, oats or wheat — appears, the germ 


tube enters by way of the stomata, or the so-called breathing pores. The germ 
tubes produced by the spore of Aecidium berberidis are simple or branched, and 
in fourteen days usually give rise to the uredo spores, which occur in definite 
spots called sori. These spots occur in great numbers along the veins of the 
leaves. Before breaking open, the tissues of the leaf are somewhat paler at 
those places. The nourishment afforded by the host causes a vigorous mycel- 
ium to form, which soon collects in places, pushes the epidermis out, and an 
orange-colored pustule is formed which is known as the uredosorus. 

A section through a diseased sorus shows that an abundance of the vegeta- 
tive mycelium grows between the cells of the plant, and in some cases haustoria 
penetrate them. This pustule contains a large number of 1-celled, round or 
elliptical, spiny, orange colored spores, the uredospores. The spores have two 
membranes, the outer exospore being provided with wart-like projections, while 
the inner endospore is provided with several pores through which the germ 
tube appears. These spores germinate in from three to four hours and can 
thus start a general infection. These spores, carried by the wind, rain or in- 
sects to another part of the same or another plant, germinate, the germ tubes 
branch and spread over the surface, but the tube cannot enter the host — a 
grass of some kind, such as wheat, oats or barley — unless it reaches the opening 
of the stoma, since it cannot bore through the epidermal cells. A single sorus 
contains hundreds of spores, and as a single plant may contain hundreds of 
pustules, it can readily be seen that rust must become quite general. 

The red rust stage is followed by the black rust stage, known as the 
teleuto stage. The sori are brownish-black in color, and frequently occupy 
the same place that the uredo stage did. The spores are dark brown in color, 
two-celled and smooth, having attached to them a persistent stalk known as 
the pedicel. The teleutospores do not germinate till the following spring, when 
each cell produces a germ tube, the promycelium bearing lateral spores, sporidia. 
These sporidia, when in contact with the barberry leaf, enter by boring their 
way through the epidermal cells. 

The barberry cluster cup fungus, and its connection zvith common grass 
rust. It is not absolutely necessary for the common grass rust to have its first 
stage on the barberry, yet experiment has shown beyond doubt that it does 
occur on that plant. The theory has been advanced that appearing in one of 
its stages on the barberry gives the parasite new vigor. It is not improbable 
that in some places the mycelium or vegetative part of the fungus may be 
perennial in the tissues of grasses, as it is with many other fungi, probably 
this is true in southern looalities. Beyond question this rust produces spores 
during the entire year in our southern states, and on the approach of early 
spring gradually moves northward. It may also be mentioned that in the west 
this rust certainly does not appear before the cluster cup fungus on the barberry 
appears. It is usually eight or ten days later, and then appears to a limited ex- 
tent only. Rust often appears where barberry does not occur within hundreds of 
miles. This was especially noticeable during the early history of grain culture 
in the northwest. Rust follows a general infection. 

Distribution and hosts. This fungus has been found not only upon wheat 
but also upon several species of Bromus, Trisctutn and Triticnin spelta. Its 
distribution cannot be given because in most cases the P. riibigo-vcra included 
this as well as the P. glumarum. It has been intimated above that the uredo- 
spores make their appearance on young germinating plants in the fall, but it 


appears that the uredo spores are not common the following spring. The 
investigations of the authors quoted here indicate that not in a single case was 
it possible to produce uredospores in the spring from those of the autumn. 

H. L. Bolley, of Fargo, N. D., remarks in regard to several cluster 
cup fungi which occur on members of the Borage family : 

Several aecidia of unknown life history have been studied with reference to their 
relations to the red rust of Puccinia rubigo-vera, many infection tests being made upon 
young wheat and oat plants, all with negative results. 

In this region Onosomodiiim Carolinianum bears very profusely an aecidium, which, 
because of its date of appearance, was worthy of suspicion; but tests enough were made 
to remove this notion. 

P. rubigo-vera as well as the common grass rust, is very destructive in 
England and Australia; but according to Wolf, is not so common in Germany. 
A few years ago Professor Arthur investigated the subject of wheat rust in 
Indiana and found that this species was much more destructive to wheat in that 
state than common grass rust. The same year, 1889, the writer found that this 
rust was much more common on wheat in Iowa. Carleton says he is confident 
that the orange-leaf rust (P. rubigo-vera) does very little if any damage to the 
grain in this country; that in all cases of serious damage to the grain by rust 
the black-stem rust (P. graminis) is the real cause. In 1907, the leaf rust was 
very destructive to spring wheat in Iowa. 

Puccinia glumarum, Schmidt 

Aecidium unknown ; the uredosori occur along the veins. The diseased 
leaf is frequently of irregular contour, color orange yellow, spores spherical, 
or short, elliptical, spiny. Teleutosori, grayish, covered by the epidermis on 
the stalks and leaves, less frequently on the flowers. Sori divided into chambers, 

Fig. 63. Covered Rust of Wheat (Puccinia 
rubigo-vera) from wild Barley, perhaps the same as 
P. glumarum. 



surrounded by paraphyses. Spores with short pedicels, mostly club-shaped, 
unsymmetrical; apex somewhat truncate, or with one or two projections. 

Distribution. Common in Europe and probably also in this country; has 
usually been referred to as Puccinia rubigo-vera. In European mycological 
works, the aecidium of this fungus is said to be very common on common 
speedwell (Litlwspermum arvense), Echium vidgare, and Anchusa officinalis. 



Fig. 64. Forms of rust on cereals. A. Common wheat rust, Puccinia graminis on 
sheath of whe.Tt, winter spores germinating. B. The same, sporidia sp. C. Epidermis 
under surface of leaf with sporidium. sp. and germ tube. ». penetrating the epidermis. D. 
Uredospore germinating after being in water 14 hours in E. Puccinia rubigo-Tcra germinat- 
ing. F. Puccinia graminis. Both cells have germinated, a, sporidium germinating, magni- 
fied X 600. G. Crowned rust (P. coronata) from oat leaf. G after Bolley; the remainder,. 


Common speedwell is a very common weed in St. Louis and other parts of 
Missouri and southern Illinois, but so far as known, the aecidium has not 
been found on these weeds. 

Puccinia dispersa. Eriks, & Hen. 

This species of rust is apparently very common in Europe. There are 
three different stages. The aecidium stage produces circular or elongated, 
somewhat swollen, spots on the leaves, petioles and stem of several members 
of the borage family. The spores are between 20 to 30 m or 20 to 30 M x 19 to 
22 M in diameter. The teleuto spores long remain covered by the epidermis. 
The sori are chambered, surrounded by numerous brown paraphyses; spores 
are mostly club-shaped, unsymmetrical and 40 to 50 m long. 

Puccinia coronata. Cda. Crowned Rust 

The aecidium produces round or elongated spots with elongated, conspicu- 
ous aecidia; the spores from 18 to 25 m x 14 to 19 m; the uredosori are long, 
confluent, mostly on the upper surface of the leaf ; they are orange-colored, and 
are soon exposed, each pustule containing a large number of 1-celled sub- 
globose, roughened spores which are spherical or short-elliptical; the uredo- 
spores are yellow, 20-32 m in diameter by 28-32 x 20-24 M. The teleutospores 
remain covered by the epidermis, and in this respect they resemble the covered 
rust of wheat (Puccinia gluniarum). They usually occur on both sides of the 
leaf. The spores are short-stalked, cuneate and more or less truncate above, 
crowned with several projecting horns. 

Distribution and hosts. Common wherever oats is cultivated and in several 
of its forms it occurs upon cultivated grasses. This is a well known destructive 
rust of oats and several other grasses and has received considerable attention 
from early mycologists. Klebahn has recently described this rust under several 
distinct forms. The P. coronata dactylidis in a narrow sense includes the rust 
upon Dactylis glomerata or orchard grass, Festuca sylvatica with aecidia on 
Rhamnus frangula and P. coronifera. 

Ericksson and Henning distribute these forms into P. coronata I, and P. cor- 
onata II. Historically this rust is of considerable importance, since Gmelin 
was familiar with this disease in 1791, and described it as Aecidium Rhamni on 
Rhamnus. The aecidium stage occurs on species of buckthorn {Rhamnus) 
especially {R. cathartica and R. Frangula) . In Iowa an aecidium is frequently 
found on a native buckthorn {R. lanceolata), but its connection with this host 
has not been studied. The aecidium attacks not only the leaves, but occurs 
on mid-vein, petiole, pedicels and flowers. As a result of the attacks, distorted 
leaves and flowers are produced. 

Puccinia sorghi. Schw. Maize Rust 

Uredo and teleutosori upon the leaves and bracts; the former small, light 
brown sori, soon rupturing the epidermis; teleutosori dark brown; the uredo- 
spores are 1-celled, round or more elongated and spiny; the stalk is detached; 
the spores measure 23-38. x 20-26 ; teleutosori are elongated dark brown or 
black being broadly elliptical and 2-celled, 30-52 x 16-24 ; the apex may be 
thickened and somewhat pointed. These spores preserve their vitality for some 
time; but are dormant through the winter. In the spring each cell may germin- 
ate by producing a tube, known as the promycelium, which bears lateral bodies 



known as sporidia. Acording to Dr. J. C. Arthur, it is undoubtedly connected 
with an aecidium on Oxalis corniculata. 

Distribution and hosts. Common wherever corn is cultivated and according 
or Carelton, also upon teosinte. 

Fig. 66. Corn rust 
(Puccinia Sorghi) on 
corn. Winter spores. 

Uromyces. Link. Clover Rust 

Aecidiospores in cup-like bodies with an evident pseudoperidium ; uredo- 
sori powdery; uredosDores 1 -celled with several evident germ pores; teleutosori 
powdery; teleutospores 1-celled, separate, pedicellate, apex with a single germ 
pore; sporidia flattened on one side. About 250 species widely distributed. 
Many of the species produce serious diseases of cultivated plants, as Uromyces 
pisi upon the pea, the alfalfa rust, (U. striatus,) and the bean rust, ( U. ap- 
pendiculatus (Pers. Lev.) There are many other species found upon our wild 
plants. Some of these, when they occur upon forage plants, may cause mycotic 

Uromyces Trifolii. (Hedw.) Lev. 

Aecidia in circular areas of pale colored spots ; pseudoperidia short, cylin- 
drical, flattish ; edges, whitish, torn ; spores sub-globose or irregular, finely 
roughened, pale orange ; 14-23 M in diameter ; uredosori pale brown, round, 
scattered, surrounded by the torn epidermis; spores round or ovate, roughened; 
20-26x18-20 M with 3 or 4 germ pores; color brown; teleutosori small round 
almost black; long covered by the epidermis; spores globose, elliptical or sub- 
pyriform occasionally with wart-like swellings on the summit 15-20x22-30 m; 
small dark brown in color ; pedicels long. 

Distribution. Widely distributed upon various clovers, especially red clover 
and the white clover. So abundant is this fungus at times that the plants are 
covered with the brown dusty material. Miss Howell reports it as very severe 
in the state of New York at times. The writer commenting on this fungus 
some years ago. said : 

The fungus did not occur until August and only on the "rowen" or "aftermath." 
Later it was found quite abundantly on the campus and. College Farm. So severely did 
it attack some of the plants, especially the stems and leaves, that in touching the plants, 
the hands became covered with brown spores. 



Fig. 67. Clover Rust. Uromyces Trifolii. (Hedw.) Lev. 1. Aecidium spores; above, 
two cluster cups in which the aecidiospores are found. 2. Wlfite clover leaf showing the 
distortions produced by the aecidium stage. 3. Red clover leaf showing clusters of uredo 
spores. 4. Uredo spores. 5. Teleuto spores. 6. An uredo cluster more magnified than 
in 3. Figs. 1, 2, and 3 after Miss Howell. Remainder by Miss King. 

How long the fungus has affected clover plants in this country and especially 
in Iowa is not known. 

Poisonous properties. Clover rust has been suspected of being injurious 
to cattle. Dr. John R. Mohler of the Bureau of Animal Industry, writes as 
follows with reference to mycotic stomatitis : 

Several attempts have been made by the writer to determine the exact cause and also 
to transmit the disease to other animals by direct inoculation, but with negative results. 
Suspicion, however, has been directed by various observers to the Uromyces and the red 
and black rusts that occur in clovers. These fungi cause very severe irritation of the 
lining membrane of the mouth, producing sometimes a catarrhal, at other times an aphthous, 
and occasionally an ulcerous stomatitis. 

Considerable irritation of the nose and throat is experienced when rusty 
oats and wheat are threshed. Virchow records a case of severe inflammation 
of the nose of an old lady in which he found a great deal of Puccinia graminis. 



I'ig. 08. Joadstools, Coral Fungi, &c. Hymcnonivcctes. 1, Clavaria unreal. 2. Daedalea 
guercina. 3. Marasmtus teiicrrimus. 4. Drv-rot IninRus {Mcrulius lacrimans). 5. Clavaria 
argillacea. 6. Poisonous Toadstool (Agaricus cafsarcus) a Ring; v Veii xm. 7. Prickle 
Fungus (Hydnum imhrtcatum). 8. Polyporus percntiis. 8. Corticium amorplnim on wood. 
1-4, 6-9 after Wettstcin. 5 after Harper. 





The basidia of the hymenium more or less club-shaped, undivided; sterig- 
mata usually 4, occasionally 2, 6, or 8, coming from the apex of the basidium. 
The Dacryomycetineae with long club-shaped basidia and two long sterigmata. 
Basidiospores large ; spores divided before germination ; includes the group 
Dacryomycetineae, and an unimportant group, the Bxobasidiineae, or small 
gall parasites containing the Exobasidium which occurs upon the cranberry and 
blueberry. The third group, Hymenomycetineae, contains a number of poison- 
ous plants and will be treated more in detail. 


Mycelium of septate hyphae, loose or delicate in texture or made up into 
strands or hard masses ; hymenium at the time of spore formation free ; the 
basidia form a definite layer or hymenium which may cover the whole surface 
of the fruiting body, or may be restricted to a definite portion; the fruit is 
made up of more or less closely compacted threads, hyphae, grown together, 
or it may be delicate and somewhat ephemeral; the hymenium may be free 
or gymnocarpous or covered from the beginning; the covering is called the 
veil, which consists of a layer of threads extending from the margin of the 
cap to the stem, or the veil may envelop the entire plant ; the volva is an 
envelope which in the young stage completely covers the plant; at maturity it 
is left in the form of a cup at the base of the stem or distributed from the 
cap to the base of the stem; the annulus is a ring around the stem formed by 

Fig. 69A. Mushroom (Agari- 
cus campestris) . To the left a ma- 
tured plant and to the right a young 
plant. (Strasburger, Noll, Schenck 
and Schimper). 

Fig. 69. Cross section of Bracket Fungus. 
Polyporus igniarius. h. Fungus threads, hyphae be- 
tween the pores. j. Hymenium surrounding the 
pores; a number of basidia with spores. After 


the inner or partial veil. Occasionally cystidia form in Coprinus ; chlamydo- 
spores are seldom produced. 


Hymenium usually below, porous, tubular, honey-combed, reticulate or of 
concentric plates; spores produced on the inner surface of the pores. A fam- 
ily consisting of 2300 species, of wide distribution. Some are edible like 
Boletus (Boletus edulis B. scaber) and others of this genus, as the Fistulina 
(Fistulina hepatica) also known as the vegetable beefsteak, and the Sulphur 
Polyporus (Polyporus sulphureus) when young. Several members are de- 
structive wound parasites of trees. Among these are Polystictus versicolor; 
the common Bracket fungus {Forties applanatus), and Trametes radicvperda 
found on the roots of conifers, and producing death. The dry rot fungus, 
Merulius lacrymans, is widely distributed and destructive to buildings. 

Boletus. Dill. Boletus 

Soft or fleshy, the stratum of the tubes on the lower surface of the cap 
easily separated. They are nearly all found growing on the ground and have 
the stem attached centrally to the cap. Quite a number of species are edible, 
some are bitter and some are poisonous. A small genus of 200 species found 
both in Europe and North America. The Boletus edulis, according to European 
authority, is one of the most desirable of edible fungi. Professor Atkinson 
lists this as one of the edible North American species. The B. scaber, also a 
North American species, is according to Professor Peck, first class, but several 
species are poisonous and bitter. The B. luridus is regarded as poisonous. 
The fact that a species turns blue when the plant is cut, should not be 
regarded as indicative of its poisonous qualities, for this is due to the oxida- 
tion process of the fat in contact with the air. 

Boletus felleus. Bull 

Pileus fleshy, convex above, glabrous or nearly so, grayish-brown, buflf-brown, reddish- 
brown or tawny, flesh, white, taste bitter; tubes long, convex in the mass in mature 
plants, at first whitish, becoming pale flesh color; stem equal or tapering upwards, usually 
reticulated at the top only, rarely wholly reticulated, commonly a little paler than the 
pileus; spores oblong-fusiform, pinkish, .0005 to .0007 inch long. 

Distribution. Widely distributed in woods and open places; found upon 
decayed stumps. 

Poisonous properties. Prof Peck says: 

The Bitter boletus takes its name from the bitter flavor which its flesh persistently 
maintains. It is a common species, and one easily recognized by its reticulated stem and 
flesh-colored tubes taken in connection with its bitter taste. 

The cap is rather thick, dry and smooth, but quite variable in color. This is generally 
some shade of brown tinged with red or yellow. The flesh is white, but when cut or 
broken and exposed to the air it sometimes assumes a pinkish tint. 

The mass of tubes is generally somewhat convex in the mature plant, tliough it may 
be plane in the young plant. This also sometimes assumes a pinkish stain when bruised. 
The stem varies greatly in length and thickness, and is sometimes crooked and deformed. 
It is usually reticulated at the top only. 

The taste of the flesh in this Boletus, as well as in many species of Lactarius and 
Russula, is an important aid in the specific identification. In tasting fungi for this pur- 
pose care should be taken to select only fresh, sound specimens, and the part tasted should 
not be swallowed. 

Mr. Hurd states that this species is not poisonous. No amount of cooking 
according to this author, will destroy the bitter flavor. 

Honey colored Armillaria {Annillana mcllai). An edible species. {K. A. White 
in Conn. St. Geol. and Nat. Hist. Survey). 


Boletus satanns. Lenz 

Pileus large, yellowish-brown on its upper surface; lower surface blood- 
red at first, later becoming orange red ; stalk yellow to reddish-purple with red 
reticulate markings; spores brownish ovate. Rank and unpleasant taste. 

Distribution. In Europe and North America. 

Poisonous properties. Said to be extremely poisonous. The B. luridus 
along with several poisonous species is eaten in Northern Russia. Ford states 
that these species may occasionally be the cause of transient disturbances in 
man and may occasionally cause fatal intoxication. 


Pileus generally expanded, stipe generally with central attachment, or 
nearly so, lateral, or sessile; gills simple or branched or anastomosing usually 
on the lower surface; lamellae folded or veined, radiating from the point of 
attachment; lamellae bear the basidia which in turn bear the four spores or 
rarely two, cystidia often present. A large order separated chiefly by the color 
of the spores. The Melanosporeae have their spores brown, purplish brown 
or black ; in the Ochrosporeae spores are yellowish brown or rusty brown ; in 
the Rhodosporeae, spores are rosy pink ; in the Leucosporeae, spores are white, 
whitish or pale yellow. Many species of the family, like the cultivated mush- 
room, (Agaricus campestris), the field mushroom, (Agaricus arvensis), the 
shaggy-mane (Coprinus cotnatus, Fr.), Lepiota procera, and others, are edible. 
The Rozites gongylophora of Southern Brazil, is cultivated by the leaf cutting 
ants for food. No invariable rule can be laid down for the poisonous species. 
Many of the Leucosporeae are edible, but many are deadly poisonous. A few 
of the poisonous species are described later. 

Amanita. Pers. Amanita 

The young plants covered by a membrane which in the button stage is 
more or less free with the surface of the pileus; later when the stem elongates 

Fig. 70. Part of the hymenium of one of the 
Agaricaceae. sh. Sub hymenial layer, b. Basidi- 
utn. s. Sterigmata. sp. Spores from basidium. p. 
Paraphyses. c. Cystid. After Bonn text book. 



the volva is ruptured; stipe fleshy; volva and annulus present. 

In some species the remains of the ruptured volva persist, forming a kind 
of cup or sheath. In others they occur in the form of small scales or warts on 
the cap. 

Fig. 71. Fly Agaric or Fly Amanita (Amanita ntuscaria). a. Mature plant, b. 
view of cap with scales. From U. S. Dept. of Agrl. 


Amanita muscaria. L. Fly amanita. Fly agaric 

Pileus nearly flat at maturity, warty, slightly striate on the margins, yellow 
to orange red, cap 3-8 inches broad; gills white or nearly so; stem 4-6 inches 
long, ^ inch in thickness, cylindrical, hollow, bulbous thickened at the base, 
which is more or less scaly from the fragments of the ruptured volva ; spore 
broadly elliptical, white. Dr. Farlow gives the following excellent description 
of this fungus : 

The fly agaric iAmanila muscaria), so called because decoctions of it are used for 
killing flies, is in most places, at least in the northern and eastern parts of the country, 
a common species — often a good deal more abundant tlian the common mushroom. It is 
found during the summer along roadsides, on the borders of fields, and especially in groves 
of coniferous trees. It prefers a poor soil, of gravelly or sandy character, and occurs only 
exceptionally in the grassy pastures preferred by the common mushroom. It grows singly 
and not in groups, and attains a large size, being one of the most striking toadstools. It 


differs from the common mushroom in having gills which are always white, never pink or 
purple, and in having a hollow stem which is bulbous at the base and clothed with irregular, 
fringy scales on all the lower part. The pileus varies in color from a brilliant yellow to 
orange and a deep red, the yellow and orange being more frequent than the red. The 
surface is polished and has scattered over it a larger or smaller number of prominent, 
angular, warty scales, which can be easily scraped off. The gills and stalk are white, and 
there is a large membranous i collar, which hangs down from the upper part of the stem. 
The general appearance together with the color of the pileus and gills noted above, are 
such that it is difficult to conceive how anyone who has ever seen a common mushroom or 
read a description of one could mistake this fly agaric for the mushroom. Nevertheless, in 
the writer's experience, no fungus is so often collected by mistake on the supposition that 
it is the common mushroom, and it is to the fly agaric that recent cases of poisoning in 
Washington, D. C, were due. 

Distribution. Widely distributed in Europe and North America. Professor 
Coville, in speaking of this species after the death of Count Achilles de Vecchj, 
and Chung Yu Ting, says : 

The fly amanita is one of the largest, handsomest, and most dangerous of our mush- 
rooms, and is the one whose character has been the most fully studied of all the poisoning 
species. It is abundant about Washington in the fall, growing in pine woods, a favorite 
situation in these woods being the vicinity of abandoned hog beds. The specimens that 
caused the death of Count de Vecchj came from a pine wood about a mile west of Fort 
Myer, between Balls Crossroads, and Columbia Pike. 

Poisonous properties. The chief active poisonous principle of the fly 
amanita is an alkaloid called muscarin, but other poisonous substances, the 
chemical nature of which is not yet fully known, also occur in the plant. 

Professor Atkinson, in discussing the Toxicology of the species, says as 
follows : 

The substance, Cholin, is of wide occurrence in the animal and vegetable kingdoms. 
It has been isolated from Amanita muscaria, A. rantherina, Boletus luridus, and Helvetia 
esculenta. It is not very toxic, but on uniting with oxygen it passes over to muscarin. 
According to Robert the substance formed from clialin on the decay of the mushrooms 
containing it is not muscarin but a very closely related alkaloid, neurin. This transforma- 
tion of a comparatively harmless alkaloid to an extremely deadly one simply by the partial 
decay of the plant in which the former is normally found, emphasizes very much the wisdom 
of rejecting for table use all specimens which are not entirely fresh. This advice applies 
to all kinds of mushrooms, and to worm-eaten and otherwise injured, as well as decayed 
ones. Neurin is almost identical in its physiological effects with muscarin which is described 

Muscarin is the most important because the most dangerous alkaloid found in the mush- 
rooms. It is most abundant in Amanifa muscaria, it is also found in considerable quantity 
in Amanita pantherina, and to lesser, but still very dangerous extent in Boletus luridus and 
Russula emetica. It is quite probably identical with bulbocin, isolated from Amanita phal- 
loides by Boudier. Muscarin is an extremely violent poison, .003 to .COS of a gram (.06 
grain) being a very dangerous dose for a man. Like other constituents of mushrooms, the 
amount of muscarin present varies very greatly with varying conditions of soil and climate. 
This, indeed, may account for the fact that Boletus luridus is regarded as an edible mush- 
room in certain parts of Europe, the environment being such that little or no muscarin 
is developed. 

Cases of Mushroom poisoning are frequent in some countries. Gaillard 
estimated the number of deaths in France at about 100 cases. Among the 
Americans deaths are not so numerous, although Palmer of Boston, has found 
33 cases with 4 deaths. 

Inoko of Japan, reports 481 cases in 8 years. The peasants of the Caucasus 
prepare an intoxicating beverage from Amanita muscaria from which many 
individuals die. 

Muscarin acts on the nerve centers, but cases seldom terminate fatally. 


Helvella esculenta owes its toxicty to helvellic acid C^gH^^O^. Very few deaths 
have been reported in recent years. 

According to Robert, Amanita muscaria contains, besides cholin and 
muscarin, a third alkaloid, fungus a tropin, (pils-atropin) ; this alkaloid, like 
ordinary atropin, neutralizes to a greater or less extent the muscarin. The 
amount of pih-atropin present varies, as other constituents of mushrooms vary, 
with varying conditions of soil, climate, etc., and it may be that in those 
localities where the Amanita muscaria is used for food the conditions are 
favorable for a large production of pilz-atropin, which neutralizes the muscarin, 
thus making the plant harmless. Be this as it may, Amanita muscaria is deadly 
as ordinarily found. It is undoubtedly used quite largely as food in parts of 
France and Russia, and it has been eaten repeatedly in certain localities in these 
countries without harm. 

Ford suggests, on clinical grounds, that it may not be the only poison present 
because even when this drug is completely neutralized by its physiological anti- 
dote, atropin, the patient, who has eaten Amanita muscaria, sometimes dies.* 

The alkaloid muscarin, a tasteless alkaline substance with a tobacco-like 
odor, causes the contraction of pupils; amanitin C.H^^NO^ is an isomer of 
cholin, and yields muscarin with nitric acid and cetraric acid, C^^H^gO^g 
Muscarin has been obtained synthetically from cholin. It does not, however, 
produce quite the same symptoms. 

Amanita Frostiana. Peck 

Pileus convex to expanded, bright orange or yellow, warty, sometimes 
nearly or quite smooth, striate on the margin ; lamellae white or tinged with 
yellow ; stem white or yellowish, stuffed, bearing a slight, sometimes evanescent 
annulus, bulbous at the base, the bulb slightly margined by the volva ; spores 
globose; 7.5-10 in diameter. From the character of the poisons it is quite dis- 
tinct from the A. muscaria. 

Distribution. New York to North Carolina. 

Poisonous properties. Professors Peck and Atkinson both list it as poison- 
ous. Ford found an hemolysin of low grade intensity. Heated extracts were 
without action upon animals. Schmiedeberg found a poison. 

Amanita plialloides. Fr. Death Cup 

Pileus smooth, fleshy, viscid, greenish, brown or olive to amber; cap 3-5 
inches broad, frequently free from remnant of volva ; lamellae white ; stem 
3-6 inches long, annulate ; spores globose, white. Prof. Atkinson says : "The 
presence or absence of these scales on the cap depends entirely on the way in 
which the volva ruptures. When there is a clean rupture at the apex, the 
pileus is free from scales, but if portions of the apex of the volva are torn 
away they are apt to remain on the cap. 

Dr. Farlow gives the following excellent description of this fungus : 
It is rather common and grows singly in woods and on the borders of fields, rarely ap- 
pearing in lawns, and is not preeminently an inhabitant of grassy pastures, like the mush- 
room. It prefers a damper and less sandy soil than that chosen by the fly agaric. The 
pileus is often a shining white, but may be of any shade, from a pale dull yellow to olive, 
and when wet is more slimy than the mushroom or the fly agaric. It has no distinct scales 
and only occasionally a few membranous patched on the pileus. The gills and stalk are 

• Sci. 30: 97-108 


Deadly Amanita (Amanita fl'dloiiics). A very i>oisoiioiis species of toad stool, (E. A. 
White in Conn. St. Geol. and Nat. Hist. Survey, page 239). 


Fig. 72. Death Cup {Amanita plialloides) 
one-half natural size. From U. S. Dept. Agrl. 








Fig. 73. Stinkhorn, 
Phallus impudicus. Com- 
mon in some vineyards 
and fields. 

white, and the latter has a large ring like the fly agaric, and is hollow, or, when young, is 
loosely filled with cottony threads, which soon disappear. The base of the stalk differs from 
that of the fly agaric in being more bulbous and in having the upper part of the bulb bor- 
dered by a sac-like membrane, called the volva. The volva is often of considerable size, but 
more frequently it is reduced to a membranous rim. In this species the stalk is longer 
and slenderer in proportion to the diameter of the pileus than in either the fly agaric or the 
common mushroom, and is buried rather deep in the soil or dead leaves, so that it often 
happens that the bulb is broken off and left behind when the fungus is gathered. 

The following differences between the edible and two poisonous species are 
noted by Dr. Farlow : 

(1) The common mushroom has a pileus which is not covered with wart-like scales; 
gills which are brownish purple when mature: a nearly cylindrical stalk, which is not hoi- 


low, with a ring near the middle, and without a bulbous base sheathed by a membrane or 
by scales. 

(2) The fly agaric has a pileus marked with prominent warts; gills always white; a 
stalk, with a large ring around the upper part, and hollow or cottony inside, but solid 
at the base, where it is bulbous and scaly. 

(3) The deadly agaric has a pileus without distinct warts; gills which are always white, 
and a hollow stalk, with a large ring, and a prominent bulb at the base, whose upper margin 
is membranous or bag-like. 

(4) Other minor points of difference are the different places in which these species 
grow, and also the colors, which, although they vary in each case, are brilliant yellow or 
red in the fly agaric, white varying to pale olive in the deadly agaric, and white usually 
tinged with a little brown in the mushroom. 

(5) A word should be said as to the size and proportions of the pileus and stalk in 
these three species. In the mushroom the pileus averages from 3 to 4 inches in breadth, 
and the stalk is generally shorter than the breadth of the pileus and comparatively stout. 
The pileus remains convex for a long time, and does not become quite flat-topped until old. 
The substance is firm and solid. In the fly agaric the pileus, at first oval and convex, 
soon becomes flat and attains a breadth of 6 to 8 inches and sometimes more. The stalk has 
a length equal to or slightly exceeding the breadth of the pileus, and is comparatively slen- 
derer than is the common mushroom, but nevertheless rather stout. The substance is less 
firm than in the common mushroom. 

(6) The pileus of the deadly agaric is thinner than that of the common mushroom, 
and from being rather bell-shaped when young, becomes gradually flat-topped with the center 
a little raised. In breadth it is intermediate between the two preceding species. The stalk 
usualy is longer than the breadth of the pileus, and the habit is slenderer than in the two pre- 
ceding species. All three species are pleasant to the taste, which shows that one cannot infer 
that a species is not poisonous because the taste is agreeable. The fly agaric has scarcely 
any odor. The two other species have certain odors of their own, but they can not be 

Distribution. Widely distributed in Europe and North America in woods, 
groves and pastures. 

Poisonous properties. Professor Peck says : 

The Poison amanita is very variable in the color of the cap, and yet is so definite in 
its structural characters' that only the most careless observer would be likely to confuse 
it with any other species. There is, however, a sort of deceptive character about it. It 
is very neat and attractive in its appearance and looks as if it might be good enough to 
eat. This appearance is fortified by the absence of any decidedly unpleasant odor or taste, 
but let him who would eat it beware, for probably there is not a more poisonous or 
dangerous species in our mycological flora. To eat it is to invite death. 

Professor Atkinson says : 

Since the Amanita phalloides occurs usually in woods, or along borders of woods, there 
is little danger of confounding it with edible mushrooms collected in lawn^ distant from 
the woods and in open fields. However, it docs occur in lawns bordering on woods, 
and in the summer of 1899 I found several of the white forms of this species in a lawn 
distant from the woods. This should cause beginners and those not thoroughly familiar 
with the appearance of the plant to be extremely cautious against eating mushrooms simply 
because they were not collected in or near the woods. Furthermore, sometimes the white 
form of the deadly amanita possesses a faint tinge of pink in the gills, which might lead 
the novice to mistake it for common mushroom. The bulb of the deadly amanita is 
usually inserted quite deep in the soil or leaf mold, and specimens are often picked leaving 
the very important character of the volva in the ground, and then the plant might easily be 
taken for the common mushroom, or more likely for the smooth Lepiota {Lcpiota nausina), 
which is entirely white, the gills only in age showing a faint pink tinge. It is very im- 
portant therefore, that, until one has such familiarity with these plants that they are easily 
recognized in the absence of some of these characters, the stem should) be carefully dug 
from the soil. In the case of the specimens of the deadly amanita growing in the lawn 
on the campus of Cornell University, (he stems were sunk to three to four inches in 
the quite hard ground. 

The exact chemical nature of phallin, an extremely toxic substance, is not certainly 
known, but it is generally conceded to be of an albuminous nature. That it is an extremely 


deadly poison is shown by the fact that .0015 grain per 2 lbs. weight of the animal is 
a fatal dose for cats and dogs. It is the active principle of the most deadly of all mush- 
rooms, the Amanita phalloides, or death-cup fungus. We quote again from Mr. Chesnut's 
account of phallin and its treatment: "The fundamental injury is not due, as in the case 
of muscarin, to a paralysis of the nerves controlling the action of the heart, but to a 
direct effect on the blood corpuscles. These are quickly dissolved by phallin, the blood 
serum escaping from the blood vessels into the alimentary canal, and the whole system 
being rapidly drained of its vitality. No bad taste warns the victim, nor do the pre- 
liminary symptoms begin until nine to fourteen hours after the poisonous mushrooms are 
eaten. There is then considerable abdominal* pain and there may be cramps in the legs 
and other nervous phenomena, such as convulsions, and even lockjaw or other kinds of 
tetanic spasms. The pulse is weak, the abdominal pain is ripadly followed by nausea, 
vomiting and extreme diarrhoea, the intestinal discharges assuming the 'rice-water' condition 
characteristic of cholera. The latter symptoms are persistently maintained, generally with- 
out loss of consciousness, until death ensues, which happens in from two to four days. 
There is no known antidote by which the effects of phallin can be counteracted. The un- 
digested material, if not already vomited, should, however, be removed! from the stomach 
and intestines by methods similar to those given for cases of poisoning by Amanita muscaria." 
Prof. Chesnut, writing in regard to the poisonous effect of this species, 
says that : 

The phallin spoken of is one of the toxalbumins, an extremely virulent poison found 
in poisonous animals especially the rattlesnake. These toxalbumins are allied to those found 
in diphtheria and other diseases produced by bacteria. 

Other species reported as poisonous or probably poisonous are A. flocco- 
cephala, and A. cothurnata. Ford has shown that A. spreta, and A. virosa, A. 
strobiliforniis, A. chlorinosina, A. radicata, A. porphyria, and A. ruhescens are 
poisonous. The A. verna, a small spring form of A. phalloides, is also very 

Ford reports nearly 200 deaths since 1900 from this fungus in France, 
Germany, Italy, and England. Ford gives the pathological changes described 
by Maschka to be as follows : 

1. Lack of post mortem rigidity. 

2. Widening of the pupils. 

3. Failure of blood to coagulate and a cherry-red color. 

4. Ecchymoses and hemorrhages in the serous membranes and parenchy- 
matous organs. 

5. Dilation of the bladder with urine. 

Studor, Sabli and Schoren found extensive necrotic and fatty changes in 
liver, kidney, heart and voluntary muscles. The amount of fat in the liver 
is nearly as great as in phosphorous poisoning. 

Clinical symptoms. Often latent period of from 6 to 12 hours during 
which the victims remain quite well. They are suddenly seized with terrible 
abdominal pain, excessive vomiting and thirst. Diarrhoea may set in with 
mucous bloody stools, or there may be constipation. The paroxysm of pain 
may be so severe as to result in a peculiar hipprocratic facies. The patients 
rapidly lose strength. In 3 to 4 days in children and 6 to 8 days in adults, 
coma develops, from which the patients cannot be aroused. Cyanosis and 
lowered temperature precedes the fatal exit. Ocular symptoms and convulsions 
do not ordinarily occur, but convulsions may be present on a terminal event. 
The mortality varies from 60 to 100 per cent. 

Kobert obtained from A. phalloides a substance with marked hemolytic 
action, the dried extract dissolving ox blood 1 to 125,000. To this extract he 
gave the name phallin, which he considered a toxalbumin. 


Later this author * found what he thought was a poisonous alkaloid, "that 
all typical forms contained an alcohol soluble poison ;" that phallin was 
occasionally absent. 

Ford found that the extract of the fungus is a powerful hemolytic agent 
and quickly destroys the erythrocytes of guinea pig, fowl, pigeon, dog, goat, 
and man. This takes place at 37 degrees C, slower at lower temperatures. 
The corpuscles of sheep, beef, and swine are resistent. Raw and boiled milk 
act as an antidote — they are antihemolysins. Animals may be immunized by 
using non-lethal doses. 

Since the above has been written there have come to hand several recent 
papers by Dr. W. W. Ford.i who states that he found muscarin in several 
"yellow Amanitas" found in New York and Massachusetts. The aqueous ex- 
tract of Amanita mtiscaria first agglutinated and then slowly dissolved blood 
corpuscles. The agglutinin was heat resistant. The extracts produced hemolysis. 
The agglutinin is a glucoside. The Amanita solitaria also contains an agglutinin. 
The Amanita frostiana 2 contains a moderately hemolytic substance and free 
from resistant toxin and muscarin. By the same author the poisonous nature of 
a number of species is reported as follows. The A. phalloides produces 
a chronic intoxication in guinea pig, the animal dying in twenty-five days. The 
lesion is typical for amanita toxin. It is hemolytic for rabbit's corpuscles, in 
a dilution of 1-20. The poison from A. virosa has a hemolytic strength of 1-200 
in two hours and in dilution 1-100 at the end of 24 hours, and when heated to 
60° C. Kills guinea pigs in twenty-four hours, with signs of acute intoxication. 
The A. spreta contains hemolysin and toxin but in rather a low degree. It 
should be classed with the deadly poisonous mushrooms. The A. porphyria, A. 
strobiliformis, A. radicata and A. chlorinosma are all poisonous and contain a 
heat resistant substance which induces in animals a chronic intoxication; the A. 
vittadini and A. rubescens should also be included according to Kobert.3 

Dr. Ford in speaking of the poison in A. phalloides says : 

"In a series of investigations published from the John Hopkins University it has now 
been shown that Amanita phalloides contain two poisons which for the sake of clearness 
we speak of as the amanita-toxin.4 The hemolysin is probably the same hemolytic substance 
which Kobert had in his preparation of phallin and the toxin is possibly identical with 
Robert's second poison. The hemolysin was found in every specimen of Amanita phalloides 
which has thus far been examined, and when obtained from the fresh plant is the most 
powerful hemolysin of vegetable origin known. Drs. Abel and Ford 5 have shown that all 
coagulable proteid can be removed from this substance by uranyl acetate in alkaline solutions 
and by freshly prepared metaphosphoric acid, and when thus freed from proteid it continues 
to act upon blood corpuscles and gives the reaction of a glucoside containing a pentose. We 
have recently developed a method for the isolation and purification of this glucoside which 
has an activity of 1-300,000 in the pure state. Since its sensitiveness to heat and the di- 
gestive ferments the hemolysin is precluded from playing any important role in human intoxi- 
cation. We are inclined to believe that the amanita-toxin is the active principle, and 
Schlesinger and I 7 have shown that this poison can be isolated by certain well-defined 
methods. It also is one of the powerful organic poisons, four-tenths of a milligram killing 

* Sitzungsb. Naturforschcnden Gesellsch Rostock 1899:26. Statement from Prof. Ford. 

1 The distribution of Poisons in Amanitas. The Jour, of Pharma. and Kpt. Therapeutics. 

Notes on the Amanita-Toxin, Ford and Prouty. The Jour, of Pharm. and Expt. 
Therapeutics. 1:389. 

2 Jour. Inf. Dis. 4:437. 

3 I,ohrbuc1i des. Intoxikationen. Ed. 2. 617. 

4 Ford. Tour. ICxpt. Med. 8:437. May 26. 1906. 

5 Abel and Ford: Jour. Biol. Chem. 11:273, Jan. 1907. „ , ^ 

e Abel and Ford: Arch. f. Exp. Path. u. Pharmakol. Supplement-Band Schmeidcbersr 

" ^7 Schlesinger and Ford: Jour. Biol. Chem. 3:279. Sept. 1907. 


a guinea-pig in twenty-four hours. The amanita-toxin contains no proteid, does not respond 
to any alkaloidal reagents, and on fusion with potassium hydrate gives off idol and pyrol. 
At first thought to be a congugate sulphate, I have recently found in association with Mr. 
Prouty that this opinion is incorrect. We hope to ascertain the more exact characterization 
of this poison shortly." 

Lepiota. Fr. Lepiota Toadstool 

Plant with fleshy stem which can easily be separated from the cap; gills 
usually free from the stem; in some species the top of the cap breaks from 
the scales which adhere; volva absent. A small genus widely distributed. 
Some species are edible ; L. proccra is said to be excellent as food. 

L. Morgani. Pk. 

A large fleshy plant, sometimes a foot across the cap, with a thick stout 
stem and a ring removed a little distance from the gills; the pileus, when 
fully expanded, whitish, with dark scales; the spores and gills greenish. 

Distribution. From Ohio southward and westward in grassy places, some- 
times forming large fairy rings. 

Poisonous properties. This plant is quite harmless to some people, but to 
others it causes very unpleasant symptoms. It should be eaten with caution. 

Russula. Pers. Russula 

Cap red, purple, violet, pink, blue, yellow, or green; pileus fleshy, convex, 
readily expanded and at length depressed; stem brittle, stout and smooth, 
spongy within and confluent with the cap. 

Russula emetica. Fr. 

Pileus fleshy, quite viscid, expanded, polished, shining, oval or bell-shaped 
when young, rose-red to yellow or even purple ; margin furrowed, flesh white ; 
gills free, equal, broad, distinct and white; stems stout, solid, or occasionally 
spongy ; spores spherical. 

Distribution. Widely distributed in North America. Found in pastures 
and under trees. Readily distinguished by viscid cap and color. Mr. Hand 
states that it is easily recognized by its acrid taste and free gills. 

Poisonous properties. Mr. Mcllvaine says that he has repeatedly eaten 
them and referred to a number of others who have also eaten them without 
any bad results, but Hand thinks that their acrid taste is against their use or 
rather cautions their use. Prof. Ford states that they cause profound gastro- 
intestinal disturbances, such as attacks of vomiting and diarrhoea, recovery only 
after thorough emptying of the stomach. 

Volvaria. Fr. Volvaria 

Universal veil forming a perfect volva, separate from outer part of the 
pileus; stem readily separated from pileus; gills free, at first white, then pink, 
and then reddish, and soft. 

Volvaria hombycina. (Pers.) Fr. 

This plant has a silky lustre; pileus is from 6 to 8 inches broad, globose, 
becoming bell-shaped, convex and somewhat umbonate; flesh white; gills crowd 


ed and flesh colored ; stem is 6 to 8 inches long, tapering upward ; spores rosy, 
smooth in masses and elliptical; volva large and somewhat membranaceous. 

Poisonous properties. According to many authorities, this plant is edible, 
and it is likely that this and many other species can be eaten without serious 
trouble, although Gillot,* states that several species of this genus have caused 
death when eaten, though nothing is known of poisonous principle. 

Inocybe Fr. 

In the genus Inocybe there is a universal veil which is fibrillose in char- 
acter, and more or less closely joined with the cuticle of the pileus, and the 
surface of the pileus is therefore marked with fibrils or is more or less scaly. 
Sometimes the margin of the pileus possesses remnants of a veil which is quite 
prominent in a few species. The gills are adnate, or sinuate, rarely decurrent, 
and in one species they are free. It is thus seen that the species vary widely, 
and there may be, after a careful study of the species, grounds for the separa- 
tion of the species into several genera. One of the most remarkable species is 
Inocybe echinata Roth. This plant is covered with a universal veil of a sooty 
color and powdery in nature. The gills are reddish purple, and the stem is of 
the same color, the spores on white paper of a faint purplish red color. 

Inocybe infida. 

This is slightly larger than Pnnaeolus papilionaccus, with semiorbicular cap 
surmounted by a prominent nipple, which is dark reddish-brown, while the rest 
of the upper surface is light tawny-brown. The upper surface also differs from 
that of the non-poisonous kind in being silky-scaly and shining. The lower sur- 
face differs in being much lighter, pale yellowish instead of brownish-black, 
and the spore-print is about the color of oak wood. 

Poisonous properties. Dr. William A. Murrill has recently contributed an 
account on the poisoning from Inocybe infida, a plant which closely resembles 
the Panacohis papilionaccus. It appears that Dr. Dcming of West Chester, who 
poisoned himself and other members of the family, describes the following 
symptoms: The fungi were gathered in the morning just before dinner. They 
were stewed and served on toast at one o'clock; he ate about half a slice of 
toast with mushrooms, drank some tea, and ate one-half a stuffed egg, with 
lettuce and mayonnaise dressing and after dinner smoked one-half a cigarette. 
Soon after he began to feel "queer," tlien there followed a fullness in the head 
and a rapid heart action as if he had taken nitroglycerin, this was followed by 
a sweat, his clothing becoming wet, and at the same time there was no nausea 
or prostration; his mind became a little bit confused. He then washed out the 
stomach, took castor oil and before the oil operated there was pressure and 
almost pain in the lower bowel. By evening he was as well as ever except 
somewhat exhausted. It appears that four other persons were affected with 
disagreeable .symptoms from the eating of the mushroom. 

Dr. Deming says: "In my case the beating of the heart, fullness of the 
head and sweating were very marked, though I ate about half as much as the 

Dr. Murrill says that there is nothing to suggest an irritating poison and that 
it is probably not narcotic. 

• Ktude mcdicale sur IVmpoisonoment par les champignons. I.yon, 1900. 



Mycelium consists of branched strands matted together ; from this is 
produced an oval body consisting of an outer wall, the peridium, and an 
inner peridium ; between the two is a layer of gelatinous material ; the outer 
portion of the oval body forms the volva; the central portion pushes through 
the peridium with a long cellular stalk, the upper one bearing the cap-shaped 
gleba; the spores are brown on club-shaped basidia, surrounded by a mucilag- 
inous material giving off an offensive odor. This sub-order contains the 
Clathraceae and Phallaceae. The Phallus impudictis and the Mutinus cani- 
nus have been regarded as suspicious. 


Receptacle latticed or irregularly branched ; gleba enclosed by the re- 
ceptacle. The following genera of this order are known to occur in the 
United States, chiefly in the southern states : Clathrus, Phallogaster, Simhlum, 
and Anthurus. Dr. Farlow * is authority for the report from Gerald Mac- 
Carthy to the effect that in North Carolina hogs had been killed by eating 
Clathrus columnatus which a correspondent, Mr. G. W. Lawrence found 
growing in oak woods near Fayetteville. The animals died within twelve or 
fifteen hours after eating the fungus. According to Gillot, hogs are poisoned 
by these and by Phalloideae. 


Receptacle tubular or cylindrical with an external gleba. The common 
Stinkhorn Phallus impudicus has a thick hollow stalk of whitish color per- 
forated with pores; the upper part is honey-combed, resembling the morel. 
During the early stages, an egg-shaped body may be seen coming from a mass 
of white mycelium. The egg-shaped body is more or less mucilaginous and 
contains the stalk and gleba, the latter becomes exposed later. Flies, attracted 
by the carrion-like odor and mucilaginous material of the gleba, scatter the 
spores and, apparently, are not poisoned. The fungus, however, is usually 
regarded as poisonous as are several related genera and species such as Mutinus 
caninus. The common Stinkhorn (P. impudicus) was formerly used as a salve 
in gout. 


This contains the family Hymenogastraceae.. The sub-order Lycoperdineae 
includes two families, Tylostomataceae and Lycopcrdaceae. 


Fruiting bodies globular, oval or pear-shaped, solid and fleshy, often of 
great size; before maturity, a dense white mass of homogenous hyphae occurs; 
the fruit is surrounded by a peridium, in some cases double; the interior is 
made up of branched threads called the capillitium, containing the spores; 
fruiting bodies break open in various ways at maturity. This group contains 
several interesting families. Many of the Lycopcrdaceae are well known; 
among these are the Earth-star (Geaster), the Lycoperdon giganteum and 

* Farlow, W. G. Poisonous Nature of Clathrus columnatus. Bot. Gaz. 15:45-56. See 
also Halsted, B. D.., Rept. N. J. Agrl. Exp. Sta., 1894:417. 



Fig. 74. PufT balls and their Allies. Gasteromycetes. 1. Geasicr funbrwtus, p Outer 
peridium, /•! Inner pcridium. 2. Gaiitiera morchallacforinis. sectional view ot fruiting body. 
3. Sccotium erythrocephalum. 4. Sectional view of the No. 3. 5. Bird's Nest Fungus 
{Cyathus striates), p Peridia of .spore bearing body, the outer peridium open on top showing 
attachment of fruiting bodies. 7. The same showing three fruiting bodies attached to wall. 
8. Crucibulum vulgarc .showing hymenium and ?porcs. 9. Hymenog.islcr tcner, sectional 
view of fruiting body x .3. 10. Same, natural size. 11. Rasidia with spores of No. 9. x 
450. 12. Puff-ball {Lycoperdon sp.), natural size. 13. Part of hymenium of L. excxpuh- 
forme with basidia and spherical spores. 14. Common Lead-color Puff-ball (Bovista 
plumbca), natural size. 1 after Kcrner, 2 after Vittadini, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9,-11 after lulasne, 
8 after Sachs, 12-14 after Wcttstein. 



Dr. Miguel lists the Lycoperdon Bovista as poisonous; this and Lycoperdon 
cyathiforme are edible when fresh, but poisonous when the plants are mature. 


This is allied to the above and contains the Bird's Nest fungus. (Cruci- 
bulutn vulgare), which occurs upon wood and manure, and the Cyathus striatus. 
The false truffle {Scleroderma vulgare) belongs to an allied order. 


Mycelium many celled, branched; reproduction both sexual and asexual; 
spores known as ascospores, limited in number. Arranged in two divisions,, 
the Hemiasci and the Euasci. 


Parasites or saphrophytes ; reproduction generally asexual, in fertilization, 
the contents of the antheridium and the oogonium fuse. 


An unimportant group with three orders, Ascoideaceae, Protomycetaceae, 
which contains some plants that are parasitic, Protomyces niacrosporus, upon the 
members of the carrot family. 

Fig. 75. Fertilization of Pyronema conflnens. 1. Three oogonia (o) with fertilizing 
processes (p a — ^antheridia. 2. Oogonium after fertilization, with numerous nuclei. 3. 
Part of fruiting body, the ascogonium forming hyphae (^as), (a) antheridium, (o) oogonium. 
1-3 greatly magnified. After Harper. 

The famil}^ Monascaceae contains one fungus which has been found in mouldy 
corn and silage in Iowa, the Monascus purpurens Went. It is related to the 
M. heterosporus (Harz) Shroter, which was found by Harz in a soap factory. 
The coloring matter from M. purpurens, known as "ang-quac," is used in East- 
ern Asia as a pigment, being produced by the growth of the fungus on rice. 
The fungus consists of a mass of septate hyphae, producing conidia and peri- 
thecia with numerous asci ; the ascospores are from S-6.5 m, in diameter. The 



details of the structure of this fungus have been given by Olive,' Barker.^ and 
Ikeno 3 and in a paper to be published by Dr. Buchanan. Dr. Buchanan found 
this species in spoiled corn silage, which was responsible for the death of several 
horses in Iowa. This species possibly has been the cause of the disease, this 
fungus occurring only where air had access to the silage. The fungus found 
by Harz produces a mycelium similar to the preceding with thick-walled swell- 
ings and color white or carmine red; conidia ellipsoidal, spherical, obovate, of 
two kinds, the smaller 2.5-3 M. to 7-8 M, occurring in chains or singly, the larger 
occurring singly 9-11 m in diameter, and arising from lateral branches; spor- 
angia from short lateral branches are spherical 40-53 m in diameter, many 
spored ; the sporangia are surrounded by branched hyphae, ascospores spherical 
or oval, colorless 4-5 m in diameter ; conidia and hyphae contain a carmine red 
pigment physomycin. 


Fig. 7S.\. Corn Silage fungus (.Monascus f>urf'ureus.) 
1, 2, 3, Conidiophores with conidia; 4, germinating conidium; 
5, sterile hypha covering of perithecium sending out branches, 
these are sometimes tipped with conidia; 6, optical section 
of mature perithecium, spores still within asci. Found in 
corn silage by Dr. Buchanan. 


Asci with definite number of spores, usually 2, 4, 8, 16, 32; seldom, but 
occasionally l-ccUed. 


Contains the yeast plant, peach curl, plum pocket, ergot, blue mould, 
powdcrv mildews, etc. 


Asci single, in one group, without distinctive development of the mycelium; 
in the other with a distinctive mycelium bearing the asci with their spores. 

1 Annals of Bot. 17:167, pi. 12 &13. 

2 Bot. Gazette. 39:56. 

3 Ber. deutsch Bot. Gcsellsch. 12:259. 




Vegetative cells single or in small groups ; mycelium usually not evident, 
reproduction, by budding; ascospores, usually 4, produced in the cell; occasion- 
ally 8, 3, 5, or seldom 1. 

The Saccharomycetes are fungi important in the process of fermenta- 
tion. It is only in recent years that any parasitic species has been recog- 
nized. Metchnikoff, in 1884, found a parasitic yeast Monospora bicuspidata in 
Daphnids. Raum and Neumayer in 1891 declared yeasts were pathogenic. 
Busse, 1894, demonstrated that certain yeasts were pathogenic. Tokishige 
about the same time observed a yeast pathogenic for horses. Sanfelice isolated 
from the cancerous-like growth of an ox a Saccharomyces which was pathogenic 
for guinea pigs. The same author found another species in pigeons. Lydia 
Rabinowitsch studied 50 species of yeasts, of which 7 proved to be pathogenic. 
In 1895 Prof. Curtis found the second case of Saccharomyces in a young man ; 
clinically the disease resembled a myxosarcoma. It is doubtful whether these 
forms are true yeasts. Some of these appear to be Hyphomycetes rather than 
Saccharomycetes. I have therefore discussed these under the form genus 

Fig. 76. Yeast. Saccliaromyces mycoderma. A. Process of germination. B. Myceli- 
um budding in a weak nutrient solution. C. (a) Yeast-like form budding; (6) long cells. 



Saccharomyces. Meyen. Yeast 

Vegetative cells spherical, ellipsoidal, oval or pear-shaped, occasionally 
elongated mycelial like; asci spherical, ellipsoidal or cylindrical with 1-8 asco- 
spores 1-celled spherical or ellipsoidal. About 40 species. The S. apiculatus, 
Rees, is important in the fermentation of fruit. The 5. ellipsoideus causes 
the fermentation of wine. The S. mycoderna, Rees, forms a white mass on 
cider, wine, cucumbers, etc., and prepares the way for the acetic acid ferment- 
ation. The S. kefyr, Beyerinck, along with Bacillus acidi-lactici and other bac- 
teria is found in Keyfr grains. S. glutintis Fres., the pink yeast, is found 
growing on nutrient media in laboratories. 

Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Meyen. Common yeast 

Vegetative cells, spherical or oval, 8-10x8-12 m singly, or in several, budding 
chains with one or more vacuoles; asci spherical or short elliptical 11-14, gen- 
erally with 4 ascospores tetradform. It produces a white growth on gelatine 
and potato, does not liquify the gelatine; causes fermentation of grape sugar, 
maltose and cane sugar. The biology of the fermentation of beer is as fol- 
lows: Barley, which is ordinarily used for this purpose, is allowed to germ- 
inate; during the process of germination the starch, by means of diastase, is 
converted into sugar, the sugar being afterwards removed with the water; this 
sugary fluid is then placed in large vats in dark rooms at a comparatively 
low temperature ; the yeast plant is added and fermentation starts. 

The fermentation of sugar is due to an enzyme found in the yeast plant, 
to which Buchner has given the name of Zymase. This enzyme breaks the 
sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxid. It is not necessary to have the living 
organism present to produce this fermentation, as a quantity of the yeast ex- 
tract mixed with the solution of fermentible sugar will produce at the end of 
some days a small amount of alcohol. The enzyme decomposes very rapidly. 
Reynolds Green, in his book on fermentation, says : 

From these researches it appears certain that the production of alcohol whether in the 
presence or absence of oxygen is brought about by the activity of an enzyme. Its secretion 
by the cells of yeast attends the ordinary nutritive processes as well as the abnormal de- 
compositions set up by incipient asphyxiation. The latter condition induces its formation 
in other parts of plants. The absence of oxygen stimulates the protoplasm of the cells to 
secrete it, the ultimate effect of its appearance being the liberation of energy as already 

Distribution. Widely distributed. 

Poisonous properties. The chemical composition of alcohol is C, H, OH. 

Different alcoholic drinks contain different percentages of alcohol. Ale and 
beers contain from 4 to 8 per cent together with bitters and malt extract ; cider 
from 5 to 9 per cent; sherry from 15 to 20 per cent. 

Fig. 77. Yeast. Sacclwromyccs 
cerevisiae. Ascospores in cells. Spores 
at f. Magn. 1000. After Hansen. 



Fig. 78. Yeast. Saccharomyces cerevisiae. 1. Singrle cell with vacuoles. 2. Cells 
budding x 1500. 3. Numerous daughter cells x 1000. 4. Cell with ascospores x 1200. 
5. S. ellipsoideus. 1-4 Modified from Luerssen and Rees; S after Hansen. 

Alcohol in its action is a germicide and when applied to the raw surface 
or wounds it is a stimulant and local anaesthetic, while in concentrated form 
it is an irritant and even caustic. When placed upon surfaces of the broken 
skin it causes cooling and contraction of the superficial blood vessels. When 
absorbed it hardens the tissues. Internally it causes a secretion of saliva and 
the heart is stimulated by the irritative action of alcohol.. In large amounts it 
destroys the peptic ferment. Dr. Winslow says : 

Alcohol is essentially a heart stimulant and the most valuable one we possess. It makes 
the heart beat more forcibly and rapidly, and also increases blood pressure, despite the fact 
that, normally, alcohol causes dilation of the arterioles. In weakened bodily conditions, 
with vascular relaxation, alcohol may increase vascular tonicity. The heart and blood 
vessels are paralyzed by poisonous doses of alcohol and blood tension falls tremendously. 

The local effect of alcohol upon the peripheral nerves resembled the action after ab- 
sorption upon the system generally. The nervous system is affected in nearly the same 
order and manner as by anaesthetics, and the same stages may be observed. The stages 
include the stimulant, depressant and paralytic. The law of dissolution is demonstrated 
by alcohol, as the more highly organized centres and those more recently developed in the 
process of evolution are first to succumb, and in following out this order, the medulla, 
the first of the higher centres to be developed, is the last to be influenced by the drug. In 
accordance with this law the cerebrum is first acted upon. The period of excitement is brief 
and is due in a considerable degree to the increased cerebral circulation and flushing of 
the brain. It is essential to emphasize the fact that by far the most apparent and decided 
action of alcohol is one of depression upon the nervous system as a whole. The stimulating 
influence of alcohol upon the spinal centres is more marked in the lower animals than in 
man because the brain is proportionately small and poorly developed in the former. The 
primary stimulating effect of alcohol is shown in man by increased mental activity and ap- 
parent brilliancy, but acute reasoning and judgment are not enhanced, and in many cases 
there is almost immediate mental confusion and drowsiness induced. 




This small order contains parasitic and saprophytic species. The asci are 
without perithecium, except in Gymnoascus and Ctcnomyces where there is a 
rudimentary perithecium. The Taphrinae are undoubtedly related to the yeasts 
and by some are placed in one order known as Gymnoasceae, being represented 
by Gymnoascus. The Gymnoasceae exclusive of TapJirinae are sometimes placed 
with the Plectascineae, a fungus occurring on the dung of horses and producing 
simple-fruiting organs, which consist of short-branched filaments arising either 
from a single hypha in which a cell is cut off, or several, one being spirally 
wound about the other. This becomes the ascus, which contains the ascospores. 
In Brcmasciis the ascus-producing part resembles certain zygospores. In 
Ctenomyces the ascus is surrounded by simple torulose hyphae, representing a 
rudimentary perithecium. The Eidamella spinosa described by Matruchot and 
Dassonville is allied to Gymnoascus. It produces numerous ovoid short stalked 
asci with 8 ovate colorless ascospores. Parasitic on dog. The life history of 
parasitic members of this order may be represented by Exoascus pruni. This 
fungus grows on the fruit of various species of the genus Pnitius, producing 
in plums what is known as plum pockets or bladder plums. The fungus, when 
fully developed, consists mainly of a single layer of palisade-like asci, which 
produce their branching mycelium in the parenchyma of the affected part, and 
later develop between the outer walls of the epidermal cells and cuticle. Here 


I'ig. 79. Exosceae. 1. I'lum pocket (Exoascus Pruni), on Prunus Padus. a. Normal 
fruit; b, abnormal fruit. 2. E. Alni-incaniae on alder {Alnus incana) ; scales enlarged. 
3-5. B. ainittorquus; 3. Surface view, alder leaves showing hyphae (/i), between cuticle 
and remainder of epidermal cell. 4. Formation of asci (.as). S. Ripe asci with ascospores 
X 100. 1-2 after Wettstein. 3-5 after Sadcbeck. 



they grow and spread out to the surface, forming a single layer of cells, each 
cell swells, the cuticle becomes ruptured and a palisade-like layer of asci is 
formed. There are eight ascospores in each ascus which escape by means of an 
opening at the tip. The ascospores of Taphrina frequently germinate in the as- 
cus, budding like yeast and in this budding condition they produce a small amount 
of alcohol. Another troublesome species is the Peach Curl {Exoascus deformans) 
which occurs on the young leaves of peaches. The E. Cerasi is another destruc- 
tive species producing the "Witches Brooms" of the cherry Prunus Cerasus. 
The E. Betiilinus produces the "Witches Broom" in the Birches. 


Mycelium well developed; asci borne upon large fruiting bodies and a 
continuous hymenium consisting of the asci, sterile threads, the paraphyses. 
Contains a number of common cup fungi like the Pesisa, Morchella esculenta, 
and Hellvella. A Sclerotinia produces a disease on red mangolds, beans, and 
hemp ; Sclerotinia also occurs upon clover and the common brown plum rot, 
(Sclerotinia). Helvetia suspecta with a reddish brown pileus and a dirty flesh 
colored stalk is suspected of being poisonous. It has a nauseous, sweetish 
taste, and produces hellvellic acid, a hemolytic, or blood destroying substance. 
The Gyromitra esculenta also produces helvellic acid and is regarded as 
poisonous. It owes its toxicity to the blood making properties. The Hellvellas, 
Morels, and Sclerotinia belong to the family, Helvellaceac. Tuber produces 
tuber like bodies found in the soil. The organism is parasitic on trees. The 
fruiting bodies are enclosed by a peridium which consists of corrugated, smooth, 
or wart-like excrescences. The hyphae are compact. The ascospores occur in 
winding passages in the interior. Some of the Hellvellas and Morels are edible. 
The truffle {Tuber acstivum) of the family Eutuberaceae are edible. 

The family Phacidiaceae, contains one important parasite of the alfalfa, 
the Phacidium Mcdicaginis. The diseased leaves turn yellow and soon fall. 
The yellow leaf, or in some cases the green leaves, contain the small blackish 
or brownish specks usually upon the upper side of the leaf, the injury extend- 

Fig. 80. Enlarged plum branches. Exoascus communis on Prunus maritima, projecting 
beyond the mass are the asci, some of which contain the spherical ascospores. After At- 



Fig. 81. Tuberaceae. Truffles. 1. Tuber rubrum, Part of interior of a truffle, show- 
ing hyphae, asci, and ascospores, greatly magnified. 2. T. aestivum, fruiting body. 3. T. 
hrumale, section of truffle. 4. Ascospore of T. Magnatum. 1, 3, S, after Tulasne. 2 
after Wettstein. 

ing to the lower surface. The spot contains a small pustule called the apothe- 
cium, which is cup-shaped. This cup-shaped body contains the asci (sacs) in 
which 8 small spores occur, the ascospores with the ascus, the two slender 
threads are known as paraphyses. This fungus is a serious parasitic disease 
of the alfalfa. The fungus does much injury to the fodder and it is not im- 
probable that at times may be injurious to animals consuming the fodder. 

Fig. 82. Enlarged leaf showing spots, b. Single spot enlarged: 
ascospores, paraphyses coming from mycelium. 

Ascus with 



Fig. 83. Section through apothecium found on leaf; the asci, ascospores and mycelium. 

Fig. 84. Common Blue Mould (Penicilium glaticum). 1. Conidiophore, spores in 
chains. 2. Sclerotium or hard compact mass of fungus (threads hyphae) with asci and 
ascospores. Asci and ascospores shown above. Brefeld. 



Generally saprophytic fungi with a well developed mycelium, either buried 
in the sub-stratum or superficial. Reproduction sexual or asexual ; asci either 
borne directly on the mycelium or in closed fruiting bodies, called perithecia. 


Peridium thick ; perithecia small ; the sexual reproduction may be seen 
from the development as it occurs in the Blue Mould {Penicillhim). 

Penicillium. Link 

A branched septate mycelium ; conidiophores with septa, numerous branches 
near the apex ; contains small flask-shaped sterigmata ; spores borne in chains ; 
conidiophores sometimes in bundles, as in the old Coremium ; asci develop in 
poorly-lighted places in a sclerotium-like body. 

Penicillium glaucum. Link. Blue Mould 

At first a white mycelium spreads over the surface or through the sub- 
stratum; the mycelium, through an enzyme action, undoubtedly, dissolves the 
starch; raised masses are formed on the surface, which consist of masses of 
mycelium thread strands ; the strands send out lateral branches from the end 
of which a whorl of short branches appears, which give rise to one or more 
whorls; from the ultimate branches a chain of small spores is produced, the 
last one on the chain being the oldest. 

The ascospores have not been found in corn, but occur in poorly lighted 
places and are produced in the absence of oxygen. The spores produced in 
chains germinate when the required amount of moisture and heat is present, 
so that unlimited numbers of generations may proceed from a single spore. 
These spores also preserve their vitality for a considerable length of time. 

Brefeld has shown that they will germinate though kept in a dry place for 
several years. The organism grows at various temperatures, from near the 
freezing point to a considerable heat. It also resists antiseptics. It is one of 
the most troublesome fungi in stored fruit. 

Penicillium glaucum is an organism which contains diastase, maltase, emulsin 
and a ferment which inverts cane sugar. Calcium oxalate is deposited in the 
perithecia. Under certain conditions mannite is said to be produced. When the 
Penicillium glaucum occurs in grape must it delays fermentation. 

Distribution. The common blue mould is widely distributed in nature and 
is contained in a large number of the spores which drop in on fruits and decay- 
ing bodies and there germinate and produce fruiting bodies. 

Poisonous properties. This fungus certainly is not pathogenic. It is widely 
distributed on decaying fruit ; it has been suspected, in several instances, of 
being poisonous, but there is no evidence to support the supposition that this 
is the case or that it produces toxic substances. Under certain conditions it may, 
possibly, produce mycotic stomatitis. It has been found in sputum, nasal 
secretions, and in the stomach, but these cases are without special significance. 

Penicillium minimum. Sicbcnmann 

Mycelium at first white, flocculent, changing to blackish green when spores 
are formed ; conidiophores slender, branching, bearing a chain of spores from 
2-3 y. in diameter. 



Fig. 85. Green Mould. (Aspergillus glaucus") 
on the left, A. repens on the right, both with conidia 
in chains, and conidiophores. After Siebenmann. 

Distribution. Found in Europe. 

Pathogenic properties. Found by Siebenmann in the ear. 

Aspergillus. Micheli 

Parasites or saprophytes with branched septate mycelium ; reproduction 
sexual or asexual ; in the asexual, conidiophores enlarged at the end, the en- 
larged portion bearing numerous small sterigmata, or these bearing smaller 
sterigmata; the conidia borne in chains; occasionally sclerotia form; perithecia 
small with asci and ascospores. The ascigerous stage of a few only is known. 
The life history of the common herbarium mould was first worked out by 
DeBary. A little known A. sulphureus is said to cause muscular contractions, 
and tubercular bodies. 

Aspergillus glaucus. (L.) Link 

Mycelium on or in the substratum forming a bluish green growth; conidia 
spherical or somewhat elliptical, slightly roughened, 6-15 M in diameter, borne 
in chains attached to a short simple sterigmata; perithecia form little yellow 
masses; each ascus has 8 colorless biconvex ascospores 8-10 M in diameter. 

The life history of this fungus is as follows : This species is common in 
stored grain and hay. The myceHum spreads over the surface and through the 
substratum ; it enters the kernel because of the dissolving action of an enzyme 
produced by the mycelium. From this mycelium erect threads (conidiophores 
or sporophores) arise which are enlarged at the end. From the enlarged portion 
of the conidiophores numerous small and radiating stalks (sterigmata) are pro- 
duced, each bearing a chain of spores, the end spores of the chain being the 
older. These spores germinate under favorable conditions of moisture and 
heat, and again give rise to the same stage. In addition to this, the conidial 
stage, a second kind of reproductive body occurs. This is produced by the coil- 
ing of a branch of the mycelium having several turns. Two or three slender 
branches grow from the base. One of these grows more rapidly and connects 
with the top of the spiral coil formed first. The contents of those last formed 



Fig. 86. Common Aspergillus. 1. General appearance showing long conidiophore and 
sterigmata on end. 2. Perithecia with one ascus and ascospores. 3. Contents from an 
unripe perithecium. 4. A small part of a mycelium with conidiophore c and spore-bearing 
sterigmata, young ascogonium a, s. All after DeBary except 1. 

Fig. 87. Mouldy maize kernels. 1. Aspergillus (Stcrismatacystis). 
3. Rhizopus, 4. Pencillium. Charlotte M. King. 

2. Aspergilltu. 


Fig. 87a. Mycotic stomatitis caused from eating mouldy hay and parasitic fungi on 
forage plants. (U. S. Dept. Agrl.) 

unite with the spiral known as the ascogonium. After fertilization a perithecium 
is produced, which contains the asci, each ascus being surrounded by a delicate 
wall and containing eight biconvex ascospores. 

Asperigillus forms diastase and is capable of changing starch into dextrin 
and maltose. 

Distribution. Widely distributed in nature on mouldy hay, corn and other 

Poisonous properties. The organism is not pathogenic but probably develops 
a poisonous substance which may produce disturbance. Dr. Law mentions a 
serious case, epizootic cerebro-spinal meningitis, in Pennsylvania, due to the 
feeding of mouldy timothy hay, which was badly fermented. In Cairo, Egypt, 
6,CC0 horses and mules perished from the same cause. Michener attributes 
this disease to foods undergoing fermentation due to toxic fungi. Williams, 
of Idaho, thought also that the fermentation of alfalfa, timothy and wild grass 
hay produced the disease. Dr. Law says : 

In all probability as we learn more of the true pathology of the disease, we shall come 
to recognize not one, but several toxic principles, and several different affections, each with 
its characteristic phenomena in the somewhat indefinite affection still known as cerebro- 
spinal meningitis. 

It occurs in horses, sheep, oxen, goats, and dogs, preferably attacking the 
young which have not become immuned to the toxic substance. It occurs most 
commonly in winter and spring when animals shed the coat. Dr. Mayo, who 
investigated this trouble in Kansas, says that a disease known as "staggers," 
"mad staggers," or, as he has termed it, enzootic cerebritis, is caused by feeding 
corn which is attacked by Aspergillus glaucus. The spores of the fungus gain 
entrance to the circulation, and find lodgment in the kidneys and liver. He 
supports his conclusions by experiments made by him on a guinea pig and a 


young colt. He also quotes Kaufmann, who was successful in producing a 
disease with Pcnicillium glaucuni and Aspergillus glaucus. There is considerable 
loss in many states from cerebro-spinal meningitis. In many parts of the 
country this is attributed, as I have said before, to mouldy corn. Dr. Bitting, 
of the Indiana Agricultural Experiment Station, made an investigation of this 
question and concludes that mouldy corn is not responsible for this disease. 
Upon an examination of mouldy corn he found several moulds and a bacterium. 
To test the poisonous properties of these, two horses were injected under the 
skin with five cubic centimeters. Later, larger amounts were given, and each 
animal was induced to eat as much as five pounds of the infected meal per day. 
One of the moulds as well as the bacterium gave negative results ; the Fusarium 
produced a redness of the gums and some salivation. In no case did cerebro- 
spinal meningitis result. 

The results of the experiment show that inoculations with culture of the 
bacteria and moulds were ineffective. Eating of the mushes containing pure 
culture showed that only in the case of a growth of a species of Fusarium did 
any intestinal disturbance follow, and that in one case the feeding of the 
rotted grain produced considerable intestinal disturbance and some nervous 
symptoms, but that the disturbance was light in the other. 

Grawitz succeeded in producing infection by adapting the digestive tract 
of the animals to an alkaline medium. 

Roberts and Bitting say in regard to this trouble in Indiana : 

It affects horses, cattle and sheep, but the cause is not known. This disease is reported 
in stables in the fall and winter. The reports indicate that about an equal number of horses 
and cattle become affected, but that they rarely become affected at the same time. The 
horses and cattle kept in the same barn and fed the same kind of food will not become 
diseased at the same time. Most of the cases occur while feeding ensilage or shredded 
fodder and thus it has come to be called ensilage disease and shredded fodder disease. 
The character of the food, however, is only an incident, for cases may occur when other 
spoiled or fermented foods are present, or when only the best foods are used. The 
disease is often ascribed to mouldy and rat-eaten corn, but our experiments with such 
foods and pure cultures of moulds from such foods were negative. Bad sanitation is also 
ascribed as a cause. 

In regard to Mycotic Stomatitis of cattle which they attributed to moulds : 

The particular organism causing the disease, if there be one, has not been described. 
It seems probable that the disease is due to more than one form of fungi which may be 
present on the pasture. The animals affected are cattle of all ages above 4 months. The 
disease is not contagious, but usually affects a number of animals in a given herd, and 
always while in pasture. The fact of a number of animals being affected is due to similar 
exposure and not to infection spreading from one animal to another. Attempts at direct 
inoculation have not been successful. The disease occurs in some localities every year, 
and in others seemingly under special climatic influences. I know a locality where it may 
be developed at any time by permitting cattle to graze along the roadside. The disease 
is much more prevalent on permanent blue grass than upon timothy pasture, and is of rare 
occurrence upon pastures used in a crop rotation. The disease develops in pastures allowed 
to grow for some little time without being used. It is particularly liable to develop a few 
days after a good rainfall succeeding a dry period. 

The symptoms are inability to graze, saliva dribbling from the mouth, and frequent 
visitations to the watering trougli, holding the mouth in the water as though it were burned. 
The animals appear to be hungry but cannot eat. The mouth is red and lips, gums and 
tongue swell. Blisters form and these soon give way to ulcers that may remain distinct 
or run together. In some of the aggravated forms the ulcers may unite so that when the 
crust comes off, it will make a cast of a lip or the whole end of the tongue. The crusts 
are usually from the size of a dime to that of a quarter. The tongue may swell to such 
an extent as to protrude from the mouth and the animal be unable to draw it inside. The 
muzzle may be increased one-half in size. 



Dr. Craig, of the same state, reports somewhat similar experience. 

Captain F. Smith, in his manual of Veterinary Hygiene, refers to the in- 
juries from moulds, especially Penicillium and Aspergillus, calling attention 
to the brittleness of hay caused by fungi, and that the spores produce irritation 
to the respiratory passages. He states further that oats and bran have pro- 
duced diabetes, paralysis, and subsequent death in horses. He refers to the 
case mentioned by Professor Varnell in which the horse died in three days 
from eating moldy oats. Professor Gamgee calls attention to the disease in 
France and Scotland in the years 1854 and 1856, due to horses feeding on grass 
which had become wet and musty. The animals suffered cerebral derangement, 
producing stomach staggers, so-called by English writers. 

Aspergillus Orysae. Ahlburg 

Rabbits inoculated showed convulsive symptoms ; tubular foci occurred in 
the intestines. The Aspergillus Oryzae forms maltose and diastase and in 
Eastern Asia plays an important part in the manufacture of "sake" or rice 
beer, which has been a national drink of the Chinese for centuries. 

Aspergillus malignum. (Lindt.) 

Mycelium bluish gray, conidiophores short, the end pear-shaped, 22-24 m 
wide; sterigmata branching, conidia in chains 3-4 M in diameter; perithecia 
40-60 fi, ascospores 6-8. 

Distribution. Found in Europe. 

Pathogenic properties. Grows best at the higher temperatures. Found by 
Lindt in the human ear. 

Fig. 88b. Pale Mould (Aspergillus 
flavus). Showing conidiophore and 
spores attached in chains. After Sie- 

Fig. 88. Aspergillus Oryzae on rice. 

1. Conidiophore, sterigmata and conidia 

2. Young conidiophore. Modified by 
Charlotte M. King after drawing by 



Aspergillus flavus. Link 

Hyphae arachnoid, white; the fertile erect, slightly cespitose; conidia 5-7 m 
in diameter, small, globose, vari-colored, slightly wart-like, collected about the 
white sub-globose, wart-Hke apex; apex finally becoming yellowish; sclerotium 
very small, dark. 

Aspcrgilhis fumigatus. Fresenius 

Forms greenish or bluish gray masses on the surface of the substratum, 
conidiophores short with a semi-spherical mass 8-20 M in diameter. Sterigmata 
bear the spherical conidia 2.5-3 M in diameter, which are at first bluish green 
and later brown. Sclerotia unknown. Grows best at a temperature of 
37-40° C. 

Distribution. Widely distributed. 

Fig. 89. Section of kidney of rab- 
bit showing mycelium of an Aspergillus. 
After Grawitz. 

Pathogenic properties. It has been known for some time that several 
species of Aspergillus are pathogenic for animals. In 1815 Mayer and Emmert 
found the fungus in the lungs of a jay. In 1826 it was reported in the long 
bones of a white stork by Heusinger, and numerous other cases in birds like 
the flamingo, duck, chicken, ostrich, and turkey, have been reported, especially 
in Europe. Kiihn, in 1893, furnished quite conclusive evidence that certain 
species of Aspergillus can produce necrosis and disease. Chantemesse, at the 
tenth International Congress in Berlin, called attention to a disease of pigeons 
resembling tuberculosis which he said was produced by an Aspergillus. Saxer 
attributed mycosis to an Aspergillus, and, according to Sticker, the disease 
may appear sporadic and endemic, the latter to persons who feed pigeons and 
to the hair combers in Paris. It is spontaneous in horses, cattle, dogs, and 
birds, and is sometimes quite epidemic in birds. The form of the disease 
when it occurs in the lung is callel Bronchopneumomycosis ; it appears that 
various species of Aspcrgilli also occur in connection with otomj'cosis, and oc- 
casionally in the nose or the eye. A very complete history is given by Drs. 


Mohler and Buckley in the report of the Bureau of Animal Industry. Hughes 
Bennett reported a case in the sputum of a tubercular patient, and, in 1847, 
Sluyter reported definitely on the Aspergillus in the lungs of a human being. 
Virchow in 1856 reported several cases. In 1879, Leber first described a pur- 
ulent keratitis due to aspergillus infection. Drs. Mohler and Buckley, in re- 
ferring to the observations on pneumomycosis, say : 

Dieulafoy, Chantemesse, and Widal, reported their observations and studies of pneu- 
monomycosis as it occurs in a certain class of men in Paris. These men feed thousands 
of young pigeons daily by taking into their mouths a mixture of grain and water which 
they force into the mouths of the birds much in the same way that the old pigeons feed 
their young. It had been a matter of common observation that these men were sufferers 
from a severe pulmonary disorder; but when their sputum was examined, instead of finding 
tubercle bacilli, only the threads of mycelia were detected. This observation was subse- 
quently confirmed by Renon and other investigators. Until this time it had been held that 
the presence of fungi in the lung tissue was of secondary importance, but these observations 
dispelled further argument. Experiments on animals in which they were made to inhale 
the spores, were successful in producing the disease; thus it was that the natural infection 
was proved. 

Renon, vi^ho made an exhaustive study of the subject, concludes as follows 
concerning aspergillosis : 

1. That aspergillosis is a spontaneous disease affecting the bronchi and lungs of birds 
and animals, and creating in the animals a generalized affection similar to hemorrhagic 
septicemia; that it develops in eggs in incubation and may contaminate the embryos con- 
tained therein. 

2. The disease may be transmitted experimentally. The botanical and cultural char- 
acters of the fungus and the lesions it provokes are truly specific. In its pathogenic action 
it bears a strong resemblance to tubercle bacillus. 

3. In man it develops upon the cornea or skin, but has its particular evolution in the 
respiratory apparatus, creating pulmonary mycosis, resembling tuberculosis, and pulmonary 
gangrene, but without the fetid odor. It may coexist with tuberculosis. Occasionally it 
is fatal after the formation of cavities in the lungs. It may invade the bronchial apparatus 
alone, causing membranous bronchitis of special form and of long duration. 

4. In all its manifestations Aspergillus fumigatus may play a primary or secondary 
role in both man and animals. It is not, therefore, a simple saprophyte, but a true 

Renon points out the relation of the occupation of man to his contracting 
the disease. When animals and men are kept where the mould is common, as 
in hair assorting establishments where rye is used to disentagle the hair, they 
become affected with the disease. The handling of dusty grain and feeds may 
lead to infection from Aspergillus. Saxer also went into historical details 
giving his experiments with mycosis in man. In 1857 Aspergillus was observed 
by Rivolta in the pharyngeal abscess of a horse. Gotti. observed it in an auric- 
ular catarrh of a dog. Pech observed mycotic pneumonia in seven horses, 
where they had been fed mouldy hay. Several cases where the Aspergillus 
occurred in the trachea of cows have also been reported. Pearson and Ravenel 
record a case of pneumomycosis of the lung of a cow. 

Infection takes place generally by the inhalation of the spores. The spores 
germinate in the bronchial branches, develop a mycelium and produce conidio- 
phores and spores on the surface. Drs. Mohler and Buckley, calling attention 
to the various aspergilli which have been found, say : 

Numerous experiments have been tried with the various fungi, especially in relation 
to the best temperatures for their development and fructification, and it has been found 
that, although a few are able to germinate in the bronchioles, the Aspergillus fumigatus 
is about the only one which develops a vigorous growth there and fructifies, the temperature 
of the human body seeming to be quite suitable for this species. Most of the other molds 
develop at a much lower temperature and are therefore usually harmless even if introduced 


into the lungs. But for the Aspergillus ftimigahis the lungs act as a veritable propagating 
house, furnishing a moist, nutrient soil upon which to grow and a congenial, warm, moist 
atmosphere with a sufficient amount of oxygen for its demand to come to complete maturity 
and for fructification to take place. When the fungous growth is localized in the bronchial 
mucous membrane, the condition is known as bronchomycosis. It may be that the tissues 
are able to forestall entrance into their substance and finally the fungi die and recovery 
takes place. In birds the growth may extend to the air sacs; this condition is then called 
cytomycosis. Cases of cytomycosis are very rare; and when it does occur, emaciation of 
the birds is the predominating symptom. When the lung tissue itself is the seat of invasion, 
the term pneumonomycosis is applied. Invasion of the lung tissue by the mycelium is the 
occasion for an intense inflammatory disturbance with positive chemotaxis. However, this 
tissue reaction seems to oflfer the most trifling barrier to the parasitic encroachment in such 
weakly subjects as birds. Generali states that delicate breeds of pigeons are noticeably 
susceptible to this disease. 

In regard to the symptoms in birds, he says : 

The birds become listless, mope, and do not follow the rest of the flock. When made 
to run they soon become exhausted and fall and have great difficulty in breathing. Even 
when disturbed they appear very weak and gasp for breath, extending their heads and 
making movements as if choking. There is a great thirst, but a diminution or complete 
loss of appetite. The birds become rapidly emaciated, the wings are pendant, the eyelids 
droop, comb and wattles become quite pale, and a general dejected appearance follows. 
Usually there is an intense diarrhea which weakens the bird very much. In the experimental 
disease the diarrhoea is an accompaniment just as in that of a spontaneous development, 
The plumage is said to appear ruff'led, and the respirations become croupy, even when the 
disease has not advanced very far; later they are more rapid and a rattling noise can be 
heard. In the final stages suffocation is threatened. 

When the air sacs are aff'ected very few symptoms manifest themselves, though emacia- 
tion is marked. As in any similar condition of the lungs, fever is high, and symptoms 
that would be manifested in pneumonia of fowls would, of course, show here. There is 
more or less catarrh of the trachea and bronchi, and if these alone were diseased there 
would probably be nothing to attract notice other than symptoms of bronchitis. Bleeding 
from the nostrils has been observed in man and in animals, and it may be that this would 
also occasionally be seen in birds. If the air spaces in the bones become affected, lameness 
with swelling of the joints may result. The duration of the disease is quite variable and 
death may take place in from one to eight weeks from asphyxia or marasmus. Duration 
depends a great deal upon the portion of the respiratory apparatus that is affected; if the 
aspergillar nodules were localized in the mouth, as it is sometimes in pigeons, or in the 
bones or air sacs, the duration of the disease would, of course, be much longer than if in 
the bronchi or lung substance. 

The pathological lesions are as follows : 

The actinomycotic masses are noteworthy. The fungus may frequently be- 
come localized in kidneys, and muscles of heart. 

The microscopic examination of these organs disclosed a picture simulating the gross 
appearance of an advanced case of pulmonary tuberculosis, with the exception that the 
bronchial tubes were almost completely plugged with a greenish velvety membranous 

In the bronchial divisions not wholly occluded by the croupous exudate are seen the 
characteristic aspergillar fruitheads in various stages of development, from that of a 
slight bulging end of the hypha to those giving off their spores. Included within this 
alveolar exudate are quite a few leucocytes and red blood cells, but their presence is by 
no means constant. The bronchial mucosa is often eroded and the lining epithelium re- 
placed by a fibrinous coagula or by a membranous material composed of matted mycelial 
threads from which Iiyphae extend into the air space, forming spore-bearing fruitheads, 
owing to the presence of oxygen. 

In animals in which the disease was experimentally induced by the injection of the 
spores into the blood vessels or into the lung substance, miliary lesions resembling tubercu- 
lar formations were quite noticeable in the lung tissues, and in these an occasional giant 
cell was discovered. In the lungs of a chicken which was inoculated directly into the 
lung substance, an acute miliary pseudo-tuberculosis was produced, accompanied by intense 
hemorrhages into the interstitial tissues, as was also the case in intravenous inoculations. 
In these tubercular nodules penetrating filaments could be made out, but the spores could 


not be surely demonstrated, or at least differentiated from other cellular elements. Often 

the bronchial ramifications were the seat of hemorrhage, in which a noteworthy increase 

in the number of leucocytes could be observed. 

In large rabbits the pathological lesions appeared to be as follows : 

Rabbit No. 1008 failed to show any marked symptoms for the first two weeks after 

inoculation. It then began to lose weight, and on the twenty-fifth day was chloroformed. 

The postmortem examination showed an involvement of the liver, spleen, kidneys, and 

abdominal serous membranes, as in the preceding rabbit, but to a less extent. The organs 

of the thoracic cavity were apparently normal. 

The optimum temperature of growth for the fungus is from 35° -40° C. 
Ceni and Besta in their investigations isolated a toxin from two species of 
Aspergillus, the A. flavus and A. fumigatus. Dogs inoculated intra-abdominallj'^ 
with large doses died within a few hours, showing tetanic symptoms and gen- 
eral hyperemia of all the organs. This work has not, however, been confirmed. 
Drs. Mohler and Buckley did not succeed in producing serious symptoms with 
the filtered product when injected into rabbits. 

The Aspergilli also produce disease of the eye but, according to Plaut, 
this disease is not of frequent occurrence; he discusses several cases under 
the head of keratomycosis. One case described by Leber is as follows : A 
farmer forty-five years of age, while threshing had the misfortune to have 
some chaff of oats thrown into his eye. The sclerotic coat became inflamed, 
followed by healing and total leucoma (leucom). Another case is cited where 
a pear was thrown against the eye of a farmer, and another case of a fifty- 
three year old patient, a miller by profession, who had a slight fever, his 
right eye becoming inflamed. The conjunctiva had the appearance of trachoma. 
The sclerotic coat was clouded and the surface of the eye brittle, consisting of 
threads of fungi. Fuchs, who investigated this case, determined that the fungus 
was Aspergillus. Aspergillus fumigatus has also been observed in the nasal 
cavities where it produces necrosis and a disagreeable odor. 

In a review of a paper by E. Bodin and L. Gautier * the following state- 
ments are made with reference to the Toxin found in Aspergillus fumigatus. 

From a study of this fungus in cultures and in experimental animals it was found 
that Aspergillus fumigatus produces a toxin which may be rightfully compared with the 
toxins of bacteria. For the formation of this toxin in cultures it is necessary to have a 
mixture of protein, especially of the peptone type, and some carbohydrate, especially glucose 
saccharose, maltose, or dextrin. The reaction of the toxin must be either neutral or 
alkaline. The effects of the toxin are chiefly observed in the nervous system and are 
produced more or less rapidly by the method of inoculation. The symptoms of poisoning 
from the toxin are muscular convulsions resembling tetanus and leading to death within 
a few hours if the animal does not recover. The rabbit and dog are very susceptible to 
the toxin, while the guinea pig, cat, mouse, and white rat are more refractory. The dog 
and cat are naturally immune to the spores of A. fumigatus, but are quite susceptible to 
the toxin produced by the fungus. 

Treatment : To prevent the disease, do not feed mouldy grain or fodder. 
Separate at once all diseased animals from the healthy. Use only thoroughly 
clean dishes ; the troughs and boxes should be cleaned with formaldehyde. 

Very little can be done in the way of treatment in the case of birds. Mohler 
and Buckley say that if a large number of birds are affected at one time, or if 
those affected are very valuable, treatment may be tried in the form of medicated 
vapors, such as those generated from wood tar or sulphur. A small quantity 
of wood tar is put in a pint of water and stirred with a redhot iron. The person 
doing the fumigating should remain in the room and immediately remove any 

* The Ann. Inst. Pasteur, 20 (106) No. 3, of the Uxperiment Station Record. 


birds that are overcome by the vapors. Burning sulphur or vapors of formalin 
may be tried in like manner. Hydrogen peroxid, solutions of potassium iodid, 
or hyposulphite of soda may be used as intratracheal injections, and in case of 
local nodules in the mouth or nostrils the tincture of iodine may be applied to 
them with beneficial results. 

It appears from the investigations with reference to kerato-mj^cosis, that 
infection generally occurs through the medium of feed, straw, or something 
that is thrown forcibly into the eye. According to Plaut the simplest and 
surest method of dealing with the disease is to use a 2% solution of salicylic 
acid, three times daily, but inhalation of an atmosphere containing iodine 
is recommended by some of the German investigators, or the inhalation of 
etheral oils. Immunity cannot be obtained by beginning with the injection 
of small quantities of spores and increasing the dose. Dogs are not immune 
against aspergilli. Mice are immune. 

Aspergillus nigcr. Van Tieghem 

An abundant mycelium in the substratum and on the surface becoming 
blackish; conidiophores long; sterigmata branched; conidia 3'/^-4^ M in diam- 
eter, roughened; spherical or cylindrical sclerotia. The fungus contains diastase, 
invertase, and emulsin ; it breaks up tannin into gallic acid and glucose, and 
converts sugar into oxalic acid. 

Pathogenic properties. This fungus has been found both in the lungs and 
the ear, although less pathogenic than the preceding species. 

Aspergillus suhfiisciis. Olsen-Gade 

Mycelium olive yellow or brownish when mature, in and on the substratum; 
conidiophores short, club-shaped ; spores spherical, colorless. 

Distribution. Found in Europe; closely resembles A. fumigatus. 

Pathogenic properties. Pathogenic, but less so than the A. fumigatus or 
A. niger. 

Aspergillus nidulaiis. (Eidam.) 

The mycelium forms greenish masses ; later the mass assumes a reddish 
color; conidiophores 0.6 — 8 millimeters long and 8-10 M across, colorless, 
branched ; sterigmata consist of a basal branching cell and two or more branches, 
each branch containing from 20 to 30 conidia; perithecia yellowish, 0.2 — 3 
millimeters in diameter; ascospores 8. 

Distribution. Found in Europe. 

Pathogenic properties. The disease appears on the second day after 
inoculation in guinea pigs and death occurs in 60 hours. Kidneys are enlarged 
and show small white dots. White masses also occur in the peritoneum. It is 
pathogenic for cattle and man, and is occasionally found in the human ear. 


An important division of the fungi, containing about 10,000 species, many 
of which are troublesome parasites on cultivated plants. The mycelium is 
composed of delicate distinct hyphae or of closely coherent threads, frequently 
forming a pseudo-parenchymatous tissue; hymcnium enclosed in a subglobose 
envelope called a perithccium, or with an opening at the apex, which is often 



Fig. 89a. Aspergillus nidulans. 1. 
Conidiophore. 2. Branch of mycelium 
with asci and ascospores, magnified. 2. 
Asci. 3. Cross section. Ascus. All 
greatly magnified. (After Eidam.). 

prolonged to form a short tube or beak; numerous transparent asci arise from 
the base of the perithecium, these contain the ascospores; between the asci 
slender filiform bodies, called the paraphyses. Polymorphic fungi with conidia, 
spermogonia, and pycnidia, supposed to be connected with the ascigerous stage. 
The formation of the ascospores is in some cases presented by the development 
of sexual organs in which genuine fertilization occurs. The reproduction can 
be illustrated by the manner in which it occurs in the powdery mildew of the 
lilac, Microsphaera Alni. 

The mycelium spreads over the surface of the lilac leaf ; the fungus draws 
its nourishment from its host by means of haustoria which penetrate the epi- 
dermal cells ; the mycelium produces erect branches which bear these spores 
in a moniliform chain, the end spore being the oldest; these summer spores 
germinate immediately and propagate the fungus ; later two hyphae cross and 
there arises an oval cell, the oogonium, which is separated from the hypha by 
a cell-wall at the base ; from the same hypha springs a longer and thinner cell, 
also cut off by a cell-wall ; this cell is above the oogonium, and is known as the 
antheridium; from the base of the oogonium other cells arise which soon enclose 
it; finally a brown perithecium is formed which bears dichotomously branched 
appendages ; the perithecium contains the asci, in which are found the asco- 
spores, which germinate, probably, in the spring. The accompanying figure 
after Harper illustrates the development. 

Another type of one of the Sphaeriaceae, the Gibbellina cerealis, is common 
on stems of wheat where it produces at first a grayish brown circular spot, the 
mycelium frequently encircling the stem. The conidia are oval, the perithecia 
are immersed. 



Fig 90. Stem Blight {Gibbellina cerealis), one of the 
Sphaeriaceae. a, general appearance. b, asci with 
ascospores and paraphyses. c, stroma, mycelium, and 
perithecium. After Cavara. 


Perithccia spherical, closed, or with the ostiolum obscure, coriaceous or 
brittle carbonaceous, opening irregularly, generally without stroma, but mostly 
seated on a well developed, superficial mycelium. This division includes the 
order Erysibaceae. 


Superficial mycelium, branching, septate, closely adhering to the surface by 
means of the haustoria ; asci arising from the base of the perithecium, delicate, 
thin-walled, colorless, oblong, obovate or snborbicular, stalked, usually contain- 
ing from 2-8 ascospores; perithecium spherical with appendages, without 
ostiolum; conidia (Oidium) simple, colorless, cylindrical, oval or ovate, borne 
one above the other on septate, colorless hyphac. Contains many iinportant 



parasitic fungi, like the powdery mildew of the grape (Uncinula spiralis), 
mildew of lilac (Microsplmera Alni), mildew of sunflower (Brysiphe Cichor- 
acearum), mildew of cherry (Podospliaera tridactyla). 

Brysiphe. (Hedw.) 

Perithecium containing several asci, appendages with simple threads, sim- 
ilar to and frequently interwoven with the mycelium. A small genus of 20 
species of wide distribution. 

Brysiphe communis. (Wallr.) 

Amphigenous, mycelium abundant, persistent, or sometimes evanescent; 
perithecia variable in size and reticulate, appendages variable in length, often 
long; asci 4-8 or more, ascospores 4-8. 

Distribution. Found on a large variety of different hosts but common on 
plants of the order of Leguminosae, especially the forage plants like the pea 
(Vicia sativa), bean, clover and other members of the clovers. 

Fig. 91. Powdery Mildews. 1-3. Sphaerotheca Castagnei on Hop. 1. Part of leaf 
of hop with perithecia shown in the form of dots. 2. Perithecia with tortuous appendages 
{ap) X 175. 3. Ascus with spores within the ascospores x 380. 4. Powdery Mildew on 
Cherry {Podospliaera tridactyla), conidiophore bearing conidia (c). 5-7. Microthyrium 
microscopicum. 5. On leaf. 6. Perithecium, greatly magnified. 7. Ascus and ascospores. 
1 after Wettstein. 2-4 after Tulasne. 5 after Lindau. 6-7 after Winter. 



Fig. 92. Powdery Mildew. Sphaerotheca Casiagnei. 1. Oogonium (o) and anther- 
idium (a). 2. Separation of antheridium cell. 3. Fertilization and formation of addi- 
tional cells. 5-8. Further development of cells. All greatly magnified. After Harper. 

Fig. 93. Powdery Mildew of Grass {Erysiplie graminis). 
A. Oidium stage and mycelium m. B. Perithecium with 
appendages and mycelium tu. C. Perithecium with asci 
and ascospores. After Frank. 



Fig. 94. Powdery Mildew of Bluegrass (Brysiphe graminis). Oidium stage; leaves at 
the right magnified, the one above more highly, showing the powdery substance. (Charlotte 
M. King). 


Poisonous properties. The Veterinarians of Europe ascribe to these mil- 
dews a form of stomatitis. 

Erysiphe graminis D C. 

Amphigenous, often epiphyllous, mycelium dense, felt-like, persistent, white 
or gray, sometimes tinted brown ; perithecium immersed in the mycelium, few 
and scattered, large, about 225 m, in diameter ; asci 16-25 M oblong or oval, 
stalked, ascospores 8 or rarely 4; appendages rather short. 

Distribution and Hosts. Found on many dififerent grasses like blue grass 
{Poa pratcnsis), fowl meadow grass {Poa serotina), occasionally also on wheat 
or orchard grass. The following rather popular account treats of this disease 
as it is common in the west. 

Every one who has had occasion to walk through a blue grass meadow 
after a rain, especially in damp and shaded places close to the ground, must 
have noticed a white mealy covering on the blades of many of the leaves. The 
Germans have called this mehlthau (literally translated meal dew), which is 
certainly very expressive of its appearance. An examination with a microscope 
will show that this white substance is composed of spores and a mycelium. 
The mycelium is cobwebby and spreads over the surface, but does not pene- 
trate the leaf. In numerous places erect branches are produced, these bear 
numerous spores. This stage was formerly called Oidium monilioidcs, being 
named Oidium because the spores resemble an egg, although the resemblance 
is not marked in all cases of Oidium ; the species was called monilioidcs because 
it was necklace like, referring to the manner in which the spores are borne. 
Worthington G. Smith states that the spores are so small that it would take 
about a million to cover a square inch. 

In a powdery mildew occurring on the squirrel-tail grass, and supposed 
to be the same fungus, these spores are also capable of immediate germination. 
On blue grass the fungus frequently does not produce perithecia but ends its 
existence with the formation of conidia. It produces perithecia abundantly on 
wheat in Iowa. 

These conidia or summer spores germinate, under favorable conditions, 
in from ten to sixteen hours. The temperature most favorable for germination 
is from 17-26° C. In a powdery mildew occurring on the squirrel-tail grass, 
and supposed to be the same fungus, these spores are also capable of im- 
mediate germination. 

Under favorable conditions, especially moisture and damp weather, the 
fungus spreads rapidly. The leaf of grass affected by this fungus soon dries, 
and when the affected plants are disturbed, small clouds of dust arise, especi- 
ally in shady places. The perfect stage of the fungus is not of common oc- 
currence, though if careful search is made in the fall, small black specks may 
be seen ; these are the perithecia and contain the asci and ascospores. It is 
the resting stage or winter condition of the fungus. The writer found the 
perfect fungus abundant on Poa JVoIfii in Colorado, and Carver found it 
abundant on blue grass near Ames one season. The spores of the Oidium 
stage do not retain their power of germination very long, but the ascospores 
contained in the perithecium germinate the following spring, and when the 
tube comes in contact with the proper host the mycelium spreads over the 
surface of the leaf and causes the mealy appearance. 



Poisonous properties. This species is abundant and often causes serious 
trouble; it certainly renders the hay nearly worthless to be fed to animals. 
It often, no doubt, gives rise to a stomatitis such as is described for other 


Perithecia spherical or ellipsoidal, with an ostiolum ; stroma when present 
variously colored, reddish, yellow, never black or hard. 

Fig. 95. Various species of Cordyceps. 1. C. ophioglossoides. 2. C. militaris, a 
Stroma on a caterpillar (c). 3. Stroma on a fruiting form of Elaphomyces granulatus. 
3. Ascospore x 200. 4. Conidiopliore x 350. 5. Conidia of C. ophioglossoides. 6. C. 
cinerea on a beetle (c). 7. C. Taylori on a caterpillar (c). a in all figures sterile, b 
fertile part of the Stroma. 1 and 6 after Lindau. 3-5 after Brefeld. 


Simple or compound ; perithecia somewhat coriaceous, never black ; bright 
colored, opening by a subcentral ostiolum, stroma soft, waxy, or occasionally 
cottony. A very numerous family containing many species. Contains the genera 
Nectria, of 250 species, some being parasitic upon trees; the Gibherella and the 
Hypocrea upon barks of trees, etc., Cordyceps, parasitic upon various insects, 
C. militaris being found upon Lepidotera, the conidial stage of which is Isaria 
farinosa, the C. RavenelH upon the larvae of the June beetle; Polystigma 
rubrum, parasitic upon the plum ; Epichloc typhina, the so-called Cat-tail 
fungus found upon various species of grass, especially timothy and orchard 
grass. Contains also the Gibherella Saubinetii, a parasite on wheat, which is a 
stage of Fusarium roseum described later in this work. 



"■ UjJMo o „ QP o ° 

Fig. 96. — Normal ovary of rye. Fig. 2 — Same invaded by Claviceps. Fig. 3 — Cross-sec- 
tion of ovary showing mycelium and spores of sphacelial stage. The round bodies are 
summer spores. Fig. 4 — Sclerotium stage. Fig. S — Sclerotium stage. Fig. 6 — General 
view in sphacelial stage. Fig. 7 — Development of ergot in spring. Fig. 8 — Cross-section of 
globular head showing flask shaped perithecia. Fig. 9 — Asci. A single perithecium show- 
ing elongated bodies in the center. Fig. 10 — A single ascus with filiform ascospores pro- 
truding. These spores (reproductive bodies) germinate and infect the young ovary of 
rye. After Tulasne. U. S. Dept. Agrl. 


Claviceps, Tul. Ergot. 

Stroma erect, consisting of a sterile stem; subglobose, fertile head from 
a subcylindrical, black, hard sclerotium ; perithecium immersed in the stroma, 
flask shaped; asci, clavate-cylindrical ; ascospores, filiform, colorless. 

Claviceps purpurea, (Fr.) Tul. 

Sclerotium variable in length from ^ to 1 inch long or more; long 
cylindrical; generally somewhat curved, wrinkled, purplish on the outside, 
white within; 'usually several fruiting bodies from the same sclerotium; heads 
spherical, tuberculose, borne on short flexuose stems; asci narrow, linear, 8- 
spored, ascospores filiform, continuous, attenuated toward the end, 50-76 ij- 

Ergot is a stage of a minute parasitic fungus ; although its true nature 
was not known by early writers, it is mentioned by many of them. Lonicer, 
about the middle of the sixteenth century, mentions its specific use. Thalius 
applied the name of "ad sistendum sanguineum." 

Bauhin used the name of Secale luxurians. De CandoUe called it Sclero- 
tium clavus. Although other names have been applied to it, the credit of 
working out the life history belongs to Tulasne, one of the most eminent of 
French mycologists. 

There are still many persons who believe that ergot is a degenerate 
kernel of rye or wheat, but the researches of Tulasne and other mycologists 
have laid at rest many of the vague theories concerning it. The black, purple, 
or dark gray spurs found in the flowers of rye, wheat, and other grasses are 
simply one stage of a parasitic fungus, known as Claviceps purpurea. These 
spurs consist of a compact mass of threads known as the sclerotium stage; it 
was formerly called Sclerotium clavus. 

No changes occur in ergot while it remains in the head, but the following 
spring, when laid on damp earth, it produces at different points small, roundish 
patches which are somewhat elevated. Soon a small white head appears which 
elongates, becoming stalked, and bearing a globular head at the tip. These 
heads change from a grayish yellow to a pinkish color. A cross section 
shows that the central portion is made up of closely woven hyphae or fungus 
threads, while the edge contains a number of flask-shaped bodies, the perithecia, 
in which are found elongated bodies known as asci ; each ascus contains eight 
filiform spores, the ascospores. The ascospores germinate and when coming 
in contact with a very young ovary the mycelium penetrates the delicate 
walls of the ovary and gradually displaces it. It is quite easy to trace out 
its life history by placing the ergot in damp sand and allowing it to remain 
over winter. 

The first indication of ergot in the summer is the formation of the so- 
called honey-dew, a sweetish and rather disagreeable fluid, which is eagerly 
sought by flies and other insects which feed upon it. This fluid contains 
a large number of small spores so that insects can readily carry the fungus 
from a diseased ovary to one not diseased. These spores germinate im- 
mediately. This stage is called the sphacelia, and formerly was held to be a 
distinct fungus. In this stage the mass which has replaced the ovary is soft, 
but as it becomes older it hardens ; ultimately a hard and compact mass, the 
ergot, is formed. 


Distribution and hosts. Found on a large number of host plants. Rye 
is more subject to it than any of the other cultivated cereals. The largest 
specimens are usually produced on isolated specimens of rye coming up in 
fields. It seldon happens that all of the ovaries are affected. Wheat, especial- 
ly winter wheat, is subject to the disease. The ofBcinal ergot is usually 
obtained from rye. In Europe it has been reported on oats. Mr. C. W. 
Warburton found it on the same host in Iowa, in 1909. 

Of our native wild grasses, wild ryes (Elyinus robustus, E. virginicus, 
E. striatiis, E. canadensis, Asprella hystrix) are most subject to the disease. 
Most cases of ergotism in the United States undoubtedly result from the 
ergot on various species of Elymus ; in Iowa on the Elymus robustus, which 
is a common plant everywhere. Agropryon occidentale, a grass not uncommon 
in northwestern Iowa, and Quack Grass (Agropyron repens), are also much 
subject to its attacks. Scarcely a head of the Western Wheat Grass cultivated 
on the college farm could be found which did not have some ergot. This may 
be for the same reason that it occurs most abundantly on rye, namely, that 
the grasses occurred in isolated places. In some pastures, timothy (Phleum 
pratense), is much subject to the attack of Claviceps purpurea. Thus in an 
old pasture in Wisconsin I observed a large percentage of timothy which 
contained many heads which were ergotized. Blue grass (Poa pratensis), 
Poa annua, Calamagrostis canadensis, Agrostis alba, Glyceria fluitans, and 
many others, in some seasons and localities, are diseased. Unusually large 
spemimens sometimes occur on Wild Rice (Zisania) in Iowa. 

It may be possible that some of the forms of ergot on grass may be 
referred to other species. Halsted states, however, that ergot on Elymus 
robustus is Claviceps purpurea. The Hordeum jubatum contained apparently 
the same species, with some minor differences but these were due to the 
nature of the host. Claviceps microcephala (Wallr.) Tul., occurs on Phrag- 
mites, C. setulosa (Quel.) Sacc. with yellow stroma on Poa, and C. pusilla 
Ces on Andropogon Ischacmum. 

Poisonous properties. The subject of ergot and ergotism is one of con- 
siderable importance to stockmen in many parts of the country. Scarcely a 
year passes without some complaints being received by the state veterinarians 
of the injurious effects of ergot. The writer receives several complaints of 
this kind every year. But the cases of ergotism today are not nearly so fre- 
quent as they were 40 or SO years ago. We will, therefore, append here a 
short history of the disease. 

Epidemics of ergotism have, without doubt, been correctly referred, be- 
fore the tenth century. Wood states that epidemics of ergotism or chronic 
ergot poisoning have been recorded from time to time since the days of 
Galen (130-200 A. D.) and of Caesar (B. C. 190-44). From the ninth to the 
thirteenth ceutnry epidemics were frequent in France, and in tlie twelfth in 
Spain. They were first called plagues but later received special names. In 
1596 Flesse and adjoining provinces were visited by this plague which was 
attributed to the presence of ergot in grain. In the epidemic in Silesia in 
1722, the king of Prussia ordered an exchange of sound rye for the affected 
grain. Freiburg was visited in 1702, Switzerland in 1715-16, Saxony in 1716, 
and other districts of Germany in 1717, 1736, 1741-42. France was visited in 
1650, 1670, and 1674. From 1765 to 1769 it was abundant in Sweden in rye 


and barley. Linnaeus attributed it to the grain of Raphanus raphanistmni, 
which occurred in France in 1816, in Lorraine and Burgundy; it was especially 
fatal to the poorer inhabitants. 

It has been observed that these epidemics follow a rainy season. Fleming 
states that in 1041, when the weather was so unpropitious, tempests, rains, and 
inundations occurring, many cattle perished from the disease. "In 1098, after 
inundations and heavy fogs, there was a general epizootic among cattle in 
Germany. In the same year ergotism appeared in the human species." 

Dr. Randall, in 1849, called attention to a disease in New York, in which 
the involved parts were finally invariably affected with dry gangrene. He states 
that in the severe climate of New York farmers allow their cattle to winter in 
fields on blue grass (Poa pratensis) which is rich in ergot. A disease known as 
"hoof-ail" was correctly ascribed to ergot by James Mease, of Philadelphia, prior 
to 1838. The disease was quite severe in Orange county, New York, in 1820. It 
was minutely described by Arnell. In 1857, the disease was quite severe in 
Portage county, Ohio. A committee appointed by the Farmers' Association of 
Edinburg reported that the disease was due to ergot contained in the hay 
eaten by cattle. In recent years, epizootics of ergotism have been reported 
by Law in New York, Stalker in Iowa, and Faville in Colorado. In 1884, a 
very serious outbreak occurred in Kansas which was at first diagnosed as 
"foot-and-mouth disease." Dr. Salmon found, upon examining samples of 
hay from various localities in the state, that these contained considerable quan- 
tities of wild rye (Blymus virginicus, var. submuticus) which in turn contained 
a large amount of ergot, in one case, 12 per cent and in another 10 per cent 
being found. From this he estimated that 5-6 per cent of the entire weight 
of the plant must have been ergot and that a twenty-pound ration of hay 
would contain four ounces of ergot. 

Dr. Harshberger has called attention to an outbreak of ergotism from the 
use of ergotized red top, the fungus being common on red top throughout the 
United States and being one of the most common impurities in red top seed. 

The ergot contains the substance leucin and the non-nitrogenous substance 
ergotine, which according to the earlier investigations was regarded as the 
active principle and as an alkaloid. According to Wenzell ergot contains the 
two alkaloids, ecbolin and ergo tin C^gHg^N^O, an amorphous, alkaline, feebly 
bitter substance. But according to the later investigations these substances are 
identical. Tanret isolated the crystallizable alkaloid ergotinin C^.Ii^^^ J^^; 
this is a crystalline, slightly bitter substance, subsequently Kobert found that 
this substance would not produce the action accredited to it and attributed its 
action to ergotinic acid and the alkaloid cornutin. The more recent investiga- 
tion of Jacobi attributes the poisonous action to chrysoioxin, an amorphous 
glucosidal acid. Secalinotoxin is a compound of sphacelotoxin, and secalin 
C^^Hg^NgO^; accompanied by the harmless substance, ergochrysin. According 
to Kobert cornutin is an alkaloid having a specific action on the uterus, 
causing it to contract ; sphacelic acid, a non-crystallizable and non-nitrogenous 
substance which causes the poisoning and gangrene ; ergotinic acid, a nitrogenous 
glucoside without action on the uterus and narcotic in its effects. Besides 
these substances it contains others, prominent among them being a sugar called 
mycose, which is also present in other fungi. Ergot stimulates the involuntary 
muscles of the stomach and the intestines, it causes a constriction of the arter- 



ioles and veins throughout the body with an increase of blood pressure. In 
toxic doses it paralyzes both the vasomotor centers and the heart muscle. 

It appears from the experiments of Dale ^ and Barger and Carr - that 
cornutin does not occur as such in ergot but is an artificial decomposition. Tan- 
ret discovered the first well defined crystalline alkaloid which he called ergot- 
inin. The secalin of Jacobi 3 is identical with ergotinin. Barger and Carr 
separate a second alkaloid which can be recognized chemically; to this they gave 
the name of ergotoxin, Cg^H^^O^jNg. This substance is of great physiological 
potency. According' to Dale 4 ergotoxin produces in doses of a few milligrams 
"not only the characteristic reaction of ergot described by him, but also gangrene 
of the Cock's-comb, and other ergot effects described by Kobert and others to 
sphacelic acid." 

According to Cronyn and Henderson 5 ergotoxin is a highly active alkaloid 
and has the properties of ergot most desired in medicine. It brings on long 
enduring vaso-constriction, increases uterine movements when injected in- 

Fig. 98.— Effects ot 
Ergotism: Hoofs of 
cattle showing flesh 
sloughing away. (Sal- 

travenously and the same to a less extent when injected subcutaneously, but 
when given per os has very little action. 

The toxicology of ergot is well described by Dr. Winslow as follows: 
Enormous single doses are required to poison animals or man. When as much as 
two drachms of ergot to the pound, live weight, are gfven to dogs, death is not constant. 
Three ounces, however, have proved fatal to small dogs. Acute poisoning is characterized 
by vomiting (in dogs), profuse salivation, dilation of the pupils, rapid breathing and 
frequent pulse. The animal cries out, has convulsive twitchings, staggering gait, paraplegia, 
intense thirst, and coma, terminating in death. Horses, cattle, and sheep are unaffected 
by^ any ordinary quantity of the drug. 

Chronic poisoning or ergotism rarely occurs in animals owing to continuous ingestion 
of ergotized grains. It is characterized by gastro-intestinal indigestion, with nausea, 
vomiting, colic, diarrhoea or constipation, and abortion ensues in pregnant animals. In 
addition to gastro-intestinal irritation the symptoms naturally assume two forms: 1. The 
gangrenous form; 2. the spasmodic form. In the first variety of ergotism there are 
coldness and anesthesia of the extremities, including flic feet, ears, and tail of quadrupeds; 
the comb, tongue, and beak of birds, — followed by the appearance of passive congestion, 
blebs, and dry gangrene in the vicinity of these parts. The hoofs and beaks often drop off. 

1 Jour. Phys. 34:163, 1906. 

2 The alkaloids of Ergot. Jour. Chem. See. 91:337, 1907. These writers give a full 
literature on the subject. 

3 Arch. Expt. Path. Par 39:104. 
4jour. Phys. 34:163. 

5 Jour. Pharma. and Ivxpt. Therapeutics. Aug. 1909. 


Death ensues from general exhaustion. In the spasmodic form are seen tonic contraction 
of the flexor tendons of the limbs and anaesthesia of the extremities; muscular trembling 
and general tetanic spasm, with opisthotonos, convulsions and delirium. Death also occurs 
from asthenia. 

Griinfeld fed various animals with sphacelic acid in food. In the cocks, 
gangrene soon appeared affecting the comb; next the wattles, tongue linings, 
and crop. In hogs, the ears became gangrenous and fell off. Horses and cows 
fed upon grains containing ergot lose their hoofs, ears, and tails. The cor- 
nutin, according to Kobert, acts through the nerve centers. Microscopic exam- 
ination of the abdominal and thoracic regions shows a toxic polyneuritis. 

Dr. McNeil in describing the disease says : 

Ergot stimulates the nerve centers that cause the contraction of the small blood vessels 
supplying the different parts of the body and cause one of the two forms of ergotism, 
namely, a nervous form, and a gangrenous form. 

Nervous Ergotism: In this form the contraction of the blood vessels of the brain 
produces dullness and depression. The animal also suffers from gastro-intestinal catarrh, 
refuses food, and gradually passes into a condition of general wasting. The nervous form, 
however, may assume an entirely different aspect and the animal dies suddenly in delirium 
or spasms, or gradually from paralysis. 

Gangrenous Ergotism: In this common form the checking of the blood, resulting from 
the contraction of the small blood vessels, causes a loss of a part or of all the limb below 
the knee or hock, the tail, or the ears. This form of the disease may manifest itself 
by the formation of ulcers at the top of the hoof or between the toes, and a toe may be lost 
or the entire hoof shed. The affected part dries, a small furrow or line of separation 
appears, completely surrounding the limb, dividing the living from the dead mummified 


Perithecia reduced, asci arising from the stroma and not separable from it, 
stroma present, not fleshy; black or dark colored ostiolum present. 


Stroma pulvinate, elongated, black or nearly black, coriaceous; perithecia 
inseparable from the stroma, asci 4-8 spored; hyaline, yellowish or brown. 

Phyllachora, Nitschke. 

Stroma variable, elliptical, oblong or lanceolate, covered by the epidermis, 
black, roughened, ascospores ovate, elliptical, or oblong, mostly hyaline. About 
200 species. 

Phyllachora Trifolii, (Pers.) Fckl. 

Stroma on the lower surface of the leaf, gregarious, collected in small, 
elongated groups extending along the nerves of the leaf, black, subglobose, 
prominent, often confluent; ascospores elliptical, hyahne, continuous, 10-20 /* 
In the early part of the season small whitish or pale brown spots appear on 
the leaf, which contains the mycelium of the fungus. Dr. Trelease says : 

This fruits on the lower surface, producing numerous tufts of necklace-shaped threads, 
each of which ends in a 2-celled, egg-shaped conidia-spore. These tufts of threads, which, 
like the spores, are^of a deep brown color, are packed so closely together as to completely 
cover the spots, though under a hand lens they can be distinguished as separate panules. 
To the naked eye they appear dead-black. Later in the season similar spots are occupied 
by small, coal-black fruits that contain stylospores. Winter spores, produced in asci, are 
not known. The conidial form of this fungus is especially common on white clover, though 
both forms are at times found abundantly on red clover and other species. 

The Polythrincinim is common on red clover and is one of the numerous 
species which may be injurious to cattle. 



Fig. 99. Black Spot of Grasses (Phyllackora graminis). A. 
Cross section of leaf through a black mass of the fungus. P. 
Perithecia. B. An ascus with ascosnores. a, b. Spots on grass 
leaf caused by the fungus. After Frank and Trelease. 

Phyllackora graminis (Pers.) Fckl. 

Stroma scattered or confluent, penetrating the leaf and more or less prom- 
inent on both sides, covered by a black and shining epidermis, roughened ; 
ostiola obscure; asci short, stalked, cylindrical, 75-80 x 7-8 f^, ascospores 8, 
paraphyses present. 

Phyllackora graminis, occurs on many cultivated and wild grasses; other 
species occur on clover and other leguminous plants. This parasitic fungus 
disease causes blackish spots on the lower or both surfaces of the leaf. The 
fungus causing these black spots on grasses has been called the black spot 

During August, and especially later, the coal black spots along the veins 
are especially prominent; they are considerably less than one-eighth of an inch 
in length and width and occur on both surfaces of the leaf, but are more 
abundant on the upper. These black spots are composed of dense mycelium, 
which in the green leaves bears numerous small spores which serve to proga- 
pate the fungus in the summer. In dead leaves, small perithecia are found, 
which contain numerous elongated bodies, the asci, within which are found eight 
small, colorless spores, known as ascospores; these latter carry the fungus over 

Distribution and Hosts. Widely distributed in both Europe and North 
America, very coinmon upon Quack Grass, Wild Rye, Bottle Grass, Panic 
Grass, etc. 

Poisonous properties. Tlie genus Phyllachora is abundant at times and is 
associated with stomatitis. 


Perithecia generally with a distinct ostiolum, of various consistencj', not 
reddish or membranous, brown or blackish ; stroma when present dark colored 
outside and whitish within. Contains the families: Sordarlaccac, found upon 
decaying plants and substances; Ckaetomiaccac, with superficial perithecia, gen- 



erally with short ostiolum and an apical tuft of hairs or bristles ; one species 
Chaetomium chartarum common on paper. Sphaeriaceae, with membranaceous 
perithecia, apex perforated with a simple pore, contains a large number of 
parasitic fungi like the strawberry rust or spot disease {Sphaerella Pragariae) , 
and the spot disease of the currant {Cercospora angulata). 


The fungi included in this group are simply form genera, many of the 
species belong to the Pyrenomycetes, some belong to the Phychomycetes, and 
some to Hymenomycetes. In this connection we shall describe a few only 
which may cause trouble in forage. 

Helminthosporium gramineum, Rabh. Yellow Leaf Disease of Barley 

Spots in parallel rows, causing the leaves to become marked with yellow 
lines of pale green color; mycelium of the tissue colorless; conidiophores 
brownish on the surface, spores large 3-6-celled. 

Distribution. Widely distributed in Europe and North America on barley. 

Helminthosporium turcicum, Pass. Leaf Browning of corn 

Spots sharply limited, conidiophores brownish elongated, bearing several 

brown spores. Widely distributed in Europe on corn, and also in North 

Helminthosporium inconspicuum, E. & E. 

Leaves dead and discolored, discoloration sometimes interrupted by spots 
of various sizes ; conidiophores brown with several-celled conidia. 

Fig. 100. Yellow Leaf Disease of Barley {Helminthosporium gramineum). a. Hypha 
arising from short cells. C. Conidium and to the left a cluster of conidiophores. d. 



Fig. 101. Spores of Yellow Leaf Disease of Barley (Helminthosporium gramineum}. 
a. and e. Spores germinating, d. Conidiophore. 2. lycaf browning of Corn (Helmin- 
thosporutn turcicum). Spore and conidiophore to the left. To the right, conidiophore 
pushing through stoma. 

Distribution and hosts. On corn, widely distributed in North America. 
Poisonous properties. All of these fungi may be regarded as injurious, 
possibly producing stomatitis. 

Scolecotrichum graminis, Fuckel 

Elongated brown or purplish-brown spots, the centers of which are gray 
or whitish and contain minute black dots ; these small dark spots contain the 
tufts of brown fungus threads, which make their way out through the stomata; 
the hyphae are somtimes septate and the spores are usually borne at the end 
or occasionally in a lateral position; these fruiting hyphae bear small, smoky- 
brown, two-celled spores; the cells of the leaf become much altered, because 
the colorless threads of the fungus permeate them. On barley the disease is 
marked by brown or purplish-brown spots which appear on the leaf transversely. 

Distribution. Widely distributed in Europe and North America. 

Poisonous properties. May possibly produce mycotic stomatitis. 


Fig. 101a. Spot Disease of Orchard 
Grass (Scolectotrichum graminis). Cruss- 
section of leaf, general fruiting layer of 
fungus with conidiophores and conidia. 
A, spores germinating. After Trelease. 

General appearance of fungus on 
leaf of Orchard grass. After Trelease. 

Polydesmus Mont. Rape Fungus 

Sterile hyphae repent; fertile erect, simple or branched septate colorless 
conidia, interstitial filiform, concatenate, fusiform or clavate; many septate and 

Polydesmtus exitiosus Kiihn. Rape Fungus 

Forming minute, punctate, elongated dark brown spots, conidia elongated or 
somewhat clavate, narrowed upwardly, 18-12 septate; the septa but slightly con- 
stricted, olive-brown in color. The conidia are 120-140 by 14-16 m; conidiophores 
short, straight or slightly irregular, septate, making their way through the 

This fungus is widely distributed on rape and cabbage and has been referred 
to as Alternaria brassicae. It is, however, thought to be a distinct fungus. 

Poisonous properties. In Europe this fungus has long been associated with 
mycotic-stomatitis of cattle, but mycotic-stomatitis may be produced as indi- 
cated elsewhere, by other molds and fungi. This disease is characterized by in- 
flammation and ulceration of the mucous membranes of the mouth. Saliva- 
tion is a prominent symptom; the feet become swollen and sore. Dr. Mohler 
says : 

"Superficial erosions of the skin, particularly of the muzzle, and of the teats and udders 
of cows, may also be present, with some elevation of temperature and emanciation." 

The disease is not serious and in many cases recovery occurs. But where 
treatment is not resorted to the disease may prove fatal, death occurring in from 
6-8 days. Dr. Mohler states that in serious outbreaks it is about 0.5%. 


The treatment should consist of first removing the herd from the infected 
pasture or inclosure containing the fungus. They should be fed on good whole- 
some soft nutritious food, plenty of cold water should be given. Dr. Mohler 
recommends dissolving 2 heaping tablespoonfuls of borax or 1 tablespoonful of 
potassium chlorate in each of the first two buckets of water taken during the 
day. If the animals permit the mouth should be swabbed out with some anti- 
septic wash, such as weak carbolic acid or creolin solution, or permanganate 
of potash, or hydrogen peroxid. Mohler recommends that range cattle can be 
treated by the use of medicated salt. 

"This salt may be prepared by pouring 4 ounces of crude carbolic acid upon 12 quarts 
of ordinary barrel salt, after which they are thoroughly mixed. The lesions of the feet 
should be treated with a 2 per cent solution of carbolic acid or of creolin, while the fissures 
and other lesions of the skin will be benefited by the application of carbolized vaseline or 
zinc ointment. If the animals are treated in this manner and carefully fed the disease will 
rapidly disappear." 

Cladosporiiini herbarum (Pers.) Link 

This fungus and its allies are very common upon oats, sometimes very 
destructive. It attacks all parts of the plant, but is especially common in the 
heads. The mycelium of the fungus grows not only on the surface of the 
plant but also in the interior ; the conidiophores and spores are olive green, 
the former pass through the opening of the stomata or break through the 
epidermis; the spores are 1- to 2-celled, borne on the end or on short lateral 
branches and are extremely variable in shape and size. 

The general effect of the disease is to cause the kernels to shrivel. The 
disease, as recorded by Cobb, occurs rather destructively on oats. Professor 
Peck records the occurrence of a Cladosporium on oats, which he describes 
as a new species, the Fusicladium destruens. He says in regard to oats : 

"The foliage of the plants presented a singular admixture of green, dead- 
brown and reddish hues, strongly suggestive of that of a 'rust-struck' field." 

Peck thinks this fungus inhabits the leaves of some of our northern grasses 
and has escaped from them to oat fields. Giltay reports that plants are infected 
in the same way as in some of the grain smuts, the spores being carried over 
with the seed, and that the disease can be prevented by treatment with hot 
water. A species of Cladosporium commonly affects the kernels of maize 
and is at times quite troublesome. 

Septoria Fr. 

Perithecia imbedded in the tissues of the plant, appearing as small black- 
ish or brownish spots; conidia generally multicellular and colorless; produced 
from short conidiophores. A genus containing numerous species of wide dis- 
tribution. Many of them like the Septoria on the black currant and goose- 
berry, and the blackberry leaf spot, Septoria rubi, are troublesome parasitic 
fungi of cultivated plants. All of these fungi irritate the mucous membranes 
when found in abimdancc in the leaf. 

Septoria graminum, Dem. 

Spots at first yellow, then reddish-brown and finally whitish; perithecia 
blackish or brownish-black; spores SO to 60 M long and 1.5 to 2 M wide, numer- 
ous, usually 2-celled. 



Fig. 102. 1. Leaf of Cheat, showing numerous small specks, the perithecia o£^ 
Septoria Bromi, the spores in the perithecia shown at 2, l?i.V.v:{|Vi^?. *hi.i ./^ik'ikir^'if jia' 

In a somewhat extended account of this disease Cobb states that the 
entire plant is not always involved. The fungus is variable, its character 
depending upon the host which it attacks. On Poa annua the leaf is mainly- 
involved and in many cases is totally destroyed. Cavara states that the spots 
on the leaves are small, elliptical, red or yellow, or the latter may be entirely 
absent. The injury it does to young plants is very great; in some cases their 
total destruction has been observed. 


Janczewski who has studied the life history of Septoria graminum states 
that this represents the pycnidial stage of Leptosphaeria tritici and that the 
conidial form is the Cladosporiuni hcrharuni. We have not found the Septoria 
in Iowa though the Cladosporiuni is common. 

The Septoria tritici Desm. is closely related to the above and should per- 
haps be regarded as nothing more than a variable form of S. graminum. 
The spots it produces are at first yellow, then reddish-brown, and finally 
whitish. The spores are 50-60 M long and 1-5 to 2 M wide and usually divided. 
A Septoria on the glumes of wheat in Ohio has been reported by Selby. 

Several other species of Septoria are allied to the above species, one, the 
Septoria bromi Sacc. is common in Iowa on Bromus secalinus. 

Diplodia, Fr. 

Perithecia bursting out sub-cutaneously, sub-carbonaceous, papillate ac- 
cording to type; spores ellipsoidal, ovoid or oblong, 1-celled, fuscous, per- 
forated; basidia rod-hke, simple hyaline. From the original genus have been 
separated five genera as follows : Species with superficial perithecia Diplodi- 
ella; with hirsute perithecia Chaetodiplodia; with clustered perithecia Botry- 
odiplodia ; with mucilaginous spores Macrodiplodia ; with hyaline spores 

Fig. 103. Spores of Diplodia Zeae. 2. Young spores on the conidiophores with sporo- 
phores attached. 3. Germinating spores. 4. Dark swollen hyphae of Diplodia. 

Diplodia Zeae (Schw.) Lev. 

Pycnidia black and spherical to pyriform, those forming on the husk or 
stalk developing within the tissues and breaking through at maturity, the 
greater number of pycnidia, however, occur between the kernels and are sit- 
uated in a stroma. Conidia dark brown, cylindrical to elliptical, obtuse, straight 
or usually slightly curved and 1-septate; one to several oil drops in each cell; 
5/1 in diameter; spores germinate in 18-24 hours in 3 per cent glucose agar 
at 26° C ; in somewhat longer time when grown on corn agar ; germ tube arises 
from near distal end at each spore.* 

Distribuftion. A serious parasitic disease generally found where corn 
is cultivated, particularly in Illinois,* Iowa, and Nebraska. 

Poisonous properties. This fungus is widely distributed in ears of corn and 
may be responsible for forage poisoning. 

• Heald, F. D.; Wilcox, E. M.; and Pool, V. W. The Life-history and Parasitism of 
Diplodia Zeae (Schw.) Lev. 

• Burrill, T. J., and Barrett, J. T. Ear Rots of Corn. Bull. 111. Agr. Exp. Sta. 
133:65-109. Ji pi. 


Fig. 103A. Cross-section of the pycnidium of Diplodia Zeae on a corn kernel showing 
sporophores, conidia and mycelium. After Burrill and Barrett. 

Although the fungus has been cultivated, the toxic substance has not 
been isolated. The writer fed mouldy corn meal to cats and rabbits. It 
produced injurious effects in kittens; three of these animals fed with mouldy 
corn meal and milk died from the effects. Unfortunately, in this case, different 
moulds, Aspergillus glauciis, Fusariuni, and Diplodia, were used. 

Dr. Erwin F. Smith and Florence Hedges write as follows of this fungus : 

"It is also worthy of inquiry whether this fungus may not be the cause of the so-called 
'cornstalk disease' prevalent among cattle in the west. It is also possible that to Diplodia 
should be referred the great numbers of deaths of negroes in the south during past three 
years (1906-1909) from the so-called pellagra, following the consumption of mouldy corn- 
meal and mouldy hominy. This fungus is also the cause of mouldy corn in Italy. The only 
other fungi we have reason for suspecting in this connection are species of Aspergillus." * 

There are striking similarities between the so-called forage poisoning of 
cattle and the Pellagra disease in Italy and they are probably referable to some 
of the fungi found in corn. Dr. Miquel * in 1838 suggested that a Mucor 
was the cause of Pellagra. 

Piisarium, Lk. 

Mycelium spreading, more or less eft'use ; conidia spindle-shaped or sickle- 
like, many-celled at maturity, conidiophores branching, conidia borne at the 
apex. A genus of numerous species, many of which are of uncertain affinity, 
usually found on dead organic matter but several are known to produce 
diseases of cultivated plants, like F. Lycopcrsici, Sacc, which produces the 
"Sleeping Disease" of tomatoes, the mycelium occurring in the vessels of the 
roots and causing a wilting. The Fusarium limonis, Briosi, produces a mal- 
di-gomma, or foot-rot, of orange and lemon trees. The Fusarium vasinfectum, 
Atks., produces a disease of cotton, known as "frenching." The cotton wilt 
is caused by a species of Fusarium and the perfect form of this fungus ac- 
cording to E. F. Smith is Necosmospora. 

* Diplodia Disease of Maize (Suspected cause of Pellagra). Science 30:60-61. 

* Die Noord — Nederlandsche vergiftige Gewassen. 43 Amsterdam 1839. 



Fig. 104. Wheat Scab (Gibberella Saubinctii), perfect form of Fusarium roseum I. 
1. Wheat affected with wheat scab, upper portion destroyed. 2. Glumes covered with 
perithecia. 4. Perithecia. 5. Asci from perithecia with ascospores, one of these enlarged 
at 6. 7. Conidiophore and spores grown in agar. After Selby. 

Fiisariuni roseum, Link 

Mycelium whitish or varj-ing from }'ellow to orange, appearing at the 
time when the grain begins to turn ; the head, or part of it, has a whitish 
appearance and the chaff is glued together; conidiophorcs branched, spores 
terminal or lateral, crescent shaped at first, 1-celled, finally 2 or more celled; 
color of the conidia white or in masses orange or pink. According to Saccardo 
the ascigerous stage is the Gibberella Saubineitii (Mont.) Sacc. with gregari- 
ous perithecia, coriaceous, or somewhat membranaceous ; somewhat blackish 
in color, asci oblong, lanceolate, ascospores fusiform, 3-celled. Definite cul- 
tural experiments have not been made in this country to determine the relation 
of this fungus to the F. heterosponim. 

According to Burrill and Barrett * several forms of Fusarium occur on 
corn. Saccardo in a letter to the writer identified the common Iowa Fusarium 
on corn as F. heterosponim. 

The Fusarium hctcrosporum Nccs, is common in parts of Germany, and 
Tubeuf quotes Frank as stating that the destruction of rye is total in some 

* Bull. III. Agrl. Exp- Sta. 133. 




Fig. 105. Fusariiim. 5. Macroconidia of Fusarium 
•with the felty mass of mycelium. Produces a deep 
pink color. 6. Mycelium. 7. Corroded starch grains. 
8. Conidiophores or sporophores. 9. Microconidia 
and macroconidia of another corn Fusarium frequently 
infecting isolated grains. 10. Mycelium of the same. 
11. Microconidia and macroconidia of another Fusarium 
on corn, which produces a dense felty mass extending 
between the kernels to the cob. 13. A spore producing 
hyphae in prune juice culture. 14. Germinating spores 
of one of the species. 16. Hyphal branches of the 
same, with microconidia and macroconidia. After Bur- 
rill and Barrett. 


Fig. 106. Moulds and bacteria from corn. 
1 and 3. Fusarium heterosporum I Mycelium. 
3. Conidia. 2 and 6. Other moulds. 4 and 5. 
Bacteria. After Pammel and King. 


places, the fungus investing the whole kernel. Rostrup mentions it as destruc- 
tive to germinating barley. It also occurs upon ergotized rye and is regarded 
by some mycologists as distinct from Fusarinm culmorum. It is probable 
that the various species of Fusarium infesting cereals should be referred to 
one species. 

Poisonous properties. Whether this fungus is responsible for the disease 
referred to by Dr. Mayo and other veterinarians, has not been definitely deter- 
mined. It is true that experiments made by Dr. Bitting, this writer, and 
others, show that no doubt the Fusarium fed in considerable quantities to 
cats and dogs has had an injurious effect. Cats did not relish milk in which 
this material had been placed. If nothing more, Fusarium may be looked upon 
as producing stomatatis. Prof. Sheldon refers this fungus to Fusarium 
moniliforme. In the diseased horses reported by Dr. Peters the horses would 
lose their hair and hoofs and were said to be alkalied. Cattle and hogs were 
likewise said to lose their hair. Feeding experiments conducted on hogs with 
this corn as well as with pure cultures reproduced the symptoms in experimental 
animals. In this connection this statement of Dr. Law's is of interest : 

Fodders affected with cryptogams or bacterial ferments are undoubtedly at times the 
cause of encephalitis. Veterinary records furnish many instances of wide spread attacks 
of stomach staggers, abdominal vertigo, and cerebro-spinal meningitis in wet seasons, when 
the fodders have been harvested in poor condition or when from inundation or accidental 
exposure they have become permeated by cryptogams and microbes. Among comparatively 
recent accounts of this are those of Martin and Varnell (musty oats), Lombroso, Depre, 
Erbe, Pellizi, and Tireli (smuts), Bouley and Barthelemy (musty fodder), and Ray (fer- 
mented potatoes). One of the most extended local outbreaks of cerebro-spinal congestion 
I have ever seen, occurred in the pit mules of the Wilkesbarre coal mines, while fed on 
Canadian hay which had been soaked with rain in transit and had undergone extensive fer- 
mentation. It should be noted that there were the attendant factors of overwork, in antici- 
pation of a strike, and a Sunday's holiday above ground in a bright summer sunshine. 

The experimental administration of moulds, smuts and microbes, have in the great 
majority of cases led to little or no evil result (Gamgee, Mayo, Dinwiddle, etc.) and there 
is a strong tendency to discredit the pathogenic action of these agents in reported out- 
breaks. The safer conclusion perhaps would be, to recognize the fact that they are not 
equally pathogenic under all conditions of their growth and administration. The oft- 
recurring epizootics of brain disease in connection with wide spread spoiling of the fodders 
in remote and recent times, probably imply that cryptogams or microbes and their products, 
plus some condition not yet fully understood, are efficient concurrent factors. If we can 
discover this as yet unknown factor and demonstrate that it operates with equal power in 
the absence of cryptogams and ferments, as in their presence, it will be logical to pronounce 
these latter as non-pathogenic under all circumstances. Until then cryptogams and bac- 
teria must be held as probable factors. 

In recognizing how much cryptogams and bacteria vary under different conditions of 
life, and what various products they elaborate at different stages of their growth, we can 
theoretically explain the absence of the disease at one time and its presence at another 
under what seem to be identical circumstances, as also the variety of symptoms shown in 
different outbreaks. While this causation cannot be said to be absolutely proved. . it is 
not antagonistic to the facts in many of the best observed outbreaks, and may serve as a 
hypothetical working theory until actual demonstration can be furnished. The affection 
suggests a narcotic poison introduced from without, rather than a disease due to a germ 
propagated in the system. 

In all probability as we learn more of the true pathology of the disease, we shall 
come to recognize not one, but several toxic principles, and several different affections 
each with its characteristic phenomena in the somewhat indefinite affection still known as 
cerebro-spinal meningitis. 

The malady has been described in horses, oxen, sheep, goats and dogs, attacking by 
preference the young, which are not yet inured to the unknown poison, and by preference 
in winter and spring, the periods of close stabling, dry feeding and shedding of the coat. 


Dr. R. A. Craig of Indiana reports as follows in regard to interesting 
experiments made at the Indiana Station : 

In January, four sacks of spoiled, mouldy corn were gathered from a staik field adjoin- 
ing a field in which cattle had developed cornstalk disease. A healthy heifer weighing 
three hundred and fifty pounds was fed four to five pounds (twelve to seventeen ears) of 
this corn twice a day. In addition stover was fed. On the afternoon of the sixth day of 
the test the heifer appeared weak, went down in the stall and was helped up twice in the 
afternoon. When down she struggled some, and when helped up "shivered" as if cold. In 
the evening she was still trembling and appeared weak. The weakness disappeared the 
following day. A few days later a slight twitching of the body muscles was noticed. 
The feeding test extended over a period of sixteen days. Her appetite remained good 
throughout the test. 

Dr. Craig adds the following: 

During the fall and early winter of 1898-'99, Bitting reported losses in horses and 
cattle, supposed to have been due to feeding on spoiled corn. By feeding corn meal that 
was inoculated with a pure culture of a mold (Fusarium sp.) made from the spoiled 
corn, he produced salivation and redness of the gums of the two horses used in the ex- 
periment. Later spoiled corn was fed. On the fifth day one horse showed a slight saliva- 
tion, colicky pains and diarrhoea. On the seventh day, noticeable incoordination in mov- 
ing about and stupor. For two days the animal stood with the head pressed against the 
wall. A quick recovery followed and the nervous disease from which horses were reported 
as dying did not develop. The second horse showed nothing more than a slight irritation 
to the mouth. 

Because of the close resemblance between toxic poisoning from sorghum 
and the symptoms of corn stalk disease, Price deemed it advisable to examine 
cornstalks for the substances which produce prussic acid in plants. Samples of 
stalks from fields in which cattle had died were obtained. In these samples 
he discovered an enzyme which had the property of decomposing a glucoside 
(amygdalin) and thereby poison as a result of enzyme was found. However, 
no glucoside capable of forming thisi poison as a result of enzyme action was 
found. The results were not regarded as conclusive, as only a few samples 
were examined, and the failure to discover a suitable glucoside did not prove 
its absence in the corn plant, or in other plants in the field. 

Dr. Peters says in regard to the feeding of moldy corn to horses as 
follows : 

Numerous reports have been received from stock owners of a disease which they call 
cornstalk disease or spinal meningitis which affects horses in the stalks and also some 
which have not been in the stalks. 

This disease is very rapid in its course. For this reason it is sometimes difficult 
to see animals alive or in the beginning stages of the disease. In the later stages the 
animals are usually in such violent excitement that the symptoms have to be studied from 
a distance. One peculiar feature about the disease is that it comes on without warning, 
often attacking an animal while at work. One of the first symptoms noticed is the refusal 
of feed. Some have observed an excessive thirst and a difficulty in swallowing. The head 
is drooped irL a very peculiar manner, denoting dullness. The eyes become very dull and 
later almost totally blind. This is usually followed by delirium and death. When a horse 
becomes affected in the stall it sometimes presses its head against the manger or wall and 
as this symptom increases in violence it is not uncommon to find the stall and manger 
demolished. Another peculiarity of the disease is that just before the animal becomes 
violent, one can cross its legs and the animal will remain in the position semi-conscious for 
some time. 

This disease has been attributed to many causes. It is practically conceded at this 
time that it is due to a fungus found on the food administered. Feeding experiments with 
mouldy corn at our Station and other Stations, have proven that mouldy corn is capable of 
producing this disease. In March, 1902, a quantity of mouldy corn, which was taken from 
cribs of a farmer at Graf, Nebr., who had lost a number of horses with this disease, was 
fed to four horses. These horses were fed exclusively on this corn with a small quantity of 
good hay and on April 2 two of the horses were found to be afltected, the symptoms being 



the same as those in animals that died in various parts of the state. The black horse, 
John, was found in the afternoon of April 2 to be swaying in his gait. He refused feed, 
had the peculiar dullness of the eyes, and when his limbs were crossed he remained in 
that position entirely motionless for some time. The next morning the animal was very 
much worse and at noon he was killed so that an autopsy could be held. The post-mortem 
examination showed that all organs were practically normal except the brain which was much 
softer than normal. I will quote the description of the post mortem as given by Dr. Butler, 
which is as follows: "On removal of the brain the superior surface of the right cerebral hemi- 
sphere was noticed to be slightly flattened over the anterior half. Palpation revealed a soft 
spot at this place. An incision through the apparently sound gray matter revealed what 
Mayo described as a sereous abscess in which floated flocculi of broken down brain sub- 
stance, which presented the appearance, as one stockman said, of a mixture of vinegar 
and curdled milk. This portion of softened and broken-down white brain substance is in 
no sense a serous abscess. The line of demarcation between the broken-down and the healthy 
brain substance was not clearly marked, but surrounding the completely broken-down por- 
tion of a zone probably half an inch thick that was softer than normal and of a slightly yellow 
color. The liquid in the cavity, and in which floated portions of soft and partially broken-down 
brain substance, was slightly yellow, but in no instance was clotted blood or any other 
microscopic evidence of a hemorrhage to be found." 

Dr. Butler and Dr. Mayo conducted an experiment with some mouldy corn 
from a farmer who lost four registered Percheron horses at Wakefield, 
Kansas. Four hundred pounds of the worst of this corn and fifty pounds of 
the chaff and screenings were sent to the Agricultural College in Manhattan, 
Kansas, and a feeding experiment was started with two colts, twenty-three 
months old. The experiment began on July 16, when each colt received V/z 
kilos twice daily. On July 22, they were fed V/z kilos of corn and cob meal 
twice daily. On the 26th of July 134 kilos of the damaged corn, well ground, 
cob and all. This was continued until August 19. One colt died August 21. 
Another experiment was conducted with a two year old colt, but fed with 
mouldy corn and good prairie hay. The temperature of the animal varied 
from 101-102° F. This colt died on July 26, the feeding experiment having 

Fig. 107. Dermal mycosis associated with Sarcoptic mange caused by Fusarium equinum, 
conidia and mycelium. 2-6. Conidia (macroconidia) in various stages of development. 
4. Germinating. After Melvin and Mohler. 


begun on June 30. It was observed that after three weeks there were no 
notable changes except a gain in flesh. 

It seems to me that there can be no question from these experiments that 
mould}' corn is dangerous to feed to animals. 

Oxen, sheep, and dogs are also afifected with a form of meningitis, due 
to mouldy conditions. Of course, it should be stated that in the above descrip- 
tion by Dr. Law, no special mould fungus is referred to. 

Fusarhiin eqiiiniiin, Norgaard. Itch Disease of Horses 

Mycelium immersed, septate and branched; conidia in cultures sickle- 
shaped, segmented ; in hair sacs and sebaceous glands spindle-shaped or 
crescent-shaped bodies. 

Drs. Melvin and Mohler supplement the above characters as follows : 

The Fusarium possesses three forms of spores, the microconidia small and oval, 
non-septate or two celled; the marcroconidia, large falcate, with sharp lanceolate ends, 3-5 
septate, forming many aerial threads; 25-55 fj. long 2y'2-^V2 fj. wide; the chlamydospores oval 
or oblong, thin walled, densely granular, 8-15 fx in diameter. The macroconidia occur 
during the later stage of growth. On culture media there is a white growth which becomes 
slightly colored. The most favorable medium is potato and sterilized bread, but it grows 
well in agar, glucose, or saccharine agar. 

Distribution. North America, California to Idaho. 

Pathogenic properties. In December, 1901, Victor A. Norgaard con- 
tributed to Science an account of a disease affecting horses, said to be pro- 
duced by a fungus to which he suggested that, pending investigation, the name 
Fusarium eqiiimun, nov. spec, be given. The following is an abstract of the 
article in question : 

An epidemic skin disease appeared among the horses on the Umatilla Indian Reserva- 
tion, Pendleton, Oregon, upwards of sixty percent out of six thousand horses having been 
affected. The disease manifested itself through severe itching and loss of hair over almost 
the entire body. Many of the animals died of starvation. An examination of samples of 
the skin was made in the Pathological Division of the Bureau of Animal Industry and the 
presence of Sarcoptes equi observed. However these parasites were not present in sufficient 
numbers to account for the almost complete alopecia, and examination of samples almost 
entirely denuded of hair failed to show their presence. Microscopic examination of sec- 
tions of the skin stained with borax blue showed the presence of large half-moon, spindle 
shaped bodies, deeply stained, in the hair sacs and sebaceous glands. Further culture 
produced from one to five circular colonies of a fungus which grew rapidly and assumed 
a salmon pink color. Cover-glass preparations made from these colonies contained numerous 
sickle-shaped segmented spores, characteristic of Fusarium. Of the twenty-five known vari- 
eties of this fungus, according to Dr. Ervvin F. Smith, hitherto none has been known to 
be pathogenic to animals. 

Drs. A. D. Melvin and J. R. Mohler have given a somewhat more extended 
account of this form of dermatomycosis. They found present with the disease 
the Sarcoptes scabei. In 1901 the disease appeared in a very aggravated form, 
some 2,SC0 animals were diseased out of 6,000 animals on the Umatilla Indian 
reservation. It is supposed that this disease was introduced from California 
in 1902 from trailed horses. It appears that the fungus apparently enters the 
hair follicles, penetrates between the cells of the epidermis or abrasion of the 
skin and involves the surrounding cuticle, causing irritation, followed by pruritis, 
the animal attempting to rub itself against anything with which it comes in con- 
tact. When the scurf is rubbed off by the finger nail there is left in its place a red 
moist denuded surface. It affects almost the entire body except the knees and 
hocks. The crusts are of gray color at first but turn darker. When the tissue 



is examined microscopically, the spores are found to be abundant in the hair 
follicle, the fungus causing the hair to drop out. The inflammatory process 
spreads in the sebaceous glands causing a suppression of the excretion with 
the formation of crusts anl scab. Occasionally Sarcoptes were found but 
Drs. Melvin and Mohler do not believe that they were the principal cause of 
the disease, although when present the animal parasite may aggravate the trouble. 
All ages and breeds of horses are susceptible as are both sexes. The animal 
stands around the rubbing posts all day and finally dies. 

Rabbits, dogs, guinea pigs are immune. Experiments with horses were 
not successful, which these writers think may be because the right stage of the 
fungus was not used for inoculation experiments. 

Treatment. The authors recommend dynamo oil and sulphur in the propor- 
tion of one pound of the latter to a gallon of oil. Coal tar sheep dips have also 
been used. 

Fig. 108. Favus ot mouse (Oospora porriginis) from a culture. 
A single thread more highly magnified. After Fliigge. 

a. Mycelial threads. 

Oospora, Wallr. 

Fungus with small tufts spreading or pulvinate, mucedinous, loose, or 
somewhat compact ; fertile hyphae, short, with few branches ; conidia trans- 
parent, usually in chains, globose or ovoid, hyaline or slightly colored. 
Oospora porriginis (Mont, and Berk.) Sacc. Achorion Schonleiuii, Reinak. 

Favus, Tinea favosa. Honeycomb Ringworm 

Mycelium flexuose, simple, branched, or forked, continuous conidia, ovoid, 
triangular or somewhat cubical, varying 3-6 M in diameter; mycelium in masses 
with granular protoplasm occasionally branched at the end, the ends swollen, 
club-shaped, branches of the mycelium with lateral branches; spores oval, round 
or angular, 3-8 M long and 3-4 ^ wide, single or in chains. The threads of 
the fungus are readily detected in the bulbs and the shafts of hairs when sodium 
nitrate or potassium hydroxid is added, but at a distance of two inches the 
fungus cannot be detected. Sections of the nail stained also show threads 


of the fungus. This fungus has been cultivated in ordinary agar or by Krai's 
method. It grows well at higher temperatures, and in 24-48 hours the fungus 
threads appear. The spores germinate at 35° C. in 14 hours, and in 24 hour.s 
a fine mycelium appears in the air. In nutrient media likq potato, gelatin and 
agar, chlamydospores and yellowish bodies appear. The organism requires 
higher temperatures for its best development, the optimum is 35° C. The 
organism from some of the lower animals, however, grows at lower temper- 

According to Walsch the best development of the fungus in the hair is near 
the upper end of the root, from here it extends upward or downward; the 
mycelium may be exfoUicular or on the surface of the hair. 

The favus of man does not differ especially from that of animals except 
in color, and in the shorter duration of the disease in animals. 

Distribution. Widely distributed in Europe and North America, but, 
according to Hyde and Montgomery, less common in the United States, Austria,, 
and England, than in France, Scotland and Poland. 

Pathogenic properties. This form of dermatomycosis known as Favus was 
discovered by Schonlein in 1839. In the middle ages, it was known as Tinea, 
meaning a moth or worm. Previous to the discovery of the organism by 
Schonlein, various troubles were classed as favus. 

Heusinger suspected the fungus nature of the disease as early as 1826. 
Remak, in 1845, cultivated the organism upon apple and transmitted it to his- 
arm. He named the fungus Achorion Schonleinii and in medical literature it 
is frequently referred to by this name. 

The favus organism of mice was discovered in 1850 by Bennett and recog- 
nized by subsequent investigators like Schroeder and Simon. Favus of cats, 
guinea pigs, and dogs was recognized by Saint Cyr. Gerlach found it in birds, 
and Gruby, three years after the discovery of the organism by Schonlein, found 
it in hairs on the heads of children and the hairs of the beard. In recent times, 
various views have been expressed with reference to the nature of favus and 
trichophytosis, it being held that these diseases are produced by different fungi. 
Pick in 1887. Walsch in 1896, and others considered the fungus to be poly- 
morphic. Quincke distinguished three varieties but pathologists are not agreed" 
on this point. Plaut, in his discussion of the parasitic fungi, divides them into 
the following groups: the Favus and the Trichophytic groups. According to 
this view, the favus of man and that of animals are regarded as distinct fungi. 

The disease in man generally appears where hairs occur, but may appear 
also in other parts of the body as the eyes, nails, etc., seldom becoming general. 
Favus of the nails is called Favus onychomycosis. In lower animals the disease 
may occur on the head, nose, ears, back and, more frequently, is generalized. 
Formerly this disease was common among the poorer classes. Today, it is^ 
not common in France, Holland, Scandinavia, Germany, England, Switzerland, 
Japan or America; on the other hand, it is rather frequent in Russia, Scotland,. 
Italy, Spain, Asia, Austria and Egypt, young individuals being more suscep- 
tible to it than are older persons, probably acquiring the disease by contact. 
The disease is spread through spores of the fungus. The mycelium itself, ac- 
cording to Grawitz, is not capable of spreading the disease of animals. In- 
man it is recognized by the development of minute yellowish or reddish points; 
delicate vescicles may surround these spots. Later, the fungus may develop a' 



crust; the odor is very disagreeable, being compared to the odor of mice or 
the urine of cats. 

Mice are most susceptible to the disease, cats coming next since they 
come in contact with mice which have favus, then dogs by means of the cats 
and finally guinea pigs. 

According to the recent investigations of Frank (1891) three different types 
of fungi were isolated from mice, and Unna and Neebe in 1893, concluded that 
no fewer than nine species existed, three aerophilous and six aerophobic, as 
follows: Achorion etitythrix, A. didikroon, A. atkaton, A. radians, A. akro- 
megalicum, A. demergens, A. cysticum, A. momUforme, and A. tarsiferon, but 
•these may probably be regarded as one widely-polymorphic species. 

Fig. 109. Epidermis invaded by Sporotrichum. 
a — inferior portion of the stratum corneum; b — superior 
portion of the rete. Both exhibit lotiR mycelial threads, 
with a few ramifications and a small number of spores. 
After Kaposi. 



Sporotrichum, Link 

Hyphae, branching irregularly and repeatedly, septate or continuous, usual- 
ly equally procumbent ; conidia, acrogenous at the apices of the main and lateral 
branches, usually soHtary beneath, ovoid or subglobose. This genus differs 
from Botrytis, especially in all the hyphae being procumbent and the conidia 
subsolitary; from Trichosporunt, in never being dark colored. Very many 
species, imperfectly described by older writers, show mere forms, or mj^celia. 

Sporotrichum Furfur. Rob 

Pale yellow or yellowish brown to dark brown or brownish-red spots, vary- 
ing in size from that of a lentil to that of a hand, either smooth or shining or 
dull exfoliating. Found on the breast, stomach, or back. Never upon the 
hands, feet, seldom on the face. Slender hyphae 3-4 M wide, 7-13 M long, vari- 
able as to length and thickness. The spores are clustered resembling oil drops. 
On potato a characteristic growth of yellowish, orange red brown, blackish 
or greenish color. Old culture is grayish, brownish or violet color. In 3-4 
days a whitish gelatinous mass forms, which in 3-4 weeks covers the whole 
surface. Conidia are oidium-like, surrounded by thick hyphae, occur in scales, 
4-7 M, spherical. In cultures budding occurs. 

Distribution. Common in some localities in Europe and America. 

Pathogenic properties. Fehr in 1840 observed that most of the inhabitants 
in a Swiss village were infected through cattle. Bazin in 1853 observed that 
many cavalry men were infected through horses. Papa in 1840 observed that 
this disease was frequently transmitted to men. In cities it chiefly occurs in 
cats and dogs, and through these it is conveyed to men. 

It is especially common in people with tender skins and in tubercular 
patients, and is more common with women than men. In 1846, Eichstedt dis- 

Fig. 110. Sporotrichum Furfur. After Kaposi. 



covered the cause while Robin named the fungus Microsporon furfur. Kob- 
ner, in 1866, made the first inoculation experiments. 

Grawitz, in 1876, first cultivated the organism. His work was followed 
by that of such other investigators as Sehlen in 1890 and Koltjar in 1892, who 
succeeded in transmitting the cultivated fungus to guinea pigs and gave it the 
name Oidium minimum. It has also been named Oidium Furfur. Vuillemin 
also cultivated the fung-us to which he gave the name Malassesia Furfur. Pure 
cultures of the organism grown on potato were transmitted to man. 

Treatment. The best treatment, as recommended by Hyde and Montgomery, 
is a hot bath, the skin being rubbed with soap; following this the skin is 
bathed with clean water and sponged with a solution of sodium hyposulfite, 1 
drachm (4) to the ounce (30). 

Fig. 111. Erythrasma Fungus. Sporotrichum 
minntis.'timuin. After Hyde and Montgomery. 

Sporotrichum minutissimum ( Burckhardt. ) Pammel. Erythrasma 

It begins as small brown or reddish patches which become confluent ; these 
spots may become as large as the palm of a hand and occur in the axial 
region; the scales contain Leptothrox-like threads which are branched and 
septate; conidia small, round or angular. It grows well on agar agar, glycerine 
agar, gelatine, potatoes, and in blood serum. In nutrient media, branchings 
septate hyphae 0.8-1.3 M in thickness and 5-15 m in length are seen; the short 
hyphae break up into numerous spores. 

This disease was first observed by Burckhardt in 1869 and since has been 
observed by others. It occurs in the form of roundish or punctiform patches, 
sharply contrasted with the adjacent tissues. The younger areas are livid 
red while the older are yellowish or brownish. 


A so-called Dhobie itch of the Philippine Islands is in part caused by this 
fungus. Though Hyde and Montgomery state that there are two other types of 
infection known by this name, one is trichophyton and one of bacterial origin. 

Sporotrichum giganteum, (Unna). Pammel 

Spores are free or in chains in nutrient medium 1.5-7 i^ in diameter, the 
oval 4-5x5-6 m, yeast-like budding resembling Oidiuin lactis also occurs ; ecto- 
spores as well as chlamydospores present, the latter 8-12 m in diameter with 
strongly refringent bodies : in cultures ray like, the rays consisting of hyphae 
and spores, in liquid media only hyphae with ectospores. In the hair, knot-like 
bodies are formed with spores and hyphae embedded in mucilage. 

The Colombia disease was described as Trichosporon giganteum, Unna. It 
is a polymorphic fungus and the T. ovoides, Behrend is included but by some is 
regarded as different. The knotty masses of hair are less thick, and the spores 
are oval in shape ; gelatine not liquefied. The superficial colonies resemble 
Oidium lactis. Chlamydospore 4-12 m in diameter. 

Other species of Microsporon have been described like M. canis in dogs. 
M. tigris, the M. equi, in horses and colts and another species in cattle. In calves 
a similar form occurs. The sheep are said to have the disease on the neck 
and breast; it also occurs in hogs, goats, and birds. These forms are said to 
differ slightly clinically. Pus is formed in follicles, and the hair is especially 
prone to drop out. A bad smelling liquid of a reddish color occurs. In lesions 
large spores, the ectospores, occur. The Oidium chain like spores occur chiefly 
in the roots of the hairs. 

Pathogenic properties. The disease is especially common in animals in 
which the skin is naturally fine, thin, and dry, and covered with hair sparsely, 
more common in the Arabian Barb, English racer, and American trotter of 
nervous organization than in heavier draft breeds. Old horses are more sub- 
ject than young ones. Extended desquamation, excessive production of epi- 
dermal scales without any elevation of the skin, scurfy products may be found 
in patches scattered over the body; generalized or circumscribed as to the 
head, ears, crest and tail ; the hair may be pulled out with great ease. In 
cattle it occurs on neck and develops in connection with anaemia, spoiled fodder, 
and constitutional predisposition. Affects especially the head, neck, and back 
of dogs gorged with dainties and those becoming aged. The affected parts 
are covered with a floury or bran-like product lying upon a dry surface, the 
affection being usually limited to certain areas more or less destitute of hair. 
In the cat it may affect the whole dorsal aspect of the body, being associated 
with extreme electrical susceptibility, the hair when touched, collecting in tufts. 
The scaly product is abundant. 

Animals are said to spread trichophytsc fungi, which supposition is im- 
portant from a hygenic point of view. Since the disease sometimes occurs in 
school children, separate hooks for clothing and separate towels when bathing 
the hands and faces are recommended. A one per cent solution of bicloride 
of mercury will kill the fungus. 

The disease was first described by Osorio in 1846, and was then thought to 
be confined to Colombia where it was called Diedra (Stone), but later was 
found in Europe, and Vuillemin reported it from Paris in 1902. Desenne of 


Paris discovered the hyphae of the fungus and Malcolm Morris the spore-like 
bodies. Behrend in 1890 succeeded in cultivating the fungus. 

Sporotrichum tonsurans. Barber's Itch 

Hyphae slender 1.5-2 m in diameter, straight, undulated, dichotomous, septate 
or non-septate, penetrate the hair follicles forming a matted mycelium, small 
pustules and scabs ; in places devoid of hairs it forms red, scaly spots, discs 
and circles. The fungus is found between the uppermost layers of the epidermis 
just beneath the corneous stratum; the conidia are small, spherical or elliptical, 
sharply defined 2-3 M in diameter; the spore masses surround the root of the 
hair and are frequently densely and closely arranged like beads ; in culture 
media like agar, a many-rayed fungus occurs, the color varies w^ith the medium, 
yellow, Bismark brown, cherry red, violet, rose, brown, blackish brown ; gelatine 
liquefied; spores swell after a few hours and produce 1-2 germ tubes from a 
single spore ; mycelium with occasional swellings, ectospores formed in 60-96 
hours, also small, branched air hyphae; small conidia 1.5-3 m in diameter borne 
on short, lateral branches. The Botrytis-like spores rise on the long, thin, 
curved air hyphae. Oidium budding does not occur in nutrient media. The 
spores retain their vitality for six months but exposure to 45° C. for a few 
hours will kill the organism ; it is sensitive to sunlight and common disinfectants. 
The fungus is polymorphic, one form having been classed, by Sabourne. with 
Botrytis. The large-spored trichophyte found on the scalp germinates at 
37° C. in a few hours ; but at room temperature, a much longer time is required. 

Conidia 5 M in diameter, an abundant mycelium with dust-like growths, 
and, in three days, oidium-like spores, as well as ectospores, are produced on 
the potato, the disease being known as Tinea Sycosis. 

The T. circumscripta produces, in animals, cherry patches each with a raised 
border and scales, and is also found on the head, arms, and neck, of man. T. 
disseminata produces small red pustules. 

To T. tonsurans, also, is attributed Bcsona marginatum which Kobner, 
while making a study of trichophytic fungi in 1864, recognized as a trichophyte. 
He also determined that the fungus on the nails, described in 1853 and 1855 
by Baum and Meissner, was a trichophyte. 

Fig. 112. IJarber's Itch. 
(Sporotrichum tonsurans) Fila- 
ments and spores. After Hyde 
and Montgomery. 


Gerlach, in 1857-1859, demonstrated a trichophyte in bovine animals, and 
other investigators, later, recognized the case as Herpes tonsurans. S. tonsurans 
has also been described under Trichophyton tonsurans and as Oidium tonsurans. 
Unna, in 1897, from twenty cultures described four species, T. oidiophora, T. 
eretmorphoron, T. atractophoron, and T. pterygodes. It is probable that Sporo- 
trichum tonsurans is a very variable species. Lindau places it under the genus 
Oospora, but it seems preferable to call it Sporotrichum. 

Distribution. Occurs in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa. 

Pathogenic properties. In cattle, small, round, sharply defined spots oc- 
cur which are covered with scabs and scales which project more or less above 
the skin and vary in size, some being as large as the palm of the hand. Under- 
neath the scales, is a purulent fluid with hollows that represent the empty 
follicle. In man as well as in animals, the hairs can be pulled out very readily. 
The eruption lasts from six to twelve weeks, outbreaks occurring from rubbing 
or scratching as a relief from the itching sensation that accompanies the erup- 
tion. In sucking calves it occurs chiefly about the mouth and is called "doughy 
mange" and. according to Hahn, is produced by the fungus T. tonsurans. 

Most of the varieties can be transmitted to guinea pigs, cats, and dogs 
and have even been transmitted to man during the process of sheep shearing. 
Healing takes place when the animal is inoculated subcutaneously. The large- 
spored form, occurring on the scalp, forms pus and resembles moist eczema. 
Children take the disease from calves and by playing with cats and dogs. 

Mycosis of the beard exists in two forms ; non-infectious and infectious. 
In Sycosis parasitaria, the disease is accompanied by a severe inflammation of 
the hairy parts of the skin, leading to infiltration and suppuration. Sabouraud 
classifies the parasite into a dry and a pus favus. 

The Eczema marginatum supposedly caused by the same fungus was first 
described by Devergie in 1854-1855 ; Berensprung having discovered the same 
fungus in 1855. It is slightly contagious, and more frequent in men than in 
women. Another form of the disease occurs in the mouth. In sheep the wool 
is felted and beneath it are bran-like, scabby parts, the fleece becoming very 
ragged in appearance. In poultry, it shows itself by the loss of feathers. In 
horses, it occurs most often on the seat of the saddle. The spots vary in 
size, and the surrounding hair can be pulled out easily. In dogs, it affects 
the head and extremities. Usually the spots are round at first and sharply 
defined, later becoming hairless patches; occasionally they are dirty gray scabs. 

Ringworm of the body or Tinea circinata, is characterized by the occurrence 
of one or more pea-shaped or large circular reddish patches which are on 
about the same level as the integument and rarely 5-6 inches in diameter. In 
some forms there is itching. This Trichophyton was discovered by Gruby in 
1844. This fungus can be readily recognized by making microscopic mounts. 
The mycelium is less branched and the threads are more slender than in the 
form previously described. The spores are like strings of beads. 

The ringworm of the scalp. Tinea tonsurans, is a disease, chiefly, of children, 
especially of those in schools. It differs from the preceding form in the fact 
that the fungus makes its way into the hair follicles. The patches are, at first, 
circumscribed, about the size of a small coin, covered or partly covered wi<-h 
roundish patches of slate gray color or a dirty yellow. The fungus is called 
Microsporon adouini. 


Hyde and Montgomery state that there are at least two distinct and unrelated 
forms capable of producing ringworm, the Microsporon adouini, a small-spored 
fungus, and the Trichophyton, or large-spored fungus. The Microsporon appears 
under the microscope in the form of a large number of round spores, irregularly 
grouped or massed about the follicular portion of the hair. The mycelial 
threads are all within the hair proper while the spores terminate fine threads 
on the other surface of the shaft. The spores of Tricophyton vary greatly in 
size and are much larger than those of Microsporon. They are cuboidal, oval, 
or irregularly rounded. They occur in chains, up and down the hair or shaft. 
The mycelium is found without, never within, the hairs. The spores may be 
within (endothrix) or without (ectothrix). 

Oidium albicans. (Robin.) Rees. Thrush 

Forms a mould-like growth in the mouth of man and lower animals. 
Vegetative cells, yeast-like, spherical, elliptical, oval or cylindrical, 5-6 M long, 
4 M wide, the elongated hyphae-like bodies variable in length ; conidia elliptical 
in chains ; grows well in nutrient media where it produces superficial, spherical, 
white, wax-like, granular colonies, varying color from reddish to white ; chlam- 
ydospores in nutrient media and occasionally in the epithelial layer ; it does not 
ferment lactose and saccharose, but ferments levulose and dextrose. According 
to Brebeck and Fischer there are two morphological forms of the organisms, 
a small oval and a large-spored form ; however, this distinction is not generally 

Distribution. Widely distributed in the United States, also in other coun- 
tries, Germany, Austria, France, Italy, and Great Britain. 

Pathogenic properties. John recognized the disease in 1816, while Buchner 
gave a somewhat detailed description in 1841. Langbeck and Berg dicsovered 
the fungus in 1839. It was thought by them that it was the cause of typhoid 
fever. Langenbeck demonstrated that the Fungus could be carried from a 
child, sick with the disease, to a healthy individual. Gruby, in 1847, described 
the fungus under the name of Apthaphyta, placing it near the fungus Spor- 
otrichum, while Robin, a French author on parasitic diseases, considered the 
fungus to be an Oidium, naming it Oidium albicans, a name frequently used 
by authors. Rees, however, placed it with the yeasts. Monilia Candida is re- 
garded by Plant and Lindau as a synonym. Grawitz, in 1877, made pure 
culture of the fungus and succeeded in producing the disease in guinea pigs. 
Klemperer found that when the fungus was inoculated into the circulatory 
system of guinea pigs, general mycosis resulted. Limossier and Roux (1889- 
1890) in their monograph, state that the mycelium occurs in the blood vessels 
of inoculated animals. 

The fungus is very common in some sick chambers in regions where the 
disease is prevalent. It is most abundant in sucklings. 

It occurs frequently in children of premature birth, and in weak children; 
the fungus is also found in aged persons, suffering from disability; it occurs 
chiefly upon the mucous membrane of the mouth, pharynx, and oesophagus ; 
more rarely, upon that of the stomach, intestine and vagina, and upon the 
nipples of nursing women and bovine animals. It has also been found in the 
liver, kidneys and lungs ; it penetrates the epithelium and even into the under- 
lying, connective tissue; it is spontaneous in such animals as calves, birds, and 


foals. The disease is fatal in many cases, some authors estimating the death 
rate as high as 22 per cent. Inoculated guinea pigs show a rise in temperature 
at first a lowering, accompanied by albuminaria, less of flesh, and diar- 
rhoea, death occurring in from 2>-7 days. Immunity may be obtained in guinea 
pigs by beginning with small doses, and increasing these gradually to three 
times the strength. The product produced by the fungus is poisonous ; 20-40 cc. 
of the whole substance will kill a guinea pig weighing one kilogram. 

Dr. Stuhr has contributed the following upon this subject: 

Thrush is a mycosis of the mouth affecting children, calves, foals, and poultry, and 
is characterized by the formation of white patches upon the mucous membrane, which vary 
in size from points to large areas. It may involve the pharyngeal and laryngeal mucosae 
by extension. The disease is transmissable from man to animals. Young age, a weak con- 
stitution, gastric indigestion, uncleanliness, milky and starchy diet predispose. Decaying 
food in the mouth offers a suitable place for the growth of the fungus. 

Etiology. The specific cause of thrush is a vegetable parasite, Oidium 
albicans, first described by Berg in 1840. It is one of the branching fungi 
closely related to the yeasts and grows readily on sour milk, in saccharine 
substances, on decayed wood, and on fresh cow manure. Calves fed milk from 
wooden pails which are not kept perfectly clean are particularly liable to con- 
tract the disease. The fungus descends into the epithelium and sometimes into 
the subjacent connective tissue, causing inflammatory infiltration and superficial 

Sytnploiiis. The mucosa is difl:'usely red, swollen and tender, and shows 
adherent white patches, varying in size, surrounded by a red inflammatory zone. 
When these white spots are rubbed ofif, shallow red ulcers are exposed. When 
the inflammation in the mouth is severe, or when the disease spreads to the 
pharynx and interferes with deglutition the prognosis may become serious. 
Usually, however, the disease is benign and yields readily to treatment. 

Lesions. These are usually superficially located and rarely extend deeply 
into tissues. They begin with diffuse reddening of the mucous membrane and 
the formation of a somewhat shining, slimy, adhesive layer of grayish-white 
matter which is said to have an acid reaction. Later whitish dots appear upon 
the surface and gradually spread, sometimes coalescing. These whitish patches 
are false membranes composed of detached epithelial cells with a ramifying 
network of parasitic threads. The white color of the false membranes is 
markedly in contrast with the congested surrounding tissue. While the lesions 
are ordinarily restricted to the mouth they may involve the pharynx, oesoph- 
agus, (in chickens), larynx and even the stomach and intestines. Metastasis 
may occur and the fungus be carried to various parts of the body. 

Treatment. This is aimed at the destruction of the fungus and for this 
purpose many substances have been recommended. The mouth should be 
cleansed at frequent intervals with solutions of borax, sodium h3'posulphite, 
permanganate of potash, or chlorate of potash, etc. The system should be 
built up by feeding soft nutritious food, and the sanitary conditions should 
be improved. 

Oidium hominis. (Busse.) Pammel. Blastomycosis 

Cells spherical or ovoid, variable in culture, 8 M in diameter with strongly 
refringent bodies ; in young cultures, nearly homogeneous and with oil drops ; 
in old cultures, large cells with a thin membrane ; culture, at first white, then 
grayish or yellowish, or yellowish-brown in plum cultures, in plum decoction 



black, gas-producing in sugar medium, grows well in ordinary media but pre- 
ferably in acid; grows best at high temperature. (An organism isolated by 
Curtis produced white colonies with oval, or club-shaped cells, frequently pro- 
ducing capsules.) Grows readily in nutrient media, does not form a pellicle 
on the surface in liquid media. 

Descriptions of several so-called species of Saccharomyces causing Blasto- 
mycosis will be added to the above. In their development, blastomycotic fungi 
resemble true hyphal fungi rather than yeasts. It is convenient to discuss 
them here until their true relationship has been determined. 

Distribution. Found in Europe and America. 

Pathogenic properties. It was first isolated from the left tibia of a woman 
thirty-one years of age, the disease having first manifested itself by a purplish- 
red spot and swelling. An operation was performed, but it failed to relieve 
the trouble, new foci making their appearance after the operation and finally 
becoming general, being accompanied with pus formation. The patient died in 
13 months, the lungs, kidneys, and spleen having become involved. There was 
no oedema, the organisms found in the lungs and kidneys being marked by 
small, nodular swellings. 

Large amounts of culture, when inoculated into guinea pigs, dogs, and rab- 
bits, produce the disease followed by death. In another case described by Curtis 
in 1895, the disease occurred in a young man. The organism isolated is path- 
ogenic for rats, mice and dogs. 

Fig. 113. Blastomycosis of the skin show- 
ing the elongated cells and budding forms. After 
Hyde and Montgomery. 

Ziegler, in his General Pathology, summarizes our knowledge of the path- 
ogenic properties of yeast as follows : 

As parasites no importance has been attached to them until very recently, but the in- 
vestigations of Busse, Buschke, Sanfelice, Curtis, and others have established the fact that 
there are also species of Saccharoniycetcs of pathogenic importance. According to thcfc 
observations, the pathogenic yeasts can multiply in different tissues, in the skin, periosteum 
lungs, and glandular organs, and can excite either purulent inflammations or proliferations 
of granulation tissue, which run a course similar to that of an infection with actinomycosis, 
or tuberculosis. In inflammatory foci, the yeast cells are for the most part provided with 
a capsule. They may give rise to tumor-like swellings. Through degenerate changes, 
crescentic forms may develop from the oval yeast-cells. 

In solutions containing sugar the blastomycetcs form oval cells. Reproduction takes 
place through budding and constriction; on any portion of the parent cell there may develop 
an excrescence, which is constricted off after it reaches the sire of the mother cell. Under 


certain conditions the cells may grow out into threads, but in these threads no subsequent 
segmentation occurs; jointed threads arise through budding (Cienkowsky, Grawitz). A dilute 
culture-medium favors the formation of threads. 

Oidium granulomatogenes. {Sanfelice). Panimel. Blastomycosis 

Forms nodular masses ; grows in ordinary media ; ferments sugar ; uniform 
clouding of media; colonies white; the nodules consist of the fungus, giant 
epithelioid cells ; causes a cheesy degeneration. 

Distribution. Found in Europe. 

Pathogenic properties. Pathogenic for hogs; occurs in the lungs, where it 
produces nodular masses. 

Oidium lithogenes. (Sanfelice.) Pammel. Blastomycosis 

The fungus occurs in the cancerous-like growth of the lymphatics; is 
frequently surrounded by lime, on agar and gelatin forms white colonies; in 
stick culture the growth is needle-like ; sugar is changed into alcohol and 
carbon dioxid. Fungus consists of spherical bodies. 

Distribution. In Europe. 

Pathogenic properties. Pathogenic for guinea pigs, white rats, sheep, and 
cattle, producing nodular enlargements, frequently surrounded by a calcareous 

W. W. Hamburger, in a recent number of the Journal of Infectious Dis- 
eases, refers to a morphological and biological study of blastomycosis as follows : 

1. The strains of organisms appear nearly identical, so far as growth in test-tufees goes. 
A few minor differences are summed up below. 

2. The organisms grow vigorously on the usual laboratory media, with perhaps a 
slightly more abundant growth on faintly acid glucose-agar. 

3. Temperature! is perhaps the most important factor in varying the gross and micro- 
scopic morphology; room temperature favors production of mycelia and aerial hyphae; in- 
cubator temperature inhibits production of hyphae and favors coherent, waxy, yeastlike 
colonies (budding forms). 

4. Those cultures which produce yeastlike growths at incubator temperature develop 
hyphae within 24 hours when withdrawn and placed at room temperature. Likewise the 
majority of yeast-like colonies will finally (in 17 to 30 days) show evidence of beginning 
hypha formation even if kept at 37 degrees C. 

5. Glucose-agar stabs, and broth form the most serviceable culture media if a limited 
variety is at hand. Duplicates should always be made to control differences in morphology 
at room and incubator temperature. 

1. Four strains of organisms isolated from four cases of generalized blastomycosis 
appear identical. 

2. Pronounced variations in the gross and microscopic morphology of the organisms are 
produced by variations in temperature. As a routine for purposes of study cultures should 
be grown at both room and incubator temperatures. 

Distribution. Found both in Europe and North America. 
Pathogenic properties. Dr. Harris gives the following: 

Towards the lower animals pathogenic properties vary very much with the culture, 
recently isolated cultures as a rule proving more virulent than older ones. Mice, guinea 
pigs, and dogs are most susceptible, succumbing often to subcutaneous and intraperitoneal inocu- 
lations, whilst the white rat, rabbit, sheep, and horse are more refractory; in all, the lesions 
may be localized in the form of abscesses, or general infection may ensue where subcutaneous 
inoculation is practised. 

Dr. E. R. Le Count and J. Myers discuss the case of systemic blastomycosis 
of a Polish laborer. 

The first noticeable departure consisted in a feeling of discomfort involving the chest 
on the right side extending through from front to back, later cutaneous lesions appeared, 


located below the left ankle and extended down to the heel. He was obliged to stop work 
in December. The patient was emaciated, pale, anemic, and weak. Marked oedema was 
present in the ankles, feet, face and arms. His nails were clubbed; inguinal adenopathy 
was noted. From the lesions blastomycotic fungus was isolated, the sputum also contain- 
ing the organism. 

Eisendrath and Ormsby described the cultures as follows : 

On March 22nd pus was removed from a subcutaneous abscess on the left forearm, 
which was inoculated on various media. Six days later growth was plainly visible, and 
after this time the cultures grew rapidly. These proved to be pure cultures of blastomy- 

cetes In the pus they occurred as circular forms and budding forms, having a 

double contour and the usual refractile capsule. On media the growth varied. It presented 
a moist, pasty surface on glycerin-agar, with at times a wormy appearance or else present- 
ing large folds and depressions. Microscopically, these cultures showed many oval and 
circular organisms, some budding ones, and much mycelial formation, the latter being both 
coarse and fine containing sporules. Lateral conidia occurred. On glucose-agar the growth 
was more dry, white, and presented aerial hyphae; and microscopically there were fewer 
circular and budding organisms and more fine mycelia. On both glucose and glycerin-agar 
the media were penetrated to a considerable depth in a semi-circular manner. 

Drs. Le Count and J. Myers say, as follows : 

The body was examined a few hours after death and the following anatomical 
diagnosis made: Blastomycotic bronchopneumonia; blastomycosis of the peribronchial lymph 
nodes, of the pleura, the subpleural, and retropharyngeal tissue, the liver, the kidneys, 
the colon, the spinal column (dorsal vertebrae), the external spinal dura, the cerebellum, 
the left elbow, both knee and ankle joints, and of the skin and subcutaneous tissue with 
ulcerations, fistulae, and scars. Fibrous pleuritis. Passive hyperemia of liver and spleen. 
Serous atrophy of adipose tissue. Emaciation. Adenoma of thyroid and accessory spleen. 

One notable feature of this case is the large conglomerate blastomycotic nodule in the 
cerebellum. In only one other case of systemic blastomycosis, that of Curtis', is there 
any record of changes in the nervous system, and the statements in that instance are solely 
clinical, death being due to meningitis. The reproduction by a process of sporulation 
demonstrable in the cerebellar lesion is likewise a new feature of the changes encountered 
in the lesions of this disease. The idea that in the nervous tissue the fungus may have 
found favorable or different conditions of nutrition, as an explanation for this method of 
multiplication, is opposed by the facts that the regions in which it was found were very 
minute, that it was not generally present in the cerebellar process, and the budding was 
commonly observed in the "abcesses" in the partitions between necrotic regions. 

Highly interesting is the relationship between this case of blastomycosis and one of 
coccidioidal disease described by Ophuls. Up to the present two of the chief differences 
between blastomycosis and coccidioidal granuloma have been the endosporulation observed 
in the tissues in the latter disease and its tendency to spread by the Imyph channels. Al- 
though no widespread extension by the Imyphatics was demonstrated in the case reported 
here, the extension to the tracheobronchial glands and in peribronchial lymph channels is 
unmistakable; the endosporulation on the cerebellum in part also resembles the methods of 
production described for the organism of coccidioidal granuloma. Taken together, these 
features in this instance of systemic blastomycosis are in accord with the belief expressed 
by Ophuls of a close relationship of the organisms in the two diseases. 

Ricketts, in an interesting monograph on "Oidiomycosis (Blastomycosis) 
of the Skin and its Fungi," gives the clinical history, cultural characters and 
histopathology of a large number of cases. The fungi are divided into three 
groups, (1) Blastomjxetoid or yeast-like. (2) Oidium-like. (3) Hyphomycet- 
oid. He says : 

There are two histological forms of the disease in the skin, the eosinophilous and the 
non-eosinophilous, the former being associated with the mould type of the organism. Aside 
from the infections considered in this communication, certain cases which have been 
described in the literature from time to time indicate that oidium-like organisms may cause 
other severe pathological conditions in man. 




Symbiotic organisms consisting of higher fungi, chiefly of the class Asco- 
mycetes, or rarely Basidiomycetes ; the thallus consisting of algal cells enveloped 
by the mycelium of the fung-us forming a felted mass. The algae are called 
gonidia and belong to the Cyanophyceae or Chlorophyceae. The reproductive 
bodies consist of spermogonia, which contain the spermatia. The asci contain 
the ascospores, and occur in apothecia. In the Basideal lichens, spores are 
borne on basidia. Lichens are sometimes divided into fruticose, crustaceous, 
and foliaceous ; but a more natural classification arranges the lichens into the 
Basidio-Uchenes and Asco-lichenes, with various families, such as the Roccel- 
laceae, that contains the Litmus, Roccella tinctoria ; the Lccanoraceae, contain- 
ing the Lecanora ; and the Cladoniaceac that contains the well known Reindeer 
Lichen, Cladonia rangiferina. 

Fig. 115. Lichens, structure of Thallus and Apothecia. 1. Plectospora minutula, sec- 
tion through a part of the apothecium; a (at the right, below) Gonidia, a (above) ascus sf> 
ascospores, p paraphyses; x500. 2. Section of thallus of Cladonia furcata x 330. 3. Por- 
tion of thallus of Slereocaulon rumulostini: a gonidia, m hypha. 4. Isolated gonidium 
(a) with attached hyphae (m) x 950. 5. Synalissa ramulosa, isolated gonidia (a) with 
attached hypha ()»)• After Bornet. 





Seldom thalloid, generally with stem and leaves with well marked alteration 
of generations. They contain antheridia and archegonia similar to those of the 
ferns. The antheridia are stalked, ellipsoidal, spherical, or club-shaped; the 
sperm cells are biciliated, the archegonia flask-shaped, the ventral portion with 
a large center cell, the lower portion divided into an egg cell and ventral canal 
cell. At maturity the new canal cells become mucilaginous and disorganized. 

Fig. 114. Spermogonia of Lichen, g. 
Gonicdia, fungus threads below. sp. 
Spermatia. Greatly magnified. After 

Fig. 115b. Lichens. 1. Ochrolechia tarlarca. 2. Rhisocarfon geographicum. 3. 
L,ecanora subfusca, on bark of tree. 4. Caticum. .S. Bacomyces rosciis. 6. Lccanora 
escutcnid. 7. No. 6 removed from substrntnm. 8. Craphis scrijld. 1-8 after Wettstein. 



Fig 116 A. Lichen— Iceland Moss {Ceiraris islandica). p. Paraphyses. o. Asci. 
b. Ascospores. ^. Subhymenial layer, g. Gonidia or alga. h. Hyphae. r. "Cortical portion. 
B Lichen. (Synalissa symphorea) sending its hyphae into an alga Glococapsa. L. Arcliegon- 
inm of fern {Poiypodium vulgare) with egg cell. b. Antheridium with sperm cells c. Single 
coiled sperm cell. D. Liverwort (Marchantia polymorplia). a. Large gemmule or bud. 
b. Same section of thalloid structure bearing scales, .r. G. Antheridium with sperm cells 
shown at b. H. Foliaceous lichen Physcia pulverulenta. I. Section of male plant of 
moss. Phascum cuspidatum. a. Antheridium. b. Archegomum. /. leaves, p. Faraphyses. 
K Shield Fern {A<;pidium Felix-Mas), pinnule bearing sori. a. Indusiiim, undcrnearth the 
sporangia. L. Sporangium of the same with ring and stalk with the spores at a. M. 
Sporanuium of the Royal Fern {Osmnvda ,-rira/is). No ring or mere tr«ces. iV. Filffly 
fern iTrichomnnes alntum). O. Schisaca pusilla. a. tertile pinnule with sporangia, b. 
Single sporaugi'.im vsiih rir gat sinall end. 


the mucilaginous material acting as a servant to attract the sperm cells. After 
fertilization occurs, spores develop. In addition to the sexual method of repro- 
duction an asexual reproduction also occurs. The gametophytic and sporo- 
phytic stage are sharply dififerentiated.. 

In the development of the sexual generation the spore germinates giving 
rise to a tube v^^hich develops into a new plant, and is called protonema. There 
are two divisions, the common mosses, and the liverworts. The parts of the 
fruiting moss plant are as follows: The calyptra or membranous cap which 
covers the capsule and soon falls off, exposing the operculum, which is a kind of 
lid, that is also thrown off. The peristome is developed within the operculum 
and contains teeth, between which the spores are discharged. The elaters in 
Marchantia are for the dissemination of the spores. The peristome differs 
in different genera ; this affords a convenient means of classification. The 
spores are found in the capsule and running through the center is a slightly 
differentiated tissue, the columella. In Funaria the reproductive organs occur 
on different plants. The sexual organs are borne much like those of liver-worts 
at the apex of the stem. The antheridia occur in a small rosette of leaves 
and are club-shaped, the upper part consisting of a single layer of large 
chlorophyll bearing cells in which small cubical masses occur, the biciliated 
sperm cells. The archegonia occur in young plants and closely resemble the 
archegonia of liverworts, except that they have a larger neck. The spore? 
germinate by producing a protonema which early produces a rhizoid. 

The liverworts and mosses are much more highly differentiated than any 
of the Thallophytes, being characterized by more or less differentiation into 
tissues. Their life history presents a well marked alteration of generations. 
The gametophyte is more conspicuous than the sporophyte ; the germinating 
spore produces the protonema, which consists of a branched filament, the cells 
containing the chloroplastids. The protonema is usually short-lived in the 
Hepaticae but in the true mosses is longer-lived and may persist from year to 
year. The moss plant is attached to the soil by small unicellular root hairs, or 
by many curled filaments which, in mosses, are called rhizoids. The shoots of 
mosses bear lateral organs known as leaves. In Polytrichum and Mnium the 
leaf consists, essentially, of a single layer of cells except on the midrib. In the 
leafy-stemmed liverworts like Frullania two rows of lateral leaves occur. In 
Marchantia the leaves are rudimentary and occur on the under surface of the 
thalloid structure in the form of small scales. The small dots on the surface 
represent the stomata which are dome shaped structures consisting of a num- 
ber of cells on each side. The stomata communicate with the photosynthetic 
system of the plant. 

Bryophytes are divided into two classes, tlic liverworts — Hepaticae — and 
the Mosses — Musci, the latter represented by si)agnum moss — Polytrichum, 
Bryum, etc. 

The mosses are distingiiished from the thallophytes by their sexual repro- 
duction, the antheridia or male organs arc stalked, ellipsoidal, or club-shaped, 
and enclose small cubical cells, in which the ciliated sperm cells occur. These 
are ejected, float about in the water till the female reproductive organ, the 
archegnnium, is reached. This is a flask-shaped body containing a neck and 
an egg cell. At maturity the upper part of the canal cells become mucilaginous, 
the sperm cells pass down through the canal to the egg cell, where fertilization 



Fig. 116a. A. Common Polypody {Polypodiitm vulgare). rh. Rhizome. s. Stipe. 
/. Frond, r. Rachis. a. Part of frond' with sori. c. Sporangium, d. Spores. B. Mbss 
(Mnium hormiim). a Inner peristome, b. Outer peristome, two teeth. C. Juniper Moss 
(Polytrichum commune), rh. Rhizoid. j. Seta or stalk, c. Calyptra or cap. p. Operculum. 
D. Common liverwort (Marclwntia polymorpha). s. Spores, e. Elater. E. Same as £>— 
thalloid body with female fruiting body and cupules. F. Same more magnihed. r Kays 
with the spore cases containing the spores and elaters. p. Perigynium, to the left and right 
archegonia, different stages. G. Prothallus of fern with archegonia, b. and antheridia, a. 
H. Fern prothallus with young fern and root at r. I. Protonema of Moss {Funaria 
hygroinetrica). r. Rhizoids. b. Buds. s. Spores. 



is brought about. After fertilization, the egg cell divides and gives rise to an 
embryo. The mosses diflfer from the ferns and their allies in a less differentiation 
of tissues and a slight development of shoot and root S3'stem. The vascular 
system and leafy shoots and roots are marked in the ferns. 


Spores alike or unlike microspores and megaspores developing into flat or 
irregular prothallia ; these bear the reproductive organs, (antheridia and arche- 
gonia) ; flowers and seeds absent; usually a well developed vascular system.. 

This sub-division includes the class Filicales or ferns proper. The class 
Equisctales or horsetails; the Lycopodiales represented by the common club 
moss, {Lyco podium). 

Fig. 116b. Fern. A. Section through frond of As- 
tidium Filix mas, a leaf-like body with parenchyma cells, 
an epidermis and vascular bundles x 100. B-J. Develop- 
ment of the sporangia of Aspidium trifoliatum x 350. K. 
Young sporangium of Nephrolejns cxotlcta in the act of 
differentiating the annulus x 350. L. Immature sporangium 
of Blechnum occidentale, seen from the back. M. Sporangi- 
um with spores. N. Sporangium dehiscence at st, a jointed 
ring X 120. O. Group of sporr mother-cells x 350. P-R. 
Single spore mother-cells in dilTercnt stages of partition 
X 425. S,T. Bilateral tetrads of Aspidiuvi Filix tnas. U. 
Mature spores of Aspidium Filix mas x 500. /'. Tetrads. 
After Luerssen. 




Leafy plants, fronds usually raised on a stipe ; coming from a rootstock ; 
leaves usually rolled up in the bud, circinate ; spores all of one kind and size, 
produced in sporangia which occur on the back of the frond, these at maturity 
break open and discharge the minute spores, which develop prothalli that bear 
the antheridia and archegonia. The following sub-orders occur in the United 
States : the Ophioglossaceae represented by the common adder's tongue, 
Ophioglossum vulgatum, found in moist meadows, the Moonwort, Botrychium 
Lunaria and B. Virginianum; the Osmundaceae, large ferns with straight erect 
rootstocks, pinnate leaves; large globose sporangia with mere traces of a ring; 
the Royal fern, Osmunda regalis, Clayton's fern (O. Claytonia), the most 
common species in damp woods, and the Cinnamon Fern (O. cinnaniomeay, 
occurring in wet places, marshes, etc. ; the Filmy ferns, Hymenophyllaceae, 
represented by the Bristle Fern (Trichomanes radicans) ; Cyatheaceae with such 
tree ferns as Dicksonia; Polypodiaceae, Common Brake, Maidenhair fern; 

Fig. 117. Marsilia (M. 
quadrifolia), a young leaf. 
5. Fruiting body. Bischoff. 

Fig. 117a. Club moss {Lycopodnim clavatum). 1. Plant 
with fertile shoots. 2. Scale and the sporangium. 3. Spores. 
After Wossidlo. 




Fig. 118a. Antheridiurn 
of fern with sperm cells. 
After Luerssen. 

Fig. 119. Pteris serrulata. A single 
archegonium; canal and neck cells; mu- 
cilage protruding x 350. After Stras- 

Fig. 120. Prothallus of Fern. Archegonia above, an- 
theridia below among the hairs. After Lucrssen. 


Gleicheniaceae, some tropical ferns of few species ; the Schizeaceae represented 
by the Small Curly Grass (Schisaea pusilla), Climbing Fern, {Lygodium palmat- 
um), sporangia ovoid or sessile provided with an apical ring, a family contain- 
ing about 100 species ; the Polypodiaceae the largest sub-order with 200 genera 
and 3000 species ; Marsiliaceae containing Marsilia a common aquatic or semi- 
aquatic plant ; represented by Salvinia, Azolla, also aquatic. The order Ma- 
rattiales, contains the Marattia, tropical. 

It is not at all strange that the ferns should be poisonous since Greshoff 
and others have reported the presence of hydrocyanic acid in these plants. 
Greshoff says the odor of oil of bitter almonds is especially intense in the young 
leaves of Cystopteris fragilis Bernh; and there is also a trace of HCN in the 
spores. He also calls attention to the presence of the same substance in the 
common brake (Pteris aquilina), and states that several tropical ferns namely 
Davallia brasiliensis, and other species are cyanogenetic, and that one fern, the 
D. pentaphylla, forms a large amount of this substance, especially the cultivated 
form elegantissinia. Several species of the Glcichenia contain saponin. 


Perennial with horizontal erect, short or elongated rootstocks ; leaves 
various, entire, pinnate, pinnatifid, or decompound, vernation circinate (coiled) ; 
sori on the margins of the leaf or on the lower side, generally without an 
indusium (covering) ; sporangia with a vertical many celled incomplete ring, 
which on straightening out ruptures and discharges the spores. A few of the 
ferns, as Male Shield fern Aspidium Filix-mas, and the A. marginale, are used 
in medicine. 


Indusium absent Polypodium 

Indusium present, evident. 
Sori marginal. 

Indusium with margin of frond rolled over. 
Sporangia borne on a continuous marginal vein-like receptacle. 

Stipe light colored Pteris 

Sporangia on the ends of the veins. Stipe black Adiantum 

Sori on back with special indusium covering the same. 

Sori linear or oblong Asplenium 

Sori roundish on the back or rarely the apex of the vein. 
Stipe not articulated. 

Indusium flat or slightly convex or round reniform, fixed by 

the center, opening all round the margin Aspidium 

Indusium convex, fixed by a broad base, commonly reflexed 

as the sporangia ripen Cystopteris 

Indusium obscure, leaves closely rolled together with necklace-like seg- 
ments Onoclea 

Polypodium. L. Polypody 

Simple or pinnate fronds from horizontal rootstocks ; stipes articulated 
to the rootstocks; sori (fruit dots) round, naked on the back of the frond 
in one or more rows each side of the midrib or scattered ; indusium wanting. 
About 350 species, mostly tropical. The species in the Northern United States 



are P. vulgare, and P. incanwn, the P. vulgare being more common northward. 
The P. aureum found in Florida is a large fern. 

Polypodimn vulgare. L. Common Polypody- 
Creeping rootstocks covered with cinnamon-colored scales; stipes light 
colored; fronds 4-10 inches high, simple and deeply pinnatifid, the divisions 
linear oblong, obtuse or somewhat acute obscurely toothed; sori large. 
Distribution. Throughout North America, also Europe and Asia. 
Poisonous properties. Used in catarrh and asthma. Supposed by some 
writers to be poisonous. 

Adiantum L. 

Sori marginal, borne on the under side of a transversely oblong, crescent- 
shaped or roundish, margin of the frond; the sporangia attached to the tips 
of the forking branched veins; stipe black, polished; leaves divided. About 80 
species of wide distribution. The A. Capillus-Veneris in tropical and sub- 
tropical regions. 

Adiantum pedatum. L. Maidenhair Fern 

Root-stock slender, chaffy; stipe black, shining, dichotomously forked at the 
summit; pinnae arising from the upper sides of two branches of the stipe; 
pinnules short-stalked, numerous. 

Fig. 121. Cultivated. Maiden hair fern {.-Idiantum). 



Distribution. In moist woods from Nova Scotia to Britisli Columbia and 
Alaska, California, Utah, Arkansas and Georgia, also found in Asia. 

Medicinal properties. The Maidenhair Fern has a bitterish aromatic taste 
and was formerly much used as a demulcent ; it is probably poisonous. The 
European A. Capillus-Veneris was used in catarrhal affections. 


Fronds once to twice pinnate, coming from a stout root-stock, usually large 
plants ; sporangia in a continuous slender line occupying the entire margin of 
the fern frond and covered by the narrow edge which forms a continuous 
membranaceous indusium. Pteris and Pteridium are usually separated; about 
100 species in the genus Pteris. 

Pteris aquiliiia, L. Common Brake 

Frond dull green, from 2-3 feet high, ternate at the summit of an erect 
stout stalk; variable in height from 1-6 feet.; stipe coming from a black root- 
stock; the spreading branches twice pinnate, branches oblong-lanceolate. 

Fig. 121a. Maiden fern (^Adiantum pedatum). 
(Am. Agriculturist). 

Fig. 121b. 
and stems of 
stocks contain 

Brake (Pteris aquilina). The roots 
this plant are poisonous. The root- 
a starch which is sometimes used as 

food. (Ada Hayden). 



Distribution. Widely distributed in North America, from the Atlantic to 
the Pacific coast, also found in Europe. Probably the most common fern in the 
north, especially on the Pacific coast. 

Poisonous properties. This plant has been reported as being an anthelmintic 
and also an astringent; it is suspected of being poisonous. 

Aspleuiuni. L,- Spleenwort 

Large or small ferns with entire, lobed, pinnate, leaves, 2-3 times pinnate 
or pinnatifid, veins free ; sori oblong or linear, oblique, straight or rarely 
curved; indusium straight or curved. About 200 species of wide distribution, 
several species cosmopolitan like A. Trichomanes. 

Aspleniiim Filix-foeinina. (L.) Bernh. Common Spleenwort 

Fronds 1-3 feet high^ ovate-oblong or broadly lanceolate, twice pinnate; 
pinnules confluent on the secondary rachis, oblong and doubly serrate or pin- 
nately incised; sori short. 

Distribution. Common in the north and especially in the dense woods, as 
far south as Missouri. 

Fig. 122. Ast'idium Filix was. ?pore bearing leaf 1/6 
natural size. a. A single segment showing the under side 
X 10. After Luerssen. 


Poisonous properties. The rhizome of the root is used in medicine al- 
though it is not officinal. It is supposel to possess properties the same as the 
Male Shield Fern. 

Aspidium. Swartz. Wood Fern 

Fronds with 1-3 pinnate leaves, free veins; sori borne on the back or rarely 
at the apex of the veins; indusium covering the sporangia, flat or flattish, 
scarious, orbicular and peltate at the center, or round-kidney-shaped, opening 
all round the margin. About 200 species of wide distribution, common in the 
northern states. 

Aspidium fragrans. (L.) Swartz 

Fronds 4-12 inches high, glandular and aromatic, fragrant; rootstock stout, 
nearly erect, densely chaff}^ as are the crowded stipes and rachis. Species 
found in Asia and Europe. 

Aspidium Filix-mas. (L.) Swartz 

Fronds large, 1-3 feet high; pinnae linear-lanceolate, tapering from base 
to the apex; pinnules very obtuse, serrate at the apex and obscurely so at the 
sides, the basal incisely lobed ; sporangia nearer the midvein than the margin 
and usually confined to the lower half of each fertile pinnule. 

Distribution. Native to Europe and found in rocky woods from Labrador 
to Alaska, northern Michigan, British Columbia, Greenland, Europe, Asia, and 
the Andes of South America. 

Poisonous properties. It is suspected of being poisonous. The rootstocks 
have long been used in medicine as a vermifuge and contain the following sub- 
stances : a fatty, green oil, traces of a volatile oil, resin, tannin, filicic acid, 
CggH^gO^g, filicin, aspidin, C^gH^^O^, a fixed poisonous oil. 

Dr. Winslow says : 

Large quantities of the drug cause hemorrhagic gastro-enteritis, tremors, weakness, 
stupor, coma, acute nephritis and cystitis. Six drachms of the oleoresin have proved fatal 
in man and sheep; five drachms in a medium-sized dog; and three ounces in a cow. Aspidium 
should never be given with oil which aids its absorption. 

Aspidium marginale. (L.) Swartz 

Much like the preceding, with evergreen fronds, small, thickish, ovate or 
oblong in outline, and from 1-3 feet high; pinnae lanceolate, acuminate; pin- 
nules oblong or oblong-scythe-shaped, obtuse or pointed, entire or crenately- 
toothed ; sori close to the margin. 

Distribution. From Canada to Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and 

Poisonous properties. Probably has the same effect as the preceding 
species. Dr. Johnson says : 

Oleo-resin of male-fern is one of the best known remedies for tapeworm, and also one 
of the most efficient. Doubtless much of the disappointment experienced with it is at- 
tributable to inefficient preparations. Since, however, it has been demonstrated that A. 
marginale is quite as efficient, and as this species is very abundant, there is now no good 
reason why reliable preparations should not be the rule rather than, as heretofore, the ex- 

Cystopteris. Bernhardi. Bladder Fern 

Fronds growing in tufts, 2-3 times pinnate, the lobes cut toothed; stipe 
slender, 2-4 pinnate leaves; sori roundish, borne on the back of the veins. 



Fig. 123. Shield Fern (Aspidium marignale). 
Said to contain filicic acid. Known to be poisonous. 
(Ada Hayden). 

Indusium delicate arched or level-like, attached by a broad base on the inner, 
partly under the sorus, opening free at the other side; veins free. A small 
genus of 5 species, 2 common in the United States. C. bulbifera, long slender 
fronds bearing bulhlets which propagate the plant. C. fragilis, with brittle 
stalk, the pinnae and pinnules ovate, lanceolate, irregularly pinnatifid or cut- 

Onoclca. L. Sensitive I'ern 

Coarse ferns, creeping root stocks, fertile fronds erect, rigid with con- 
tracted pod-like or berry-like divisions, rolled up; sori roundish, imperfectly 
covered by a very delicate hood-shaped indusium attached to the base of the 
receptacle; when dry opening, allowing the spores to escape; sterile fronds 
foliaceous. A small genus of a few species. 

Onoclca scnsihilis. L. Sensitive Fern 

Slender root stock with scattered fronds, sterile long stalked 2-15 inches 
high, triangular ovate, fertile fronds, contracted closely, bipinnate, pinnules 
rolled up into berry-like bodies. 



Fig.- 124. Flowering Fern {Osmunda Clay- 
toniana). Reported as poisonous. (Ada Hayden). 

Distribution. Moist meadows and thickets from Newfoundland to Florida 
and Minnesota. 

Poisonous properties. Very abundant in hay from low meadows. May be 

Onoclca Struihiopteris. (L.) Hoffman. Ostrich Fern 

Fronds growing in a crown; root stocks stoloniferous; sterile, short stalked, 
2-10 feet high, broadly lanceolate; pinnae pinnatifid, veins free, the veinlets 
simple ; fertile frond shorter, pinnate with pod-like or somewhat necklace- 
shaped pinnae. 

Distribution. Nova Scotia to Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and British Colum- 
bia, common also in Europe and Asia. 


Large ferns, root stocks frequently stout and erect; leaves 1-2 pinnate, 
coiled in vernation ; veins free, mostly forked, running to the margins of the 
pinnules or lobes; sporangia large, globose with mere traces of a ring, or 
none, borne on contracted pinnae, on the lower surface of the pinnules. 
Three genera. 



Osmunda. L. Flowering Fern 

Tall ferns growing in swamps or low ground. Fertile fronds much con- 
tracted and bearing on the margins the short pedicelled, naked sporangia on 
the margins of their radii like divisions without chlorphyll; sporangia thin, 
reticulated, opening by a longitudinal cleft into two halves, with a few thick- 
ened cells the rudiment of the ring. 

There are six species in the North temperate regions, three species com- 
mon in the North, the Cinnamon Fern (0. cinnamomea) , clothed with rusty 
wool; the Royal Fern (O. regalis), a smooth pale green fern, 2-5 feet high, 
with 13-25 sterile pinnules; Clayton's Fern (O. Claytoniana), clothed with 
loose wool, but soon smooth; pinnae oblong lanceolate; some of the middle 
pinnae fertile. The O. regalis is used as a tonic and styptic. By some these 
ferns are regarded as injurious to stock. 

EQUISETALES. Horsetails 

Rush-like perennial plants, epidermis impregnated with silica; creeping root- 
stocks, stem generally hollow jointed, simple or branched, striated or grooved, 
provided with a double series of cavities and usually a large central one, 
branches verticillate; leaves reduced to a sheath which is divided into teeth 
corresponding to the principal ridges of the stem; stomata in furrows; 

Fig. 12S. Formation of Arcliegonia of Osmunda. A. Early development seen from 
the surface. B. The same in vertical section. C-B. Farther development. F. Opened 
and closed neck. G. Neck in oblique section. /. Fertilization of the mature archegonium. 
a. archeKoniuni. h. neck of the same, c. cc-ntral cell, e. egg, be. spermatozoids, he. neck 
canal cells. B-J x 240. A. greatly magnified. After Luerssen. 


sporangia 1-celled clustered underneath the shield-shaped scale of the cone; 
spores all alike, two thread-like elastic filaments (elaters) are attached to the 
base of the spore which roll around it when moist and spreading when ripe; 
prothallus green formed upon damp ground, usually dioecious. One order, 
Equisetaceae, and one genus, consisting of 40 species. Fossil horsetails numer- 


Equisetum. L. Horsetail 

Perennial jointed plants with creeping root-stocks, dull and blackish in color, 
often bearing tubers, roots in whorls from the nodes, stems usually erect, simple 
or branched, jointed cylindrical, the surface striated, the stomata occur in grooves 
either in rows or in bands, the nodes bearing a whorl of reduced leaves joined 
by their edges into cylindrical sheaths, the tips consist of presistent or deciduous 
teeth ; branches when present in the form of whorls from the nodes ; fruit 
consisting of a terminal cone containing the sporangia in which occur the green- 
ish spores ; each spore provided with four hygroscopic bands, the elaters ; 
spores produce two kind of prothalli, one male the other female; the male con- 
taining the antheridia, the female the archegonia. A small genus commonly 
called rushes or horsetails. Some ten species in eastern North America. 

Equisetum arvense. L. Common Horsetail 

Perennial with annual stems, stomata scattered; fertile stems unbranched, 
destitute of chlorophyll, 4-10 inches high, soon perishing; sheaths distant, 
8-12 toothed; the sterile slender 1-2 feet high, 10-14 furrowed producing simple 
or sparingly branched, 4-angular teeth, herbaceous, triangular lanceolate. 

Distribution. Abundant in sandy fields along roadsides and railroads, es- 
pecially northward from Newfoundland to Virginia, California and Alaska. 
Also occurs in Europe and Asia. 

Equisetum hyemale. L. Scouring Rush 

Stems all alike, slender, rather stiff, evergreen, from 1^-4 feet high, 
8-34 grooved. Stem rarely producing branches which are usually short and 
sometimes fertile; stomata arranged in rows, rough ridges with 2 indistinct 
lines of tubercles, the central cavity large, sheath rather long, cylindrical, 
marked with a black girdle, their ridge obscurely carinate; spikes persistent. 

Equisetum hyemale. L. var. robustum, (A. Br.) A. A. Eaton 

Stem perennial, tall and stout, 8-10 feet high, sometimes an inch thick, 
occasionally branched; 20-48-grooved, the ridges roughened with lines of trans- 
versely-oblong tubercles ; sheaths rather short with a thick girdle at the base 
and a black limb; ridges of sheaths carinate. 

Distribution. In wet places, from Ohio, Iowa, to Louisiana, Mexico, Cal- 
ifornia, and British Columbia, also in Asia. 

Poisonous properties. The rushes have long been recognized in Europe 
as being injurious to horses, and there are records of their poisonous proper- 
ties in American Agricultural Literature. 

A writer in the American Agriculturist, many years ago, described accu- 
rately a disease which might be called equisetosis, and which was produced by 
poisoning from these rushes. 


Mr. H. Lawrence of Spencer, Iowa, recently sent me a specimen of the 

last species mentioned above, writing that : 

"The cattle staggered and had the scours. One man lost 10 head of young animals." 
Friedberger and Frohner state that the symptoms of poisoning by this 

rush are as follows : 

At first, excitement and anxiety; the sensorium remaining unaffected; later, un- 
certainty of movement, reeling and staggering; at least, paralysis of hinder limbs, tumbling 
down, general paralysis, insensibility to external irritants, unconsciousness and coma. 
Pulse accelerated, appetite at first normal, but in course of time great disturbance of 
nutrition; sugar in the urine. Course sometimes very acute, death occurring in a few 
hours, but sometimes protracted (two to eight days), and at times chronic (on© to several 
weeks). In cattle, after excessive eating continuous diarrhoea becomes a prominent char- 
acteristic along with the paralytic symptoms; while, if the food be persisted with, cachexia 
and hydraemica, combined with weakness bordering on paralysis, make their appearance. 
Autopsy reveals: hyperaemia, oedema, dropsical effusions on the brain and spinal cord, 
especially on cerebellum; in cases of longer duration, hydraemia. Sometimes inflammatory 
changes in the mucous membrane of stomach and bowels. Therapeutics: change of fodder, 
purgatives and stimulants, especially camphor; blisters along the spine. 

Mr. P. J. O'Gara says of this plant: 

It has been found growing along roadsides and railroad tracks, but its occurrence in 
serious amounts is apparently confined to low moist meadows w-hich are more or less sandy. 
As before indicated, it is confined mostly to the Missouri bottom. A thorough examination 
ofi several meadows in this region has shown that this plant often constitutes one-sixth or 
more of the bulk of the hay. There is no doubt that this plant causes a great deal of 
trouble, but to what extent is not known as many of the haystacks which were carefully 
examined contained the Rattle-box in considerable amount. Horses eating this hay suf- 
fered the combined effects of both poisonous plants. 

Prof. Jones and Dr. Rich state: 

The first evidence of the trouble is more or less unthriftincss, the horse appearing 
thin and the muscles wasted. In from two to five weeks, according to the age of the 
horse and the manner- of feeding, the animal begins to lose control of its muscles, sways 
and staggers like a drunken man, although its eye looks bright, it eats well, and may even 
try to caper and play. After muscular symptoms become pronounced many cases refuse 
to lie down, standing until thrown down by disorderly muscular contractions. If it con- 
tinues to eat the plant the horse in any case soon loses power to stand and goes down, 
after which it becomes very nervous and struggles violently to get up, the legs become more 
or less rigid, and at times all the muscles of the body seem convulsed. Even in this 
condition one well nursed patient lived two weeks. The horses are generally willing to 
eat, although unable to rise, but become sore and tired from struggling, finally dying from 
exhaustion. Life is much prolonged by turning from side to side three or four times in 
twenty- four hours; thus preventing gravitation congestion of the lungs and kidneys. The 
pulse becomes slow until toward the end when it is rapid and weak. Temperature is be- 
low normal until the animal goes down, after which some fever develops in consequence 
of the nervous excitement and violent struggling. The extremities are usually cold, and 
in the winter horses suffering from Equisetum poisoning suffer severely from the cold, 
presumedly because of dimini.shed oxidation and consequent low body temperature. The 
visible lining membranes of mouth, nose, eye, etc., become pale. 

Conditions Influencing the Effect of the Poison. 

Age of the horses. — Young animals develop symptoms much more quickly and succumb 
to the Equisetum poisoning sooner than older ones. In one case under observation a mare 
eating Equisetum hay did not show symptoms until after four weeks, while her colt by her 
side developed typical symptoms of horsetail poisoning and died in ten days. Nine out of 
fourteen horses on one farm, all fed alike upon good hay, were bedded with swale hay 
containing large <iuantitics of this weed. They ate this bedding freely and within three 
weeks all nine showed symptoms of poisoning, tlie remaining five bedded with straw kept 
perfectly well. The youngest, a three-year-old, was down and died a few days later. The 
oldest, an old brood mare, showed but slight symptoms, while the other seven, of inter- 
jnediate ages, all staggered and reeled, although they recovered. 

Feed. — Grain-fed horses resist the action of the poison much longer than those not 
grained. IIor«cs seem to develop a depraved appetite for the weed. In the last mentioned 



Fig. 12Sa. a. Scouring Rush (Eqnisetum hyemale var robustum); b. Horsetail (H. 
arvense), futile branch; c. Sterile branch of E. arvense; d. E. hyemale. Said to be poison- 
ous to horses. (C. M. King). 


case, though all were fed good, clean timothy hay, they seemed to prefer the horsetail 
bedding, and even left their grain to eat it. 

Condition of the plant. — WIe have no evidence that horses grazing upon the green 
plant are poisoned thereby. It may be that the plant is less poisonous in the early stages 
of its growth than when mature, or the laxative effect of the grass eaten with it may 
prevent the cumulative action of the poison. Moveover the plant rarely occurs in as large 
quantities in pastures as in meadows and apparently rarely need cause apprehension. If, 
however, it is abundant, close watch should be kept upon horses pasturing where it 
occurs that the animals may be removed at the earliest symptoms of trouble. 

Treatment.— In the way of treatment, the first and most important thing is to stop 
immediately the feeding of the Equisetum hay. Our practice further than this has been 
to give a purgative pill consisting of one ounce of Barbadoes aloes, one or two drachms 
of ginger, and sufficient English crown soap — soft soap — to make a ball or pill. This is 
put down the horse's throat, at one dose, and following this we have usually given bran 
mashes night and morning until the digestive tract is entirely cleared of the poisonous plant. 
In case aloes cannot be easily obtained a quart of raw linseed oil will be very well. After 
the physic has operated, a teaspoonful of powdered nux vomica is added to each grain 
feed, three times a day. This tends to relieve the muscular incoordination. When poison 
symptoms are severe and especially when staggering is very profound, slings should be 
used to support the animal for when once down it is very difficult to make it stand 
again even with the aid of slings. If, however, the above treatment is begun before the 
horse loses the power to stand and it can be kept on its feet, its life can be saved in 
practically all cases. 

Stebler & Schroter in their work on the weeds of meadows mention this 
same plant and several other species as being injurious to stock, not only to 
horses, about which there is a difference of opinions, but to cattle. In the latter 
it produces diarrhoea. Cows become poor and the milk flow ceases or is checked. 

That this disease is similar to one produced by mouldy corn is shown by 
the following quotation from Dr. Peters : 

It is also known that certain weeds commonly called horsetail have a faculty of pro- 
ducing a disease almost identical with this one. The experiments conducted by Dr. Rich 
of the Vermont Station show that that weed is capable of producing similar symptoms. 


Plants producing seeds which contain an embryo with 1 or more cotyledons, 
a stem caulicle, a radicle, and a plumule, these parts, occasionally not dif- 
ferentiated before germination ; microspores, equivalent to pollen grains borne 
in microsporangia ; ovules (macrosporangia) borne on a modified leaf called 
the carpel, containing 1 macrospore, equivalent to the embryo sac which de- 
velops the minute female prothalhum, an archegonium ; the egg cell in the em- 
bryo sac is fertilized by means of a sperm cell in the pollen tube; the male 
prothallium generally but slightly developed. The Spermatophyta contain 
two main divisions based upon the character of the ovules. 


Ovules naked, not enclosed in an ovary, attached to scales or wanting; 
pollen grains develop into the pollen tube; the male prothallium contains the 
sperm cell and fertilizes the egg cell in the ovule. The Gymnosperms are di- 
vided into six classes. 

1. Cycadales. These include the Cycas circinnalis well known in cultiva- 
tion, an important plant of the tropics. The C. media of Australia produces 
rickets, a Macrozainia causes the same disease. Dr. Stafford states that C. 



Fig. 126. (Ephedra tievad- 
ense). A shrub in Southwest- 
ern United tSates. 

circinnalis, known as the "Fadong" in the island of Guam, is poisonous, but 
the poisonous properties of the seeds are removed by soaking and repeatedly- 
changing the water. He says also that the seeds when fresh are so poisonous 
that the water in which they are steeped is fatal to chickens. The group also 
includes the Dioon the seeds of which furnish a starch which is an article of 
food. The species of Zamia, a member of this group, are native to tropical 

2. Bennettiales, A fossil group. 

3. Cordaitales, A fossil group. 

4. Gingkoales. These include the Gingkoaccae, of which the Ginkgo biloba 
is well known and is frequently cultivated as an ornamental plant in the United 
States. Long avenues of these trees are planted in Washington. The fruit 
of the Gingko has a very disagreeable odor. The tree was common in the ter- 
tiary age. 

5. The Conifcrae. 

6. Gnetales. This group is represented in the United States by Ephedra, 
shrubs with horse-tail like branches, small leaves and buckwheat-like seeds. 

The Welwitschia of the above group is found upon stony ground in the trop- 
ical Old World. 



Fig. 127. Hemlock {Tsuga 
canadensis). A common forest 
tree of Northern North America. 
Contains resin and the usual 
principles found in these resins. 
Said to be injurious. 


Resinous trees or shrubs generally evergreen leaves, entire or scale-like; 
wood consists mostly of tracheids marked with large depressed disks ; tracheae 
only present near the pith and in the leaves ; perianth none ; flowers monoecious ; 
stamens several, together, subtended by a scale; anthers 2-7 celled; pollen grains 
frequently of three cells, one fertile and two inflated; ovules with two coats, 
borne solitary or together on the surface of a scale, straight or partly inverted; 
fruit a cone, usually papery, but in some instances fleshy, sometimes berry-like ; 
seeds winged or wingless ; endosperm abundant, fleshy or starchy ; embryo 
straight and slender; cotyledons 2 or more. About 25 genera and between 275 
and 300 species. They include the Podocarpus of the tropical regions, the Taxus 
or Yew, the Norfolk Pine (Araucaria excelsa and A. brasiliana), frequently 
cultivated, the White Cedar {Cupressus Lawsoniana) of California, the Cupress- 
iis nootkatensis of the northwest coast, the White Cedar (C. thyoides) which 
occurs in swamps, in the East; the genus Picea consisting of the spruces, Nor- 
way Spruce (P. Engehnannii) , Tideland Spruce (P. sifchensis), one of the larg- 
est trees in Oregon and Washington; the Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga Douglasvi), 
one of the most valuable of the North American conifers, found in Washington, 
Oregon and California and in the Rocky Mountains; the Hemlock (Tsuga 
canadensis) , abundant in North America, and the source of Canada or Hemlock 
Pitch, the bark containing an abundance of tannin ; the leaves are said to be 
abortive; the Tsuga heterophylla of the Pacific coast which produces a valuable 
lumber; the Balsam Fir {Abies balsamea), which furnishes a kind of balsam 
that contains four acid resins and a volatile oil; the Black Fir {Abies concolor). 


a l^rge forest tree of the Pacific coast and the Rocky Mountains; the Sandarac 
tree (Callistris quadrivalvis) , which furnishes not only the sandarac gum used 
in making varnish, but also a dark-colored, fragrant wood capable of high 
polish and used in ornamental work; the Arbor Vitae, or White Cedar {Thuja 
occidentalis), which contains fenshoe, thujonc, thiijin, and the bitter glucosidc 
pinicrln, its leaves being irritating to the skin, sometimes producing blisters; 
the Norway spruce (Picea cxcelsa), which contains resins and volatile oils and 
is the source of Burgundy pitch; the Black Spruce (P. mariana), from the 
young branches of which an essence is prepared that is used in the preparation 
of spruce beer; the White Spruce (P. canadensis), which, with the preceding 
species furnishes much of the wood pulp used in the manufacture of paper; 
and the Pines. 

Taxtis. (Tourn.) L. Yew 

Flowers generally dioecious or occasionally monoecious, axillary from 
scaly buds; sessile or nearly sessile, from small staminate catkins of a few 
scaly bracts ; 5-8 stamens ; anthers 4-celled ; fertile flowers solitary, erect, sub- 
tended by a fleshy cup-shaped disk; fruit consisting of a fleshy disk which be- 
comes cup-shaped and red and encloses the bony seed. 

Distribution. About 6 species native of the north temperate regions. One 
upon the Pacific coast, Taxus brevifolia, is a tree. The European Yew (Taxtis 
baccata), a well known poisonous plant, is frequently used for ornamental pur- 
poses in this country. 

Taxus canadensis. Willd. American Yew 

A low shrub, straggling over bushes, with linear leaves, green on both sides. 

Distribution. In the woods from Newfoundland to New Jersey and Vir- 
ginia, west to Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota. 

Poisonous properties. One species is known to contain the alkaloid taxin, 
Cg^Hg^NO^^. Dr. Johnson says, concerning the poisonous properties of the 
American Yew : 

This plant, a variety, only, of the European yew, cannot be said to have, as yet, 
a place among medicines. It is believed, however, to possess poisonous properties, and 
is perhaps worthy of investigation. Regarding the poisonous properties of the berries, 
the author can state that he has eaten them without deleterious effect, but whether because 
the quantity was insufficient or not, is an open question. Cases of fatal poisoning from 
eating the berries of the European yew arc on record, and therefore our variety is cer- 
tainly open to suspicion. 

Chesnut refers to the poisonous nature of the yew as follows : 

The common yew, or ground yew of the northeastern United States is called poison 
hemlock in some places. The leaves of this shrub are probably poisonous to stock, as 
are those of the European yew. This species is more accessible to stock than are those 
of the western yew {Taxus brevifolia), which grows only in deep canyons. 

Dr. Otto Lehmann * in his treatise on poisonous plants, states that older 
naturalists regarded the yew as one of the most powerful of poisonous plants. 
Modern testimony is conflicting, but he regards the branches and leaves as 
.Eois^onous for animals. Friedbcrgcr and Frohner give the symptoms of poison- 
ing from yew as follows: "Death may be sudden, resembling apoplexy; it 
may be preced'"d by staggering and convulsions; cases of long standing show 
gastro-enteritis. Give purgatives as remedies." 
• Giftpflanzen. 121. HamburK. 1882. 



Finns. (Tourn.) L. 

Evergreen trees with short scale-like leaves and longer leaves in bundles ; 
the ordinary foliage leaves linear, in bundles varying from 2-5, rarely 1 ; sta- 
mens in catkins, borne at bases of shoots ; filaments short ; anthers longitud- 
inally dehiscent; pistillate, bearing aments, solitary or clustered on the twigs 
of the preceding season consisting of numerous imbricated bracts, each with 
an ovule-bearing scale; fruit a large cone; seeds 2 at the base of each scale; 
winged above. About 75 species of wide distribution. Of these the more im- 
portant are: White Pine (P. Strobtis), one of the most valuable of North 
American Pines; Sugar Pine (P. Lainbertiana) of California and Oregon; Aus 
trian Pine (P. Laricio), furnishing Austrian turpentine; the Long-leaved Pine 
(F. paliistris) of the South, the most important source of turpentine, which 

Fig. 128. White Pine ( Finns Strobus). 1. Branch bearing staminate flowers. 2. 
Branch bearing pistillate flowers and young cones. 3. Anther, enlarged. 4,5. Scales of 
pistillate flower, enlarged. 6. Autumn branch bearing young cones. 7. Fruiting branch 
with young cone. 8. Scale of cone with seeds attached. 9. Seeds with wings attached. 
10. Seeds, enlarged. 11. Seedling plant. 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9 one-half natural size. (S. B. 


in this tree amounts to 70-80 per cent., resin, 15-30 per cent, volatile oil and 
some pinene Cj^^H^g, a very important constituent ; P. sylvestris, the source of 
Russian turpentine ; P. pinaster, supplying the French turpentine ; P. heterophylla 
and P. echinata, also turpentine trees; Loblolly Pine (P. Tacda) also containing 
pinene; the Western Yellow Pine (P. pondcrosa) occurring from mountains of 
Colorado westward, a large tree 120 or more feet high, 4 or 5 feet in diameter, 
branching widely, spreading or drooping, bark light red, leaves in 3's or rarely 
2's, cones stout, dense, heavy, ovoid-conical, each scale with short recurved 
prickle; the variety scopidonim of the last named species, found in the front 
Rockies, a smaller tree with shorter leaves ; and Lodge Pole Pine (Pinus con- 
torta), a tall straight tree, 80-120 feet high, and from 12 inches to 3 feet in 
diameter, with conical head, thin, light grayish-brown bark, leaves 1-3 inches 
long, light green, rigid, often persistent cones. This last named species occurs 
from Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota to the Pacific coast and is closely 
related to the Jack Pine (P. Banksiana) . 

Phenol and creosote oil are obtained from Pinus pahistris and P. Tacda. 

Poisonous properties. Cattle and sheep do not usually graze upon the 
leaves of conifers, but when forced to do so because of scarcity of fodder, 
sheep will eat the leaves, which may produce injurious symptoms. According 
to Friedberger and Frohner, plants containing turpentine are poisonous. Cho- 
bert, in 1787, observed gastro-enteritis complicated by nephritis as a result of 
grazing on leaves of conifers. The first named authors find symptoms of 
haematuria, constipation, evacuation dr}^, and irritation of the kidneys. 

Jnniperus, (Tourn.) L. Juniper 

Flowers dioecious or monoecious, in lateral catkins, staminate catkins 
small, fertile catkins consisting of 3-6 fleshy scales ; fruit appearing like a 
berry ; color of fruit bluish-black or blackish, frequently with white bloom ; 
seeds 1-3, wingless and bony. The /. Oxyccdnis of the Mediterranean region 
produces "oil of cedar." 

Jnniperus covununis. L. Common Juniper 

A shrub or small tree with spreading or pendulous branches; leaves rigid, 
spreading; berries dark blue. The variety alpina, Gaud, is a low, decumbent, 
or prostrate shrub with shorter, less-spreading leaves. It contains pinene and 
cadinene. The oil and fruits are used in the manufacture of gin. 

Distribution. From Nova Scotia to British Columbia, to Pennsylvania, 
Wisconsin, Michigan, Nebraska, and in the Rocky Mountains to New Mexico; 
occurs also in Europe and Asia. The variety alpina is common in the mountains 
of New Mexico northward, not, however, as widely distributed as the species. 

Jtinipcrus virrjiniana. L- Red Cedar 

A shrub or tree extremely valuable, frequently from 60-90 feet high; pyra- 
midal in form ; leaves scale-like, obtuse or acutish, dimorphic, the leaves of 
young plants being more or less flattened, spiny, and awl-shaped, while those 
of the stem are scale-like and appresscd ; catkins terminal ; berries on straight 
peduncles; cones light blue or glaucous. The Platte Cedar {J. scopnlorum) 
differs from the other in the development of the seeds. 

Distribution. The Red Cedar occurs from New Brunswick to British 



Columbia, south to Florida, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, also the West 
Indies. The Platte Cedar occurs from Nebraska westward and is common in 
the foothills of the Rockies. 

Poisonous properties. According to Dr. Halsted it poisons goats which 
orowse on it. 

Fig. 129. Red Cedar (Jiiniperus znrginiana). To the left 
a branch from an old tree; to the right juvenile shoots, spiny. 
The plant is poisonous and injurious. 

Juniperus occidentalis. Hooker 

A shrub or small tree, with bark in shreds ; leaves pale in color, closely 
appressed, obtuse or acutish; berries 4-5 lines in diameter. 

Distribution. Northwest along Pacific Coast. 

The variety monosperyna, Eng., shows stunted trees, frequently 2 or more 
feet in diameter, attaining an age of 1200-1300 years; leaves scale-like; berries 


Fig. 130. Savin, Juniper {Juniperus Sabina). 
Fruiting branch. Known to be poisonous. (After 
Strasburger, Noll, Schenck and Schimper). 


smaller than the above, frequently copper-colored; generally with one seed or 
sometimes more. 

Distribution. Found from Colorado to Western Texas, Arizona, Cali- 
fornia, and Wyoming. 

Several allied species have been described, among them /. Kniglitii by 
Nelson, and another by Sudworth, which occurs in the southwest. 

Juniperus Sabina, L. Savin, Juniper, Swedish Juniper 

A prostrate shrub with appressed leaves in pairs ; margin slightly or in- 
distinctly denticulate; berries on short recurved peduncles; 3-4 lines in diam- 
eter, 1-3 seeds. It contains the substance sabinol. It is officinal. 

Distribution. Along the Atlantic coast, from Massachusetts westward to 
New York, Minnesota, Montana, and British Columbia, also in Europe and 

Poisonous properties. The wood of Red Cedar is extensively used in the 
manufacture of lead pencils and was formerly also employed in making cigar 
boxes. The fruit of the common Low Juniper (J. communis) is used for 
flavoring gin. Red Cedar contains a fragrant volatile oil consisting of cedrol 
and cedrene. Cases of poisoning from this genus have been reported. 


Ovules enclosed in an ovary. 


Embryo with a single cotyledon, first leaves of germinating plantlet alter- 
nate; stems endogenous, consisting of an outer part, an inner mass of cells 
the parenchyma, and the bundles distributed through the mass ; no distinction 
into pith, wood, and bark; leaves generally parallel veined, usually alternate 
and sheathing at the base; flowers generally on the plan of 3. This group 
of plants includes the palms, grasses, lilies, duckweeds, etc. 


Marsh plants, herbs or trees with linear leaves ; flowers in spikes or heads ; 
perianth of bristles or of chaffy scales; ovary 1, 1-2 celled; endosperm mealy 
or fleshy. This order includes the Cat-tail (Typha latifolia), Screw pine 
(Pandanus), and the Bur-reed (Sparganiutn). The ripe fruit of the Pandanus 
fragrans is used as a relish in the Philippine Islands. 

The Cat-tail is reported as poisonous. It is common across the continent 
and is found in swamps. 


Aquatic or marsh herbs, leaves various; flowers perfect, monoecious or 
dioecious; perianth present or absent; stamens 1 -numerous; carpels 1 or more, 
mostly distinct; endosperm none or little. This order includes the Pond 
Weeds (Potamogeton), of which there are many species, which float in the 
water and often give trouble in ponds of parks; fresh water eel grass (Vallis- 
neria spiralis), water weed (Elodea canadensis), a troublesome weed in the 
canals of England and Europe. All of these plants are abundant in our fresh 
waters and afford food for crustaceans, which in turn are used as food for fish. 


Fig. 131. Pond-weed {Potamogeton natans). 1. 
Apex of flowering shoot. 2. Flower viewed from 
above. 3. Flower viewed from side. 4. Diagram 
of flower. (After Wossidlo). 

Fi?. 132. Pond weed (Po/amoseion). Common in fresh water 



Fig. 133. Bur-reed (Spargaiuum). 



Fig. 134. Cat-tail {Typha lalifolia). A common 
weed along shores of lakes and streams. 



ALISMACEAE. D. C. Water-Plantain Family- 
Aquatic or marsh herbs, generally with smooth, sheathing leaves ; flowers 
perfect, monoecious or dioecious ; sepals 3, persistent ; petals 3, the larger, 
deciduous, imbricated in the bud; stamens 6 or more; anthers 2-celled, extrorse; 

Fig. 135. Water Plantain (Alisma Plantago). A common marsh plant. 

pistils numerous or few, usually with a single ovule in each cell ; fruit an 
achene ; seeds small, erect. About 70 species of wide distribution in swamps. 
The Water Plantain (Alisma Plantago) of Europe and North America is com- 
mon in the northern states. Several species of Arrowheads (Sagittaria) are 
used as food by the Indians and Chinese. 

Sagittaria L. Arrowhead 

Perennial with tuber-bearing root stocks and milky juice; basal leaves long- 
petioled, scape sheathed at the base; flowers monoecious or dioecious, borne 
near the ground in whorls ; sepals persistent in pistillate flowers, reflexed or 
spreading; petals 3, white, deciduous; stamens indefinite; pistillate flowers with 
distinct ovaries; ovule solitary; fruit an achene in dense clusters; seed erect, 

Sagittaria Engelmanniana, J. G. Sm. 

Perennial with stoloniferous roots; leaves very variable; scape 1-4 feet 
high, angled; lower whorl fertile; pedicel of fertile flowers, at least half the 
length of the sterile one ; filaments smooth ; achenes obovate with a long 
curved or horizontal beak. 

Distribution. ' Across the continent and in Europe. 

Poisonous properties. The tuberous stolons are eaten; if there is any 
poison contained in the raw state it is probably removed by methods of prepara- 
tion for food. 



Fig. 136. Arrowhead (Sagittaria Bng,elmanniana). Com- 
mon in low ground.s. Some species supposed to be poisonous. 
(After Miss G. E. Johnson, Rep. Mo. Bot. Garden). 


Endogenous plants mostly herbaceous; stems (culms) narrow or without 
leaves; leaves usually narrow and elongated; entire or serrulate; flowers small, 
generally perfect, in the axils of dry chaffy scales, called glumes; arranged in 
spikes or in panicles consisting of spikelets.. 2 families, Gramincae and Cypev 

Fruit a caryopsis 1 Gramincae 

Fruit an achene 2 Cypcraceae 

I. GRAMiNEAE. Grass Family 
Fibrous-rooted annuals or perennials, rarely woody, generally with hollow 
stems; alternate 2-ranked leaves, sheaths split or open on the side opposite the 
blade; flowers consisting of 2-ranked glumes, forming a 1-many-flowcred 
spikelet ; flowering glumes enclosing a small bract called the palet ; stamens 
1-6, usually 3; anthers versatile, 2-ccllcd, stigma hairy. 


Fig. 137. Corn (Zea mays). _ To the left 
pistillate flowers; g, ovary; s, stigma; to the 
right staminate flowers; s, stamens. 



Fig. 137a. Rice-cut-grass (Leersia lenticu- 
laris). The sharp edges of the leaf of this grass 
often cut the flesh of animals. 

Fig. 137b. Porcupine grass (Spartina cynosur- 
aides). The sharp edges of this leaf cut like a knife, 
often wounding animals. 

A large order of about 3500 species, many of which are very important 
to man. Among them are the wheat, oats, rye, corn, wild rice, sorghum, and 
sugar cane, the two latter being the sources of some of the sugar of com- 
merce. Many grasses, also, are important forage plants, among which may 
be named blue grass, timothy, bromc grass, and red top. Some grasses are 
used in nicdicine. 

The Bamboo, native of the tropics, is valuable, being used not only for 
building purposes, but also in the manufacture of household furniture and in 
other ways. 

Very few of the grasses have deleterious properties. A few, such as 
sleepy grass and millet, the latter of which is injurious to horses, are known 
to be poisonous. Some grasses, because of their stiff awns, penetrate the skin 
and even perforate the intestines, inflicting dangerous wounds. Needle grass 
and squirrel tail grass, or wild barley, arc known to inflict injuries I)y lodging 
between the teeth, thus causing pus infection. 


Fig. 137d. 
grostis major) . 

Scent glands of stink grass (£r(>> 

Fig. 137c. Spikelets of various grasses. 1. 
Common blue grass {Poa pratensis). 2. Setaria 
glaiica. 3. Spikelet of blue-stem grass. 4. Bristly 
fox-tail (Setaria verticillata). 

A great many grasses, because of their sharp edges on the leaf, inflict 
injuries by cutting the flesh. Of these we may mention the rice-cut-grass, 
(Leersia), and porcupine grass, (Spartina cynosuroides). 

Holy grass (Hierochloe odorata) is sweet scented and contains coumarin. 
Indians use it to weave in baskets, mats, etc. Job's Tears, Coix lachrynia, is 
used for rosaries. 


Spikelets jointed upon the rachilla below the glumes, 1-2 flowered. 

Rachis bearded, spikelets spicate in pairs 2. Andropogon 

Rachis not bearded. 

Pedicels bristle bearing 4. Setaria 

Pedicels not bristle bearing. 

Spikelets enclosed by a bur 5. Cenchrus 

Spikelets plano-convex, not enclosed by a bur 3. Paspalum 

Spikelets in pistillate flowers, borne on a cob 1. Zea 

Spikelets not usually jointed above the persistent lower glumes. 
Spikelets 1-flowered. 

Awn simple twisted 7. Stipa 

Awn 3-pointed 6. Aristida 

Spikelets more than 1-flowered. 

Spikelets 2-several flowered, rachis often bearded, flowering glume 

with a twisted awn 8. Avena 

Spikelets 1 or more-flowered with a zigzag jointed rachis, channeled. 
Spikelets solitary at the notches. 



Flowering glumes with the backs turned to the rachis 

i 10. Ldiium 

Flowering glumes with their sides turned to the rachis 

11. Agropyron 

Spikelets 2-6 at each joint of the rachis 12. Hordeum 

Rachis not channeled 9. Bromus 

Fig. 138. Spikelets of tall-meadow-catgrass {Arrhenatherum elatius). 1 & 2. Sta- 
mens. 3. The lower flower with protruding styles; upper flower with protruding stamens. 
The lower scales are called sterile glumes. Each flower consists of a palet and flowering 
glume, stamens and pistil. 

1. Zca. Mays. L. 

Spikelets unisexual, monoecious; the staminate 2-flowered, in pairs, one 
sessile, the other pedicellate, arranged in terminal branches of a terminal pan- 
icle; the pistillate 1-flowcrcd, sessile crowded in several rows, along the much 
thickened continuous axis arising from the lower leaf-axil and closely en- 
veloped by numerous large foliaceous bracts; glumes 4, awnless; those of the 
staminate spikelet acute; those of the pistillate very broad and obtuse or 
emarginate; grain hard, only partially enclosed by the fruiting glumes. This 
well-known, tall, and striking annual grass has erect stems and broad leaves; 


Fig. 139. Vanilla grass {Hierochloe odor- 
ata). a. Spikelet with nearly equal lower glumes; 
b, with lower glumes removed, showing third and 
fourth scabrous glumes; c, palea with stamens; 
d, pistil. (Div. of Agros. U. S. Dept. of Agric). 

the terminal, staminate inflorescence forms the "spindle" and the long, pro- 
jecting styles of the pistillate flowers constitute the "silk"; the cob is formed 
by the union of the axes of several female spikes into a much thickened body. 
The 1 or 2 species are of American origin, presenting many varieties in 
cultivation known as corn, Indian corn or maize {Zea Mays). Dr. Sturtevant 
has arranged cultivated corn into the following groups : 

Pod-corn, Zea tunicata. 

Pop-corn, Zea everta. 

Flint-corn, Zea indurata. 

Dent-corn, Zea indcntata. 

Soft corn, Zea aynylacea. 

Sweet corn, Zea saccharata. 

Starchy sweet corn, Zea ainyleasaccharata. 
The so-called species and groups of Dr. Sturtevant are hardly to be re- 
garded as va-rieties. Some of the forms under conditions of culture and 
climate, revert to the original type. 


A plant cultivated for so long a time by the Indians and civilized man has 
naturally given rise to diverse forms which we regard as nothing more than 
races of the very polymorphic species Zea Mays. 

Some years ago Dr. Watson obtained from Moro Leon, through Prof. 
Duges, some corn which he considered a new species, calling it Zea canina. 
He says : 

The natural supposition was that we had here at least the original wild state of our 
cultivated maize. A careful comparison of the two, as thorough as the material at hand 
of the cultivated forms would permit, has led me first to doubt the probability of this, and 
now to consider the form in question a distinct species. The differences upon which this 
conclusion is based are in the habit of growth, the arrangement of the staminate spikelets, and 
the nervation of their glumes, the form of the glumes of the pisttillate flowers, and the 
ready disarticulation of the ripened ear. 

Dr. Harshberger, who is certainly a most careful observer, and who car- 
ried on some most interesting experiments on hybrids, considers our maize 
of hybrid origin and Zea canina is a hybrid of corn and Euchlaena. He says: 

Maize relates itself botanically to a native Mexican grass, teosinte (Euchlaena mex- 
icana) ; and the fertile hybrids of this grass and maize are known, producing a plant 
described by Watson as Zea canina. From the peculiar behavior of these hybrids, the 
writer has suggested that our cultivated maize is of hybrid origin, probably starting 
as a sport of teosinte, which then crossed itself with the normal ancestor, producing our 
cultivated corn. This is speculative, but there cannot be any doubt that the close relation- 
ship of maize and teosinte points the way to the determination of the botanical charactero 
of the original wild corn. Recently, Montgomery has suggested a theory as to the 
'nature of the maize ear, in which, in conclusion, he states that corn and teosinte may 
have had a common origin, and that in the process of evolution the cluster of pistillate 
spikes in teosinte were developed from the lateral branches of a tassel like structure, 
while the corn ear developed from the central spike. It is probable that the progenitor 
of these plants was a large, much-branched grass, each branch being terminated by a tassel- 
like structure bearing hermaphrodite flowers. 

Corn holds the first place in the list of crops produced in this country, 
and North America produces four times as much as the remainder of the 
world. According to C. P. Hartley, Europe stands second, South America 
third, and Africa fourth. As a corn-producing country the United States has 
no rival ; Argentina stands second, Hungary third, and Italy fourth. The 
average corn yields in four central states for five years, 1902-1906, were as 
follows : 

State. Bushels. 

Illinois 342,1 15,835 

Iowa 301,666,176 

Nebraska 239,835,262 

Missouri 210,082,426 

Maize is one of the most important cereals of North America, being used 
as a food for man and stock, in the manufacture of starch and glucose, and m 
medicine, the corn silk being used as a mild stimulant and diuretic. The oil 
from the embryo is a yellow viscid transparent liquid having a peculiar odor 
of corn meal. The silk contains maizcnic acid. 

Injurious properties. In many sections of the country where corn is grown 
and cattle allowed to feed on corn stalks, a disease occurs which has been 
called the corn stalk disease. This has been attributed to various causes such 
as corn smut, a bacterial disease, nitrate poisoning, bacterial poisoning, and 
impaction of the stomach. Corn stalks are not easily digested and it is not to 
be wondered at that impaction should occur when cattle do not have access to 
plenty of water. 


This same disease goes under other names, and it may be that there are 
several distinct types of diseases due to the feeding of corn stalks. Dr. Bit- 
ting describes a Septicaemia hemorrhagica which is caused by an organism, 
the cocco-bacillus. The symptoms of this disease are as follows : 

The symptoms depend upon the point of attack. If the respiratory system be attacked, 
there will be a rapid rise of temperature, difficult and rapid breathing, standing with the 
feet wide apart as in pneumonia, short coughing, the tongue protruded, and eyes prominent 
and congested. The animal will move only when urged to do so The attack lasts for 
only a few hours. If the pneumonia be of less severe type the kidneys and bowels may 
show some affection before death. 

If the bowels be the seat of attack, there will be bloating colic, noisy intestinal move- 
ment, straining and diarrhea. The bowel movements are soft, fluid, and foul smelling, 
and may be blood stained. The urine will also be blood stained. If the infection take 
place from a superficial abrasion, the part will swell rapidly, become very large, be hot and 
painful, does not pit upon pressure, and does not crepitate. The swelling extends rapidly 
and if in the region of the neck, will cause suffocation. The course is short and generally 

Dr. Bitting states that this disease must be differentiated from the corn 
stalk disease due to poisoning and that post mortem must be the means of 
separation in some instances. The only remedy is a change of pasture, as little 
can be done otherwise. 

Recently much interest has been attached to the disease known as Pellagra, 
which has been treated elsewhere in this volume, but in this case it may be of 
interest to know that the disease has made its appearance in several of the 
southern states, notably Alabama and South Carolina ; cases have also been 
reported in Maryland and Massachusetts, and a number of them in the Insane 
Hospital in Illinois. It is believed by the experts who have investigated this 
question that it is in some way associated with corn. For instance, Dr. 
Lavinder who investigated this disease with Assistant Surgeon-general Wyman, 
cites the case of the disease on the Island of Corfu, where an epidemic followed 
when the people began to use an inferior imported quality of maize. Previous 
to this they had used their own maize which was carefully selected and pre- 
pared. There can be no question according to Lavinder that the introduction 
of maize collected in Spain, France, and Italy, with unsanitary conditions and 
the use of poor maize greatly influence the spread of this disease in those 
countries. It is practically unknown in those countries where maize is not a 
staple article of food. 

Dr. Arlsberg, of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, in a discussion of 
this disease before the American Society of Tropical Medicine, states that 
corn is one-fifth of the food of the Tennessee and Georgia mountaineers and 
one-third of the food of the negroes. Under the present conditions this corn 
is collected before maturity and often is shipped to distant points in poorly 
ventilated cars which makes it possible for moulds of different types to develop. 
Furthermore, the same person is authority for the statement that, in ten gen- 
erations the fat content of corn has increased from less than 5% to 7 1/3% 
and that toxins are found to be related in quantity to the oil produced in the 
seed. Then, too, the weather conditions in this southern corn region have 
been extremely favorable in the last ten years for producing corn which would 
be immature and subject to moulds when transported. 

Now it is a well known fact that for many years throughout the south 
they have had trouble with the so-called forage poisoning affecting live stock 
which had been fed corn, especially when mouldy. It seems to the writer that 



there is some relation existing between Pellagra in man and forage poisoning 
in horses and cattle. Both are essentially produced by some toxic substance. 

In this connection, the bulletin on the Grand Traverse or Lake Shore 
Disease, as investigated by C. D. Smith,* C. E. Marshall and Dr. Ward Giltner, 
is interesting. 

2. Andropogon. (Royen.) L. Beard Grass 

Tall annual, or perennial grasses with spikelets in pai 
of the slender rachis ; usually narrow leaves; terminal and 
of them sterile, the other sessile, 1-flowered, and fertile 
larger, coriaceous and nerved, the second acute ; stamens 1 

About ISO species widely distributed in tropical and 
Some of the species of the Andropogon L are excellent 
purposes. Quite a number of them produce valuable oils 
obtained from Andropogon Schoenanthus, lemon grass oil 

rs upon each joint 
axial racemes, one 

; lower glume the 

-3, grain free. 

temperate regions. 

grasses for forage 

like Pamorusa oil, 

from Andropogon 

Fig. 140. Johnson-grass (Andropogon halepensis). 
a, spikelet; c and d, glumes; e, f, g, parts of the 

• Sp. Bull, Mich. Agr. Exp. Sta. 50: 10. 


citratus, and citronella oil from A. Nardus. The fibrous roots of the aromatic 
Cuscus grass of India {A. muricatus), produce a substance used mainly as 
sachet powder; the fibres of the plant are used extensively by the natives in 
making mats. 

Andropogon halepensis. Brot. Johnson Grass 

A stout perennial with smooth, erect, simple culms, 3-5 feet hight; and 
strong creeping rootstocks; panicle open, 6-12 inches long; the 3-5 flowered 
racemes clustered toward their extremities ; outer glume coriaceous, second 
glume equaling the first and convex below, the third glume shorter than the 
outer ones, membranaceous, palet broadly oval; fourth glume ciliate awned; 
palet shorter than the glumes ; nerves ciliate. 

A troublesome weed throughout the Southern States. First introduced as 
a forage plant. 

Andropogon Sorghum. Brot. Sorghum 

An annual with long, broad, flat leaves and ample terminal panicle; spike- 
lets in pairs at the nodes, larger and rounder than in the preceding; rachis 

Fig. 141. Sorghum {Andropogon Sorghum). 1. Kaffir corn; 2, Jerusalem corn; 
3, Amber sorghum. (Kansas State Board of Agrl.). 

not articulate; sessile spikelet with 4 scales, the outer hard and shining, the 
inner hyaline; the fourth scale on and subtending a small palet and perfect 
flower, or occasionally the palet wanting. 

Sorghum is contained in a number of cultivated plants which are class- 
ified by Mr. C. R. Ball under (1) Broom Corn, (2) Shallu, (3) Durra, (4) 
Sorghum and (5) Kaffir. Broom Corn used for the manufacture of brooms, 
is grown chiefly in the central Mississippi Valley, Kansas, Oklahoma, and the 
Panhandle of Texas. The Shallu, also known as Egyptian wheat, is culti- 


vated extensively in India. The Durras have been cultivated for centuries in 
Egypt, and other countries of Africa, and in India for human and animal food. 
They are now cultivated in the United States, chiefly from Kansas to Texas. 
The Kaffir, native to eastern Africa from Abyssinia to Natal, was introduced 
into this country in 1875, and is grown chiefly in the semi-arid regions for 
forage. Sorghum is grown largely for fodder. The pithy juice contains cane 
sugar in variable amounts, and is used both for sugar and in the making of 
syrup, although the growing of sorghum for syrup seems to be on the decline. 
According to the census of 1890 the production was 24,000,000 gallons; in 1900, 

Poisonous properties. Sorghum has long been recognized as poisonous. 
Mr. C. W. Warburton in Bailey's Encyclopedia of Agriculture, says : 

Sorghum makes excellent pasture for hogs, but in many sections it must be pastured 
sparingly, if at all, by sheep and cattle. After periods of extreme drought, or when growth 
is stunted from other causes, the leaves of the sorghums often contain a large amount 
of prussic acid. A small quantity of this poison is fatal to stock, and death frequently 
results soon after the sorghum is eaten. Normal growth seldom contains prussic acid in 
appreciable quantities, and it largely disappears in curing, so that cured sorghum may be 
fed with little danger. There is also some danger from bloating; cattle and sheep should 
not be turned on sorghum pasture when hungry or when the plants are wet. With the 
exercise of care, however, the crop can usually be pastured with safety. It should be 
at least two feet high before stock are turned on it; for cattle, sheep and horses it 
may be much more matured than for hogs 

Frosted cane is said to be especiall}' injurious. Dr. R. H. True, of the 
U. S. Dept. of Agriculture, in commenting on the poisons from sorghum, says : 

This office has from time to time received communications from stockmen, especially 
in the lower part of California, Arizona, and adjacent territory, expressing a suspicion 
that the eating of the Johnson grass had caused the death of stock with rather sudden and 
violent symptoms. There has seemed to be little ground in poisonous-plant literature to 
support such an explanation. Last summer, however, convincing observations were reported 
from California by a stockman who had lost heavily, and a supply of the grass in question 
was obtained. The result of the study of this material was positive. 

Mr. A. C. Crawford, who investigated some cases, says: 

It has been noted that deaths in cattle frequently occur when, on account of the failure 
of rain, the plants which have reached a certain size become stunted and withered. The 
toxic principle appears simultaneously over a wide area, but soon disappears if a rainfall 
occurs. The deaths of cattle have been attributed by some to an insect living upon the 
plant, and in Australia it is the belief \\\aXSorghum vulgarc which also yields hydrocyanic 
acid, becomes more poisonous when attacked by an insect during a drought. A similar 
observation has been made with Sorghum vulgare in the Sudan. Balfour found that one 
specimen of the plant which harbored aphids yielded more hydrocyanic acid than a second 
one without parasites. Pease has lately claimed that the deaths from Johnson grass in 
India were really cases of nitrate poisoning, as he found 25 per cent of nitrate of 
potassium in the stem of the plant and was able to produce somewhat similar symptoms in 
animals by feeding them this salt. Johnson grass is being introduced into Australia as 
a fodder plant, but as yet no reports of its poisonous action there have been noted by 
the writer. 

Dr. George H. Glover of Colorado, also reports large loss of cattle in that 
state from eating Kaffir corn. Twenty-one head out of thirty-two cows died 
within an hour after first being placed upon the feed. Dr. A. T. Peters of 
Nebraska, investigated the subject of poisoning from sorghum and Kaffir corn. 
He states that in most cases where death of animals occurred, the animals 
did not regularly pasture upon sorghum, but broke into the fields from ad- 
jacent pastures or as they were being driven past fields of sorghum. The 
investigations proved that the animals did not die from bloat as had been re- 


ported. Dr. Peters speaks with authority as he examined the cases at first 

In response to one of these calls, I reached the farm of Mr. Bert Foss, near Aurora, 
at 7:30 A. M., on August 3, 1901. Two days previous, fifteen head of his cattle had broken 
into a sorghum field, where they had remained twenty minutes. They were then driven 
into another field and were not seen again for several hours. When seen, three were 
sick, all of which died within a few hours. The symptoms were drowsiness, running at 
the eyes, twitching of the muscles, numbness of the limbs, staggering gait, inability to 
stand, involuntary passing of urine. On August 2d, two more cows broke through the 
fence and were on the sorghum field five minutes. One hour later, one of these animals, 
a four-year-old cow was very sick, but finally recovered. 

We turned a small yearling steer on the sorghum at 8:30 A M., August 3d, but 
he refused to eat any sorghum, and after thirty-five minutes, two more were turned into 
the sorghum, where they remained until 10:00 A. M., when only one, a small, red steer, 
had taken any sorghum, and he had eaten only a few leaves. They were then 
turned back with the herd. At 10:35 A. M. the small, red steer acted somewhat drowsy, 
but soon recovered. 

At 11:00 A. M. we turned one red heifer and one yearling steer on the sorghum. 
The heifer was the only animal that ate any quantity, and, as subsequent examination 
showed, she ate only one and one-half pounds of green sorghum. At 11:10 this animal 
dropped to the ground. Upon examination it was found that she had stopped chewing 
her cud and there was a peculiar twitching of the muscles of the nose and head and 
also of the body. The animal was very dull. .'\t 11:15 A. M. she was taken out of the 
sorghum field and allowed to lie in a stubble field. When lying down her head was 
turned toward the abdomen, presenting the symptoms shown by a horse having the colic. 
The eyes seemed dull and gave off a water discharge. There was a partial paralysis 
of the tongue and great quantities of saliva ran from the mouth The limbs and ears 
were cold. The pupils of the eyes dilated, pulse not perceptible, mucous membrane 
of the rectum protruding, involuntary discharge of urine and faeces. Upon pricking 
the animal with a knife on the lower limbs it showed no feeling. The animal was 
closely watched in the field by Mr. Foss and myself and we observed that she did not 
take any weeds, but simply a small amount of sorghum, eating only the tops of the 
leaves. At 1:30 P. M. the animal was still lying on its right side; all the muscles 
of the head were contracted and showed involuntary twitching. The limbs were paralyzed 
and the animal was unconscious; the mucous membrane of the mouth was of a salmon color. 
At 2:35 P. M. the animal was in great pain, and it was apparent that she would not 
recover. At the suggestion of Mr. Foss the animal was killed in order to hold a post- 
mortem examination. 

Post-Mortem Examination. — Animal still warm. The bowels were opened 
and contents of paunch carefully noted ; there was in all one pound and a half 
of sorghum leaves to be found in the paunch. No sourness of the contents. 
The same was immediately put up in Mason fruit jars with clean water and 
brought to the laboratory. The mucous membrane of the intestines normal, 
all other conditions of the animal normal. 

In regard to the Colorado disease, the following statement is made : 

The cattle died on August 20^h last. We lost 21 head out of 32 head which had been 
turned on the corn. Eleven head lived, but 4 of the 11 head had violent spasms, but 
recovered. The other 7 head were not affected. They were only on the corn 5 or 6 
minutes. The first cow died in 15 minutes; nearly all within an hour. One yearling 
lived over 6 hours I gave it several doses of aconite, thinkng possbly one poison would 
counteract the other, but it died in great agony. The cattle seemed to all go crazy at 
once, then stagger like a person intoxicated, fall in all directions, and die where they fell. 
I stuck all of them with a knife, the same as in alfalfa bloat, but there wasn't any gas 
in them. The Kaffir corn was planted on sod ground above irrigation. It was from 
6 to 15 inches high and was burnt brown from the drouth." 

Shortly after the poisoning, Dr. Glover visited the field and collected 
samples, which he generously placed at our disposal. These samples yielded 
prussic acid in greater amounts than any yet examined in Nebraska. 

It appears more than probable that the sorghum plant under different cli- 


matic conditions and diflferent conditions of growth may produce varying 
amounts of prussic acid. I was told in Texas that the sorghum most poisonous 
to live stock is the second growth. 

In regard to the chemistry of the subject, Dr. S. Avery says: 

In 1886 Berthelot and Andre ascribed the cause to excessive amounts of potassium 
nitrate (salt peter). Williams of the U. S. Department of Agriculture also suggests 
saltpeter as a cause of the trouble. Hiltner has shown that the amount of nitrate in 
Nebraska fields was too small to produce fatal results. This writer suggests that the 
plant under certain conditions develops a highly poisonous chemical compound. Slade 
in the Annual Report of the Station for the present year (1902) put forward the 
theory that such a compound might be produced by the action of an enzyme upon a 
glueoside found in the plant through a process of abnormal growth. On June 27th of the 
present year the Chemical News of London contained an article on Cyanogenesis in 
Plants by Dunstan and Henry. This article, which finally confirms Slade's prediction, 
was not known to Mr. Slade or to the writer till October 10th. In brief, the English 
Chemists isolated from Egyptian Sorghum vulgarc a glueoside capable of liberating prussic 
acid. In the meantime Mr. Slade had detected Prussic acid in fatal sorghum grown in 
western Nebraska, determined the per cent, and secured strong evidence in favor of the 
glueoside theory. 

During the first two weeks in September, the writer discovered that Prussic acid 
could be obtained from leaves of healthy sorghum in the fields about the Station. 
As the past season was abnormally wet, nearly all of the fields had made a vigorous growth. 
By distilling water from a sufficient quantity of leaves, determinable amounts of Prussic 
acid were evolved in all cases, though the amount was well below the danger line. 
Of the common Nebraska forage plants, sorghum and Kaffir corn alone yield Prussic 

The substance dhiirrin Cj^H^.NO^ occurs according to Dunstan and Henry 
in young plants of A. Sorghum. A glueoside resembling that found in almonds 
also occurs; it differs however but is capable of being converted into hydro 
cyanic acid, HCN. The investigations made at this station show that the 
prussic acid is not present as such, but that it is liberated from a glueoside. 
(1) by an enzyme in the plant as in the case of sorghum poisoning, and (2) 
by the action of ])oiling water on the plant. Glucosides of this sort are in 
themselves harmless and are dangerous only when they liberate prussic acid. 
The experiments mentioned above also showed that even dried plants may con- 
tain a very large amount of combined prussic acid. We should expect that 
such a fodder would be as fatal to stock after curing as when standing in the 
field. Experience, however, seems to prove the contrary. Enzymes rapidly 
become inactive when dried in the presence of protein substances, according to 
Dr. A. F. Woods, Chief of Division of Plant Pathology. 

Antidotes. Prussic acid ha? a tendency to unite with certain carbo- 
hydrates, forming additional products. These compounds are much less poison- 
ous than the free acid. Both glucose and milk sugar unite with Prussic acid 
to some extent even in dilute solutions. Aside from this action these carbo 
hydrates retard the action of the enzyme in liberating Prussic acid. These 
facts suggest that, in case the animal is not in such a conditon as to render 
medical treatment out of the question, the following may be affective: 

A strong solution of glucose, which nearly every farmer has at hand in the 
form of "corn syrup" or molasses, may be administered. 

Large quantities of milk have in a number of instances been administered 
apparently with good effect. 

In all cases the animal should have as much fresh air as possible. 


3. Paspalum, L. Paspalum 

Spikelets spiked or sometimes racemed, in 2 to 4 rows on one side of the 
flattened or filiform rachis, awnless, 1-flowered; glumes 3, rarely onljr 2, 1 glume 
flowering; flower coriaceous, orbicular or ovate; stamens 3; spikes 1 or more at 
or toward the summit of an elongated peduncle. 

Species about 160, chiefly in warm temperate regions in both hemispheres. 
In South America they constitute an important part of the plants of the Pampas. 
One species is used in medicine and several species are excellent forage plants 
for the South. One. species is troublesome as a weed in the Southern States. 
The Koda Millet {P. scrobiculatuvi) known to be poisonous and injurious to 
animals and man in India is used during times of scarcity of food and causes 
poisoning. The seed, especially the testa and pericarp, contains a narcotic 
poison which causes delirium and vomiting. Cattle should not be allowed to 
feed on it when it is ripening. 

Fig. 142. Corean Foxtail (Setaria italica.) 

Fig. 143. Corean Foxtail Millet (Setaria). 
U. S. Dept. Agr. 


4. Setaria, Bcauv. 

Spikelets jointed upon the pedicels, panicle densely racemed or spiked, sur- 
rounded at the base by a few or many persistent awn-like bristles, which rise 
below the articulation of the spikelet. 

Species about 10, in temperate and tropical regions. Some species are used 
as food, especially in China, Japan and India. Several are important forage 
plants, like the broom corn millet, and Hungarian grass. Three species are 
weedy in eastern North Amtrica. 

Setaria italica, Beauv Italian Millet or Hungarian Grass 

A stout, erect, somewhat glaucous annual, 3-8 feet high, with broad leaves; 
large, dense, compound, spiciform panicles 3-8 inches in length; nodes bearded, 
with short, appressed hairs: leaf-blades lanceolate, narrowed at the base, long- 
acuminate. 8-16 inches long, Yz io V/[ inches wide, scabrous; panicles dense, 
cylindrical, Yi to \V-2 inches in diameter; rachis densely villous; setae 1-3, green 
or purplish, retrorsely scabrous; spikelets elliptical, strongly convex, 1^ to 2 
lines long, obtuse; second and third glumes about equaling the flowering glume, 
S-7-nerved ; flowering glume glossy, nearly smooth. Widely cultivated. Quebec 
to Minnesota, south to Florida and Texas. 

Setaria germanica, Beauv. German Millet 

A caespitose annual, from 1-3 feet high, with narrow panicles, about Y: 
inch in diameter, and long, usually purple setae; some forms approaching Setaria 

This form is usually regarded as only a variety of the Italian Millet, and 
is found in cultivation only or perhaps springing up from seed on land cul- 
tivated the preceding season. The German Millet differs from the Italian in 
having a more dense or compact, and usually erect panicle or "head." Widely 
cultivated in most parts of the world. 

Poisonous Properties. Numerous complaints have been made from time to 
time with reference to poisoning from millet. 

Dr. Hinebauch states in regard to this trouble that in the winter of 1891 
and 1892 a disease commonly called millet disease was prevalent to a consider- 
able extent in North Dakota and that this disease was attended by a death 
rate of 7-10 per cent. It received the name of millet disease from the fact that 
from 95 to 98 per cent of the animals that were affected had been fed on millet 
He says : 

"When millet is fed in considerable quantities it stimulate? the kidney to 
increased action. The urine is light colored and the bladder evacuated every 
two or three hours, large quantities of water being passed at each time. At 
the time the first symptoms of lameness were noticed, tlic kidneys had almost 
ceased to act." 

And then he goes on to say : 

"When the cause was kept up a sufficient length of time for the reaction 
to set in, the material which would under normal conditions be secreted by the 
kidneys was allowed to remain in the system and produce deleterious effects." 

Apparently the condition of the millet had little to do with this action. 
In a later bulletin on the same subject Dr. Hinebauch reports a more extended 
investigation, giving considerable experimental data as well as urinary analyses. 


The post mortem examinations revealed some interesting facts. The cartilages 
on the ends of the long bones show deep furrows running in a direction parallel 
with the motion during flexion and extension. 

Both grooves of the astragalus were partially denuded of cartilage, so that 
the corresponding elevations of the tibia which articulate in the grooves did 
not have cartilage interposed between them. The whole general appearance, 
instead of being of a white, glistening color, was of a dark, dull color border- 
ing on brown. The fluid which escaped from the joint when opened, instead 
of being a yellow, amber color, was brown and contained red blood corpuscles, 
indicating that inflammation was present. The joint fluid was brownish black 
in color and contained red blood corpuscles. 

In conclusion we would say that our experiments here have thoroughly demon- 
strated that millet, when used entirely as a coarse food, is injurious to horses. (1) 
In producing an increased action of the kidneys. (2) In causing lameness and swelling 
of the joints. (3) In producing infusion of the blood into the joints. (4) In destroying 
the texture of the bone, rendering it softer and less tenacious, so that contraction causes 
the ligaments and muscles to be torn loose. The experience of many farmers with whom 
I have talked confirms the above conclusion, and we could multiply case after case 
showing that the above conditions are the results of feeding m.illet. 

Fig. 143. Sandbar (Cenchrus tribuloides). 

. spiny bur enclosing spikelets; b, section of 

the same; c, lateral view of a spikelet. U. S. 
Dept. Agrl. 


The North Dakota Station has published the results of further experiments 
on the subject of feeding millet. Two tests were made. In the first trial two 
geldings in good health were fed hay and grain for about two weeks. Millet 
was then substituted for hay for about ten days. These experiments confirmed 
those made previously. 

Ladd has isolated a glucoside from the aqueous extract of millet hay, which, 
when fed in small quantities, gave the characteristic symptoms. 

From the experiments made by Dr. Hinebauch and others, it would appear 
that feeding millets alone as coarse fodder is injurious to horses. It produces 
an increased action of the kidneys and causes lameness and swelling of the 
joints. It causes an infusion of blood into the joints and destroys the texture 
of the bone, rendering it soft and less tenacious, so that the ligaments and 
muscles are easily torn loose. 

5. Cenchrus, L. Sand Bur 

Annual or perennial grasses ; flat leaves ; spikelets surrounded by a spiny in- 
volucre which becomes coriaceous and forms a deciduous, hard, rigid bur which 
falls away at maturity; glumes 4, the 2nd and 3rd membranaceous, the 4th 
hard ; the palea enclosing the perfect flower ; stamens 3 ; styles united below. 

Species about 12 in tropical and warmer temperate regions. One widely 
distributed from Maine to New York, Florida, Texas, California and the 

Cenchrus tribuloides, L. Sand Bur 

An annual with erect culms a foot or more high ; flat leaves about 6 inches 
long; burrs of the involucre with strong, barbed spines; 2-flowered. 

Distribution. Common in sandy fields and waste places; a weed along rail- 
roads and in sandy soil. 

Injurious Properties. This plant frequently inflicts mechanical injuries. 
entering the flesh and thus causing serious inflammation. This applies to man 
as well as to lower animals. 

Aristida, L. Triple Awned Grass 

Perennial or annual grasses ; narrow, often involute leaves ; spikelets nar- 
row, 1 -flowered; outer glumes unequal, often bristle pointed; flowering glume 
tipped with 3 awns; palet small, 2-ncrved ; stamens 3; styles distinct: grain free, 
linear, enclosed in the scale; callus variable, often sharp-pointed and rigid. 
About 100 species in warmer regions of both hemisplieres but of very little 
economic value, the majority being found in dry sterile soil; several species, 
like the Purple Aristida, however, are common in dry soils of the West. The 
latter is of little value for forage purposes. The awns of Aristida hygrometrica 
of Queensland bore into the skin of animals and occasionally reach the intes- 
tines, thus causing death. 

None of our species produces serious trouble except, possibly, the Long- 
awned Poverty Grass. 

Aristida tuberculosa, Nutt. Long Awned Poverty Grass 

A rigid, much-branched annual, 12-18 inches high, with nearly simple 
panicles, 4-7 inches long; branches erect, rather distant, the lower in pairs, one 
short and few-flowered, the other elongated and many-flowered ; empty glumes 


Fig. 144a. Long-awned Poverty Grass 
{Aristida tuberculosa). a, Spikelet with lower 
glume; b, flowering glume with divergent long 
awns. (U. S. Dept. Agrl.). 

Fig. 144b. Short-awned Poverty Grass. {A. 
basiramea). Occurs in sandy and gravelly soils. 
(U. S. Dept. Agrl.). 

nearly equal, 12 lines long, awn-pointed; flowering glume about 10 lines long, 
twisted above to the division of the awns, and with a densely barbate sharp- 
pointed callus; awns nearly equal, divergent or reflexed, l%-2 inches long, dis- 
tinctly articulated with the glume. 

Injurious properties.. .The sharp pointed callus slightly injurious in the 
same manner as Stipa. 

7. Stipa, L. 

Perennial grasses with 1-flowered spikelets, flower falling away at maturity 
from the membranous, persistent, lower glumes, fertile glumes coriaceous, 
cylindrical, involute, and embracing the smaller palet and cylindrical grain ; a 
long twisted or spiral awn jointed with the apex, the base consisting of a beard 
and sharp pointed callus; stamens generally 3; stigmas plumose. 


About ICO species found in temperate and tropical regions. The Stipas 
often produce injurious effects upon animals. 

Injurious properties. It has long been known that Stipa capillata, L., in- 
digenous to Russia, and the Stipa spartea, Trin., and 5. avenacea, L., native to 
North America, as well as Aristida hygrometrica Br., native of Queensland, 

Fig. 14S. Esparto Grass {Stipa ienacissima). Used for mak- 
ing paper, ropes and mats. It is not known whether this species, 
like the St. inebrians and the S. sibrica, acts like a narcotic on ani- 
mals. (Baillon Diet.). 

and Hctcropogon contortus, L., native of New Caledonia, frequently bore into 
the skin and intestines of lower animals where the)' cause fatal inllammation 
and peritonitis. Prof. Blanchard in a recent number in "Archives de Parasit- 
ologic" calls attention to injurious properties of Stipa Ncesiana which is found 
in Uruguay and other countries of South Ainerica. In this case the needles 
injure the eyes producing in intense keratitis often followed by inflammation 
of the cornea. Sheep become blind and thus are unable to got food, hence 


die from hunger and thirst. An instance is also recorded of a case where so 
many of these needles had accumulated among the feathers of an American 
Ostrich as to cause extensive ulceration which finally resulted in the death of 
the bird. The old world S. inebrians acts very much like our sleepy grass. 

Stipa comata, Trin. and Rupr. Western Stipa. Needle Grass 

A rather stout, erect, caespitose perennial, 15^-4 feet high, with mostly in- 
volute leaves; loosely-flowered panicles, 8 to 12 inches long; spikelets with 
nearly equal, long-attenuate-pointed, empty glumes about 12 lines long, and thinly 

Fig. 146. Western Stipa or Needle Grass (5"f!/'(i comata). 

pubescent flowering glumes about 6 lines long ; awn slender, 2^2-3 inches long, 
strongly flexuose or variously curled and twisted. Distributed in western Iowa, 
Nebraska, Utah, Oregon, California and Arizona. 

Stipa spar tea. Trin. Porcupine Grass 

A stout, erect perennial, with sim.ple culms 3 to S feet high ; long, narrow 
leaves and contracted, few-flowered panicles, 4 to 8 inches long; spikelets 



larger; empty glumes subulate-pointed, 12 to 18 lines long, slightly unequal; 
flowering glume 8 to 10 lines long, including the barbed and very sharp-pointed 
stipe or callus, sparsely pubescent below and crowned with a few short hairs; 

Fig. 147. Needle or Porcupine grass (Stipa 
spartea). a, a single spikelet; b, floret more 
highly magnified, with sharp pointed bearded 
callus. (Div. Agros. U. S. Dept. Agrl.). 

palca nearly as long as the glume; awn stout, 3 to 6 inches long, twisted below 
and twice geniculate above. June to August. Common on dry, gravelly roads 
and high prairies. 

Distribution. North America. bVoni Wisconsin, Illinois to Missouri, Kan- 
sas, Nebraska, Dakotas and Minnesota to New Mexico, Manitoiia to British 

Injurious properties. Dr. M. Stalker says the fruits of the porcupine grass 
are a frequent source of inconvenience and injury to living animals. 

In many of the northwestern counties of Iowa this grass grows in the greatest 
profusion, and during the latter part of June, the season for maturing and consequent 
falling of these spines, they are the occasion of much annoyance and in some instances 
the death of domestic animals. Only such animals as are covered with wool or a 


thick growth of long hair are seriously inconvenienced. Sheep suffer most. The 
spines readily find a lodgment in the wool, and after burrowing through it frequently 
penetrate the skin and bury themselves in the flesh. A large number of these barbs 
thus entering the tissues of the body produce an amount of irritation that is sometimes 
followed by death. I have seen large numbers of these imbedded in the skin and 
muscular tissues of shepherd dogs that were covered with a thick growth of soft hair. 
These sagacious animals frequently exhibit the greatest dread at being sent into the 
grass during the season of danger. 

Professor Bessey in his inquiries into the structure and nature of this 
plant received several responses, one of which, from Professor King, formerly 
of the University of Wisconsin, was as follows: 

In connection with the two notes relating to the fruit of the porcupine grass, it 
may not be without interest to say that while engaged in geological work in Dakota, 
north of the Northern Pacific railroad, we were much annoyed by the fruit of this grass. 
Indeed, I found the only way to walk with comfort through this grass was to roll my 
pants above my knees and my socks down over my shoes. I also observed, on several 
occasions, these seeds planted two inches deep in the soil with the awns protruding 
from the ground. It is plain that with the point of one of these fruits once entered 
below the soil, the swelling and shrinking, due to varying amounts of moisture, would 
work the seeds directly into the ground. 

The Stipa coinata, or needle grass of the west, which is common through- 
out the Dakotas, and throughout west Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming and Colo- 
rado, is common in prairie hay, and Prof. Thomas A. Williams mentions that, 
though a forage plant, and not cut until the needles have fallen so that the- 
stock may not be injured, the fruit of this plant often injures stock to a con- 
siderable extent. During the past summer in Alberta, Canada, the writer suf- 
fered some inconvenience from the penetration of the fruit through the clothes. 

Stipa robusta, Vasey. Sleepy Grass 

A large grass from 4-6 feet high growing in dense clumps ; leaves involute, 
setaceous, large, flattened, 1-2 feet long; panicle 1-1^ ft. long; spikelets 4-5 
lines long, on short pedicels; empty glume nearly equal 3-5 lines long; variable 
in length up to IJ/2 inches, slender flexuous ; palet about % length of glume. 

Distribution. From Colorado to Texas and Mexico. 

Poisonous properties. This is the grass which is properly called Sleepy 
Grass and is poisonous. Dr. Vasey says the variety in parts of Texas and 
Mexico is known as Sleepy Grass, so called for its intoxicating and narcotic 
effect upon horses or cattle which feed upon it. 

In the west this species of grass has received the common appellation of 
sleepy grass. It has long been regarded by range people as poisonous. Dr. 
Palmer, who found this grass in Coahuila, observed that it was poisonous to 
cattle, horses, and sheep, causing them temporary sleepiness. Later Dr. Havard 
states that in 1888 he received from Dr. M. E. Taylor, of Stanton, N. M., a 
grass with the following statement : 

Hereabouts grows a grass — the eating of which by horses will, within a few hours, 
produce profound sleepiness or stupor, lasting twenty-four or forty-eight hours, when 
the animals rally and give no evidence of bad effects. It is loiown among cowboys as 
"sleepy grass" and dreaded by them on their "round ups" as their horses are liable 
to eat it and cannot then be kept up with the herds. The tradition is that horses 
that have once eaten of it will not touch it again. 

To quote from Dr. Havard : 

From the same gentleman I received a letter in 1890, in which he says: "Since 
I corresponded with Dr. Taylor it has been brought to my notice that cattfe are 
affected in a similar way to horses, and that the curious properties which so affect animals 
are contained in the blades Quite a number of our horses have been ill this spring 



after having eaten it. It usually takes them about a week to recover, during which time 
they are unfit for work, and especially so during the first three days." 

Captain Kingsbury, of the Sixth United States cavalry, under date of March, 1890, 
wrote me from Fort Stanton that the sleepy grass affected nearly all his horses at two 
camping places, it was hard work to make them walk. 

The similarity of symptoms, whether observed in Coahuila or in New Mexico, is 
certainly remarkable, and furnishes strong evidence of the substantial accuracy of the 
observations as reported. It would seem, then, reasonably established that this plant 
possesses narcotic or sedative properties, affecting principally horses, but also cattle and 
probably other animals; that animals are not fond of it but eat it inadvertently or when 
under stress of hunger; that cases of poisoning occur especially in the spring, when the 
radicle and lower blades first come up, and that the active principle resides in these 
blades, and perhaps only during that season. 

8. Avena, L.,Oats 

Annual or perennial grasses, usually with flat leaves and panicled spikelets ; 
spikelets 2, many-flowered, or rarely 1-flowered; lower flowers perfect, the up- 
per staminate or imperfect ; empty glume unequal, membranaceous and per- 

Fig. 148. Wild Oats {Arena fatua). a, 
cmptv glumes; b, flowering glumes. (U. S. Dcpt. 


sistent; flowering glume deciduous, generally bearing a twisted awn on the 
back between the two acute teeth at the apex ; rachis and base of flower often 
bearded; stamens 3, style short and distinct; grain oblong, linear, grooved on 
one side invested by the palet. About 50 species in temperate regions. The 
cultivated Oats (Avena satiz'a) is the best known representative of the genus 
and has long been used for food for man and animals. Several native species 
produce good forage. 

Avena fafua L. Wild Oats 

An erect, glabrous annual, 3-5 feet high, with flat leaves and spreading 
panicles of large, nodding spikelets ; spikelets 2 to 4-flowered, with empty glumes 
54-I inch long and pubescent; flowering glumes 6 to 9 lines long; awns nearly 
twice as long as the spikelets. Wild oats is highly esteemed as a forage plant 
on the Pacific Coast, especially California. 

Distribution : Native to Europe but now abundant in grain fields of the 
Rocky Mountains, the Dakotas, Minnesota, and the Pacific Coast. 

Injurious properties. Bezoars are sometimes produced by the common oat 
and Dr. Harz thinks it is a dangerous food material because it favors the 
development of these "hair balls." The barbed and awned seed of the wild 
oat may probably sometimes also lodge in the mouth and produce inflammation 
or other results of mechanical injuries. 

Avena sativa, L. Common Oats 

A well known erect annual, 2-4 feet high, with flat leaves and expanded 
panicles of rather large, pendulous, and, usually, 2-flowered spikelets. Lower 
florets sometimes awned. 

Distribution. Widely cultivated in Europe, North America, Asia, and in 
all temperate regions. Commonly cultivated in Northern United States, Can- 
ada, and the Pacific Coast. The species is native to eastern temperate Europe, 
and western Asia, although the wild form has not been found. According to 
some authors, cultivated oats originated from wild oats Avena fatua. This 
is very doubtful. 

Injurious properties. Harz reports the occurrence of phytobezoars in horses 
which had been fed oats straw. These bezoars in their origin and structure 
are similar to those occurring from feeding on cacti and the crimson clover 
referred to elsewhere. 

9. B ramus, L. 

Spikelets 5 to many-flowered, panicled ; glumes unequal, membranaceous ; 
lower glume 1-5 nerved; flowering glume either convex on the back or com- 
pressed-keeled, 5-9-nerved, awned or bristle-pointed from below to the groove 
of the oblong or linear grain; stamens 3; styles attached below at the apex of 
the ovary. Coarse grass with large spikelets at length drooping on pedicels 
thickened at the apex. About 40 species, of which Beal lists 27 as either native 
or introduced into the U. S. 

Bromus tectorum, L. Awned Brome Grass 

A slender, erect, leafy annual, 7-25 inches high, with narrow, softly 
pubescent leaves and open, nodding panicles, 3-7 inches long; spikelets each 5-8 
flowered, with unequal, acuminate-pointed, hairy, empty glumes, and rough or 



Fig. 149. Common Oats (Avetia saliva), sometimes the cause of phytobezoars in 
animals. (la. Seed Co.) 

hairy glumes 4-6 lines long; awns 6-8 lines long; blooming period from June 
to August. First introduced into the United States from Europe, it is without 
forage value, and, while not greatly troublesome in Iowa or eastward, has be- 
come a serious pest farther west, in Utah and Colorado. 

Poisonous properties. This plant produces injuries similar to those caused 
by Squirrel-tail grass, the awned glumes working in under the teeth causing 
inflammation and suppuration. Animals eating this grass may lose their teeth 
as a consequence. 


Fig. 150. Awned Bromegrass (Bromus ted- 
orum). a. Sterile or outer glumes, b. Spike- 
let. U. S. Dept. Agr. 

10. Lolium, L. Darnel and Rye Grasses 

Annual or perennial grasses with flat leaves and terminal spike ; spikelets 
many-flowered, solitary on each joint of the continuous rachis placed edge- 
wise; empty glumes except in the terminal spikelets; only one flowering glume, 
rounded on the back, 5-7 nerved, palet 2-keeled; stamens 3; grain adherent to 
the palet, 6 species, 2 more or less naturaHzed in the eastern states. Natives 
of the Old World. Two species, the Italian rye grass and the common rye grass, 
are valuable forage plants. Darnel is a troublesome, poisonous grass. 

Lolium tcmulentum, L. Darnel, Poison Darnel 

An annual with smooth stout culm, 2-3 feet high; leaves with scabrous 
sheaths and short ligule ; spike 6-12 inches long; spikelets 5-7 flowered; empty 
glumes sharp pointed, as long as the spikelets; flowering glume awned or awn- 
less. Commonly found in grain fields. 



Fig. 151. Darnel (Lolitim fcinulentum). b. Spike- 
let, a. Empty glume. U. S. Dept. Agr. 

Distribution. Naturalized in eastern North America and abundantly so 
on the Pacific Coast. 

Poisonous properties. It is a well known fact that a number of grasses 
are poisonous. It was well recognized by the ancients that darnel (LoHum 
temulentum) was poisonous, for it is written: "But while men slept, his 
enemies came and sowed tares among the wheat." 

Darnel, when ground up with wheat and made into flour, is said to produce 
poisonous effects on the system, such as headache and drowsiness. This poison- 
ous property is said to reside in a narcotic principle, loliin, a dirty wliite, 
amorphous, bitter substance yielding sugar and volatile acids, which, according 
to Hackel, "causes eruptions, trembling and confusion of sight in man and 
flesh-eating animals, and very strongly in rabbits, but it docs not effect swine, 
horned cattle or ducks." Lindley states that the grain is of evil repute for 
intoxication in man, beast and birds, and brings on fatal convulsions. Haller 


speaks of it as communicating these intoxicating properties to beer. It acts 
as a narcotic, acrid poison. Darnel meal was formerly recommended as a 
sedative poultice. In Taylor's work on poisons, the statement is made that the 
seeds, whether in powder or in decoctions, have a local action on the alimentary 
canal and a remote action on the brain and nervous system. He states further 
that no instance is reported of its causing fatal injuries to man, and as much 
as three ounces of a paste of the seeds have been given to a dog without caus- 
ing death. Then he goes on to cite the experience of Dr. Kingsley, in which 
several families, including about thirty persons, suffered severely from the ef- 
fects of bread containing the flour of darnel seed. These persons had staggered 
about as if intoxicated. It is claimed by some investigators, however, that this 
plant is not poisonous. One writer claims to have made bread from flour said 

Fig. 152. At left, a hypha from 
leaf base of seedling of "Darnel" 
(Lolium temulenttim). At right, hy- 
phae in the starch endosperm of a 
seed. h. hyphal layer of grain nu- 
cellus, St, starch cell, w, wall of starch 
cell, a, knot formation in an inter- 
cellular space. After Freeman, re- 
drawn by Charlotte M. King. 

Fig. 153. "Darnel" (Lolium temulentum). 
Section of outer part of a grain which has been 
'n a germinating chamber 24 hrs. /, palp. ■*. 
lericarp, t, crushed integuments, o, outer row of 
nucellus cells, b, cavities with nucellus (probably 
~ld cell lumina), h, hyphae, a, aleurone. c, .sta.rr.b 
"•ndosperm. After Freeman, redrawn by Char- 
lotte M. King. 

to contain considerable darnel and experienced no injurious effects. When 
mixed with flour and water the dough is foamy and narcotic in its action. 
There are other grasses which produce similar narcotic effects. Quite recently 
it has been claimed by several European investigators that the fruit of Lolium 
temulentum contains a poisonous fungus. Guerin states that the hyphae of a 
fungus constantly occur in the nucleus of the seed and the layer of the caryop- 
sis lying between the aleurone layer and the hyaline portion of the grain or 
nucellus. He also thinks that the toxic action of the Loliums is due to this 
particular fungus hypha. The threads were also found in L. arvense and L. 
linicolum; but, as yet. have not been found in L. italicum and but once in L. 


perenne; the fungus is allied to Endoconidium temulenttim, which has been 
found on rye. 

The Lolium fungus, according to Guerin, lives symbiotically in the matur- 
ing grain and is therefore not a parasite, but Freeman has observed that oc- 
casionally it is injurious although it is generally stimulating. Nestler, who made 
an examination of L. perenne, L. multiflorum, L. remotum, and L. fcstucaceum, 
found nothing comparable to the -fungus mycelium which occurred in L. 
temulentnm. He also succeeded in demonstrating the presence of the mycelium 
of the fungus as mdicated by Guerin. According to Nestler, the Fusarium 
roseuin is identical with the fungus occurring in L. temulentum found by 
Guerin, but this has not been confirmed and seems very improbable. Hanausek 
considered the fungus to be related to the smuts, but Freeman found no evi- 
dence of spore formation; the septa arc infrequent and the intercellular course 
different from that for smuts. The subject has, in recent years, been in- 
vestigated by Prof. Freeman who, in a general way, confirms the reports of 
previous investigations and says : 

The probabilities of relationship with the ergot of L. temulentum are very interesting. 
The frequency of occurrence of ergots of Loliuin in England is strangely coincident with 
that of the fungus in the grain, e. g., most abundant in L. temulentum, less so in L. per- 
enne and exceedingly rare in L. italicum. 

It is certainly not one of the rusts and the Ustilagineae are the closest 
affinity, perhaps, the fungus is carried from one generation to another by the 
sterile mycelium ; when the embryo of the grain pushes out during germination, 
the hyphae, being in the "seed" keep pace with its growth and can be detected 
in the growing point throughout the life of the plant. Prof. Freeman says : 

The hyphae sometimes penetrate the aleurone layer at any point and invade the starch 
endosperm. There exists in the nucellus, at the base of the scutellum and at the lower end 
of the inner groove of the grain, a layer of hjrphae which lies directly against the embryo, 
constituting an infective layer. 

11. Agropyron, Gaertn. Quack or Wheat Grass 

Annual or perennial grasses, with fiat, or involute leaves : spikelets 3-many- 
flowcrcd, compressed, 2-ranked, alternate on opposite sides of the solitary, 
terminal spike, 1 at each joint, or, occasionally, all, or the lower in pairs, sessile, 
with the side against the axis ; glumes transverse, nearly equal and opposite, 
lanceolate ; flowering glumes rigid, rounded at the back, 5-7 nerved, pointed 
or awned from the tip ; palet flattened, bristly, ciliate on the nerves, adherent 
to the grain. 

About 40 species, in temperate regions. The root of quack grass is used 
in medicine; several species, like western wheat grass (Agropyron occidentale) 
and slender wheat grass (A. tcnerum') are valuable for forage purposes. Quack 
and western wheat grasses are also good soil binders. 

Agropyron re pens, (L) Bcauv. Quack Grass 

Perennial, 1-3 ft. high, from a creeping, jointed rootstock : sheaths usually 
smooth, scabrous, or pubescent above; spikes 3-10 inches long, erect; spikelets 
4-8 flowered ; empty glumes strongly 5-7 nerved near the apex, awnless or 
sometimes short awned. 

Distribution. Widely naturalized, a good forage plant and also a bad weed. 
In eastern North America, it occurs in cultivated fields and by roadsides and 
is a troublesome weed. 


Fig. 154. Quackgrass (Agropyron repens). The "roots 
(rootstocks) used in medicine. The roots contain considerable 
of a nutritious carbohydrate. (C. M. King.) 

Medicinal properties. Quack grass is not known to be poisonous. The 
ancients since the time of Pliny have used the drug in medicine and it was also 
used by the Germans in the 10th century. The root stock is officinal. Gerard 
ascribed to the root diuretic, lithontriptic virtues or properties. The root con- 
tains considerable sugar and a substance called triticin, an amorphous, gummy 
substance easily transformed into sugar. It is found useful in the mucous dis- 
charge from the bladder. Quack grass and Western Wheat Grass frequently con- 
tain ergot. 


12. Hordetim, L. Barley. 

Annual or perennial grasses with flat leaves; cylindrical spikes; spikelets 1- 
flowered, with an awl-shaped rudiment on the inner side, 3 at each joint of 
the rachis of a terminal spike, the lateral ones usually imperfect or abortive 
and with a short stalk, empty glumes side by side in front of the spikelets, 
forming a kind of involucre; flowering glume and palet herbaceous, the former 
long and awned from the apex; stamens 3; styles very short; grain usually 
oblong and adherent to the palet; spike often separating into joints. 

About 20 species widely distributed in both hemispheres. Of the Barleys, 
the 2-rowed barley (Hordeum distichum) and the 4-rowed barley (H. zmlgare) 
are well known in cultivation, being used for malting purposes and occasionally 
in medicine. The awns of cultivated barleys produce mechanical injuries to 
stock. Several members of the genus are very troublesome weeds. 

Four-Rowed Barley. Annual, 2-3 feet high, smooth; leaves linear-lanceo- 
late, keeled, nearly smooth ; sheaths striate, smooth, auricled at the throat ; 
Hgule very short ; spikes 3-4 inches long, somewhat 4-sided ; rachis flattened, 
pubescent on the margins ; spikelets with 1 perfect floret ; empty glumes, narrow- 
ly linear, pubescent, terminating in a slender awn ; flowering glume 5-nerved, 
scabrous near the apex, long-awned ; awn flattened, keeled, somewhat 3-nerved, 
serrulate on the margins. 

The cereal is without doubt one of the most ancient of cultivated plants. 
It is supposed to have originated from H. spontancum Koch, which grows wild 
in Asia Minor and Caucasian countries to Persia and Beloochistan as well 
as in Syria and Palestine. 

Hordeum jubatuui, L. Squirreltail Grass 

An annual or winter annual from 6 inches to 2 feet high producing fibrous 
roots, forming solid and compact bunches; leaves not unlike those of blue 
grass, but paler in color, from 2-4 inches in length, margins scabrous ; flowers 
in dense spike from 2-4 inches long, pale green or purplish in color, consisting 
of a number of 1 -flowered spikelets, 3 occurring at each joint, 1 being perfect 
(bearing stamens and pistil), 2 others awl-shaped, and borne on short stalks, 
1 sterile spikelet occurring on each side of the perfect flower which bears a 
long awn ; at each joint will be found 6 empty, long-awned glumes, spreading 
at maturity which give to the plant its bristly appearance; when mature, the 
spike breaks up into joints consisting of the rudimentary spikelets and a perfect 
flower, so that each joint has 1 "seed," the number of seeds in the spike varying 
from 35 to 60. A single cluster of plants may therefore produce from 300 to 
2000 mature seeds. The plant has a wonderful capacity for "stooling." From 
A single plant as many as forty spikes may be produced and the number often 
no doubt exceeds this. 

Distribution. It is fouTid in marshes, in moist sand along the sea shore, 
and near the northern lakes. Its present distribution is from Nova Scotia to 
New Brunswick, along the Atlantic coast, Maine to Maryland and westward to 
the region of the Great Lakes, Minnesota, Saskatchewan and the Mackenzie 
river, the Dakotas, Iowa, Nebraska and the Rocky Mountain region, south to 
Texas, California and .southern Mexico. It is also reported from Europe and 

Originally it was chiefly distributed in the Rocky Mountain region occur- 


ring in the saline soils of the plains, the great lakes and along the seacoast 
extending far northward. Its extension eastward and westward has taken place 
in the more recent times. 

Hordeum sccalinum, Schreb. Little Barley 

An erect annual from 4-10 inches high, more or less geniculate at the lower 
end; sheaths smooth or upper often inflated; leaf blade 1-3 inches long; spikes 
narrow; empty glumes rigid, those of the central spikelet scarcely lanceolate, 
all awn pointed; flowering glume of the central spikelet awned or nearly so. 

Distribution. Common and troublesome especially as far east as Missouri, 
Nebraska, British Columbia, and California. 

Hordeum murinuvi, h- Wild Barley 

An annual from 1-2 feet tall; erect or geniculate at the base; leaves rough; 
spikes from 2y2-5 inches long; spikelets usually in 3's; scales awned, the empty 
glumes awnlike and scabrous, the second scale of the lateral spikelets not cjliate, 
the flowering glumes scabrous at the apex, bearing an awn about Wi-lyi inches 

Common on the Pacific coast and the dry regions of Utah, New Mexico, 
Arizona, and occurring on ballast in the Eastern states. 

Mechanical injuries. It has long been known that the barbed awns of barley, 
wild barley and other plants act injuriously in a mechanical way. In the west 
this is especially true of wild barley {Hordeum juhatum). 

Dr. S. H. Johnson, of Carroll, states in the Carroll Herald, that this grass, 
when found in hay and allowed to ripen, if in any quantity, is very injurious 
to horses' mouths. He says : 

The small awns seem to work in and cause deep ulcerating sores, which form under 
the tongue and lips. The writer has seen a large number affected and made a careful 
examination, and found the awns deep in the flesh, where they had remained for three 
months or more. I have seen lips eaten completely through and tongues eaten almost ofif 
by the grass. As to cattle, I have seen some affected, but not to any extent, because 
the mucuous membranes are much thicker. The sooner the grass is eradicated the 

Professor Nelson, who has carefully studied this question, says on the injury 
to stock : 

The awned heads, when taken into the mouth .break up into numerous sections, 
scatter within the mouth and everywhere adhere to the mucous membrane, which soon 
becomes pierced with the long stiff awns. As the animal continues to feed, more awns 
are added, and those already present are pushed deeper into the flesh. Inflammation soon 
results and leaves the gums of the animal in condition to be more easily penetrated. 
The awns are particularly liable to be pushed down and alongside and between the 
teeth. As the swelling and festering progress the awns are packed in tighter and pushed 
deeper and cause suppuration of the gums as well as ulceration of the jaw bones and 
the teeth. Through the absorption of the ulcerated sockets and roots the teeth become 
loosened and even drop out, but the animal, impelled by hunger, still endeavors to eat 
such hay as may be offered. 

The above statements apply largely to H. jubatuin, but are equally true of 
all other species given above. 

2. CYPERACEAE. Sedge Family 

Grass-like, or rush-like herbs. Culms slender, solid or rarely hollow, frequent- 
ly triangular, terete, quadrangular or flattened; roots fibrous and, frequently, 
creeping rhizomes, leaves narrow, sheathes closed; flowers perfect or imperfect. 



Fig. 155. Wild Barley (Hordeum 
jubatum.) Produces mechanical in- 
juries to animals. (U. S. Dent. 

Fig. 156. Common Little Barley {Hordeum 
sccalinum). Causes mechanical injuries. (Charlotte 
M. King.) 

arranged in spikelets, 1 or 2 in the axil of each glume, spikelets, 1- many- 
flowered; scales 2-ranked, or spirally imbricated, persistent, or deciduous; peri- 
anth free, composed of bristles, scales or rarely wanting; anthers 2-celled ; ovary 
1-celled, ovule 1, erect style 2 or 3-clcft ; endosperms mealy; embryo minute. 
A large family of comparatively few genera (65) and 3,000 species of wide 
distribution. Carex is found in colder regions, while Cyperus is in warmer 



regions. About 600 species of Cypcrus, 200 of Scirpus, 200 of Rynchospora and 
1,000 of Carex. The Papyrus (Cyperus Papyrus) of Africa and Sicily was 
used by the ancients as writing material. Common rush (Scirpus lacustris), 
a cosmopolitan plant found in water and marshes, is used for making mats 
and baskets. The rhizome of Carex arenaria is used in medicine. 

Fig. 157. Sedge (Carex arenaria). 1. Flower- 
ing plant. 2. Staminate flower with ghnne. i. 
Pistillate flower. 4. Pistil. S. Bract of pistillate 
flower. 6, 7. Staminate and pistillate flowers of 
C. hirta. (After Wossidlo.) 


Woody or herbaceous plants with endogenous stems ; flowers in spikes, 
generally on the plan of 3, free, regular or slightly irregular; stamens 3-9 or 
numerous but generally 6; ovaries, free, 1-7-celled usually; fruit dry or a 


fleshy drupe. Contains the family Palmae, a large family of 1,000 species, of 
which the most important palms are as follows : The date palm (Phoenix 
dactylifera) of Asia and North Africa, now cultivated in warmer regions of 
Europe, California and Arizona, and an important article of commerce in 
North Africa; the Corypha which furnishes sago, fiber, and a seed which is 
used as a substitute for coffee; and the Washingtonia of Southern California, 
frequently cultivated. Vegetable wax is derived from Copernicia cerifera. 
The wine palms {Raphia vinifera and 7?. pcdunculata of eastern Africa), 
furnish raphia fiber. The Metroxylon Rumpliii of the South Sunda Islands 
furnishes sago. The betel-nut palm (Areca Catechu) is much used as a nar- 
cotic, the poison derived from this being known as arecain, half a grain of 
which is sufficient to kill a rabbit in a few minutes. It acts upon the heart and 
influences respiration causing tetanic convulsions ; it also causes a contraction of 
the pupil of the eye. It is used to some extent as a vermifuge and in India 
and the Islands of the Pacific it is applied as an external remedy. The nut 
contains the alkaloids, arccolin, arecain, arccaidiu, and guvaciii, which are used 
as vermifuges for dogs. The orange colored fruit is about the size of a hen's 
egg. When the nut is wrapped in quicklime and used, it imparts a red color 
to the saliva; it injures the teeth, and eventually destroys them. The resinous 
exudation from dragon's blood (Daemonorops Draco) of the East Indies is 
used in the manufacture of paints and varnishes. The oil from the oil palm 
(Ehcis guinecnsis) of West Africa and eastern South America is an important 
article of commerce. The cocoa-nut palm {Cocos nucifera) in tropical countries, 
especially the Islands of the Pacific, is an important article of food. The milk 
is the endosperm. The juice in the nut before maturity is unwholesome, being 
strongly diuretic and likely to cause serious results when taken into the sys- 
tem. A fermented drink is made from the juice of the plant which causes 
obesity and premature old age. A fiber known as ceir is made from the husks. 
Vegetable ivory ( Phytclephas macrocarpa) of tropical countries, is a well known 
article of commerce. "Tuba" or Philippine toddy is made from the sap of 
the flowering spadix of Nipa fruticans. Toddy is also made from the juice of 
Arenga pinnaius, a plant which also furnishes an almost imperishable fiber. 
The "Royal Palm" is the "Yagua" (Roystouca boritiqucna) of Porto Rico, the 
sheathing bases of the leaves of which are used in thatching and siding the 
houses of the poor. An oil is produced from the husk and nut-like seeds of 
the Acrocomia or corozo palm which is distributed through tropical America 
from Mexico and Cuba to Paraguay. 


Mostly fleshy herbs with endogenous stems, or thalloid floating plants ; 
flowers generally in a fleshy spadix subtended by a spathe or naked, or a few 
solitary flowers on the margin or back of the thalloid structure. 

ARACEAE. Arum Family 

Herbs with pungent juice; leaves with long, slender petioles and abounding 
in raphides ; flowers borne in densely-flowered fleshy spadix, subtended or en- 
closed by the spathe ; rootstock tuberous ; floral envelopes none or of 4-6 sepals ; 
stamens 4-10; filaments short; anthers 2-celled; ovary 1 -several-celled ; ovules 
1-several in each cell; fruit a berry; seeds various, with 2 coats, the outer 
fleshy; endosperm abundant or none. About 900 species of wide distribution. 



Many of the plants, as the skunk cabbage, Symplocarpus foetidus, possess 
acrid and noxious qualities. This is a native herb which is acrid and has a 
disagreeable odor. The fleshy spadix of Monstera deliciosa of the Mexican 

Fig. 158. Common European Arum, Cuckoo-pint, or Wake-robin 
(Arum maculatiim). Leaf; spadix; longitudinal section of ovary; germina- 
tion; longitudinal section of seed; embryo. (After Faguet.) 

Cordilleras is edible. The vegetable calomel (Acorus Calamus) is used in 
medicine and contains the bitter principle acorin and an alkaloid. The sweet 
calomel is poisonous, under some conditions, causing disturbed digestion, and, 
in severe cases, gastro-enteritis, persistent constipation, followed by diarrhoea 
and passage of blood in the feces. 

The Calla palustris, a marsh plant, has acrid properties and is used in 
Lapland with bread. The bulbs of Amorphophallus are rich in starch and are 
edible. The Richardia africana is frequently cultivated and used as food, a 
starch being also made from it. The poisonous substances contained in it are 
removed on roasting and boiling. In some of the fruits of aroids, like Arum 
italicuni, saponin has been found, also needle-like crystals of oxalate of lime. 
A. maculatum is poisonous and causes severe dermatitis, paralysis, and, in the 



case of children, even death. The Thomsonia napalensis of India, according 
to Major Kirtikar, is an acrid poison but its deleterious properties may be 
removed by roasting. The arrow arum (Feltandra virginica) of eastern 
North America is an irritant. 

Arisaema. Mart. 

Perennial herbs with tuberous rootstock or corm, having acrid properties; 
leaves simple or compound, scape simple ; spathe convolute, generally arched 
above ; spadix with flowers near the base ; floral envelopes none ; flowers mon- 
oecious or dioecious; stamens 4; anthers 2-4-celled ; pistillate flowers with a 
2-celled ovary containing many ovules ; fruit a globose, red berry ; seeds with 
copious endosperm. About 50 species found in temperate climate. 

Arisaema triphyllum. (L.) Schott. Indian Turnip 

Corm turnip-shaped, farinaceous ; leaves generally 2, divided into 3-f oliate 

leaflets, ovate ; spadix mostly dioecious,, 
club-shaped, much shorter than the arched 
spathe, which is green and purple striped: 
ovules 5-6; berries 'shining, forming a 
dense head. The dragon head {A. Dra- 
contium) with solitary leaf pedately di- 
vided into 7-11 oblong lanceolate leaflets, 
and spadix tapering to a long slender 
point, is common in rich woods from 
Minnesota and Iowa, eastward. 

Distribution. The Indian Turnip occurs 
in moist woods from Kansas and Minne- 
sota to Nova Scotia and Florida. 

Poisonous properties. The corm of In- 
dian Turnip is so extremely acrid that a 
decoction made from it has been used to 
kill insects. 

The family Leiiinaccac is allied to the 
Araceae. It contains the Duckweeds, 


KiK. 159. Lulian Turnip (Arisaema ^^crbs with endogenous stems and most- 

triphyllum). A common plant of our j^, narrow Icaves I flowers usually complete. 

woods. Corm contains an acrid 

poison. parts usually in 3's or 6s; corolla reg- 

ular or nearly so; ovary compound, superior; endosperm of the seed mealy. 
This series contains the Xyridaceae, of which the yellow-eyed grass is an 
example; the Briocaulaccae, of which the pipewort (Eriocaulnn septaiujularc) 
of the Atlantic seashore is a good illuslrali(.n ; the pine-apple family {Broiucli- 
aceae) of 350 species, in tropical and warmer regions, represented in the south 
by the Spanish moss (Tillandsia usiieoidcs) which hangs in long festoons 



from trees, and by the pine-apple {Ananas sativus), a well known fruit now 
cultivated extensively in Florida; from which has been isolated the enzyme, 
bromelin, a powerful ferment capable of rapidly digesting vegetable and animal 
albumen. It acts in the presence of either acid or alkaline carbonates and is 
related to trypsin and pepsin. In the same family is the pinguin {Bromelia 
Pinguin) or wild pine-apple, the slightly acrid pulp of which is edible and the 
fiber valuable. The plant is armed with stout spines which made the passage 
of troops difficult in the late Spanish war. 

In the same order are the Spiderworts belonging to the family Commelin- 
aceae. The common blue spiderwort {Tradescantia virginiana) of sandy and 

Fig. 161. Common Rush {Junciis 
tenuis). A weed with tough stems, 
along beaten paths and roadsides. (Char- 
lotte M. King.) 



gravelly soils, has mucilaginous stems, blue ephemeral flowers, and is common 
everywhere in eastern North America. Several species of Tradescantia, like 
the wandering Jew {T. Zebrina), are commonly cultivated. Another family 
of the order is the Pontederiaceae, containing the pickerel weed (Pontederia 
cordata) and the Eichornia speciosa, which is frequently cultivated in green- 
hoses and has become a very troublesome weed in the rivers of Florida and 
elsewhere in warm countries. 


Herbs or occasionally shrubs with endogenous stems and monocotyledon- 
ous seeds; perianth generally well developed; flowers generally regular and 
complete, their parts in 3's and 6's ; ovary superior, or inferior compound; 
endosperm horny or fleshy. This series contains the family Jiincaceae, called 

rushes, some of which, 
like wire-grass {Juncus 
tenuis), are troublesome 
weeds. Luzula is com- 
mon at high altitudes 
and in northern states. 
The Dioscoreaceae, or 
Yam Farriily, contains 
but few species in the 
United States. To this 
belong the wild yam 
root (Dioscorea villosa) 
of our woods, the Jap- 
anese yam (D. divari- 
cata) and the air po- 
tato (D. hulbifera) of 
Asia, sometimes culti- 
vated in the Gulf States 
for its large tubers. 
Yam starch is obtained 
from several species, the 
most important of which 
are D. alata, D. sativa, 
D. japonica, and D. 

The family Taccaceae 
contains Tacca pinnati- 

„.,,„„, , ., J , , ,r /r>- fida, the roots of which 

Fig. 160. Flowers, fruit and leaves of Yam (Dioscorea 

villosa). A common plant in thickets. are the SOUrce of the 

Tacca starch of Tahiti 
and the neighboring islands. Tho plant is grown also in Brazil and India. 


Ovary mostly superior. 

Perianth segments distinct or partly tinitcrl, the inner, petal-like ; 

fruit a capsule or berry Liliaceae 

I'ig. 161. Wake Rubin (Trilliinn ntTale); Canada Lily iLiliiim Canadense). The 
Trilliunis are considered poisonous. (C. M. King). 


s "^ 

w „ 

3 -^ 
3 o 


Ovary inferior, at least in part. 

Stamens 3, opposite the inner segments Haemodoraceae 

Stamens 6. 

Erect perennial herbs; flowers perfect Amaryllidaceae 

Stamens 3, opposite the outer segments Iridaceae 

I. LiLiACEAE. Lily Family 

Herbs or rarely woody plants with regular, symmetrical flowers; perianth 
not glumaceous; 3 sepals; 3 petals; 6 stamens; ovary 3-celled ; fruit a pod or 
berry; embryo enclosed in the hard albumen. A family of about 1,600 species,, 
including among others, several ornamental plants like the lily, lily of the 
valley, and yucca; some medicinal plants like squill, aloe, and false hellebore; 
and several poisonous plants like death camas and colchicum, the latter, native 
to Europe and Africa. The fatal poisonous nature of Colchicum was familiar 
to the ancients, it being known to contain several poisons, such as the alkaloid 
colchicin C^^Yi.^^'^0^, an amorphous, yellowish white gum, chiefly an alkaline 
bitter substance, which, on boiling with acids, yields colchicein C^^H^^NOg, 
and a yellowish green resin. 

Animals that eat the plant suffer with acute gastro-enteritis, coma, stagger- 
ing, weak pulse, and increased urination. The family also includes several 
economic plants like the onion {Allium Porrum) ; garlic {Allium sativum) ; 
chives {A. Schoenoprasum) ; shallot {A. ascalonicum) ; hyacinth {Hyacinthus- 
orientalis) ; New Zealand flax {Phormium tenax), native to New Zealand 
where it occupies much of the country, and is now used in large quantities for 
making ropes and mats; {Yucca filamentosa) and {¥. augustifolia), the former 
a well known plant of the South and the latter a well known plant of the 
West, both species frequently cultivated for ornamental purposes, a large 
number of other species of the genus Yucca being also found in the Southwest. 
The day lily {Funkia subcordata), several species of the tulip {Tulipa), and 
several species of Lilium are cultivated. Perhaps the most common in the old 
gardens is the tiger lily, {L. tigrinum). Several species of the aloes are com- 
mon in cultivation in greenhouses. They are also medicinal, containing the 
substance aloinum, a neutral principle, which yields barbatorin C^.H^qO. Aloes 
are cathartic. The California or Mariposa lily belongs to the genus Calochortus. 
The asparagus {Asparagus officinalis) is cultivated and is a well known 
vegetable. The cultivated smilax {Asparagus medeoloides) is a native to the 
Cape of Good Hope. The dragon-tree {Cordyline terminalis) is frequently 
cultivated. Some of the species of the latter like "Ti" of the Sandwich Islands 
are of economic importance. The roots of "Ti" contain a saccharine matter,, 
from which the natives extract sugar; they also bake the roots and eat them. 
The remarkable dragon-tree of the Canaries is noted for its large circumfer- 
ence and comparatively low height. The Botany Bay resin {Xanthorrhoea 
hastilis) is chiefly used as a shellac for making colored varnishes. 

Yucca leaves contain salicylic acid. Several investigators have reported 
saponin in the roots of Yucca filamentosa, Y. augustifolia, and Y. imperialis 
contain the alkaloid imperialin C^^^H^^jNO^. In the former. Dr. Helen Abbot 
Michael reports the presence of several resins, the amount varying from 8-10 
per cent in the root. She regarded the saponin as a constructive glucoside 
which served to unite what are known as the Saponin groups. Saponin occurs 
in many different plants, especially in the Sapotaceae. 



Fig. 162. Colchicum (Colchicum au- 
tumnale). Flowering plant and longi- 
tudinal section of stem and bulb. l"'aguet. 

rig. 163. Csinas plant or Death Camas (Zygadeutts 
venenosHs). A western plant, extremely poisonous to 

The fly poison (Amianthium muscactoxicum) is a smooth plant with 
simple stems from base; broadly linear leaves; white flowers in simple racemes: 
widely spreading perianth without claws or glands. Occurs from Long Island 
to Florida to Arkansas. It is a well known fly poison of the south. It is 
related to Veratriim and Melanlhium. 

The Biilbinc btilhusa, of Australia, is poisonous to cattle, sheep and horses, 
which, after eating it, display such symptoms as lying down, rolling continually, 
having scours and a mucous discharge from the nose. The tuberous herb, 
Gloriosa supcrba, of India, according to Major Kirtikar, is a violent emetic; 


the roots of this, when eaten, produce death in four hours. It is said to con- 
tain the bitter principle superbin (C.^H^^^K^O^^), perhaps identical with scillo- 
toxin. The leaves ana roots of Paris quadrifolia of Europe have a bitter taste. 
The berries are said to poison chickens and to produce gastro-enteritis in man. 
The Aloe siiccotrina contains from 4-10 per cent of a bitter principle aloin, 
also some emodin. Representatives of the genus Scilla and Urginea yield scilli- 
picrin, scillin, and scillotoxiu, the latter of which resembles digitoxin ; the first 
of these acts upon the heart ; where used as an emetic, it has proved fatal be- 
cause of its irritant action on the intestines. The seeds of Sabadilla officinalis 
are used as a parasiticide. They contain cevadin C^^H^^^NO^,, cevadilliit 
C,,H,.,NO„, and are the principal source of veratrin C„^H..NO,,. and the 
glucoside scillain or scillitin. According to Friedberger and Frohner animals 
poisoned with "rat poison" (squill) had cerebral convulsions and erysipelas. 
The rhizome of Solomon's Seal (Polygonafum giganteum) has an acrid bitter 

Chickerinchee (Oniithogalutn thyrsoides) is reported by Dr. Liautard (1) 
to have been the cause of acute gastro-enteritis in horses in South Africa. 
The species O. Muscari may possibly be poisonous since it is allied to the above 
which an African veterinarian reports to be poisonous. The Star-of-Bethlehem 
(O. iimbellatum) which is a pretty cultivated garden p'ant in the northern 
United States has become an escape in Kentucky and is regarded as a rather 
troublesome weed. The Tulip and Fritallaria are also poisonous. 


Perianth bell-shaped, gamophyllous. 

Fruit a berry 5. Convallaria 

Perianth cleft or divided. 

Fruit a berry 6. Trillium 

Fruit a capsule. 

With scarious bracts 4. Allium 

Without scarious bracts. 

Roots bulbous 1. Zygadenus 

Roots not bulbous. 

Sepals with claws, free from the ovary 2. Melanthium 

Sepals without claws 3. Veratrum 

1. Zygadenus. Michx. Camas 

Smooth, erect, perennial herbs from bulbs or rootstocks ; leaves linear ; 
greenish or white flowers in panicles ; stamens free from perianth segments ; 
capsule 3-lobed and 3-celled. A small genus of about 8 species, native to North 
America and Mexico. 

Zygadenus vcnenosus. Wats. Death Camas 

A pale green, slender perennial, 6 inches to 1^ feet high, from small 
coated bulb ; leaves rough, somewhat shorter than the stem ; flowers borne in 
a raceme, yellowish or yellow, polygamous : segments of the perianth ovate or 
elliptical, free from ovary, bearing a roundish gland; capsule much larger than 
the perianth. 

• (1) Am. Vet. Rev. 30:298. 


Distribution. From South Dakota to Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, California, 
Montana and British Columbia. 

Zygadenus chloranthiis. Pursh. Smooth Zygadenus 

A glaucus perennial 1-3 feet high, coming from an elongated bulb; leaves 
flat; flowers borne in racemes, few flowered, greenish; segments of the peri- 
anth oval or obovate, united below and adnate to the base of the ovary; capsule 
longer than the perianth. 

Distribution. Common especially northward in Iowa and Minnesota to 
Alaska, in the Rocky Mountains to New Mexico and east to Missouri. It 
may also be poisonous. 

Poisonous properties. Mention of the poisonous nature of the various 
species of Zygadenus has frequently been made, especially by the early ex- 
plorers, the poisonous bulbs encountered by them being referred to as poison 
camas or poison sago, so called to distinguish them from the edible Quamasa, 
which is commonly called kamas. These species bear essentially the same name 
today, except that in some places they are also called Lobelia. The bulbs are 
apparently much more poisonous than the leaves, but if the ground is very 
dry, sheep are less likely to pull them up than when the ground is moist. Aftei 
rains, however, or early in the spring it is possible that some of the bulbs may 
be pulled up and thus eaten by sheep. In Montana, according to Chesnut and 
Wilcox, large numbers of sheep are killed by eating death camas. These 
authors state that in one band two thousand were poisoned and one hundred 
of these died. In another band two hundr'ed were poisoned and ninety died. 

Prof. Hillman reports that the wild sago (Z. paniculatus) is probably 
responsible for the death of a considerable number of cattle in certain alkaline 
districts in Nevada. Dr. S. B. Nelson, in experimenting with this species had 
wholly negative results. He fed one pound of the plant in blossom and fruit 
to sheep. Dr. Wilcox and Prof. Chesnut made tests on rabbits and sheep 
with extracts and fresh plants, and in every instance obtained positive evidence 
of poisoning. In these instances the plants were not in flower. Prof. Chesnut 
says stock is poisoned while pasturing bj' eating the bulbs along with the leaves 
or the leaves alone, or by the seeds when present in hay, as they sometimes 
are. Stock, especially sheep, are usually killed by eating the plant before it has 
blossomed in the spring. Cases of poisoning are so common in Oregon and 
Nevada that the term "lobeliaed" has been used to indicate the result from this 
kind of poisoning. 

According to Chesnut and Wilcox the symptoms of poisoning are re- 
markably uniform : 

The first signs of poisoning are a certain uneasiness and irregularity in the move- 
ments of the sheep These irregularities rapidly become more and more pronounced, 
accompanied by incoordination of the muscular movements, spasms and rapid breathing. 
Although sheep are highly excited under the influence of Zygadenus poisoning, the 
cerebral symptoms seldom constitute a condition of frenzy. It was readily observed that 
until a few minutes before death ewes were able to recognize their lambs, and indicate 
in other ways that they were not in any sense crazed. The later symptoms were those 
of complete motor paralysis, combined with an exceedingly rapid and sharp breathing 
and a frequent weak pulse. The duration of these different stages of poisoning varies 
to a considerable extent, and depends entirely upon the amount of death Camas which 
the sheep had eaten. 

Death Camas (Zygadcuus 
(Nev. Agr. Exp. Sta.) 

A poisonous plant of the western United States. 


Postmortem examinations made show that in every instance the lungs 
were congested with blood, being a hepatized condition. There were no lesions 
in the membranes of the brain. In cases of adult sheep the effect upon the 
digestive organs was not marked. There were usually to be noticed an in- 
creased salivation and continued regurgitation through the mouth and nostrils. 
"Symptoms produced experimentally by feeding the death camas to sheep were 
the same as those characterizing natural poisoning by this plant. 

The toxic substance has not been isolated. Chesnut and Wilcox observed 
that the ground material macerated with luke warm distilled water produced 
a substance that had a decided soapy feeling, and that the pure juice was 
distinctly irritating when left on the hands for several minutes. The physio- 
logical action of the Veratrum is somewhat similarly caused by the active 
poisonous principle in camas. It is probable that many of the Melanthaceae 
have similar properties. Dr. Wilcox recommends, in case of poisoning by 
death camas, the hypodermic injection of strychnin in 1/20, 1/10 and 1/5 grain 
doses, the hypodermic injection of atropin in 1/60 and 1/30 grain doses, and 
solutions of potassium permanganate and aluminum sulphate. From 5 to 10 
grains of each of these compounds are dissolved in water and given as a drink 
to adult sheep. Hogs take the same doses as sheep, horses from 15 to 20 
grains, and cattle from 30 to 50 grains. Occasionally the material is injected 
directly into the stomach, but ordinarily the more convenient method is to 
allow the animals to drink it. The substances veratalhin, sabadin and sabadinin 
have been obtained from Z. venenosus. 

2. Melanthium. L. Bunchfiower 

Perennial tall leafy herbs with a thick rootstock; leaves linear to oblance- 
olate; flowers on large panicles, monoecious or polygamous, greenish yellow; 
perianth of 6 widely spreading segments raised on slender claws free from 
the ovary; stamens shorter than the perianth; pistil with 3 styles; capsule 
3-lobed and 3-celled. A small genus of 4 species, in eastern North America. 

Melanthium virginicum. L. Common Bunchfiower 

Tall leafy stemmed plants 3-5 feet high; leaves linear, the lower sheathing, 
the upper similar and sessile; flowers in an ample panicle, fragrant; perianth of 
flat segments, greenish yellow; styles persistent, capsule 3-celled; 8-10 seeds 
in each cavity. 

Distribution. In low meadows and prairies from New England to Iowa 
river basin to Minnesota to Texas and Florida. 

Poisonous properties. Several correspondents in Iowa have attributed 
poisoning of horses to this plant. Several related plants of the Melanthaceae 
like Zygadenus and Veratrum are known to be poisonous. 

Mr. J. R. Campbell, of Blockton, Iowa, writes us the following: 

The specimens I sent you, and which you have identified as Melanthium virginicum, 
have been the reputed cause of a number of cases of poisoning here this summer. The 
veterinarian here pronounced it aconite poisoning as the symptoms are similar, but he 
decided this weed caused it as it has been found present in every case. In the first 
cases that he noticed here nearly all the horses in the livery barn were attacked after 
partaking of hay which contained an abundance of the matured seed pods of this plant. 
None of the animals died. The liveryman then had his men pick out all the weed, 
and he has not been troubled since. Several cases have occured at different places since 
then, all traceable to this weed. 



Fig. 164. Bunch flower (Melanthium 
virginicum). Common in low meadows 
Eastern Iowa antP southward. Often 
mixed w-ith hay and causes poisoning 
of horses. (Charlotte M. King.) 

At the i)lace where I obtained these specimens the owner said he had cut the meadow 
and fed hay off it for fifteen years and never had any trouble until this year. Hay cut 
last fall seems to contain the poison; seed heads were fully mature; meadow is low 
and wet. 

The following are the symptoms as described by the veterinarian: Heart fast and 
very weak; respiration shallow and labored; great muscular weakness; retching, consider- 
able slobbering, some sweating; temperature was normal. The effect lasted three or four 
hours, and the animal was stupid and lacked appetite for one or two days afterwards. 

The disease stopped when a ration of hay containing none of this weed 
was fed. Since writing the above, Dr. Blanche, a veterinarian in Belle Plaine, 
this state, found that horses fed with hay containing this plant "became ill 
and acted as if they were crazy. The symptoms were much like those from 
aconite poisoning." These bunchflowcrs have long been used to poison flies, 
and Hyams, of North Carolina, says that they are poisonous to crows. The 
M. latifolium and M. pariflorutn have similar properties. According to 
Chesnut the Indians of Mendocino County, California, use the soaproot or 
Yuki (Chlorogaluin pomcridianum) to stupify fish. This plant is closely re- 
lated to Melanthium. 

Wild Indian Corn: Swamp Hellebore (I'cratrum cdliforiiicum). Reiunted to be poison- 
ous to cattle and horses. (Bull. Nev. Agr. l^xp. Sta. .SI). 


3. Veratrum (Tourn.) L. 

Perennial herbs ; leaves broad, clasping, veined, and plaited ; flowers in 
large panicles, greenish, polygamous or monoecious ; perianth in 6 parts, 
spreading, greenish or brownish, without glands or nearly so, and not clawed ; 
stamens short and free, ovary with 3 persistent styles, capsule 3-lobed, 3-celled 
and several-seeded. A small genus of 10 or 11 species distributed in north 
temperate regions. One species used in medicine ; all are poisonous. 

Veratrum viride, Ait. American White Hellebore 

A stout, leafy perennial from 2-7 feet high, with fleshy root, 1-3 inches 
long ; flowers in ample, dense, spike-like racemes ; it blooms from May to July. 

Distribution. Common in swamps and wet woods, especially in eastern 
North America, west to Wisconsin, south to the mountains of Georgia, .and 
north to Alaska. 

Veratrum californicum, Durand. California Hellebore 

A stout perennial from 2-8 feet high, fleshy root, flowers in a large loose 
terminal panicle ; perianth segments whitish with long and narrow floral leaves. 

Distribution. Common in the mountains of California and the Rocky 
Mountains as far north as British Columbia, south to New Mexico. 

Poisonous Properties. Prof. Chesnut says : 

Cases arise mainly from overdoses in medicine, but instances of accidental poisoning 
are reported for man and for various animals and birds. In one case all the members 
of a household vi'ere poisoned by eating the young leaves, which were mistaken for those 
of marsh marigold (Caltha palustris) and prepared for food. Animals do not relish 
the plant, which is acrid and burning in the fresh condition, but young aimals some- 
<^imes eat it with fatal results. The roots are not often mistaken for those of ediblr 
plants, but being fleshy and especially rich in alkaloids, they are somewhat dangerous. 
Tie seeds have been eaten by chickens with fatal results. The general effect is very 
much like that of aconite (Aconitum Napellus), being directed chiefly against the action 
of the heart and spinal cord, both of which tends to paralyze. 

The symptoms of the poison are burning in the throat with increased 
salivation, producing a weak pulse, labored respiration and profound prostra- 
tion. The root was used by the Indians in making snuff. Dr. Halsted at- 
tributed deaths of human beings as well as of cattle in New Jersey to this 

The number of poisonous substances found in hellebore is quite large. 
Of these so-called veratrin, Cg^H^^NO^j, of earlier writers, has an alkaline 
reaction, and a burning taste; it produces violent sneezing and dilates the pupil. 
However, later investigators, have separated this into the following bases : the 
very toxic cevadin, C^^U^^-W, vcratridin, C3„H,3NO^^ and sabadiUin 

Veratrum album, L., V. lobelianum Bernh., V. viride, Ait, also contain 
in addition to the bases named above, two other basies, sabadin, C^gH^^^NOg, 
and sabadinin, C^^H^.^NOg, and also the following substances: jervin C^gH^^^NOg, 
a pure alkaloid rtibijervin ^.^^^^J^^o' pseudojervin C^gH^gNO^. protoveratrin 



^32^5i''^^ii' P^otoveratridin C,gH^.NOg, and the bitter glucoside veratamarin. 
Jervin is a powerful depressant to the heart muscles and vaso motor centers; 
large doses therefore weaken the pulse. It depresses respiration and death oc- 
curs from asphyxia. Dr. Winslow, in speaking of the toxicology, says: 

The symptoms exhibited in Veratrum xiride poisoning are: salivation, vomiting, or 
attempts at vomiting, purging, abdominal pain, muscular weakness, difficulty in progression, 
loss of power and general paralysis, muscular tremors and spasms, and, occasionally, 
convulsions. The pulse is unaltered in rate at first, but later becomes infrequent and 
compressible and finally rapid, threadlike and running. The respiration is shallow, the 
temperature is reduced, the skin is cold and clammy; there is semi-consciousness, loss of 
sight, and death from asphyxia. Treatment should be pursued with cardiac and respira- 
tory stimulants, as amyl nitrite (by inhalation), alcohol, strychnin and atropin; tannic 
acid as a chemical antidote; opium to subdue pain, and demulcents to relieve local irrita- 
tion of the digestive tract. Warm water should be given the smaller animals to wash 
out the stomach and to asist vomition, and quietude should be enforced. In man, fatal 
poisoning is rare, since the drug is spontaneously vomited. The same would probably apply 
to dogs. Recovery has ensued in horses after injection of two ounces of veratrum 
album root. 

Fig. 164s .\mcrican White Hellebore {Veratrum -nridc). A poisonous plant of Eastern 
North Ameri< i. 


4. Allium (Tourn.) L. Onion, Garlic and Leek 

Perennial bulbous plants, bulb solitary or clustered, leaves generally linear, 
a few lanceolate or oblong ; stem simple or erect ; flowers in umbels subtended 
by bracts ; perianth white, purple or pink, the parts distinct or united at the base 
often becoming dry; the 6 filaments awl shaped, ovary 3-celled or incompletely 
so; capsule with 1-2 black seeds in each cell. About 275 species of wide dis- 
tribution; contains a number of important economic plants, among them garlic 
{A. sativum), garden leek {A. Porrum), chives {A. Schoenoprasum), shallot 
{A. ascaloniciim) , onion {A. Cepa), and the golden garlic {A. Moly), cultivated 
for ornamental purposes. 

Allium vineale, L. Field Garlic 

A slender scape, naked from an ovoid membranaceous bulb; 1-3 feet high; 
terete and hollow leaves, channeled above, frequently densely bulbiferous; 
flowers greenish or purple. 

Distribution. Common in meadows and wheat fields of Virginia, and east- 
ern states from Connecticut to Virginia and Missouri. Naturalized from Europe. 

Allium tricoccum Ait. Wild Leek 

Scape naked, 4-12 inches high from an ovoid bulb; leaves fibrous articulated; 
leaves oblong, lanceolate or elliptical, few, appearing long before the flowers 
in spring; flowers in umbels numerous, greenish white, one ovule in each cav- 
ity; capsules strongly 3-lobed; seeds black and smooth. 

Distribution. Common in the woods from western New England to Min- 
nesota and Eastern and northern Iowa, especially in the low damp grounds. 

Allium canadense L. Wild Garlic 

Scape 1-2 feet high, coming from an ovoid bulb, the outer coats fibrous 
reticulated; leaves narrow linear; flowers in an umbel frequently with small 
bulbs ; flowers pink or white. 

Distribution. Common in meadows or low grounds in New England to 
Minnesota and Iowa, south to the Gulf. 

Injurious Properties. In parts of the country where these onions grow 
there is frequent complaint of milk taking the flavor of onions where cattle 
feed upon them. Chesnut and Wilcox do not mention any species of the genus 
Allium, except some of the species found in Montana, which may impart to milk 
a disagreeable flavor. Friedberger and Frohner state that onions produce 

Prof. A. Liautard * has prepared an abstract of a report by Dr. W. W. Gold- 
smith in the Journal of Comparative Pathology and Therapeutics upon onion 
poisoning in cattle. Briefly it is as follows: 

Loads of onions partly started to shoot and partly decayed, were unloaded in a 
meadow where nine head of cattle were grazing. After a week the cattle seemed sick 

Amer. Vet. Review. 36:63 



and one died, displaying the following symptoms: Intense onion odor, tucking up of 
flanks; constipation in some; purging freely in others; one vomited abundantly; another 
very ill, grunted, was much constipated, staggered in walking, was very tender in loins, 
temperature 103°, urine dark and smelling of onions. Treatment: Feeding with soft 
food and hay. Large doses of linseed oil. One animal that was very ill got also extract 
of belladonna and carbonate of soda. All but one of the animals recovered. At the 
autopsy of the dead one, the rumen was found inflated and also the bowels. Livei enlarged 
and of light color. Kidneys dark green and with offensive ador. Rumen contained 
large quantity of onions and grass. The whole carcass and organs smell of onions. 

5. Convallana L. Lily of the Valley 

A low smooth herb with horizontal root-stocks ; flowers white in a one 
sided raceme; stamen 6; ovary 3-celled; berry globose. A genus with one 

Convallana majalis, L. Lily of the Valley 

A smooth perennial herb with horizontal root-stocks and 2 or sometimes 3 
oblong leaves ; flowers in racemes ; perianth bell shaped, white, 6-lobed, stamens 
6, inserted on the base of the perianth ; ovary 3-celled, 4-6 ovules in each cell ; 

Fig. 165. Lily-of-the- Valley 
(Comallaria majalis). A well 
known cultivated plant possessing 
poisonous properties similar to 
those of Foxglove. U. S. Dept. 

I'ig. 166. False .Mor (.-Igave 
virginica). A plant of the South- 
ern United States. 


berry rounJish, red and few-seeded. The species is native to Europe, Asia, 
and the Alleghanies, and is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant. 

Poisonous properties. The plant contains two glucosides; one, convallamarin 
C.,gH^jOj,, an extremely poisonous crystalline compound with a bitter sweet 
taste, with a physiological action on the heart like digitalin, a substance found in 
the common foxglove, and convallarin C,.H, O,,, which is crystalline, has 
a sharp taste and is purgative in its action. Chesnut says : "The amegative 
and purgative actions of the lily of the valley are quite marked." The action 
of the heart is infrequent and irregular, and finally death occurs from paralysis. 

Trillium L. Birthwort 

Herbs, with naked stem from a short, horizontal root stock, netted veined, 
simply whorled leaves, m 1 or 2 whorls ; colored flowers, 3 green persistent sepals ; 
3 colored petals which wither with fruit; stamens 6, hypogynous ; linear, adnate 
anthers on short filaments; sessile stigmas 3; ovary 3-celled; fruit a berry. 

The principal species of the United States are: the wake-robin {T. nivale), 
which flowers very early in the spring, is from 2-4 inches high and is common 
northward and eastward; the sessile-flowered wake-robin (T. sessile) which 
bears sessile dull purple flowers with narrow sepals and petals, and leaves that 
are often blotched and occurs from eastern Iowa southward ; prairie wake- 
robin (T. recurvatum) of the west, which has dull purple petals but differs 
from the preceding in having narrow leaves ; large white-flowered wake-robin 
(T. grandiflorum) which bears a large white flower raised on a peduncle later 
recurving from the erect, the flowers becoming purplish, and rounded, ovate, 
sessile leaves; and birthwort (T. erectum) much like T. grandiflorum except 
that the flowers are not so large and are unpleasantly scented. Both of the two 
last named are found in the eastern and central states. 

Poisonous properties. Trilliums have long been considered poisonous. All 
species are emetic. Lindley states that the roots have a violent emetic action. 
The fruit should be regarded with suspicion. 

Haemodoraceae. Bloodwort Family 

Prerennial herbs with fiborous roots; leaves, narrow, lanceolate and some- 
what erect ; small perfect flowers which are woolly or scurfy on the outside ; 
flowers in panicles; perianth 6-parted or 6-lobed adnate to the ovary ;stamens 3, 
opposite the 3 inner segments of the perianth; stigmas 3; fruit a 3-vaived 
capsule, seeds few or numerous. A small family of 9 genera and 35 species 
mostly native to Africa, Australia and tropic America. 

Lachnanthes. L. Red-Root 

A stout herb with short rootstock; red, fibrous, perennial root; leaves, 
equitant and sword shaped, crossed at the base and scattered on the stem ; 
flowers, numerous, borne in a woolly, cymose panicle ; perianth, 6-parted, the 
outside segments smaller than the inner ; stamens, 3, opposite the 3 inner divi- 
sions ; pistil with 3-celled ovary few ovules in each cavity ; seeds few, flattened 
nearly orbicular, fixed by the middle. A species of a single genus native to 
southeastern North America and western India. (Gyrothcca). 


Lachnanthes tinctoria, (Walt.) Ellis. 

A stout, tall herb with numerous yellow flowers, 6-parted perianth and few 

Distribution. In salty swamps near the coast in southeastern Massachusetts, 
Rhode Island and New Jersey to Florida. This plant is commonly called the 
pink-root of the Atlantic coast. 

Poisonous properties. Prof. Chesnut says that throughout the South, 
white hogs are supposed to be particlaraly subject to the poison contained in 
this plant. Dr. Halsted says "Throughout the southern states, this plant 
abounds and the preponderance of black over white-skinned hogs is claimed to 
be due to this paint-root. White hogs with free access to the plant are soon 
killed off, while black ones are not. 

This is not the only case of the color of animals seeming to have an in- 
fluence upon their distribution. Thus, white horses in Prussia, it is claimed, 
are injured by eating milkweed, while dark horses are not. In Sicily, there 
are black sheep, only, as white ones are killed off by a species of St. John's 
wort {Hypericum)." While the claim of the immunity of black pigs from the 
effects of paint-root seems to be a common belief, further investigation should 
be made before this should be assured definitely as a fact. 

Family Amaryllidaceae. Amaryllis Family 

Mostly perennial herbs with bulbs, rootstocks or corms ; scapose flowers 
regular or nearly so ; perianth 6-parted or 6-lobed, the lobes or segments 
distinct, united below into a tube, adnate to the ovary; stamens 6; style single; 
capsules several, many seeded. About 800 species, chiefly native of tropical or 
warm regions, a few in temperate regions. Some well known representatives are 
daffodil, (Narcissus Pseudo-Narcissus) ; Polyanthus, (N. Tazetta) ; poet's 
Narcissus, {N. poeticus) producing intense gastro-enteritis ; Jonquil, (A^ Jonquil- 
la) ; snowdrop, {Galanthus nivalis) ; amaryllis, {Amaryllis Belladonna) ; tuber- 
rose, {Polianthes tuberosa), the latter widely cultivated; the American aloe 
or agave, the most common species in cultivation being the century plant {Agave 
americana) native to Mexico and Central America, the Mexican drink, pulque, 
being made from the sweet liquid obtained from this plant at the time of flower- 
ing. Several species are used for the manufacture of fibre, the best known being 
the sisal, {Agave rigida). The mauritius hemp, {Furcraea gigantea), 
is native to Mexico and has been introduced into Zanzibar. Many members of 
the family have acrid properties and some of them are poisonous. Buphane 
disticha is used by the Hottentots to poison their arrows. Poet's narcissus 
contains psettdo-narcissin ; Amaryllis Belladonna contains bclladonin; and Spre- 
kelia formossissima contains amaryllin, a belladonna-like alkaloid. The Lycoris 
species contain lycorin, an alkaloid with the formula C3.,H^,N„Og, and a second 
alkaloid kisanin, Cg^Hg^N^O,. Agave hetcracantha contains agavesaponin. Dr. 
IMacDougal states that the sharp pointed leaves of Agave Schottii often pene- 
trate leggins and leather shoes inflicting painful injuries. 

Zcphyrantlies. Herb 

Smooth herb with coated bull)s ; narrow leaves ; flowers scapose, large 
erect, pink, white or purple ;periantii funnel-form from a tubular base; the 6 
divided petals are united below into a tube subtended by an entire or 2-cleft 



Fig. 167. Saffron (Crocus satiws). The flowers furnish the 
saffron of commerce. (Faguet). 

bract; ovary 3-celled; style long, filiform, 2-cIeft at the summit; ovules numer- 
ous; capsules membranceous ; seeds flattened, blackish; small genus of 30 
species, native to America. 

Zephyranthes Afamasco (L.) Herb. Atamasco Lily 

Leaves bright green and shiny from an ovoid bulb; scapes erect; bracts 2- 
cleft; perianth white, pinkish or light purple; segments shorter than the two 

Distribution. In moist places from eastern Virginia to Florida and Ala- 



Poisonous properties. Prof. Chcsnut, in speaking of this plant, says that the 
Atamasco of the southeastern United States is supposed by some persons to 
cause the disease in horses known as "staggers." 

Fig. 168. Atamasco Lily 
(Zephyranthes atamasco). A 
plant of the southeastern United 
States, supposed to cause "stag- 
gers' in horses. 

Fig. 169. Blue Flag {Iris zvrsi^oUir). The rootstock 
is poisonous. The plant grows in low grounds. (After 

Family Irid.\ck.\E. Iris Fahiily 

Perennial herbs, frequently with IjuUjs, cornis or tubers; leaves cquitant, 
erect, 2-ranked; perianth of 6 segments or 6-Iobed, its tube adnate to the 
ovary; stamens 3, adnate to the ovary; anthers facing outward; ovary infer- 
ior, mostly 3-celled ; style 1 or 3-cleft, stigmas 3, opposite the three stamens; 
ovules generally numerous in each cell; embryo small; endosperm, fleshy, or 

About 1000 species, of wide distribution. Common native plants of the 
family are the blue flag {Iris versicolor), growing in low grounds of the North; 


the Carolina blue flag (/. Carolina) of the South, blue eyed grass (Sisyrinchium 
angustifolium) . Many species of the exotic blue flags, Iris like the dwarf gar- 
den iris (/. pumila) and the common flower-de-luce (/. germanica), the common 
crocus or saffron (Crocus vernus) used for coloring, freesia (Frecsia refracta), 
tritonia and gladiolus are cultivated for ornamental purposes. The orris root 
(Iris florentina, I. pallida and /. germanica) is an article of commerce used for 
perfume and tooth powders. It contains myristic acid. A substitute for saffron 
is obtained from the flowers of the South American saffron (Crocosmia anrea).. 

Fig. 169a. The petaloid bilobed stigma and 
stamen of Iris. (Kerner). 

Iris (Tourn) L. 

Herbs with creeping or horizontal root stocks, and erect stems with equi- 
tant leaves; flowers large, regular, panicled ; perianth of 6 segments united below 
into a tube, the outer dilated, spreading or reflexed ; the 3 inner, smaller ; stamens 
inserted at the base of the outer perianth ; ovary 3-celled ; fruit a capsule ; 
seeds numerous. About 100 species in the North Temperate regions. The 
Iris florentina contains the glucoside irigenin C^gH^^Og. This is derived from 

Iris versicolor, L. 

Root stock fleshy ; stem roundish ; leaves erect, leaves shorter than the 
stem; flowers bluish, perianth deeply 6-parted, the 3 outer divisions reflexed,. 
the 3 inner smaller, erect ; stamens distinct, covered by the petaloid stigmas. 

Distribution. In marshes, thickets, and wet meadows from Newfoundland 
to Manitoba, south to Florida and Arkansas. 

Poisonous properties and uses. The root contains the substance irisin,. 
or iridin. The acrid resinous substance, irisin, acts powerfully upon the gas- 
tro-intestinal tract, liver and pancreas, causing a burning sensation and conges- 
tion. That the root is poisonous may be seen from the following statement 
made by Dr. Rusby : 

Another rhizome whose acrid taste is likely to prevent ingestion in poisonous quantity, 
is that of the common Iris versicolor, L. Still, because this is commonly known as the 
blue flag, there is some danger that it might be eaten in mistake for calamus, which is 
commonly known as swect-fiag. If so, it would prove seriously, if not fatally poisonous. 



as its well-known emetic-cathartic properties, even when toned by drying and keeping, are 
powerful, and in a fresh state would be decidedly violent. 

Dr. Johnson says : 

Iris, in full doses, is an active emeto-cathartic, operating with violence, and producing 
considerable prostration. Its effects upon the liver appear to be analogous to those of 
podophyllum. In sick headache dependent upon indigestion, small doses, frequently re- 
peated, often act most happily. It has been largely used by eclectic practitioners, and is 
highly esteemed by them as a hydragogue cathartic, an alterative, sialagogue, vermifuge, 
and diuretic. 

One case of poisoning has been recorded in this state. Other species of 
Iris of which we have quite a number in the U. S. must be looked upon with 
suspicion. Mention may be made here of the Iris inissouriensis and /. Caro- 
lina. The root stocks of our cultivated species like /. pumali and /. sibirica 
must be looked upon with suspicion. The South African Homeric collina natur- 
alized in Australia, according to Maiden, is poisonous to cattle browsing on 
the plant. 


Large herbs with endogenous stems and monocotyledonous seeds ; flow- 
ers very irregular; ovary inferior, composed of several united carpels; seeds 

Fig. 170. Ginger {Zingiber officinale). 
a. iCntire plant. b. flower. (Charlotte 
AT. King, after Strasburger, Schcnck, Noll 
and Schimper.) 



with endosperm. This order contains the important family Musaceae in 
which is found the banana (Musa sapientum), well known as an article of com- 
merce. It is extensively cultivated in the tropics and one of the most important 
food plants in all warm countries. The fruit is eaten fresh when ripe; a kind 
of flour is also made from it. M. textilis is an important fiber plant being the 
source of Manilla hemp, large quantities of which are imported from the 
Philippines. The ravenala or traveler's palm also belongs to this family. It 
has an oily, edible, arillus which is bright blue. The family Cannaceae con- 
tains the Indian shot (Canna indica) , frequently cultivated for ornamental 
purposes in this country; in tropical regions, however, a starch is made from 
the rhizome of this species and from C. edulis. C. flaccida is a native of the 
southern United States and has a pretty blue flower. The family Maran- 
taceae contains the West Indian arrowroot (Maranta arundiacea) . The fam- 
ily Zingiberaceae includes ginger {Zingiber officinale) which contains gingerol 
and is used as a condiment and stimulant. The ginger of commerce is derived 
from the fleshy rootstock, the plants grown in Jamaica being considered most 
valuable. These are cultivated in regions having an altitude of 2000 feet. 
Malabar cardamon (Blettaria Cardamomum) round cardamon (Alpinia striata), 
bastard cardamon (Amomum xanthioides), Bengal cardamon (A. subulatum) 
and Java cardamon (A. maximum) also belong to this order. The Kaemp- 
feria rotunda of India, is a bulbous or tuberous rooted biennial which accord- 
ing to Major Kirkitar, causes profuse salivation and vomiting when administered 
internally. The rhizome of K. Galanga furnishes a perfume. 

Arrowroot comes from Curcuma leucorhisa, and turmeric from Cur- 
cumu longa. The tuber of the latter, when powdered, is used as a yellow dye- 

Fig. 171. Canna {Canna flaccida). A 
native American Canna. 

Fig. 172. Banana Fruit {Musa sapien- 
tum). A well known tropical fruit. W. 
S. Dudgeon. 


stuff, in making turmeric paper, as a condiment, especially in curry powder, 
•and as an aromatic stimulant. The zedoary, (C Zedoraia), is used in Himala- 
yan India, where it is native, in place of turmeric. Galangal is the root of 
Alpinia officinarum which grows on the Chinese coast. Another species, A. 
Galanga is used on the island of Java. 


Herbs with endogenous stems, flowers very irregular or in a few cases 
regular, generally complete and perfect, and parts in 3's or 6's ; ovary inferior 
•compound; seeds small, numerous, without endosperm. 

• Family Orchidaceae. Orchid Family 

Perennial herbs with corms, bulbs or tuberous roots ; perfect and irregular 
flowers ; perianth of 6 divisions in 2 sets, the 3 outer similar in texture 
to the 3 inner petals, one of the 3 inner, different in form and is called the lip; 
in front of the lip is a column composed of a single stamen, or in Cypripedium 
of two stamens, and a rudiment of the third ; pollen in 2 or 8 pear shaped 
sacs called pollinia which are united by little threads. Stamens variously united 
with the thick, fleshy style into a column ; ovary 1-celled with many ovules on a three 
parietal placentae; capsule 1-celled, 3-valved, seeds numerous. A large order 
of about 5000 species of wide distribution, most abundant in the tropics. Many 
of the plants like the Cypripedium, Angrccuvi and the Catasctuin are culti- 
vated for ornamental purposes. 

The salep of commerce is obtained from the Orchis masculata. The 
flavoring material, vanilla, is obtained from Vanilla planifol'ia, native to 
Mexico and widely distributed by cultivation; this plant contains from 1^ to 
3 percent of vamllin C^^H^O.^. Other species of the genus Vanilla also fur- 
nish vanilla but in smaller quantities : these are V. Pompona, V. guianensis, 
and V. palmarum. Vanillin is also made from coniferin and eugenol, and 
•occurs in other orchids as Spirant lies and such plants as Spiraea Ulmaria 
and Lupinus albus. It is used for medicine. 

Orchids contain some alkaloids ; for example, Phalanopsis amahilis con- 
tains a tonic alkaloid, according to Boorsnis, which is closely related to coni- 

Cypripedium L. 

Tufted roots; perennial, glandular, pubescent herbs; leaves large, many 
nerved; flowers solitary or few; sepals shiny, spreading, 3 distinct or 2 
of them united into one, under the lip; petals spreading, resembling the sepals; 
lip of large inflated sac, column declined with a fertile stamen on each side; 
a sterile petaloid stamen above, which covers the summit of the style ; pollen 
granular, stigma broad, obscurely 3-lobed, moist and roughish. About 40 
species, mostly tropical. 

Crypridium parvijlorum, Salisb var. piihesccns (Willd) Knight. Yellow Lady 


Perennial, with leafy stem, 2 feet high, pubescent; leaves oval, or ellip- 
tical, acute ; sepals ovate, lanceolate, usually larger than the lip, yellowish or 
greenish; petals narrower, usually twisted; lip flattened laterally, pale yellow 
■with purple lines. 



Fig. 173. Fig. 174. 

Fig. 173. Smaller Yellow Lady Slipper {Cyprit^edium parriflorum, var pubesceus). A 
beautiful flower of early summer, seen in the woods of eastern Iowa. C. M. King. 

Fig. 174. Glands of several species of Moccasin flower, which are said to contain the 
toxic substances. 1. Hair gland of Cypripcdium pubescens. 2. Hair gland of Cypripedium 
hirsutum in water. 3. Hair gland of Cypripedium Calceolus in water. (Charlotte M. 
King, after Nestler.) 

Distribution. In woods and thickets, chiefly east of central Iowa, and Min- 
nesota to Nova Scotia ; occasionally in Colorado, Nebraska and Alabama. 

Cypripedium candidum Muhl. Small White Lady Slipper 

A slightly pubescent perennial; leaves lance-oblong, acute; petals and 
sepals greenish, purple spotted; sepals ovate-lanceolate, lips white striped 
with purple inside, flattened laterally, convex above. 

Distribution. In bogs and meadows from New York to Minnesota, Iowa, 
Nebraska and Missouri. 

Cypripedium hirsutum Mill. Showy Lady Slipper 

A rather stout, downy perennial 2 feet or more high; leaves ovate pointed: 
sepals round ovate, or orbicular, longer than the petals, which are obovate; 
lip inflated, white, pink purple stripes. 

Distribution. In woods and swamps from Nova Scotia, Ontario and Geor- 
gia west to Minnesota and Iowa. 

Poisonous Properties. Dr. Babcock, many years ago, found that the sev- 
eral species of Lady's Slipper produced dermatitis. Years ago the writer 
heard of a case of poisoning where a young man carried a large bunch of 



Fig. 175. Showy Lady Slipper 
{Cypripedium hirsututn). A plant 
thought to cause dermatitis. C. M. 

Fig. 176. Flower of another orchid (Habenaria). 

Showy Lady Slipper and became poisoned very Tnuch as if it were by poison 
Ivy. Prof. Chesnut in referring to the poisoning from these plants says: 

The poisonous character of these plants was not suspected prior to 1875, when 
Prof. H. H. Bahcock, of Chicago, who had annually been suffering, supposedly from 
recurrent attacks of ivy (Rhus) poisoning, discovered that the affection was most probably 
caused not by the ivy, but by the two species of Lady's Slipper named above (C. parvi- 
florunt, var. pubescens and C. hirsutum) instances were afterward reported, but the 
facts were not positively ascertained until 1894, when an investigation was made by 
Prof. D. T. MacDougal of the University of Minnesota. It was discovered that these 
plants are provided with glandular hairs which cover the surface of the stem and leaves 
and contain a poisonous oil which is especially abundant at the fruiting season. Its 
action on the skin is very similar to that of toxicodendrol, the active constituent of poison 
Ivy (,Rhus Toxicodendron), but its exact chemical nature could not be ascertained on 
account of the small quantity obtainable. Experiments with the stem and leaves upon 
individuals showed that over half of them were affected by the first two species, and that 
the last was also poisonous, but in a minor degree. No accidental cases have been recorded 
against it. No specific antidote has been suggested. 


Dr. MacDougal * made a personal experiment with a mature specimen of 
C. hirsutum on which there were newly formed seed pods. This plant was 
broken off near the base of the stem and the leaves brushed lightly over the 

A slight tingling sensation was felt at the time, and, fourteen hours later, the arm 
was gfreatly swollen from the shoulder to the finger tips. The portion covered by the 
plant — covering an area of 50 sq. cm. — was violently inflamed and cbvered wilth 
macules, accompanied by the usual symptoms of dermatitis and constitutional disturbances. 
By treatment of the most approved kind, the arm was reduced to its normal size in ten 
days, but the effects were perceptible a month later. 

Nestler discovered that the secretion contained in these hairs was a fatty 
acid readily soluble in alcohol and benzol and producing a mildly acid reaction. 
He also states that his results with C. pubescens were negative but that with 
C. spectabile (C hirsutum Mill.) he secured positive results, producing a derma- 
titis, the action, however, not being so pronounced as thai reported by Mac- 
Dougal. He also found that, as stated above, the maximum poisonous effect 
was during the formation of seed capsules and that the poison was in the 
hairs of the plant as is the case in the Primrose. Nestler did not succeed in 
producing dermatitis with C. parviflorum, C. acaule, C. macranthum, C. monta- 
num, or Calceolus. As some of these species produce an abundance of 
raphides in the stem, it is evident that dermatitis is not caused by these crystals, 
but rather by a substance found in the stem. Dr.MacDougal suggests that 
the raphides may serve the plant as a protection from animals. 

Nestler also asserts that the Cypripedium may contain an additional sub- 
stance myelin which Senf has found in Ginkgo seed, and Nestler ^ himself ob- 
served in the fruit of Capsicum annuum. It is not a cardol. 

From the root of Cypripedium a substance is obtained which is sometimes 
administered to children as a substitute for opium. It contains a bitter glu- 
cosidal principle. 


Stem usually oxogenous with pith, wood and bark (endogenous in a few 
plants); the woods traversed by medullary rays; leaves usually pinnately or 
palmately netted-veined ; embryo of the seed with 2 cotyledons or occasionally 1 ; 
parts of the flower usually in 5's, rarely in 3's or 6's. 


Petals separate and distinct from each other or wanting. Includes many 
plants classed as Apetalae and Polypetalae. In some orders, as Legutninosae, 
the lower petals are more or less united and joined at the base. 


Contains a single family Casuarinaceae of 20 species, mostly Australian, 
with monoecious flowers. The Casuarina equisetifolia of the tropical Old World 
furnishes a hard wood known as iron wood and in Egypt the trees are used as 
a shelter belt for bananas. 

* Minn. Bet. Studies. 1894:32-36. 

1 Das Sekret der Drusenhaare der gattung Cypripedium mit besonderer Berucksichtgung 
seiner hautreizenden Wirkung. Nestler. Ber. der Dent. Bot. Gesell 25:554-567. 



Fig. 177. Black Pepper Plant (.Piper-nigrum). 1. 
fruit. 2. Tip of fruit spike. (After Wossidlo.) 

Part of shoot with young 


Herbs with exogenous stem, with neither petals nor sepals ; flowers in 
spikes, bracteolate. Largely tropical and includes the family Saururaceae or 
Lizard's tail; the peppers, Piperaceae, including black pepper {Pipe- nigrum) 
a well known condiment of the tropics containing the alkaloid pipcrinQ^^W^^'HO^ 
and a volatile oil C^^YL^^, cubebs {P. Ciibeba) containing cubebin C^J^^^O^ 
and the oil of cubebs, kava-kava (P. mcthysticum) native to the Pacific Islands, 
containing methysticin Cj^Hj^Og, which is used to make stimulating drinks, 
P. longum of India, P. chaba of India and the Philippines, the Betel Pep- 
per {P. Betle) of the Malay Islands, the berries of which are chewed with the 
Betel iVut, and the Matico, or the Soldier's Herb {P. aiigustifoliiDii) of South 
America, the hairy leaves of which are used as a styptic. The South American 
Peperomias are well known greenhouse plants. Other species of peppers are 
used in medicine. The so-called "caisimon" {P. peltuium), according to Mr. 
Combs, is a powerful diuretic. "Matico de Peru" (F. angustifolinm) is an acrid, 
bitter plant containing a green volatile oil. 


Trees or shrubs with simple flowers, imperfect catkins; perianth waiting; 
fruit a many-seeded capsule; seeds with a tuft of hair at one end. This series 
contains only one family the Salicaciuc. 

SaUcaceae. Willow Family 

Dioecious trees or shrubs, alternate stipulate leaves, the stipules often 
minute and soon falling; staminate and pistillate flowers borne in catkins, one 
to each bract, without calyx or corolla; staminate flowers with 1 -numerous 



Fig. 178. Peach-leaved Willow (SaUx amygdaloidcs). 1. Flower- 
ing branch of staminate tree. 2. Same of pistillate tree. 3. Staminate 
flower, with scale, enlarged. 4. Pistillate flower enlarged. 5. Fruiting 
branch. 6. Summer branch. 7. Bud and leaf scar. 1, 2, 5, 6, one- 
half natural size. M. M. Cheney. 

stamens, subtended by a cup-shaped disk; pistillate fiowers with a 1-celled 
ovary, stigmas 2-4, simple or 2-4-cleft; fruit a 1-celled and 2-4 valved pod 
bearing numerous seeds provided with long silky hairs. There are only two 
genera and about 200 species, found in temperate and Arctic regions. The bark 
of some species of the family is used in medicine because of its astringent 
properties. The willow contains the glucoside salicin C^gH^gO,^. Poplar con- 
tains popiilin CjqH^^O^. The Balm of Gilead {Popiilus caiidicans) may cause 
blistering, and the European P. halsamifera causes colic. 

Myricaccae. Sweet Gale Family 

Monoecious or dioecious shrubs with alternate, coriaceous, aromatic leaves; 
flowers in short scaly catkins ; staminate flowers with 2-16 but usually 4-8 
stamens; ovary with 2-8 scales and 2 linear stigmas; fruit a small 1-celIed 



Fig. 179. Pistillate and stam- 
inate flower of willow. n. 
nectar gland, b. scale. 

Fig. 180. Leave? of Cotton- 
■wood (Populus deltoides). A 
well known native tree growing 
on the borders of streams 
throughout the U. S. east of 
the Rockies. (W. S. Dudgeon.) 

Fig. 180a. Sweet Gale {Nmrica). 
Common in the east. 


drupe, the outer part frequently covered with wax. About 35 species of wide 
distribution. The sweet fern {Myrica asplenifolia) is sometimes weedy in 
sandy fields in the North ; it contains an oil of strong, spicy, cinnamon-like odor ; 
bayberry wax is derived from M. cerifera, common along the Atlantic coast and 
the Gulf of Mexico. The bark of Myrica Nagi contains myricetin C H O . 
The leaves of M. acris are used in the preparation of bay rum. 

Fig. 181. Balm of Gilead (Populus candicatis). 1. Flowering 
branch of staminate tree. 2. Same of pistillate tree. 3. Fruiting 
branch. 4. Scale of staminate catkin, enlarged. 5. Scale of pistillate 
catkin, enlarged. 6. Scale without flower displayed, enlarged. 7. 
Mature fruit. 8. Seed, enlarged. 9. Longitudinal section of seed, 
enlarged. 10. Embryo, enlarged. 11. Winter branch, showing buds. 
1, 2, 3, 11, one-half natural size. M. M. Cheney. 


Contain a single family, the Balanopsidaceae of New Caledonia, which in 
turn contains a single genus Balanops of 7 species. 




Shrubs or trees with entire, petioled, simple leaves; flowers in catkins; 
staminate flowers subtended by what appears to be a perianth; sepals 3-4; 
ovary 1-celled; style slender; endosperm thin. Only one family, the Leitneri- 
accae, which consists of a single genus Leitneria, with perhaps 2 species. L. 
iloridana occurs in swamps in southern Missouri to Texas and Florida and pro- 
duces a wood lighter than cork, probably the lightest wood known. 


Trees w-ith alternate, pinnately-compound leaves ; flowers monoecious, brac- 
teolate; the staminate in long drooping catkins; pistillate solitary or several to- 
gether; staminate flowers of 3-many stamens with or without a perianth; peri- 

I'ig. 182. Black Walnut (JiigUrr.s iiigiii)- 1. Flowering branch. 
i'. Mainin;itc How< r befni<- ani'Ubis, eii^.Trg.fl.. 3. Staminate 

flower, enlarged. 4. Perianth of staminate flower, enlarged. 5. 
Stamen, enlarged. 6. Pistillate flower, natural .size. 7. Longitudinal 
.section of pistillate flower, natural size. 8. I.caf, reduced. 9. Win- 
fi r branchlet. 10. Mattirc fiuit. 11. Walnut with husk removed. 
1, 9, 10, 11, one-half natural size. M. M. Cheney. 



anth adnate to the ovary; anthers erect, 2-celled; pistillate flowers usually 2- 
bracteolate, calyx 4-lobeci or with petals; ovary inferior, 1-celled or incom- 
pletely 2-4 celled ; ovule solitary, erect ; styles 2 ; fruit generally a drupe, dehi- 
scent or indehiscent; the involucre regarded by some as the calyx, encloses the 
nut, which is incompletely 2-4 celled; endosperm none, cot3dedons corrugated, 
oily. One family Juglandaceae. The English Walnut (Juglans regia) from 
the Mediterranean region to the Himalayas is extensively cultivated in Cali- 
fornia, Spain, France, Italy, and other warm temperate countries ; butternut 
(Juglans cinerea), from New Brunswick to North Dakota and Nebraska, pro- 
duces a valuable wood which is, however, inferior to the black walnut {Juglans 
nigra), distributed from Massachusetts to Minnesota, Kansas and Texas, but 

Fig. 183_. Cork Wood (Leitnciia floriJana). The 
wood of this plant is extremely light. It grows in swamps 
in Southern Missouri and Florida. (W. S. Dudgeon.) 

the timber is becoming scarce. There is a popular iinpression that the black 
walnut is poisonous to vegetation growing under the trees. California Walnut 
is /. californica. The Japanese walnut (/. Sieboldianv) produces a large, thick- 
shelled nut. The bark of Juglans contains juglandic acid Cj^^HgOg. The 
Pterocarya caucasica is a native to the Trans-Caucasus. 

The genus Carya is native to North America and yields valuable timber 
and nuts. The nut of the pecan {Carya ilUnoensis) is an important article of 
commerce in Texas and other southern states. The wood is also used. The 
shellbark hickory {Carya ovata) and the Missouri hickory (C. laciniata) supply 
valuable woods which are used in the manufacture of ax handles and for parts 
of wagons. The nut of the latter is large but like the preceeding one and the 



C. tomontosa has a hard shell. The bitternut (C. cordiformis) and pignut (C 
glabra have soft shells. The bark of hickories is used to flavor and color 
glucose to imitate maple sugar. 


Monoecious or rarely dioecious trees or shrubs, with simple alternate leaves; 
stipules deciduous; calyx usually present; corolla usually wanting; staminate 
flowers in catkins ; stamens 4-20 ; pistillate flowers solitary, clustered in scaly 
catkins ; ovary more or less 2-7-celled with 1-2 pendulous, straight ovules, all the 
ovules but one disappearing in fruit ; involucre becoming a burr or cup ; embryo 
large; endosperm none. This is an important order, including the chesnut, oak, 
birches and alders. The bark of a few species of Quercus, because of its as- 
tringent qualities is used in medicine. The European filbert (Corylus Avellana) 

l'"ig. 183. Americnn Chestnut (Castcinea aincricann). 1. Flower- 
inu; branch. 2. Staminate flower. enlarRed. 3. Diagram of pistillate 
flower, cluster. 4. Pistillate flower, enlarged. 5. I.,onKitiidinal sec- 
tion of involucre of pistillate flowers. 6. Portion of fruiting branch. 
7. Longitudinal section of fruit. 8. Involucral spine. 9. End of 
young branchlct. 1, 6. 7, one-lialf natural size. M. M. Cheney. 


and our hazel nut (C. amcricana) are articles of commerce. Both the American 
beech {Fagus fcrruginea), and the European {F. sylvatica), are prized for their 
nuts, which contain a valuable oil. The chestnuts are well known in commerce. 
The American chestnut (Costarica dentata) is common in the United States. 
The European species {C. satizm), has long been cultivated in North America; 
the Japanese (C japonica) is also cultivated. In southern Europe, starch and 
flour are made from the nuts of the Spanish chestnut (C. sativa). The wood 
of many species of oak is used for interior finishing and furniture, among 
these are white oak (Quercus alba), red oak (Q. rubra), pin oak (Q. palustris), 
English oak (Q. Robur) and the live oak (Q. virginiana) of the south. The 
bark of several species like the scarlet oak (Q. coccinea), English oak, and 
chestnut oak (C. Mulilcnbcrgii) is used for tanning. Cork is obtained from 
the bark of Q. Pscudo-suber. The galls of Q. lusitanica are used for dyeing 
purposes. They are known as the Aleppo galls and contain from 60-70 per cent 
of tannic acid. The bark of the White Oak is used in medicine and is recog- 
nized as medicinal in the United States Pharmacopoeia. The main constituent 
of oak bark is tannin which is used like other astringents. 

The acorns of the Belotes, the evergreen oak of Europe (Q. Ilex) are used 
for food. The oaks are well represented in eastern North America, several 
handsome species also occurring on the Pacific coast. 

Formerly, and perhaps even now, in some regions the acorns of the White 
Oak and the Bur Oak were dried, roasted, ground, and used very much as 
the coffee berry. 

In Europe, various species of oaks cause sickness and death in hogs and 
cattle. Dr. Chesnut suggests that this might possibly be caused by the tannin 
or bitter principle contained therein. 

In sections of the country, where oaks are common, hogs are allowed to 
run in the forests, the farmers considering that the acorns are fattening. In 
some parts of the south, it is believed that the mast of oaks makes excellent 
feed for hogs but is poisonous to cows, a small amount merely decreasing the 
flow of milk while a greater quantity causes death. It is also claimed that 
the "sweet mast," that of the white and bur oaks, is less poisonous than the 
"bitter mast" of mast of black, pin, red and cow oaks. Mr. E. B. Watson 
made some inquiries upon this subject for me, among southern farmers and 
obtained evidence of four men, which differed slightly in detail but agreed 
in the conclusions that mast is poisonous to cattle but rather beneficial to horses 
and hogs. Some say that the coarse hulls or cups clog the digestive tract and 
cause unthriftiness; others that there is actually poison in the mast. That cat- 
tle are affected more seriously than hogs or horses may possibly be explained 
by the difference in the structure of the digestive organs. 

In some localities tympanites is said to be produced in cattle that browse 
on the leaves and bark which are very strongly astringent. The white oak 
contains about 10 per cent of tannin. Q. lusitanica contains in addition to tannic 
acid mentioned before, from 2-4 per cent of gallic acid. That other plants of 
the order are injurious has been indicated by Freidberger and Frohner who 
state that the European Beech produces violent colic, tetanus, mania and fits 
of madness resembling those produced by strychnin ; that the autopsy shows 
lesions resembling strychnin poisoning. They recommend giving tannin, morphin 
and chloral hydrate. 



Fig. 184. Red Oak (Quercus rubra). 1. Flowering branch. 2. 
Staminate flower, enlarged. 3. I'istillate flower cluster, enlarged. 4. 
Fruiting branch, enlarged. S. .\corn. 6. Cupule. 1, 5, 6, one-half 
natural size. .M. M. Cheney. 

The alders (Alinis ghitinosa) of Europe are used as ornamental trees. 
Several trees of the genus, on the Pacific coast, are fair sized and produce 
good timber. The birches are valuable both as ornamental trees and for the 
excellent quality of their timber. The white birch ( Beluhi alba) of Europe is 
frequently cultivated and birch tar is obtained from it. Cherry birch (5. 
lenta) and yellow birch (B. lutea) produce most valuable wood which is used 
for interior finishing. Paper birch (B. alba var. papyrifera) is used for making 
spools and canoes. The black birch (B. nigra) is common along our streams. 
The common source of oil of wintergreen is the cherry i)irch. This oil re- 
sembles that obtained from GauUhcria procumbens. 


Trees, shrubs, or hcrl>s ; flowers never borne in calkin^-' : nionoecious, dioe- 
cious, or polygamous; ovary 1-ceIled, superior. I'rticalcs are divided into the 



Ulmaceae, the elms; Moraceac, the mulberries, and Urticaceac, the nettles. The 
CastUoa elastica of Mexico, the bread nut tree of Central America (Brosimum 
Alicastrum) and the Cecropia of tropical America furnish rubber. 

Fi.q-. 185. Ve'ilcw Hirch (Bcinln /'•'ca'). Flowering branch. 2. 
Staminate flower, enlarged. 3. Pistillate flower, enlarged. 4. Fruit- 
ing branch. 5. Nut, enlarged. 6. Scale of fruiting catkin, enlarged. 
7. Winter bratich, fhowiiig staminate catkin. 1, 4, 7, one-half natural 
size. (After M. M. Cheney, In Green's Forestry of Minnesota.) 

The family Moraceac contains the bread fruit (Artocnrpus incisa) an im- 
portant article of food for the natives of the Pacific Islands, and the jack 
fruit {A. integrifolia) the fleshy envelopes of which are, however, somewhat 
poisonous. Canoe-gum, a very good substitute for rubber, is obtained from 
this genus. The figs belong to this family also; the sycamore fig tree (Ficus 
Sycainorus) produces small fruit which is used in Egypt for food. The com- 
mon fig {Ficus Carica) is the most valuable; it includes the common and 
Smyrna fig of commerce, containing 60-70 per cent of grape sugar. The India 
rubber tree (F. elastica) is the source of some of the India rubber. The ban- 



Fig. 186. Rubber-Tree (Castilloa elastica). Staminate flowering branch, 
mercial rubber tree of Central America. (After Paguet.) 

A com- 

yan trees (/•'. Benghalensis, P. rcligiosa and /•'. altissiiiui) of the East Indies 
furnish shellac. The mulberry (Morns nigra) is largely cultivated both for its 
fruit and for its wood, the latter being very durable for posts. The white 
mulberry (M. alba) is extensively planted, the leaves being used as food for 
the silk worm. The Osage orange (Madura pouiifera) of Arkansas, Indian 
Territory and Texas produces a very durable wood used for posts and pulley 
blocks. The fruit is said to be poisonous. The wood of fustic (M. tittctoria) 
of the West Indies is used for many purposes. The bark of the paper mul- 
berry (Broussonetia papyrifcra) is made into paper, and in Japan is also made 
into cloth. The paper mulberry is cultivated in the South. 

The Upas tree (Antiaris toxicaria) contains antiarin C„,H^.,0,^+H,0. 
This tree furnishes an arrow poison which the natives prepare from the plant. 
It is a semi-liquid greenish black substance. The poison acts on the brain and 
respiratory nerves, causing vomiting and loss of sensation. 

Ramie grass cloth or China grass (Boehnicria iiivea) produces a tine fibre 
but it is diflicult to separate it from the bark and wood. The hop (Htimuhis 
Lupulus) is cultivated and is the source of the oil of hops which imparts an aro- 
matic, bitter flavor to beer. It contains lupulin which is a tonic and slightly nar- 
cotic. The elms arc rommnnlv cultivated as shade trees. The best is the American 



Fig. 187. Fig-tree (Ficus Carica). 1. Flowering 
branch. 2. Pistillate flower cut through longitudinally. 
3. Staminate flower. 4. Fig in longitudinal section. 
(After Wossidlo.) 

Fig. 188. Flowers and leaves of the American Elm 
{Ulmus americana). A familiar tree furnishing an im- 
portant commercial wood. (W. S. Dudgeon.) 



Fig. 189. Deadly Upas Tree (Antiaris toxicaria). Flowering branch; portion 
of staminate flower; longitudinal section of pistillate flower, (.\fter Faguet.) 

elm {IJlmus americana) which supplies a wood used largely in the manufacture 
of chairs. The partly ornamental elms are rock elm (U. raccmosa) and slip- 
pery elm (U. fulva). The bark of the latter is used in medicine. The rock 
elm is used in the manufacture of bicycles; the wood taking a pretty finish. 
One of the common elms of Europe, cultivated in the United States, is the 
U. campestris. The U. motitatui is the Scotch elm. The hackberry {Ccltis oc- 
cidctitalis) is a valuable shade tree and fv-rnishes pretty wood which is difficult 
to work. The Chlorophora cxcelsa is one of the best tinihor trees of West 



Urticaceae. Nettle Family 

Herbs, trees, or shrubs with stipules; flowers monoecious or dioecious, 
rarely perfect; calyx from the 1-2-celled ovary which forms a 1 -seeded 
fruit ; stamens as many as the lobes of the calyx or sometimes fewer ; opposite, 
ex-albuminous or albuminous ; when albuminous the radical points upward ; 
cotyledons broad. A small family of 500 species some of which, like Boehmeria, 
produce valuable fibers. The leaves of Pilea puinila are demulcent and are 
said to be valuable in Rlius poisoning. 

Fig. 190. Slippery Elm (Ulinus fulva). 1. Flowering branch. 
3. Fruiting branch. 3. Winter branch with buds. 4. Same show- 
ing flower buds beginning to enlarge. 5. Summer branch. 6. Flower 
enlarged. 7. Longitudinal section of flower, enlarged. 8. Longitud- 
inal section of pistil, enlarged. 9. Stamen, enlarged. 10. Cross 
section of ovary, enlarged. 11. Longitudinal section of fruit. 12. 
Seed, enlarged. 13. Longitudinal section of seed, enlarged. 14. 
Embryo, enlarged. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, one-half natural size. (After 
M. M. Cheney, in Green's Forestry in Minnesota.) 



Genera of Urticaceae 
Herbs with stinging hairs. 

Leaves opposite ; flowers 4-parted 2. Urtica. 

Leaves alternate; staminate flowers 5-parted 3. Laportea. 

Herbs or trees without stinging hairs. 

Herbs ; pistillate flowers spiked 1. Cannabis. 

Trees ; staminate flowers racemose 4. Madura. 

1. Cannabis, Tourn. Hemp 

Dioecious herbs with tough fiber to the inner bark; greenish flowers; sepals 
5 in the staminate, 1 in the fertile flower ; achene, crustaceous. 

Cannabis saliva, L. 

Stem from 4-8 feet high with broad, divided leaves, the linear-lanceo- 
late segments sharply and closely serrate ; greenish flowers with narrow stam- 
inate panicles and erect pistillate spikes, the sterile with 5 sepals and 5 stamens, 
fertile flowered spiked, with 1 sepal ; fruit hard ovoid, achene oblong. 

Distribution. Native to Europe and Asia and in waste places from New 
Brunswick to Tennessee, Kansas and Minnesota. 

Fig. 191. Hemp {Cannabis sativa). .Staminate and pistillate 
flowering branches; fruit; longitudinal section of fruit. (After 


Poisonous Properties. The resinous secretions of this plant possess very 
powerful medicinal properties which, however, are said not to be produced 
by the plant when grown in temperate climates. 

Indian Hemp (Cannabis indica) is probably not essentially diflferent from 
the common hemp and has been used in medicine for a long time. According 
to Dr. Houghton and Mr. Hamilton the American grown product as equal to 
the Indian Hemp. 

The use of hemp seems to have spread through India, Persia and Arabia 
during the early middle ages. The Hashishin, a sect of the Moravians, killed 
a large number of the Crusaders during the 11th and 12th centuries by the 
use of hemp as an intoxicant. The drug is largely grown in India and Turke- 
stan. The form of hemp commonly reached by commerce is called Bhang 
or Hashish and consists of dried leaves and small stalks frequently mixed 
with fruits. This is smoked in India with or without tobacco. Gaiijah is 
obtained from the flowering shoots of the female plant or stalk, a stiff woody 
stem several inches long which is pruned to produce flowering branches. 
The tops of these are collected then pressed by being trodden by the feet. 
From this mass comes the drug known as ganjah. It grows in an altitude of 
six thousand feet. The other forms of the plant consumed in India are Bhang 
and Charras. Subjee or Bhang is used for smoking. The narcotic ingre- 
dient found in majun and charras is undried resin which is obtained by the 
natives who, when passing among plants wear rubber aprons to which the 
resin adheres, after which the product is scraped together. The principal con- 
stitutents of hemp are resin and a volatile oil. The oil or amber colored sub- 
stance has an oppressive hemp-like smell, and furnishes a resinous substance, 
cannabin which crystalizes in needles and acts like strychnin, Cannabinol, with 
intoxicating properties, is obtained from cannabin and is a product from the 
glands of Cannabis. Cannabin hybrid (C^gH^^) is a substance with the coniin- 
like odor; it is antispasmodic and soporific, and anodyne and a nerve stimulant. 
Dr. C. F. Millspaugh referring to the products of plants affording this oil 
concluded from experiments made, that this drug causes depression, epilepsy, 
vertigo, congestion, followed by cephalalgia, ear-ache, tooth-ache, dryness of 
mouth, throat, lips and lids; it produces nausea, vomiting after coffee, pal- 
pitation of the heart, weakness of the limbs and dreaminess during sleep. 
It produces the same symptoms in animals. 

The stem of hemp is used by the Mohammedans who smoke at m combina- 
tion with other substances. They also smoke the sun-dried leaves. It is 
intoxicating and restful to the smoker and alleviates pain, increases the appe- 
tite, causes sleep, and induces cheerfulness. It also produces violent coughing 
and nose bleed. 

Hemp is most important in China, and other Asiatic countries, for the 
manufacture of cordage. The growing of hemp for the same purpose is also 
carried on to some extent in Nebraska and Kentucky The seeds of the 
plant furnish food to birds. 

2. Urtica (Tourn.) L. Nettle 

Herbs with stinging hairs; flowers greenish, monoecious or rarely dioe- 
cious, clustered; staminate, with 4 stamens; fertile, with 4 sepals in pairs; 
fruit an erect, ovate, flattened acheme. A small genus of 30 species. 



Urtica gracilis Ait. 

A perennial from 2-6 feet high, sparingly bristly; leaves ovate, lanceolate 
with slender petioles ; long, accuminate, sharply serrate, 3-5-nerved, the slender 
t)etioles sparingly bristly; flowers dioecious or with staminate and pistillate 
clusters. The stinging hairs of this and other species of the genus contain 
formic acid. A common weed in dry or moist ground along fence rows 
from Canada to British Columbia, Kansas and North Carolina. 

Poisonous properties. The nettle and some other plants produce what is 
commonly called "urticaria" or nettle rash. It is an inflammatory disorder 
with a burning and itching sensation. It may come out in large or small 
patches, remaining for a few minutes or several hours and may disappear 
as abruptly. It usually leaves no trace behind. The nettle is supposed to con- 
tain an irritant toxic principle, formic acid, but recent studies seem to indi- 
cate that the urticaria is probably caused by one of the toxins. 

The following species of the genus have urticating properties : Urtica 
memhranaccae, U. spatula ta and U. pilulifcra. 



Fig. 192. Stinging Nettle (Urtica 
urens). (From Darlington's Weeds 
and Useful Plants.) 

Urtica urens L. Small Stinging Nettle 

An annual from 1-2 feet high; stem 4-angled, tough, branching with a 
few stinging virulent hairs ; leaves elliptical or ovate, serrate or incised, with 
scattered stinging hairs: flowers loose or in racemose spikes; sepals 4 petals 
4; fruit straight, ovate, flattened achene. 


Distribution. From New Foundland to Florida and also on Pacific Coast. 
Poisonous properties. This nettle has been used in medicine but it is 
not officinal. Formerly it was used for flagellation of the skin. 

Urtica holosericea Nutt 

A tall perennial with stinging hairs; leaves thick, oblong, ovate or ovate- 
lanceolate ; flowers in open panicles. 

Urtica dioica L. Stinging Nettle 

An erect perennial; leaves and stems beset with stinging hairs; leaves thin, 
ovate, long petioled, acute or acuminate at the apex, cordate at the base, sharply 
serrate ; flowers in large clusters, cymose-paniculate, often dioecious. 

Distribution. Native to Europe but largely naturalized in North America 
from Atlantic coast to Minnesota and Missouri. 

Poisonous properties. Poisonous like the preceding 

3. Laportea Gaudichaud. Wood Nettle. 

Perennial herbs with stinging hairs; flowers monoecious or dioecious in 
loose cymes, the lower mostly sterile; staminate flowers with 5 imbricated sepals; 
5 stamens and a rudimentary ovary; pistillate flowers with 4 unequal sepals; 
stigma elongate, awl-shaped ; achene ovate flat ; endosperm scant or obscure. 
About 25 species in warm countries. 

Fig. 193. Common Nettle (Urtica dioica). 
Sometimes causes urticaria. (From Johnson's Med. 
Bot. of N. A.) 



Laportca canadensis Gaudichaud. Wood Nettle. 

Perennial stem 2-3 feet high ; leaves ovate, pointed thin, long-petioled, 
sharpl}' serrate; fertile cymes divergent; achcne smooth, as long as the calyx. 

Distribution. In rich woods from Nova Scotia to Minnesota and Kansas 
and south to Florida. 

Poisonous properties. It acts similarly to nettle, the poisonous action being 
even more pronounced. L. crentilata, L. gigas, and L. slintulosa also possess 
similar properties. 

Madura Nutt. Osage Orange. 

Tree with milky juice; leaves alternate, pinnately veined; stipules cadu- 
cous; stout, axillary spines; flowers dioecious, staminate in loose, short racemes 
with 4-parted calyx and 4-stamens; pistillate, capitate with a 4-cleft calyx 
enclosing the sessile ovary and long exserted style; fruit an achene surrounded 
by a fleshy calyx; endosperm none; embryo curved; it contains a single species 
named Toxylon by Rafinesque. 

Madura pomifera (Raf.) Schneider. Osage Orange 

A tree 30-50 feet high ; leaves ovate to oblong, lanceolate, pointed, mostly 
rounded at the base, green and shining; the syncarpous fruit is globose, yellow- 
ish green 2-4 inches in diameter ; the wood is hard and tough and is used in the 
manufacture of wagons for paving, fcncepost, etc. The tree is extensively 
planted as a hedge plant. 

Fig. 194. Wood Nettle (Laportea 
canadensis). A common wood 
plant causing urticaria. (C. M. 



Distribution. In rich woods from Missouri to Kansas to Texas; widely 
cultivated in the north from southern Nebraska to southern Iowa, Illinois and 

Poisonous properties. This species is listed as poisonous by Professor 
Bessey in Nebraska. Dr. Halsted notes that a friend of his while working 
in Osage Orange hedges suffered considerably because of inflamation following 
the piercing of tlie thorn. The writer had a similar experience. 

Dr. Bessey says: "The Osage Orange (Madura pomifera) which has been shown 
by Dr. Halsted to be more or less harmful as an external poison, is very commonly 
grown in the southern portion of the state, and it thus adds another to the plants 
to be avoided by some people. Although I am quite sensitive to some of the external 
poisons, I have myself never experienced any bad effects from handling the leaves or 
fruit of the Osag-e Orange." 


The protcalcs include one family, the Proteaceae, with nearly 1000 species, 
native to the tropics, mostl}^ of the southern hemisphere. 


Herbs or shrubs generally parasitic ; flowers solitary or clustered without 
corolla: calyx present, imperfect or perfect; pistil 1. Of the two families in 
the United States, the Loranthaceae contains the Southern mistletoe (Phoran- 
dendron) parasitic upon various decidious trees like the oak and elm; the 
Arceuthobium of Europe, and the Rocky Mountains ; species parasitic upon coni- 
fers, one also occuring on spruce trees in eastern North America. Hyams is 
authority for the statement that the berries of Phoradendron fiavescens are 
poisonous to children. Several deaths have been attributed to them. Santala- 
ceae contains the fragrant sandalwood (Santalum album) of the Indian-Malayan 
region which contains an oil used in medicine for venereal diseases and for 

Fig. 193. Wild Ginger (Asa- 
rum canadense). Wild ginger is 
used in medicine. The roots are 
spicy fragrant; some plants re- 
lated to it are poisonous. (W. 
S. Dudgeon.) 



perfumes. The bastard toadflax (Co)natidra umbellata) of our northern woods 
is parasitic upon the roots of flowering plants. The family Balanoplioraceae 
consists of chlorophylless parasitic plants with twining or acaulescent stems, 
and is native in tropical woods and savannas of Java, India and Australia. 


Plants with twining or acaulescent stems; leaves cordate or rcniform; 
flowers perfect; calyx inferior, the tube adnate to the ovary or partly so; 
corolla none; ovary generally 6-celled. There are only three families, one of 
which occurs in North America. The Aristolochiaceae includes the wild ginger 
of the North {Asarum canadense) which is more or less purgative and prob- 
ably also to be regarded as suspicious; its rhizome furnishing the substance 
asarin and a volatile oil which is used in perfumery; the A. europaeum, listed 
by Lehmann as poisonous because of its purgative action and blistering proper- 

Imr. 196. Southern Mistletoe {Flwra- 
dcndron flai-csccns). The berries of this 
jilant are said to be poisonous. (W. S. 



ties; the Dutchman's pipe (Arisiolochia macro phylla) frequently cultivated and 
hardly as far north as Minnesota and Wisconsin; the gooseplant (Aristolochia 
grandiflora) of Brazil whose flowers emit an offensive odor, but in spite of this 
fact the plant is cultivated in greenhouses ; Virginia snakeroot {Aristolochia 
Serpentaria) the root stock of which is used as a tonic and contains a volatile 
oil borneol, a bitter poisonous principle aristolochin CggH^^N^O^^ and the alka- 
loid aristolochinin. The European (A. Clematitis) produces colic and othct 
gastric disturbances and is listed among the pungent narcotic poisons. The sub- 
stance asarin when heated is irritating. 

Fig. 197. Dutchman's Pipe (Aristolochia macrophylla) . 
flower, dehiscent fruit. (After A. Faguet.) 

Leaf and 

Several species of the genus Aristolochia are used as antidotes against 
snake-bites and this use is clearly indicated in some of the specific names, 
as in Virginia snakeroot {A. Serpentaria). Other plants of the genus are said 
to be poisonous, A. grandiflora being an example of this. The Arabs use A. 
sempervirens and A. indica as snake poison antidotes. According to R. B. 
White, the Guaco {A. niexicana) is a cure for snake-bites. Many other 
plants are used for the same purpose, several composites being 
well-known remedies. Among the latter are Liatris squarrosa, Cacalia tuberosa, 
and Prenanthes alba. Other plants having the same qualities belong to the 
families Ranunculaceae, Orchidaccae, Violaceae, Polygalaceae, LiUaceae, Uni- 
belliferae, Filices, and Palmae. One has only to look through such works as 
the Robinson and Gray's Manual, or Britton's Manual, or various old medical 
works for the common names of plants with the word snake attached to them, to 
understand how prevalent was the belief that these plants were antidotes against 
the bite of venemous snakes. 


Herbs, shrubs, or trees, often climbing vines; leaves alternate or occasion- 
ally opposite; jointed stems; flowers small, regular, dioecious, monoecious or 
polygamous ; calyx 2-6 cleft or parted, inferior ; stamens 2-9, inserted near the 



Fig. 198. Kuropeaii Aristolochia (Aristolochia Clem- 
ntitis). Flowering stem. Listed as a narcotic poison. 
fAfter Faguet.) 

base; pistil 1 with superior ovary; fruit an achcne ; endosperm mealy, 
tains a single family (Polygonaceae). 


PoLYGONACEAE. Buckwlieat Family 

Herb.s, shrubs, or trees, often climbing; jointed stems; stipules in the form 
of shcatbs ; juice often acrid or acid; leaves alternate or occasionally opposite; 
flowers small, regular, mostly perfect; calyx more or less persistent; ovary 
l-celled, bearing 2-3 styles or stigmas and a single erect ovule; fruit an 
achenc, 3-4-angled or winged, invested by the calyx ; embryo curved or nearly 
straight; endosperm mealy, copious. About 800 species. Of economic import- 
ance are the pic plant (Rheum Rhaponticum) ; and rhubarb {R. officinale) of 
Thibet, the root of which contains cathartic acid and is a powerful cathartic; 
it also contains rhrysophan ^^t^^z^Pxa' ^""^diii C^^H^O^(OU)^, rhein 
C,pHyO^(OIT)^ and chrysophanic acid C,,_lIj,0,.(0TI)2. It is purgative and 
astringent. The canaigre (Rumex hymenoscpalus) produces a thick root valu- 
able for tanning leather. It is a native of the southwest. The tannin is the same 


as that found in rhubarb, and rheotannic acid. The patience dock R. Patien- 
tia), pale dock (R. altissimus) and curled dock (R. crispus) are troublesome 
weeds; French sorrel (R. scutatus) is cultivated in Europe and used as a salad. 
The presence of the silver plant of the west (Briogonum umbellatum) is said 
to be indicative of gold and silver. Muehlenbcckia platyclados of the Samoan 
Islands is frequently cultivated in greenhouses. The mountain sorrel {Oxyria 
digyna) is used as a salad plant. 

Genera of Polygonaceae 

Sepals 6 ; stigmas 3 2 Rumex. 

Sepals 5, occasionally 4, erect in part. 
Achenes triangular or lenticular. 

Embryo slender curved around one side of the endosperm 3 Polji-gonum. 
Broad cotyledons of embryo twisted and plaited 1 Fagopyrum. 

1. Fagopyrum (Tourn.) L. Buckwheat 

Annual or perennial; somewhat fleshy, smooth, leafy herbs with erect 
stems; leaves petioled and alternate; hastate or deltoid flowers, small, white, 
or greenish, paniculately-racemose, perfect; calyx 5-parted, persistent, the divi- 
sions like petals; stamen 8; ovary 1-celled, 1 ovule, style with 3 divisions: 
fruit an achene, 3-angled; endosperm mealy; cotyledons broad. About 6 species 
native to the old world. 

Fagopyrum esculentum Moench. Buckwheat 

Smoothish plants ; leaves hastate, abruptly narrowed above the middle ; 
sheath half-cylindrical ; racemes somewhat panicled, many flowered ; sepals 
white, fragrant, with 8 honey-bearing yellow glands situated between the stamens. 

Distribution. A common escape in eastern North America. Native of 
Eastern Europe and Western Asia. 

Fagopyrum tataricum (L.) Gaertn. India-wheat 

Annual, similar to the above species; leaves deltoid, hastate ;flowers smaller: 
pedicel short. 

Distribution. In waste places from eastern Canada to New England. Na- 
tive to Asia. 

Poisonous properties. Fagopyrum contains the glucoside indican C^gHg^NO^. 
found also in Nerium and other plants. The plant produces bloat especially 
if consumed before bloom. 

Several years ago the writer received a complaint from a farmer stating 
that the feeding of buckwheat had produced a ra.<;h upon his hogs. Feeding of 
buckwheat and the eruptions or urticaria following are well known to veter- 

Dr. Millspaugh says of buckwheat: 

Many individuals cannot partake of pancakes made fro"! the flour of the seeds without 
experiencing a severe itching especially observed about thf large joints. A peculiarity of 
this itching is that it occurs after the removing of the clothing and .when first retiring 
at night. The eruption incident to and following this itc'-'ng takes the form of vesicles 
which degenerate into dry, dark colored scabs. Another fymptom arising is a glutinous 
condition of otherwise natural feces, making expulsion qu'te difficult. Increased urinary 
discharge is also present in many cases. 



2. Runiex. L. Dock 

Coarse herbs, with small, mostly green flowers, wh'oh are crowded on gener- 
ally whorled, panicled racemes ; petioles partly sheatl'ng at base ; 6 sepals ; 3 
outer herbaceous, sometimes united at base, spreading n fruit ; 3 inner larger, 
slightly colored, enlarged after flowering and convergent on 3-angled achene, 
veined, often bearing a grain-like tubercle on the bacV; stamens 6; styles 3; 
stigmas tufted; embryo lying along one side of the albumen, slender, and 
slightly curved. 

It has been claimed by some that the seeds of P. Acetosella poison horses 
and sheep. 

Kunicx altissimus Wood. Pale Dock. 

A tall perennial from 2-6 feet high, glabrous with ere^t stem, simple or 
branched above; leaves ovate or oblong; lanceolate, long, acute pale green, 
veins obscure; racemes spike-like or somewhat interrupted below, spreading 

A B 

FiK. 199. Two weeds of the smarlwccrt family. A. Souidock (Rumcx crispus). B. 

Sheep sorrel (liiiiiicx Acetosella). Roth have been suspected. They contain a great deal 
of oxalate of lime. (U. S. Dcpt. of Agr.) 

IVnnsyl vania Sniartwf(<l nr I'crsicaria ( FolygKiitiiii (^ciutsyl'tniiciiiii). Common in the 
North. Simit found on tins plant is very irritating. (la. Geol. Sur., ]i. 4J1). 


in fruit; pedicels nodding, shorter than the fruting calyx; valves broadly ovate 
with a conspicuous ovoid tubercle. '^ 

Distribution. Common throughout the northern part of the Unitec' States. 

Riimex crispus L. Curled Dock 

A smooth perennial from 3-4 feet high ; leaves with strongly wavy and 
curled margins, lanceolate and acute ; in the lower leaves bases are somewhat 
truncate or inclined to be ear-shaped; flowers collected in dense whorls, extended 
or prolonged into racemes, entirely leafless above, but below with small leaves; 
flower consists of 6 sepals, fruiting pedicels as long as the calyx wings; wings 
heart-shaped, erose dentate, each showing a tubercle ; achene 3-angled, smooth. 

Poisonous properties. The docks contain rumicin C^^H^^O^, which is a 
tasteless, golden-yellow substance, slightly soluble in hot water. It acts as a 
rubefacient and discutient and is used for destroying parasites of the skin. 

Rumex has found a place in Pharmacopoea and is also used in medical 
practise. It causes nausea, watery brown faeces, copious urination, a dry spas- 
modic cough, and perspiration. The Rumex orhiculatus, Great Water Dock, 
according to Dr. Johnson, is tonic, astringent, and slightly laxative. 

Medical properties. It is used as a stimulant and diuretic. 

3. PoXygonuni L. Smartweeti 

Annual or perennial herbs, occasionally woody; stem erect, climbing or 
floating; leaves alternate, entire, ochreae cylindrical, often fringed; flcwers 
mostly perfect, green white, pink, or purple; calyx 4-5 parted or cleft; stamens 
5-9, filaments filiform or dilated to the base; style 2 or 3 parted oi cleft; 
achene lenticular or 3-angled, rarely 4-angled; endosperm present. Ab^ut 200 
species of wide distribution. The P. tinctorium of China furnishes thf Chinese 
indigo. The Saghalen knotweed (P. sachalinense) was widely adve'*ised as 
a forage plant a few years ago and is used in Japan and Manchuria as we use 
asparagus. The prince's feather {P. orientale) is cultivated for ornamental 
purposes. The tanweed (P. Muhlenbergii), smartweed (P. Persicaria), knot- 
grass (P. az'iculare) and black bindweed (P. Convolvulus) are troublesome 
The Pennsylvania persicaria (P. pennsylvanicum) is a valuable honey plant and 
its seed is a common impurity in clover. 

Polygonum Persicaria L. Lady's Thumb 

A nearly smooth and glabrous annual from 12-18 inches high; leaves lanceo- 
late or linear, marked with a lunar blotch near the middle, acuminate ochreae 
somewhat bristly; ciliate spikes ovoid or oblong, erect; stamens mostly 6; 
style 2-3 parted; achene lenticular. 

Distribution. Across the continent in moist places; naturalized from Eur- 

Poisonous properties. None of the species is relished by stock; the P. 
acre and P. Hydropiper are very acrid and produce gastro-enteritis and ery- 
thema, like that caused by buckwheat. The following species produce simi- 
lar troubles. 

Polygonum acre H.B.K. . Water Smartweed 

A nearly smooth perennial; stems rooting at the decumbent base; leaves 
linear-lanceolate; ochreae strigose, fringed with long bristles; spikes erect. 



panicled; flowers whitish or flesh colored; stamen 8; achenes 3-angled or 4- 
angled, smooth and shining. 

Distribution. Common southward from Missouri to Louisiana, Texas and 

Fig. 200. Ladies' Tliumb (Polygonum Persicaria). 
Common in moiit places. (Charlotte M. King.) 

Polygonum hydropipcroides Michx. Wild Water Pepper 

A smooth, branching perennial, slightly or not at all acrid; 1-3 feet high; 
the narrow sheaths hairj', leaves narrowly lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate ; 
spikes erect, slender, sometimes filiform ; flowers small, flesh colored, or nearly 
white : stamens 8, style 3-parted to below the middle ; achene 3-angled, ovoid 
or oblong, smooth and shining. 

Distribution. In swamps or wet soils across the continent from New 
Rrunswick to California, Florida and Mexico. 

Polygonum Hydropiper L. Smartweed. Water Pepper 

Smooth, erect annual, 1-2 feet high; stem often reddish; leaves linear- 
Innceolate, or lanceolate; spikes, nodding, usually short or interrupted; flowers 



Fig. 201. Water Pepper (Polygonum Hydro- 
piper). Troublesome to sheep. (After Hoch- 

mostly greenish; stamens 4 or sometimes 6; ochreae cylindrical, fringed with 
short bristles; style short, 2-3 parted; achene lenticular or 3-angled, dull, 

Poisonous properties. This species and the door yard knot weed (P. avi- 
culare) are said to be troublesome to sheep 


Herbs mostly with perfect flowers; calyx present; corolla, when present, 
polypetalous ; ovary superior; perisperm present; embryo coiled, curled or an- 
nular; fruit not an achene. Generally fleshy plants, many found in saline soils. 
It includes the families Chenopodiaceae, Amaranthaceae, Nyctaginaceae, Phy- 
tolaccaceae, Caryophyllaceae, Portulacaceae and others. The last named contains 
the garden pussley {Portulaca oleracea), the moss pink ( P. grandiflora) , and 
the bitter root (Lewisia rediviva). The family Aisoaceae also of this order, 
contains the New Zealand spinach {Tetragonia expansa), and the ice plant 


{Mesembryanihemum crystallinum) . The family Basellaceae another of this 
same order contains the Madeira vine (Boussingaultia baselloides) commonly 
cultivated. The seeds of some species are edible. 

Families of Centrospermae 
Fruit an utricle. 

Flowers bractless or occasionally with bracts. 

Sepals green or greenish Clienopodiaceae. 

Flowers bracted. 

Sepals generally with scarious bracts Amaranthaccac 

Fruit fleshy, a berry Phytolaccaceae. 

Fruit indurated into a nut-like pericarp, base of calyx constricted. .Nycfagiiiaceae. 
Fruit a capsule, dehiscent by teeth or valves. 

Sepals 5 or 4, distinct or united Caryophyllaceae. 

ChEnopodiaceae. Goosefoot Family 

Annuals or perennials, frequently succulent herbs, or rarely shrubs; alter- 
nate leaves without stipules; flowers small; greenish; petals absent; calyx free, 
stamens as many as the lobes of the calyx or fewer and inserted opposite them 
on their base; ovary 1-celled; fruit a 1-seeded, thin utricle or rarely an achene; 
endosperm mealy or wanting; embryo coiled. 

About 500 species of wide distribution, common in arid regions. Some of 
the economic plants of this family are sugar beet {Beta vulgaris), a maritime 
plant of Europe, and spinach (Spinacia oleracea) from the orient. The beet 
is one of the most important plants of the family, being largely cultivated in 
Europe as a source of cane sugar although as late as 1800, its use in that capac- 
ity was of little extent. It is also an important plant for stock food and for 
human food. Spinach is used extensively for greens but, in Utah, is somewhat 
of a weed. The Australian saltbushes are well known forage plants. Indigo 
is derived from A. Iiortcnsis, a native of Tartary. The strawberry blite (Chen- 
opodiinn capitatum) is cultivated in Europe for its leaves. The shrubby salt- 
wort (Suaeda fruiticosa) is burned in the south of Europe for Barilla. The 
Russian thistle iSalsola Kali. var. tenuifolia) is used in much the same way. 
The Spanish wormseed (S. Webbii) contains an oil much like that found in 
Clieno podium ambrosioides. The tumble-weed (Cycloloma atfiplicifolinm) is 
common on the plains. The white sage {Eurotia ceratoides) is an excellent 
forage plant of the west. 

Poisonous properties. The use of the beet leaves for fodder has some- 
times caused bloat. It has been known for some time that the feeding of roots 
to animals causes the formation of renal calculi. These calculi consist of a com- 
bination of uric and phosphoric acid with lime. An experiment conducted by 
Prof. W. J. Kennedy and Mr. E. J. Robbins at the Iowa Experiment Station 
in cooperation with Prof. L. G. Michael indicated that sugar beets fed to rams 
will produce renal calculi. Prof. Michael says* in regard to the effect of man- 
gels and sugar beets on the kidney: 

Both roots seem to affect the kidney similarly. 

A small calculus was found in one kidney of Ram VI. This ram was fed sugar 
beets. The membrane about the calculus and extending down into the urethra was 
pigmented, a decided black. 

• Biennial Rept. Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts 23:142. 



Fig. 202. Salt Bush {Atriplex canescens). A 
common plant of saline soil in the west. (U. S. 
Dept. of Agrl.) 

In the kidney of Ram III the same kind of pigmentation occurred as in Ram VI. 
Ram III was fed Mangels. No calculus was present. 

Miss S. Hartzell, who investigated the chemistrj^ reports as follows : 

A post mortem examination of several valuable animals which the Experiment Station 
lost showed that renal calculi were present. This resulted in the metabolism experiment 
which was conducted by the Animal Husbandry Section in co-operation with the Chemical 
Section of the Experiment Station. 

Thus far 42 rams have been used in the experiment, of which 11 were fed hay and 
corn; 9 were fed hay, corn and ensilage; 11 were fed hay, corn and mangels; 11 were 
fed hay, corn and sugar beets. In the case of those which were fed hay and corn, and 
also of those which were fed hay, corn and ensilage, the bladders and kidneys were normal 
while the results were the reverse in the case of those which were fed sugar beets or 
mangels along with the hay and corn. The sugar beets and mangels had the same effect 
The kidneys were larger than normal, the gall bladders were distended, the bladders wer» 
enlarged, often very much so, and in several cases the heart was enlarged. The kidneys 
in all cases were of a pale color. Three animals died during the experiment. The bladder 
of one was highly inflamed while in the other two the bladders contained calculi which 
were too large to pass thru the urethra. The kidneys of two of the animals were broken 



down while the third was much enlarged, and calculi were present. In one of the animals 
which was slaughtered the following conditions existed: bladder enlarged; ulcerated between 
ureters; kidney surface mottled; kidneys enlarged; cortex discolored; calyces full of 
calculi; gall bladder much enlarged; other organs normal. 

According to Greshoflf the leaf of Kochia scoparia contains saponin, as do 
the seeds of this species and of K. arenaria. A species of Atriplex native to 
China causes a skin disease known as "atriplicimus." 

Genera of Chenopodiaceae 

\ spiny shrub 2. Sarcobatus. 

Fleshy herbs. 

Embryo coiled into a spiral ; calyx horizontally winged 3. Salsola. 

Fig. 203. Common Pigweed (Chcnopodiiim album). Young shoots some- 
tiDicii used in place of spinach. (Charlotte M. King.) 



Seed with utricle ; embryo coiled ; calyx not horizontally winged 

1. Chenopodium. 

Chenopodium L. Pigweed. Goosefoot. Lamb's quarter 

Annual or perennial herbs usually covered with a white mealy substance; 
flowers inconspicuous, in sessile, small clusters, collected in spikes or panicles, 
perfect; calyx 5-, rarely 4-parted or lobed; stamens generally 5; styles 2, rarely 
3; ovary 1-celled, becoming a 1-seeded, thin utricle; embryo coiled around the 
mealy endosperm. 

A small genus of about 60 species of wide distribution in saline soil, around 
dwellings and in manured soil. Several species like the common pigweed (C. 
album), the Australian spinach (C. auricomum) , and the English Good King 
Henry (C Bonus-Henricus) , are used as a substitute for spinach. The quinoa 
(C. Quinoa) is an annual, native to Peru, which produces its flowers in dense, 
erect panicles. It is cultivated in Chili and Peru for its seeds, which are said 
to be very strengthening. It was the principal meal food of the Peruvians be- 

Fig. 204. Good King-Henry {Chenopodium 
Bonus-Henricus). Used as a substitute for 
spinach. (From The American Agriculturist.) 



fore the conquest by Spain. An oil is obtained from the wormseed (C am- 
brosioides) . Several species of the genus like Chenopodium album and C. hy- 
biidum are weedy. 

Clicnopodiiim Botrys L. Jerusalem Oak 

A more or less glandular, pubescent, aromatic annual ; leaves with slender 
petioles, oblong, obtuse, sinuate, pinnatifid, flowers in leafless racemes; calyx 
2-3 parted, dry in fruit, only partially enclosed. 

Distribution. Naturalized from tropical America. Common in eastern North 
America to Oregon. 

Chenopodium ambrosioides L. Mexican Tea. Wormseed 

A smooth annual ; leaves slightly petioled, aromatic, oblong, lanceolate, 
toothed or nearly entire; flowers in spikes, leafy or intermixed with leaves; 
calyx 2-3 parted ; fruit dry, enclosed by the calyx. 

Distribution. Naturalized from tropical America. Common in eastern North 
America to California. The fruit is officinal in the U. S. Pharmocopoeia. 

Chenopodium ambrosioides L. var. anthelminticum (L.) Gray. Wormseed 

An annual or perennial weed, glandular pubescent; leaves lanceolate, or 
ovate-lanceolate, acuminate at the apex and narrowed at the base, the lower 

Fig. 205. Wormseed {Chenopodium am- 
brosioides:). Fruit ofTicinnl. (From Darling- 
ton's Weeds and Useful Plants.) 



laciniate pinnatifid; flowers in spikes without bracts, or the lower spikes leafy 

Distribltion. Naturalized from Europe in waste places, from Massachusetts 
to Ontario and from Wisconsin to Mexico. 

Poisonous properties. Several species of the genus contain volatile oils. 
The C. anibrosioides, var. contains the volatile oil of wormseed. This oil has 
a peculiar, strong, offensive odor and a pungent disagreeable, but aromatic 
taste. It is said to contain chenopodin, CgH^^NO,. In the case of a man 
who took about one half an ounce of a soluble oil of wormseed, Dr. Mills- 
paugh says that the symptoms were those from a narcotic, acrid poison, af- 
fecting the brain, spinal cord and stomach. The patient was insensible, con- 
vulsed and foamed at the mouth. In another case a man who had taken a con- 
siderable quantity displayed hilarity and made futile attempts at talking like a 
drunken man. Death followed later. C. mexicanum contains saponin. 

2. Sarcobatus Nees. Grease-wood 

An erect, branched shrub with spiny branches; leaves alternate; linear, 
fleshy ; flowers dioecious or monoecious ; the staminate in terminal clusters with- 
out a calyx; the pistillate solitary in the axils with compressed calyx, adnata to 
the base of the papillose stigmas; in fruit a membranous horizontal wing; seed 
vertical; embryo green, coiled into a flat spiral. Species 1. 

Fig. 206. Grease wood (Sarcobatus Max- 
imiliana). A plant growing in alkaline soils 
in the Western United States. Poisonous to 
sheep. The sharp spines cause mechanical 
injury. (U. S. Dept. Agrl.) 


Sarcobatus Maximiliani Nees, Torr. Grease-wood 

A glabrous perennial with succulent foliage and spiny branches. Wood 

Distribution. In dry, alkaline soil from western Nebraska to New Mexico, 
Nevada, and Montana; most abundant west of the front Rockies. 

Poisonous properties. Prof. Chesnut says : 

A correspondent in New Mexico states that on one occasion he counted as many as 
one hundred sheep that had been killed by eating the leaves of this plant. It is claimed 
that cows are not affected by eating it at any time and that sheep can eat it quite freely 
in winter. Death is perhaps due more to the bloating effect than to any poisonous sub- 
stance which the plant contains. 

It might be noted also in this connection that the sharp spines on the plant 
often inflict serious injuries to persons who come in contact with it and also to 
animals, setting up inflammation and causing the formation of pu?. It is used 
as a forage plant. 

3. Salsola L. Saltwort 

Bushy branched herbs, succulent when young, but rigid at maturity; leaves 
terete, prickly-pointed and sessile; flowers sessile and axillary; calyx 5-parted, 
persistent, enclosing the depressed fruit, the divisions horizontal, winged on the 
back, enclosing the utricle; stamens 5; ovary depressed; style 2; embryo coiled 
in a conical spiral. About 40 species of wide distribution, saline soils. 

Salsola Kali h., var. tenuifolia G. T. W. Meyer. Russian Thistle 

An herbaceous, smooth or slightly pubescent annual, difltusely branched 
from the base; from Ij^ to 3 feet high, spherical in the mature form; leaves 
fleshy, alternate, succulent, linear, subterete, 1-2 inches long, pointed in the 
older specimens ; upper leaves in the mature plant persistent, each subtending 
2 leaf-like bracts and a flower; stem and branches red; apetalous flowers soli- 
tary and sessile; calyx consisting of 5 persistent lobes, enclosing the dry fruit 
which is usually rose colored, about 1-12 of an inch long; 5 stamens, nearly as 
long as the calyx; pistils simple with 2 slender styles producing a single ob- 
conical depressed seed, dull gray or green, without albumen ; embryo spirally 
coiled. The plant flowers in July or August. 

Distribution. Common from Minnesota to Kansas, west across (he con- 
tinent, Illinois and Kansas to New Jersey. 

Injurious properties. The Russian thistle not only clogs the harvesters 
and harrow, injures horses legs so that boots have to be put on them but is 
equally disagreeable to come in contact with, to man. On this point. Prof. 
Dewey says : 

The sharp spines on the plants not only irritate and worry both horses and men, 
but often, by breaking under the skin, cause festering sores on the horses' legs, so that 
in many localities it has been found necessary to protect them with high boots or 
leggings. In handling grain or flax, in the processes of hauling and threshing, the sharp 
spines cause considerable irritation and consequent loss of time. 

Amaranthaceae. Amaranth Family 

Herbs, or in some cases, shrubs ; leaves simple, mostly entire ; flowers small, 
green or white with bractlets, usually in terminal spikes or heads; petals none; 
calyx herbaceous or membranous, 2-5 parted; segments distinct or imited ; 



Fig. 207. Russian Thistle {Salsola Kali, var. tenuifolia). 
mechanical injuries to man and stock. (Charlotte M. King.) 


stamens 1-5, mostly opposite the calyx-segments; ovary 1-celled; ovules solitary; 
fruit an utricle; circumscissile, irregular or indehiscent ; seed generally smooth; 
endosperm usually copious and mealy. About 425 species in tropical countries 
mostly. Several like Cclosia cristata are cultivated for ornamental purposes and 
several are weedy. Among the latter are the tumble-weed (Amaranthus graeci- 
ca7ts), pig- weed (A. retroflexus), and prostrate pig-weed {A. blitoides). The 
leaves of several species are used as food. 

Amarantluis (Tourn.) L. Pig-weed. Tumble-weed 

Annual, branching or erect herbs, smooth or pubescent leaves, simple; small 
flowers, monoecious, dioecious, or polygamous, green or purplish, generally with 
3 bractlets ; in spikes or axillary clusters ; sepals 3-5, distinct ; stamens 2-5 ; 
styles 2-3; fruit oblong, utricle. About 50 species of wide distribution, mostly 
of southern states. 



Amarantlius retroflexus L. Pig-weed. Red Root 

Roughish, slightly pubescent, annual with stout stems 2-4 feet high ; leaves 
ovate or rhombic ovate ; upper lanceolate, acute or acuminate at apex ; flowers 
in dense spikes ; bractlets about twice as long as the 5 scarious mucronate-tipped 
sepals; stamens 5; seed black. 

Distribution. Naturalized from tropical America; found throughout the 
United States, especially on waste ground far northward. Also naturalized in 

Aiimranthus hybridus h. Slender Pig-weed 

Similar to the preceding but with darker green or purple foliage; stem 
more slender, erect; leaves ovate or rhombic ovate, smaller than the preceding; 

Fig. 20S. Prostrate Pigweed (Amarantlius blit aides). 
bloat. (Charlotte M. King.) 

A common weed. May cause 

spikes linear-cylindrical, forming dense terminal panicles; bfacts subulate, twice 
as long as tlie acute or cuspidate sepals ; stamens 5 ; utricle but slightly wrinkled. 
Distribution. Species naturalized from tropical America but rare or local 
in places; common southward. 

AniaraiitJius spiiiosus L. Spiny Amaranth 

Stout, branched stem, leaves ovate, rhombic-ovate or lanceolate, acute at 
both ends with a pair of rigid stipular spines; sepals mucronate-tipped 1 -nerved; 
utricle scarcely circumscissile. 

Distribution. In waste or cultivated ground as far north as Massachusetts, 
Illinois and common in Missouri and Southward. Naturalized from tropical 

Poisonous properties. The spiny amaranth sometimes produces mechanical 
injuries. Mr. O'Gara calls attention to the injurious properties of the first 
species in Nebraska. He says that it doubtless causes a great deal of trouble in 
some parts of that state. Mr. C. C. Palmer near North Platte lost 5 head of 
cattle in his pasture. In all cases they were very much bloated and a post- 
mortem examination revealed a good deal of pig-weed in the stomachs. The 
animals in question had l)ccn accustomed to prairie grass pasture and broke into 
a field containing considerable of this pig-weed, some Russian Thistle and 



Fig. 209. Pigweed iAmaranthns retroflexus). 
A cause of bloat in cattle. (From Darlington's 
Weeds and Useful Planfs.) 

Fig. 210. Spiny Araranth (Amar- 
anthus spinosus). Sometimes produces 
mechanical injuries. (From Darlington's 
Weeds and Useful Plants.) 

lamb's quarter. After the death of the animals the fence was replaced and no 
further trouble was noticed. An experiment with animals carried on by Mr. 
O'Gara proved negative. Many families in the vicinity of North Platte regard 
the weed as a bad bloater, by some considered as serious as green clover and 

PhytolaccacEae. Pokeweed Family 

Generally herbs, a few tropical species, trees or shrubs; leaves alternate, 
entire, without stipules; flowers regular, perfect, polygamous or monoecious; 
calyx petal-like, of 4 or 5 sepals, or 4-5-parted; stamens 5-30 alternate with the 
segments of the calyx or with the sepals, of the same number or more numerous; 
ovary several-celled ; ovules solitary. 



A small family of about 85 species, mostly tropical. The juice of the berries 
of the Umbra tree (Phytolacca dioica) of South America, now naturalized in 
Europe and other warm countries, is used to color wines. Other plants of the 
family, like bloodberry are frequently cultivated. The latter produces small 
spikes of white flowers, followed by red berries. Strong drastic substances 
occur in P. Uitoralis and Anisomeria drastica, natives of Chili. P. abyssinica, 
Villamilla peruviana and our native pokeberry contain saponin and red color- 
ing matter. 

Phytolacca (Tourn.) L. Pokeweed 

Tall, stout, perennial herbs with large petioled leaves; flowers borne in 
racemes ; calyx of S petal-like sepals ; stamens 5-30, ovary of 5-12 carpels united 
to form a ring, 5-12 celled, with a single seed in each cell; embryo around the 

Phytolacca decandra L. Pokeweed, Garget 

A tall, glabrous, perennial herb, 6-9 feet tall, with strong odor; large poison- 
ous root ; leaves oblong-lanceolate, acute, or acuminate ; flowers perfect ; calyx 
white; stamens 10, shorter than the sepals; ovary green, 10-celled; berry dark 
purple, filled with crimson juice. 

Poisonous properties. The young shoots of this plant may be boiled and 
eaten, the acrid property being dissipated in boiling. The leaves are eaten by 
the natives of the island of Guam. A tincture of the plant is used for rheu- 
matism. The root is alterative, emetic, cathartic, and narcotic. Prof. Ches- 
nut, in speaking of its poisonous nature, says: 

Fig. 211. Pokeweed (Phytolacca decandra). The 
root of the plant is very poisonous. (C. M. King.) 

Most insUnces of poisoning arise from an overdose when the plant has been used as 
a medicine, but there are also accidental cases due to eating of the root, which has been 
variously mistaken for that of the parsnip, artichoke and horseradish. A few fatal cases 
of poisonoing of children have been attributed to the fruit, but whether death was really 
due to the seed or the pulp is somewhat uncertain. The evidence is chiefly against the 


seed, for it is known to contain a poisonous substance. Pokeweed is a violent but slow- 
acting emetic, vomiting beginning only after about two hours. It also effects the nerv§s 
and muscles, producing retching, spasms, severe purging and sometimes convulsions. Death 
is frequently due to the paralysis of the respiratory organs. 

Dr. Guttenberg makes a similar report in regard to effects of poisoning by 
pokeweed, adding that death often is a result. 

The roots of pokeweed are often mistaken for other fleshy roots, such as 
horse-radish. The leaves, as has been said, are harmless when boiled, somewhai 
resembling spinach, but the root is very poisonous. The poke root was used 
by the Indians in medecine. Dr. Millspaugh, who values the plant not only as 
an emetic, but also as an efficient remedy, says : 

In certain forms of rheumatism, the root with lard was found to be an excellent 
ointment as a cure for many forms of skin diseases; psoriasis, eczema, capitis, and tinea 
circinata, also in syphilitic ulcers. 

Dr. Millspaugh says : 

The fresh root, gathered late in autumn or early in spring, is chopped and pounded 
to a pulp and weighed. Two parts by weight of alcohol are taken, and after thoroughly 
mixing the pulp with one-sixth part of it, the rest of the alcohol is added. After having 
stirred the whole, pour it into a well-stoppered bottle, and let it stand eight days in a 
dark, cool place. The tincture is then separated by decanting, straining, and filtering. 

Thus prepared it has a light straw-color by transmitted light, at first a stinging, soon 
followed by a decided bitter taste, and a very slight acid reaction. 

He adds : 

I noted in my readings several years ago that the berries had been used for pies by 
frugal housewives, and often since have half determined to try poke-berry pastry; dis- 
cretion has, however, always overruled valor, and the much-thought-of pie is still unmade 
and uneaten. The young shoots, however, make an excellent substitute for asparagus, 
and I much prefer them, if gathered early and discriminately. 

The acrid alkaloid phytolaccin, according to Dr. Edmond Preston, occurs 
in the root of this plant; also phytolaccic acid and an amorphous yellowish 
brown, transparent substance, very soluble in water and alcohol. Nagi reports 
a toxic substance phytolaccotoxin C^JH^^O^. The berries have been used for 
coloring, but this is not entirely successful, because no mordant will fix the 
color. The juice of the berry is a delicate test for acids when lime water is 
added to it. 

Dr. Johnson says : 

AH parts of the plant possess acrid and somewhat narcotic properties. The juice 
of the fresh plant, or a strong decoction of the root, applied locally, may strongly irritate 
the skin, especially if tender or abraded. Taken internally it causes nausea, vomiting, 
and purging, and, in overdoses, acro-narcotic poisoning. It has been employed with more 
or less satisfactory results in a great variety of cutaneous affections, and in rheumatism, 
especially when chronic or of a syphilitic origin. There is little doubt that, in view 
of the uncertainty which at present exists regarding it, this plant would well repay 
further careful experimentation. 

Nagi reports that phytolaccotoxin resembles picrotoxin and cicutoxin. A 
glucoside has also been found in common poke; saponin also occurs. 

CaryophyixaceaE- Pink Family 

Herbs with opposite entire leaves, frequently swollen at the nodes; flowers 
perfect or rarely dioecious; sepals 4 or 5, persistent separate or united with the 
calyx tube; petals of equal number; styles 2-5, or rarely united into 1; ovary 
usually 1-celled, occasionally 3-S-celled; ovules attached to a central column; 
seeds several or many; small coiled or curved embryo, with a mealy albumen. 

A large family of about 70 genera and ISOO species, widely distributed, 
most abundant in the northern hemisphere. Many of the plants of this family 



Fig. 211a. Flowers of Soapwort or Bouncing Betty {Saponaria officinalis). Calyx, Corolla, 
Stamens and Pistil. (C. M. King). 

are cultivated for ornamental purposes. Of these we may mention the hardy 
pink (Dianthus barbatus) and carnation {D. Caryophyllus). The spurrey (Sper- 
gula arvensis) is occasionally cultivated as a forage plant in Europe and some- 
times in this country, but is a weed of grain fields in Europe. A few species 
like Saponaria officinalis and the catchfly are medicinal. A red dye is obtained 
from a species of Coccus found on Scleranthus perennis. The leaves of Parony- 
chia argentea are used as a substitute for tea. The stitchwort (Alsine cra^s- 
ifolia) of Europe and some parts of the United States is poisonous to horses. 
The European sandwort (Arenaria serpyllifolia) common eastward in sandy 
waste places is said to cause salivation in horses. Several species of the family 
like Saponaria officinalis, Gypsophila Stntthiuin of Spain, Agrostemma, Lychnis, 
and Herniaria contain saponin. 

Genera of Caryophyllaceae 

Sepals united into a tube or cup. 

Calyx ovoid or sub-cylindrical, 5 angled ; not prominently nerved . . 5. Saponaria. 
Calyx S-toothed, prominently nerved. 

Styles 3 2. Silene. 

Styles 5 or 4, alternate with petals 3. Lychnis. 

Styles 5 or 4, opposite petals, silky plants 4. Agrostemma. 

Styles 2 1 . Gypsophila. 

Sepals distinct 6. Stellaria. 

1. Gypsophila L. Gypsophyl 

Glabrous and glaucous herbs ; leaves narrow ; flowers small, in paniculate, 
axillary clusters ; calyx cylindrical, 5-toothed, 5-ncrved without bractlcts ; petals 
5 claws, narrow; stamens 10; styles 2. About 50 species native to Europe; 2 
species introduced to North America. 

Gypsophila pauiculata h. Tall Gypsophyl 

A glabrous or pubescent perennial, from a simple fusiform root; leaves 
lanceolate, narrowed at the base; flowers in panicled cymes; calyx campanulate; 



segments with scarious margins; petals white or pink, slightly emarginate, larger 
than the calyx. 

Distribution. Native to Europe and Asia. From Manitoba to Nebraska. 

Poisonous properties. Used in medicine as a detergent. An allied G. Strii- 
thiuni contains Sapotoxin and the glucoside saponin. It is an acrid poison. 

2. Silene L. Catchfly 

Herbs with pink or white flowers, solitary or borne in cymes ; calyx more 
or less inflated and five-toothed; petals 5, narrow and clawed; stamens 10; 
styles 3, rarely 4 or 5 ; ovary 1-celled or incompletely 2- to 4-celled; pod 1-celled, 
dehiscent by 6, apical teeth ; seeds roughened. 

About 250 species of wide distribution. Several like sweet William (5". 
Armeria) are cultivated for ornamental purposes. The starry campion (,9. stel- 
lata) of our prairies and thickets might well be cultivated more than it is. 

Silene latifolia (Mill.) Britten & Rendle. Bladder Campion 

A branched perennial, a foot or more high, with opposite glaucus ovate 
lanceolate leaves ; flowers in loose cymose panicles ; calyx bladdery, inflated ; 
petals 2-cleft, white ; seed roughened. 

Fig. 213. Night flowering 
Catclifly (Silene noctiflora). 
(.^fter Fitch.) 

Fig. 212. Deptford Pink (Di- 
anthus Armeria). Frequently 
cultivated for ornamental pur- 
pose. (Charlotte M. King.) 



Distribution. Native to Europe. Common in fields and along roadsides 
from New England to Illinois and Iowa. 

Silene antirrhirm L. Sleepy Catchfly 

A puberulent annual with glutinous nodes and slender stem; lower leaves 
spatulate or oblanceolate, petioled; upper leaves linear to subulate; flowers small 
in cymose panicles; calyx not inflated, but expanded by the opening pod, ovoid; 
petals pink, obcordate, minutely crowned, seeds small, roughened. 

Distribution. Common in sandy fields, gravelly soils, and in waste places 
from New England and Florida to Mexico, north to British Columbia, and east 
to Ontario. 

Silene noctiflora L. Night-flowering Catchfly 

A viscid hairy annual, from 1-3 feet high; lower leaves obovate or oblance- 
olate; the upper sessile and lanceolate; flowers few, in a loose panicle, white or 

rig. 214. Sleepy Catchfly (Silene 
fiiitirrhina). A weed of sandy fields. 
(Charlotte M. King.) 

Fig. 215. Night-flowering Catchfly (.Silciic noctiflora). Fossibl 
poisonous. (Charlotte M. King.) 


pinkish, fragrant, opening at night, calyx tube elongated and enlarged by the 
ripening pod; petals 2-cleft and crowned; seeds small blackish, roughened, kidney 

Distribution. Native to Europe. Common in waste places from New Bruns- 
wick to Florida, Kansas and Iowa to Manitoba. 

Poisonous properties. According to Stebler and Schroter, the leaves of 
Silene latifolia are eaten by stock and it is regarded as of some value for for- 
age purposes ; but Prof. Schafifner, in his "Poisonous and Other Injurious Plants 
of Ohio," suggests that the sleepy catchfly may be poisonous. 

3. Lychnis (Tourn.) L. Campion 

Erect herbs, with ovoid tubular oblong or inflated calyx 5-toothed, 10-nerved, 
occasionally with leaf-like lobes; petals 5, or rarely 4; styles 5, rarely 4, alternate 
with the often appendaged petals; seeds numerous, globular or kidney-shaped 
pod opening by as many, or twice as many valves. A small genus of about 40 
species native to the cooler regions. Several species cultivated for ornamental 
purposes. The scarlet lychnis (L. chalcedonica) is frequently cultivated in old 

Lychnis Flos-cuculi L. Ragged robin 

A downy, branching, pubescent annual, or viscid above, from 2-3 feet high ; 
leaves lanceolate or linear lanceolate; flowers in loose panicles, red, bluish, or 
whitish ; calyx glabrous, short, petals cleft into 4 lobes ; capsule globose. 

Poisonous properties. It contains a form of saponin called lychnidin. 

Lychnis dioica h. Evening Lychnis 

Biennial, usually dioecious, viscid, pubescent; leaves ovate-oblong or ovate- 
lanceolate; flowers few, loosely paniculate, white or pinkish, opening at evening; 
calyx tubular, becoming swollen with the ripening fruit; styles 5. 

Distribution. Native to Europe, common in eastern and middle states. In 
the West it is not uncommon in clover fields, where it is introduced with clover 

4. Agrestemma Linn. Corn Cockle 

^ Calyx ovoid, 10-ribbed; teeth elongated, longer than petals; stamens 10; 
styles 5, opposite unappendaged petals; leaves linear. Tall annual or biennial 

Agrostemma Githago L. Corn Cockle 

A hairy annual weed ; leaves linear-lanceolate, acute or long-acuminate ; 
flowers perfect, long-peduncled, calyx lobes long, linear, surpassing the purple 
red petals, capsules 1-celled; large with numerous large seeds which are rough- 
ened and black. 

Distribution. This plant is widely distributed from Nova Scotia to Quebec, 
south from New England to the southern states, and westward and northward, 
generally in wheat growing regions. Difficulty in screening wheat by ordinary 
methods has caused this weed to be generally scattered in wheat growing regions. 
These screenings are much used in feeding stock in some places. The farmer 
often sows cockle with his wheat. 



Fig. 216. Meadow Lychnis 
(Lychnis Flos-cuculi). Con- 
tains saponin. (After Fitch.) 

Fig. 217. Corn cockle (Agiostemma Gith- 
ago). a, sprays showing flowers and seed 
capsule, one-third natural size; b, seed, nat- 
ural size; b', seed, four times natural size. 
(U. S. Dept. Agr.) 

Poisonous properties. According to Kruskal, the seeds contain githagin 
2(Cj^H,^Oj^). The ripe dried seeds are broken into a coarse powder and used 
in medicine. Dr. Millspaugh gives the proportions as follows: "Five parts by 
weight of alcohol are poured upon the powder, and the whole allowed to stand 
eight days in a well stoppered bottle in a dark cool place, shaking thoroughly 
twice a day." The tincture is somewhat acrid. The seeds of the cockle are 
frequently used to adulterate cheaper grades of flour in Europe. Dr. Millspaugh 
gives a case in which death followed where two lA-yi oz. lots of wheat flour 
containing respectively 30% and 45% of these seeds were fed to two calves. 
This amount of cockle caused severe cramps of the stomach within an hour, 
followed by diarrhoea and finally death. Where ducks and geese ate the seeds, 
death followed when sufficient was taken, and the post-mortem showed inflamma- 
tion of the bowels. Prof. Pierce states that this is especially true when the 
seeds are crushed. A large amount of screenings are sold for chicken feed, 
and frequently complaints are made of poison, or at least that chickens will not 
cat the screenings. 

In describing symptoms indicative of poisoning by corn cockle, which. Dr. 
Allen says, place the seeds among the cerebro-spinal irritants, he agrees es- 
sentially with Dr. Chesnut. 


Dr. Chesnut says : 

The poisonous constituent, saponin, is a non-crystalline powder, very freely soluble 
in water, and possessing a sharp, burning taste. It has no odor, but when inhaled in the 
smallest quantity it produces violent sneezing. When briskly shaken with water it fcoths 
like soap. The poison is found in nearly all parts of the plant, but mainly in the kernel 
of the seed. Cases of poisoning have been noted among all sorts of poultry and household 
animals, but are rarely due to any portion of the plant as found growing in the field. 
The poisoning is generally produced by a poor grade of flour made from wheat containing 
cockle seeds. Machinery is used to remove these seeds from the wheat, but the difficulty 
of separating them is so great that the result is not entirely accomplished. The quantity 
remaining determines the grade of flour in this particular regard. It sometimes amounts 
to 30 or 40 per cent, but this quality is sent out only by ignorant or unscrupulous dealers 
or is intended for consumption by animals only. Flour containing a smaller gimount has 
often been made into bread and eaten, sometimes with fatal results, the baking not always 
being sufficient to decompose the poison. The effect may be acute, or, if a small quantity 
of the meal is eaten regularly, it may be chronic. In the latter case it is sometimes 
known as a disease under the name of "githagism." The general symptoms of acute 
poisoning are the following: Intense irritation of the whole digestive tract, vomiting, 
headache, nausea, diarrhoea, hot skin, difficult locomotion, and depressed breathing. Coma 
is sometimes present, and may be followed by death. Chronic poisoning has not been 
closely studied in man, but experiments upon animals show chronic diarrhoea and gradual 
depression, the animal losing vigor in breathing and in muscular movements until death 
ensues. The action is antagonized by the use of digitalin, or of the simple extract of 
digitalis (Digitalis purpurea) a dangerous poison, which should be given only by a physician. 

The more prominent S3-mptoms as recorded by Friedberger and Frohner 
are, briefly, colic, vomiting, slavering, paralysis, stupor, hyperaemia of brain 
and spinal cord. • 

Dr. Chesnut also adds : 

Corn cockle meal is easily detected in second and third class flour by the presence 
of the black, roughened scales of the seed coat. These are sure to occur if tht flour has 
not been well bolted. Its presence is otherwise detected by the peculiar odor produced 
when the meal is moistened and by chemical tests with iodine. Wheat containing corn cockle 
seeds should be rejected for planting. 

It has been asserted in Europe that corn cockle is injurious in flour and 
bread stufifs. Dr. Chesnut says : 

A person eating 1200 grains of bread made from flour containing only one-half per 
cent of corn cockle seed would consume six grains of cockle seed, an amount which the 
author believes beyond a doubt to be poisonous in its effects. 

The poison in corn cockle is sapotoxin Cj^^H^gOj^, and is partially decom- 
posed while baking, but nevertheless some of it remains and the use of flour 
which contains corn cockle should be forbidden. It has long been suspected of 
being poisonous. Mr. John Smith in his Domestic Botany, says : 

It being difficult to separate the seeds from the grain, the value of the latter is 
deteriorated, and the flour is rendered unwholesome. 

5. Saponaria Linn. Soapwort 

Calyx ovoid to sub-cylindrical, S-toothed, obscurely nerved, terete or S- 
angled, smooth; stamens 10; styles 2; pod 1-ceIled, or sometimes 2-4-valved, and 
4-toothed to apex. Coarse annual or perennial with mucilaginous juice, hence 
common name of soapwort because of the property of forming a lather with 

Saponaria officinalis L. Bouncing Bet 

Perennial herbs with large flowers in cymose clusters ; calyx narrowly ovoid 
or oblong, five toothed; petals clawed or unappendaged, stamens 10, styles 2, 
pod 1-celled or incompletely 2 to 4-celled and 4-toothed at the apex. About 



40 species in Europe, Asia, and Northern Africa. Saponaria officinalis is fre- 
quently cultivated in old gardens. The mucilaginous juice forms a lather with 
water and is valuable for taking grease spots out of wollen cloth. 

Saponaria Vaccaria L. Cow herb 

A glabrous annual from 1-2 feet high with opposite ovate lanceolate leaves ; 
flowers in corymbed cymes; calyx 5-angled, enlarged and angled in fruit; petals 
pale red. Cow herb is another important constituent of "cockle" in wheat 
screenings, and like the preceding weed has been largely spread by means of 
wheat culture. 

Distribution. Common in Europe; found in wheat fields of the east and as 
far west as Missouri, Kansas, the Rocky Mountain region, and Pacific Coast, 
and wheat regions of the northwest. 

According to Sohn, it contains the substance saponin, C,„Hg^0^g a neutral 
sharp, amorphous substance, having a burning taste and producing a violent 
sensation. The toxic substance is partially removed by baking. 

Fig. 218. Bouncing Betty 
{Saponaria officinalis). A 

branch with flowers. The 
{louble flowered form is some- 
times cultivated for orna- 
mental purposes. (Charlotte 
M. King.) 

6. Stellaria L. Chickweed 

Tufted herbs with white flowers in cymose clusters; sepals 4-5, deeply 2- 
cleft, sometimes none; stamens free, 10 or fewer; styles 3, rarely 4 or 5; capsule 
ovoid 1-celled, several to many seeded. 

Stellaria media (L.) Cyrill. Common Chickweed 

A nearly smooth annual or winter annual, decumbent or ascending; leaves 
ovate or oval, the lower on hairy petioles; flowers white in terminal leafy 
cymes or solitary in the axils ; sepals oblong, longer than the 2-parted petals ; 
stamens 2-10. 


Fig. 219. Cow-herb (Saponaria Vaccaria I,.). The seed of this plant is common in 
wheat screenings and is supposed to be poisonous. (U. S. Dept. Agrl.) 



Distribution. A weed in waste places, lawns and fields, very troublesome in 
lawns. Naturalized from Europe. Extends from New England and Canada 
across the continent. 

Poisonous properties. The seeds of common chickweed are used as food 
for cage-birds and are also readily eaten by chickens, but, according to Mr. Wm. 
Carruthers, they cause disorder to the digestive system when eaten by lambs in 
large quantities. 

Fig. 220. Chickweed (Stellaria media). Seeds said to be 
injurious. (Charlotte M. King.) 


Herbs, shrubs or trees; calyx usually of separate sepals; corolla usually 
present and of separate petals; ovary or ovaries superior, free from the calyx; 
carpels 1-many; stamens mostly hypogynous and more numerous than the sepals. 
Contains the families Nymphacaceae, Ceratophyllaceae, Rammculaceae, Bcrher- 
idaceae, Menispermaceae, Magnoliaceae, Calycanthaceae, Anonaceae, Myristica- 
ceae, and Lauraceae. The Nymphaeaceae are aquatic perennial herbs. The 
rhizome of water chinquapin (Nclumbo lutea) of the Mississippi Valley and 
introduced into Massachusetts by the Indians, was used for food. The sacred 
bean or lily (N. nucifera) cultivated for ornamental purposes produces an edible 
seed and rhizome rich in starch. The pods of wokas {Nymphaea polysepala) are 



used as food by the Indians in the northwest. The blue flowered Nymphaea 
stellata of tropical Africa and the Egyptian lotus (A^. Lotus) are frequently 
cultivated, as are the Victoria regia of the Amazon region and Buryale ferox of 
eastern Asia. The water lilies (Castalia odorata and C. tuberosa) are pretty 
water plants of North America. The family Ceraiophyllaceae contains the 
water-weed (Ceratophyllum demersum) of North America, troublesome also in 
Europe. The family Myristicaceae contains the nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) 
of which mace is the aril; the oil contains myristicin. Prof. Cushny in an ad- 
dress before the Royal Society of Medicine in London, referring to Nutmeg 
poisoning, says that the symptoms are drowsiness, stupor, and diplopia ('seeing 
double'). Delirium is frequently present, and sometimes the first symptom is 
burning pain in the stomach, with anxiety or giddiness. The symptoms generally 
resemble those resulting from Cannabis indica (hashish). One fatal case oc- 

Fig. 221. Yellow Water Lily (Nymphaea poly- 
sepala). (W. S. Dudgeon.) 

curred in a boy who had eaten two nutmegs. From experimental work Prof. 
Cushny has come to the conclusion that the symptoms are to be attributed to 
the action of the oil of nutmeg on the central nervous system. This is de- 
pressed; but there are some signs of stimulation in the form of restlessness, 
slight convulsive movements, and tremor. The oil has also a marked local ir- 
ritant action, whether given by the mouth or hypodermically. Several other 
species like M. succedanea and M. fatua, are used by the natives where these 
plants are indigenous. 

Families of Ranales 

Stamens numerous sepals distinct, petals absent or present. 

Receptacle hollow enclosing the numerous pistils and achenes ; leaves 
opposite 5 Calycanthaceae 


Receptacle not hollow ; flowers generally perfect. 

Fruits cohering over each other, cone-like Magnoliaceae 

Fruits not cohering over each other, separate. 

Anthers not opening by uplifted valves, pistils usually more than L 

Sepals 3; petals 6; shrubs or trees Anonaceae 

Sepals 3-15; petals when present about as many. .Ranunculaceae 
Anthers opening by uplifted valves except Podophyllum ; pistil 

1 Berberidaceae 

Dioecious climbing vines; simple leaves Menispermaceae 

Stamens 9-12 in several series; anthers opening by uplifted valves; petals ab- 
sent Lauraceae 

Ranunculaceae. Crowfoot Family 

Herbs or a few woody plants with acrid juice; flowers polypetalous or apetal- 
ous, regular or irregular; calyx free, often colored like the corolla; sepals 
3-15; petals 3-15 or absent.stamens numerous; pistils few or numerous, distinct; 
fruit a dry pod, berries or achene seed-like ; embryo minute, albumen present. 

A rather large, widely distributed family of plants many of which like 
aconite, larkspur, and marsh marigold, are poisonous. Many, such as virgin's 
bower (Clematis virginiana), C. Jackmanni and other species, are cultivated 
for ornamental purposes; the C. Jack)nanni being especially desirable. The 
columbines, like the European columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris), the Rocky Moun- 
tain columbine (A. caerulea), and our eastern columbine A. canadensis), the 
paeonies (Paeonia officinalis and P. Moutan), and the larkspurs (Delphinium) 
are also cultivated for ornamental purposes, the most familiar of the latter 
being the garden annual. Delphinium Consolida. Several perennial species of 
Delphinium are also very showy. The seeds of stavesacre (D. Staphisagria), 
native to southern Europe and the Levant, contain an alkaloid delphinin 
CjgHggNOg which is a powerful and acrid poison. 

Nigella is said to contain an alkaloid, nigellijt; N. damasccna contains the 
alkaloid damascenin CgH^^NOg. In 1872, a German chemist found an alkaloid 
in Isopyrum thalictroides, the so-called isopyrin CgHj^NO^. Thalictrum ma- 
crocarpum contains the alkaloid thalictrin. Aquilegia is said to be free from 

Glucosides have also been found in some of the members of this family, 
as adonidin Cj,,H ^pOj, in Adonis amurensis. 

The European Adonis aestivalis and A. vernalis are recorded as poisonous 
by Lehmann. The black cohosh (Ciinicifuga racenwsa) is also somewhat acrid. 

Many of the plants of the family contain anenwnin Cj^H^O^ and some are 
used for medicinal purposes. 

Among these are aconite (Aconitum Napcllns), crocus, Pasque flower, Pul- 
satilla Anemone patens var. IVolfgangiana (Bess) Koch, and yellow puccoon 
(Hydrastis canadensis). The black roots of black hellebore (Hclleborus niger) 
are used in medicine, as a purgative, being poisonous in overdoses. The tuber- 
ous roots of one of the crowfoots (Ranunculus Ficaria) resemble grains of wheat 
and are sometimes boiled and eaten but they have a sharp acrid taste and are 
known to produce blisters. The water crowfoot (R. aquatilis var. capillaceus) 
is apparently harmless and is used as forage in England and on the Continent. 



Fig. 222. European Columbine {Aquilegia vulgaris). Flowering 
branch; flower; longitudinal section of fiower; pistil and stamens. (After 

According to Greshoff Clematis Frenionti; C. iniegrifoUa; C. lanuginosa; 
C. orientalis ; C. pseudo-flammula contain HCN. He also states that saponin 
is of widespread occurrence in this genus and that he found it in the leaves of 
C. Pitcheri, and C. recta and in the leaves of Trollius pumilus, and T. chinensis. 

Genera of Ranunculaceae 
Flowers regular. 
Sepals 3-20 apetalous. 

Achenes tailed 5 Clematis 

Achenes not tailed 4 Anemone 

Fruit a follicle ; sepals yellow 1 Caltha 

Flowers solitary ; sepals 3 9 Hydrastis 

Petals and sepals present. 

Petals S, yellow or white 6 Ranunculus 

Petals small, tubular 2-lipped 2 Helleborus 

Petals small, stamen-like 8 Actaea 



Flowers irregular. 

Upper sepal spurred ; petals 4 7 Delphinium 

Upper sepal hooded 3 Aconitum 

1. Caltha L. Marsh Marigold 

Herbs with heart-shaped or kidney-form leaves ; flowers yellow, white or 
pink; sepals large, 5-9, petal-like; petals none; stamens numerous; pistils 5-10; 
styles nearly wanting; pods follicles, spreading, many seeded; marsh plants of 
temperate and colder regions. About 8 species ; 3 species native to Eastern North 
America, and 1 species common in the Rocky Mountains at high altitudes. 

Fig. 223. Black Hellebore (Helle- 
borus niger). Entire plant. The roots 
contain a purgative substance that is 
poisonous in over-doses. (From Vesque's 
Traite de Botanique.) 

Caltha paliistris h- Marsh Marigold 

A stout, glabrous perennial with a hollow stem from 1-2 feet higli; the 
basal leaves on long petioles, leaves reniform; upper leaves shorter, petioled 
and sessile ; flowers with yellow sepals. 

Occurs in swamps and meadows. 

Poisonous properties. The marsh marigold or cowslip is regarded as poison- 
ous in Europe. In this country, however, it is frequently used as a pot herb. 
The flower buds arc sometimes pickled. Coville says: 

By many it is considered superior to any other plant used in this way. There is 
no doubt that boiling dissipates the active principles found in the plant. 

Stebler and Schroter say that it is poisonous in a green state, and Rusby 
states that when fed with hay it produces diarrhoea and stoppage of the 
flow of milk. According to Lloyd, it contains a small quantity of an acrid 
substance identical with the acrid oil of Ranunculus. Cattle and sheep refuse 


to eat the plant. Marsh marigold is known to contain an alkaloid which is said to 
be identical with nicotin but it has not been isolated. 

Dr. Millspaugh in speaking of the uses of this plant, states that it is exten- 
sively gathered in early spring and cooked for greens, making one of our most 
excellent pot-herbs. Rafinesque asserts that cattle browsing upon it die in con- 
sequence of an inflammation of the stomach produced by it. According to Freid- 
berger and Frohner it causes haematuria. 

2. Hellehorus L. Hellebore 

Erect perennial herbs, with large, palmately divided leaves; flowers large, 
white, greenish or yellowish; sepals 5, petal-like; petals small, tubular; stamens 
numerous; carpels generally few; fruit several-seeded follicles. A small genus 
of about 10 species, natives of Europe and Western Asia. 

Hclleboriis viridis L. Green Hellebore 

Basal leaves smooth, consisting of 7-11 oblong, acute, sharply-serrate seg- 
ments ; flowers large. 

Distribution. In waste places from Long Island to Penn. and W. Va. 

Poisonous properties. Black Hellebore is said to be a drastic purgative 
when used for domestic animals. The plant contains the glucosides, hellcborin 
CgHjpO, which is a highly narcotic, powerful poison, helleborein Cg^H^gO^g 
which is slightly acid and helehoretin C^gH^^O^. 

The symptoms from poisoning are : Stupor followed by death with spasms. 
H. foetidus is also poisonous. 

3. Aconituin L. Aconite 

Perennial herbs with palmately lobed or divided leaves; flowers large, 
irregular, showy, paniculate or racemose; sepals 5, irregular, petal-like, the 
upper helmet-fhaped or hooded, prolonged into a spur; petals 2, small, con- 
cealed under helmet, spurred, 3 lower absent or very minute ; pistils 3-5 forming 
follicles, several seeded. 

About 60 species. Native of the North Temperate regions. One species, 
the A. Napellus, used in medicine, is the source of aconite. One western species 
is poisonous to live stock. 

None of the species of this genus is weedy in Eastern North America. 
The three species, A. noveboracense Gray, A. uncinatum L. and A. reclinatum 
Gray, occur in Eastern North America but are very local. None of these seeins 
to be very poisonous, but the roots of A. uncinahitit are bitter, even in a dry 
state. The exotic A. Lycoctomini and A. Fischeri are employed to kill wild 

Aconite is derived from the European Aconitum Napellus which produces 
not only poisonous stem and leaves, but also a very poisonous tuberous root 
which is from 2-4 inches long and sometimes an inch thick. The Indian aconite 
is obtained from Aconitum ferox, a plant growing from 3-6 feet high and bear- 
ing large dull-blue flowers; it is found in the Alpine regions of the Himalayas, 
and is used as an arrow poison. Among other equally poisonous species 
mentioned by Fliickiger and Hanbury, is A. uncinatum growing in Eastern 
North America. They also state that the root of another species of Aconitum, 
A. helerophyllum, with large ff'owers of dull yellow, and purple, or blue, is poison- 


ous. This root contains the chemical substance atisin C,,Hg^NO„, an intensely- 
bitter alkaloid. The European aconite contains aconitin Cg^H NO , pseudo 
aconitin C^^H^^l^O^^, and aconin H^gC^gNOj^. The North American species 
A. septentrionale contains, according to Rosendal, the following alkaloids : 
lappakonitin, Cg^H^gN,Og, a crystallized form; septentrionaUn Cgj^H^gNjOg, and 
synaktonin CgyHj^gN^O^g. 

Blyth who has collected records of poisoning in Europe by aconite states 
that there have been two cases of murder, seven suicidal, seventy-seven more or 
less accidental; six were from the action of the alkaloid, ten from the root, 
and in two cases, children ate the flower, in one case, the leaves of the plant 
were cooked and eaten by mistake, in seven cases, the tincture was mistaken 
for brand}', sherry or liquor, in the remainder of the cases the tincture, the lini- 
ment or the extract was used. The Indian species are much used, especially A. 
ferox, which is applied to poison stock and arrows, the latter to destroy the wild 
animals. It is a common practice to mix a decoction of the root with water or 

Dunstan and Anderson * summarize the alkaloids obtained from Aconitum 
as follows : — "The first, a toxic group, of which the type is ordinary aconitin, 
contains alkaloids which are diacyl esters of a series of poly-hydric bases con- 
taining four methoxyl groups, the aconines." 

"The members of this group are: — 

Aconitin from Aconitum napellus. 

Japaconitin from Aconitum deinorrhysum. 

Bikhaconitin from Aconitum spicatus. 

Ivdaconitin from Aconitum chasmanthum." 

These are all highly poisonous. 

The second group is the atisin group which contains atisin from A. hetero- 
phyllum and palmatin from A. palmatum. These are non-poisonous alkaloids. 

Aconitum columbianum Nutt. Western Aconite 

An erect, stout perennial, 3-6 feet high, more or less pubescent above, with 
short, spreading or viscid hairs; divisions of the leaves broadly cuneate and 
toothed, lobed; flowers purple or white, in a loose terminal raceme; hood vari- 
able in breadth and length of beak. 

Distribution. Grows at an altitude of 5000-10,000 feet in low grounds, 
near brooks and springs, from Montana, Wyoming and Colorado to the Sierras. 

Poisonous properties. The chief effect of aconite results from its in- 
fluence over the heart and blood vessels. It decreases the force and frequency 
of the cardiac pulsations. After long continued use, aconite affects the nervous 
system causing the loss of sensation; bodily temperature is also reduced after 
medicinal uses of the drug. Dr. Winslow, in his Veterinary IMateria Medica 
and Therapeutics, speaking of its toxicology says: 

The minimum fatal dose of aconite is about 3i. for the horse; gr. xx. for medium sized 
dogs; and gr. v.-vi. for cats. The smallest fatal dose recorded in man is a teaspoonful of 
tincture of aconite, equivalent to about gr. xxx. of the crude drug. The minimum lethal 
quantity of aconitin is gr. 1/10 for man, and about the same for cats. For dogs it is from 
gr. 'A to gr. '/2. The writer has found that cats will live from fifteen minutes to half an 
hour after receiving the smaller deadly doses under the skin, but large doses produce death 
immediately by paralyzing the heart. Large therapeutic doses cause, in horses, restlessness, 
pawing the ground, shaking of the head, champing of the jaws, increased secretion of sali- 
vary mucus, and attempts at swallowing, probably owing to the peculiar sense of irritation 

'Trans. Jour. Chem. Soc. 1905: 1650. See Blyth Poisons: Their Effects and Detection. 


Fig. 224. Aconite {Aconitum Napellusf. 
The source of the aconite of commerce. 
Stem, leaves and root are poisonous. 
(After Faguet.) 



Fig. 225. Aconite (Aconitum Columbian- 
nni). a, flowering plant; b, seed capsule — 
both one-third natural size. A poisonous plant 
of the Western U. S. (U. S. Dept. Agr.) 

Fig. 226. Western aconite 
(Acotiitiim uncinatum). A poison- 
ous plant in Eastern North Amer- 
ica, from Pennsylvania to Iowa. 
(Ada Hayden.) 

produced by the drug in the throat. Nausea and retching are observed in all animals, while 
vomiting occurs in dogs and cats. The pulse and respiration are weakened and generally 
retarded. After lethal doses these symptoms are intensified. We observe violent retching, 
frequent and difficult attacks of swallowing, ejection of frothy mucus from the mouth, in 
horses copious sweating; pulse first weak and infrequent, later rapid, running and almost 
imperceptible; respiration slow, interrupted, and shallow, and reduction of temperature. 
Death is preceded by muscular twitchings, in the horse, and loss of strength so that the 
subject falls and is unable to rise; or in the case of cats and rabbits, the animals jump 
vertically into the air, topple over backwards and go into convulsions, lying helpless on their 
Bide. The labial muscles are retracted and the lips drawn back, showing the teeth covered 
with foam. The face is anxious, the eyeballs are retracted or protruded, and the pupils 
more commonly dilated. Death takes place usually from asphyxia, occasionally from syn- 
cope. The post mortem appearances are simply those resulting from asphyxia. 

The western aconite is bitter and retains its bitterness even on drying. 
It also benumbs, according to Lloyd, just as does the European aconite. The 
Lloyds quote Prof. Power in asserting that it contains some alkaloids, one 
probably aconitin, and several other poisonous principles. According to Dr. 


Bartholow of Jefferson Medical College, it is a paralyzer of mobility, but does 
not impair the contractility of muscles or the irritability of the motor nerves. 
Death is caused by paralysis of respiration, the heart continuing its action some 
time after respiration has ceased. The Aconitum Napellus, affects the heart 
in opposite ways. Prof. Chesnut says in regard to the poison of this plant : 

All of the parts of the west American aconite are poisonous, but the seeds and roots 
are the most dangerous. The active principle is not well known, but chemical and phys- 
iological experiments point to the existence of one or more alkaloids which resemble 
aconitin. The eflect of the poison is characteristic. There is first a tingling sensation on 
the end of the tongue which gives rise shortly to a burning sensation, and is rapidly 
followed by a very pronounced sense of constriction in the throat. The choking thus pro- 
duced is made the more alarming by the retarding effect which the poison has upon the res- 
piration. The tingling and prickling over the entire body is also characteristic. Besides 
these symptoms, there are generally severe headache, abdominal pains, confused vision, 
vomiting, and diarrhoea. Delirium is usually absent. Death ensues from a stoppage of the 
respiration in from one to eight hours. 

Mr. R. Schimpfky, in his Important Poisonous Plants of Germany, makes this 
statement upon the authority of a physician : He tried the nectar of the 
European aconite by chewing the flower. After chewing a little while, the same 
was thrown away and an hour later, he felt upon the end of the tongue, a dull 
pain as though he had burned it. This sensation remained for three days. 
In Europe it is not unusual to inix the leaves of this with other salad plants. 
Frequently the plant is cultivated to be used in destroying insects. 

Dr. Chesnut says : 

No specific antidote is recognized, but physicians have used atropin, ot digitalis and 
nitrite of amyl, with good effects. The ordinary emetics and stimulants must be given. 
Artificial respiration should be maintained for a couple of hours, if necessary, and a re- 
cumbent position must be maintained throughout the treatment. 

Aconitum uncinatum L. Wild Monkshood 

Plant smooth ; stem slender and somewhat reclined ; root thickened ; 
leaves 3-5 lobed, petioled, globes ovate-lanceolate, with coarse teeth; large blue 
or pale flowers with erect helmet; found in rich shady woods along streams. 

Distribution. Eastern North America extending into Iowa. 

Poisonous properties. Contains the same active principle as the other 
species of aconite. 

4. Anemone 

Erect perennial herbs; root leaves lobed, divided or dissected; stem leaves 
forming an involucre either remote or near the flower; sepals few or many, 
4-20 petal-like ; or in one section, petals stamen-like ; stamens numerous ; pistils 
numerous ; achene pointed or tailed, flattened ; single seeded. About 80 species 
in temperate regions. Several as Pulsatilla are medicinal. 

Anemone patens L. var. IVolfgangiana (Bess.) Koch 

A perennial herb, with radical leaves, appearing after the bluish or purplish 
flowers have blossomed, villous with long silky hairs ; flowers erect, coming from 
a simple stem, which is naked except for the involucre; petals wanting, or abor- 
tive, stamen-like; sepals petal-like, about 1>^ inches long; leaves ternately di- 
vided with the lateral divisions 2-parted; stamens numerous; pistils numerous 
in a head with long, hairy styles, in fruit forming feathery tails. 



Distribution. Illinois and Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, N. W. 
Territory, Rocky Mountains to Texas, British Columbia. Known as the pasque 
or sand flower, but very commonly and incorrectly called the crocus. 

Poisonous properties. A very poisonous plant. The allied European Anem- 
one Pulsatilla is also regarded as poisonous. The different parts of the plant 
are extremely acrid and when applied to the skin cause irritation and vesi- 
cation. The acridity of the plant is due to the presence of a crystalline sub- 
stance called anemonin Cj^HgO^ which when heated with acids, forms anemonic 
acid CjpHj^Og. Lloyd states: 

All parts of fresh Anemone patens are acrid and very irritating. Dr. W. H. Miller 
informs us that his hands have been very badly blistered, in consequence of the juice hav- 
ing spattered over them while pressing the plant. The vapors evolved from the fresh juice 
are of such an acrid nature as to have inflamed the eyes, and have closed them temporarily. 
For this reason, persons refuse to work with the fresh herb, and botanists have been 
known to severely irritate their hands simply from contact with the recent plant. 

The only demand for this plant is by Homeopathic physicians. All portions 
of the European Anemone patens are very acrid, but the dried plant is merely 
an astringent. The plant evidently contains a volatile acrid substance, which 
is given off when heat is applied. Our sand flower was one of the chief 
medical plants of the Indians of Minnesota. The plant is still used, when in 
a fresh condition by the Indian. Dr. Millspaugh gives the following method 
for preparing it: 

The whole, fresh, flowering plant is chopped and pounded to a pulp and weighed. 
Then two parts by weight of alcohol are taken, the pulp thoroughly mixed with one-sixth 

Fig. 227. European Anemone (Anemone 

Pulsatilla). A poisonous plant with acrid 

properties. (From V'csque's Traitc dc Bot- 

Fig. 228. Pasque Anemone 
(Anemone patens, var. Wolfgang- 
iana). A with well known 
acrid properties. (Charlotte M. 




part of it, and the rest of the alcohol added. After thorough mixture, the whole is allowed 
to stand eight days in a well-stoppered bottle. The tincture thus prepared, after straining 
and filtering, should have a light, seal-brown color by transmitted light, an acrid astringent 
taste, and a decidedly acid reaction. 

Dr, White in his Dermatitis Venenata calls attention to the irritating por- 
perties of the common wind-flower A. quin que folia. The species is widely 
distributed in woods in Eastern North America. He states that a large whole- 
sale dealer in medical plants regarded it as an externally corrosive poison. It 
is probable that other species of the genus are more or less acrid. Some of 
these plants like the white meadow wind-flower A. canadensis are probably 
looked upon with some suspicion. Dr. Johnson in his Manual of Medical 
Botany, makes this statement in regard to the common Wind-flower : 

Pulsatilla is an acrid irritant which, in large doses, has often produced serious and 
alarming effects. In safe medicinal doses, however, its effects are by no means so well 
known. At various times and by numerous authors it has been highly praised as a remedy 
in diseases of the eye, in rheumatism, amenorrhoea, dismenorrhoea, etc. In this country 
it has been employed chiefly by homeopathic practitioners, and usually in very minute 
doses. Many of the results claimed for it under such circumstances are at least doubtful. 
Certain it is that other practitioners have not been able to confirm them. 

Anemone quinquefolia L. Wind Flower 

A low smooth perennial with filiform rootstock, involucre or 3-petioled, 
trifoliolate, toothed leaves, sepals 4-7, ovate, white, pale blue or purple; carpels 
15-20 oblong with a hooked beak. 

Distribution. In woods from Nova Scotia to Georgia and the Rocky Moun- 
tains, also in Europe. 

Fig. 229. Wind flower {Anemone quinque- 
folia). A well known plant with more or 
less acrid properties. (Ada Hayden.) 


Poisonous properties. Leaves, roots, and stems are acrid; same properties 
as in the Pasque Flower. 

Anemone canadensis L. Meadow Anemone 

A hairy perennial from 1 ft. to 18 inches high; involciire 3-leaved bear- 
ing a long peduncle or a pair with a 2-leaved involucre at the middle; radical 
leaves long, petioled, 5-7 parted or cleft; sepals white 6-9 lines long; head of 
fruit globose, achenes flat, tipped with stout style. 

Distribution. In low grounds, meadows, especially westward from Lab- 
rador to Saskatchewan, Colorado to Maryland and New England. 

Poisonous properties. All parts of the plants with acrid properties. 

5. Clematis 

Climbing vines or perennial herbs, more or less woody; leaves opposite, 
slender petioled, pinnately compound, lobed, or entire ; sepals 4 or rarely more, 
petal-like; petals none; stamens numerous; ovaries free; the fruit an achene 
1-seeded ; style long, persistent, plumose, silky, or occasionally naked. About 
100 species of wide distribution, abundant in temperate regions. The most com- 
mon species in Northern States is the Clematis virginiana, in the South and 
Rocky Mountains, C. ligusticifolia ; and in the South, the C. Viorna, and C. 
Pitcheri. The European C. vitalba contains anemonol. 

Clematis virginiana L. Virgin's Bower 

Perennial, climbing, with leaflets mostly broadly ovate, acute, cut low; 
flowers axillary, clusters panicled, polygamo-dioecious, white; the style persist- 
ent, plumose. The western C. ligusticifolia is nearly like this species. 

Distribution. From Canada to Florida, and Kansas, Nebraska, northward. 
C. ligusticifolia is common throughout the Rocky Mountains from Western 
Nebraska to the Pacific Coast. 

Clematis Pitcheri Torr. & Gray 

Perennial herb with pinnately compound leaves, high upper leaves often 
simple; flowers large, solitary, on long peduncles; usually nodding calyx, bell- 
shaped; dull purplish sepals, with narrow and slightly margined recurved points; 
tails of the fruit naked or shortly villous. From Southern Indiana to Central 
Iowa, and Kansas and Texas. 

Poisonous properties. J. U. and C. G. Lloyd, in their Drugs and Medicines 
of North America, report the medical properties of several species of the genus 
Clematis as follows : 

It imparts a rank taste, which, after prolonged chewing, becomes acrid and irritating, 
although at first it is only disagreeable. 

Dr. Rusby also mentioned the poisonous character of the species of Cle- 
matis. In Cuba, one species of the genus is used in case of tooth-ache to 
blister the face, and this as well as another species is used in the same way for 
rheumatism. Dr. J. C. White refers to the European Clematis recta as produc- 
ing blisters and often ulcers, and causing the eyes to water and become inflamed. 

An infusion of the plant in oil has been used to cure the itch, and violent inflammation 
of the skin has been produced by friction with it. 



Fig. 230. Virgin's Bower (Cle- 
matis virginiana). Probably poison- 
ous. (From Johnson's Medical 
Botany of N. A.) 

Fig. 231. Clematis, Virgin's Bower (Clematis 
Pitcheri). The flowers are dull purplish in color; 
the plant is more or less acrid. (Ada Hayden.) 

6. Ranunulucus (Tourn.) L. Crowfoot Buttercup 

More or less acrid, annual or perennial, herbs with alternate, simple, lobed, 
divided, or dissected leaves ; solitary or somewhat corymbed flowers, yellow, 
white or red; sepals 5; petals S with a nectariferous pit or si ale at the base; 
stamens numerous; pistils numerous; achenes numerous in heads, generally 
flattened or pointed with an erect seed, tipped with the style. About 200 
species in temperate and colder regions. 

Ranunculus sceleratus L. Ditch Crowfoot 

A glabrous annual, 1 foot or more high, stem hollow; root leaves 3-lobed, 
rounded; stem leaves 3-parted, the lobes cut and toothed; upper leaves nearly 
entire; flowers pale yellow, petals but slightly longer than the calyx; stamens 
numerous ; pistils numerous, in oblong and cylindrical heads. 

Distribution. Wet ditches in the Northern States; also in Europe. 

Poisonous nature. The plant is highly acrid, blistering the mouth and skin. 
In Europe it is used by beggars for making sores. Other species with similar 
properties are R. acris, R. bulbosus, and R. rcpens. 

Ranunculus septentrionalis, Poir. Creeping Crowfoot 

A low, hairy, or nearly smooth, glabrous perennial ; ascending, or often 
producing long runners ; leaves with 3-stalked divisions, the terminal one broadly 



Fig. 232. Cursed Crowfoot (Ranunculus 
sceleratus). Common in low grounds. Con- 
tains an acrid poison. (Ada Hayden.) 

•wedge-shaped, 3-cleft or parted; flowers yellow, petals obovate and larger than 
the sepals; stamens numerous; pistils numerous; style long and attenuate; 
fruit an achene. 

Distribution. Common in moist shady places in the northern states. 

Ranunculus acris L. Tall Crowfoot 

Hairy, perennial, with fibrous roots, from 2-3 feet high; basal leaves tufted 
3-7 divided, divisions cleft in narrow acute lobes; upper leaves short petioled, 
3-parted; petals much longer than the spreading calyx; head when in fruit 

Distribution. Native to Europe, widely naturalized in the Northern States 
and Canada. 

Poisonous nature. Juice acrid, poison dissipated on drying. Symptoms pro- 
duced in animals are blistering, slavering, choking, vomiting, in some cases, 
followed by death resembling that from apoplexy. 

Ranunculus aboriivus L. Small Flowered Crowfoot 

Smooth, branching biennial from 6 inches to 2 feet high ; root leaves 
round, heart-shaped or kidney shaped, crenate, or lobed; stem leaves sessile 



or nearly so, divided into oblong linear lobes; flowers small; sepals 5, reflexed; 
petals 5, yellow ; head globose ; carpels mucronate with a minute curved beak. 

Distribution. In moist woods and meadows; a troublesome weed. New- 
foundland to Manitoba, Nebraska, Colorado and Florida. 

Poisonous properties. The leaves of the plant have an acrid, peppery 
taste and cause blistering. 

Fig 233. Buttercup (Ran- 
unculus acris). The juice 
of this plant has acrid prop- 
erties. (Ada Hayden.) 

Fig. 234. Small-flowered 
Crowfoot (Ranitncuhis abor- 
tivus). The leaves cause blis- 
tering. (Ada Hayden.) 

According to Basiner, the oil of Ranunculus acts, in warm-blooded animals, as an 
acrid narcotic, producing, in small doses, stupor and slow respiration; in larger doses, also, 
paralysis of the posterior and anterior extremities, and, before death, convulsions of the 
whole body. The acrid action is shown by a corrosive gastritis and by hyperaemia of the 
kidneys, more particularly of their cortical substance. Anemonin causes similar symptoms, 
but is followed by no convulsions, nor does it irritate sufficiently to corrode the organs, 
as the oil does. 

Dr. Millspaugh mentions especially the R. bulbosus as having a peculiarly 
powerful irritant action upon the skin, whether applied locally or internally. 

Murray states that a slice of the fresh root (bulb?) placed in contact with the palmar 
surface of a finger brought on pain in two minutes; when taken off, the skin was found 
without signs of extra circulation or irritation, and the itching and heat passed away; in 
two hours it nevertheless returned again, and in ten hours a serious blister had formed, 
followed by a bad ulcer, which proved very difficult to heal. 


Stabler and Schroter state that Ranunculus acris produces diarrhoea, abor- 
tion, and loss of flesh, and when eaten in large quantities, death ensues in a few 
hours. Dr. Johnson in his Mannual of Medical Botany of North America, 
sa3-s : 

The ranunculi are too acrid to render their internal use either desirable or safe. 
Most of them are avoided by domestic animals; one may often see R. acris, for example, 
growing luxuriantly in pastures where almost every blade of grass is cropped close. Their 
acrid properties have, however, led to their employment externally as rubefacients or 
vesicants in cases where other and perhaps better agents were not at hand, or were for 
any reason contra-indicated. As is well known, cases of idiosyncrasy occur in which 
cantharides are inadmissible on account of their effect upon the urinary organs. In some 
such cases ranurculus has been used with good effect. One of the faults of this agent is its 
extreme violence. The fresh plant, bruised and applied to the skin, may vesicate in an 
hour or hour and a half, and may possibly produce an ulcer not easy to heal. It is, 
therefore, far less safe as a rubefacient than mustard, and, as a rule, much less desirable 
as a vesicant than cantharides. It has been employed to some extent in European countries 
as an external application in chronic rheumatism, neuralgia, etc., but never sufficiently to 
have obtained a place in the pharmacopoeias. In this country it is used still less, and is 
little more than mentioned in works on materia medica. An interesting observation re- 
garding the possible effect of R. acris on pregnant cows was reported to the author by his 
brother, Mr. F. M. Johnson. In a herd of cows pastured for years in succession in an 
old field thickly beset with this weed, abortion was frequent and troublesome. As soon, 
however, as this pasture was broken up and the herd moved to another part of the farm 
in which the plant did not grow, abortion disappeared. Now although, as stated above, 
domestic animals avoid this plant, yet when feeding where it is very abundant, they must 
occasionally swallow it accidentally; and though there is no positive proof that the abor- 
tions were due to the plant in question, the facts as. stated are interesting and significant. 
It is at least possible that ranunculus exerts an influence upon the reproductive organs 
like that which is claimed by some for Pulsatilla. 

Leaves, flowers, and stems of the Ranunculi have a peppery and pungent 
taste, when eaten, reminding one of mustard. According to Lloyd, boiling water 
dissipates the acrid principle. 

Many other species of the genus Ranunculus such as R. Flanunula, and R. 
arvcnsis are acrid and poisonous, causing the formation of blisters. 

Delphinium Tourn 

Perennial or annual herbs of erect, branching habit, with racemose or 
paniculate showy flowers; leaves palmately lobed or divided; sepals 5, irregular, 
petal-like, the upper one prolonged into a spur ; petals 2-4, irregular, the upper 
one spurred, and enclosed in the spur of the calyx; stamens numerous; pistils 
1-5, forming follicles in fruit, many seeded. Species about 60 in the North 
temperate regions. 

Several species like Stavesacrc {D. Stapltisagria) are used in medicine, 
and many are poisonous to live stock. Several species like the field larkspur (D. 
Consolida), the rocket larkspur {D. Ajacis), the great flowered larkspur {D. 
grandiflorum) and blue larkspur {D. datum), are ornamental. 

Delphinium Petiardi Iluth. Prairie Larkspur 

A perennial pubescent or hairy herb, more or less glandular above, from 
3-5 feet high; leaves 3-5-parted, the divisions 2 or 3 times cleft, the lobes linear; 
flowers in racemes; white, slightly tinged with blue; spur horizontal, straight 
or slightly curved upward; follicle pubescent, many seeded. This is closely 
related to D. azureuni of more southern distribution, with light blue flowers and 
downy follicles. 



Distribution. The Prairie Larkspur is common on sandy soil, gravelly 
knolls and prairies of Illinois and Wisconsin to Manitoba, Kansas and Arkan- 

7. Delphinium Geyeri Greene 

A hairy perennial 1-2 feet high; leaves dull green, somewhat branched; 
flowers in dense racemes, azure blue. 

Distribution. Common on the high plains of Colorado to Montana. 

Fig. 235. Carolina Larkspur 
(^Delphinium Penardi). Like 
other species of this genus it 
is poisonous. Common on prai- 
ries and gravelly soil. (Ada 

Fig. 236. Purple Larkspur {Delphinium bicolor) 
is found in Montana and Westward. Poisonous. 
(Chesnut, U. S. Dept. Agr.) 

Delphinium Mensiesii DC 

Glabrous below, at least at the very base, pubescent above with spreading 
hairs, especially the inflorescence; leaves S-parted, divisions 2 to 3-cleft; flowers 
large, deep-blue, in a loosely few to many-flowered simple raceme ; upper petals 
veined with purple ; spur long and slender ; ovaries somewhat tomentose. 

Distribution. Common from San Francisco, California, north to British 
Columbia, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. 


Poisonous properties. Chesnut and Wilcox say: — 

Experiments have been made which show that at one stage of growth the leaves of 
the species (D. Menziesii) may be safely eaten, to a certain, extent, by sheep. Dr. S. B. 
Nelson, professor of veterinary science in the Washington Agricultural College, in an article 
entitled Feeding Wild Plants to Sheep, published by the Bureau of Animal Industry of 
this Department, showed that it is possible to feed as much as 24^4 pounds of the fresh 
leaves of D. Menziesii to a sheep within a period of five days without causing any apparent 
ill effects. The stage of growth of the larkspur was not stated, but, judging from the other 
experiments described in the same report, it was probably in a well-advanced flowering 

In regard to the poisoning from this species, opinion seems to differ. Dr. 
Nelson states that Dr. Wilcox was in error in regard to the plant that he 
worked with at first. More than likely it was a D. bicolor, which is corroborated 
by the report. Under D. bicolor, mention is made of D. Mcnsicsii. However, 
it is more than likely there are certain stages in the development which are more 
poisonous than others. Dr. S. B. Nelson from his experiments concludes as 
follows : 

The results obtained in these eight trials with Delphinium Menziesii, the feeding of 
nine and one-half pounds of the bulbs, stems and leaves of the immature plants to sheep 
No. 6, the feeding of nearly twenty-five and six pounds of the plants gathered while in 
full bloom, to Nos. 2 and 3 respectively, and the hypodermic injections of the two extracts 
into Nos. 4 and 5, certainly constitute evidence sufficiently convincing to justify the con- 
clusion that Delphinium Menziesii is not poisonous to sheep and they may be allowed to 
graze where it grows even in abundance without fear of any loss from it. 

Dr. Nelson likewise carried on an experiment with D. simplex with similar 

Delphinium bicolor Nutt. Purple Larkspur 

A smooth or somewhat pubescent, tuberous rooted, perennial; 1-2 feet 
high with a cluster of finely divided leaves; the lower orbicular in outline, all 
deeply cleft or parted ; racemes few or several-flowered ; flowers dark purple ; 
sepals and spur J/$ to ^ inch long; upper petals pale yellow, and white with 
blue veins, follicles smooth or minutely pubescent when young. 

Distribution. Common in dry ground, Eastern Oregon, and Washington, 
to Utah, British Columbia, Montana, and Colorado. Grows in elevations from 
4000 or 5000 feet to 10,000 feet. 

Poisonous character. It is regarded as poisonous by stockmen. Experiments 
reported by Dr. Wilcox in the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station Bulle- 
tin show that an extract from less than one ounce of the dried leaves of this 
species was fatal to a yearling lamb. Chesnut and Wilcox report further experi- 
ments as follows : 

The following experiments were made with a view of ascertaining whether the per- 
manganate of potash, which it was proposed to use in many cases of plant poisoning, 
could be used with satisfactory results as a chemical antidote in case of this plant, and 
also of determining which parts of the plant were most toxic. During some seasons the 
purple larkspur causes extensive poisoning of sheep and calves. Cattle and horses, on the 
other hand, seem to eat it less frequently than the tall larkspur. In the season of 1900 
conclusive evidence against this plant was obtained in only one locality. This was derived 
from two cases among calves in the Flathead Valley. The calves were about 5 weeks old, 
and at the time when the poisoning occurred, were running in a native pasture where the 
purple larkspur grew sparingly. The symptoms of poisoning in these two cases were sim- 
ilar to those already outlined from poisoning in the tall larkspur in cattle, with the ex- 
ception that a slight bloating was to be observed in the case of the calves. The respiration 
and heart beat became exceedingly rapid as the symptoms of poisoning increased in 
severity. The body temperature was slightly lowered, and this was accompanied by pro- 


fuse sweating. The increased perspiration may have been due in part to the violent 
spasms in which the animals finally died. Death occurred about four hours after the 
appearance of the first symptoms. No remedy was applied in these cases. 

Delphinium scopulonim Gray 

A glabrous or finely pubescent perennial with leafy stem 1-6 feet high from 
fascicled thick roots ; leaves numerous orbicular, 5-7, parted, lower cuneate, 
and the upper consisting of narrow, cleft, and laciniate divisions ; racemes 
many-flowered, sparingly pilose, flowers blue varying to white or pink on short 
erect pedicels ; spur longer than sepals, lower petals deeply notched, and upper 
whitish, and a little shorter than the oblong sepals; follicles about half an inch 
long, erect, seeds small, with a loose coat. 

Delphinium occidentale Watson. Tall Larkspur 

A glandular pubescent perennial from 4-6 feet high ; leaves deeply 3-5 
cleft, divisions broadly cuneate, somewhat 3-lobed; flowers numerous in a many- 
flowered sparingly-branched panicle; sepals spatulate, acuminate; dull or dark 
blue, very variable in size; seeds light colored, and somewhat spongy. 

Distribution. At higher altitudes from Colorado to Eastern Oregon, and 

DclpJiiniiim trolliifolium Gray. California Cow Poison, or Poisonous Larkspur 

A tall smooth perennial, 2-5 feet high, sparingly villous, hairy; leaves large, 
long, petioled, 5-7 lobed, lobes lacinately cleft and toothed with acuminate seg- 
ments; flowers large in loose racemes; color bright blue, 114 inches broad, 
spur as long as the sepals ; sepals oblong-lanceolate, acuminate, sparingly vil- 
lous, follicles smooth, 6-8 lines long, seeds turbinate. 

Distribution. Common along the Pacific Coast from British Columbia to 

Poisonous properties. Prof. Chesnut says : "In Humboldt County, Cal., 
it is known as Cow Poison on account of its fatal effect on cattle. Its toxic 
character has been questioned. Perhaps it is not equally poisonous throughout 
all stages of its growth." 

Delphinium tricorne Michx 

A simple stout perennial 6 inches-2 feet high, with a cluster of roots; 
leaves slender, petioled, deeply 5-7-cleft, or divided; the divisions linear or ovate; 
flowers in loose racemes, blue, occasionally white or purple; spur slightly 
bent. Follicles tipped with a short beak. 

Distribution. In open rich woods or clay soil, Western Pennsylvania to 
Southeastern Iowa to Arkansas and Georgia. 

Poisonous properties. The Stavesacre {Delphinium Staphisagria) of Italy 
and Greece to Asia Minor has long been used in medicine, having been 
known to the ancients. Pliny mentions the use of the powdered seeds for 
destroying vermin on the head. It is still largely used for destroying pediculi. 
The eclectic physicians use it for its specific action on the reproductive organs. 
The disease produced by Delphinium may be called delphinosis. 

According to Prof. Hills, Stavesacre and D. Consolida are used in the 
treatment of dropsy and spasmodic asthma. The effects produced are due to 



Fig. 237. California Cow Poison (Delphinium 
trolliifolium). .\ species common along the Pacific 
coast, and said to be fatally poisonous to cattle. 
(Ada Hayden.) 

Fig. 238. Tall Larkspur (Del- 
phinium glaucum) of the Pacific 
Coast region. It is poisonous. 
(Chesnut, U. S. Dept. Agrl.). 

the alkaloid delphinin C^H^^NOg, very poisonous with a bitter sharp taste. 
Three other alkaloids have been isolated, staphisagrin CjoH^^NO,, bitter, the 
poisonous delphinoidin C^^Hj.gN,0^, and dclpJiisin C,.H^.,N„0^, an extremely 
poisonous alkaloid, to which may be added the substance calcitripin. Dr. 
J. C. White in his Dermatitis Venenata states that acute dermatitis resembling 
eczema may appear from the use of stavesacrc seed. Dclphitwcurarin 
C23H NO^, has been obtained from the root stock of several species of Del- 
phinium, D. hicolor contains 0.27 and D. scopuloruin, 1/3 per cent. 

In this country, it appears, from Mr. Cheney's observation, that D. con- 
solida is largely sold for the European plant. A tincture of the seed is often 
mixed with Lobelia inflata and sold as a parasiticide. Tlie Stavesacre seeds 
arc still employed as in old times for the destruction of pcdiculi in human beings. 
For this purpose, they are converted into powder and dusted among the hair. 


Results of the experiments made by Dr. Crawford of the U. S. Dept. of 
Agr. show in 1905 in regard to larkspur poisoning. (The first batch of plants 
was collected April 26th, 1905). 

1 c. c. injected into a guinea pig (subcutaneously), weight 730 grams. 
Caused no disturbance. 

3 c. c. in guinea pig, no symptoms. 
6. c. c. in guinea pig, killed. 

6 c. c. injected into guinea pig, 285 grams, killed in 33 minutes. 

4 c. c. injected into guinea pig, 352 grams, no symptoms. 
Repeated : 

5 c. c. killed guinea pig weighing 196 grams. Died in 55 minutes. 
4 c. c. injected into guinea pig, 299 grams. No symptoms. 

Evidently lethal dose for this solution lay between 4 to 5 c. c. 

Second Stage, Gathered May 16th, 1905 

Solution corresponding to 4 c. c. of No. 1 caused no symptoms in guinea 
pig weighing 445 grams, while 5.3 c. c. killed one of 350 grams, but death was 
delayed longer than with extract of first stage. 

Third Stage, Gathered in June, 1905 

Solution corresponding to 4 c. c. caused no symptoms in guinea pig weighing 
376 grams. 

5.3 c. c. caused no symptoms in guinea pig weighing 500 grams. 

6.6 c. c. caused no symptoms in guinea pig weighing 480 grams. 

Evidently a lethal dose is much higher and the plant loses much of its ac- 
tivity in development. 

This report is very conclusive in proving that the plant contains an active 
poison, and further in substantiating the claims of experienced observers that 
the plant loses much of its toxic properties as it approaches the flowering period. 

Seven and one-half grams of dried purple larkspur fed to each of three 
rabbits on April 20th. No results. 

Seven and one-half grams of fresh purple larkspur from same patch fed 
April 25th to each of three rabbits. Two showed slight imeasiness, and one was 
bloated a little. One, showing less effect than the others, had eaten but three 
and one-half grams. 

On May 1st a like quantity from the same patch was given to the same 
rabbits under similar conditions. Results, two died, and the other distressed. 

On June 15th, plants from the same source, being in full bloom, but the 
leaves and stems dry, were fed to rabbits. Although very hungry, they at 
refused to eat, but later ate large quantities of it without any ill effects. The 
experiments with tall larkspur were equally as confusing. The fact that the 
plants at one period of growth gave negative results was no guaranty that they 
would not be dangerous at another. The tall larkspur growing luxuriantly on 
the college campus proved to be very active, physiologically, and furnished the 
best specimens for producing the physiological effects upon animals. In the 
experiments with antidotes this domesticated species was found to be very 
poisonous while in bloom in the middle of August. 

Lloyd in Drugs and Medicines of North America, quotes from a letter from 
Wm. C. Cusick, a botanist of the West, who states that in some places the D. 
decorum F. & M. var. nevadense poisons cattle, but only in the early spring 
when they are first turned on the crop. It is thought by cattle men that the 
cattle pull the plants up by the roots and eat them, which really causes the 


poisoning. Man}' die, but most recover. Prof. Chesnut, in his Principal Poison- 
ous Plants of the United States, says: 

The percentage of fatal cases in cattle which have eaten this and other larkspurs 
is said to be small. A rough estimate by a cattleman places it at about 20 per cent for 
one species of the group, when the animals are not properly treated, and 5 per cent other- 
wise. This is probably a low estimate, however, for in a case of poisoning from D. Men- 
siesii that occurred in Montana in May, 1897, and was reported by Dr. E. V. ^yilcox, 
nearly 600 sheep were affected, 2S0 of which died. 

Dr. Wilcox says in regard to D. glaucum : 

The tall larkspur appears not to be eaten by sheep. All cases of poisoning from this 
plant observed in Montana during this year and previous years have been among cattle. 
As already indicated, sheep are not driven to the mountain ranges until about the middle 
of July, and at this season the tall larkspur is altogether too large and coarse for their 
consumption. It is well known, on the other hand, that cattle will feed on much coarser 
forage than sheep, and at the same time they are allowed to run on the high ranges in 
the early spring. In Montana the light green tufts of leaves of the tall larkspur first 
become conspicuous about the last of April or the first of May, and the flowers begin to 
open about the middle of June. This fact is significant for the reason that light falls 
of snow often occur in the larkspur belt as late as the first week in June, and, since there is 
then no other verdure in sight, the uncovered portion of the larkspur is in a high degree 
tempting to stock, all the more because it is succulent. The danger is increased by the 
fact that at the time of snow falls cattle seek the shelter of creeks where the larkspur is 
more abundant and most advanced in growth. At this period, moreover, the leaves are, 
as we can testify from personal observation, very bitter, and they are probably then more 
poisonous than at any other stage of growth. The older ones, as is also the case with 
the blue larkspur, are not so bitter. The plant is recognized by cattlemen as dangerous 
to cattle from May until about the middle of June. Mr. Vard Cockrell informs us that 
on his range in the lower basin of the Gallatin it is the sole duty of one man during this 
period to keep his cattle away from the broken mountainous regions where this larkspur 

The symptoms are described as follows: 

In general, the animals affected manifest symptoms similar to those produced by overdoses of 
aconite. The first signs of poisoning are usually a general stiffness and irregularity of gait. There 
is often a pronounced straddling of the hind legs in walking. These symptoms increase 
in severity until locomotion becomes difficult or impossible, and the animal finally falls to 
the ground. It usually falls and gets on its feet again a number of times, the muscular 
movements becoming more and more irregular and incoordinated. At the same time the skin 
is very sensitive to touch, and the muscles of the sides and legs soon begin to quiver spas- 
modically. This a very characteristic symptom, being usually exhibited for several hours. 
The function of the special senses is seldom impaired, the animal being apparently able to 
hear and see as well and as correctly as under conditions of health. Although a slight 
increase in the quantity of saliva is to be noticed in some cases, this symptom is never 
so pronounced as in cases of poisoning by death camas. During the later stages of 
poisoning the animal is usually attacked with violent convulsions, in one of which it finally 
dies. In this respect, also, the symptoms differ distinctly from those of death camas poison- 
ing, which is usually quite without spasms. The digestive functions seem not to be af- 
fected by larkspur poisoning The temperature is lowered slightly during the first stages, 
in one instance having been as low as 97°. During the later stages the pulse becomes very 
frequent and the breathing rapid and shallow. The cerebral symptoms are simply those of 
excitement, and the appetite seems not to be lost until shortly before death. 

In regard to D. bicolor, the symptoms observed from experiments are 
described by the same author as follows : 

Summing up the results of these experiments, we find that the most prominent, easily 
observable symptoms were a stimulation of the respiration and a brain symptom manifested 
by dizziness or a rhythmical movement of the head. As it was not the object of the ex- 
periment to determine the symptoms of poisoning, these having been already secured by Dr. 
Wilcox, no special effort was made to determine the pulse rate, but it was to be noted that 
in experiment 2, which was as nearly fatal as any, the heart action was extremely rapid 
and weak. None of the experiments proved fatal and no results were obtained on which 


a satisfactory trial of the permanganate of potassium as an antidote could be based; hence 
no experiments were made in that line. 

Dr. B. Kennedy in the Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station, reports in 
regard to tlie symptoms of poisoning from D. glaucum, as follows : 

This dangerous, poisonous plant was seen quite frequently from Lincoln Valley to 
Summit Soda Springs. It occurs usually in large patches by the side of creeks in the 
valleys. Although sheep do not care for it, yet it is sometimes eaten by them. Sheepmen 
do not consider it dangerous. Cattlemen, however, are afraid of it, and consider it very 
poisonous. Mr. Ridinger of the Tehauntepec dairy, about eight miles from Webber Lake, 
told us that cattle die after eating it, with the following symptoms: Trembling and shiver- 
ing, succeeded by extreme weakness, which makes affected animals stagger and fall or lie 

That Larkspur is poisonous, at least some species, appears from the experi- 
ments carried on by Dr. Geo. H. Glover and C. Dwight Marsh : 

There can be no question but that the several species of larkspur growing native in 
the mountainous districts of Colorado are a greater source of loss to the stockmen than all 
other weeds combined. While the larkspur is confined to the mountainous regions, it 
nevertheless holds true that in the aggregate mortality throughout the state from poisonous 
plants larkspur takes second place only to loco. We have no statistics at hand whereby 
we can estimate, with any degree of accuracy, the total loss, but judging from the reports 
of other western states and from information received from most every section of the 
state, it would seem that $40,000 annually is a conservative estimate. There are four 
species of larkspur found growing abundantly in the middle and western portion of this 
state, and one found growing sparingly in the eastern plains section. Other species have 
been found in isolated places, but have not been especially accused of doing any harm, 
and their toxicity has not been proved. The four species found in the greatest abundance 
and named in the order of their importance, are purple larkspur, Delphinium Nelsonii. 
Greene; tall larkspur, Delphinium elongatum, Rydb.; D. Geyeri, Greene, and D. Barbeyi, 
Huth. These all have the same characteristic flowers, and are found growing in the moun- 
tains at altitudes from 5,000 to 11,000 feet. The D. Penardi, Huth, has a white flower 
and may be seen growing adjacent to streams and in the arroyas on the plains as far east 
as the state line. 

The Delphinium elongatum and D. Nelsonii are the only ones which contain 
a sufficient quantity of deleterious substance to produce poisoning. From all 
accounts it seems probable that the plants are most poisonous in the spring 
when they are fresh. When the poison has been absorbed into the system atropin 
is an antidote. 

8. Actaea L. Baneberry 

Perennial herbs with 2 or 3 ternately-compound leaves ; sepals 4-5, petal-like, 
soon falling; petals 4-10, small, flat, spatulate, on slender claws; stamens numer- 
ous, free, with slender white filament; ovary solitary; stigma sessile; fruit a 
berry; seeds compressed, smooth, horizontal. 

Actaea rubra (Ait.) Willd. Red Baneberry 

A smooth perennial 1-3 feet high with biternately divided leaves, on long, 
smooth petioles, leaflets ovate, sharply cut, and toothed. Calyx with 4 greenish 
sepals; corolla 8-10 petals, white, shorter than the stamens; stamens numerous; 
berries cherry red. 

Distribution. Eastern North America to Hudson Bay, and the Rocky 

Poisonous properties. Prof. Chesnut states that sheep are occasionally poi- 
soned by eating the leaves of the closely related European species. These plants 
are seldom, however, eaten. In its medical action Actaea is similar to Cimici- 
fuga. It contains a resinous body which is neither acrid nor bitter, but accord- 



ing to Fred Stearns, the rhizome has purgative properties. This, according to 
Mr. Lloyd, may be somewhat overdrawn. Prof. Sayre states that it is a violent 
purgative, irritant and emetic. The berries are known to be somewhat poisonous. 

9. Hydrastis Ellis. Yellow Puccoon 

A low perennial herb with knotted yellow rootstock, and a single root; 
stem bearing 2 leaves near the summit; flowers large, greenish-white; 3 sepals, 
petal-like, soon falling; petals none; pistils 12 or more; 2-ovuled; fruit 1 to 2- 
seeded berry, crimson in color. A genus of 2 species 

Hydrastis canadensis L. Golden Seal. Yellow Puccoon 

Rootstock 1 and 2 inches long, knotted ; berries numerous, small ; fibrous 
root, roots and rootstocks yellow in color; leaves pubescent, palmately 3-5-lobed; 
calyx petal-like. 

Distribution. From New York to Southern Michigan, Southern Wisconsin 
and Eastern Iowa to Arkansas to Northern Georgia. 

Poisonous properties, also medicinal properties. The plant contains the 
alkaloid berberin C,qH^^NO^, and hydrastin C^^^H^^NOg, a so-called alkaloid, 
but which, according to Mr. Lloyd, cannot be considered in the pure condition; 
also canadin C^„H,,NO, and xanthopiiccin; it also contains a fixed oil of a 

20 21 4 * ' 

disagreeable odor and taste, and a black resinous substance. It produces ulcera- 
tion and catarrhal inflammation of the mucous surfaces. The plant acts very 
similarly to Cimicifuga. The Lloyds have given an extended account of the 
anatomy, structure and therapeutical properties of this plant. The alkaloid 
berberin C^^Hj^NO^ is identical with the substance found in the barberry, ac- 
cording to Prof. Power. 

Fig. 239. Golden Seal (//ydras/is 
cauadetisis). The rootstocks of this 
plant as well as the stem and leaves 
contain more or less acrid substances. 
(Charlotte M. King). 



Berberidacead. Barberry Family- 
Shrubs or herbs, with alternate leaves ; stipulate or exstipulate flowers either 
solitary or in racemes, perfect; stamens as many as petals and opposite them, 
hypogynous ; fruit a berry or capsule. A small family of about 20 genera and 
105 species, widely distributed in the North Temperate region, also in Temperate 
South America and Asia. Some of our North American species are weedy, 
others woody and several are more or less poisonous. A few like the common 

Fig. 240a. Single flower, s, stamen; a, 
anther; p, pistil; n, nectar gland. 

Fig. 240. Common Bar- 
berry iBerberis vulgaris). 
The spines often inflict 
mechanical injuries while 
the leaves and wood are 
more or less poisonous. 
(Ada Hayden). 

barberry {Berberis vulgaris), blue cohosh or pappoose root (Caulophyllum 
thalictroides) , the twinleaf ( Jejfersonia diphylla), and mandrake {Podophyl- 
lum peltatum) are used in medicine. The root of Berberis aristata and B. vulgar- 
is sometimes used as a fish poison. Probably some other members of this order 
are poisonous. The blue cohosh {Caulophyllum) contains saponin. This plant is 
said to be extremely bitter to the taste, but is not, however, common. 

Key for genera 

Herbs with simple large leaves 1. Podophyllum. 

Shrubs with unif oliate leaves 2. Berberis 

1. Podophyllum h. Mandrake; May-apple 

Perennial herbs with simple, smooth, erect, stem ; creeping rootstocks and 
thick fibrous roots ; stems bearing 2 leaves with large flowers ; flower buds 
with 3 green bractlets, 6 fugacious sepals; petals 6-9; stamens twice as many 



as the petals; pistil 1; stigma large, flat, sessile; fruit a large fleshy berry, 
1-celled and many-seeded, each seed enclosed in a pulpy aril. 

4 species, one in eastern North America and the others in India and Eastern 
Asia. The P. emodi of Asia contains the same principles as the American species 
and is poisonous. 

Podophyllum peltatum L. Mandrake 

Perennial herb, with creeping rootstocks and thick fibrous roots; flowering 
stems with 2-leaves, 1 -flowered, the flower bud with 3 small green bractlets, 
which fall away early; calyx of 6 unequal sepals, corolla white, of 6-9 petals, 
about twice the length of the sepals; stamens 12-18, twice the number of petals, 
inserted below the pistils, with short stamens; anther cells opening longitudin- 
ally;, creeping rootstock, from 1-5 feet long, fibrous rooted. 

Poisonous properties. Its medicinal virtues were well known to the Indians 
of North America, and an early writer, Catesby, remarked that the root was an 
excellent emetic. It has a bitter, acrid taste, similar to that of roots of other 
plants of the family. Its active properties seem to reside in the resinous sub- 
stance. Prof. Power failed to find an alkaloid. The name podophyllin has been 
given to the product found in the resinous substance contained in other members 
of the family. This in turn contains podophyllotoxin Cj^Hj^02-|-2H20, and 
picropodophyllin Cj^HgOj-j-H^O, producing a very bitter taste; and intensi- 
fying the action of podophyllin. Berberin C^qH^^NO^, which is feebly toxic to 
man, and saponin have also been found. Cases of poisoning have occasionally 

Fig. 241. Mandrake (Podophyllum 
powerfully purgative. (Ada Ilayden). 



been reported. It produces fatal prostration. It seems to exert a special in- 
fluence upon the liver. Dr. Rusby says : 

Its taste, especially when fresh, is very repugnant, and yet if eaten in quantities it 
would unquestionably prove fatal, as shown by the effects of over-dosage in medicine. In 
the Philadelphia Medical and Surgical Reporter, XIX, 308, a fatal case is recorded in 
which the evidence is perfectly clear that poisoning resulted from continued large doses ad- 
ministered by an ignorant and careless physician. The poisonous symptoms were all re- 
ferable to the bowels, those of enteritis. It is also very interesting to note the peculiar 
erfects of poisoning of the external skin by the powder and by the resin of this drug. It 
produces an ulcer of a very peculiar character, closely resembling one of venereal origin. 
Serious errors of diagnosis, leading to the gravest injustice to the reputation of the 
patient, have been known to occur in reference to these cases. A very serious ulcer upon 
the eye-ball is among these recorded cases. The very greatly elongated rhizome of Podo- 
phyllum, with its very long sm.ooth internodes, broadened nodes with their very large, low, 
cup-shaped ears, and sparse roots underneath, is doubtless well kno\/n to all pharmacists. 
The plant is not only very common, but extremely abundant east of the Mississippi, and is 
liable to be encountered almost anywhere." 

In regard to its action on man, Dr. Millspaugh says : 

Here the same action takes place, but extends to the rectum with sufficient intensity 
to cause prolapsus and hemorrhoids. The first effect of the drug is an excitation of 
salivary and biliary secretions, followed by torpor and icterus. The symptoms of dis- 
turbance caused by the drug in doses varying from J4 to ^ grains of "podophyllin," and 
in persons working in the dust of the dried root, are substantially as follows: Inflamma- 
tion of the eyes, soreness and pustulation of the nose; salivation and white-coated tongue; 
extreme nausea, followed by vomiting severe pains in the transverse colon and abdomen, 
followed by an urgent call to stool; thin, offensive, copious stools; weak pulse, prostra- 
tion, drowsiness, and cold extremities. 

Among other experiments with this drug upon animals, those of Dr. Anstie seem to be 
the most characteristic. He found, resulting from his many applications of an alcoholic 
solution to the peritoneal cavity direct, that no local inflammation arose, although an in- 
tense hyperaemia occurred in the duodenum especially, and the whole of the small intestine, 
even going so far as to cause a breaking down of the tissues and resulting ulceration, 
causing discharges of glairy mucus streaked with blood; this hyperaemia ceased usually 
at the ileocaecal valve. Post mortem: The mucous-membranes were found inflamed and 
covered with bloody mucus. Other observers noted that retching, salivation, and emesis, 
followed by purging, colic, and intense tenesmus, with low pulse, and rapid exhaustion 
followed the administration of the drug. 

Dr. Schaffner says : 

Roots, stems, and leaves, drastic and poisonous, but the ripe fruit less so. I^eaves, 
when eaten by cows, produce injurious milk. The ripe fruit may be eaten in small quan- 

The root of Mandrake affects the skin. Mr. Lloyd, in White's work, writes : 

Our employes experience great trouble in working this, owing to the irritating action 
of the skin. We have in numerous instances had our men cease work for several days owing 
to its action, which causes very painful inflammation of the skin, especially of the eyes. 

Dr. Winslow says : 

The action is exerted mainly on the duodenum, which is intensely inflamed and even 
ulcerated in poisoning. Podophyllin directly increases the secretion of bile in small doses, 
while purgative quantities hasten its excretion by stimulation of the muscular coat of the 
gall bladder (except in the horse) and small intestines. It is probable that the intestinal 
secretions are somewhat augmented. The faecal movements, after medicinal doses of 
podophyllin, are liquid, often stained with bile, and may be accompanied by some nausea 
and griping. 

Berberis L. Barberry. . 

Shrubs with yellow wood, simple or compound leaves, often spiny; flowers, 
yellow in racemes, or rarely axillary ; sepals 6-9, like petals ; petals 6, imbricated 
in 2 series; stamens 6; fruit a berry with 1-3 seeds. About 75 species of wide 



Berberis repens Lindl. Trailing Mahonia. 

A smooth, trailing shrub, 1-4 ft. high, leaves petioled, pinnate; leaflets 3-7, 
ovate, acute ; flowers several in a raceme, yellow ; persistent bracts ; fruit globose, 
bluish purple. 

Distribution. From Western Nebraska to Arizona, and British Columbia, 
Northwest Pacific Coast from Washington to California. 

Berberis AquifoUum Pursh. Oregon Grape 

A low shrub 2-10 feet high, leaflets 5-9 oblong ovate, spinulose dentate above ; 
-flowers yellow in racemes and terminal clusters ; fruit globose, dark in color. 

Distribution. Idaho to the Rocky Mountains. 

Poisonous properties. Both Berberis repens and B. AquifoUum contain the 
alkaloids berberin, oxyacanthin C^gH^^NOg, and berbamin CjgHjgNO+2H20. 

Prof. Schaffner reports that the berries of the trailing Mahonia are in- 
jurious to birds. When eaten fresh they are emetic and cathartic. 

Fig. 242. Oregon Grape {Berberis AquifoUum'). 
Berries are said to be poisonous to birds. (Ada 

Meni SPERM ACEAE. Moonseed Family 

Woody plants with alternate lobed or entire leaves, climbing without stipules; 
flowers small, dioecious, in panicled racemes or cymose clusters; sepals 4-12; 
petals 6; fewer, or more; stamens of the same number or fewer; fruit a 1- 
seedcd drupe; embryo long, curved endosperm scanty. About 300 species mainly 
in the tropics. 

Aloonsccd (Menispermum canadcvse) is a beautiful native climber of the 
North with black drupes and contains menispin. The Carolina moonseed (Coc- 
cttlus carolinus) is common in the South. Fish poison made from Anamirta 



paniculata is used for destroying vermin and to poison fish. The wood of this 
species is very bitter to the taste and contains an alkaloid menispermm 
C H NO. and a toxic substance picrotoxin which is said to be a mixture 

of two bodies picrotoxin 


and picrotin C H O.. The Columba 

Root {Jateorrhisa Columba) is used as a medicine and contains several alka- 
loids, among them, berberin and columbamin. The false Columba Root {Cas- 
cinuin fcnestratum) produces a yellow dye. The alkaloid pelosin is obtained 
from Chondrodendrum tomentosum. 

Fig. 244. Laurel Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana). 
A well known flowering shrub or small tree of the 
Southern states, well known as an ornamental plant. 
Fig. 243. Moon-seed {Menispermum 

canadense). The fruit is blue, much the 

color of Concord grapes. Plants like the 

fish poisons belonging to the same order are 

known to be poisonous. This plant has been 

suspected of being poisonous. (Charlotte M. 


Magnoliaceae. Magnolia Family 

Trees or shrubs, leaves alternate ; leaf buds covered by membranous stipules ; 
flowers large solitary; sepals and petals hypogynous, colored alike; stamens 
numerous, adnate anthers, carpels numerous, separate, or coherent, packed to- 
gether, ripening into an aggregate fruit; seeds 1-2 in each carpel, achenes or 
follicles, endosperm fleshy; embryo minute. About 70 species of North America 
and Asia. The bark of several species used in medicine. 

The family Magnoliaceae contains the well known magnolias planted for 
ornamental purposes. Among these are the great flowered magnolia {Magnolia 



grandiflora) which has evergreen leaves and fragrant flowers and is exten- 
sively planted in the South; the sweet bay (M. virginiana) a. shrub or small 
tree with fragrant flowers ; the cucumber tree (M. acuminata) ; the umbrella 
tree (M. tripctala) ; the Yulan tree (M. Yulan) of China and Japan; the 
purple magnolia {M. obovata) ; the tulip tree {Liriodendron Tulipifcra) fre- 
quently planted as an ornamental tree and producing the most valuable tnnber 
of the family; the star anise {Illicium floridanum) of the south has aromatic 
bark and pods. The fruit of /. anisatum of Japan, found growing around 
Buddist temples, furnishes the poisonous sikimin; from the same species in 
China is made the liquor anisette; Anise is furnished by /. anisatum. 

Fig. 243. Great-flowered Magnolia {Magnolia grandiflora). An ornamental tree of 
the southern United States. (After Faguet). The odor of the flowers said to be injurious 
to some people. 

Poisonous properties. The crystalline substance magnolin, a glucoside, and 
a volatile oil occur in the large leaved Magnolia (M. macrophylla) of the south. 
The tulip tree contains the bitter principle liriodcndrin, also an alkaloid, and a 
glucoside. The Talauma macrocarpa of Mexico contains a haemolytic substance 
capable of dissolving the red corpuscles of the blood. The flowers of Michelia 
nilagirica are used in perfume. The winter's bark (Drimys JVinferi) is used 
in medicine. 

Illicium anisatum of Japan is said to contain a poison belonging to the 
picrotoxin class, says Blyth. In 1880 five children in Japan were poisoned by 
eating the seeds of this plant; three died. After considerable experimentation 


Dr. Langaard concluded that all parts of the plant were poisonous. The poison 
causes excitation of the central apparatus of the medulla oblongata and clonic 
convulsions analogous to those produced by picrotoxin, toxiresin and cicutoxin. 
Small doses kill by paralyzing the respiratory center. Large doses cause heart 
paralysis. When animals are poisoned by small doses chloral hydrate is an effi- 
cient remedy but has no effect when large doses have been taken. 


Shrubs with entire short petioled opposite leaves, without stipules; flowers 
fragrant, large, solitary, on leafy branches, sepals and petals numerous ; stamens 
numerous, the inner short, sterile ; pistils numerous ; fruit of an ovoid pyriform 
receptacle, enclosing few to many smooth solitary achenes ; seed erect. About 5 
species of North America and Asia. Several species are cultivated for orna- 
mental purposes. 

Calycanthus L. Carolina Allspice. 

Flowers purple or red; sepals and petals numerous, stamens numerous, 
pistils numerous. A small genus of 4 species, 3 in Eastern North America, 
and 1 on the Pacific Coast. 

Calycanthus floridus L. Strawberry Bush 

A branching shrub 3-9 feet high; branches pubescent; leaves oval, soft, 
downy underneath, roughish above; flowers dark purple, with the odor of straw- 
berries ; sepals and petals linear-oblong. 

Fig. 246. Strawberry Bush {Calycanthus floridus). 
Commonly used as an ornamental shrub and is known 
to be somewhat poisonous. (Charlotte M. King). 



Distribution. In rich soil, North Carolina to Georgia, Alabama and Missis- 
sippi, cultivated in Missouri, north to Central Iowa. 

Poisonous properties. This plant contains several alkaloids among them 
calycanthin. Chesnut says : 

The large oily seeds of the calycanthus, or sweet-scented shrub are strongly reputed to 
be poisonous to cattle in Tennessee. 

Anonaceae. Papaw or Custard Apple Family 

Trees or shrubs, generally aromatic; leaves entire, alternate, stipules absent; 
flowers with calyx of 3 sepals and a corolla of 6 petals in 2 rows; hypogj'nous; 
anthers adnate, filaments very short ; pistils many, separate, or cohering in a 
mass, fleshy or pulpy in fruit ; seeds large with a hard seed-coat, small embryo 
and copious endosperm. About 550 species, many in the tropics. 

Asitnina Adans. North American Papaw 

Shrubs or small trees with solitary flowers from the axils of the leaves 
of the preceding year ; sepals ovate, petals 6, imbricated in the bud ; pistils few, 
ripening into 1 ; large and oblong, pulpy, several seeded fruits ; seeds horizontal, 
flat. A small genus of about 7 species, natives of eastern North America and of 

A. triloba Dunal. American Papaw 

Shrubs or small trees with thin, obovate-lanceolate leaves, petals dull purple. 
Distribution. Along streams from Ontario and New York to McGregor, 
Iowa, Nebraska and Texas. 

rig. 247. Common Papaw {Asiwina triloba). 
lotte M. King). 

Common in woods of the South. (Char- 



Poisonous properties. While the papaw is edible, there are some cases of 
poisoning on record. Care should therefore be exercised in its use. The leaves 
contain alkaloids. The papaw (Polyalthia argentea) contains asimin, a taste- 
less amorphous alkaloid. 


Aromatic trees and shrubs with alternate or rarely opposite leaves without 
stipules; flowers small, fragrant, polygamous, dioecious or monoecious; calyx 
4-6 parted ; corolla absent ; stamens in 3 or 4 series on the calyx, some imperfect ; 
fruit a 1-seeded berry or drupe; endosperm none. About 1000 species, mostly 

The spice-bush {Benzoin aestivale) produces fragrant flowers and aromatic 
leaves. Camphor C,„H,„0 is obtained from Cinnamon Camphora which comes 
from the islands of Formosa and Japan ; cinnamon, a well known spice, comes 
from C. zcylamcum, which is extensively cultivated in Ceylon ; cassia is from C. 
Cassia. Cassia and cinnamon were well known to the ancient especially to the 

Fig. 248. Cinnamon Tree (Cinnamomitm zeylanicum) . Flow- 
ering and fruiting branch. The cinnamon of commerce is the 
bark of this tree. (After Faguet). 



Israelites who used them as incense on their altars. The oils derived from 
these plants are excellent antiseptics. 

Cinnamomum contains a volatile oil camphorin which is found in the roots 
and leaves ; eugenol occurs in the leaves, stems and bark. Clove bark is derived 
from a small Brazilian tree (Dicypellium caryophyllatum) belonging to this 
family. The alligator pear or avocado (Pcrsea gratissima), a native of the 
West Indies and tropical America, is much esteemed as a dessert fruit and in 
making salads. Rolfs has written of its successful culture in Florida. It is 
said that the oil is used extensively in America in soap manufacture. Leaves 
of laurel (Lanrus canariensis) , native to Canary and Medeira Islands, and bay 
(L. nobilis) of southern Europe are used in culinary processes. Xectandra 
Rodioei contains berberin, which is identical with the pelosin C^gH^^ NO3 of 
Cissavipelos Pancina. The Indian laurel contains laiirotctanin Cj^H^gNO^. 
The California laurel (Umbelhilaria calif ornica) is a strong local anaesthetic 
said to be irritant and acrid. The leaves, according to the Indians, will drive 
flies away. 

Sassafras Nees 

Trees with spicy aromatic bark; small mucilaginous twigs and foliage; 
flowers greenish yellow, naked in racemes; calyx 6-parted spreading, sterile, 
with 9 stamens, 3 inner with pair of glands ; fertile flowers with rudiments of 
stamens; ovoid blue drupes. 

Fig. 249. Sassafras (Sassafras varii folium). A well 
known tree of the south which furnishes the sassafras 
oil and bark of commerce. (.W. S. Dudgeon). 


Sassafras variifolinvi (Salisb.) Ktze. Sassafras 

Leaves oval and entire, mucilaginous, or 2-6 lobed to about the middle and 
often as wide as long, membranous, pinnately veined, petioled; stamens about 
equaling the calyx-segments; fruiting pedicles red, much thickened below the 

Distribution. From E. Mass. to S. E. Iowa, Kansas and southward. 

Poisonous properties. It is said to be poisonous; its bark however is used 
medicinally as a tonic and its wood is valuable. 


Mostly herbs with regular and perfect flowers ; sepals and petals usually 
present ; polypetalous ; stamens free ; ovary superior, free from the calyx, com- 
pound, composed of 2 or more united carpels. It contains the families Reseda- 
ceae,, Cruciferae and Papaveraceae. The mignonette {Reseda odorata) is a well 
known, cultivated, fragrant plant of the family Resedaceae, which also includes 
the dyers weed {R. luteola), the latter contains the substance luteolin. 

Families of the Order Rhoeadales 

Sepals generally 2 ; endosperm fleshy Papaveraceae. 

Sepals or divisions 4-8; endosperm none. 

Capsule 2-celled ; sepals and petals 4, flowers regular, stamens, usually 

tetradynamous Cruciferae. 

Capsule 1-celled; sepals and petals 4, flowers regular or irregular 


Papaveraceae. Poppy Family 

Annual or perennial herbs, with milky or colored juice; leaves alternate, 
stipules none ; perfect, regular, or irregular flowers ; sepals 2, occasionally 3, 
falling when the flower expands; petals 4-12, spreading, soon falling; stamens 
inserted under the pistils, distinct; pistil 1, many ovuled, chiefly 1-celled; fruit 
a capsule containing numerous oily seeds. Genera 24-26, species about 200. 
Widely distributed chiefly in north temperate zone. 

Comparatively few of the plants of this family are weedy and quite a num- 
ber are medicinal and poisonous. The common poppy (Papaver somniferum) 
is used in medicine. It is found as an escape near buildings, especially in sections 
where Germans have settled, undoubtedly due to the fact that they cultivate it 
for its beauty as an ornamental plant, and use the seeds in culinary operations. 
The poppy is largely cultivated in China, Smyrna, Joppa, and several countries 
of Europe and India, for the opium. Opium yields a large number of alkaloids. 
The more important of these are inorphin, and codein. A perfectly harmless 
oil equal to olive oil is obtained from the seed. The seed is also fed to birds. 
The red poppy (Papaver Rhoeas) is sometimes cultivated. A syrup is made 
from the petals, and also a coloring matter used in red ink. The California 
poppy {Eschscholtzia californica) is a valuable soporific, and analgesic "free 
from the disadvantages of opium." The Indians, according to Chesnut, use it 
to stupify fish. Celandine (Chelidonium ma jus) native to Europe, has been 
naturalized in places in the East and is occasionally somewhat weedy. The 
juice of this plant is yellow, while that of the common cultivated poppy is 
white, and that of the blood root {Sangiiinaria canadensis) is reddish. The 



Fig. 250. California Poppy (Esch- 
scholtsia calif ornica). a, flower; b, fruit 
before, and, <-, after dehiscence. The juice 
of this plant is a valuable soporific. (After 
Strasburger, Noll, Schenck and Schimper). 

rhizome of the blood root is used in medicine and contains an alkaloid sangnin- 
arin and a dye. The corydalin is found in a species of the genus Diccntra 
The bleeding heart {Dicentra spectabilis), native to China, and the climbing 
fumitory (Adlumia cirrlwsa) are frequently cultivated for ornamental purposes. 
According to Blyth, the root of the tuberous-rooted corydalis (Corydalis 
ttiberosa) contains eight alkaloides ; of which corydalin CjgH^.NO^ is the most 
important, since, when taken in large doses it may cause epileptiform convul- 
sions, death taking place from respiratory paralysis. The C. lutca contains 
corydalin. Schlotterbeck and Watkins found 5 alkaloids in the American 
celandine {Stylophorum diphyllum) among them cheiidonin C2QHjgN0,,+H,0. 
The alkaloids stylopin Cj^^H^^NOj., protopin C^^H^gNO.., and sanguinarin, 
have been in part found in other plants in the family. 

Genera of Papaveraccae 

Petals 8-12; pod 1-celled 2-valvcd. 

Petals white ; rootstock short red 3 Sanguinaria. 

Petals 4; pod 2-valved or more. 

Flowers yellow 4 Chelidonium. 

Pod 4-20 valved. 

Ovary incompletely many ceiled 1 Papaver. ^ 

Stigmas and placentas 4-6 2 Argemone. 

1. Papaver. Poppy 

Plant with milky juice, leaves lobed or dissected, alternate, flowers and 
buds nodding; sepals 2 or occasionally 3; petals 4-6; stamens numerous, ovules 
numerous ; stigmas united into a persistent disk ; capsule globose, obovoid or ob- 
long; seeds small, with minute depressions. About 25 species, natives mostly of 



the Old World. P. nudicaule is found in high mountains in the Rockies and in 
the Alpine regions of Europe and Asia. 

Papaver somniferum L. Garden Poppy 

An erect glaucous herb; leaves clasping, large, oblong, wavy, lobed or 
toothed; flowers broad, bluish-white with purple centre; filaments somewhat 
dilated, -capsules smooth. 

Distribution. Native to Asia, but widely naturalized in Europe, and ex- 
tensively cultivated in China, India, and Smyrna. Occasionally found spon- 
taneous around gardens in North America. 

Poisonous and medical properties. From the milky exudation that comes 
from making an incision in the unripe capsule, opium is obtained which yields 
not less than 5 per cent of crystallized morphin and occasionally as high as 22 
per cent in Turkey opium, the usual yield being between these two extremes. The 
chief markets for opium are Turkey, Asia Minor, India, and Egypt, that of 
Smyrna being considered to be the best although good opium has been grown 
in the United States. This opium has a sharp, narcotic odor, and a bitter taste. 
Opium has been a fruitful source of a large number of alkaloids. Fliickiger 
and Hanbury enumerate the following: "Hydrocotarnin, morphin, pseudomor- 
phin (C^„H^gN0J2+H.,0, codein, thebain C^gH^^NOg; protopin-, laudanin 
C^qHjjNO^; codamin, papaverin C^gH^^NG^; rhoeadin, meconidin, cryptopin, 
laudanosin, narcotin C^„H^,NO„; laiithopin, narcein Cg^H^^NOj^-j-SH^O ; 
gnoscopin." The most important of these are morphin C^^H^gNOg-fH^O. 
a colorless or white and shining, odorless substance with a bitter taste; and 
codein C^ H2j^NO +H.,0, a nearly transparent odorless substance with a faint- 

Fig. 252. Garden Poppy {Papaver sominferum). Flower and 
capsule. Opium is made from the milky juice exuding from the 
unripe capsule. (Faueg). 


ly bitter taste which occurs in amounts varying from 0.5-2 percent. Narcotin 
is found in quanties varying from 0.75-9 percent. 

It may be of interest in this connection to state that the German chemists 
Wolfgang, Weichardt, and Stadlinger found toxins in opium. These writers 
expressed the opinion that the complex physiological action is due to these 

In regard to the properties of opium, Fliickiger and Hanbury speak as 
follows : 

Opium possesses sedative powers which are universally known. In the words ot 
Pereira, "it is the most important and valuable medicine of the whole Materia Medica;" and 
we may add, the source, by its judicious employment, of more happiness and, by its abuse, 
of more misery than any other drug employed by mankind. 

There are occasionally cases of poisoning from the poppy plant. Certainly cases from 
overdoses of opium are frequently recorded in the annals of medical jurisprudence. 

Opium may be absorbed to a slight extent by the unbroken skin, according to Winslow, 
and causes a mild, anodyne action. Opium diminishes the two principal activities of the 
digestive organs, namely, secretion and motion. The action upon the alimentary tract in 
lessening secretion, is partly a local one and partly constitutional, following the absorption 
of the drug. The mouth is made dry, thirst is increased and appetite impaired. Opium 
is absorbed rather slowly from the stomach and bowels, and stimulates the splanchnic nerve 
centre of the sympathetic system, which inhibits the movements of the stomach and in- 
testines, and thus lessens peristaltic action of these organs. Opium is directly opposed 
to belladonna in this respect, as the latter drug paralyzes the intestinal inhibitory apparatus 
(splanchnic endings), and so increases peristalsis. 

The most important action of opium is upon the nervous system, and its influence is 
more powerful upon man than upon lower animals. At first, opium exerts a stimulating 
influence upon the spinal cord. Ruminants are comparatively insusceptible to opium. Dr. 
Winslow says: "Ounce doses of the drug cause, in cattle, restlessness, excitement, hoarse 
bellowing, dry mouth, nausea, indigestion and tympanites. Sheep are affected in much the 
same manner. One or two drachms of morphine have led to fatality in cattle. Fifteen to 
thirty grains of the alkaloid comprise a lethal dose for sheep. Swine are variously in- 
fluenced, sometimes excited, sometimes dull and drowsy. 

According to the same authority, its action on horses causes drowsiness, 
sometimes, and at other times produces no visible effect, 

Four to six grains, given in the same way, cause restlessness, a rapid pulse, and moist- 
ure of the skin. The animal paws the ground and walks in a rhythmical manner about 
the stall. The pupils are dilated. Large doses (12 grains) are followed by increased ex- 
citement, sweating, muscular rigidity and trembling; while still larger doses (four drachms 
of the extract of opium) cause violent trembling, convulsions, insensibility to pain and 
external irritation, without coma; or (morphine, gr. 36 under the skin) stupor for several 
hours (3 hours), dilated pupils and blindness, followed by delirium and restlessness, con- 
tinuing for a longer time (7 hours) and ending in recovery. Horses have recovered from 
an ounce of opium, but 2^2 ounces of the drug, and 100 grains of morphine have proved 

Dr. Winslow is here quoted upon the toxicology of opium: 

The symptoms of poisoning have already been sufficiently described in previous sec- 
tions. The treatment embraces irrigation of the stomach, or the use of emetics, as apo- 
morphine hydrochlorate under the skin, and the subcutaneous injection of strychnine and 
atropine sulphate in the first stages, and enemata of hot, strong, black coffee; leading the 
animal about slapping him, or using the faradic current. Dr. Moor, of New York, has 
apparently found in potassium permanganate the most efficient antidote for opium and 
morphine. Ten to fifteen grains, dissolved in eight ounces of water, should be given by 
the mouth, to large dogs. One to two drachms of potassium permanganate may be ad- 
ministered to horses in two or three pints of water. Permanganate solution oxidizes and 
destroys morphine, and should be acidulated with a little vinegar or diluted sulphuric acid, 
after the ingestion of morphine salts. The antidote has been recommended to be given 
subcutaneously after absorption, or hypodermic injection of morphine, but this is not of 
the slightest use. Hypodermic injo-.tions have not infrequently caused poisoning. 


Papaver Rhoeas L. Corn Poppy 

An erect annual with hispid spreading hairs ; lower leaves petioled, the upper, 
smaller, sessile, pinnatifid, lobes lanceolate, acute, and serrate; flowers scarlet 
with darker center; filaments dilated; capsule smooth with 10 or more stig- 
matic rays. 

Distribution. In waste places along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. It 
is frequently cultivated. 

Poisonous properties. Poisonous like other species of this genus. 

Freidberger and Frohner give the symptoms of poisoning from this plant 
as colic, constipation, tympanites in cattle, raging fit of fury in horses. 

In India this species is a troublesome weed but the seeds are collected 
and a yellow acrid oil obtained therefrom which is used both in medicine and 
as an illuminant.* 

2. Argemone L. Prickly Poppy 

Herbs with yellow juice; spiny toothed leaves and stems; flowers large; 
sepals 2-3; petals 4-6; stamens numerous; styles short; stigma 3-6-radiate; 
capsule prickly, oblong, opening by 3-6 valves ; seeds small, numerous. 

A small genus of about 8 species of the southern states, Mexico and West- 
ern North America. 

Argemone mexicana L. Mexican or Prickly Poppy 

A glaucus annual from 1-3 feet high, with spines or without; leaves sessile, 
clasping by narrow base, glaucus, runcinate-pinnatifid, spiny-toothed; flowers 
large, whitish or generally yellowish; calyx with 2 sepals, bristly pointed; 
stamens numerous ; stigma sessile, seeds numerous, reticulated. 

Distribution. Introduced along the Atlantic coast as far north as the mid- 
dle states. Native from Florida to Texas. A most common and troublesome 
weed in Texas. It yields however a valuable painter's oil. 

Argemone intermedia Sweet. Prickly Poppy 

A spiny, leafy, plant from 2-2y2 feet high;setose, hispid; flowers large 
white, sepals green, hispid; petals obovate; capsule armed with stout spines; 
horns with a terminal spine ; seeds numerous, black sunken meshes. 

Distribution. From Central Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, to the Rocky 
Mountains and Texas. Common in dry soil. 

Poisonous properties. The small prickles cause somewhat painful injuries 
when they penetrate the skin. According to Schlotterbeck the A. Mexicana 
contains ftiniarin C^pH^gNO. and berberin. In Mexico used in the same way 
as the poppy. 

Sanguinaria L. Bloodroot 

Perennial with a horizontal, thick rootstock; juice red; leaves basal, pal- 
mately veined and lobed, heart-shaped or reniform; flowers white; sepals 2, 
soon falling; petals 8-12, arranged in several rows; stamens numerous; 
placentae 2; capsule oblong, dehiscent to the base; seeds smooth, crested. 
A single species. 

* D. Hooper. Agrl. I,edger 1907:35. 



Sanguinaria canadensis L. Bloodroot 

Calyx ; sepals 2, light green, falling as the bud opens ; petals 8-12 or more, 
yz to 1 inch long, oblong-spatulate, spreading, white or slightly rose-tinted, 
increasing in size for two or three days after the bud opens, and then falling 
away; stamens about 24, in several rows, much shorter than the petals, those 
in the inner rows longest ; anther narrow, opening longitudinally. 

Distribution. In rich woods, N. S. to Manitoba, Neb., Fla. and Ark. 

Poisonous and Medical Properties. Lloyd in White's book on dermatitis, 
writes : 

There are two native drugs that are very irritant to mucous surfaces, so much so 
that the dust is very disagreeable, and we presume that they would have a similar irritating 
action on the skin: Bloodroot, and Caulophylhon thalictroides, blue cohosh or pappoose- 

Bloodroot has a bitter and acrid taste due to the substance sanguinarin. 
In small doses, this substance exerts a tonic influence, promoting gastro-in- 
testinal secretion and thus aiding digestion. On its physiological action. Dr. 
Millspaugh says of sanguinarin C^qH^^NO^ : "This alkaloid is very acrid to the 
taste, and toxic, and causes violent sneezing." Millspaugh gives its physiolo- 
gical action as follows : 

Sanguinaria in toxic doses causes a train of symptoms showing it to be an irritant; it 
causes nausea, vomiting, sensations of burning in the mucous membranes whenever it 
comes in contact with them, faintness, vertigo, and insensibility. It reduces the heart's 
action and muscular strength, and depresses the nerve force, central and peripheral. Death 
has occurred from overdoses, after the following sequence of symptoms: violent vomiting, 
followed by terrible thirst and great burning in the stomach and intestines, accompanied 
by soreness over the region of those organs; heaviness of the upper chest with difficult 
breathing; dilation of the pupils; great muscular prostration; faintness and coldness of 
the surface, showing that death follows from cardiac paralysis. 

Rusby says : 

The effects of Sanguinaria canadensis L.. ■ or blood root are distinctly poisonous and 
Johnson definitely records that fatal results follow overdoses. Yet the rhizome is not at 

Fig. 253. Blood root (5a>t- 
guinaria canadensis). The col- 
ored latex contains poisonous 


all liable to be eaten, on acount of its peculiar blood red color, which is forbiddingly sus- 
picious, and more especially because of an exceedingly acrid taste which would render the 
chewing and swallowing of a poisonous quantity an act of heroism. It is exceedingly com- 
mon throughout the northeastern United States, and in a number of localities within a 
few miles of this city. Tht root also contains chelerythrin, homochelidonin and protopin. 

4. CJielidoniiim L 

Erect branching herbs, with ahernate deeply pinnatifid leaves ; yellow 
juice and flowers ; 2 sepals ; 4 petals ; stamens numerous ; distinct styles ; 
capsule linear, dehiscent to the base; seeds smooth, shining, and crested. 

Distribution. A genus of one species, native to Europe, but widely natural- 
ized in North America. 

Chelidoninin majus L. Celandine 

Flowers consisting of 2 sepals which are ovate, yellowish, soon falling; 
corolla 4 petals, contracted at the base; stamens numerous, shorter than the 

Poisonous and Medical properties. The alkaloid chelerythrin C2jH^^NO^ 
is identical with the sangiiinarin of the last plant. Chelidonin, C^gH^gNOg 
HgO, an alkaloid existing particularly in the root, is colorless and bitter. 
Homochelidonin, consisting of three basic substances is found in Bocconia, San- 
giiinaria, Adlumia etc. This plant produces congestion of the lungs and liver; 
it is also an excessive irritant, and has a narcotic action upon the nervous system, 
in its action resembling gamboge. On this point Dr. White says : 

Mr. Cheney informs me that he has known the plant to poison the skin, if handled so 
as to crush the leaves or stem. To indicate this extent to which it is used in medicine, 
it may be stated that a collector in North Carolina offers fifteen hundred pounds of the 
leaves for sale. 

Cruciferae. Mustard Family. 

Herbs or rarely woody plants with acrid, watery juice; alternate leaves 
without stipules; flowers in racemose or corymbose clusters, cruciform of 4 
deciduous sepals and 4 petals, placed opposite each other in pairs, spreading and 
forming a cross; stamens 6, 2 shorter; 1 pistil, consisting of 2 united carpels; 
fruit a pod either much longer than broad (silique), or short (silicle), or in- 

Figi 254. Common Celandine 
CCltelidonititn majus). Poison- 
ous to the skin. (After Fitch). 


dehiscent, separating into joints; seeds without endosperm; seed coat frequently 
mucilaginous; embryo large. About 1500 species of wide distribution. 

The cabbage (Brassica oleracea), native to Europe, has long been culti- 
vated; cauliflower, brocoli, and brussels sprouts also belong to the same species. 
Rape, a well known forage plant, the turnip, the Swedish turnip, and ruta- 
baga (,B. cavipestris) are native to Europe. The Chinese cabbage {B. Pe- 
Tsai) is commonly cultivated in China. Black mustard (5. nigra) and white 
mustard {B. alba) are extensively cultivated for their seeds, which when ground 
make the commercial mustard. The radish (Raphanus sativus), cultivated for 
the root, is native to Europe. Water cress {Radicula nasturtium-aquaticum) is 
much used as a salad plant in colder regions. Horse radish {R. Armoracia) 
the well known condiment is native to Europe. European pepper grass {Lepidi- 
niii sativum) is cultivated as a salad plant, while the seeds of our pepper 
grasses (Lepidium apetalum and L. virginicum) are used as bird food. Sea- 
kale {Cranihe maritima), native to Europe, has also been introduced into this 
country as a vegetable. The Pringlea antiscorhutica of Kuerguelen's Land 
resembles the common cabbage and is used by sailors as a vegetable when they 
touch that country. The Rose of Jericho (Anastaiica hierochuntica) of North 
America and Syria is regarded as sacred by the natives. Many plants of this 
family are cultivated for ornamental purposes; among the most familiar are 
the candytuft (Iberis), stock (Matthiola incana), sweet alyssum {Alyssum mari- 
tiniuni), and wall-flower {Erysimum asperum). Dyer's woad (Isaiis iinctoria) 
of China was formerly cultivated for a dye obtained from the leaves. The 
characteristic odor of plants of this order when crushed or when mustard 
seed is ground in water is due to an enzyme myrosin, discovered by Bussey 
in 1839. This same ferment occurs in the families Cruciferae, Capparidaceae, 
Rescdaceac, Tropacolaccae, Limnanthaceae, Papaveraceae. 

It occurs in special cells known as myrosin cells which give a marked pro- 
tein reaction. The contents are finely granular, free from starch, chlorophyll, 
fatty matter, and aleurone grains. These cells become red with Millon's 
reagent, and when heated become orange red, and a violet red color when treated 
with copper sulphate and caustic potash. The subject is treated fully by Rey- 
nolds Green in his work on "The Soluble Ferments and Fermentation," and in 
Effront and Prescott's "Enzymes and their Applications." 

Some of the European plants of the family like (Erysimum crcpidifolium) 
cause staggering in animals. The Cheiranthus Clieiri contains a glucoside which 
acts on the heart. Rape under some conditions is poisonous. Several corres- 
pondents in Breeders' Gazette (Chicago) have ascribed poisoning where rape 
was frozen, or when the plants were wet with dew. 

Genera of Cruciferae 

Pod terete or turgid or 4-angled. 

Pod obovoid ; flowers yellow 5. Camelina 

Pod linear or oblong. 

Cotyledons accumbent. 

Pod short; flowers yellow or white 3. Radicula 

Cotyledons incumbent. 

Pod angled or terete; flowers yellow or white 1. Sisymbrium 

Cotyledons conduplicate; flowers yellow or white 2. Brassica 



Pod short. 

Pod many or few seeded; obcordate-triangular. 

Pod many seeded, obcordate-triangiilar 4 Capsella 

Pod few seeded, orbicular, obovate or obcordate 7 Thlaspi 

Pod 2-seeded, flat, notched 6 Lepidium 

1. Sisymbriim (Tourn.) L. 

Annual or biennial herbs with usually simple spreading pubescent, hairs 
occasionally forked or stellate; leaves entire, oblanceolate, divided, pinnatifid, 
or runcinate ; flowers in racemes ; calyx open, greenish, of 4 sepals ; corolla 
white, j'ellow or yellowish, or rarely pink, small ; pistils terete, flattish or 4-6- 
sided; small entire stigma; seeds small oblong; cotyledons incumbent. 

A small genus of 60 species. Found in temperate regions of both hemis- 
pheres. Several species are well known troublesome weeds. 

Sisymhrium officinale Scop. Common Hedge Mustard 

A slender erect annual or winter annual, 1^2-2^^ feet high; lower leaves 
divided, nmcinate, pinnatifid, upper entire or hastate at base; flowers small, 
yellow, borne in spike-like racemes ; seeds small, brown ; cotyledons incumbent. 

Fig. 255. Tumbling Mustard {Sisymbrium altissimum). 
Common in Canada and from Minnesota to Washington. 
(Dewey, U. S. Dept. Agrl.) 


Distribution. A very common weed along railroads, door yards, and 
fields from Canada south to Florida and west to Illinois, Wisconsin, Minne- 
sota, Missouri, Dakolas, Nebraska and Kansas, and Pacific North coast. Com- 
mon hedge mustard is a naturalized weed from Europe. It occurs throughout 
Europe, Russia, Germany, Great Britain, France — except Northern Scandinavia. 

Sisymbrium atlssimwn L. Tumbling Mustard 

An erect, much branched annual from 1-4 feet high, lower leaves runci- 
nate pinnatifid, irregular toothed or wavy margined ; upper leaves smaller, thread- 
like; after flowering, leaves drop, leaving the stem and pods; flowers pale 
yellow, rather large ; sepals 4, green ; corolla of pale yellow petals ; pods narrow- 
ly linear, divergent; seeds small, longer than broad, generaly oblong in outline 
with rather blunt ends; radicle usually very prominent and straight, curved 
spirally around the cotyledons. 

Distribution. This weed has spread with considerable rapidity in the 
Northwest. Dr. Robinson states that it was once scarcely more than a bal- 
last weed about the large cities of the Atlantic seaboard, and records its oc- 
currence sparingly in southern Missouri (BushV It is common now, however, 
from the Mississippi Valley northwest to the Pacific Coast. One of the most 
common weeds of Montana, Idaho, Eastern Washington, Oregon, and native to 
British Columbia. Found also along the Atlantic seaboard. 

Poisonous properties. This plant has properties somewhat similar to those 
described for Mustard; therefore may produce deep ulcers which are difficult to 

Brassica (Tourn.) L. Mustard, Turnip, Rape 

Annual or biennial branching herbs, basal leaves pinnatifid, flowers yellow, 
racemose, pods elongated nearly terete or 4 sided; seeds spherical, 1 row 
in each cell ; cotyledons conduplicate. About 85 species of Europe, Asia, and 
North Africa, introduced in North and South America, Australia. The black 
mustard {B. nigra) and charlock (B. arvensis) common in grain fields and 
waste places across the continent. 

Brassica nigra Koch. Black Mustard 

A tall, coarse, much branched annual, 2-5 feet high; hairy or smoothish, 
somewhat bristly, at least on the veins ; leaves variously divided or deeply cut, 
and sharp toothed; — large terminal lobe; the upper leaves small, simple, 
usually linear; flowers yellow, smaller than in charlock; pods smooth, about J^S 
inch long, 4-cornered, tipped with a slender beak; seeds black or reddish brown, 
smaller than in charlock; cotyledons conduplicate. 

Brassica arzeitsis (L.) Ktze. Mustard or English Charlock 

Branching amuial from 1-3 feet high, hispid or glabrate ; lower leaves 
petioled with 1 large terminal lobe, and several small lateral lobes, with the 
divisions unequal ; upper leaves barely toothe<l ; flowers yellow, large and very 
fragrant; pods 1-2 inches long, irregular in outline, appearing somewhat nodose, 
3-7 seeded, or more occasionally; the upper part of pod forms the beak; 
seeds round, brownish black, darker than in B. nigra, and more minutely pitted. 
When moistened, the seeds become mucilaginous. 

Distribution. It is a common and troublesome weed in cultivated ground 
from Mass. to Oregon. The most troublesome weed in grain fields of the 




Fig 256. Charlock {Brassica arvensis). U. S. Dept. Agrl. Fig. 2S6a. 
Mustard {Brassica nigra). U. S. Dept. Agrl. 

Common Black 

Medicinal and Poisonous properties. White mustard contains a glucoside 
also found in other members of the family sinalbin, CggH^^N^SgO^^+H^O, and 
in addition, the ferment known as myrosin which converts the sinalbin into an 
active principle, o.ry-bensyl-thiocyanate (a very acrid volatile body) sinapin 
sulphate and glucose. The following formula represents the change that occurs : 


Sinalbin Glucose benzyl-thio- Sinapin sulphate 

Black mustard contains the glucoside siiiigrin, and 
which produces the following reaction : 




a ferment, myrosin, 
+ KHSO. 


Potassium sulphate 

= C3HXNS + 


of allyl 

(Essential oil of Mustard) 

White Mustard seed when reduced to a powder and made into a paste 

with cold water, acts as a powerful stimulant. Large doses cause vomiting. 

Intestinal secretion is increased by the use of mustard, which is rarely used, 

however, as an emetic because of its pungency. It is extremely valuable for 

relieving pain or congestion. It is a splendid emetic for dogs in the spoonful 

doses, given in warm water. Dr. Millspaugh states that in the case of black 


mustard, no specific toxic symptoms have been noted, but in speaking of white 
mustard, he states that the essential oil of mustard is a virulent, irritant poison, 
causing, when ingested, severe burning, followed by increased heart action, and if 
pushed to extremes, loss of sensibility, paralysis, stupor, rigors, and death. It 
causes immediate vesication, followed by deep ulceration, which is difficult to 

Dr. White in his Dermatitis Venenata, says : 

The action of the sinapism is well known. In a few minutes after its application the 
skin begins to feel warm, and by the end of a half-hour, if the patient bear it so long, 
this sensation has increased to an intolerable burning. The changes in the cutaneous tissue 
are, within a few minutes, a considerable degree of hyperaemia, which, after a time, increases 
to an intense redness, which persists for a day or two, and often leaves behind it a per- 
sistent pigmentation, at times of a dark brown color, to mark the seat of the sinapism. On 
this account one should never be applied upon the upper chest or other part of a woman 
which the dress will not always conceal. If the action be continued beyond its legitimate 
rubefacient effect, a period which varies greatly in persons, it may produce vesication, or 
even deep suppuration, effects at times very intractable under treatment. It is stated that 
the addition of vinegar to a mustard poultice greatly lessens its activity. 

Sarepta mustard (B. Besseriana) much resembles black mustard and is 
used in the same way. Sarson or Indian colza {B. campcstris var. Sarson) is 
used in India in place of white mustard and oil cakes made from it serve as 
stock food. A brown variety (B. Napus var. dichotoma) is grown both as 
an oil seed and as a vegetable. Another variety, Indian mustard (5. juncea) 
is also known as of economic importance. 

The mustards of India are not always easy to distinguish. They have been 
carefully studied by Col. Prain. 

Brassica Rapa causes inflammation of the bowels, tympanites, constipa- 
tion, diarrhoea, some brain irritation, and haemorrhagic enteritis. The disease 
is more common in Europe where rape seed is used as stock food. 

3. Radicula (Dill.) Hill 

Annual, biennial or perennial, usually glabrous herbs of pungent quali- 
ties, pinnate, entire, or pinnatifid leaves; flowers yellow or white; calyx with 
spreading sepals ; pistil with short or slender style and 2-lobed, or entire 
stigmas; pod usually short, varying from oblong-linear to globular-terete; seeds 
numerous, small in 2 rows in each cell ; cotyledons accumbcnt. About 25 species 
of wide distribution. 

Radicula Armorana (L.) Robinson. Horse radish 

A stout perennial with long deep roots ; leaves large, on thick petioles, 
oblong, crenate, or pinnatifid, glabrous; stem leaves lanceolate, or oblong cordate; 
flowers with 4 green sepals and 4 white petals, not common ; pods short, globular, 
but fruit seldom found. 

Distribution. It is native to the eastern part of Europe, Turkey, Greece, 
and the Caspian Sea through Russia, Poland and Finland. In Germany, 
France, Sicily, Norway, and Great Britain, it has escaped from cultivation. 
Common in Northern United States. 
Radicula pahistris (h.) Moench, var. hispida (Dcsv.) Robinson. Marsh Cress. 

An erect annual, or biennial, pubescent herb, from 1-2^2 feet high; leaves 
pinnately cleft or parted, or occasionally the upper laciniate; the lobes toothed; 



Fig. 256b. Horse radish. (C. M. King). 

Upper leaves nearly sessile; pedicels as long as the small flowers, generally 
longer than the pods ; pods ovoid or oblong ; styles short. 

Distribution. Common in northern portions of United States, to the Gulf 
and west to the coast; also Canada. Native to Europe. 

Medical and poisonous properties. It is certain that horse radish and other 
members of this genus have properties somewhat similar to those of the mus- 
tards mentioned above. Horse radish contains both sinigrin and myrosin. Dr. 
Rusby mentions that it may produce serious trouble. He says: 

The common horse radish, likewise, loses its irritating properties when heated or dried. 
These are almost identical with those of mustard, and while it would not generally be re- 
garded as a poisonous article, yet used in excess it may become so through its powerful 
irritation of the urinary organs, by which it is excreted. Johnson gives a case in which 
this result was extreme and serious. It may therefore be borne in mind that it should not 
be consumed in inordinate quantity. This result, should it occur, would be found ex- 
cruciatingly painful. 

Dr. Johnson in his Manual of Medical Botany of North America, writes 
as follows: 

The acrid principles of these plants appear, clinically, to be eliminated by the kidneys, 
and hence, incidentally, they produce a decided diuretic effect. The urine is not only in- 
creased in quantity, but partakes also of the acrid character of the plant employed. In one 
case that came under the author's observation, the individual, though in perfect health, so 
far as the genito-urinary tract was concerned, suffered extremely from vesical pain and 
irritation for hours after using horse-radish as a condiment. In animals it produces a 
violent colic. 



Fig. 256c. Slieplierd's Purse {Capsclla Duisapastoris). U. S. Dcpt. Agrl. 


4. Capsella, Medic. Shepherd's Purse 

Annual or winter annual, erect herbs, pubescent with more or less branched 
hairs; flowers in racemes, small, white; basal leaves tufted; pistils with short 
styles ; pods obcordate, triangular, compressed at right angles to the partition ; 
valves boat-shaped ; seeds numerous, small, without margins ; cotyledons accum- 
bent. A small genus of 4 species, 2 in North America. 

Caspella Bursa-pastoris (L.) Medic. Shepherd's Purse 

An annual or winter annual, Ij^ feet high, root leaves chistered, lobed, 
pinnatifid, or merely toothed, stem leaves sessile, lanceolate, auricled ; flowers 
small, white; pods triangular, truncate, or emarginate, many seeded; seeds light 
brown, elongated with a prominent ridge; seeds mucilaginous when moistened 
with water ; cotyledons incumbent. 

Distribution. One of the most common weeds everywhere in eastern North 
America from Nova Scotia to Florida, west to Texas and the Pacific Coast, 
from Eastern Canada to Manitoba to Vancouver in B. C. Cosmopolitan, as 
common in Europe as in the United States. Naturalized from Europe. 

Poisonous properties. It produces the same symptoms as other members 
of the family only somewhat less severe. 

5. Camelina, Grants. False Flax 

Erect, annual herbs, sparingly branched; leaves entire, lanceolate, or 
pinnatifid ; flowers racemose, yellow ; sepals 4, green ; petals 4, yellow small ; 
pistil with stigma entire, style slender ; pod obovoid or pear-shaped ; flattish ; 
seeds small, numerous; cotyledons incumbent. The 5 species are native to 
Europe and Asia. 

Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz. False Flax 

An erect, glabrous annual with simple or sparingly branched stem, IJ^ 
feet long, smooth, or slightly pubescent, hairs stellate; leaves erect, lanceolate 
or arrow shaped, entire or nearly so ; flowers small, yellow, pedicels in fruit 
spreading; pod obovoid or pyriform, smooth reticulated, margined; seeds light 
brown 1 line long, minutely pitted, cotyledons incumbent, caulicle prominent, 
running lengthwise. On the addition of water, the seeds become mucilaginous. 

Distribution. It is common in Manitoba, south to Minnesota, Northern 
Iowa, and the Dakotas, where it is a well known and a troublesome weed, in 
flax and grain fields from Ontario to the Middle States across the continent. 

Poisonous properties. The plant has a disagreeable sharp odor and causes 

6. Lepidinui (Tourn) L. Pepper Grass 

Erect or diffuse, annual, biennial or perennial herbs ; leaves entire, or 
pinnatifid; flowers racemose, white; petals small or none; stamens 6 or fewer; 
pod roundish, flattened contrary to the partition, winged or wingless ; seeds 
solitary in each cell ; cotyledons incumbent or rarely accumbent. About 65 
species in temperate regions. The European L. campestre, native to Europe 
cultivated for salad purposes, is occasionally spontaneous. The seeds of two of 
our native species are used for bird food. 



Fig. 256c. False Flax (Camel- 
ina sativa). Seeds become mucilag- 
inous on addition of water. (After 

Fig. 257. Small Pepper-grass (Lcpidium apetalum). 
Causes sinapism. (Charlotte M. King.) 

Lepidiuni virginicttni L. Large Pepper Grass 

Pod circular or oval with a little notch at the upper end ; seeds light brown, 
elongated, with a prominent ridge on one side, on the addition of water they 
become mucilaginous ; cotyledons accumbent. 

Lcpidium apetalum Willd. Small Pepper Grass 

Seeds light brown, elongated, with a prominent ridge on one side. Seeds 
become mucilaginous when moistened with water. Cotyledons incumbent. 
Distribution. In nearly all parts of the United States. 
Poisonous properties. Pepper grass produces counter-irritation. 

7. Thlaspi L. Field Pennycress 

Low plants with undivided root leaves, stem leaves arrow-shaped and clasp- 
ing; flowers small, whitish or purplish; pod orI)icular, obovate or obcordate; 
seeds 2-8 in each cell; cotyledons, accumbent. 



Tlilaspi arvense, Field pennj^cress, Frenchweed or Stinkweed 

A smooth annual with small white flowers ; pod, broadly winged, about 
^ inch in diameter, deeply notched at top. Commonly naturalized in some 
places ; becoming more abundant in the Northwest. A common weed in grain 
fields. It is common in the Canadian Northwest and not infrequent in Iowa 
and ]\Iinnesota, abundant in the Dakotas. 

Poisonous properties. Probably causes counter-irritation. In the Canadian 
Rockies the weed is carefully avoided by stock because of its pungent properties. 

Fig. 2SS. Field Pennycress 
(Tlilaspi arvense). (After 


Capparidaceae. Caper Family 

Herbs, shrubs or, occasionally, trees; alternate leaves and cruciform flowers; 
sepals 4-8; petals 4 or none; stamens 6-numerous, not tetradynamous ; fruit 
a 1-celled pod or berry with 2 parietal placentae; seeds similar to those of the 
Cruciferae, but with the embryo coiled. An order of about 35 genera and 
400 species. Generally found in warm regions, few in the United States. 
The plants are often acrid or pungent; the flower-buds of one, the Caper 
(Capparis spinosa), are pickled. Several of the species like the Rocky Moun- 
tain bee plant are cultivated for ornamental purposes. A few of the plants are 

Capparis contains the coloring matter rutin. 

Genera of Capparidaceae 

Plants clammy pubescent. ■-- 

Stamens 8 or more 2 Polanisia 

Plants not clammy pubescent. 

Stamens 6, pod few seeded 3 Cleomella 

Stamens 6, pod many seeded 1 Cleome 

1. Cleome L. 

Glabrous annuals; leaves trifoliolate or simple; flowers in leafy bracted 
racemes; petals entire, with claws; stamens 6; pistil with a 1-celled ovary; 



pod linear with a long stalk (stipe) many seeded; the receptacle bearing a 
gland beyond the stipitate ovary. A small genus of about 75 species, mainly 

Cleomc serrulata Pursh. Rocky Mountain Bee Plant 

An annual, from 1-3 feet high, with digitate, 3-foliolate leaves and leafy, 
bracteate racemes; calyx 4-cleft, petals 4, cruciform, short clawed, and rose- 
colored ; pods linear, many seeded. 

Distribution. Widely distributed west of Missouri, from the Canadian 
Rockies to Kansas, Mexico, Arizona and Utah, eastward occasionally from 
Minnesota to Illinois. The plant is regarded with great favor as a bee plant. 

Cleo>iie lutea Hook. Yellow Cleome 

This plant is like the preceding, but the leaves are 5'-foliolate or the 
upper 3-foliolate, leaflets oblong or oblong-lanceolate, entire, stalked or sessile; 
flowers yellow ; pod linear, stipe longer than the pedicel. 

Distribution. In dry soil from Nebraska to Washington and Arizona. The 
former species is particularly conspicuous west of the 100th meridian. 

Poisonous and Medical properties. These plants are not generally placed 
with the poisonous plants, although they contain the same pungent principles 
that members of the Mustard family have. They are seldom eaten by stock. 

Fig. 2S9. Rocky Mountain 
Bee Plant (Cleome serrulata). 
A plant with pungent proper- 
ties. (Ada Ilaydcn). 

Fig. 260. Yellow Cleome 
(Cleome lutea). Common in 
the West. (Ada Hayden). 


2. Polanisia Raf. 

Clammy herbs with whitish or yellowish flowers, palmately compoimd or 
simple leaves ; flowers produced in racemes ; sepals 4, deciduous ; petals with 
claws and notched at the apex; receptacle not elongated, bearing a gland at the 
base of the ovary; stamens 8-numerous, unequal; pod linear or oblong, turgid, 
many-seeded, seeds reticulated. About 14 species in tropical and temperate 
regions. Annuals, with glandular hairs ; common in sandy soils or on railroad 

Polanisia gravcolens Raf. Clammy-weed 

The near relative of the Rocky Mountain bee plant is a clammy weed with 
loose racemes of conspicuous flowers ; petals with claws; stamens 8-32; pod linear 
or oblong, turgid, many-seeded. 

Poisonous properties. The same may be said of this as of Cleonie. It 
is a clammy, pubescent weed with very pungent properties. 

3. Cleomella DC. 

Annual herbs with 3-5 foliolate leaves, calyx of 4 sepals; flowers generally 
in racemes ; petals 4, entire, without claws ; receptacle short ; stamens 6, in- 
serted on the receptacle ; ovary short, long-stalked ; pod linear to oblong, many- 
seeded. About 75 species, found chiefly in southwestern North America and 

Cleomella angustifolia Torr 

A glabrous annual from 1-2 feet high, leaflets 3, linear lanceolate or linear 
oblong, bracts simple; flowers small, yellow; pod rhomboidal, raised on a 
slender stipe, but shorter than the pedicel, few seeded. 

Distribution. From Nebraska and Kansas to Texas, New Mexico and 
Colorado. Abundant in waste places. 


Carnivorous plants secreting a viscid liquid; radical leaves; scapose flowers; 
corolla choripetalous ; sepals generally distinct; stamens usually free; ovary 
compound superior. Contains the families Droseraceae, Sarraceniaceae and 
Nepenthaceae ; the genus Sarracenia has 6 species in eastern North America ; 
S. purpurea, found as far west as Minnesota, contains the alkaloid Sarracenin. 
Darlingtonia californica occurs in California and Oregon. Heliamphora is 
native to Guiana. The family Nepenthaceae with 40 species is found mostly in 
the India-Malayan regions ; some species being frequently cultivated in green- 
houses. The plants of these orders are insectivorous, capable of digesting in- 


Perennial or biennial glandular pubescent bog herbs or somewhat shrubby 
plants ; leaves m.ostly from the base with tentacles, which secrete q viscid sub- 
stan-e to catch insects; circinnate in the bud; fl.'-wers perfect, racemose; calyx 
;iersistent, 4-8 parted, or the sepals distinct; petals 5 free; stamens 8-20; ovary 
free, 1-3-celled; styles 1-5, simple 2-cleft; capsule 1-5-celled. A small order of 
125 species of wide distribution. The most important genus is Droscra, com- 
monly called sundew, the tentacles of which secrete a viscid fluid which catches 



Fig. 260a. Various insectivorous plants: 1, Sarracenia variolaris; 2, Darlingtonia call- 
fornica; 3, Sarracenia laciniata; 4, Nepenthes villosa. 

insects and clings to them. The D. rotundifolia is commonl}^ found in our 
northern bogs. The Drosophyllum lusilanicum is found on the sandy hills o£ 
Portugal. The Venus fly-trap (Dionaea miiscipula) of the Carolinas grows 
on the sandy barrens and feeds on insects. These plants are somewhat rare. 

Poisonous properties. According to Dr. Schaffner, the common sundew 
is poisonous to cattle. From one species of Drosera two pigments have been 
isolated, the red having the formula Cj^HgO^ and the yellow, C^^HgO^. 
Plants of the family in Australia are said to be poisonous to sheep. 

According to Greshoff the leaves of Drosera binata contain hydrocyanic 
acid. D. rotundifolia, and D. intermedia, were also found to contain a little 
HCN. The leaves of Dionaea muscipula contain the same substance. 


Herbs, shrubs or trees; flowers usually polypetalous ; stamens mostly peri- 
gynous or epigynous; sepals chiefly united or confluent with receptacle; carpels 1 
or more, distinct or sometimes united into a compound ovary. The order in- 
cludes the families Podostemonaceae, Crassulaceac, Cephalotaceae, Saxifragaceae, 
Pittosporaceae, Haviamclidaccae, Platanaceae, Rosaceae, Connaraceae, Legu- 
minosae and other small families. The family Saxifragaceae includes the red 
currant {Kibes vulgare), black currant {R. nigrum), the Missouri currant, 



Fig. 260b. The Venus Fly Trap (Dionaea muscipula) showing the rosette arrangement and 
with some of the traps closed and others opened to catch the insects. (Kerner-Oliver, Dept. 
Ent. Univ. of Minn.). 

Fig. 260c. Insect Traps. 1, Dioiuna; 2. Section through folded leaf; 3, One of the Spines. 
4, Leaf of Aldrovanda; s, Section of closed leaf; 6, Glands upon trap; 7, Glands in the wall 
of trap of Sarracenia. (Kerner. Dept. Ent. Univ. of Minn.). 




Fig. 261. Common Sun- 
dew (Drosera rotundi flora). 
Poisonous to cattle. (After 

Fig. 262. Missouri Currant (Ribes 
aureum). The flowers are spicy frag- 
rant. It is a well known shrub. (W. 
S. Dudgeon). 

(R. anrcum), the Crandall, a well known cultivated form; the cultivated goose- 
berry {R. Grossularia) , Missouri gooseberry (R. gracile) ; the cultivated 
hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata) ; the wild hydrangea {H. arhorescens) ; 
used as a diuretic; the mock orange (Philadelphus coronarius), and P. grandi 
fiorus; Deutzia scabra, the Astilbe japonica and the alum root {Heuchera 
americana) a powerful astringent. Several members of this family are poison- 
ous ; the western Jamesia americana, a pretty shrub of the Rocky Mountains 
with white flowers, contains an appreciable amount of HCN, according to Gres- 
hofF. The same substance also occurs in the garden Hydrangea hortensia, H. 
arhorescens, an American species of the southern region. The H. Thunbergii; 
H. Lindleyana and H. involucrata all contain HCN. The HCN, however, is 
in a transitory stage. Greshoff states that the leaves of Philndelplms coronarius, 
P. Lemoinei and P. viicrophyllus, and the seeds of P. graiidiflorus contain sap- 
onin, as do the leaves of Deutzia staminea. The family Hamamelidaceae includes 
the witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) containing a bitter principle; the storax 
(Liquidambar orientalis) of the Old World which contains two resin alcohols, 
storesin and ester, and red gum (Z,. Styraciflua) a common tree of moist 
woods of the South supplying a well known commercial wood; it is also an 
ornamental tree, the leaves of which, when bruised, are fragrant. The family 
Plaianaceae contains the sycamore {Platanus occidentalis), a large tree which 
furnishes valuable wood and is also used for ornamental purposes. According 
to Greshoff the leaves of Platanus acerifolia, P. cuneata, P. occidentalis and P. 
orientalis contain HCN. The young leaves arc poisonous. 

Families of Resales 

Calyx free from the ovary, wholly superior. 

Simple 1-celled Leguminosac. 

Ovaries 2 or more compound ; stamens twice as many as the pistils 




Stamens inserted on the calyx, stipulate Rosaceae 

Calyx more or less coherent with the compound ovary Rosaceae (Pomeae) 

Fig. 251. 

Red Gum {Liquidamher Styraciflua). Furnishes a commercial 

Crassulaceae DC. Orpine Family 

Succulent herbs ; leaves generally sessile without stipules ; flowers small, 
symmetrical, usually cymose ; petals and sepals equal in number, from 3-20 ; 
stamens as many or twice the number ; pistils distinct, fewer than the sepals ; 
receptacle usually with small scales 1 back of each carpel ; fruit a dry dehiscent 
follicle ; usually many seeded. This is a small family of about 50 species, many 
being found in dry soils, rocks, etc. in North Temperate regions. A few of the 
species are cultivated for ornamental purposes, among these being the Rochea 
coccinea of the Cape of Good Hope, whose flowers have narcotic properties ; 
poisoning sometimes resulting from smelling them. Some of the Crassulaceae 
contain cra-ssiilacic and malic acids. The Cotyledon ventricosa of South 
Africa is said to produce the Nenta disease of that region, although this is 
usually ascribed to some members of the Pulse family and is probably identical 
with loco disease. The leaves of wild tea (Catha edulis) , according to Bull. 
Miscellaneous Information of Kew Gardens, when chewed are said to have 
great sustaining powers. 

Sedum (Tourn.) L. Stone Crop 

Fleshy, smoQth herbs, mostly perennials, with alternate leaves; flowers 
cymose, perfect or dioecious; calyx 4-5^1obed; petals 4-5, distinct; stamens 8-10, 
perigynous ; pistils 4-5, distinct or united at the base; styles short; follicles 
many-seeded. About 150 species, mostly of temperate and cooler regions of the 
northern hemisphere. A few are cultivated for ornamental purposes. There 
are several somewhat weedy species as S. purpureum and mossy stone crop (S. 
acre), the latter native to Europe but escaped to roadsides in the East. It has 
acrid properties, which is also true of the live-forever, a plant of the Rocky 



Sedum purpiircum Tausch. Live-forever 

A stout perennial 2 feet high with fleshy oval or obtuse, toothed leaves; 
and flowers in compound cymes ; corolla purple, with oblong-lanceolate,, purple 
petals ;> stamens perigynous; pistils with a short style; fruit a follicle with a 
short pointed style. 

Distribution. Native to Europe, frequently escaped from cultivation and 
found around dwellings and in cemeteries. 

Scdum acre L Mossy Stone Crop 

A moss-like plant spreading on the ground ; leaves small, alternate, ovate 
thick and fleshy; flowers yellow, perfect, in spike-like clusters, cymose; the 
central flower with 5 sepals, 5 petals, and 10 stamens, the others with 4 sepals, 
4 petals and 8 stamens ; follicle spreading, tipped with a slender style. 

Distribution. On rocks and along roadsides from New Brunswick to New 
York and Pennsylvania. Native to Europe. 

Fig. 263. Common LJve- 
for-ever {Sedum pnrpure- 
«m). A plant with acrid 
properties. (Fitch). 

Fig. 264. Ifive Forever (Scdum stcnopctal- 
«»i). Common in the Rocky Mountains; a plant 
with acrid properties. (\V. S. Dudgeon). 


Poisonous properties. Sedmn acre, according to Dr. Schafifner, produces 
inflammation and vesication when applied to the skin ; it is used to remove 
the false membrane in diptheria. Dr. White, in his "Dermatitis Venenata," 
says with reference to the Sedum acre : "Wood states that the whole plant 
abounds in an acrid, biting juice. Oesterlen says that it is sharply irritative 
to the skin. The National Dispensatory states that the juice is capable of blis- 
tering the skin, and that it is used upon corns and warts to soften them, and 
upon swollen glands as a resolvent. Mr. Cheney, a wholesale dealer in vegeta- 
ble drugs, informs me that the juice of the green plant is poisonous to the skin 
of many persons." This plant, however, is not common in the United States. 

RosACEAE. Rose Family 

Herbs, shrubs, or trees ; leaves alternate or some opposite, stipulate, fre- 
quently falling soon after the leaves appear; flowers regular; stamens generally 
numerous, distinct, inserted on the calyx ; petals as many as the sepals or rarely 
wanting; pistils 1-many, generally distinct, except in Pomeae, where the pistil 
is united to the calyx ; fruit various, achenes, follicles, drupes or pomes as in 
the apple; seeds 1-many, without albumen; embryo straight, with large cotyledons. 
The order contains about 90 genera and 1500 species of wide distribution ; in 
temperate and tropical regions, some boreal. But few of the plants are nox- 
ious or have noxious qualities. 

The several cherries, like Pninus serotina and P. virginiana are known to 
cause stock poisoning, and the seeds when eaten likewise produce fatal results 
in man. The P. serotina or wild black cherry, is used in medicine, under the 
name of P. virginiana. The choke cherry (P. virginiana) is also used in med- 
icine. The bark of the wild black cherry is officinal. It contains tannic and 
gallic acids, and a volatile oil resembling the volatile oil of bitter almonds. It 
is used as a tonic and astringent. The leaves of the laurel cherry are used 
for making cherry laurel water which is a sedative narcotic. From Pruniis 
Amygdalus, var. amara, native to Asia, is obtained the amygdalin of bitter 
almonds, which is converted into hydrocyanic acid. This acid is deadly poison, 
and is obtained from a great many different plants. The leaves of the laurel 
cherry also contain the same substance. HCN has been found in Primus 
paniculata, P. pendula, P. P ennsylvanica ; Pyrus Aria, P. pinnatifida, P. japon- 
ica; Crataegus orientalis ; Cotoneaster integerrinia; Nuttallia ccrasiformis ; 
Amelanchier alnifolia; Chamameles japonica. According to Greshoflf the leaves 
of Kageneckia angustifolia contain hydrocyanic acid. The same writer reports 
this substance in the mountain mahogany (Cercocarptis parvifolius) of the Rocky 
Mountains. It must be regarded as poisonous. In laurel cherry, it is largely 
derived from the decomposition of lanrocerasin. This species also contains 
prulaitrocerasin. Several species of other orders also might suitably be mentioned 
here as containing substances capable of being converted into hydrocyanic acid. 
In this class are the toadstools (Agaricus oreades), bitter cassava {Manihot 
utilissima) and sorghum (Andropogon Sorghum). 

According to Greshoff Cornus foliolosa, Spiraea japonica and many other 
plants of the family contain saponin. 

The same substance is obtained from other plants of the genus Prunus. 
Oil of roses is obtained from the Rosa damascena, Miller, var. The mucilaginous 
seeds of the quince (Pyrus Cydonia) have been used in medicine for a long 



Fig. 265. Wild Red Cherry (Prunus 
pennsylvanica). It contains the glu- 
coside ainygdalin. (Ada Hayden). 

Many plants of the family are cultivated for ornamental purposes and some 
are economic. In the first class is the laurel cherry {Prunus Lauro-cerasus), a 
handsome fragrant shrub of the Caucasus to northern Persia, cultivated in the 
southern states and very common in the Mediterranean regions of Europe. The 
Mayday tree of Europe (Prunus Padus), as well as numerous species of the 
genus Spiraea, like Spiraea Douglasii. S. salicifolia, S. japonica, S. Thunbergii; 
the nine-bark (Physocarpus opulif alius), species of the genus Rosa, such as 
the prairie rose (Rosa sctic/era), svveetbrier (Rosa rttbiginosa), dog rose (Rosa 
canina), R. rugosa, R. gallica, and the cinnamon rose (R. cinitanionca) are 
frequently cultivated. Kerria japonica, Rubns odoratus, Pyrus coronarih, P. 
japonica, P. Aucuparia, P. americana, Crataegus viollis and C. punctata are also 

The family contains a largo number of valuable fruits; of these we may 
mention the service berry (AmelancJiier canadensis and A. spicata), the apple 
(Pyrus Malus), the pear (Pyrus communis) , the quince (P. Cydonia), straw- 


berry (Fragaria vesca, F. virginiana, var. Illinoensis), the F. chilocnsis, native 
to Chili and the Pacific coast (the common garden strawberry is a modified 
form of the Chilian strawberry), and the Indian strawberry (Duchesnea indica). 
We may also mention the wild northern plum {Primus americana), the Chick- 
asaw plum (P. angustifoUa), European garden plum {P. domestica), sand 
cherry (P. pumila and P. Besseyi) ; the cherries, English cherry (P. avium), 
naturalized in the southern states, especially in Virginia and Maryland, the sour 
cherry (P. Cerasus), also naturalized in the East and extensively cultivated, the 
wild red cherry (P. pcnnsylvanica), commonly used in the north, the Japanese 
plum (P. triflora), the apricot (P. armeniaca), peach (P. persica), almond (P. 
Amygdalus) flowering almond (P. nana), wild red raspberry {Ritbus idaeus 
var. aculeatissiimis) , black raspberry {R. occidentalis), garden raspberry of Eu- 
rope (R. Idaeus), salmon berry {R. parviflortis) , dewberry (P. cuneifolius) 
and the wineberry of Japan (P. phoenicolasius). The fruit of the Icaco plum 
(Chrysobolanus Icaco) of tropical America is edible. The wood of the wild 
black cherry (P. serotina) takes an excellent finish, and therefore is highly de- 
sirable for cabinet making and for interior finishing of houses. The wood of 
other species of the genus is used in the manufacture of pipes and furniture. 
Most of the plants of the order contain no injurious substances. Malic acid 
C^HgO._ occurs in the fruit of the cherry (Prunus Cerasus), plum (P. domes- 
tica), the apple (Pyrus Mains), the strawberry {Fragaria virginiana), {F. 
vesca), etc. Salicylic acid C^H^Og occurs in the fruit of the strawberry, citric 
acid in Rtibus, the strawberry and Prunus domestica. The Quillaja Saponaria 
contains saponin, the bark yielding 2 per cent. Kobert distinguishes two sub- 
stances quillajic acid C^gH^gO^p and sapotoxin C^^H^gO^p. 

The glucoside amygdalin was first obtained in 1830 by Robiquet and Boutron 
from the seeds of the bitter almond. Liebig and Woehler named the substance 
which converts the amygdalin into the so-called essence of bitter almonds, emul- 
sin. They found that through the action of emulsin, sugar and prussic acid 
were formed. The name synaptase was given to emulsin. 

C2oH,,NO,, + 2H,0 = C^H^O + HCN + 2C,H^,Og. 
Amygdalin Benzoic Prussic Glucose 

aldehyde acid 

Emulsin can also convert salicin, helicin, phlorizin, and arbutin. The change 
in arbutin is as follows : 

Arbutin Hydroquinon Glucose 

In the cherry leaves emulsin occurs in the leaves and younger branches. Emulsin 
also occurs in Pcnicillium glaiicum and Aspergillus niger. 

The Kooso {Brayera anthebnintica) is a large dioecious ornamental tree 
from Abyssinia. The drug comes from the pistillate flowers which have a tea- 
like odor but a bitter, nauseous taste and contain cuscotoxin which is a muscle 
poison, protocosin and cosin which is bitter and acrid. In medicine it is used 
as a taeniafuge but in large doses produces vomiting and colic. Agrimonia 
gryposepala, Gillenia stipulacea, and Geum urbanum are used as astringents. 
The roots of the water avens {Geum rivale) are tonic and powerfully astringent. 
The soap-bark {Quillaja Saponaria) of Peru and Chili is used as an expectorant 
and is an irritant poison. According to Schneider who investigated a great 
many of the saponins which occur injuriously in about fifty families, they act 



poisonously by dissolving the blood corpuscles. Clwlesterin contained in the 
body acts as a natural antidote against them. 

Several plants of the order produce members of the terpene group ; rose oil, 
contains rhodinol C^^H^gO, supposed to be identical vi^ith geranium oil; and a 
second terpene, roseol, Cj^H^qO,. Many fruits of the order, especially Pomeae, 
contain inannite and sorbite. The arbutin, Cj2H^gO^ obtained in many plants 
also occurs in some plants of this order; the glucoside hydrochinon, C.Hj^O,^ 
occurs in the buds of pears. Quercetrin Cjj.H^pO^, derived from a glucoside, 
is found in the flowers of haw (Crataegus), the bark of apple trees and of 
Prunus instiiitia. Amygdalin C^^Hg-NOj^, occurs in the seeds of many plants 
of the family, especially in Pomeae and Pruneae; also in the bark of Prunus 
Padus, P. serotina, etc., and in the seeds of Pyrus Ancuparia. 

Fig. 266. Kooso (Brayera anthelmintica). Flowering branch. Contains a muscle poison. 
(After Faguet). Fig. 266a. Common Wild Plum {Prunus amcricana). (C. M. King). 

Genera of Rosaccae 

Ovary inferior or enclosed in the calyx tul)c. 

Carpels numerous ; fruit an achenc 3. Rosa. 

Carpels few, fruit not an achcne. 

Carpels cartilaginous ; fruit a pome 4. Pyrus. 

Carpels bony, drupe-like 6. Crataegus. 

Ovary superior not enclosed in calyx tube. 

Calyx deciduous ; fruit a drupe 5. Prunus. 



Calyx persistent. 

Pistils numerous ; fruit drupelets 1. Rubus. 

Pistils numerous ; fruit an achene 2. Fragaria^ 

1. Rubus. Raspberries and Blackberries 

Perennial herbs, shrubs or vines ; ving prickly, with alternate leaves, 3-7 
foliolate or simple; flowers terminal; axillary or solitary, white reddish or pink, 
usually perfect; calyx 5-parted, petals 5, deciduous; stamens numerous; achenes 
usually many, inserted on the receptacle, which is either fleshy or dry; carpels 
forming drupelets. About 200 species chiefly Northern. 

Rubus Idaeus L. var. aculeatissimus (C. A. Mey.) Regel & Tiling. Wild 

Red Raspberry 

Stems biennial, upright shrubs covered with straight, stiff bristles, some 
hooked, and glandular hairs ; leaflets 3-5, oblong, ovate, pointed, whitish, downy 
underneath; petals as long as the sepals, whitish; fruit light red. Spreads by 

Distribution. The species is native to the Appalachian Mountains as far 
south as the Carolinas ; common at high altitudes in the Rockies. Frequently 

Fig 267. Wild Red Raspberry (Rubus Idaeus, var- 
aculeatissimus). The prickles of the red raspberry produce 
mechanical injury. (Ada Hayden). 

Fig. 268. Wild black cap rasp- 
berry (Rubus occidentalis). This 
plant has thorns which are irritat- 
ing. (Ada Hayden). 



troublesome in fields for several years in the north and persists for a long time 
in gardens. A common native of the north. 

Rubus occidentalis L. Black Raspberry, or Black-cap Raspberry 

Stems biennial, glaucns, recurved, beset with hooked prickles ; rooting at the 
tip; leaves pinnately 3-foliolate, or rarely 5-foliolate; leaflets ovate, coarsely 
doubly serrate, whitish underneath ; flowers corymbose clusters ; petals shorter 
than the sepals ; fruit usually purplish-black, occasionally white. 

Distribution. Quebec to Georgia, to Missouri, to Minn. Like the preced- 
ing species, often troublesome in fields and gardens. 

Rubus villosus Ait. High Bush Blackberry 

Shrubs 1-6 feet high, upright or reclining, armed with stout recurved 
prickles, branchlets and lower surface of leaves glandular; leaflets 3-5, ovate, 
pointed, terminal one stalked; flowers in corymbose clusters; petals white; fruit 
not separating from the juicy receptacle, blackish. 

Distribution. From Nova Scotia to Georgia, Missouri, Kansas, to Minn. 
Troublesome like the black-cap Raspberry. 

Injurious properties. No species of the genus Rubus is known to be poison- 
ous, but the bristles and spines on various species frequently inflict injuries 
Numerous cases of inflammation, and later pus formation, are reported from 
the prickles found on the common red raspberry. This is especially true of 
the larger prickle of the black raspberry and the dewberry. The bark of the 
blackberry contains villosin. The leaves are said to cause an irritation of the 
skin of berry pickers or others who walk among the bushes. 

Fig. 269. Common Blackberry (Rubus villosus). 
The common blackberry produces prickles which act in- 
juriously in a mechanical way. (Ada Hayden). 



2. Fragaria h- Strawberry 

Perennial stemless herbs; leaves petioled, stipulate, 3-foliolate; flowers white, 
in clusters, polygamo-dioecious ; calyx persistent, with 5 bractlets, deeply 5-lobed; 
petals 5 ; stamens numerous ; carpels or pistils numerous ; the receptacle elongat- 
ed, which become fleshy in fruit. A small genus of about 25 species contain- 
ing the common cultivated strawberry (F. chiloensis) of the Pacific coast, our 
wild strawberry (F. virginiana), the European strawberry (F. vesca) and the 
Indian strawberry (F. Indica or Duchesnea indica). 

Fragaria vesca h. European Wood Strawberry 

A perennial with ovate leaves, dentate, thin ; flowers white, racemose recep- 
tacle, elongate, fruit with achenes, seeds free above the receptacle. It is very 
different from our common wild strawberry, in which the achenes are sunken 
in the flesh. 

Poisonous properties. Few people would suspect that the seeds of the straw- 
berry are injurious, but I have known people who have found that the eating 
of the common cultivated strawberry is injurious, and it is known that the 
European strawberry (F. vesca) produces a rash that sometimes resembles that 
produced by scarlatina. Dr. Millspaugh, in speaking of the European straw- 
berry, says of a lady coming under his care who had consumed the fruit of the 
strawberry grown in Florida : 

In the afternoon of the same day the skin was hot and swollen, the patient thirsty 
and restless, and little sleep was gained that night; the next day the eruption began to fade, 
the appetite returned, and restlessness ceased. On the third day exfoliation began and was 
very profuse, the skin appearing quite similar to the condition existing after a severe attack 
of scarlatina. 

Fig. 270 

Fig. 270. Wild Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana). 
Strawberry {Fragaria vesca). (Willis). 

Fig. 270a 
(Ada Hayden). Fig. 

270a. Wild 



Fig. 271. European Wood Strawberry (Fragaria 
vesca). This plant occurs in fields and along road- 
sides. Sometimes causes dermatitis. (W. S. Dudgeon). 

Prof. Prentiss * reports the case of a man who, at the age of 14, had become 
quite ill from eating strawberries and forever afterward could not eat them 
without becoming ill. 

3. Rosa L. 

Erect or climbing shrubs, with prickly stems, alternate leaves adnate to 
the petioles; flowers showy, corymbose, or solitary; calyx urn-shaped; stamens 
and carpels numerous ; achenes, enclosed in a berry-like calyx tube. Several 
species of the genus Rosa are more or less troublesome in fields. The Rosa 
centifolia, used for preparing rose water contains a volatile oil. A confection is 
made from the hips of Rosa canina. R. gallica contains a volatile oil and a 
yellow crystalline glucoside querciiin. 

Rosa pratincola Greene. Prairie Rose 

An erect perennial shrub with densely prickly stems bearing slender bristles ; 
narrow stipules, more or less glandular, toothed; leaflets 7-11, broadly elliptical 
to oblong-lanceolate, sessile or nearly so ; flowers corymbose or rarely solitary, 
pink; sepals lanceolate, somewhat glabrous; fruit smooth. 

Distribution. Common on prairies of Wisconsin, Iowa to Texas, New Mex- 
ico and Montana. In Iowa, Missouri and parts of Minnesota and Arkansas, it 
is most troublesome. 

Rosa blanda Ait. Smooth Rose 

An erect shrub with few straight prickles or wholly unarmed; from 1-3 
feet high; leaflets 5-7, short stalked; oblong-lanceolate; cuneate; stipules dilated,, 
naked or slightly glandular-toothed ; flowers usually large, corymbose or solitary. 

Distribution. From Newfoundland to Ontario and Illinois. 

* Bot. Gazette 13:19. 



Rosa Sayi. Schw. Say's Rose 

A very prickly shrub with low stem, 1-2 feet high; leaflets 3-7 broadly ellip- 
tical or oblong, lanceolate, glandular, ciliate and resinous ; stipules dilated ; 
flowers large, solitary or rarely more; outer sepals usually with 1 or 2 narrow 
lateral lobes. 

Distribution. From northern Michigan, Northwest Territory to Colorado. 

Fig. I 272. Arkansas Rose (Rosa pratincola). A native rose. 
(Ada Hayden). 

Rosa Woodsii Lindl. Wood's Rose 

Stems usually low ; 6 inches to 3 feet high with slender, straight or recurved 
spines and scattered prickles, or unarmed above; leaflets 5-7 obovate to oblong 
or lanceolate, more or less toothed; flowers corymbose or solitary; sepals naked 
or hispid; fruit globose. 

Distribution. Prairies of Minnesota and from Montana to New Mexico and 

Mechanical injuries. The prickles inflict injury to cattle, and are especial- 
ly troublesome in grain fields. Before the binder came into use men were 



injured by the prickles and spines of the rose which produced inflammation and 
caused the formation of pus. 

4. Pyrus L. 

Trees or shrubs ; simple leaves ; flowers in cymose clusters, white or pink ; 
calyx urn-shaped, 5-lobcd; petals 5, short-clawed; stamens usually numerous; 
styles mostly 5, distinct or united at the base; ovules 2 in each cavity; carpels 
leathery; fruit a pome. About 37 species of wide distribution, chiefly in the 
North Temperate region. The following species of the genus are cultivated 
for their fruits; quince (P. Cydonia), pear (P. communis), Japan or sand pear 
(P. sinensis), apple (P. Malus), Old World crab apple (P. baccata), mountain 
ash (P. aniericana), ( P. sitchensis P. samhucif olia) , European mountain ash {P. 

The fresh bark of the wild mountain ash is used in medicine; it is known 
to produce irritation of the alimentary mucous membranes, and a reflex nervous 

Pyrus coronaria L. Wild Crab Apple 

A small tree with petioled or ovate to triangular-ovate leaves, sparingly 
pubescent beneath ; sharply serrate and often lobed ; flowers rose-colored, frag- 
rant ; calyx slightly pubescent ; pome fleshy, fragrant, greenish-yellow, acid. 
Two other species are found in eastern North America, namely, P. angustifolia, 
with small leaves and few flowers, and P. ioensis, with firm leaves, narrowed at 
the base, and pubescent calyx, chiefly west in the Mississippi Valley, P. rivularis 
Dougl., occurs from California to Alaska. 

Distribution. Our Eastern wild crab is found from Ontario to Michigan 
and South Carolina ; in the west it is replaced by the P. ioensis. 

Poisonous and medicinal properties. All the species of the genus Pyrus 
contain the glucoside amygdaUn, C^qH^.NO^j, which is converted by the action 
of the ferment into hydrocyanic acid. The bark also contains citric acid, 
C H„0 , and malic acid, C.H^O^, both of which appear in the fruit of the ap- 

6 8 7 '40 5 *^^ ^ *^ 

pies. There may be occasionally cases of poisoning where animals are allowed 
to browse upon the wilting leaves of the apple. 

Fig. 273. 
tivatcd apple. 

CoiTimon npplc {Pyrus Mains). 
(W. S. r)u<lgeon). 

The well known cul- 



Fig. 274. Iowa Crab {Pynis ioensis). 1. Flowering branch. 
2. Longitudinal section of flower with petals removed, natural 
size. 3. Fruiting branch. 4. Longitudinal section of fruit. 5. 
Summer branch. 1, 3, 4, 5, one-half natural size. (M. M. Cheney). 

Crataegus L. Hawthorn. White Thorn 

Shrubs or small trees, usually spiny; leaves petioled; flowers in corymbose 
clusters, white or pink; calyx-tube urn-shaped; limb 5-cleft; petals 5, roundish; 
stamens numerous or few; styles 1-5; fruit a pome, containing 1-5 bony, 1-seed- 
ed stones. About 75 species, although the number is sometimes estimated as 
high as 125. Some species, like C. punctata, and C. mollis, are ornamental. 

Crataegus mollis Scheele 

Shrub or small tree; shoots densely pubescent; leaves large, slender-petioled, 
cuneate, truncate or cordate at base, usually with acute lobes ; more or less 
densely pubescent beneath ; flowers large, 1 inch across ; fruit bright scarlet with 
a light bloom. 



Distribution. Common in thickets from Eastern Canada to Iowa and Kan- 
sas, and Texas. 

Poisonous properties. Large numbers of haw fruits are eaten, and several 
deaths due to the eating of Crataegus have been reported in Iowa. These were 
probably largely due to strangulation or indigestibility of the stony "seed." 
The flesh is said to be indigestible as well. 


^A y,-i:.,./.^ 

Fig. 275. Common Red Haw (.Crataegus mollis). (C. M. King) 

5. Pruniis L. Plum and Cherry. 

Shrubs or trees with alternate petiolcd leaves and small stipules ; flowers 
variously clustered, mostly perfect; calyx inferior, free from the ovary, with a 
bell-shaped or urn-shaped tube and 5 spreading lobes; falling after flowering; 
petals white or pink; spreading stamens 15-20 or more, distinct, inserted on the 
throat of the calyx, perig>-nous; pistil solitary; style simple; stigma capitate; 
ovary 1 -celled, 2-ovuled; fruit a drupe; seed usually one; embryo large, cotyle- 
dons fleshy, endosperm absent. Species about 90, of the north temperate regions, 
tropical America and Asia. The sweet cherry {Primus avium), sour cherry {P. 
Cerasus), native plum (P. americana), Chicksaw plum (P. Chicasa), European 
plum {P. domcstica), Japan plum (P. iriflora), the flowering almond (P. 
triloba), peach (P. persica), and apricot (P. armeniaca) are all well known in 

Pruuus virginiana L- Choke Cherry 

A tall shrub or small tree, bark gray ; leaves thin, oval, oblong or obovatc, 
acuminate at the apex, smooth or slightly pubescent, sharply serrate, teeth 
large; often doubly serrate; flowers white in rather loose racemes, terminating 
leafy branches ; petals roundish, fruit red, turning dark or crimson. Astringent. 

Distribution. Forming thickets from New Foundland to Manitoba to Texas 
and Georgia. 

Willi Cherry (Piuniis Jemissa). Common sluub of tlic Kocky Mountains. ( I'lioto by 
Colburn ). 



Prunus demissa Walp. Western Wild Cherry or Choke Cherry 

A shrub or small tree ; leaves thick and oval or obovate, acute or more or 
less obtuse at the apex; teeth rather short; flowers white in dense racemes, 
terminating leafy branches; fruit dark or purplish black, less astringent than 
the preceding. 

Distribution. Dry soil, common in thickets and woods from Dakota to 
Kansas, New Mexico to California and British Columbia. 

Prunus serotina Bhrh. Wild Black Cherry 

Large tree with reddish brown branches, reddish wood ; leaves thick, oblong, 
or lanceolate-oblong, taper pointed, serrate, with short teeth shining above; 
flowers in elongated spreading or drooping racemes ; petals obovate ; fruit 
purplish black, and slightly astringent. 

Fig. 276. Black cherry {Prunus serotina). 1. Flowering branch. 
2. I/Ongitudinal section of flower, enlarged. 3. Fruiting branch. 4. 
Cross section of fruit. 5. Longitudinal section of fruit. 6. Winter 
branchlet. 1, 3, 6, one-half natural size. 4, S, natural size. (M. M. 
Cheney in Green's Forestry in Minnesota.) 



Distribution. From New England to Ontario, to Florida and Texas, 
Kansas, Dakota and Minnesota. 

Pruims pcnnsylvanica L. Wild Red Cherry 

A small tree 20-30 feet high, light brown bark; leaves oval or lanceo- 
late, acute or acuminate, finely and sharply serrate, glabrous, with slender 
petiole; flowers white in corymbose clusters; fruit small, globose, light red 
hue and sour. 

Distribution. In rocky woods. New Foundland to the Rocky Mountains 
to Georgia. 

Poisonous properties. Many cases of poisoning have been recorded from 
eating the seeds of peach and bitter almonds. They contain a highly poisonous 

Fig. 277. Wild Red Cherry (Pruiius t^cnnsylva>iica). 1. Flower- 
ing branch. 2. Longitudinal section of flower. 3. Fruiting branch. 
4. Longitudinal section of fruit, slightly enlarged. 5. Cross section 
of fniit. 6. Embryo enlarged. 7. Axil of leaf, showing stipules. 
8. Winter branchlet. 1, 3, 7, 8, one-half natural size. (M. M. 


substance from which prussic acid is obtained. Mr. Chesnut says in regard to 
the black cherry : 

The fruit is rather agreeable, being but slightly bitter and astringent in taste. In 
some localities it is much used to flavor liquor. Poisoning is frequently caused by cattle 
eating the wilted leaves from branches thrown carelessly within their reach or ignorantly 
offered as food. Children occasionally die from eating the kernels of the seed or from 
swallowing the fruit whole. 

Prof. Chas. D. Howard, of the New Hampshire Station, says : 

The poisonous property of all species of cherry leaves is due to hydrocyanic acid, 
popularly known as prussic acid. This compound does not exist as such in the growing 
leaf, but is derived from a class of substances called glucosides, of which amygdalin is the 
type peculiar to the cherry. This, or a closely allied body, is to be found not only in the 
leaves and bark, but especially in the stones of cherries, peaches and plums, and the seeds 
of the apple. By the action of moisture and a vegetable ferment called emulsin, which 
exists in the plant, a complex chemical reaction takes place, that begins in the leaf the 
moment connection with the circulatory system is cut off. The three products of this re- 
action are hydrocyanic acid, grape sugar and bensaldehyde, or bitter almond oil. 

There is a popular opinion that the leaves of the cherry are poisonous only when cut 
and in the wilted condition; that cattle may safely nibble them from the growing shrub 
without danger of injury; and that they are quite harmless when dried. Our observations, 
however, prove these views to be but partially correct. As a matter of fact, distillations 
of samples, made within twenty minutes of cutting, show that the freshly cut leaves yield 
nearly as much acid as the wilted ones do when calculated on the weight of fresh material 
taken, and when eaten fresh, the character of the juices within the animal stomach is such 
as to render that organ a most favorable place for the conduct of the reaction in which 
prussic acid is liberated. 

On the other hand, while it is true that the thoroughly dried leaves yield a comparatively 
small amount of acid, still they may always produce some, and as ordinarily dried in the 
hayfield, they may be capable of generating a considerable quantity of the poison. The 
desirability of carefully excluding them from all hay is therefore apparent. 

One hundred grams of bitter almonds (Prunus amygdalus communis), in the form of 
pulp, yield 250 milligrams prussic acid; the same amount of kernels from cherry stones 
yields 170 mgs. ; leaves of the cherry laurel {Prunus Laurocerastis), occurring in Europe 
and Mexico, 39 mgs.; kernels of peach, 164 mgs.; apple' seeds, 35 mgs. The stones of all 
these species must therefore be regarded as dangerous; the fruit, in every case, so far as 
can be ascertained, is harmless. 

The leaves of the wild black cherry are the most poisonous of the three species in- 
vestigated, though all are dangerous. 

Both the wilted leaves and fresh leaves are poisonous, while the dried are to be re- 
garded with suspicion. 

Vigorous, succulent leaves from young shoots, which are the ones most liable to be 
eaten by cattle, are far more poisonous than the leaves from a mature tree or stunted 

L,eaves wilted in bright sunlight to about 75 per cent original weight, or until they 
begin to appear slightly limp and to lose their gloss, yield the maximum amount of prussic 

I have seen cattle browse on the leaves of Primus demissa in the Rocky 
Mountains. It is believed by stockmen to be poisonous. Probably the danger 
is not so great because the leaves are eaten direct from the tree ^nd not wilted. 
The Bureau of Forestry has shown that much loss occurs which can easily be 
prevented by changing the trail. 

It has been known for a long time that seeds of the various members of 
the genus Prunus contain poisonous properties. The bark of several of our 
wild cherries is also known to contain a poisonous principle, a ferment known 
as emulsin, which in the presence of water acts on the glucoside amygdalin 
C^pH^^NOj^, and produces hydrocyanic acid, a powerful poison; it is a clear, 
colorless liquid of a characteristic taste and odor, resembling that of a bitter 


almond. Externally, hydrocyanic acid produces a paralytic eflfect. When taken 
internally, it acts as a sedative upon the mucous membrane. Prof. Winslow 
gives the following characteristics of poisoning: 

In poisoning, the blood becomes first a bright arterial hue, and later assumes a dark, 
venous color. The first condition is due to the fact that the blood does not give up its 
oxygen for some reason. Brunton suggests that it is because the blood is hurried so rapidly 
through the dilated peripheral vessels that it does not have time to yield up its oxygen. 
The dark color of the blood is probably owing to asphyxia and accumulation of carbonic 
dioxide, following the paralytic action of prussic acid upon the respiratory centre. 

Prussia acid has an essentially depressing action upon the nervous system as a whole. 
The brain, cord and nerves become paralyzed by large doses. 

The spinal cord is paralyzed at a period after coma and convulsions have appeared. 
The peripheral nerves and muscles are paralyzed directly by toxic doses, and not through 
the mediation of the central nervous apparatus. 

Inlialation of the pure acid will cause death in a confined atmosphere, and even in- 
halation of the medicinal solution will induce the physiological symptoms of the drug. 

He also says of the toxicology of prussic acid: 

Prussic acid is one of the most powerful poisons in existence. Death may be in- 
stantaneous, or life may be prolonged for over an hour after lethal dose. More commonly 
the animal survives for a few minutes, and we observe the following symptoms in dogs: 
The animal falls, froths at the mouth, the respiration is of a gasping character and occurs 
at infrequent intervals. There is unconsciousness, the pupils become dilated, there are 
muscular tremblings, and clonic or tonic spasms. Defecation and micturition occur, and 
erections often ensue in the male. Respiration ceases before the cardiac pulsations. 

Three stages may be distinguished in fatal poisoning. First: a very short period 
elapses before the symptoms appear. There are giddiness, difficult breathing, and slow 
pulse in this stage. Second: the pupils dilate, vomiting may occur, and the animal utters 
loud cries. Spasmodic defecation, micturition and erections may be present, with con- 
vulsions and unconsciousness. Third: the last stage is characterized by collapse, spasms, 
general paralysis and death. The subacute form of poisoning may ensue and prove fatal, 
or, owing to the volatile character of the drug, complete recovery may take place within 
one-half or three-quarters of an hour. Occasionally dogs continue to be paralyzed for several 
days and get well. The minimum fatal dose recorded in man is 9/10 of a grain of pure 
acid, or about SO drops of the medicinal solution. Four to five drachms of the diluted 
acid frequently, but not invariably, cause subacute poisoning and death, in horses, within 
an hour. One to two drachms of the pharmacopoeia! preparation usually kill dogs within 
ten minutes. 

Prussic acid is commonly used to destroy the domestic animals. Two to four drachms 
of the medicinal acid are to be given to dogs and cats of the ordinary size, and certain, 
painless, and rapid death will occur if a fresh preparation of the drug can be obtained. 
The unopened, half-ounce vial, kept by druggists, is recommended. Big dogs, horses, and 
the other larger animals are not killed rapidly, nor sometimes at all, by great quantities 
of the diluted acid. Hence, shooting is a more humane and preferable mode of death for them. 
In the experience of the writer, one to two drachms of prussic acid saturated with potassium 
cyanide, failed to kill a horse, when injected directly into the jugular vein. The odor 
of the acid lingers about the animal for a few hours after death; the eyes are fixed and 
staring; the pupils dilated; the teeth are clinched tight and covered with froth, while the 
blood is of a very dark color. The treatment embraces emptying the stomach by large 
doses of promptly acting emetics, or by the stomach tube, or pump; atropin, ether, and 
brandy subcutaneously, and inhalations of ammonia, together with artificial respiration, 
and hot and cold douches upon the chest. 

Hj'drocyanic acid is produced by a niunl)cr of other plants referred to in 
another connection. 

Wild cherry bark (Pniuits scrolina) and leaves by distillation yield a vola- 
tile oil resembling that of bitter almond. The same is true of the P. virgiiiiaiia. 
Hydrocyanic acid is formed only by the action of a ferment upon amygdaliii 
which is present in all plants of this sub-order. Fresh leaves are generally 
considered harmless, but Chesnut says that cattle are frequently poisoned from 



eating the wilted leaves. He also adds that the seeds of all varieties of cherries 
and plums, both native and introduced are subject to suspicion. The flesh of 
none of the species is in any way poisonous. Chesnut also says in another 
contribution, that no cases are on record where stock have been poisoned by eat- 
ing the leaves of any species, while still on the tree. It is only after they 
have been cut off and are partially wilted that they are considered dangerous. 
The reason for this is that during the process of wilting, prussic acid is formed 
from non-poisonous constituents which are always present in the leaf and bark. 
The wilted leaves have the characteristic odor of prussic acid. The amount 
of amygdalin contained varies from 3.6 to 4.12 per cent and yields from 0.23- 
0.32 hydrocyanic acid. Recent studies indicate that an amydonitril gluco- 
side occurs in young leaves of both Prunus Padus and P. serothta. 

Fig. 278. The European May Day 
tree {Prunus Padus), poisonous. This 
is frequently cultivated. (Ada Hay- 


Herbs, shrubs, trees, or vines with alternate, mostly compound, stipulate 
leaves, papilionaceous or sometimes regular flowers; calyx 3-6, or 4-5 cleft; 
stamens 10, rarely 5 and sometimes many, monadelphous, diadelphous or distinct; 
pistil, simple, free, becoming a legume in fruit or sometimes a loment; ovules 
1-many; seeds generally ex-albuminous or nearly so or, in some, with copious 
albumen. About 6500 species of wide distribution, but most abundant in the 



Economic plants 

The order contains a large number of economic plants, especially food 
plants. The common bean, (Pliaseolus vulgaris), was originally found in the 
southwestern United States, but is now cultivated in all civilized countries. 
Common string and golden wax beans are types of the last named. The 
scarlet runner, (P. multiflorns) , generally cultivated for ornamental purposes 
is also used as food, although the ripe beans are unwholesome and sometimes 
poisonous. The three-lobed kidney bean, {P. trilobus), is commonly cultivated 
in India. The lima bean, {P. lunatus), also native to America, supposedly 
Brazil, is not known in a wild state. The seed of the Adzuki bean, {P. Mungo, 
var. glaber), is used as food in Japan. The soy bean, {Glycine Soja and G. hispi- 
da), of which there are many varieties, is native to China and Japan and is used 
in large quantities by the Japanese and Chinese for food, but is little used in the 
United States, being here cultivated as a forage plant. 

Soy beans can only be fed in moderate amounts to cattle because of their 
purgative properties. A loss of a considerable number of cattle occured in Eng- 
land recently where soy bean cake had been used. When fed mixed no l«.ouble 
was caused, but when fed alone it caused poisoning. 

The cow-pea, (Vigna Catjang), native to China, has been cultivaicd for 
centuries by the Chinese and extensively used for food. It is also used in 
many other warm countries, especially the southern states, not only for human 
food, but also as one of the best forage plants, for which purpose it is now 

Fig. 279. Soja Bean (Glycine hispida), 
used both as a food and as a forage plant. 
(U. S. Dept. Agr.) 



cultivated as far north as Minnesota ; it is also a soil renovator. The Dolichos 
Lablab is used for food in the tropics. The yam bean, (Pachyrrhisus angula- 
tus), in some countries, forms a resource as food in case of the failure of the 
usual crops. The garden pea, (Pismit sativum), probably originated in west- 
ern Asia along the foothills of the Caucasus. It has, however, long been culti- 
vated in Europe. Some authorities believe that it may have originated 
from the field pea (Pistim arvense). The pea is extensively cultivated in 
Europe and Canada as a forage plant. The chick pea, {Cicer arietinum), is 
a native to Caucasus and the Caspian Sea region and has been cultivated since 

Fig. 280. Garden pea (Pisum sativum), 
a valuable food plant. (U. S. Dept. Agr.) 

remote times in northern Africa and other Mediteranean countries. In the 
United States, it is cultivated chiefly in the arid regions both for stock and for 
human food. The lentil (Lens esculenta) has been cultivated in the Mediter- 
ranean region for centuries but its original home is not known. It is grown and 
used now from Central Europe south and east to India, as food for both men 
and stock. The peanut (Arachis hypogaea), probably native to Brazil, was 
cultivated by the ancient Peruvians but is now widely scattered in all warm 
countries. The nut (seed) is used as food and a fine oil is extracted from it. 
A plant allied to the peanut (Voandesia subterranea) is used as an article of 
food in western and southern Africa. The pigeon pea (Cajanus indicus) is 
an important article of food in the tropics, especially in India, and is also used 
as a fodder plant. The sword bean (Canavalia ensiforme) and the Jaukpea 
(C obtusifolia), cultivated in the tropics are used as food, the skin having been 



Fig. 281. I'c.nnr.t (.Irachis hyl'ogc.ea). 

Fig. 282. Rroad Hcan {Vicia Faba). Culti- 

vated both as a f<io(l and as a forage plant. 
(From the American Agriculturist.) 



first removed. The broad bean (Vicia Faba) is much cultivated in Europe 
for both animal and human food. The seeds of Paprika africana are used as 
food by native Africans and in Abyssinia and in the Indian Archipelago are 
esteemed as a good substitute for coffee. 

The Australian wattles (Acacia), of which there are many species, vary 
greatly in size. The bark of some of these is used for tanning purposes. The 
wood is valuable and takes a fine polish, A. Gerrurdi being an example of 
this class. From A. Farnesiana is derived the oil of cassia, much used in per- 
fumery. It is prepared by macerating the flowers in olive oil. Cassia pomade 
is prepared from fatty substances to which the cassia flowers have been made 
to impart their perfume. C. occidentalis is used as a substitute for coffee. 
Many of the legumes produce important gums. From the Algarrobe, or locust 
tree of Jamaica (Hymenaea Courbaril) is produced a gum said to be superior 
to shellac; the sweet pulp of the fruit is edible. The gum Kino (Pterocar- 
pus Marsupium) is a native of India and yields a gum that is used both for 
tanning and dying and as an astringent. Kino contains from 40-80 percent of 
tannin and kino red. P. tinctorius produces a valuable wood, and a related 
species {P. Dalbergioides) produces a wood similar to mahogany. The Tonka 
bean or Tonquin (Dipteryx odorata) of Guinea contains the substance cumarin 
and is used as a snuff and as a scent in cigars. Cumarin is widely distributed 
in the plant kingdom, especially in such Leguminosae as Dipteryx, Melilotus, 
and Myroxylon. It occurs in species of other families, as the palm, vernal 

Fig. 283. Axwort (Coronilla varia). A poison- 
ous plant of Europe — adventitious in the U. S. 
(From Strasburger, Noll, Schenck and Schimper.) 



grass, madder, rue, and orchids, in such composites as Trilisa, in the root- 
stock of Vitis sessilifolia and in Prunus Malialeb. It is most easily detected 
when the plant begins to wilt or after it is dead. Pseudocumarin C^H^O^,, 
is like the odorous substance found in Coronilla scorpioides. The seeds 
of Mucuna gigantetan and of M. pruriens are used for various purposes as 
watch charms, or as other ornaments. 

Some species of the family which contain a good fiber are applied in weaving 
cloth. A species of Crotalaria, C. jmicea is cultivated in India for its tough 
fiber, and is used for making ropes and bags. Sesbania aculeata, a branched 
annual, is also cultivated for its fiber. The stems of Shola {Aeschynomene 
aspera) native to India are used for making hats. Blue indigo dyes come from 
Indigofera Anil of the West Indies. The Genista tinctoria or Dyers' Broom 

Fig. 284. Hairy Vetch {Vicia villosa). 
plant. (U. S. Dept. Agr.) 

Cultivated as a forage 



of Europe and Asia, and naturalized in the U. S. contains a yellow coloring 
principle. The seeds of Entada scandcns are used in the Samoan Islands in 
playing games. The Pithecolobium duke contains a pulpy pod which is 
eaten. The plant is good fodder. Guava (Inga vera) is grown as a shade tree 
and as a substitute for coffee. It is not to be confused with the fruit producing 
guava (Psidiuni giiajava). Important forage plants not previously mentioned 
are red clover {Trifolium pratense), native of Europe and used extensively 
in northern United States; alsike clover (T.. hybridum), white clover (T. 
repens), well known as a forage plant and a good honey plant, T. alexandrinum 
the great forage crop of Egypt, known as the Beresem, Japan clover {Lespedesa 
striata) a well known forage plant of the South, French honeysuckle {Hedy- 
sarujii coronarium) an ornamental plant, native to Spain, also used as a for- 
age plant of Europe and Western Asia, Desmodium friflorum used as a forage 
plant in the tropics, Florida beggar weed (Desmodium tortuosum) of India, 
alfalfa (Medicago sativa) of Europe and Western Asia, the vetches (Vicia 
villosa and V. sativa), lupines (Ltipinus albus) cultivated for forage pur- 
poses, besides many valuable native forage plants like the Hosackia Purshiana, 
the wild pea (Lathyrus vcnosus) etc. 

... - ^ 

Fig. 285. Dyer's Broom {Genista tinctorid). Contains 
a yellow coloring matter. (After Faguet.) 



Prof. N. E. Hansen through his exploration has brought into prominence 
the yellow-flowered alfalfas from Siberia, Medkago rulhcnica and M. platy- 
carpa, and some of the hardy alfalfas are apparently hybrids between M. sativa 
M. falcata. C. V. Piper* calls attention to a number of valuable leguminous for- 
age plants that should be cultivated in this country, such as the Lyon bean 
(Stisolobiitm Lyoni). The Kudzu (Puerana Thunbergiana) a woody native 
of Japan, is much used as a forage plant in that country and has been culti- 
vated in Florida. The Guar (Cyamopsis tetragomoloha) is an East India 
annual legume and is said to be very drouth resistant. Tangier pea {Lathyrus 
tingitanus) is a native of Northern Africa. It is excellent and said not 
to be poisonous like the other species. The moth bean (Phaseolus aconiti- 
folius) is used for food in India and is said to be a splendid 
forage plant. The Adzuki bean (Phaseolus angularis) native of 
southern Asia is used for food in China, Japan and India, and is said 
to possess vaulable qualities as a hay plant. The Kulti (Doliclios bijiorus) 
native to India is said to give promise in the semi-arid regions in Texas as 
a valuable forage plant. Under the Vetches the more recent introductions 
that give promise are the scarlet vetch (Vicia fulgens) of Northern Africa, 
the black purple vetch {V. atro purpurea) of Algeria and the woolly pod 

Fig. 286. Carobtree, or St. John's Hrcad (CeviUonia 
siliqua). The fruit is edible and is siip|iosed to be 
the "locust" of Biblical histoiy. (.After Faguet.) 

Yratbook U. S. Dept. of Agr. 1908-245. 


vetch (V. dasycarpa) of the Mediterranean region, the Carob tree or St. John's 
bread (Ceratonia siliqua) is a small tree of the Mediterranean region, the 
pods of which contain much mucilage of a sweet nature from which syrup 
was made, and is supposed to be the locust which John the Baptist lived upon in 
the Wilderness and is used as food; and cattle also relish it. Manna (Alliagi 
mauroruiii) is a dwarfed, thorny, shrubby plant which produces a kind of 
manna. The locust trees of the West Indies, or Courabaril (Hymenaea Cottr- 
baril) produces a hard timber. The pods contain bean-like seeds embedded 
in a white spongy mass. The Zamang {Pithecolobium Soman) is a large 
tree of Venezuela which produces thick, flat pods, containing a sweet pulp 
comnionh' used by cattle and horses for food but which are liable to cause 
internal disorder. The honey locust of eastern North America (Glcditschia 
triacanthos) produces a hard wood. The pod contains a gummy sweetish 
substance much relished by stock. The pods of the mesquite tree {Prosopis 
j'uliflora), native to Texas, are used by stock. The Kentucky coffee tree 
(Glyiiinocladiis dioica) is native to the Mississippi Valley and it produces a 
broad, tough pod which contains large, hard seeds. The pod contains a sweetish, 
disagreeable and nauseating material more or less poisonous. The hard wood 
is durable. The seed of hairy vetch (Vicia hirsuia) is a common impurity 
in grain seed. The plant is used for forage. The seeds of Castanosperinuiu 
australis are used in New South Wales in the production of starch. The 
seed of the coffee astragalus {A. baeticus) is said to produce, when roasted, 
the true coffee flavor, and is much used in Sweden. 

Many of the species of the order are ornamental, among which may be 
named the Judas tree or red bud (Cercis Siliquastrtim) ; the Caraganas, shrubs 
with beautiful yellow flowers; the broom {Cytisus scoparius) of Europe 
naturalized along the sea coast, also used in medicine; the black locust (Robinia 
Pseiido-acacia), commonly planted as an ornamental tree. The laburnum 
{Laburnum anagyroides) is an ornamental tree with poisonous seeds and hard 
wood, used for turned work. The wisteria (Wisteria speciosa) a hardy spec- 
ies of the southern states and W. Chinensis of China, are cultivated as far 
north as central Iowa. The seeds of several species of the order are used 
for making necklaces, among these are the red seeds of the coral tree (Ery- 
thrina Corallodendron) of the West Indies, the crab's eye {Abrus precator- 
ius) and the Ormosia dasycarpa. The Jequirity seed (Abrus precatorius) is 
used as a weight in India, according to Dr. Spafford, each seed weighing ap- 
proximately 1 gram. 

Medicinal Plants. Of the medicinal plants, in this family, the most important 
only will be mentioned here. The broom (Cytisus scnparius), native to Europe, 
is used as a diuretic and purgative. Fenugreek (Trigonella Foenum-graecum) 
was formerly used in medicine, but the powdered seeds are now used as an in- 
gredient of curry powder and also in the preparation of stock foods ; they 
have a characteristic odor and bitter taste. Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra 
and var. glandulifera (Russian), native to the warmer regions of Europe and 
extending eastward into Central Asia, is made into extract of licorice which 
is used to cover the flavor of nauseous medicines and contains the glucoside 
glycyrrhisin. Cowhage (Mucuna prurieiu) is a lofty climbing plant with dark 
purple flowers of the size of the sweet pea; pods from 2-4 inches long, covered 
with rigid, pointed, brown hairs, which if touched, enter the skin and cause 



itching. The plant is used for the expulsion of intestinal worms, the hairs 
being mixed with honey and molasses. The young pods are used as food. 
The Calabar or ordeal Bean {Physostigma venenosum) is a climbing peren- 
nial plant resembling the scarlet runner and is native to tropical western Africa. 
It was formerly used by the natives to produce poisoning and is also an anti- 
dote against strychnin poisoning. The seeds contain several poisons, among 
them the alkaloids pliysostigmin C^^U^^'N..O^ which contracts the pupil of the 
eye, calabarin a tetanizing principle, and eseridin Cj^H^gNgO, a purgative. 
The wood of Araroba (Andira araroba) is very bitter and is used in oint- 
ments. Balsam of Tolu (Myroxylo7i toluiferum), a native of Veneuzela and 
New Granada, is used as an ingredient in lozenges and contains a volatile oil 
tolene C^^Hj^. 

Logwood {Haematoxylon campechianum) is a spreading tree, native to 
Central America and Honduras, the bark of which is used for dyeing and 
staining, also for domestic purposes, such as in chronic diarrhoea, and contains 
heamatoxylin Cj^Hj^Og and heamatein Cj^H^^Og. Senna leaves are derived 
from the leaves of Cassia (C. acutifolia and C. angustifolia), the former being 
found in Nubia and the latter in southern Arobia and India. Senna leaves are 
used in medicine as a purgative and contain cathartic acid, chrysophan and two 
bitter principles sennacrol and scnnapicrin. Several of our native species of Cas- 


Fii;. 'JS7. Kuropean Licorice (Glycynliica glabra). 
(After I'aguct). 



Kig. 288. Acacia (AcacM arabica). Flowering and 
fruiting brancli. The source of gum arabic. (After 

sia like the partridge pea (C Chamaecrista), produce scours in sheep because of 
their purgative properties. The purging cassia (C Fistula) is a tree indigenous 
to India. The pulp of the pod is a mild laxative. Clitoria ternatca of the Pacific 
Islands is a powerful cathartic. Tamarind (Taniarindus indica) a large, hand- 
some tree indigenous to tropical Africa, is now widely distributed in other 
tropical countries. The fruit is used in medicine as a mild laxative and also 
in making a drink. It contains citric, tartaric, and other organic acids. The 
pulp and seeds are also eaten; the latter, when boiled, make a tenacious glue. 
The leaves and flowers are used as mordants in dyeing. Copaiba balsam 
{Copaifera officinalis) is a native to South Africa. The balsam is collected 
by Indians and used because of its stimulating action on the mucous mebmrane. 
It contains several acids, among them copaibic acid, C^^'B.^^O^. Gum Arabic 
is obtained from Acacia arabica, the finest product coming from several species 
of the genus Acacia {A. Senegal), a plant well known to ancients. It possesses 
no real medicinal value. Catechu {Acacia Catechu), a small tree with thorny 



branches, found in tropical eastern Africa, is used in medicine as an astringent. 
Under another name, Cutch, it is used in medicine because of its astringent 
properties. The resin from Cutch is made into cakes used for dj'eing 
and tanning. Cutch contains catechol C^H„0„ and catcchutannic acid. 

Fig. 289. Copaiba Balsam {Copaifera officinalis). 
ally. (After Faguet.) 

Used medicin- >•;? " 

Gum tragacanth {Astragalus gummifer) native to western Asia, is a spiny 
shrub with yellow flowers and is used to give consistency to lozenges ; il con- 
tains traganthin, C^HyO,^ and arabin. 

Poisonous and medicinal plants. Most of the substances occurring in the 
poisonous plants arc mentioned under the species described. Many of the 
Lcguminosae contain alkaloids; few of these are, however, found in Mimoseae, 
although alkaloids have been found in Acacia tenerrima, Albizzia lucida, and 
Pithccolohium Soman which are Mimosae. Of the Papilionaccae, the Sophoreae, 
Podalyrieae and Gcnistcae frequently contain alkaloids. Ulexin, found in seed 
of the Ulcx europaeus, sophorin, in Sophora speciosa, and haptitoxiu arc identical 
with cytisin. Motrin C H^^N.,0, an alkaloid, resembling lupanin occurs in the 
root of Sophora augustifoli.a Anagyrin C^,\\^^0^, and cytisin, both occur in 
the seeds of Anagyris foetida, Baptisia and many other genera. 



Fig. 290. Tamarind {Tamarindus indica). Fruit, flow- 
ers and leaves. Fruit used in making a refreshing drink; 
seeds furnish a glue. (After Faguet.) 

Retamin CjgH^gNO,^, is obtained from the young branches of Genista 
spliaerocarpa. The seed of Trigonella Foennm-Graecum contains trigoncllin 
C^H,NO,; the same alkaloid is said to also occur in the pea, hemp and oats. 
Physostigmin C^^H^^'N.^O^, or cserin occurs in the ripe seed of Physostigma ven- 
enosum. The so-called calabrin is a secondary product; Robinia Nicou is said to 
contain nicoulin. Pancin C^^H^gN.O. is found in the fruit of Pentaclethra 

Quite a number of the Leguminosae also contain glucosides. One of the 
earliest discoveries made in connection with glucosides was of glycyrrhycin 
found in some species of Astragalus, Abrus prectorius, and the root stock of 
Polypodium vulgare and other plants. The root of our wild licorice also con- 
tains a glucoside to the extent of 8.53 per cent. Glycyrretin, found in licorice, 
has the formula C^gH^^Og. 

Ononis spinosa contains a glucoside ononid and a second glucoside, ononin, 
CgpHg^Oj.,. Lupinin, C^gH^^O^p, is a glucoside found in the seedlings of 
Lupinus lutcus, which through hydrolysis forms lupigin, C^^Hj^Og. Gastrolo- 
bin is found in the leaves and young branches of Gastrolobium bilobum: bap- 



Fig. 291. Purging Cassia (Cassia Fistula). Flowering and fruiling branch. The 
pulp of the pod is a mild laxative. (After Faguet.) 

Fig. 292. Cow Pea {I'igiia Catjang). 
A well known forage plant of the South. 
To the right a legume; to the left a 
flower and a part of a branch in the 
lower left hand corner. (W. S. Dud- 


tisin, C^pH^^Oii' occurs in Baptisia ; and tephrosin, a poisonous substance in 
Tephrosia toxicaria. A very toxic unnamed glucoside, CggHg^O^Q, occurs in 
the bark and root of Derris elliptica, Mundulea suberosa, and Lonchocarpus 
violaccus. Power, however, failed to find this glucoside in Derris uliqinosa. 
Turboin, Cg^Hg^O^p, occurs in Tephrosia toxicaria. Gallotannic acid, C^^H^gOg 
-(-^H,0 so called, occurs in the pod of Caesalpinia coriaria. The bark of cer- 
tain species of Acacia contains 30 per cent of tannic acid. The wood of A. 
Catechu is colored red by catechin, a crystallizable substance. 

Lindley in the earlier edition of his Vegetable Kingdom, states, that the 
plants of this family are on the whole wholesome and nutritious, and later de- 
clares that the family must be considered poisonous. The species used as food 
must be considered an exception. 

In Australia there are several members of this family that are poisonous. 
Dr. Gray in an American Agriculturist of Oct., 1878, says : 

What a pity that our cattle are not better acquainted with the corrected rule. In 
Europe and in the Atlantic States, no harm is known to come to cattle from want of 
proper discrimination. But when European flocks were taken to Australia and to pastures 
and forage almost wholly new, thousands of sheep perished in the Swan River Valley 
Colony in consequence of cropping the leaves of some leguminous plants to which they 
were attracted. What made the matter worse for the botanists, was that the very plants, 
which did the mischief had been recommended by one of them (Mr. Preiss, a German) as 
the best thing the Agricultural Society could cultivate, as artificial food for stock. But 
another botanist, Drummond, a canny Scotchman, made some experiments, that proved 
that the people were right in charging the damage to these very species (of Gastrolobium) 
which the German botanist, on general principles, expected to be innocent and useful. 

The Australian Gastrolobiums are all more or less poisonous. Baron Miiller 
having long ago reported Gastrolobium grandiflorum as poisonous. The G. 
calycinum known as the York road poison has a toxic base cygnin, cygnic acid 
CjpHjpO^ which decomposes and forms gastrolobic acid C^Hj^OgH^O. The 
following species are recorded as poisonous by Maiden in Australia: G. trilo- 
bum, G. polystachyum, G. grandiflorum, poisonous to sheep and goats, the seeds 
being especially toxic but not to pigeons. The diseased animals have difficulty 
in breathing, then they stagger and die, death occurring in from 2-6 hours. The 
poison enters the circulation, stops the action of the lungs and heart. The raw 
flesh is said to poison cats, and the blood, dogs. The boiled or roasted flesh is, 
however, eaten by the natives and is not injurious. The blossoms are very 
poisonous. The Mirbelia racemosa is also poisonous to sheep, cattle, and goats. 
Two species of Goodia, according to Maiden, are poisonous, the G. lotifoUa and- 
G. medicaginea. These plants produce what locally goes by the naine "'black 
scours." The animals become weak, emaciated, and die. The Gastrolobium and 
Crotalaria are stock killers in Australia though used as forage in South Aus- 
tralia. Maiden reports that the bean tree (Castanospermiim australe) is poi- 
sonous to stock, especially the beans ; when cooked, however, they are eaten by 
the Abyssinians. The box poison (Oxylobium parviflorum) is said to be a very 
poisonous plant to stock. The Gompholobium uncinatum is very injurious to 
sheep in New South Wales. The Swainsona Greyana and S. coronillaefolia are 
poisonous. Sheep that eat them are called indigo-eaters. Both species act much 
like the loco weeds of the United States, "sheep go wrong in the head;" horses 
also act strangel3^ "The eyes stand out of their heads." This disease is identical 
with the "Nenta" disease of South Africa and the "Pea eating" disease of 
Australia. The South African disease is produced by Lesseriia. The symptoms 


from Astragalus mollissimus, Gompholobinni, Sophora secundiflora, Cytisiis pro- 
liferus, are all cerebral. Mac Owen regards them all as belonging to the same 
category and that Lathy rism caused by Lathyrus sativus is allied to them. That 
the well known forage plants Lotus corniculatus, and L. australis, of excellent 
repute, are often injurious to stock, but perhaps only from causing indigestion, 
as stated by Maiden, is worthy of note in this connection. Moussu and Desaint 
report the deaths of a flock of 54 sheep due to poison resulting from eating an- 
other plant of this order, Galega officinalis; 80 others in the same flock were 
badly affected. Ecchymoses were found in the walls of the alimentary tract and 
in the fatal cases a large amount of serum had collected in the pleural cavity. 
In subsequent experiments, it was found that 3 kg. of G. officinalis was sufficient 
to poison a sheep ; the plant, however, seems not to be poisonous to rabbits. 
It is of interest to note that the genera Robinia, Lndigofera, Wisteria', Caragana, 
Colutea, Swainsona, Galega, Lessertia, Astragalus, and Sesbania, all of which con- 
tain poisonous species, many of which are exceedingly toxic, belong to the tribe 
Galegeae of this family. Glychyrrhiza of the same tribe is not poisonous nor 
are all of the species in genera like Astragalus, Caragana, etc. 

The ErytJirophlaemn guineense contains an alkayoid crythopJdcin which 
acts like digitalin and picrotoxin. The Indigo of Australia (lndigofera aus- 
tralis) is regarded as poisonous in Australia. The Lathyrus sativus, L. cicera, 
and L. clymneum are poisonous but the active principles have not been isolated. 
Of other poisonous genera Robinia, Baptisia, Gyninoclcdus, Thermopsis, may be 
mentioned, but the treatment will be given more at length in another connection. 

According to Dunstan and Henry, Lotus arabicus, when moistened with 
water and crushed, produces prussic acid. The glucoside lotusin is converted 
by the enzyme lotase into prussic acid. We may mention here that many of 
the spiny Acacias {A. palleus) of Australia may be injurious in a mechanical 
way. j[ 

The poisonous substance of Jequirity (Abrus prccatorius) is a toxalniumin 
called abrin (found also in Cassia hispidula of Mexico) which is easily de- 
composed by heat. Behring has produced an antitoxin against the abrin or A. 
precatorius. The beans when cooked are eaten in Egypt. 

A poisonous resin has been found in Wisteria chinensis, and a glucoside 
wistcrin; Colutea arborescens, a well known southern European ornamental 
plant is poisonous, the leaves being so strongly purgative that they are frequent- 
ly substituted for the genuine Senna. European authors list it among the 
poisonous plants. 

The Tephrosia purpurea of Australia is poisonous to stock, and is used to 
stupefy fish. A large number of other plants of the order are used as fish 
poisons. Mention may be made of Dcrris, Abrus and Cliloria; others arc men- 
tioned in Part I. Some like Afzclia and Pithecolobiun are used as arrov/ poi- 
sons. The seeds of the jequirity plant (Abrus prccatorius) arc much used in 
India for the purpose of poisoning especially in criminal cases of cattle poison- 
ing, less than 2 grams of the powdered seed causing death in 48 hours. The 
usual method of the "Chamar" or "Skinner" caste is to prepare small spikes, 
first soaking the seeds in water, then pounding them, and drying them in the 
sun ; they are then sharpened upon a stone attached to a handle, and driven under 
the skin and left there. Daggers are rendered poisonous by being dipped into 
the powdered seed. 


According to Greshoff the leaves and also the seeds of Cassia marylandica 
contain saponin; leaves of Prosopis juliflora, Galega officinalis, Psoralen mac- 
rosiachya as vi^ell as the seeds contain saponin. P. teniiiflora is regarded as 
poisonous and is avoided by cattle. 
Corolla not papilionaceous or only slightly so, endosperm copious. 

Flowers perfect ; leaves abruptly pinnate 1 Cassia. 

Flowers polygamous or dioecious 2. Gymnocladus. 

Corolla papilionaceous without or with endosperm ; stamens usually 10, usually 
diadelphous or monadelphous. 
Stamens 10, distinct. 

Leaves palmately 3-foliolate. 

Pod inflated 4. Baptisia. 

Pod flat 3. Thermopsis. 

Leaves pinnate 5-. Sophora. 

Stamens monadelphous, diadelphous, or rarely distinct. 
Anthers of 2 forms, stamens monadelphous. 
Leaves simple. 

Pod inflated 6. Crotalaria. 

Pod flat. 

Leaves 1-3-foliolate 8. Cytisus. 

Leaves usually 7-11 foliolate 7. Lupinus. 

Anthers all alike. 

Leaves generally 3-foliolate. 

Flowers in racemes; pods coriaceous 9. Melilotus. 

Flowers in heads ; pods membranous 10. Trifolium. 

Flowers in spikes or heads ;»'pods curved 10. Medicago. 

Leaves pinnately foliolate. 

Leaves not tendril bearing; plants not climbing. 

Herbs with glandular dots 12. Psoralea. 

Herbs without glandular dots ; pods flat. 
Leaves odd pinnate. 

Herbs. Flowers large 13. Tephrosia. 

Trees or shrubs 12. Robinia. 

Leaves evenly pinnate 15. Sesbania. 

Pod turgid inflated. 

Leaflets not toothed, or only at the apex. 

Keel tipped with an erect point 17. Oxytropis. 

Keel not tipped with an erect point 16. Astragalus. 

Leaflets toothed all round 20. Cicer. 

Herbaceous plants ; leaves with tendrils or climbing. 

Leaves with tendrils; style bearded at the apex 18. Vicia. 

Style bearded down one side 19. Lathy rus. 

Herbaceous climbers ; not tendril bearing 21. Phaseolus. 

1. Cassia L. 

Herbs, shrubs, or in tropical regions, trees, with abruptly pinnate leaves ; 
calyx of 5 sepals united at the base; petals 5; somewhat unequal, spreading, 
imbricated, and clawed; stamens usually 10, or 5, often unequal, and some im- 
perfect; anthers all alike, or the lower larger, opening by 2 pores at the apex; 



ovules numerous. About 270 species, mostly in warm and temperate regions. 
A species well known in medicine is Senna (C. acutifolia and C. angustifolia) 
with leaves which are laxative. 

Cassia Chamaecrista L. Partridge Pea 

An annual, spreading, 1 foot long; leaves with a sessile gland on the petiole; 
leaflets of 10-15 pairs; flowers large, showy; petals yellow, with a purple spot 
at the base; anthers 10, elongated, and unequal, 4 yellow, the others purple. 

Distribution. In dry or sandy soil from Maine to South Dakota, Texas to 

Fig. 293. Pea Partridfre {Cassia Chamaecrista). c. Pod. 
Pistil, b. Stamens. (C. M. King) 

Poisonous properties. This plant is common in hay and when the seeds 
are consumed in large quantities, has a cathartic action. Cases of mild poison- 
ing to sheep have been reported to the writer. C. niarilandica, a plant with 
curved pods that are somewhat hairy at first, possesses similar properties. C. 
hispidula contains abrin. 

2. Gymnocladus, Lam. 

Trees with large, bipinnate leaves, and showy, white, dioecious or irregular, 
polygamous flowers ; calyx elongated-tubular below ; 5-clef t, the lobes narrow, 
nearly equal; petals 5 (rarely 4), oblong or oval; stamens 10, distinct, short, 



Fig. 294. Wild Senna (Cassia Mary- 
landica). 1. Flower. 2. Pods. A plant 
growing in the Eastern Atlantic States as 
far south as North Carolina. Laxative 
like the Common Partridge pea. (Selby, 
Ohio Agrl. Exp. Stat.) 

inserted on the petals ; ovary rudimentary, or none in the staminate flowers, 
sessile and many-ovuled in the pistillate; pod oblong, thick, large, and coriace- 

Gymnocladus dioica (L.) Koch. Kentucky Coffee-tree 

A large tree with rough bark; leaves large and ample, 2-3 feet long; 7-15 
leaflets, ovate or acute ; glabrous or pubescent on the vems beneath ; racemes 
many-flowered; flowers slender-pedicelled; seeds hard, J/2 inch across, imbedded 
in a sweet, but disagreeable, and somewhat mucilaginous, material. 

Distribution. From Western New York to Pennsylvania, Eastern Nebraska, 
and Arkansas. 

Poisonous properties. Cases of poisoning are not uncommon. The alkaloid 
cytisin C^^H^^^NgO, a crystalline, rather bitter, and caustic substance which 
causes dilation of the pupil, is reported to have been found, according to Ches- 
nut, in the leaves and soft pulp of the fruit of the coffee bean. The pulp 
has long been used, when mixed with milk, to poison flies. In speaking of the 
symptoms and treatment. Prof Chesnut says : 

Few accidental cases o£ poisoning arise, but the pulp, in one instance, caused severe illness 
in a woman who ate a small quantity, mistaking it for that of the honey locust (Gleditsia tria- 
canthos), which is frequently eaten by children. The symptoms were not fully noted at 
the time, but are described from memory as conspicuously narcotic. The effect began 
within five minutes and lasted several hours. The treatment should probably be the same 
as that for laburnum, viz., emetics, stimulants, injections of coffee, and an alternately hot 
and cold douche to the head and chest. 



Fig. 295. Kentucky Coffee Tree (Gyinnocladus dioica). . Inflor- 
escence from staniinate tree. 2. Pistillate flower. 3. Diagram of 
flower. 4. Longitudinal section of staniinate flower. 5. Pistillate 
flower with a portion removed. 6. Pistil with a section of ovary 
removed. 7. Portion of branch bearing a single fruit, showing seed 
and embryo. 8. Cross section of seed. 9. Portion of leaf. 10. 
Portion of winter branch. 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 10, one-half natural size. 
(M. M. Cheney in Green's Forestry in Minnesota.) 

3. The-rmopsis R. Br. 

Perennial with finely oppressed pubescence, 2-3 feet high ; leaves rhombic- 
olate leaves and foliaceous stipules ; flowers large, yellow or purple, borne in 
racemes; calyx bell-shaped or short-turbinate, with equal and separate lobes 
or the upper united; standard nearly orbicular, as long as the oblong wings and 
the keel ; stamens 10, separate and in-curved ; pistils sessile or short-stalked, 
frequently flat, linear, oblong or curved, ovules numerous. A small genus of 
about 15 species of North America and Asia. 

Thermopsis mollis (ATichx.) M. A. Curtis. Alleghany Thermopsis 

Perennial with finely appressed pubescence, 2-3 feet high ; leaves rhombic- 
lanceolate, 1-3 inches long, entire and nearly sessile; stipules ovate or lanceolate; 



racemes chiefly terminal ; flowers yellow, pod short-stalked and narrow and some- 
what curved. 

Distribution. In the mountains of Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee. 

Thermopsis rhombifolia Richards. Prairie Thermopsis. 

An erect perennial from 1-2^ feet high, appressed, silky pubescent; stem 
angular; leaves with broad conspicuous stipules; leaflets obovate, at length 
nearly glabrous, bracts oval ; flowers yellow, in a rather short raceme of few 
flowers ; pod linear and curved, spreading, several seeded. 

Distribution. In sandy soil and foot hills of the mountains from Manitoba 
to South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas, west to the Rocky Mts., and in Utah, 
Wyoming and Montana. 

Poisonous nature. This plant is very common in the foot hills, and is sup- 
posed to produce poisoning of stock. It is often consumed by sheep. It is said 
that the seeds of the plant are poisonous and the Canadian Department of Agri- 
culture reports several cases of poisoning to children where the seeds were 
eaten. T. montana is a species occurring from western Nebraska anl Kansas 
to the Pacific Coast. Species of Thermopsis are said to contain cytisin. 

4. Baptisia Vent 

Perennial herbs with palmately 3-foliolate, or rarely simple leaves; basal 
sheathing scales ; flowers large, in racemes ; calyx 4-5-toothed ; corolla with a 

Fig. 296. Yellow-flowered Bitter weed 
{Thermopsis montana). Plant is exceedingly 
bitter. (From U. S. Dept. Agr.) 



large standard, but not longer than the wings ; stamens 10, distinct ; pods stalked, 
roundish, oblong, inflated, and many-seeded; seeds often spreading and rattling. 
About 16 species in Eastern North America. 

Baptisia australis (L.) R. Br. Blue False-Indigo 

Tall, smooth, stout perennial 4-5 feet high; leaves short-petioled ; leaflets 
oblong or oblanceolate, obtuse ; stipules conspicuous, persistent ; racemes terminal, 
loosely flowered; 1-2 feet long, erect; flowers blue. 

Distribution. From Western Penn. to Arkansas and Kansas to Ga. 

Baptisia tinctoria. (L.) R. Br. Yellow or Indigo Broom 

A smooth, slender perennial herb 2-3 feet high ; leaves nearly sessile ; leaflets 
obovate or oblanceolate, sessile or nearly so; racemes few-flowered; flowers 

Distribution. In dry soil from Maine to La., west to Minn. 

Poisonous properties. Baptitoxin which is probably the same as cytisin oc- 
curs in Baptisia titictoria. The glucoside baptisin C^gH^^O^^ occurs in some 
species of the genus. 

Dr. Millspaugh states that disturbances produced by taking considerable 
quantities of the tincture are : 

Vertigo; dull, heavy headache with weakness and weariness of bodj^ and tendency 
to delirium; soreness and lameness of the eyeballs, with hot, flushed face; tongue coated 
white, yellow, or yellowish-brown; loss of appetite; nausea, and burning in the stomach; 

Fig. 297. Wild Indigo (Baptisia bracteata). Said 
ot be poisonous. (.\da Ilayden.) 



dull pains in the region of the liver, especially at the site of the gall-bladder; face sallow, 
with burning cheeks; constant pain and aching in the abdomen, followed by marked dis- 
tention, and soreness on pressure. 

According to Dr. Hughes, Baptisia excites true primary pyrexia in the 
human subject. This pyrexia is very much like that of the early stages of 

Baptisia Icucantha T. & G. Large White Wild Indigo 

A smooth, erect perennial herb, petioled leaves ; leaflets obtuse, rounded, or 
sometimes slightly emarginate ; stipules deciduous ; racemes lateral ; flowers 
white or cream color. Prairies and alluvial soils, Ont. to Minn., to Fla. and La. 

Poisonous properties. According to Hyams it is a violent emetic and 
cathartic when taken in large doses and in small doses a mild laxative. 

Baptisia bract eata (Muhl.) Ell. Large-bracted Wild Indigo 

Perhaps more common in sandy soil in the west than B. leucantha. It is 
also shorter and flowers earlier in the season. Prairies, Mich, to Minn., La., Tex. 

Poisonous properties. Dr. Schaffner states that the blue wild indigo and 
the yellow wild indigo are emetic, and that the latter species is regarded as 

Fig. 298. Wild Indigo (Baptisia leucantha). 
This plant is a native of prairies and alluvial 
soils. Said to be poisonous. (Ada Hayden.) 



poisonous. The taste of the plant is rather disagreeable, and it is not generally 
eaten by stock. 

5. Sophora L. 

Shrubby or herbaceous perennials; leaves odd pinnate with numerous leaflets; 
flowers white, yellow or violet in terminal racemes or panicles ; calyx bell- 
shaped, with short teeth, standard rounded or obovate; wings obliquely oblong; 
keel oblong, nearly straight ; stamens all distinct or nearly so ; pistil short- 
stalked ; style incurved ; pod stalked and terete, constricted between the seeds. 
About 25 species, of warm and tropical regions. 

Sopliora sericea Nutt. Silky Sophora 

A low perennial herb from 6-12 inches high, more or less silky canescent ; 
stipules subulate, deciduous, leaflets about 21, elliptical or cuneate oval; flowers 
in short terminal racemes; nearly sessile; corolla white, pod dry, leathery, finely 
pubescent and few seeded. 

Distribution. The prairies of Nebraska and Colorado to Texas and Arizona. 

Poisonous properties. Mr. Chesnut says of this plant : 

The silky sophora, of the Southern Great Plains region, has been somewhat vaguely 
reported as one of the plants that "loco" horses in that region. The seeds contain a very 
poisonous alkaloid. 

Fig. 299. Silky Sophora (Sophora 
xericea). A plant of the plains and 
thought to be poisonous. (Charlotte 
M. King.) 

Sopliora secundiflora DC. Coral Bean 

A stout shrub or small tree, with deep green leaves of about 9 elliptical, 
oblong, obtuse, coriaceous leaflets ; terminal racemes of showy violet, fragrant 
flowers; and large, woody pods 3-5 inches long, containing 3-4 round red beans 
as large as small marbles. 



Distribution. Common from the Gulf Coast to the Pecos and less abundant 
in mountain canons to New Mexico. It is mostly shrubby, but becomes a tree 
30 feet high and forms groves in the vicinity of Matagorda Bay. 

Poisonous properties. Mr. Chesnut says : 

The beautiful bright red berries of the Frijolillo or coral bean of southern and western 
Texas contain a powerful poisonous alkaloid. The plant is said to have poisoned stock in Texas 
and in northern Mexico. 

It contains sophorin, an amorphous alkaloid, which, according to Czapek, is 
probably identical with cytisin. The beans are somewhat used by the Indians 
to produce intoxication. 

6. Crotalaria (Dill) L. Rattle-box 

Herbs or occasionally somewhat woody plants, with simple or 3-7-foliolate 
leaves; yellow flowers borne in racemes; calyx 5-cleft, somewhat 2-lipped, 
standard large, heartshaped ; wings oblong or obovate ; keel curved, stamens mon- 
adelphous, with anthers of 2 forms ; pod inflated like the pea, but shorter and 
many-seeded. About 250 species found chiefly in the tropics. 

Crotalaria sagittalis L. Rattle-box 

Annual from 3 inches to a foot high, with a small straight root; stem 
branched, villous, terete or wing margined; leaves oval or oblong-lanceolate, 

Fig. 300. Rattlebox {Crotalaria sagittalis). 
a, whole plant; b, cross section of seed pod — 
both one-third natural size. The cause of 
crotalism in horses. (U. S. Dept. Agr.) 


from 1/2-1/3 of an inch wide, edge of the leaf entire or somewhat wavy and 
hairy; stipules united and decurrent on the stem, inversely arrow shaped; 
peduncles few-flowered ; flowers yellow, about % of an inch in diameter ; calyx 
5-cleft, standard of the flower large, heart-shaped; keel scythe-shaped; stamens 
monadelphous, anthers of 2 sizes, 5 smaller and roundish ; pod large, inflated, 
bears a close resemblance to the garden pea, greenish at first, becoming black- 
ish; seeds from 1/10-1/12 of an inch in diameter, flattish, kidney-shaped, which, 
when mature, break away from the point of attachment and rattle in the pod, 
hence the name "rattle-box." 

Distribution. This plant is common in sandy soil from Maine to Minnesota, 
South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Northern Texas. The plant is extremely 
common on the sandbars of the Missouri river, where it may be collected by the 
wagon load. 

Poisonous nature. The earliest mention of the poisonous nature of the 
weed was made by Drs. Stalker and Bessey. Dr. Stalker who performed some 
experiments with the plant gives the following symptoms : 

The disease had been known in this region for three or four years, but had not until 
the present summer (1884) prevailed to such an extent as to attract generally public at- 
tention. But now the loss in horse stock on some farms was not to be counted by hundreds, 
but by thousands of dollars. The disease proved to be one that had not hitherto come 
within the range of my experience, nor had I any information of anything exactly identical 
with it. I spent several days among the farmers on the Iowa side of the Missouri river, 
taking careful notes of the symptoms, and gathering the history of the progress of the 
disease. On some farms I found almost all the horses affected, and on others but a few 
individuals. Deaths were an almost daily occurrence, and the farmer who owned a large 
stock of horses did not know today whether he would have teams for his farm work a week 
later. The disease in most cases is very slow in its progress, but proving almost uniformly 
fatal after a number of weeks or months. There is a general decline of bodily vigor 
throughout this period, and the only abnormal symptom in many cases is that of marked 
emaciation and consequent weakness. Horses that have been kept at pasture through the 
summer, without work, and where the grass grew in greatest abundance, were so thin in 
flesh that they walked with the greatest difficulty. A critical examination of many of 
these patients revealed nothing more than the condition resulting from starvation. This 
was not uniformly the case. In a number of instances there was marked, coma or stupor, 
the animal often falling asleep while eating. In some instances the animal would remain 
standing for a whole week, sleeping much of the time with head resting against some 
object. In a few instances the animal lost consciousness, and broke through fences and 
other obstructions. A number of the diseased animals were placed at my disposal, and 
assisted by Dr. Fairchild and Dr. Milnes, I made post mortem examinations of five sub- 
jects with the most perfect uniformity as to the lesions presented. In every instance there 
were marked haemorrhagic effusions into the fourth ventricle, the liver and spleen were 
abnormally dense, the walls of the intestines were almost destitute of blood, and the 
stomach enormously distended with undigested food. The stomach with its contents in 
some instances weighed as much as seventy pounds. These post mortem conditions, to- 
gether with clinical symptoms, led me to believe the animals were obtaining some poisonous 
principle with their food. The symptoms in some cases bore such a resemblance to those 
produced by eating Astragalus mollissiinus, or "loco plant" of the Western plains, as to 
direct my investigations to that family of plants. A careful examination of the meadow 
and pasture lands was not rewarded by the discovery of a single "loco plant." 

It took but little investigation, however, to find a closely related plant growing in 
great abundance, both in the meadows and pastures. This was the Crotalaria sagittalis, or 
rattle-box. This is also known as the wild pea, and is accounted by many farmers as the 
best of forage plants. Knowing the bad reputation of some of its near relatives, I de- 
termined to make s<3me experimental tests with the plant. I employed a boy to collect 
about thirty pounds of the green plants, which I brought with me on my return to the 
college. I procured a strong young horse, affected with incurable catarrh, and attempted 
to induce him to eat the plant. This he persistently refused to do, though I sharpened 



Fig. 300a. White Lupine {Liipinus albus). A forage plant introduced from 
the Mediterranean region. Seeds contain a bitter alkaloid. U. S. Dept. Agr. 

his appetite by a protracted fast. It is a matter of common observation that animals eat 
it with the greatest relish in localities where it grows. Failing to induce the animal to 
take the plant voluntarily I prepared a strong infusion, and by means of the stomach 
pump gave the preparation obtained from about ten pounds of the plant. In twenty 
minutes stupor began to ensue, the eyes were closed, the head was rested against the 
side of the box, the breathing became stertorous, and all the symptoms developed that 
were to be seen in) the patients previously examined. At the end of six hours the stupor 
began to disappear, the eye began to regain its brightness and in another hour the horse 
began to eat. The following day, when he had apparently recovered from its effects, he 
was given half the quantity of the drug as on the previous day. In this instance the 
symptoms were developed much more rapidly, the animal became unconscious in a short 
time and died in an hour and a half. The post mortem revealed the same condition of the 
brain as in the cases examined in the Western part of the State. I now resolved to make 
a second experiment, in which the animal should receive a small quantity for a number 
of days in succession. Having procured another subject for experimentation, and a 
bushel of mature fruit, or pods of the plant, I commenced on Sept. Sth, to give daily Xh". 
infusion obtained from about one quart of the pods. On the fifth day of the experiment 
the characteristic stupor came on. The animal rested its head against the box and slept 
while standing. The symptoms grew more marked till the thirteenth day of the experi- 
ment, when the animal died. The post mortem showed the same as in the other cases. 
These experiments leave no doubt in my mind that the trouble along the Missouri river 
is occasioned by the animals' feeding on this little plant. It is from eight inches to a 
foot in height, with branching stems bearing yellow flowers in July and developing large 
pods resembling the pea, but containing a number of black, hard seeds. It grows on 
sandy bottom land, and is very abundant in the meadows and pastures in portions of the Missouri 
bottom. It is seldom seen among the tame meadow grass in any considerable amount. It 
thrives best among the wild grasses. Animals, doubtless, eat it much more than formerly, 
when the wild pasturage was better than at present. Cattle sometimes, though not often, 
suffer in the same way as horses. 


The disease is also known as the Missouri Bottom disease. Hundreds of 
horses in the Missouri Bottom in Western Iowa and Eastern Nebraska die from 
eating this weed, it being most common in unbroken fields. Horses should be 
kept from all suspected fields. Only cultivated grasses and forage plants should 
be grown. Some doubt has been expressed that this plant is the cause of the 
trouble. The writer a number of years ago, in collaboration with Dr. Miller, 
investigated an outbreak near Council Bluffs. This disease occurred only in 
the bottoms, where the weed was common, and a large number of horses die 
from it annually. No other injurious plants could be found except some ergot 
on. wild rye. A decoction of the weed found here was fed by Dr. McNeill to 
a horse but no injurious symptoms followed. A decoction of the seeds was 
fed to a guinea pig without any serious symptoms. Dr. F. B. Power however 
found a small amount of an alkaloid in the seeds which caused slight illness in 
a kitten. From all of these experiments we may conclude that rattle box is in- 
jurious under some conditions. 

7. Lupinus (Tourn.) L. Lupine, 

Herbs or rarely shrubs with generally palmately compound leaves; stipules 
adherent to the base of the petiole ; flowers showy, in long, dense racemes ; 
calyx deeply toothed and 2-lipped ; corolla with an orbicular or ovate standard 
with margins reflexed; wings oblong, or obovate, lightly cohering, and enclos- 
ing the keel, which is incurved or beaked ; stamens monadelphous, anthers of 
2 forms; pistil with an incurved style and sessile ovary; pod flattened, somewhat 
constricted. About 100 species of temperate regions, or a few in warm regions. 
The North American species are chiefly west of the 100th meridian. The 
Lupinus percnnis occurs in sandy soil from New England to Minnesota and 
Louisiana; L. albus, L. luteus and L. angustifolia are cultivated for forage in 
Europe, the seeds being used as a substitute for coffee. 

Lupinus argenteus Pursh. Hairy Lupine 

A much branched perennial, slightly shrubby, from 2-3 feet high, silky 
pubescent hairs appressed, leaves with small stipules ; petioles equalling or long- 
er than the leaves ; leaflets sessile, narrowed at the base ; flowers in rather dense, 
terminal racemes, purple ; pod silky, pubescent, generally 3-5 seeded. A very 
variable species. 

Distribution. Prairies of South Dakota to Western Nebraska to New 
Mexico, Utah, and from Arizona to Montana. Abundant in the foothills. 

Lupinus pcrennis L. Wild Lupine 

Perennial, somewhat hairy; erect stems, 1-2 feet high; leaves compound; 
7-11 oblanceolate leaflets; flowers showy, purple-blue, in a long raceme; pods 
broad, very hairy, 5-6-seeded. 

Distribution. Sandy soil from New England to Minnesota, Missouri, and 
the Gulf region. 

Lupinus plattcnsis Watson. Nebraska Lupine 

Somewhat like the preceding, with appressed silky-villous hairs, and a glau- 
vous hue; leaflets spatulatc; flowers in loose and short pcduncled racemes; petals 
pale blue. 

Lupine in flower (Lutinus sp.) On the western ranges. (Hull. Nev. Agr. Exp. Sta. 55). 



Fig. 301. Wild Lupine (Lupinus Plattensis). Causes lupinosus. Charlotte M. King 


Lupinns leucophyllus Dougl. 

Leafy, densely silky-tomentose perennial; compound leaves; 7-10 oblong- 
lanceolate leaflets; flowers in sessile racemes, densely flowered; petals blue or' 

Distribution. Rocky Mountains, Colorado to Washington, and Northern 

Lupinus holosericeus Nutt 

A perennial, shrubby plant with silvery-canescent leaves ; 12-20 inches high ; 
compound leaves ; 5-9 lanceolate leaflets ; flowers in whorls or scattered ; calyx 
bracteolate, the upper slightly 2-cleft; petals bright blue. 

Distribution. Oregon to California. 

Lupinus species. There are many other species of Lttpinns in the Rocky 
Mountains and along the Pacific Coast. A great many of these have been looked 
upon with suspicion. 

Poisonous properties. European white lupine, Lupinus albus, L. lufetis, and 
others contain the glucoside lupinin CggH^^O^g, a crystalline substance with a 
bitter taste and a fruity odor; lupinidin CgH,j.N, a pale yellow, heavy, oil with 
a pungent, bitter taste; lupinin C^pH^gNO, also bitter with an apple-like odor; 
Lupinus angusfifolius contains lupinin Cj^H^^N^O, an intensely powerful alka- 
line substance. The substance arginin CgH^^N^O^, found in the etiolated coty- 
ledons of the lupine and the Soy bean, is a proteid. Prof. Chesnut says in regard 
to the Lupinus leucophyllus Dougl. : 

The above species is very abundant in Montana, where it is said to have caused the 
death of a very large number of sheep. There is some question whether the animals were 
killed by a poisonous constituent of the plant or merely by bloat. The seeds of all the 
lupines are probably deleterious in the raw state. In Europe, however, the seeds of 
Lupinus albus, after the bitter taste has been removed by steeping and boiling, are eaten 
by human beings as well as by cattle. 

The so-called ictrogen obtained by European chemists from some of the 
lupines can be extracted by weakly alkaline water and is to be regarded as an 
active poisonous principle. Some European investigators, however, think that 
the alkaloids are not the cause of the poison. To the above poisonous species 
we may add L. linifolius, and L. hirsutus. The disease caused by these has 
long been known in Europe and has received the name of lupinosis. It is com- 
mon where lupines are used for forage purposes. According to Friedbcrger 
and Frohner from one-half to three-fourths of the animals perish. According 
to Arnold and Schneidermuhl the disease can be produced experimentally with 
lupinotoxin in sheep, horses, goats, and pigs. This substance occurs chiefly in 
seeds and pods. Dry heat does not destroy it but steam under pressure does. 
There is a probability that the poison is produced by metabolism. 

Chesnut and Wilcox, in their paper on Stock-poisoning Plants of Mon- 
tana, make the following statement in regard to the Lupine poisoning of Mon- 

So far as we have been able to observe, lupines are not very extensively eaten by 
sheep during the spring and summer. This statement is at least true for normal conditions 
where sheep are acquainted with the range and are not being trailed or driven. Horses 
and cattle take kindly to lupines and eat them in large quantities during their immature 
stages. When sheep are being trailed through strange country, or when they have just 
been unloaded from cars, and are in a hungry condition, they cat lupines ravenously in 
any stage of growth. The lupines are not considered valuable as forage plants for sheep 
until after early fall frosts, or until other forage plants have become dry and uninviting as 

Great Basin Lupine (Lupinus holosericcns). 
poisonous. (Bull. Nev. Agr. Exp. Sta. 62). 

Ripened pods of this are probably 


fodder. In late fall, and especially after early snowstorms, the lupines constitute one of the 
chief forage plants on some of the mountain ranges. It should be remembered that the 
leaves of lupines remain green and the plants offer slightly succulent forage after other 
plants have become dry. 

The first case of poisoning from lupines which was brought to our attention occurred 
in August, 1896. A band of sheep, while being moved from one range to another was 
driven rapidly, and was constantly in a very hungry condition, when it was allowed to 
feed in a field of lupine for a short time. Within two hours after beginning to eat the 
lupine a number of sheep manifested violent symptoms of poisoning, and a few died within 
one hour after the appearance of the first signs of poisoning. Of the 200 sheep in the band 
100 had died before the following morning. The season of 1896 was rather late and at 
the time when the poisoning occurred the lupine pods were fully formed, but the seeds 
were not quite ripe. In this case the sheep were driven away from the lupine as soon as 
the first symptoms of poisoning had been noticed and some of the sheep had eaten only 
small quantities of the plant. About ISO out of the 200 were affected, and as only 50 of 
these ultimately recovered it will be seen that the death rate was very high. 

The owner of these sheep, during the same season cut ai quantity of lupine hay during 
the second half of July. In the winter of 1897 a band of ISO bucks belonging to the same 
sheep raiser were kept in a covered corral and were fed on cultivated hay. On one after- 
noon during the winter these bucks were given a liberal quantity of the lupine hay. About 
three hours after feeding this hay a noisy disturbance was noticed among the sheep. Upon 
investigation the owner found the sheep in a frenzied condition, and during the night 
about 90 of them died. No more lupine hay was fed and no more trouble was experienced. 
They state further that the lupine poisoning occurred in various parts of 
the state, in 1898 about 2,000 having been poisoned. 1,150 sheep died out of a 
single band of 2,500 sheep. They also state that one sheep raiser in Deerlodge 
Valley lost 700 sheep from the poisoning of lupine. They report another case 
which occurred on June 28, 1900, near Livingston, in tw^o bands of sheep, each 
numbering 3,000, which were being trailed westward from Livingston. The 
sheep were liberally salted before being started on the trail; the first day they 
traveled about 5 miles, and camped on opposite sides of a small stream. After 
watering, one band was driven across the creek and camped on a bench about 
30 feet higher than the stream. On the following morning, the sheep which 
had been driven across the stream manifested symptoms of poisoning; tiltimately 
1,900 died. This poisoning is referred to as lupinosis, a disease of which in 
Europe both acute and chronic forms are recognized, but in the United States the 
chronic form only has been recognized. The marked symptoms of poisoning 
are acute cerebral congestion, and great mental excitement. The sheep rush 
about in different directions, often running against the herder or other persons. 
The first stage of frenzy is followed by a second stage in which there is pro- 
nounced irregularity of movements and violent spasms, and falling fits. In 
many cases death occurs in from 1 to 1J4 hours. The pulse dtiring the attack 
is strong and regular. Lower animals are attacked by convulsions, and these 
convulsions resemble those caused by strychnine poisoning. The excretion of 
the kidneys is increased, and sometimes it is bloody. The post mortem condi- 
tions are described by Chesnut and Wilcox as follows : 

Post mortem examinations of the sheep poisoned by lupines revealed conditions very 
similar to those found in the acute cases of loco disease, already described above, with the 
exception that in loco disease the kidneys were not affected. The lungs were slightly con- 
gested, but this condition was not so pronounced as in cases of larkspur poisoning. The 
cerebral membranes were in all cases congested. In the more violent cases small blood 
vessels had been ruptured in various parts of the body, which may have been due either 
to increase of blood pressure or to the struggles of the animal. 

In regard to the treatment. Dr. Wilcox recommends as follows : 
No remedies have been tried in cases of stock poisoning from American species of 
lupine. From our general experience with potassium permanganate it seems reasonable 


to suppose that this substance would probably destroy the lupine alkaloids in the stomach 
if administered promptly after the first signs of poisoning. In the main, however, reliance 
should be placed upon prevention. With regard to the use of lupine hay, our experience 
and observations indicate that this is always dangerous for sheep if cut at a time when the 
seeds are retained in the hay. Since the limit of the period during which lupines are not 
poisonous can not be determined for the present with any certainty, it seems advisable to 
abandon entirely the use of lupine hay for sheep, except after a preliminary test in feeding 
large quantities of the hay to one or two sheep. If it should prove to be non-poisonous, 
it may then, of course, be fed with safety. 

The poisonous principle in all plants which have been fully investigated varies m 
quantity according to the stage of growth of the plant, and is located more abundantly in 
one part of the plant than in another. These facts seem to be strikingly true of lupine, 
since, as already indicated, the plants are sometimes eaten in large quantities with impunity, 
while at other times the plants cause extensive losses, especially among sheep. The evidence 
thus far collected regarding this matter indicates that the seeds are the most poisonous part 
■of the plant. 

Mr. O'Gara of Nebraska, in speaking of the Lupine says this ; 

There are three species of Lupines in the western part of the sand-hill region and 
throughout the foot-hills, which are worthy of attention. So far as can be learned, cattle 
and horses either do not eat them or are not harmed by them, but sheep men say that they 
are extremely poisonous to sheep when eaten after the pods have formed and have begun 
to ripen. Many sheep owners are very careful to avoid patches of Lupine in driving their 
sheep from one range to another, and never trust the flock to a green herder who is un- 
acquainted with the range. 

The three species common to the regions mentioned are the Nebraska Lupine (Lupinus 
Ptattensis S. Wats.), the Silvery Lupine {Lupinus argenteus Pursh.), and the Low Lupine 
{Lupinus pusillus Pursh.). The last named is a small hairy plant four to eight inches 
high, much branched near the root, bearing commonly five leaflets at the end of the leaf- 
stalk. The densely clustered blue flowers are borne on a stalk four to eight inches long. 
The pod is finely-hairy and is three-fourths to one inch long. 

Dr. Nelson conducted some experiments in poisoning from three species 
of Lupinus: L. ornatns, L. sericeus, L. leucophyllus; from which the following 
results were obtained with reference to the effect of feeding quantities of these 
plants. In regard to the first of these species, negative results were obtained 
in part; to sheep fed as early as May 30th, June 8th, July 14th, July 31st, and 
August 2nd, partly in the year 1898, and partly in 1901, these experiments be- 
ing made in 1898 and 1901. In 1904 experiments were made with two sheep 
fed between November 16th, and December 22nd, receiving 274 pounds of this 
hay. This hay was eaten fairly well, and the sheep were given no other food 
except the lupine, and had constant access to water. 

Some loss of flesh occurred in both sheep and one of them became affected, December 
28th, with an attack of stomatitis with quite well developed ulcers in the mouth. He 
practically recovered by January 1st. No other untoward symptoms were manifested 
during the course of the experiment. 

In regard to Lupinus sericeus, the results were in part negative, but June 
28th, 1899, a sheep was fed 2 pounds of lupine that was in full bloom and par- 
tial fruit, gathered a few days previous. On the morning of the 29th, the sheep 
was drowsy, and kept a recumbent position. In the afternoon the comatose con- 
dition was more marked; he walked with an unsteady gait and pressed his head 
against the fence when he happened to reach it, showing a partial paralysis. 
The animal died on June 30th, slightly bloated. 

The ventricles of the heart were partially and the auricles completely filled with a 
black coagulated blood. The lungs were congested, the stomach filled with partially digested 
food, otherwise apparently normal. 

The experiments with Lupinus leucophyllus were negative. 



8. Cytisus L. 

Shrub with trifoliolate or unifoliolate leaves; showy flowers, chiefly in 
terminal racemes; calyx 2-lipped, with short teeth; standard ovate or orbicular; 
keels straight or curved; anthers large and small; ovary with many-ovuled, and 
incurved style; pod flat, oblong or linear. About 40 species, natives of Europe, 
Western Asia, and Northern Africa. 

Cytisus scoparius (L.) Link. Broom 

A stiff, nearly glabrous shrub; elongated, straight, angled branches; lower 
leaves 3-foliolate, obovate ; leaflets which are mucronate-tipped ; upper leaves 
sessile, often unifoliolate; flowers bright yellow, in elongated leafy racemes. 

Distribution. Along the seacoast of Nova Scotia to Virginia, and very com- 
mon along the Pacific Coast. 

Poisonous properties. The Scotch Broom {Cytisus scoparius) common on 
the Pacific and Atlantic coast but naturalized from Europe, contains the alka- 
loid cytisin C^^H^^NgO and is poisonous. Blyth records 400 cases of poison- 
ing from this. The symptoms in stock are slavering, vomiting, staggering, and 
general paralysis. Cytisin, occurring in many of the Genisteae, was found, in 
1818, in Laburnum anagyroides and since then, has been found in many other 
species of the genus Cytisus and in Ulex europaeus, Sophora sp., Thermopsis 
sp., Baptisia tinctoria, Anagyris foetida, Lotus suaveolens, Colutea cruenta, and 
Euchresta Horsfieldii. Some species of the genera Genista and Cytisus do not 
contain cytisin. Cytisus scoparius also contains a volatile alkaloid spartein 
CjgHggNg, a single drop of which, according to Blyth, killed a rabbit that 
showed symptoms similar to those of nicotin poisoning. 

9. Melilotus Tourn 

Annual or biennial herbs with trifoliolate leaves; small white or yellow 
flowers in racemes with the odor of cumarin; teeth of the calyx short and 
nearly equal, shorter than the pod; corolla deciduous with obovate or oblong 

Fig. 302. Flowers of Sweet Clover (Melilotus alba). 1, Standard above. 2, Showing 
wings and keel. 3, Showing stamens and pistil in keel. 


standard, obtuse keel, free from the stamen tube; stamens diadelphous; pod 
wrinkled, straight, ovoid or globose — 1-2-seeded. A small genus of 20 species, 
native to Europe, Africa and Asia. 3 species naturalized, found in North 
America, 2 of them quite weedy. 

Melilotus alba Der. Sweet Clover 

An erect annual or biennial from 2-4 feet high ; rather distant, compound 
leaves, leaflets obovate, oblong, obtuse, serrate, narrowed at the base, truncate, 
emarginate or rounded at the apex; flowers with white petals, small, fragrant; 
pod ovoid, reticulated and smooth. 

Distribution. Abundant in waste places in the eastern and Atlantic states, 
also in the southern states and throughout the Mississippi valley, the Rocky 
Mountain region and the Pacific coast. Sweet clover is one of the most common 
weeds in pastures, and along roadsides. 

Melilotus officinalis (L.) Lam. Wild Yellow Sweet Clover 

An upright, yellow flowered herb from 1-4 feet high ; leaflets oblong, or 
oval, the apex more or less obtuse; corolla yellow; pod with irregularly reti- 
culated veins. 

Distribution. Common in waste places in the irrigated districts of the west, 
becoming more or less common in the Mississippi Valley and along the Atlantic 

Melilotus indica (L.) All. Sweet Clover 

An upright annual like the preceding, but with much smaller yellow flowers. 

Distribution. Native to Europe, introduced in ballast along the Atlantic 
coast and abundant on the Pacific coast. 

Poisonous properties. The sweet clovers contain the substance cuniarin 
CgHgOg, which is found in the Tonka bean, sweet vernal grass, vanilla grass, 
etc. In Europe the sweet clover is suspected of being poisonous. This plant is 
used as a forage plant in the South, and Mr. Cohagen of Iowa, has had ex- 
cellent results in feeding this plant to stock. Its protein content is equal 
to that of alfalfa. It is probable that some forms are entirely inert. Some 
years ago, the writer conducted an experiment in feeding considerable quanti- 
ties of sweet clover, but without any injurious symptoms resulting. A tincture 
prepared by mixing the fresh flowers with alcohol has a vanilla-like odor, and 
a bitter taste. Dr. Millspaugh states that in large doses, cumarin causes nausea, 
vomiting, vertigo, great depression of the heart's action, and cold extremities. 
Dr. Schaff'ner states that both of the sweet clovers are objectionable in wheat, 
because of the foul odor the seed imparts to the flowers. According to Fried- 
berger and Frohncr sweet clover causes paralysis of the muscles. Dr. MacOwen 
states that in New South Wales, the M. indica is said to cause paralysis of 

10. Mcdicacjo L. Mcdick, Alfalfa 

Herbs with pinnately 3-foliolate leaves; leaflets dentate toothed; flowers 
small, yellow or violet in axillary racemes or heads ; calyx teeth short nearly 
equal; standard obovate or oblong; stamens diadelphous; ovary 1-ovuled; pod 
curved or spirally twisted, indehiscent 1-few seeded. About 50 species native 
to Europe and Asia. Bur clover (Medicago hispida) and hop clover or black 



medick (M. lupulina) are used as forage plants on the Pacific coast but east- 
ward are regarded as troublesome weeds, the former injurious to wool. 

Medicago sativa L. Alfalfa 

oblong, toothed, obtuse 
a short raceme violet; 

An upright, smooth perennial ; leaflets obovate, 
emaginate or mucronate ; stipules entire ; flowers in 
pod spirally twisted. A valuable forage plant. 

Distribution. Common in the irrigated districts of the West, also frequent 
eastward, but common southward; spontaneous from New England to Minne- 
sota, Kansas, northward and westward ; native to Europe and Asia. 

Poisonous properties. A large amount of the green fodder is said to pro- 
duce tympanites, but alfalfa is, however, one of the best of forage plants. 

Fig. 303. Flowers of Red Clover. 
Wings, 6, keel. 

1, a, Calyx, c, Standard. 2, f, Wings, h, keel, 4, 5, 

11. Trifolium (Tourn.) L- Clover 

Herbs ; leaves mostly 3-f oliolate, palmately or pinnately ; stipules united 
with the petioles ; leaflets usually toothed ; flowers in dense heads or spikes ; calyx 
persistent ; lobes 5, nearly equal, corolla withering or persistent, claws alternate 
to the stamen tube ; stamens diadelphous or the tenth one separated for a part 
of its length; pods small and membranous, indehiscent or dehiscent, 1-6 seeded. 

A large genus of about 250 species mostly in the northern hemisphere. 
Many are valuable forage plants, among these are red clover (T. pratense), 
alsike clover (T. hybridum) and white clover (T. repeiis). Several are weedy as 
yellow hop clover (T. agrarium) , low hop clover {T. procumbens), and stone 
clover (T. arvense). 

The alsike clover (T. hybridum) and red clover (T. pratense) occasionally 
produce bloat. 

Dr. Jacob Moses and A. M. Harcourt have recently described a disease 
sometimes caused by alsike clover.^ 

iBull. Tenn. Agr. Exp. St. 18:28 (1905). 



Fig. 304. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa). a, b, 
seed pod; c, seed. An e.xcellent forage plant, some- 
times causes bloat. (U. S. Dept. Agr.) 

"The cause of this trouble among horses and mules is not positively 
understood. Whether the toxic effect is due to the plant itself, which possibly 
undergoes some change within the digestive tract and subsequently liberates 
a poison, or whether it is due to the presence of a mould in connection with 
alsike clover, is still undetermined. The mould has been strongly suspected. 
To determine this point will require further investigation. It is known, how- 
ever, that the principle lesions arc produced on the skin and mucous membranes. 

"The symptoms of this disease vary to some extent, depending upon the 
location of the lesions and the length of time the animal remains on the alsike 
pasture after the symptoms begin to develop. The cases which came under 
observation in Marshall County showed marked similarity of symptoms, involv- 
ing principally the skin, the mucous membranes of the mouth, and the eyes. 

"The prevailing symptoms of the disease are as follows : 

On the skin are inflamed areas, appearing at first as more or less rounded 
vesicular swellings, varying from one-half inch to five or six inches, or more, 
in diameter. The hair over the affected areas stands erect, and "has a dull 
appearance, indicating loss of vitality. Later the skin becomes hard and puffed 
out, as the result of the formation of pus underneath. Finally, the deadened 
skin is cast off, leaving a deep, raw, angry-looking ulcer, which eventually 
heals, with the formation of a conspicuous scar, covered with more or less 
white hair. These changes in the skin may occur on any part of the animal, 



but especially on the limbs, body and croup. The eye symptoms consist of 
a marked conjunctivitis, with swelling of the eyelids, sensitiveness to light, 
and a watery discharge from one or both eyes. The mucous membranes of 
the mouth become inflamed (stomatitis), ulcers form, and the animal slobbers 
and refuses to eat. The advanced cases are frequently accompanied by emacia- 
tion. The tongue is usually affected, and the inflammation may extend through- 
out the entire digestive tract. The functions of the liver may be disturbed, 
and a yellowish (jaundice) coloration of the tissues follows. In such cases 
symptoms of colic are not uncommon, and the respiratory tract may become 
involved and pneumonia develop. Some observers in other countries have 
noticed marked nervous symptoms, such as excitement, convulsive movements, 
staggering gait, and paralysis of the throat, with inability to swallow, the 
paralysis at times becoming generalized, the animal getting down and being 
unable to rise. In the cases observed in this state, the nervous symptoms, 
except the general depression, were not very noticeable. 

"The outcome of the disease depends upon the location and extent of 
the lesions upon the horse or mule affected. If they are situated on the ex- 
terior the animal will readily recover as soon as removed from the alsike 
pasture. If the vital organs are involved, such as the brain, lungs and liver, 
the disease may readily produce death. Among those cases occuring in this 
State, not a single fatality has been heard of at the Station. But even though 
the death rate is small where the ordinary precautions are taken, the disease 

Fig. 305. Red Clover {TrifoUum pra- 
tense). Occasionally the cause of bloat. 
(U. S. Dept. Agr.) 



has considerable economic importance, since it leaves the animal more or less 
disfigured by the formation of scars, which materially depreciate his market 

"The treatment is comparatively simple. As soon as the disease is recog- 
nized the animal should be removed from the alsike clover pasture and the 
wounds subjected to ordinary antiseptic treatment, such as frequent washing 
with 5 per cent solutions of carbolic acid or creolin, and the application to 
the ulcers on the skin of drying powders, consisting of boric and tannic acids 
in equal amounts." 

The so-called clover sickness is supposed to be caused by the clover rust 
which has been described elsewhere. No doubt some of the trouble arising 
from feeding clover hay is caused by moulds found on the hay. Dr. W. D. Gil- 
christ says that he has observed several cases of the kind in this state. The 
animals showed extreme restlessness followed by coma, bloody discharge 
from faeces followed by diarrhoea, weakness and debility. Change in fodder 
caused the trouble to cease. 

I have recently received a similar complaint from Dr. C. J. Scott of Knox- 
ville, Iowa, three animals having succumbed. 

Trifolium incamatum L. Crimson Clover 

A soft pubescent, slightly branched, annual; leaves long petioled;broad 
stipules; leaflets nearly sessile, obovate or obcordate cuneate at the base. 

Fig. 306. Crimson Clover (Tri- 
fotiuin incariuiiuiii }■ Sdiiictinu'S 

produces phytobezoars, which may 
cause death. (U. S. Dept. Agr.) 



denticulate; flowers in elongated, oblong or ovoid, heads, sessile; calyx hairy, 
lobes plumose pointed, corolla crimson. 

Distribution. Used as a cover crop and a forage plant in the south 
and east. Found on ballast from Maine to Pennsylvania. Native to Europe. 

Injurious properties. According to Prof. Coville it produces phytobezoars 
and ocasionally causes death in animals. 

Trifolium repens L. White Clover 

A smooth perennial virith slender creeping and spreading stems ; leaflets 
inversely heart-shaped or notched, obscurely toothed; stipules narrow; peduncles 
very long, flowers in small loose heads reflexed when old ; calyx shorter than 
the white corolla; pods 4-seeded. 

Distribution. In fields and waste places throughout eastern North America, 
the Northwest and the Rocky Mountains. 

Poisonous properties. Said to cause tympanites in cattle and slobbering 
in horses. 

Psoralea L. Psoralea 

Perennial herbs, usually sprinkled with glandular dots ; leaves generally 
3-5 foliolate; flowers spiked or racemed, white or mostly bluish-purple; calyx 
5-cleft, persistent; stamens diadelphous or occasionally monadelphous; pods 
about as long as the calyx, 1-seeded. 

Fig. 307. White Clover {Trifolium 
repens). Occasionally the cause of 

tympanites in cattle. (Lamson-Scribner, 
U. S. Dept. Agr.) 


About 100 species of wide distribution, many native to the plains, the roots 
of some being tuberous and farinaceous. The Indians used the tuberous roots 
of the P. csculenia, known as Pomme Blanche, or Pomme de Prairie, of 
the voyageurs for food. The roots of P. hypogaea and P. cuspidata were also 

Psoralea argophylla Pursh. Silver-leaf Psoralea 

Densely silvery, pubescent with appressed hairs; stem zig-zag, divergently 
branching, from 1-3 feet high; leaflets elliptical-lanceolate; flowers spicate, in- 
terrupted, blue; pod oval, membranaceous, plant seldom seeding. 

Distribution. From Wisconsin to Kansas and New Mexico to the North- 
west territory. 

Poisonous properties. This plant was suspected of being the cause of a 
severe case of poisoning in Story County, la., two years ago. This is the first 
time the writer has known plants of this genus to cause poisoning, but he has 
had some correspondence with the parties concerned and thinks there can be 
no doubt that the poisoning was caused by the plant in question. A child was 
seriously poisoned by eating the seeds of this plant, but she finally recovered. 
It was thought this poisoning might have been caused by Astragalus caryocarpus 
but the plant sent me was the above. 

13. Tephrosia Pers. Hoary Pea 

Herbs or somewhat shrubby plants; odd-pinnate compound leaves; flowers 
in racemes or short clusters, red or white; stipules small; calyx S-cleft ; 
petals 5; standard roundish, usually silky outside, turned back, about 
as long as the coherent wings and keel. About 120 species, native of warm 
and tropical regions, a few are found in the United States. 

Tephrosia virginiana Pers. Goat's Rue. Catgut 

Perennial with villous or silky and whitish hairs; stem erect and simple, 
1-2 feet high; leaflets 17-25, linear-oblong; terminal oblanceolate, narrowed 
to cuneate at the base ; emarginate at the apex ; flowers yellowish purple in 
long, dense racemes. 

Distribution. In dry and sandy soil from Maine to Louisiana, west to 
Minnesota and Eastern Iowa, to Mexico. 

Poiso7tous properties. This species, along with others, was formerly used 
to poison fish. The Mexican species, T. toxicaria, gets its name from its sup- 
posed toxic properties, and in South America, one species is commonly employed 
by the natives to poison the fishing streams. 

The root is also poisonous to frogs and guinea pigs. 

Tephrosia toxicaria contains the glucoside tephrosin. Several active sub- 
stances have been obtained by Hanriot * from one species, Tephrosia Vogelii. 
Three substances were isolated; one, tephrosal C,nHjpO is toxic especially 
to fish; a second toxic substance is tephrosin C.,^H„gO,Q. 

14. Robiiiia L. Locust Tree 

Trees or shrubs; stipules often prickly or spiny; leaves compound, odd- 
pinnate; the oblong leaflets with short stipules; flowers showy in axillary race- 
• Compt. Rend. 1907; 498-651. Journal Chemical Society Abs. 92:386, 1907. 



Fig. 30S. Black Locust {Robinia Pseud-acacia). 1. Flowering 
branch. 2. Flower. 3. Tube of stamens. 4. Longitudinal section 
of pistil. S. Diagram of flower. 6. Legumes. 7. Pod open, showing 
seed. 8. Seed. 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, one-half natural size. (M. M. Cheney 
in Green's Forestry of Minnesota.) 

mes; calyx short, S-toothed, and slightly 2-lobed; standard large, about as 
long as the wings and equal; stamens diadelphous; pod flat, several seeded and 
margined. A small genus of 6 species, native of North America and Mexico. 
Several species are cultivated for ornamental purposes, like the Robinia 
viscosa, which is native from Virginia to North Carolina and Georgia, and the 
Robinia hispidia, native to the mountains of Virginia and Georgia. The R. 
neo-niexicana, with purple flowers, native to S. Colorado and New Mexico, 
is frequently cultivated. 

Robinia Pseudo-acacia L. Locust Tree, False Acacia or Black Locust 

A large tree with rough bark, spiny stipules; 9-19 stalked leaflets, obtuse, 
emarginate, or mucronate; flowers in loose drooping racemes, white, fragrant; 
pods smooth; standard yellowish at the base. 


Distribution. Widely planted as an ornamental tree. It produces valuable 
timber which is extensively used for posts. This species is, however, badly 
infested with the borer. 

Robinia viscosa Vent. Clammy Locust 

A small tree with rough bark; stipules short, occasionally spiny; twigs and 
petioles glandular; leaves 11-25, stalked; leaflets obtuse and mucronate; nearly 
smooth ; racemes dense ; flowers in rather dense racemes, pinkish, not fragrant ; 
pedicels glandular, hispid; pod hispid. 

Distribution. Southwestern Virginia to Georgia, occasionally escaped from 
cultivation northward. 

Poisonous properties. The bark and leaves of this species contain a power- 
ful poison which has proved fatal to persons eating them. Children have been 
poisoned by eating the roots. It is true, however, that the flowers of the plant 
are often eaten with impunity and that bees collect from them large quantities 
of nectar. Dr. Rusby states that the occasional poisonous properties of honey 
are due to its origin in these flowers, though there are gool theoretical reasons 
for doubting this. The bark of young twigs is sometimes pounded to a pulp, 
and used to make a tincture which is used in medicine as a tonic and cathartic, 
while the medicinal use of the flowers is mildly narcotic. It contains the sub- 
stance robiiiin C^„H^pOjj, an aromatic glucoside which resembles the glucoside 
quercetrin, and is found chiefly in flowers, also the substance obigenin ^^rJ^^^P^, 
+H.,0. The seeds are also poisonous, and Dr. Millspaugh quotes Dr. Shaw 
as follows, in regard to the symptoms produced by poisoning from eating the 
seeds : "Inability to hold the head upright, nausea and attempts to vomit, with 
a tendency to syncope, when in an upright position ; voice, respiration and 
heart's action feeble, as from exhaustion, a painful paralytic condition of the 
extremities, which become shrunken on the fifth day. All the symptoms seemed 
like those produced by a long-continued diarrhoea, though in this case purg- 
ing was not present." Dr. Johnson states that the symptoms of poisoning are 
those of Belladonna poisoning, a fact also noted by Dr. Waldron in the case 
of a horse that had eaten the bark; Friedberger and Frohner state that the 
animals have colic, tympanites and paralysis. 

Dr. Rusby comments uix)n the poisonous character of the common black 
locust as follows : 

Of this Dr. Johnson records that by eating the roots children are poisoned with 
symptoms like those of Belladonna poisoning, and that the bark and leaves are emetic. 
Prof. F. W. Power has experimented upon himself with the stem bark of this tree, proving 
the very serious elTects which it produces, and he has examined its composition with the 
result of showing that the poisonous constituent is an albuminous substance, thus confirm- 
ing the general character of that family, the Lcgnwiiwsa^e. The most positive and prom- 
inent case recorded in regard to this article is that of Dr. Z. P. Ivmcry. In the latter 
part of March, 1887, thirty-two boys, inmates of the Brooklyn Orphan Asylum, were poisoned 
at one time by eating a bark which was being stripped in the vicinity for the making of 
fence posts. None of the cases terminated fatally. The prominent symptoms, stated in 
the order of their occurrence, were the vomiting of a ropy mucous, flushing of the face, 
dilated pupil, dryness of the throat, feeble pulse, extremities cool, face pale, vomiting of 
blood, cold extremities, heart feeble and intermittent, face deathly pale and stupor. The 
symptoms as I have named them are seen to be progressive. A rash similar to that of 
Belladonna poisoning was also present, but very fleeting. In the beginning there was a 
high fever. Treatment consisted of sinapisms over the stomach, subcarbonate of bismuth, 
camphor and brandy. 



A farmer in Dallas County, this state, informs me that sometimes the leaves 
are macerated in water and used to kill flies. 

A case of poisoning to a horse was recorded in Breeders' Gazette in 1909. In 
this case the horse had eaten some of the bark of a tree. The symptoms were 
similar to those recorded by Dr. Waldron. 

IS. Scsbania. Scop. Sesban 

Tall, smooth, branching herbs or shrubs with pinnate leaves and yellow 
flowers in axillary or compound racemes ; calyx bell-shaped, obliquely truncate, 
S-toothed; standard short, orbicular; wings oblong; keel blunt; stamens diadel- 
phous ; style short, incurved at the apex ; legume oblong, stalked, compressed, 
the endocarp membranaceous, at length separating from the coriaceous epicarp 
and enclosing 2 seeds. A small genus of 15 species of warm or temperate 

Seshania platycarpa Pers. 

.\ tall, smooth, branching annual vine ; leaflets 10-35 pairs, mucronate, 
pale beneath; racemes shorter than the leaves; corolla yellowish purple spotted, 
with membranaceous sacked pods. 

Distribution. From the Carolinas to Florida, Missouri, and Texas. 

Poisonous nature. In 1897, Dr. A. P. Anderson sent this to the writer with 
a letter from some stockmen from South Carolina, who stated that it was sus- 
pected of poisoning his cattle. Mr. Chesnut records a similar statement as fol- 
lows : 

In 1897, the United States Department of Agriculture received from South Carolina 
the seeds of this plant, which were found in the stomachs of cows. 

Fig. 309. Sesban (Sesbauia platycarpa). This 
plant is common in the southern states; found 
along roadsides and woods; known to be poison- 
ous. (Charlotte M. King.) 



Fig. 310. Loco Weed (Astragalus mollissimus). 
Charlotte M. King 

16. Astragalus L. Milk Vetch 

Chiefly perennial herbs with odd pinnate or occasionally simple leaves, with 
stipules; flowers spicate or racemose; calyx 5-toothed, tubular; corolla clawed, 
usually long and narrow; standard erect, wings oblong; keel nearly as long as 
the wings ; stamens diadelphous ; pod several to many-seeded, dehiscent or in- 
dehiscent; 1-2 celled. A large genus of about 1000 species of wide distribution 
in the United States, largely western. Several species are used in medicine. 
One plant is widely known as the loco weed. One species native to gravelly 
knolls or dry places of the Mississippi Valley is known as the ground plum or 
hog pea {A. caryocarpus). This species is said to be edible. It should, how- 
ever, be used with caution. 

Astragalus mollissiiniis Torr. Loco Weed 

A stout, short-stemmed perennial with membraneous stipules; leaflets 19-27, 
ovate oblong; flowers in dense spikes, violet purple, rather large; pod oblong, 
glabrous somewhat compressed, sessile, furrowed at both sutures, at length 

Distribution. Found on plains of Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado to Texas 
and New Mexico. 



Fig. 311. Ground Plum (Astragalus 
caryocarpus). It is not known whether 
this species is poisonous or not, al- 
though some of the related species are 
known to be poisonous and belong to 
the loco weeds. It is said that the 
pods of this species are edible. (Ada 

fr-- ^^- ■ 

:'^^^'^^-..4m.SS I ALA.\ C 

Fig. 311a. Map showing distribution of Loco Weed or Purple Loco Weed (Astragalus 
mollissimus). After Marsh, U. S. Dept. Agr. 


The term loco weed is applied to a great many plants. In addition to the 
species mentioned above A. oocarpiis, A. Crotalaria and A. lentiginosus must 
be added; species of Oxytropis are considered in another connection. The 
Sophora sericea of this family, Malvastrum coccineum of the Mallow family 
and corydalis (Corydalis anrea var. occidentale) have at times been classed as 
loco weeds. Thus far none of these plants except those belonging to the 
pulse family have been found to cause loco poisoning. 

Astragalus Bigelovii Gray. Rattle-box 

A subacaulescent, soft, silky, villous perennial ; long, scape-like peduncles ; 
flowers in dense spikes ; violet pod oval-oblong, densely woolly, sulcate. 
Distribution. From S. W. Colorado to Texas and Mexico. 

Astragalus Paftcrsoni A. Gray 

Perennial, robust, 1-2 feet high, with appressed-pubescence, or sometimes 
smooth ; leaflets oblong, rather thick ; peduncles racemosely many-flowered ; 
corolla white, the keel sometimes purplish at the tip ; pods smooth, sessile or 
stipitate ; abruptly contracted within the calyx. 

Distribution. Southwestern Colorado to Utah. 

Astragalus Hornii A. Gray 

A glabrous or minutely pubescent perennial ; slender stems ; leaflets about 
21, narrowly oblong; peduncles longer than the leaves; flowers in a dense head, 
or short spike, numerous, small ; calyx teeth subulate ; pods ovate, from a broad 
base, straight, villous pubescent. 

Distribution. From Southern Utah to California. 

Poisonous properties. It is regarded as a very troublesome weed. Colo- 
rado has passed a law for its extermination, the state having paid out nearly 
$200,000 in bounties between 1881 and 1885 to check its ravages. Much has 
been written on the subject of the poisonous properties of the woolly loco weed 
and other members of the genus. Brewer and Watson, in their Botany of Cali- 
fornia, state that the last species described is said to be poisonous to sheep, and 
Prof. Chesnut states that stock are affected by this loco weed in the southern 
part of California. It has certainly been regarded as a poisonous plant for a 
long time, and numerous investigations have been carried on in regard to its 
poisonous properties by Dr. Stalker, Prof. Sayre and others ; Dr. Stalker com- 
ing to the conclusion that the loco poisoning might be brought about through 
the action of intestinal worms. 

Prof. Sayre reported the death of a jack rabbit with symptoms similar ta 
those recorded for horses and cattle. He was, however, unable to lind a 
poisonous principle. Miss C. M. Watson reported a small amount of an alka- 
loid from the stemless loco weed, Oxytropis Lambcrti. Dr. Mary Gage Day in 
Dr. Vaughn's laboratory found that when a half grown kitten was fed with 
milk containing a decoction of the root, stem and leaf, emaciation, convulsive 
excitement, and, finally death occurred ; when an adult cat received 60-70 cc. 
of a more concentrated solution death ocurrcd on the thirteenth day and sub- 
cutaneous injection of a concentrated decoction in frogs and chickens caused 
death in 1-2 hours from heart paralysis. Dr. J. Olt experimented with Astra- 
galus mollissiinus and found that it decreased irritability of the motor nerves 


affected the sensory ganglia of the nervous system, preventing them from 
readily receiving impressions and killed by arresting the heart action. 

Dr. B. T. Galloway states that the loss from "loco" poisoning in Colorado 
alone has reached the sum of one million dollars per annum. It might be said 
in this connection that Prof. Power and Mr. Gambier investigated the subject, 
but were unable to locate definitely the kind of alkaloid. These gentlemen 
state : 

One kilogramme of the Astragalus herb gave 0.2 of a gramme of the alkaloid, equivalent 
to 0.006 per cent. Nothing further was determined concerning its nature, as it does not 
appear to be especially active. An extract from one kilogramme of the seed of the Crotalaria 
gave 1.1 grammes of an alkaloid, 0.036 per cent of the weight of the seed. It had a bitter 
taste, and seems to be more potent than that obtained from Astragalus. 

From these investigations these authors conclude that both the Astragalus 
and the Crotalaria contain very small amounts of toxic alkaloids, to which the 
symptoms of poisoning may be reasonably attributed. Prof. Sayre, who has 
not gone into the details in the paper referred to, however, reiterates what he 
has stated in several previous ones, that it is a question whether so small 
amount of alkaloid could produce such grave physiological disturbances. 

The symptoms of poisoning are very well given in a paper by Prof. Chesnut : 
Horses, cattle, and sheep are affected by loco, but the principal damage is done to 
horses. The effect is not acute, but in its slow progress stimulates diseases caused by 
bacteria, worms, or other parasites or such as are caused in man by the continued use of 
alcohol, tobacco, or morphine. Two stages are recognized. The first, which may last several 
months, is a period of hallucination or mania accompanied by defective eyesight, during 
which the animal may perform all sorts of antics. After acquiring a taste for the plant it 
refuses every other kind of food, and the second stage is ushered in. This is a lingering 
period of emaciation, characterized by sunken eyeballs, lusterless hair, and feeble move- 
ments. The animal dies as if from starvation, in periods ranging from a few months to 
one or two years. 

Dr. Carl Ruedi isolated an acid {loco acid) from it to which he attributed 
the poisonous qualities of the plant. 

Astragalus is said to cause considerable trouble in Nebraska. "In regard 
to the treatment," says Mr. O'Gara, 

There is little to be said. All medicines that have been tried seem to have been of 
doubtful effect. More can be done by keeping animals away from loco than in any other 
way. As long as there is a plentiful supply of grass, there is little to be feared, but when 
pastures and ranges run low, stock should be closely watched. At the very first appear- 
ance of trouble, affected animals should be removed to some place where they cannot gain 
access to loco. Good nourishing food should be given. If the disease has obtained a strong 
hold on the animal there is little hope of recovery under the best of treatment, hence the 
need of early treatment and pra ipt removal from the source of the trouble. 

Dr. Mayo suggests the following treatment : 


"Sulphate of iron, pulverized 1 

Gentian root, pulverized 4 

Ammonium chloride, pulverized 1 

Potassium nitrate, pulverized 1 

Mix thoroughly and give from a heaping teaspoonful to a tablespoonful, 
according to the size of the animal, in the food three times daily." 

Dr. Dwight C. Marsh and Albert C. Crawford under the direction of Dr. 
R. H. True who has charge of the Poisonous Plant Investigation of the U. S. De- 
partment of Agriculture, have arrived at conclusions wholly at variance with 
previous investigation. They conclude that Oxytropis Lamberti poisons horses, 
sheep, and cattle and that Astragalus mollissimus poisons horses, but does not 


poison cattle because tliey rarely eat it. Dr. Marsh states that the symptoms 
described by stockmen were corroborated; these are: 

The lowered head, rough coat, slow, staggering gait, movements showing lack of 
muscular coordination, sometimes more or less paralytic symptoms, a generally diseased 
nervous system, and in the later stages of the disease extreme emaciation. 

The principal pathological changes are pronounced anemia of the whole system, diseased 
stomach walls, and in acute cases a congested condition of the walls of the stomach; while 
in chronic cases there are frequently ulcers. Generally speaking, locoed cattle have ulcers 
in the fourth stomach. There is an excess of fluids in the various cavities of the body. 
This is esijecially noticeable in the epidural space of the spinal canal. Here the effusion 
is more or less organized, presenting the appearance of a gelatinous mass, which is es- 
pecially abundant in the lumbar region and about the exits of the spinal nerves. In most 
locoed females the ovaries are found in a diseased condition. 

Dr. Crawford from his laboratory work concludes : 

The symptoms described in stock on the range can be reproduced in rabbits by feed- 
ing extracts of certain loco plants. Those especially referred to here under the term 
"loco plants" are Astragalus molHssimus and Astragalus Lamberti {Oxytropus Lambcrti). 

The production of chronic symptoms in rabbits is a crucial test of the pharmacological 
activity of these plants. 

It is the inorganic constituents, especially barium, which are responsible for this poison- 
ous action, at least in the plants collected at Hugo, Colo.; but, perhaps, in the future, loco 
plants from other portions of the country may be found to have other poisonous principles. 

There is a close analogy between the clinical symptoms and pathological findings in 
barium poisoning and those resulting from feeding extracts of certain of these plants. 
Small doses of barium salts may be administered to rabbits without apparent effect, but 
suddenly acute symptoms set in analogous to those reported on the ranges. 

The administration of sulphates, especially epsom salts, to form insoluble barium sulphate 
would be the chemical antidote which would logically be inferred from the laboratory work, 
but of necessity these sulphates would have to be frequently administered, and their value, 
after histological changes in the organs have occurred, remains to be settled. But the treat- 
ment of acute cases of barium poisoning in man is not always successful, even when 
sulphates combined with symptomatic treatment are employed. The conditions under which 
sulphates fail to precipitate barium must be considered. 

Loco plants grown on certain soils are inactive pharmacologically and contain no 
barium. In drying certain loco plants the barium apparently is rendered insoluble, so that 
it is not extracted by water, but can be extracted by digestion with the digestive ferments. 
To be poisonous the barium must be in such a form that it it can be absorbed by the 
gastro-intestinal tract. 

There are plants with barium salts which are not injurious. 

Dr. Marsh found that it is easy to kill the woolly loco weed {A. molUssi- 
mus) in fenced pastures because it occurs in small patches. The stemless loco 
weed is of wider distribution and, when in fenced pastures, can be killed but 
not so easily when it occurs on the ranges. He recommends treatment as fol- 
lows : 

In regard to the second phase of remedial work, it was found that locoed cattle can 
in most cases be cured by a course of treatment with strychnin, while locoed horses can 
generally be cured by a course of treatment with Fowler's solution. The animals under 
treatment must not be allowed to eat the loco weed and should be given not only nutritious 
food but, so far as possible, food with laxative properties. To this end, magnesium sulphate 
was administered to correct the constipation which is almost universal among locoed animals. 
It should be noted, too, that magnesium sulphate may serve to some extent as an antidote 
to the poison. 

Dr. C. Dwight Marsh ^ in a recent publication in speaking of this plant as 
well as the White Loco Weed and the experimental work of the Department of 
Agriculture, states that they are the weeds which produce the disease from 
Montana to northern New Mexico, Arizona and in western Texas, but there 
arc many locoed animals where these two species do not grow. In California, 

•The Loco-Weed disease. Farmers' Bull., U. S. Dept. Agr., 380. 1909. 


Arizona and New Mexico there occur other leguminous plants which are known 
as loco weeds. Some of these are poisonous and the symptoms of locoed ani- 
mals and the pathological findings are similar to those produced by the plants 
found in the eastern Rockies, especially in Colorado, where the purple loco is 
abundant. Dr. Crawford finds barium in them which he thinks may be connected 
with the poisonous effects of the plants. In California the A. diphysus, A. ari- 
conicus, A. Thurberi and A. Bigelovii are called "rattleweeds" and have been 
suspected. They are being studied by Dr. Crawford of the Bureau of Plant 

In his most recent paper on Loco Poisoning * Dr. Marsh affirms Dr. Craw- 
ford's opinion that the purple loco weed {Astragalus mollisimus) is more poison- 
ous than the white species (Oxytropis Lamherti). Dr. Marsh adds this caution, 
that since such animals are extremely sensitive to strychnin, it has been found 
necessary to give it in small doses. He says : 

The daily doses should not ordinarily exceed three-twentieths or four-twentieths of a 
grain, or 0.009 to 0.012 of a gram. Large animals may take as much as one-half grain, 
but this is a maximum dose and often will be found too much. It was also found that 
sodium cacodylate when given to cattle in hypodermic injections of 6 grains, or 0.4 grains, 
daily, commonly gave beneficial results. The best results, however, w«re obtained from the 
use of strychnin and Fowler's solution as already outlined. 

It may be added, in regard to the question of immunity, that loco poisoning comes 
on in a slow and cumulative manner so that there is no possibility of animals becoming 

It does not seem that the above is final in regard to all of the loco weeds. 
It is hardly likely that Profs. Power, Sayre, Gambler, and others have been 
entirely wrong in regard to their conclusions. When we find that related plants 
have strongly toxic properties we may expect to find the same properties also 
in some of these plants. 

17. Oxytropis DC. Stemless Loco Weed 

Perennial herbs or sometimes shrubby, generally acaulescent, with numerous 
tufts of short stems covered with scaly stipules. Flowers in racemes or spikes; 
calyx teeth nearly equal; petals clawed; standard, erect, keel erect; stamens ap- 
pendaged ; diadelphous ; pod more or less 2-ceIled or 1-celled sessile or stalked. 
About 125 species of the North Temperate regions. Most of our species are 
western. Several of our species are known to be poisonous to live 
stock. The following species of this genus are classed with the loco weeds : 
O. Lamberti, O. deflexa and O. multiflorus. According to Greshoff the young 
leaf of Oxytropis lapponica has an extremely bitter taste; there is also an indi- 
cation of saponin. On analysis the leaf was found to contain hydrocyanic acid. 
Greshoff also found hydrocyanic acid in the seeds of O. sulphiirea. 

Oxytropis Lamberti Pursh. Purple or Stemless Loco Weed 

Nearly acaulescent perennial herbs or shrubby plants, with tufts of very 
numerous short stems coming from a hard and thick rootstock containing many 
scaly stipules; stems and leaves are covered with silky and fine appressed hairs, 
or smooth; leaves pinnate; leaflets linear; flowers racemose or spicate, rather 
large and elongated, purple, violet, or sometimes white; stamens diadelphous; 
keel tipped with a sharp projecting point. 

•Farmers Bull. U. S. Dept. Agr. 380:16. 



Distribution. Western Minnesota, Western Iowa, and Missouri to Texas, 
and New Mexico, north to British Columbia, and northwest territory. 

Poisonous properties. The stemless loco weed is one of the most 
characteristic loco weeds of the West. The symptoms of poisoning 
are similar to those produced by the woolly loco weed described at 
length elsewhere. The poisonous substance has not been isolated. 
An alkaloid, however, has been reported by Prof. Prescott. Chesnut 
and Wilcox, in speaking of the history of the loco poisoning in Mon- 
tana, say that in Colorado the plant which is most commonly known as loco 
weed is Astragalus mollissinius. In Montana, on the other hand, the plants 
most generally called loco weeds by the stockmen are species of Aragallus 
(Oryiropis). "The species which is most concerned in causing the loco disease 
in Montana is the Aragallus spicatus and is closely related to Oxytropis Lamberti," 
Stockmen are of the opinion that a condition somewhat similar to loco poisoning 
may be brought about by eating undue quantities of alkali soil. 

CD c 

Fig. 313. Sfemless or Purple lyOco Weed a, Plant, b, Seed pods, c, Seed. U. S. 
Dept. Agr. 

It should be stated also that the larvae of sheep bot flies, which arc frequently found 
in the frontal sinuses of the head, can not possibly be considered the cause of the nervous 
symptoms characteristic of the ioco disease, for the reason that these larvae are not found 
in greater abundance in locoed than in healthy sheep. For the same reason the presence 
of the common tape worm (Taenia serrata) in the small intestines and bile duct of sheep 
can not be considered as the cause of the locoed condition. These worms are almost 


universally present in the intestines of sheep, and under ordinary conditions do not cause 
any recognizable disturbances. The disease of sheep known as "gid" is not to be mis- 
taken for the loco disease and, furthermore, is not prevalent in this country. No indica- 
tions were found during the post-mortem examinations that the walls of the stomach were 
affected to any appreciable extent by the action of loco weeds, although these plants were 
invariably found in the stomach contents of such sheep. In the majority of cases no ap- 
parent changes have been produced in the spleen, liver, or kidneys. In some instances a 
slight congestion of the intestines was noticed. The cerebral membranes were in all cases 
somewhat congested. This condition is probably one of the immediate physical causes of 
the mental excitement exhibited by locoed animals. Post-mortem examinations of locoed 
horses disclosed the same conditions as those found in the sheep. 

They made a number of experiments with a young Belgian hare and other 
rabbits, using the water extract of the leaves, and it was shown that this was 
not an acute poison if from 10 to IS cubic centimeters of the liquid were 
administered. An acute case of loco disease was observed in an old ewe with 
a lamb at her side. She had eaten considerable quantities of the white loco weed 
(Aragalus spicatus-Orytropis spicatxis). A slight locomotor ataxia was man- 
ifested. The eyelids twitched rapidly and there was a slight champing of the 
jaws. Each attack lasted from 1 to 2 minutes, and the intervals between the 
attacks were about 5' minutes. 

The lips and eyelids twitched violently and the jaws were moved upon one another 
with such force that the sound could be heard for a distance of 200 yards. 

Similar symptoms were observed in the lamb, which died in the afternoon. 

Locoed sheep are exceedingly difficult to herd. 

It is the universal experience of sheep raisers that locoed sheep are exceedingly diffi- 
cult to herd. The sheep may, without a moment's warning, stray away from the band, 
each one in a different direction, and it is easy to understand how nearly impossible it is 
to prevent such a band of sheep from becoming separated. Besides giving the herder 
much trouble in directing the course of the band on the range, locoed sheep alse refuse 
to enter the corral at night, and under any and all circumstances may suddenly manifest 
perplexing stubbornness. 

These writers did not observe many locoed cattle, but the symptoms are 
essentially the same as in sheep and horses. In regard to post-mortem condi- 
tions, they say: 

Numerous autopsies made on locoed sheep and horses revealed conditions which, though 
fairly uniform, did not constitute a well-defined series. We made a large number of 
post-mortem examinations upon bodies of locoed sheep which had been killed and bled 
immediately before examination. In these cases there was no lesion or marked change 
in the alimentray tract. A slight congestion of the membranes of the brain was to be 
observed in all cases. The lungs and heart were apparently not affected. The voluntary 
muscles were of a paler color than under normal conditions, and the fat tissue was con- 
siderably reduced in quantity. 

As to remedies, the following suggestions have been made : 

Locoed sheep should be removed from the band and fattened for market on alfalfa 
or other forage plants, as above explained. 

The immediate isolation of locoed sheep is advisable in order to prevent the habit 
from spreading in the band. 

It seems desirable to give sheep a regular and abundant supply of salt in order to pre- 
vent the development of any perversion of the appetite. 

Locoed horses are used to the best advantage as draft animals, but they must be 
maintained in good condition and prevented from eating loco weeds. 

Dr. Marsh recommends to cut the roots below the crown of buds. A man 
with a spade can destroy a large number of plants in a day. The seeds however 
retain their vitality for some years, hence the field will have to be gone over 
again. That this method will effectively destroy the plants has been demon- 
strated by the U. S. Dept. of Agr. atHugo, Colorado. The larvae of a moth 
{Walshia amorphella) feeds on the purple loco weed and this insect. Dr. 



Fig. 313a. Map showing distribution of stemless loco weed {Oxytropis Lamberti). The 
plant reaches western Iowa on the loess bluffs where it is abundant. The disease however has 
never been reported so far as I know from this section of the state. Map after Marsh, U. S. 
Dept. Agr. 

Marsh thinks, will help to keep the weed in check if the insect will not lose its 
efficiency in the course of a few years. 

18. Vicia (Tourn.) L. Vetch or Tare 

Herbs, generally of trailing or climbing habit, with pinnate tendril bearing 
leaves; flowers generally racemose; calyx 5-cleft or 5-toothed, divisions nearly 
equal; corolla with the standard clawed and the wings adherent to the keel; 
stamens diadelphous or monadelphous; pod flat, 2-valved with several seeds; 
seeds globular; embryo with thick cotyledons. About 120 species, widely distrib- 
uted. Some species used for forage, especially in Europe. The hairy vetch 
(F. villosa) has been widely distributed in the west because of the drouth re- 
sisting qualities. Our most common native species is the American vetch (F. 
americana) which might well be introduced as a forage plant. 

Vicia saliva L. Common Vetch 

A smooth or slightly pubescent annual from l-2i/^. feet high with sirnple 
stem ; leaflets 5-7 pairs, obovate-oblong to linear, notched or mucronate at the 
tip; the 1 or 2 nearly sessile flowers are borne in the axils of the leaves; 
flowers bluish purple; calyx teeth about as long as the tube; pod linear, several 
seeded, seeds black. 

Distribution. From eastern Canada to Northwest Territory, New England 
to the Carolinas, west to Missouri and northward, generally in the wheat grow- 
ing sections of the northern and western states. This is another weed commonly 
found in wheat screenings, abundant in the northwest. 

Poisonous properties. In Europe it is the cause of tympanites. Dr. SchafFner, 
in The Ohio Naturalist, states that caution must be observed in feeding this 
plant to pigs. It is not injurious to cows. The seeds of this Vetch are often 



Fig. 3l3b. Common Vetch. ( Vicia sativa) 

Fig. 314. Common Vetch (Lathyrus silvestris). The seed of 
this plant poisonous to stock. Charlotte M. King 


found in screenings and fed in large quantities to cattle. As far as the writer 
knows, there are no cases of poisoning recorded from eating the screenings of 
this seed. The substance vicin C,Hjj.NgOg has been found in the seeds of 
this species. Convincin C^^H^gNgOg-f-HgO also occurs in this species and in 
V. Faba. Citric acid CgH^O.+H^O is found in V. saliva. 

19. Lathyrus (Tourn.) L. Vetchling. Everlasting Pea 

Mostly perennial, herbaceous vines although there are a few erect herbs, 
generally smooth, with pinnate, usually tendril-bearing leaves ; flowers in racemes 
or solitary; calyx oblique or gibbous at the base, upper teeth sometimes shorter 
than the lower; corolla larger than that of Vicia, wings adhering to keel; style 
dilated and rather flat above, hairy along side next to free stamen ; stamens 
10 (9 and 1, or monadelphous below); ovules numerous; pod flat, sometimes 
terete, 2-valved, continuous between the seeds, dehiscent. 

About 100 species are distributed throughout North America and a few 
others are found in South America and the mountains of tropical Africa. One 
species, L. sylvcstris, is considered poisonous, in its native home in the Car- 
pathian Mountains. It contains certain alkaloids which, by the process of cul- 
tivation have become eliminated so that in many localities at the present time 
it is considered a good forage plant and is relished by horses. In the western 
United States, the prairie vetchlings L. ornatus and L. polymorphus, and the 
marsh vetchling L. paliistris are considered valuable forage plants, the latter 
forming a very important part of the hay and adding materially to its feeding 
value. L. vcnosus and L. ochroleucus occurring in similar localities are much 
less valuable. A form of intoxication, known as Lathryism, is said to be caused 
by different species of Lathyrus. 

In Dr. Wilson's "American Text-Book of Tlierapeutics," Victor C. Vaughan 
translates the following account of Lathyrism from Kobert's work "Intoxika- 
tionen :" 

By Lathyrism we mean an intoxication that was known to the contemporaries of 
Hippocrates, and which was caused by the seeds of at least three species of vetch, Lathyrus 
hirsutus, the red vetch, Lathyrus sativus, the German vetch, and Lathyrus Clyinoium, 
the Spanish vetch. In Spain, France, Italy, and in certain parts of Africa and India there 
have repeatedly appeared, from the eating of the seed of the vetch, epidemics of a dis- 
ease that especially affects males and which induces a transverse myelitis with motor 
and sensory paraplegia. The paralytic symptoms gradually disappear, but there remains 
spastic tubes with heightened tendon-reflexes attributed by Proust to secondary degeneration 
of the lateral columns, while Striimpell considers the case a typical spinal paralysis. How- 
ever, the symptoms may wholly disappear and recovery be apparently complete. Men and 
animals, especially horses, are affected in the same manner. Duvernoy described the dis- 
ease in J 770; Doir saw it follow the eating of vetch-bread in 1785; Despranches observed 
it in France in 1829, and Pellicotti in the Abbruzzo mountains in 1847. Reports of the 
disease were made by Irving, in India, in 1861 and 1869, and by Bourlier in Africa in 
1882. In 1883, Marie published in Le Progrcs Medical a review of the literature of the 

subject and more recently Schuchardt has done the same Hogs are killed 

quickly by the vetch. Horses suffer from paralysis of the recurrent laryngeal nerve, 
necessitating tracheotomy. More chronic poisoning causes paralysis of the posterior ex- 
tremities, and death. Mericourt believes the disease beri-beri is due to a similar intox- 
ication, but this is denied by Marie and others. In horses there is atrophy of the muscles 
of the larynx, especially of the cricoarytenoideus posticus and lateralis, also of the 
thyroarytenoideus. The left recurrent laryngeal nerve is much wasted. Microscopic exam- 
ination shows the muscle greatly atrophied, without striation, and undergoing fatty 
degeneration. In the centra! nervous system one finds atrophy of the ganglion-cells in 
the vagus center and of the multipolar ganglion-cells in the anterior horns of the cord. 



Attempts to isolate the poison have not succeeded. Teilleux found an acid that induced 
typical effects upon rabbits. Bourlier found an active alkaloid in the alcohol-ether ex- 
tract of the seeds, and poisoned birds with it. Astier isolated a volatile alkaloid by the 
Stas method, and he thus explains the fact that long-continued heating at a high tem- 
perature renders the seeds inert. 

20. Cicer h. Chick pea 

Calyx tube oblique or gibbous posteriorly; lobes nearly equal or the two 
upper somewhat shorter, conniving; standard ovate or nearly orbicular, nar- 
rowed into a broad claw; wings obliquely obovate, free; keel somewhat broader, 
incurved, dilated; anthers uniform; ovary sessile 2-8 ovuled; style filiform, in- 
curved or bent, beardless ; stigmas terminal, legume sessile, ovoid or oblong, 
turgid, 2-valved; seeds sub-globose or irregularly obovoid; funiculus scarcely 
dilated, hilum small; cotyledons thick; radicle short, slightly incurved or nearly 

Cicer arietintim L. Chick pea 

Annual herbs, or perennial often glandular-pubescent; leaves pinnate, petiole 
terminating in a small tuft of spinescent hairs or in an odd leaflet; leaflets 
dentate or incised without stipels; stipules foliaceous oblique, often dentate or 
incised; flowers white, blue or violet; solitary pedunculate, or few pedicelled; 
bracts small; bractlets 0. About 14 species, especially in the eastern Mediter- 
ranean and in Central Asia — extending westward. 

Distribut'on. Cultivated in the Rocky Mountains and in the Southwest. 
Also extensively in Southern Europe and tropical Asia. Considered an excellent 
food plant. 

Fig. 315. Chick pea {Cicer arietinum). 
(After Faguet). 


Poisonous properties. Friedberger and Fruhner in Veterinary Pathology 
give the symptoms from Cicer poisoning: 

In horses roaring and difficult breathing, owing to paralysis of the laryngeal muscles; 
paralysis, weakness in the loins, suffocation. Post-mortem reveals nothing of moment. 
Therapeutics: Change of fodder; tracheotomy. 

21. Phaseolus L. Bean 

Usually vines with pinnately 3-foliate leaves, stipules and racemose f.owers; 
calyx S-toothed or S-cleft, the upper teeth more or less united; standard orbicular 
recurved, spreading; keel spirally coiled enclosing the stamens and style; 
stamens diadelphous, 9 and 1 ; style bearded ; pod linear 2-valved, several seed- 
ed; seeds with large embryo. About 170 species mostly of tropical regions; 12 
species native to southern states. The common bean {Phaseolus vulgaris), 
native to tropical America is v/idely cultivated. The scarlet runner {P. niulti- 
florus) is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant and is said to be poisonous. 
The P. Mungo is cultivated in the tropics. 

Phaseolus lunatus L. Lima Bean 

A twining plant with racemose flowers shorter than the leaf; pod broad and 
curved, scimitar shaped; seeds few, large and flat; some dwarf, some with long 
twining stems. 

Distribution. Widely cultivated, native to South America. 

Poisonous properties. Several cases of poisoning from the use of lima beans 
are reported. L. Guignard, according to an abstract in the Experiment Station 
Record, has determined this to be due to hydrocyanic acid. He says : "A num- 
ber of forms that have been described as distinct species are by the author be- 
lieved to be varieties or cultural forms of P. lunatus. Those principally studied 
were the white and colored Java beans, Burma or white Indian beans, Sieva 
beans. Cape beans, which are extensively cultivated in ^Madagascar, and Lima 
beans. These different varieties are widely cultivated and extensively used 
as food, although a number of fatalities have been attributed to their use. 
Descriptions of the different varieties and detailed reports of the chemical 
studies are given. 

Practically all varieties of P. lunatus, whether wild or cultivated were found 
to contain the principle which when acted upon by an enzyme yields hydro- 
cyanic acid. The proportion of hydrocyanic acid varied from almost inap- 
preciable amounts in some of the more improved forms, like the Lima bean, to 
as much as 60 to 320 mg .per gm. dry weight in certain varieties of Java beans. 
It was found impossible by cooking to remove all the cj-anogenetic compound 
in Java beans. Prolonged boiling extracts the greater part, but it is merely 
withdrawn and not destroyed, and if the water is absorbed it presents the same 
danger as the beans themselves, since cither in the alimentary tract or in the 
blood are sufficient ferments to act upon the dissolved glucoside, resulting in the 
liberation of hydrocyanic acid. 


Herbs, shrubs or trees; petals usually present and generally polypctalous; 
sepals mostly distinct ; stamens few, rarely more than twice as many as the 
sepals, opposite them when as many; compound ovary superior. Contains the 


families Gcraniaceae, Oxalidaceae, Tropaeolaccac, Linaceoe, Erythroxyiaceae, 
Zygophyllaceae, Rutaccae, Simariibaceae, Biirseraceae, Meliaceae, Malpighiaccae, 
Polygalaceae and Euphorbiaceae. The family Tropaeolaccac contains the nas- 
turtimns (Tropaeolum viajus and T. minus) frequent in cultivation, the fruits 
of the species being used for pickles. T. Lobbianum is a showy greenhouse 
plant. The T. tuberosum of Peru produces a tuberous root used for food in 
Bolivia, cooking dispelling the unpleasant flavor. 

Dr. Halsted states that some persons have suffered from an inflammation 
on the hand caused by handling the garden nasturtium. 

T. majus contains glucotropaeohmi, similar to the essential oil of mustard. 
The family Burscraceae contains Commiphora abyssinica furnishing myrrh, and 
Almacigo (Burscra simaruba) the most characteristic tree of Porto Rico and 
one which furnishes a resin known in commerce as "chibon." The family Meli- 
aceae includes mahogany (Swietinia MaJwgoni) a valuable timber tree of the 
Antilles; myrtle (Melia Azcdarach), widely cultivated in the South as an orna- 
mental plant, the fruit of which contains niangrovin and is said to be poisonous, 
the West Indian cedar (Cedrela odorata), which furnishes a valuable wood 
used for furniture, cigar boxes, shingles, etc. ; and Trichilia emetica, which 
yields an oil and tallow. The carapa oil made from the seeds of Carapa procera 
is toxic for insects. The family Zygophyllaceae furnishes lignum-vitae (Guaiacum 
officinale) , a heavy wood used in machinery and casting work. 

The ratsbane, broken-back or mendis {Chaillelia toxicaria) of the family 
Chaillctiaccae is much used in Sierra Leone country of Africa for 
poisoning; it is placed in water to poison enemies and live stock. According 
to Dr. Renner "No one in this colony, it would appear, dies from natural causes." 
Dr. Renner found the cause of this mysterious trouble to be due to poisoning 
from ratsbane poison. In one case, a laborer was poisoned from "having eaten 
some fish on which the ground fruit of Chailletia toxicaria had been strewn 
for the purpose of killing rats." This shrub and an allied species are common in 
Upper Guinea and Senegambia. Drs. Frederick B. Power and Frank Tutin who 
made chemical and physiological examination of the fruit of Chailletia toxicaria 
found that the fruit contained neither an alkaloid nor a cyagenetic glucoside 
although a glucoside of this character is said to occur in South African C. 
cymosa. The ratsbane contains a resinous substance which is extreme^ poison- 
ous, but a toxin could not be isolated. The syrup prepared from the resin 
when given to a dog caused delirium and epileptiform convulsions soon followed 
by death. Drs. Powers and Tutin found that the fruit of this plant contains 
two active principles, one of which causes cerebral depression or narcosin ana 
that the poison which causes convulsions is cumulative in its effect. 

To the family Erythroxyiaceae belongs coca (Erythroxylon Coca) which 
contains a number of alkaloids as follows: cocain ^■^^^2l^^^' cinnamylcocain 
C^gH.gNO^, truxiUin (a) (C^^H^gNOp, truxillin (b) (C^gH^gNO^)^, beri- 
coylecgonin C^gPI^gNO,, tropa-cocain Cj^H^gNO^, hygrin CgH^j.NO, cusoyhgrin 
C ,H., NO,. The injurious effects of cocain are well known. Dr. Winslow 
says : 

Solutions of cocain (4.10 per cent), applied to mucous membranes, produce perfect 
local anaesthesia by paralyzing the sensory nerve endings. Cocain exerts a local anaesthetic 
action upon the gastric mucous membrane, and in this way lessens the appetite and sometimes 
stops vomiting. Intestinal peristalsis is increased by moderate doses, but is decreased and 
destroyed by the paralytic action of large doses. The action of cocain upon the heart and 



Fig. 316. Coca-tree {Erythroxylon coca). 
commerce. (After Faguet). 

Furnishes the coca of 

vessels is not very marked, except in poisoning. The alkaloid is, however, a slight cardiac 
stimulant in moderate doses, increasing the pulse-rate and tension. The action upon the 
heart is caused by depression of the cardio-inhibitory centres, and sometimes as well by 
depression of the cardiac inhibitory ganglia. Vascular tension is increased because of stim- 
ulation of the medullary vasomotor centres, smooth muscle of the walls, and because of 
the increased action of the heart. On the other hand, both minute and large doses may 
diminish the pulse rate. 

Cocain is a respiratory stimulant in medicinal doses, but a paralyzant in toxic amounts. 
The respiratory centres are first stimulated and the breathing is made deeper and quicker. 
Depression and paralysis of the respiratory centres follow; cyanosis supervenes, and the 
respirations are shallow and irregular. Death occurs from asphyxia. In man, an amount 
of cocaine exceeding gr. 54 should not be employed under the skin, or upon mucous mem- 
branes, and death has occurred in susceptible patients from even smaller doses. The most 
powerful action follows the use of cocain in very vascular parts, as about the face. One 
half a grain of cocain given subcutaneously to a girl eleven years old, was followed by a 
fatal result in 40 seconds, and the writer has seen violent convulsions produced by the in- 
stillation of a few drops of a 2 per cent, solution into the eye of a man. On the other hand, 
spontaneous recovery has obtained in the human subject after the ingestions of 22 grs. of 
the alkaloid. In the horse, the toxic dose of cocain causes restlessness and excitement, 
dilated pupils and salivation, culminating within an hour in a state of acute mania and 
intense excitement. These symptoms are followed by gradual recovery after a lapse of a 
few hours. Three grains of cocain given under the skin, will sometimes induce nervous 
excitement in susceptible horses. The treatment of dangerous forms of cocain poisoning, 
with respiratory and heart failure, consists in the use of rapidly acting stimulants, — as 
nitroglycerin upon the tongue, and strychnin, atropin and brandy subcutaneously. 

Families of Geranialcs 

Flowers regular or nearly so, petals present usually as many as the sepals; 
flowers perfect; leaves not punctate. 




Capsule splitting into 5 carpels; leaves 3-foIiolate or dissected 


Capsule 2-5 celled not splitting into carpels. 
Stamens 2-3 times as many as the petals. 

Leaf 3-f oliolate Oxalidaceae. 

Stamens as many as the petals Linaceae. 

Trees or shrubs with compound leaves ; leaves often punctate. 

Leaves punctate Rutaceae. 

Leaves not punctate Simarubaceae. 

Flowers irregular; petals 3, stamens diadelphous or monadelphous. .Polygalaceae. 

Flowers regular generally apetalous, monoecious ; carpels mostly 3 ; generally 

herbs with milky juice Euphorbiaceae. 

Fig. 317. Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majits). Flowering 
branch. (After Faguet). 


Herbs with alternate or opposite leaves; flowers perfect, regular, S-nerved, 
hypogynous; stamens as many or twice as many or more than the petals; ovary 
1, usually S-lobed; ovules 1-2 in each cavity; fruit capsular. About 450 species 
of wide distribution. Native to the tropics and temperate regions of both 
hemispheres. Many plants of this order are frequently cultivated ; among these 
are the South African pelargonium, commonly called the geranium, which con- 
tains geraniol C^^H^gO. The sharp points of the fruit of some are injurious. 



Fig. 318. Cultivated Ge-anium {Pelar- 
gonium zonale). 1, 4, Flower; b, c, d, 
Stamens; a, Stigmas. 

frequently entering the flesh and in some cases this mechanical injury has pro- 
duced death in sheep, just as in the case of Slipa. The Geraniuut Robertianum 
has a disagreeable bitter taste. 

Er odium L'Her. Storksbill 

Herbs with opposite or alternate stipulate leaves ; flowers nearly regular, 
axillary or umbellate; sepals 5, imbricated; petals- S, hypogynous, the upper 
slightly smaller; glands of the 5, alternate with the petals; stamens 10; 
anther bearing 5, and as many sterile filaments; ovary deeply 5-lobed and 5- 
celled, beaked by the united styles, 5 in number; lobes of the capsule 1-seeded; 
the style when mature breaks away elastically and is coiled spirally ; tails of 
carpels hairy on the inside; seeds not reticulated. The 65 species found in tem- 
perate and warm regions. Some species have become widely distributed because 
the seeds cling to the fleece of animals. Some species are troublesome in 
western United States. 

lirodiinn cicitiarwm L'Hcr. Alfilaria or Storksbill 

A hairy, tufted annual with low spreading stems; plant viscid or sticky; 
leaves pinnate or once to twice pinnatifid; flowers in umbel-like clusters, purple 
or pink; fruit hairy on the inside and spirally twisted when ripe. The B. 
moschatum is a stouter plant which occurs occasionally eastward. 

Distribution. This plant is common upon the Pacific Coast especially 
California, occurring in grain fields and waste places. It is also abundant in 
dry soils in the Salt Lake basin and from Colorado to Texas; occasionally found 
in the eastern states and Manitoba. Native to the Old World. The weed is 
■commonly scattered by animals. It is injurious to wool. 



Injurious properties. Species of Erodium, like those of Stipa, have in some 
cases sharp pointed calluses which bury themselves in the flesh and inflict 
injuries to animals. Our common species is but slightly troublesome in this 
way. The carpels of the Erodium get into the fleece of sheep and thus the 
wool is rendered somewhat less salable. 

B. nioschatuvi is injurious. 

Fig._ 320. Musk Erodium 
(Erodium moschatum). (After 

Fig. 319. Hemlock Stork's Bill (Erodium 
cicutariuni) . This widely distributed plant 
sometimes causes mechanical injuries in ani- 
mals. (Charlotte M. King). 


Generally herbs, frequently with bulbs; acid juice; leaves palmate, with ob- 
cordate leaflets; flowers regular, S-merous; stamens 10-15; ovary 5-celled; car- 
pels with few or many ovules, loculicidal. A small order of 250 species chiefly 

Oxalis L. Sorrel, Oxalis 

Annual or perennial herbs with sour juice; often bulbous with alternate, 
digitately compound leaves of 3 leaflets; flowers in umbel-like clusters, solitary 
or several flowered, regular, often dimorphic or trimophic ; sepals 5 ; petals 5 ; 


stamens 10; pistil 1; ovary 5-celled; ovules several in each cell; 5 separate 
styles; pod 5-celled, opening loculicidally ; seeds 2 or more in each cell, the outer 
coat dehiscent ; embryo large, endosperm present. The 250 species chiefly found in^ 
the tropics. The Oxalis violacea with violet corolla is a common plant in woods- 
and prairies. The O. corniciilata, a yellow flowered species, occurs from Penn- 
sylvania to Illinois. The fresh juice of this is said to be an antidote against 
poisoning from the seeds of Jimson weed. Several South American species- 
like O. flava and O. Ortgiesi are cultivated indoors. The O. tetraphylla and 
O. lasiandra with their crimson flowers are also handsome for indoor cultivation 
The O. crenata of Peru is cultivated for its tuberous roots. 

Oxalis violacea L. Violet Wood Sorrel 

Perennial with brownish bulb and ciliate scales; leaves smooth; leaflets 
obcordate, the midrib sometimes sparingly hairy; flowers in cymose clusters; 
sepals 5; petals 5, violet purple; capsule ovoid; seeds flattened, rugose-tuber- 

Distribution. New England to Florida and New Mexico. 

Poisonous properties. Dr. Schaffner notes a case of poisoning as follows: 

"A case is recorded of a boy being thrown into violent convulsions by eating 
a considerable quantity of the leaves." 

Prof. Hyams states that children have been known to die from constantly- 
eating the raw herbs of O. grandis. 

LiNACEAE. Flax Family 

Herbs, rarely shrubs; stipules small or none; flowers regular and symmet- 
rical, hypogynous; sepals 5, rarely 4, imbricated and persistent; petals 5, or 
rarely 4, convolute; stamens 5, monadelphous at the base, alternate with the- 
petals; pistil 1, 2-5-celled ; styles 2-5; fruit capsular; seeds 1-2 in each cavity; 
cotyledons large, flat, without endosperm or with a small amount. A small 
order of 4 genera and '90 species, mostly in the genus Linum. 

Linum (Tourn.) L. Flax 

Herbs, sometimes with a woody base with tough fibrous bark; leaves sessile; 
stipules wanting or a pair of glands; flowers in cymes, racemes, or panicles; 
sepals 5; petals 5, soon falling; stamens S; pistil 1 ; ovary 4-5-celled or becoming 
divided by false partitions, making 10 cells; seeds shining with a mucilaginous 
coat; large cotyledons. Several species commonly cultivated for ornamental 
purposes. The blue-flowered L. perenne of the Rocky Mountains, and the 
red garden flax {L. grandiflorum) a hardy annual from North Africa, are 

Linum usitatissiimiiii L. Flax. Linseed 

Annual; stem corymbosoly bronched at the tip; acuminate sepals; flowers, 
broad; petals large, blue. Widely cultivated in the North and frequently spon- 

Poisonous properties and uses. The blue-flowered annual (L. usilatissimum) 
has been cultivated for centuries. The fiber has been found among the remains- 
of the Swiss Lake dwellers. The ancient Egyptians as well as the Greeks and 
Romans also used the fiber for the manufacture of cloth. It is extensively cul- 
tivated in various European countries, fine fiber being produced in Belfast, Ire- 


land ; Brussels, Belgium ; in Russia, and the Nile region. The seeds are also used 
extensively for making linseed oil. The chief regions where it is cultivated in 
North America are the Dakotas, Minnesota, Nebraska and Manitoba. Russia 
also cultivates the plant for the oil. The seed contains linolleic acid C^gH,,©,, 
and is rich in oil. The compressed refuse is manufactured into oil cake, vi^hich 
is used for cattle food. The flax oil found in the seed of the plant is about one- 
third of its weight. Commercially, between 20 per cent and 30 per cent are ob- 
tained. When fresh it is without color and has little taste. The commercial 
oil is yellow and has a repulsive taste. On exposure to the air after having 
been heated with oxide of lead, it dries up to a transparent varnish consisting 
chiefly of linoxyn Q^^Yi^^O^^. In medicine the flax seed is used in the form 
of a poultice, which is made of the pulverized seed. When oil cake or oil meal 
is fed in concentrated form it produced digestive trouble to hogs, frequently 
resulting in death. Dr. Schaff"ner states that it causes death to cattle, probably 
due to the prussic acid evolved from the plant when wilting. This substance 
has been reported. 

Friedberger and Frohner state that it causes violent colic, inflation, diarrhoea, 
staggering, palpitation, death with convulsions; autopsy shows gastro-enteritis 
and signs of axphyxiation. 

Linum rigidum Pursh. Large-flowered Yellow Flax 

An herbaceous glaucus or slightly puberulent annual with rigid angled branch- 
es from 1-2 feet high; leaves narrow, erect, usually with stipular glands; flowers 
large ,yellow; sepals acute or awn-pointed, glandular, serrulate; petals cune- 
ate-obovate longer than the sepals ; styles separate only at the summit ; capsule 
5-valved and ovoid. 

Distribution. Loess soil of western Iowa to Missouri, Texas, Mexico 
to Arizona and Manitoba. 

Poisonous nature. According to Chesnut the plant is reported as poison- 
ous to sheep in the Pecos Valley, Texas. 

RuTACEAE. Rue Family 

Trees, shrubs, or herbs with simple, compound, alternate or opposite leaves, 
glandular, with punctate dots without stipules ; flowers mostly in cymose clusters, 
polygamo-dioecious hypogynous, or perigynous ; sepals 4-5; petals 4 or 5; stam- 
ens of the same number or twice as many, distinct, inserted on the receptacle ; pistils 
2-5, distinct or one compound ; 2-5 carpels raised on an annular disk ; embryo large, 
curved or straight ; endosperm fleshy or none. 

About 875 species, mostly in tropical regions of South Africa and Australia. 
Few representatives in North America. Two species of prickly ash (Zanthoxy- 
lum americanum Mill and Z. Clava-Herculis L.) and our hop-tree (Ptelca tri- 
foliaia) are common in the United States. The fruit of the hop-tree is used 
in Russia as a substitute for hops. A bitter alkaloidal principle occurs in Xaii- 
thoxylum. The gas plant (Dictamnus albus) a viscid glandular plant with strong 
aromatic scent is commonly cultivated. The common rue (Riita graveolens) , 
a native to Europe, is sometimes cultivated in country gardens. It has a strong 
disagreeable odor, and is so acrid that it will even blister the hands. It con- 
tains an acrid narcotic poison. The cork tree (Phellodendron amurense) from 
the Amur region, is occasionally cultivated. The most important genus of the 



order is Citrus. The orange {Citrus Aurantium) is extensively cultivated in 
California and Florida. C. Aurantium var. vulgaris is the bitter orange which 
has run wild in Florida and other parts of the world. It is used in the manu- 
facture of candied orange peel. The citron (C. Medica) produces the oil of 
citron, the thick peel being used to make the citron of commerce. The lemon 
(C. Limonum) , wild in northern India, introduced into Europe by the Crusaders, 
is now well known in cultivation in California. The lime (C. Limetta) is cul- 
tivated in all tropical countries, and with the lemon is used to make lime juice. 
It is a refreshing drink and on sea voyages is used as an antiscorbutic. The 
lemon and lime are forms of C. Medica. The mandarine or tangerine (C. 
Aurantium) having a small flattened fruit with a thin rind and rich fruit, 
is grown in California and China. It is hardier than the orange, but probably 
a form of it. The shaddock or grape fruit (C. decumana) with large and some- 
what bitter fruit, is native to Polynesia, and in recent years has become much 
better known in the United States. The kumquat (C. japonica), native to 
Japan and China, produces a small and pleasantly flavored fruit. The Aegle 
sepiaria (C. trifoliaia) hardy as far north as Washington, is a spiny shrub 
producing a many-seeded, yellow, austere fruit. Hybrids of the species and C. 
Aurantium with better and larger fruit, have been produced by Webber. The 
sour orange or Naranja (C. Bigaradia) of Porto Rico and Florida is used for 
stocks in all plantings on moist lands because it resists the foot-rot which affects 
other varieties. The Beal fruit {Aegle Marmelos), native of India, with fruit 
about the size of an orange, produces a delicious fragrant material used in 
medicine. Jaborandi {Pilocarpus pennatifolius) native to Brazil contains the 
alkaloid pilocarpin Cj^H^^NgOg and is a powerful diaphoretic. The adminis- 
tration of more than 5 grs. of the alkaloid is dangerous to horses when given 
subcutaneously. Atropin is an antidote. The alkaloid jaborin CgoHj^N^O^ re- 
sembles atropin, also the alkaloid pilocarpidin. The bark of angustura {Cus- 
paria fcbrifuga) native to Venezuela contains cusparin C^^H^gNOg three other 
alkaloids and the bitter principle angusturin. The C. toxicaria of Brazil is poison 

Fig. 321. Oranpe (Citrus .■\iirnnliu:n^. 1. Flowering 
branch. 2. Longitudinal section of flower. 3. Longitudinal 
section of fruit. 4. Seed, (.\ftcr Wossidlo). 


ous. Lunsia aniara contains a toxic glucoside. Citric acid is found in fruits 
of lemons, lime and other members of the genus Citrus. The glucoside hcsperi- 
din C^.H^„O„,4H„0 occurs in ripe and unripe fruits of Citrus; the resinous 
principle naringin C^J:l„^0^^ in C. decumana. The essential oil of lemons is 
one of the terpens Cj^^H^g; the oil of bergamot similar to the preceding is 
from Bergamot: limettin C,„H,,0^ is the bitter principle of Citrus Medica=^ 
C. Lintctta. The leaves of Buchu (Barosma crenitlata) act as a mild diuretic. 
It contains a volatile oil of which 30 per cent is disophenol, also a crystalline 
glucoside (diosmin). The Commiphora abyssinica contains a volatile oil con- 
sisting of cuminol and eugenol. Aurantiamaric acid occurs in several species, 
of Citrus. . . 

SiJiARUEACEAE. Ailanthus Family 

Trees or shrubs with bitter bark; leaves pinnate, alternate, without punctate 
dots; stipules minute or none; flowers in axillary panicles or racemose clusters; 
regular, dioecious or polygamous; calyx 3-5 lobed; petals 3-5; stamens of the 
same number as the petals or twice as many; pistils 2-5 and 1-5 celled; disk 
elongated or annular. 

A small family of 125 species of warm or tropical regions. The most 
widely known member of the family in the United States is the tree-of-Heaven 
or Chinese sumac (Ailanthus glandiilosus) . The quassia (Q. amara) of Guiana 
is used in fevers and as a substitute for hops to impart bitter flavor to beer. 
It contains quassia C^H^qO^p a bitter principle. The bark of other plants of 
the order is bitter, like the siniaruba bark. The cedron (Simaba Ccdron) of 
Central America is used in the tropics for snake bites. The bitter fruit of 
Simaba valdivia contain a gulcoside C^gH^^O^p. 

Ailanthus Desf. 

Large trees ; leaves compound, odd-pinnate ; flowers in panicles, greenish 
white; calyx short, 5-cleft ; 5 spreading petals; disk 10-lobed; 10 stamens of 
the staminate flowers inserted at the base of the disk; ovary of the pistillate 
flowers deeply 2-5 cleft, 1-celled; stamens 2-3; winged fruits 2-5. Three species 
native of China and Eastern Asia. 

Ailanthus glandulosus Desf. Tree-of-Heaven 

A tall tree with ample leaves, smooth or slightly pubescent; 13-41 stalked 
leaflets ; ovate or ovate-lanceolate flowers, greenish pedicelled, the staminate 
ones badly scented. 

Distribution. Commonly escaped from cultivation, along roadsides from 
Southern Ontario to Kansas, Southeast Iowa, hardy as far north as Central 

Poisonous properties. The bark is known to be poisonous. Dr. White, 
in his Dermatitis Venenata states that he read an account in some medical 
journal of the suspected poisoning by this tree during its flowering season, 
and the statement was made that a case of marked dermatitis of the face, had 
been attributed to the emanations of a tree of this species, growing very near 
the sleeping-chamber of the patient. He records a case where a lady was 
poisoned by contact with it. Dr. Halsted states that when the flowers are 
handled they produce an irritation of the skin. 



In the Medical and Surgical Reporter of Philadelphia for 1872, this state- 
ment is quoted by Dr. Rusby in regard to the poisoning coming from the roots 
of this plant. 

A case in which four persons were apparently poisoned by this root. They were mem- 
bers of one family and were successively, that is, at intervals of a few days, attacked, 
with no other possible cause than their drinking water which they took from the well of a 
neighbor. They all drank water exclusively, except the husband, who was the last to be 
taken. Others who drank of this water occasionally suffered similarly but to a slight ex- 
tent. All immediately began to recover as soon as the drinking of this water was stopped. 
The symptoms, which had been slight for many weeks, appeared in a violent form in 
November, at which time an Ailanthus tree growing in the vicinity of the well must have 
shed its leaves, and to a great extent its fruit also, if a pistillate tree, which fact was not 
stated. On examination the soil all about the well was found to be thickly permeated with 
the roots of this tree, and these were also supposed to extend into the water, though an 
investigation regarding this was apparently not made. Inasmuch as the symptoms had 
existed in a mild form before the fall of the leaves, it is fair to assume that the roots 
had contributed toward the result, while the violent out-break in November would seem to 
indicate a sudden increase in the cause due to the accumulation of the leaves in the well. 
The symptoms were jaundice, a dingy aspect of the face and eyes, countenance fixed and 
anxious, pulse frequent and soft, yellowish fur on tongue, except on the tip and edges, 
tenderness over the liver, and most important, a persistent pain over the stomach with 
paroxysmal vomiting, pain in the back, difficult urination and obstinate constipation. The 
symptoms were thus apparently to a great extent those of chronic gastritis. 

Dr. Schaffner says that cows will not eat grass near the }-oung shoots. 
Quercetiin occurs in the leaves. They also contain the bitter principle linuttin. 

PoLYGALACEAE. Milkwort P'amily 

Herbs or rarely shrubs; stipules none; flowers perfect; sepals 5; petals 
3 or 5, free; stamens 4-8, monadelphous, or diadclphous; anthers 1-celled, open- 


V-- 'v 

Fig. 322. Tree of Heaven {Ailanthus glandulosiis). 
The bark is supposed to cause dermatitis. (Ada Hayden). 



ing at the top by a pore; ovary 2-celled; ovules 2; fruit a 2-seeded pod. A 
small order of about 700 species, found chiefly in the tropical and temperate 
regions. Some species of the order produce a strong fiber. 

Poly gala (Tourn.) L. Milkwort 

Herbs or shrubs; simple entire, dotted leaves without stipules; flowers 
perfect, irregular, occasionally cleistogamous ; calyx of 5 sepals, the 2 lateral 
known as wings, large, colored, the other small, greenish ; petals 3, free, connected 
with each other and the stamen tube ; stamens 6 or 8, filaments united below 
or in 2 sets; pistil 1; ovary 2-celled; ovules 1 in each cell; fruit mainly capsu- 
lar; seeds with a caruncle, anatropous; embryo large; little endosperm. About 
250 species, of wide distribution, chiefly of warm regions. A genus of little 
economic importance. 

Polygala Senega L. Seneca Snakeroot 

Plants clustered, several from a woody and knotty rootstock, simple 6-12 
inches high ; leaves lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate with rough margins ; dense 
spike, long peduncle; flowers white, none cleistogamous; wings round-obovate; 
crest short ; seeds hairy. 

Distribution. In rocky woods or clay soil. New Brunswick to Minnesota, 
Central Iowa to the Rockies in Canada. 

Poisonous properties. The dried root is gathered when the leaves are dead. 

Fig. 323. Seneca Snakeroot (^Polygala 
Senega). Dried root is made into a 
powder which is very acrid. (From John- 
son's Med. Bot. of N. A.). 



and made into a powder and a tincture prepared. This tincture has a pecuhar 
acridity. Dr. Millspaugh says : 

After tasting the tincture or chewing the rootlets, a very peculiar sensation of acridity 
and enlargement is felt at the root of the tongue, which, once recognized, will always men- 
tally associate itself with this plant. The root contains polygalic acid C,„HjjOjj. It is a 
while, odorless, acrid, amorphous powder. 

This acid forms a frothing, saponaceous solution in boiling water, and 
breaks up into sapogcnin and amorphous sugar, to which the name soicgin has 
been given, which by some has been regarded as identical with saponin. Accord- 
ing to the author quoted above, in doses of 10 minims of the tincture to a 
scruple of the powdered root, it produces : 

Anxiousness, with dullness of the head and vertigo; aching and weakness of the eyes, 
with lachrymation, pressure in the ball, flickerings, dazzling vision, and contracted pupils; 
sneezing; ptyalism; inflammation of the fauces and oesophagus, with thirst with anorexia; 
nausea; mucous vomiting; burning in the stomach; cutting colic; roughness and irritation 
of the larj'nx, with orgasm of blood to the chest, accompanied by constriction, aching, sore- 
ness, and oppression; general debility; restless sleep; and profuse diaphoresis. 

Senegiii resembles other saponins. Recent investigations indicate that the 
plant also contains qtiillagic acid C^j^Hg^O^p sapotoxin and two senega saponins. 
The saponin of Polygala virginiana has the formula C3.,H.„0|.. Other species 
of Polygalaccae like P. venenosa contain saponin.. 

EuPHORBiACEAE. Spurge Family 

Herbs, shrubs or trees usually with a milky acrid juice, opposite alternate 
or verticillate leaves ; monoecious or dioecious flowers, much reduced, sub- 
tended by bracts resembling a calyx or corolla ; ovary usually 3-celled ; ovules 
2 in each cell, pendulous ; stigmas as many or twice as many as the cells ; styles 
generally 3 ; fruit a capsule, separating elastically into a 2-valved capsule ; 
fleshy or oily endosperm ; seeds with flat cotyledons. 

A large family of 4000 species, chiefly tropical, many of which possess 
noxious qualities. Some species of the genus Manihot found in tropical Amer- 

Fig. 324. Manchineal Tree {Hipfomanc Mancinclla). Furnishes 
an arrow poison. (From Vesques' Traite de Botanique). 



ica are poisonous. The fresh juice of bitter cassava administered to dogs and 
cats causes death in twenty minutes. The starch from this is used for sizing. 
Cassava (Manihot utilissmm) is extensively cultivated in tropical America 
and to some extent also in Florida. The sweet cassava roots are used as 
food for cattle and man. Tapioca is the starch which settling from the water 
used to wash cassava meal, is afterward dried. An intoxicating drink is made 
from cassava bread. Rubber plants of the order are the Hevea, Micrandus and 
Manihot. The manchineal tree (Hippomane Mancineila), the celebrated poison 
tree of tropical America furnishes an arrow poison. The fruit, though temp- 
ting, contains an acrid poison, which causes blisters to form. The poisonous 
properties are said to rival those of the deadly Upas tree (Antiaris toxicaria). 
The following is an extract from "West India Sketches": 
The branches contain a milky juice which will certainly blister the skin ,and it has 
been a common trick among the negroes to apply it to their backs in order to excite the 
compassion of those who might mistake it for the effects of beating. 

Kingsley, in his charming "At Last," writes of it : 

We learnt to distinguish the poisonous manchineal, and were thankful in serious earnest 
that we had happily plucked none the night before, when we were snatching at every new leaf; 
for its milky juice by mere dropping on the skin burns like the poisoned tunic of Nessus, 
and will even, when the head is injured by it, cause blindness and death. 

Dr. White in his Dermatitis Venenata, speaks of the use of the plant in 
the West Indies as follows : 

This large family of Euphorhiaceae contains some of the most poisonous plants. One 
of the most virulent is the mancl ineal, a small tree, bearing fruit resembling an apple, 
which grows in Southern Florida. 

Loudon States that it abounds in a white milk which is highly poisonous, 
and so very caustic that a single drop placed upon the skin instantly causes 
the sensation of a hot iron, and in a short space of time raises a blister. It 
is a common belief that to sleep under it causes death. Whole woods on the 
seacoast of Martinique have been burned in order to clear the country of such 
a dangerous pest. The fruit is highly poisonous. 

Mr. Combs in his paper on Cuban Medical plants, states that its poisonous 
effects may be overcome by the use of Teconia leucoxylon or Jatropha gossy- 
pifolia. The uncooked rhizome of Maranta arundinaccae is sometimes used for 
the same purpose. The latex of the sandbox tree Hura crepitans is also very 
poisonous and when applied to the skin, causes eruptive pustules resembling 
those of erysipelas. It also produces injuries to the eyes. It contains a 
sharp acrid poison. When taken internally it produces vomiting and diarrhoea. 
The seeds are used as emetic. 

The Nigeria species of Mahogany (Ricinodendron africanus) also produces 
a valuable wood. 

The tallow tree {Sapium sebiferum) is cultivated in tropical countries for 
wax found on the fruit, which is made into candles.. The candlenut tree (Aleu- 
rites triloba) is cultivated on the islands of the Pacific Ocean for oil found in 
the seeds, which is made into candles, soap, etc. The seeds of A. moluccana 
are roasted and eaten. The Kalo Nut {A. Fordii) according to * is 
poisonous having produced toxic sj'mptoms in five children. It is the source 
of tung or Chinese wood oil. The seeds of pinhoen oil {Jatropha Curcas) are 
eaten. They are nutty and have a pleasant flavor, but when eaten in excess, 
produce serious trouble and death often results. The drastic principle of Croton 

* Pharm. Jour. 4:25, 231, 241. Brit. Yearbook of Pharm. 1908:240. 



Fig. 325. Sandbox Tree (Hura crepitans). 1. Flowering and 
fruiting branch. 2. Part of a large branch. Latex causes dermatitis. 
(From Vesque's Traite de Botanique.) 

oil (Croton Tiglium) has not been definitely determined, but it has been refined 
to a dark brown oil known as crotonol. The plant contains tiglinic acid Cj.HgO.,. 
Crotinic acid C^H^O, and Croton oil are derived from the Croton Tiglium, that 
is cultivated in southern India. This plant is a drastic purgative, capable, when 
given in excessive doses, of causing death. The resin produces vesication. 
The seeds, according to Blyth, are very poisonous. The fixed oil has the 
formula C H,^0,. 

The bark of Cascarilla {Croton Eluteria), native to the Bahamas, is used 
as a tonic and contains cascarillin C^H^O,. The milky juice of Euphorbia 
resinifera of Morocco is used as a purgative and is so intensely acrid that people 
in collecting it are compelled to tie a cloth over their nostrils and tnouths. 
It contains the substance etiphorhon Cg^H^jO^, which has a burning taste. 
The milky juice of agallocha (E.rcoecaria Agallocha) of tropical Asia is very 
acrid and blisters the skin. It is said that if the juice drops into the eye as 
sometimes happens to the woodcutter, blindness may be caused. Excoccaria 
glandulosa contains cxcoecarin C,.,H^„0,^. The Elomalanthus Leschenaultianus 
is said to be poisonous. The fruit of Hyaena poison {Toxicodendron capcnse) 
of South Africa is very poisonous, and is used to destroy beasts of prey. Gum 
elastic or Para rubber is derived from the South American Hevea brasilicnsis. 
Other plants of the family yield caoutchouc, which contains hydrocarbons that 
are readily soluble in chloroform. The alkaloid drumin occurs in Euphorbia 
Drummondii. Several species of Euphorbia like Poinsettia {Euphorbia splen- 
dens) and E. heterophylla arc cultivated for ornamental purposes. From the 



Fig. 326. Croton (Croton Tiglium). Flowering and fruiting 
branch. The source of croton oil. (After Faguet.) 

glands and hairs covering the fruit of kamala (Mallotus philippinensis) a dye 
is made. The fruit is also used as a vermifuge; it contains rottlerin CggHg^Og 
and isorottlerin. Many species of the genus are regarded as poisonous. Maiden 
states that the E. Drtimmondii is poisonous to stock in New South Wales. It is 
known as the milk plant and is especially troublesome to sheep. It causes the head 
to sw^ell to an enormous size so that the animal cannot support its head. 
Suppuration frequently follovv's. B. alsinaeflora is also poisonous to sheep in 
the same country. B. eremophila is another suspect in that country. B. 
heptagona is an arrow poison. Some species of this genus are used as fish 
poisons. Emanations of B. characias at one time were supposed to cause 
malarial fever which, however, was an erroneous assumption. Lehmann, a 
German writer on poisonous plants lists the following species as poisonous : 
B. Lathyris, B. Heliscopia, B. platyphylla, B. Bsula, B. Cyparissias, B. palustris, B. 
Peplus, B. exigua. The B. antiquorum of the East Indies, B. canariensis of the Ca- 
nary Islands, and B.Reinhardtiioi the Transvaal contain a milky acrid poisonous 
juice.* The resin from Buphorhia produces sneezing, irritation of face and 
skin, vomiting and diarrhoea and when used in large doses, death. Where the 
drug is manufactured, workmen must protect themselves; but, even then, head- 
ache, dizziness and weakness follow. To poisoning from members of the genus 
Buphorbia, Friedberger and Frohner ascribe such symptoms as constipation, 
severe and bloody diarrhoea, feeble pulse and tympanites. 
* Bull. Misc. Inf. Roy. Card. Kew, 1908: 154. 



_ Fig. 326. Caper spurge (Euphorbia Lathy- 
ris). a, upper half of plant, one-third nat- 
ural size; b, seed capsule, natural size. Listed 
by Lehmann as poisonous. (Chesnut, U. S. 
Dept. Agr.) 

According to Greshoff the leaves of Andrachnc cordifolia and other members 
of the family contain hydrocyanic acid. 

Key for genera of Euphorbiaceae: 

Flowers without a calyx inclosed in a cup-shaped involucre. 5. Euphorbia. 

Flowers with a calyx ; involucre absent. 

Flowers apetalous in panicles ; stamens 10. 

Calyx corolla-like ; plant with stinging hairs. 4. Jatropha. 

Flowers in terminal racemes or spikes covered with scurfy or stellate 
hairs, glandular. 

Flowers spiked or glomerate; ovary usually 3-cellcd. 1. Croton. 

Flowers in axillary spikes or paniculate ; stamens 8 or more. 

Fertile flowers in the axils of leafy bracts; stamens usually 8. 

7. Acalypha. 
Flowers in interrupted axillary spikes; stamens 8-20. 6. Mercurialis. 
Flowers paniculate ; stamens very numerous ; filaments branched. 

3. Ricinus. 
Flowers apetalous in racemes or spikes; stamens 2 or 3 style simple. 
Flowers racemose, hirsute or pubescent. 2. Tragia. 

Flowers spicate, glabroid. 8. Stillingia. 



1. Croton L. 

Stellate, pubescent herbs or shrubs ; leaves generally alternate, occasionally 
with glands at the base of the blade; flowers spicate or racemose, the stamin- 
ate above ; calyx 4-6 parted ; petals usually present, small or rudimentary, alter- 
nating with the glands; stamens 5 or more; pistillate flowers with calyx 5-10 
parted; petals usually wanting; ovary mostly 3-celled, with a single ovule in 
each cell. 

Croton capitatus Michx. Hogwort 

An annual, dense, soft woolly herb, somewhat glandular, from 1-2 feet 
high, occasionally branched; leaves entire, lanceolate oblong, with long petioles; 
sterile flowers with 5-parted calyx and as many glands alternating with the 
obovate lanceolate petals which are fimbriate; fertile flowers several, capitate 
or crowned; calyx 7-12 parted; 5 petals wanting; styles twice or thrice forked; 
seeds gray, smooth. 

Distribution. A common weedy plant from Missouri to Texas ; from New 
Jersey to Georgia, Iowa and eastern Kansas. 

Fig. 327. Hogwort {Croton capitatus). Suspected of 
being poisonous. (After A. M. Fergusonn, Rep. Mo. Bot. 



Croton texensis Muell 

A branching annual from 1-2 feet high, covered with close stellate pubes- 
cence ; leaves narrowly oblong-lanceolate to linear ; dioecious ; calyx lobes 5, 
unequal ; petals none ; staminate spikes short ; stamens 10 or more ; style 2 or 
3 times dichotomously 2-parted ; capsule stellate, tomentose and roughened; 
seeds ovoid or oval. 

Distribution. From South Dakota to Colorado, Texas, Mexico, Missouri and 

Poisonous properties. Several species of the genus Croton are used in 
medicine. The Croton Tigliuni contains an oil which given internally is a 
powerful cathartic, but when applied externally, is a rubefacient. Loss of the 
hair follicles and of hair may occur. When gently rubbed into the skin, it 
produces, after a short time, a considerable degree of itching, redness, and burn- 
ing, and within a few hours small red papules may develop. If more of the 
oil is applied the papules are more abundant and are often surrounded with 
a bright red halo. They often become pustular and scars fill the pustules. 

l'"ig. 3J8. Texas duUm (Cioroii tcxciisis). Some- 
times causes irritation of tlie si<iii. (After Mrs. M. H. D. 
Irish, Rep. Mo. Hot. Garden.) 



Croton oil contains several fatty acids, such as stearic, palmitic, myristic and 
lauric acids. The volatile part of the acids contains an acid called tiglinic 
CgHgO^, which is the same as angelic acid. The drastic principle of Croton 
oil has not been definitely determined, according to Fliickiger and Hanbury. 
Croionol C^gH^^O^, is a non-purgative body causing irritation of the skin. 
According to Winslovv, in h's Veterinary Materia Medica and Therapeutics, 
"10 drops of croton oil will kill a dog unless vomiting occurs. 30 drops prove 
fatal to a horse, intravenously. The treatment of poisoning includes the use 
of emetics or stomach tube, demulcents and opium." None of our native 
species is mentioned as poisonous by Dr. Schaffner or Prof. Chesnut, but a few 
j'ears ago I had a query through the Wallace Farmer in Des Moines, from a 
correspondent in Western Nebraska who suspected that the Texas croton was 
poisonous. The writer has eaten a few seeds of our southern Croton capi- 
tatus with slight uneasiness. On the other hand, a few seeds of the Texas 
croton produced powerful irritation which lasted for an hour, and then disap- 
peared. It is listed by Bessey and O'Gara as possibly poisonous in Western 
Nebraska. Prof. Chesnut states in his paper on Plants used by the Indians 
in Mendocino county, California, that the bruised leaves of Croton setigera 
are used to stupefy fish. The common name, fish soap-root, indicates its use. 

The bark of the cascarilla {Croton Eluteria), native of the Bahama 
Islands is used as a tonic. 

Tragia L. Tragia 

Monecious herbs or shrubs, usually armed with stinging hairs; leaves alter- 
nate; flowers in racemes with bractlets, apetalous; sterile flowers with a 3-5 
cleft calyx ; fertile flowers with a 3-8-parted calyx, divisions entire or pinnati- 

Fig. 329. Spurge Nettle {Tragia 
urens). This spurge is common in 
some places in the South and has hairs 
that are irritating like those of the com- 
mon nettle. (Charlotte M. King.) 


fid; styles 3; capsule 3-lobed, separating into three 2-vaIved carpels. A small 
genus of SO species. 

Tragia urcns L. Common Nettle or Tragia 

A dull green, pilose plant with pilose or hirsute hairs ; erect, branched 
stems; leaves obovate, or ovate-linear; short, petioled, pistilkte flowers, several 
at the base of the racemes, with a 5-6 lobed calyx ; capsule short-pedicelled. 

Distribution. From Virginia to Florida and Texas. 

Tragia nepetaefolia Cav. Tragia or Nettle. 

A somewhat hispid, erect, or sli.ghtly twining plant, bearing stinging 
hairs ; leaves ovate, or triangular-lanceolate ; base cordate or truncate ; short 
petioled; racemes many-flowered; pistillate flowers with a 5-lobed calyx; seeds 
chestnut brown. 

Distribution. From Kansas to New Mexico. 

Poisonous properties. The hairs have the same stinging property as those 
of the common nettle. 

3. Ricinus (Tourn.) L. Castor Oil Bean 

A tall, stout herb or tree in tropics; glabrous and glaucus ; large, alternate, 
peltate leaves ; flowers in large, panicled clusters ; the fertile above, the staminate 
below; calyx S-parted ; stamens numerous; styles 3, united at the base, each 
2 parted, red;capsule subglobose, or oval, separating into 3, 2-valved carpels; 
cotyledons large; endosperm fleshy and oily. A single species naturalized in 
warm countries, probably native to Asia. 

Ricinus communis L. Castor Oil Plant 

A tall, smooth, branching herb with palmately-lobcd leaves; seeds oblong, 
shining, variegated with white. 

Distribution. Widely cultivated as an ornamental plant, and an escape from 
cultivation from New Jersey to Texas. 

Poisi'vous properties. The seeds furnish the well known castor oil, which 
is a mild and safe purgative. It contains ricinolein, or ricinoleic acid glyccrid, 
'C H (C H O ) ; an acrid principle; also pahnitin, stearin, and myristin. 
The purgative principle found in it is unknown. Castor oil is not poisonous, 
"l>ut the pulp contains an acrid, albuminous substance, ricin CgH^N^Og. Dr. 
Winslow, in speaking of the poisonous character, says, the seeds "contain 50 
percent of oil, and an acrid, poisonous substance. Three seeds have caused 
'death in man,, and they are ten times more purgative than the oil." A few seeds 
eaten entire by a child might produce serious symptoms. According to Ches- 
nut, the seed eaten accidentally by horses has caused death. They are used also 
to poison sheep, according to the same authority. The oil cake is said not to be 
poisonous to poultry and cattle. A case is known of a young lady whose eyes 
became inflamed when in contact with a mere trace of the material in the 
laboratory. The toxin is very poisonous, but animals may be rendered immune, 
and the seeds then fed to them. Behring has produced an anti-toxic serum 
against the ricin or toxin of the castor oil bean. 




Fig. 330. Castor Oil Plant (Ricinus communis). Furnishes the well 
known castor oil of commerce. (After Faguet.) 

The symptoms of poisoning are vomiting, gastric pain, bloody diarrhoea 
and dullness of vision. 

Stillmark 1 states that the toxalbumin of castor oil bean, when injected into 
the circulation is more poisonous than strychnin, prussic acid, or arsenic. 

Quite recently Dr. W. N. Bispham - reported on several cases of poisoning 
in Cuba from eating the seeds of the Castor oil plant. Some persons showed 
peculiar susceptibility; in one case poisoning occured from eating a single seed, 
while in another a good many were eaten ; in both cases the seeds caused 
nausea, vomiting, and purging of a violent nature. 

Toxic substances similar to ricin occur in the following plants. Abrus 
prccatoriiis (abrin), Jatropha curcas (curcin), Croton Eluteria (crotin), Robinia 
Pseudo-Acacia (robin), Brayera anthelmintica (costoxin). According to Ceni 
and Besta a toxin also occurs in Urtica, Viscum seedlings, Aspergillus flavus, 
and A. fumigatus. 

1 Dorpat. Arch. 3: (1889). 
2 Am. Jour. Med. Sci. 126: 319-321. 



4. Jatropha L. Spurge Nettle or Bull Nettle 

Monoecious, or rarely dioecious, perennial herbs, with bristly hairs, entire 
or lobed leaves ; flowers in cymes ; calyx colored like petals in sterile flower, 
mostly salver-shaped, and S-lobed, enclosing 10-30 stamens ; pistillate flowers 
in the lower forks of the cymes ; capsule ovoid or subglobose, separating into 
2-valved carpels. A small genus of 4 or 5 species. 

Jatroplia stimtilosa Michx 

A branching, perennial plant with a stout root, 6-12 inches high, and sting- 
ing hairs ; leaves round, heart-shaped, 3-5 lobed or variously cleft ; calyx of 
the staminate flower salver-form, white or pinkish ; stamens 10, filaments almost 
separate ; seeds oblong-ovoid, smooth and mottled. 

Distribution. In dry sandy soil from Virginia to Texas. 

Poisonous properties. Mr. John Smith says that a plant growing at Kew 
was placed on his wrist, and produced in a few minutes, serious symptoms ex- 
tending to the upper part of his body ; the lips became swollen, and the whole 
of a livid red, fainting coming on in ten minutes. The writer was told of numer- 
ous instances of poisoning in Texas where it is much dreaded. 

Jatropha urens, known as the Brazilian stinging nut, is considered to be one 
of the most poisonous plants known. The Cuban physic nut {Japtropha Cur- 
cas) is used as a purgative. 

Fig. 331. Spurge Nettle. Lois rammel. 

Fig. 332. Spurge nettle (.Jatropha slimulosa). 
The Jatropha has stinging hairs that produce in- 
juries similar to those produced by nettle but much 
more powerful. (After Hochstein). 



S. Buphborbia L. Spurge 

Monoecious shrubs or herbs with alternate or opposite, verticillate leaves ; 
flowers involucrate, involucres resembling a calyx or corolla, bearing a large 
thick gland in the sinuses; staminate flowers consist of a single jointed stamen 
on a filament-like pedicel; pistillate flower solitary at the bottom of the involucre 
consisting of a 3-lobed and 3-celled ovary; capsule at maturity breaking into 
3-lobed 1 -seeded carpels; seeds frequently caruncled, smooth, variously pitted. 
About 700 species, chiefly in warmer regions. A few are weedy, some poison- 
ous and some planted for ornamental purposes. The milky juice of the Brazil- 
ian E. heterodoxa produces a ferment which acts much like papain. 

Buphorbia Presilii Guss. Large Spotted Spurge 

An ascending, erect annual from 1-2 feet high, opposite oblique leaves, which 
are ovate, oblong or oblong-linear, falcate, serrate, usually with a red spot 
or red margins; stipules triangular; flowers collected in a loose terminal cyme; 
appendages entire, white or red; pod smooth, angled; seeds small, blackish, 
ovate, obtusely angled, wrinkled, and tubercled. 

Distribution. Common in eastern North America west to the Rocky Moun- 

Euphorbia maculata h. Spotted Spurge 

A prostrate spreading, hairy annual ; leaves oblong-linear, pubescent or 
smooth, oblique at base, serrate above, small brownish spots on leaves ; stipules 
lanceolate, fimbriate; flowers monoecious, included in a 4-5-lobed involucre; 
glands of the involucre minute; peduncles as long as the petioles, in dense 
clusters ; pods minutely pubescent ; seeds sharply 4-angled, having 4 shallow 
grooves, whitish. 

Fig. 333. Spotted Spurge (Euphorbia maculata). 
poisonous. (C. M. King). 

Common roadside plant. Probably 



Distribution. Common along roadsides, walks, etc., from New England to 
the Rocky Mountains and the Gul-f States. 

Euphorbia marginata Pursh. Snow on the Mountain 

An erect, stout annual from 2-3 feet high ; stem hairy or somewhat smooth ; 
leaves sessile, scattered, ovate or oblong, entire; deciduous stipules; uppermost 
leaves opposite or whorled with conspicuous white petal-like margins; involucre 
bell-shaped in umbels; glands of the 5-lobed involucre with broad and white 
appendages; seeds ovoid, globose, terete, dark ash colored, reticulate. 

Distribution. Frequently cultivated in gardens from whence it has escaped. 
Found in Ohio, Illinois and Indiana. Native from western Minnesota, Iowa to 
Colorado, and Texas. 

Euphorbia coroUata L. Milkweed or Flowering Spurge 

Perennial with a long, stout rootstock, glabrous or sparingly hairy; leaves 
ovate, lanceolate, or linear, obtuse, short-petioled, or sessile; inflorescence in 
umbel-like clusters; involucre long peduncled with white conspicuous ap- 
pendages ; seeds thick, ovoid, sHghtly pitted, ash-colored. 

Distribution. In rocky or sandy soil, Mass. to New York, New Jersey, 
Florida, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Texas. 

Fig. 334. Common Flowering 
Spurge (Euphorbia coroUata). A 
plant with milky juice wliich has ir- 
ritating pro|)crtics. common in sandy 
fields. It has white bracts re- 
sembling flowers. (Charlotte M. 


Euphorbia Lathyris L. Myrtle Spurge 


A glabrous annual or biennial, simple below, branched above, from 2-3 
feet high; leaves thick, linear or oblong, scattered, the upper lanceolate 

Fig. 335. Snow on the mountain (Euphor- 
bia marginata) : a, whole plant, one-third nat- 
ural size; b, seed capsule, natural size. Cul- 
tivated in old gardens. (Chesnut, U. S. Dept. 

or linear-lanceolate ; inflorescence umbel-like, bearing 4 crescent-shaped glands, 
prolonged into horns; seeds oblong-ovoid, terete, usually wrinkled. 

Distribution. In waste places. New Jersey to North Carolina, Iowa, and 
California. Native to Europe. 

Euphorbia Ipecacuanhae L. Wild Ipecac 

Perennial from 5-10 inches high; long perpendicular root; entire, smooth 
leaves, varying from obovate or oblong to narrowly linear, nearly sessile; in- 
volucres long peduncled and 5 transversely elliptical or oblong green glands; 
seeds smooth, ovate, white, pitted, and obscurely 4-sided. 

Distribution. In sandy soil from Connecticut to Indiana and Florida. 



Fig. 336. Wild Ipecac (Euphorbia Ipecacuan- 
hae.) Plant that possi^-sscs irritating proper- 
ties and is also a purgative. (Millspaugh and 
Charlotte M. King.) 

Bnphorhia hetcrophylla L. Cruel Plant 

An erect, smootli annual from 1-3 feet high; leaves alternate, petioled, linear 
lanceolate to orbicular, undulate, entire or toothed ; the upper leaves usually 
fiddle-shaped, with a red base; involucre in terminal clusters, 5-lobed, with a 
single or a few almost sessile glands ; seeds nearly round, transversely wrinkled 
and tubercled. 

Distribution. From Illinois and Missouri to Nebraska. 

Buphorbia Cyparissias L. Cypress Spurge 

A bright green perennial from 6-12 inches high with running rootstocks; 
stems clustered, occurring in patches ; stem leaves linear, entire, densely crowded, 
those of the flower heart-shaped and entire; flowers in umbellate clusters, umbel 
many-rayed, glands crescent-shaped ; pods granular ; seeds oblong and smooth. 

Distribution. Native to Europe, but widely scattered in eastern North 
America. First introduced as a cultivated plant in North America. 

Poisonous properties. All of the species are more or less irritating and in 
drying give off very disagreeable odors. Many of the species of the genus are 
used by quacks to remove warts and freckles; the juice produces an erysip- 
elatous-like inflammation, and in one case mentioned by Dr. White, the whole 
abdominal wall became gangrenous. 

The milky juice of the plant causes itching and inflammation. The general 
effect is very much like that of poisoning from the poison ivy. In Texas, accord- 
ing to Chcsnut, the juice of £. marginaia is used to brand cattle. The honey 



Fig. 337. Yellow Flowering or Cypress 
Spurge (Etiphorbia Cyparissias). A branch 
with large bracts and small flowers. (Stras- 
burger, Noll, Schenck and Schimper.) 

obtained by bees from the plant is poisonous and is rendered unfit for use. 
The acrid properties of this species were described some years ago by Dr. 
Schneck. The juice of E. corollata, according to Dr. Halsted and many other 
observers, is acrid, and, on the authority of Dr. Bigelow, formerly was used for 
bHstering purposes. The bruised root will vesicate the skin. According to Dr. 
J. C. White, the dust of this species produces painful swelling and vesicles 
upon men who handle the plant. It is used as an emetic, and is troublesome to 
those who collect it. 

The Euphorbia pilulifera is used as a sedative in spasmodic conditions of 
the respiratory apparatus. It produces dermatitis. Dr. White, in his Derma- 
titis Venenata, has this to say of the species of the genus : 

More than one hundred species of Euphorbia, or spurge, grow in the United States, either 
indigenous or immigrants from Europe. Of every species Loudon says the juice is so acrid 
as to corrode and ulcerate the body wherever applied; and of E. resinifera, from which the 
official euphorbium is obtained, Pliny- and Dioscorides, according to the Dispensatory, describe 
the method of collecting juice, so as to prevent irritation of the hands and face. This sub- 
stance is used as a plaster to prolong suppuration. 

Van Hasselt states that the juice of several species is used by quacks to remove warts, 
freckles, as depilatory, etc.; and that the application of the juice, powder, and extract produces 
not only erysipelatous, pustular, and phlegmonous inflammation, but even gangrene. In one 
case mentioned the whole abdominal wall became the seat of gangrene. 



Of our native species, Bigelow says that the juice of several was used in his day to de- 
stroy warts, and Gray describes them all as containing an acrid, poisonous juice The most 
active of them are E. corollata, E. Ipecacxianhae, and E. Lathyris. Ttic first of these, com- 
monly called snake-milk, according to Bigelow, has been used for blistering purposes, and the 
Dispensatory states that the bruised root will vesicate the skin. 

Mr. Cheney informs me that the juice of E. Ipecacuanlwe is quite troublesome to many 
who collect and handle it; and Bazin states that the dust of E. Lathyris, growing both in 
Europe and in this country, causes redness, painful swelling, and vesicles upon the workmen 
employed in handling it. 

With reference to the poisonous nature of the juice of the several species,, 
nothing very definite is known. Euphorbon C^gH^^O^ has been found in Eu- 
phorbia Ipecaciianhac. This euphorbon acts as an irritant to the mucous mem- 

Fig. 338. Large Spotted Spurge (Euphorbia Preslii). Sup- 
posed to cause "slobbers" in horses. (Charlotte M. King.) 

branes throughout the alimentary tract. The caper spurge {Euphorbia Lathy- 
ris) is poisonous, and the following physiological actions are described by Dr. 
Miiispaugh : 

Brilliant, staring, wide-open eyes, dilated pupils; death-like pallor of the countenance; 
retching and vomiting; violent purgation, stools frequent, copious, and in some cases bloody; 
irregular pulse; whole body cold and rigid, followed by heat and perspiration. M. M. E. 
Sudour and A. Caraven-Cachin state that emcsis always precedes purgation, and that the seeds 
have an irritating action upon the mucous membrane of the intestinal canal, princii>ally in the 
larger intestines. They divide the effects into three stages: a, the cold stage, including vomit- 



ing and diarrhoea; b, the stage of excitation, including nervousness, vertigo, and delirium; 
y, the state of reaction, including heat and copious sweat. 

With reference to the physiological action of the common spurge (Bu- 
phorhia Preslii), the following statement is made by Dr. True: 

Headache with frontal fullness and heat; heat about the eyes; languor and drowsiness; 
oppression of the stomach; and constipation. The juice applied to the eyes causes severe 
irritation, with smarting and burning, lachrymation, and momentary blindness; this we have 
experienced twice while gathering the plant. It is supposed that this species causes the affec- 
tion in horses called "slobbers." 

6. Mercurialis L. Mercury 

Annual or perennial herbs; with opposite pinnately veined leaves; flowers 
dioecious or monoecious in interrupted axillary spikes, apetalous ; calyx small, 
green, 3-parted; capsule 3-lobed. 

Mercurialis annua L. Annual Mercury 

A leafy stemmed, erect, annual herb ; leaves lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate, 
crenate serrate; carpels hispid; indigenous to Europe, found in waste places 
from Nova Scotia to Ohio, and South Carolina. The M. percnnis differs from 
M. annua in having a creeping perennial root, and hairy leaves. 

Puisonous properties. Both species are acrid and poisonous. 

7. Acalypha L. Three seeded Mercury 

Herbs or shrubs, leaves alternate, petioled; flowers stipulate in spikes or 
spike-like racemes or solitary ; calyx of staminate flowers 4-parted ; calyx of 

Fig. 339. Annual Mercury {Mercurialis annua). Staminate and pistillate branches. An 
acrid, poisonous plant. (After Faguet.) 


the fertile flower 3-5 parted, subtended by a foliaceous bract; petals wanting 
in both staminate and pistillate flowers; stamens 8-16 united at their bases; 
capsule consisting of 3 globular 2-valved carpels, each 1 -seeded. About 250 
species chiefly tropical, 3 species in the central and eastern states. A. gracilens 
has smaller leaves than A. virginica. A. ostryaefolia has echinate fruit and oc- 
curs from New Jersey to Texas and Kansas. 

Acalypha virginica L. Three-seeded Mercury 

A smoothish or hairy annual from 1-2 feet high often turning purple, es- 
pecially in the autumn; leaves ovate or oblong ovate, sparingly serrate, long 
petioled; sterile spike few-flowered; pistillate flowers 1-3 at the base of stam- 
inate peduncle; capsule 3-lobed subglobose; seeds ovoid, reddish striate. 

Distribution. From Nova Scotia to Florida, Texas, Kansas and Minnesota. 

Poisonous properties. This has been sent to me several times as supposedly 
poisonous. It is distasteful to cattle and they refuse to eat it in the pasture. 

8. Stillingia L. Queen's Root 

Smooth upright herbs or shrubs; leaves alternate or rarely opposite, fre- 
quently with 2 glands at the base; flowers in spikes, apetalous; calyx 2-3 cleft 
or parted; staminate flowers, several together in the axils of the bractlets, 
stamens 2 or 3 pistillate flowers solitary in the axils of the lower bractlets; 
capsule 3-celled and 3-seeded. About 15 species of tropical America and the 
Pacific Islands. 

Stillingia sylvatica L. Queen's Delight 

A bright green herb 1-3 feet high; leaves nearly sessile lanceolate or ellip- 
tical, 2 glandular base; flowers lemon-colored subtended by small bracts with 
saucer-shaped glands; calyx cup-shaped; capsule depressed; seeds ovoid, light 
gray, minutely pitted and a flat base. 

Distribution. From Virginia to Florida, Texas and Kansas in light sandy 

Poisonous properties. This plant is commonly used in medicine. It is said 
to be an efficient alterative. It contains an acrid resin sylvacal and an acrid 
fixed oil. 


Trees, shrubs or herbs; petals usually present and separate; sepals usually 
distinct ; stamens rarely more than twice as many as the sepals or fewer ; op- 
posite or alternate ; ovary superior, compound ; ovule pendulous. Contains many 
tropical plants, some with milky juice. In the family Buxaceae is the common 
box (Buxus sempervirens) which is used as a hedge plant and furnishes the 
best wood for wood engraving. The plant is an acrid poison. It is sometimes 
substituted for hops in the manufacture of beer and thus becomes the occasion 
of serious accident. The edible crowberry {Empetrum nigrum) belongs to the 
family Umpetraceae and occurs far northward in America and Europe. The 
bladdernut (Staphylea trifolia) of Atlantic North America belongs to the family 
Staphylcaceae. The family Sapindaceac contains the balloon vine (Cardio- 



Fig. 340. Three-seeded Mercury (Acalypha virg'mica). Sup- 
posed to be poisonous to cattle. (Ada Hayden.) 



spermum Halicacabuni), a well known ornamental climber, but a weed in the 
South. A refreshing drink is made fom the seed of guarana (Paullinia 
Cupana) of South America; it contains caffein, saponin and an acrid green 
fixed oil. The fruit of Sapindus Saponaria contains a great deal of saponin 
and is used as a substitute for soap. The soapberry tree (Sapindus marginatus) 
is used as a shade tree in the South where it is a native. A shellac is derived 
from the Indian Schleichera trijuga and marcassa oil is obtained from the 
seeds of the same plant. The Indians of Brazil use the honey collected by 
wasps from the flowers of Serjania lethalis to poison their arrows. It is also 
used as a fish poison and contains a narcotic principle which causes death. 
Another fish poison is furnished by the black seeds of S. curassavica of Brazil. 
The natives use the same substance for criminal purposes on man. The nectar 
obtained from the flowers is also poisonous. Lehmann lists as poisonous S. 
nodosa, which is used by the natives of Brazil as an arrow poison. The fruit 
of 5". trifoliatiis of India contains saponin. The same substance occurs in other 

Fig. 341. Common Box {Buxus scmpervirens). The 
plant is acridly poisonous. (After Faguet.) 


species, notably in the seeds of the Brazilian Magonia. Narcotic principles oc- 
cur in the following genera : Serjania, Nephelium, Magonia and Harpullia. 
The fruit of the litchi {Nephelium Lit-chi), a native of China and the Philip- 
pines and cultivated in the tropics, is something like a plum and is eaten fresh 
or dried. The Blighia sapida of West Africa is cultivated for its edible arillus; 
the Koelreiiteria paniculata of China is cultivated as an ornamental plant. 

The family Coriaceae contains the genus Coriaria. The leaves and bark of 
the C. myrtifolia of southern Europe contain much tannin which is used in 
dyeing. The C. ruscifolia of New Zealand contains a black dye. The fresh 
leaves are used in making an intoxicating drink. C. viyrtifolia and C. thymi- 
folia of Mexico contain a toxic principle known as coriamyrtin which resembles 
picrotoxin. Many species of the genus are poisonous. Coriaria sarmentosa, C. 
arborea, and the tree-toot (C Tutu) of New Zealand are poisonous. Easterfield 
& Ashton * have isolated a crystallin glucoside called tutin C^^H^qO^ which ap- 
pears to be closely allied to coriamyrtin C^gH^^Og. Tutu plants are highly 
toxic to animals that have not become immune by first becoming accustomed to 
small quantities. Blyth says : 

For the native cattle in the Tutu districts apparently consume moderate amounts of the 
shrubs with impunity, whereas other cattle become seriously ill. Both coriamyrtin and tutin 
belong pharmacologically to the picrotoxin group of substances. Tutin is somewhat less toxic 
that co7-iamyrtin. There is first depression, followed by salivation; the pulse is slowed, the 
respirations increased in frequency, and finally, clonic convulsions occur: 129 mgrms. killed s 
kitten weighing 1 kilogramme in 40 minutes; 1 mgrm. induced in a cat, 2 kilogrms. in weight, 
a convulsive seizure, and the animal did not recover for 24 hours. 

Other important families of this order will be described farther on. 

Families of Sapindales 
Flowers regular. 

Ovary 1 -celled ; fruit a drupe Anacardiaceae. 

Ovary 2 or more celled. 
Leaves simple. 

Seed with an aril • Celastraceae. 

Seed without an aril Aquifoliaceae. 

Leaves simple, palmately veined or compound. 

Leaves opposite Aceraceae. 

Flowers irregular. 

Leaves palmately compound; fruit a leathery capsule. 

Trees or shrubs , Hippocastanaceae. 

Succulent herbs ; capsule elastically dehiscent Balsaminaceae. 

Anacardiaceae. Cashew Family 

Trees or shrubs with acrid properties, milky or resinous juice; alternate 
or opposite leaves ; flowers small, frequently polygamous, regular ; calyx 3-7- 
cleft; petals of the same number; stamens as many or twice as many as the 
petals, inserted at the base of tlie disk; ovary 1 or sometimes 4 or 5-celled, and 
1 ovule in each cavity ; styles 1-3 ; fruit generally' a small drupe ; endosperm 
scanty; cotyledons large. 

There are about 500 species in temperate and tropical regions. The cashew 
(Anacardium occidentale) is much cultivated in the tropics. According to 
Dr. Cork, the fleshy receptacles of the fruit are used in the West Indies ni 

* Jour. Chem. See. Trans. 1901. 


preparing conserves and have an acid flavor whicli is very palatable ; the peri- 
carp, however, contains an irritant substance cardol €,^11^^02, which is 
black, acrid and vesicating, and is used to protect books and furniture from 
insects ; cashew oil, equal to the finest almond oil and superior to olive oil, 
is also a product of the plant. The juice of the shell of the nut produces poison- 
ing similar to that of poison ivy. The kernels of the cashew may be eaten 
raw or roasted like chestnuts, but the fumes coming from the roasting nuts 
are very caustic. The pistachia nut (Pistacia vera) produces a fruit about 
the size of a plum, which contains a seed much prized for eating. The mango 
(Mangifera indica) a native of India, is now cultivated in most warm countries 
for its fine edible fruit. The bark of many species, like the smooth sumac 
{Rhus glabra) of the North, and the European R. Coriaria, contains a valu- 
able tanning material. The smoke tree {Rhus Cotinus) and the stag horn sumach 
{Rhus typhina) are frequently cultivated for ornamental purposes. The fruits 
of Spondias dtilcis, S. purpurea and S. lutca are edible, the last of these i» 
called the hog plum, being so named because the hogs are fond of it. The 
juice of another member of the family {Comocladia) causes an eruption similar 
to that from poison ivy. 

Tannic and pyrogallic acids are derived from the Chinese Indian Rhus semi- 
alata. Chios turpentine {Pistacia Terebinihus) well known to the ancients, 
produces red galls that are used for tanning morocco leather. The mastic 
{Pistacia Lentiscus) native to the Mediterranean region, was formerly used 
for making varnishes. 

The Querbrachia Lorentzii and Q. Balansae of Argentine and Paraguay 
produce a very hard red wood which contains a great deal of tannin and gallic 
acid. The fruit of Dracontomelon mangiferum of the Sunda islands is used 
much like lemons. The ink tree of India {Semccarpus Anacardiuni and Holi- 
garna ferruginea) contain cardol. 

The pepper tree {Schinus Mollc) cultivated in California, is a native of 
Peru. The saw-dust of sneezewood {Placroxylon utile) produces sneezing. 

Rhus L. Sumach 

Trees or shrubs with alternate, simple trifoliolate or odd-pinnate leaves; 
small polygamous flowers in panicles; calyx deeply 5-parted ; petals 5, spread- 
ing; stamens 5, inserted below the flattened disk, fruit small, 1-seedcd. About 
120 species in the temperate regions common in southern Africa. Some species 
are poisonous. The Japanese Rhus 7'ernicifcrj and R. succedanca are culti- 
vated in Japan for the lacquer which is taken from incisions made in the trees. 
Dr. White states that some of the embossed Japanese papers which are used 
in houses have caused severe inflammation, and according to Dr. H. N. 
Allen, natives as well as Europeans in the East are often affected with "varnish 

Rhus Toxicodendron L. Poison Ivy. Three Leaved Ivy 

A climbing or trailing shrub, sometimes erect, with 3 leaflets; plant erect 
or climbing by means of its aerial rootlets; flowers inconspicuous, polygamous 
in loose and slender axillary panicles; fruit globular, glabrous, whitish and 
waxy, frequently remaining on the plant until late spring. 



Distribution. This plant is distributed from Nova Scotia to Wisconsin. 
Utah, Arkansas and Florida. 

Rhus Vermx L. Poisonous Sumac or Dogwood 

A shrub or small tree with pinnately compound leaves; leaflets 7-13. obo- 
vate-oblong entire, smooth, or somewhat pubescent ; flowers polygamous in 
loose slender axillary panicles ; drupe white, globose, oblong. 

Distribution. Found in the swamps from New Eijgland to Ontario to 
Minnesota, Missouri, to Louisiana and Florida. 

Fig. 342. Poison ivy {Rhus Toxicodendron), a, spray showing aerial rootlets and leaves; 
b, fruit — both one-fourth natural size. (Chesnut, U. S. Dept. Agr.) 

Rhus diversiloba Torrey and Gray. California Poison Ivy 

Nearly glabrous, erect or climbing shrub; leaflets 3 or rarely 5, obtuse or 
deeply pinnately lobed; flowers in loose axillary panicles; drupes subglobose. 

Distribution. Common on the Pacific Coast from California to Washington. 

Poisonous properties. All three species are poisonous to many persons, 
some persons being much more sensitive to irritation from the plants than 
others Dr. J. C. White describes the effect of poison oak and poison ivy. He 
had collected freely of the plant for many years without any disturbance. 
Specimens were picked on September 28th, Oct. 6th, and Oct. 10th. He felt 



Fig. 343. Poison Sumac {Khus Vernix), show- 
ing leaves, fruit and leaf-scars, one-fourth natural 
size. (Chesnut, U. S. Dept. Agr.) 

a sensation of irritation about the eyes and throat from the specimens of 
poison oak collected on the first named date, while working with the plants 
under an Argand gas burner, but nothing further was noticed. No unpleasant 
symptoms were observed from the poison oak {R. venenata — R. Vernix) col- 
lected Oct. 6th. From that collected Oct. 10, he experienced symptoms similar 
to those observed Sept. 28th. On Oct. 12th a single vesicle with a peculiar 
thick cover appeared; the next day another and larger appeared on the wrist; 
two others came on the fourth day; others continued to appear up to Nov. 
• 3rd, after which data the effervescences gradually subsided and were no longer 
perceptible. In another case described by Dr. White, the head was greatly 
swollen and features greatly disturbed. The skin of the face and neck was 
deeply oedcmatous and largely covered with vesicles of all sizes "many of which 
were seated on an erythematous base, others being still in their papular stage 



of development." There were also large excoriations from which fluid was 
exuding freely, which on drying formed small crusts. The hands were also 
covered. "The subjective symptoms were great retching and burning of the 
parts affected, with the feeling of local discomfort, consequent upon so great 
swelling of the features. The eyes were nearly closed. There was a slight 
general febrile action." Dr. White also reports the death of a child from a 
severe case of poisoning from poison ivy. The child though healthy was not 
robust. A recent case was reported from Packwood, Iowa, where a fourteen- 
year-old girl died after terrible suffering from the effects of coming in con- 
tact with the ivy; her face alone showing the eruption from the poison. 

Hundreds of persons are poisoned every year from the three species. 
Dr. White says : 

Fig. 344. Poison oak (Rhus diversiloba), 
showing leaves, flowers, and fruit, one-third 
natural size. (Chesnut, U. S. Dept. Agr.) 

Taking the simple vesicle, with scarcely any erythema surrounding it or any very per- 
ceptible infiltration of the underlying tissues, as the type of the eruption, whether occurring 
singly or in groups, we may have in a small percentage an abortive attempt at vesiculation, 
and an arrest of the development at the papular stage — a failure, that is, of the free exudation 
to force apart the layers of epithelial cells; or a considerable infiltration into the papillary 
layer may elevate a cluster of the vesicles noticeably above the general surface, or they may 
be surrounded by a well-defined erythema or congestion of the tissue immediately surrounding 
them, in consequence mainly of the scratching and itching, which are the only subjective 
symptoms present. 

In the severe cases, we have greater areas of simple erythema, a multiplication of the 
number of vesicles — either single or massed in close contiguity, and covering large surfaces, 
or by fusion forming blebs — a greater infiltration into the underlying corium, with propor- 
tionate distension of the capillaries and external redness, and a free exudation of serum into 


the cutis. The overfilling of the vesicles causes a rupture of some of their epidermal cover- 
ings, and the discharge of their fluid contents upon the surface, forming moist, excoriated 
surfaces, covered in part with crusts. 

With reference to a sequelae question of duration, there is a diversity of 
opinion. There is a popular belief that within a year after the first attack there 
will be a repetition of the original manifestations upon the skin which may 
be repeated for several seasons. Dermatologists think that a variety of cutane- 
ous affectations are developed in consequence of the action of the Poison 
Ivy. Dr. White considers that there are good grounds for this belief and in 
referring to his exhaustive researches on the subject, states that he was unable 
to find a single instance on record of the poisonous Rhus on the lower animals. 
After placing a notice in the "Spirit of the Times," a physician wrote him that 
once or twice while hunting where ivy abounded, his dog's eyes had been closed 
by swelling which he attributed to the action, but he had never observed any 
eruptions. The poisoning has been attributed to toxicodendrol C,„H^,0^q+ 

Remedies. The most popular remedy is to wash with sugar of lead (ace- 
tate of lead). Prof. Chesnut says: 

In practise it is not desirable to use strong alcohol, which is apt to be too irritating to a 
sensitive surface, but a weaker grade of from 50 to 75 per cent should be preferred. To this 
the powdered sugar of lead is to be added until no more will easily dissolve. The milky fluid 
should then be well rubbed into the affected skin, and the operation repeated several times 
during the course of a few days. The itching is at once relieved and the further spread of 
the eruption is checked. The remedy has been tried in a large number of cases and has al- 
ways proved successful. It must be remembered, however, that the lead solution is itself very 
poisonous if taken internally. 

Much has been said in regard to the relative poisonous character of these three plants. 
It has been generally claimed that the poison sumac is the most poisonous, and after it comes, 
first, the poison ivy and then the poison oak. These conclusions were arrived at from the 
occasional experience of individuals who were poisoned by handling one species when sup- 
posedly immune to others. Experience teaches, however, that immunity is somewhat variable 
in the same individual, and therefore these general statements can not be accepted without 
more careful experimental evidence. 

Annie Oakes Huntington in her recent book on Poison Ivy and Swamp 
Sumach says regarding the treatment : 

Soap, water, and a scrubbing-brush seem altogether too simple a method of treatment to 
advise for the painful eruption brought on by handling these two poisonous plants. Yet, if we 
begin with this old-fashioned country remedy and study the various methods of treatment from 
one generation to another, we return at last, through the most recent scientific investigations, to 
our original starting-point. The only effective measures are preventive ones; the only remedy 
is a wash which mechanically removes the poisonous oil from the skin. In this lies the sum 
and substance of the entire method of treatment. 

She made an experiment in which it was shown that oily preparations spread 
the poison and that constant v/ashing with soap and water removes the poisonous 
oil which causes the trouble. The toxic principle is soluble in alcohol and this 
may consequently be used. .\ weak solution, 50 or 75% is advisable, but the 
treatment must be renewed. One part of hyposulphite of soda to 3 parts of 
water is another good solution recommended by licr. 

Syme in Dr. Remsen's laboratory, has come to the conclusion that the 
active principle of Poison Ivy is a glucoside and not an unknown volatile oil, 
as stated by Pfaff. The glucoside as determined by Syme, is a compound of 
rhamnose, gallic acid, and fisctin. It can be precipitated by a lead acetate. 
Syme tested the toxic action of the various fractions upon himself and was able 
to determine the chemical nature. 


In a recent paper by Dr. Ford there seem to be some evidences for conclud- 
ing that immunity may be obtained. That such immunity exists may be taken 
from the cHnical symptoms that different persons are sensitive to even small 
amounts of the poison and in other cases persons who have been poisoned be- 
come accustomed to it. Syme in his experiments upon himself found that after 
four or five months he was no longer susceptible to the poison. 

The experiments performed by Dr. Ford are of interest. The experimental 
material was obtained in the alcoholic fluid extract of the native plant pre- 
pared by Parke, Davis & Co. 

It had already been shown by Pfaff that the internal administration of his non-volatile 
oil produced definite lesions in rabbits, the animals dying of an acute nephritis at the end of 
14 to IS days. Occasionally the rabbits died in acute convulsions without any microscopic 
brain lesions. The subcu