There are different species of Ragwort. One species is the Wood Ragwort which is really rare so that even some botany books do not write about it.
Nevertheless this Ragwort often is the origin of an animal poisoning. Especially horses and other grazing animals can suffer from this plant.
Wood Ragwort mainly located in low mountain ranges or Alps and in the Black Forst in southern Germany
From the end of June until September the leaves bloom in a shining yellow color.
Wood Ragwort can grow up to 1,5 m and is categorized into the daisy family.
Every species of Ragwort offers the toxic substance Pyrrolizidine alkaloid and Wood Ragwort even provides it in all parts of the plant. The poisonous substance especially is dangerous for horses and other grazing animals. In some cases one can even find remains in silages or hay Therefore we recommend to read internet platforms. There you can find personal experiences concerning the right choice of fodder products and probably there is a hint if someone found poisonous substances in the fodder. The toxic dose for horses is between 200 and 1000 g/kg.
Physicians make use of Wood Ragwort due to its styptic effects. Nevertheless while dealing with this plant one needs to be really careful. One can easily mix it up with the other Ragwort species Senecio Nemorensis because both plants have similar outward characteristics. However this second species is much more dangerous:
Wood Ragwort offers 0,01% and Senecio Nemorensis even has up to 1,0 % of the poisonous substance Pyrrolizidine alkaloid.
Referring to this we recommend not to collect or deal with any type of Ragwort avoiding any kind of danger or poisoning.
In general one needs to control all places where horses are without supervision (e.g. pastures) if there are any poisonous plants.
- Foxglove – extremely toxic for horses and humans
- Monkshood- the most poisonous plant plant in whole Europe
- St. James-Ragwort: very poisonous and an acute threat for horses
- St John´s wort – beautiful flower but toxic effects for horses
—All statements without guarantee—