Black Snakeroot, Poison Onion, White Camas,
Alkali grass, meadow deathcamas, Poison sego,
Crow Poison, Sandcorn Zigadenus (or Zygadenus)
to Plants Poisonous to Livestock—Western U.S.;
Shirley A. Weathers; ISBN: 0-9660397-3-4, Rosebud
General: A perennial
lily with a single bulb, with 5-6 basal, thickened,
V-creased leaves, and snowy cream-colored flowers
in a dense, terminal cluster. The underground
bulbs are scaly. The plant emerges in very early
spring. Usually 30-60 cm (1-2 ft) high at full
growth, (growing from a bulb which resembles
a small onion, but lacks any onion odor.
Entire plant, especially the
onion-like bulbs, are highly toxic and is quite
fatal to humans who mistake it for wild onions
or Blue Camas. Entire plant is extremely toxic
to grazing livestock. Respiratory problems occur
after eating a very small amount (crias) to 2
pounds (equine) of the plant or 0.6 to 6.0% of
body weight. The plant is toxic at all stages
of growth. The flower cluster does not have to
appear for the plant to be toxic.
Symptoms: Human and
animal symptoms of Death Camas may appear from
1-8 hours after eating the plant. If recovery
does occur it will be within within 24 hours.
Symptoms include: excessive watering (foaming)
of the mouth, burning following by numbness of
the lips and mouth, thirst, headache, dizziness,
nausea, stomach pain, persistent vomiting, diarrhea,
muscular weakness, confusion, slow and irregular
heartbeat, low blood pressure, subnormal body
temperature. In extreme cases will result in
difficulty in breathing, convulsions and coma
followed by death.
This might put a human in the hospital for a
few days, but an Alpaca, especially a cria..
it's life threatning.
Treatment: No know
antidote, treat symptomatically. Induce vomiting,
or perform gastric lavage; follow with activated
charcoal and saline cathertic; general supportive
treatment for symptoms; maintain fluid and electrolyte
balance; monitor breathing and heart rate, blood
pressure; subcutaneous application of atropine,
repeated as needed, will alleviate slow heart
rate; for persistent low blood pressure, ephedrine
or dopamine may be given; control convulsions
with i.v. diazepam.
Control: Dispose of the entire
plant including the entire bulb. Take care
you do not disturb the flower cluster, as it
will distribute the seeds for next year's growth.
Spraying in early spring is also a suggested
in controlling the plant.
Best Solution: DIG IT UP, BULB AND ALL and
PUT IT IN THE TRASH !
1998 Common Posionous Plants and Mushrooms
of North America; Nancy J. Turner, Ph.D. and
Adam F. Szczawinski, Ph.D.; ISBN: 0-88192-312-5;
Timber Press, Inc.;
1991 Weeds of Colorado;
Robert L. Zimdahl, Cooperative Extension—
Colorado State University—Fort Collins, CO
80523 Bulletin 521A;
1990 Weeds of the West; The Western Society
of Weed Science / University of Wyoming ;
Printer:Pioneer of Jackson Hole ISBN: 0-941570-13-4;