Select a Plant by:

 HOARY ALYSSUM - Berteroa incana







For additional images, click:

Select an image to see a magnified version. Note the file size beneath each image since large files will take longer to load from home with a modem.

DescriptionErect, densely haired annual growing to 3 feet in height.  Leaves are alternate and narrow.  Flowers are white; pods are round and slightly flat.
Geographic rangeInvasive weed of waste areas and roadsides found across North America.  Often grows in alfalfa fields.
Toxic principleToxin has not yet been identified.
ToxicityHorses become intoxicated after eating green or dried plants.  When mixed with alfalfa hay, B. incana can remain toxic for up to nine months.  The toxic dose has not been determined.

Clinical signsEarly manifestations of intoxication are laminitis and limb edema, which cause lameness.  Signs associated with severe intoxication include stiffness, fever, diarrhea, intravascular hemolysis, hypovolemic shock, and death secondary to endotoxemia.  Premature parturition or abortion may occur in pregnant animals.

LesionsSubcutaneous edema, pulmonary edema, and edema of kidney interstitium are seen.  The mucosa of the stomach and small intestine may be ulcerated with small areas of hemorrhage.  Large amounts of calcium carbonate crystals may be found in the bladder.

TreatmentTreat symptomatically for laminitis and shock.  Most treated horses will recover.
PreventionExamine alfalfa hay to make sure it does not contain hoary alyssum.


Copyright 2002

University of Pennsylvania
Created by:    Alexander Chan (2003), Daphne Downs (2002), Chris Tsai (2001), Brett Begley (2000), Janet Triplett (1997)
Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Robert Poppenga