Family:
Boraginaceae
Toxins:
pyrrolizidine alkaloids nitrates
Flower Color:
  • flower color
  • flower color
Found:
fields, roadsides, haybales, pastures

Time of Greatest Risk

JFMAMJJASOND

Geographical Distribution

Fiddleneck distribution - United States

Related Species

Fiddleneck

Amsinckia menziesii

Tarweed, Yellow Burrweeds, Amsinckias
6/ 10
Fiddleneck (Amsinckia menziesii) is one of several species of Amsinckia, which are annual broadleaved or short-lived perennial plants that are native to the Americas. Young fiddlenecks appear as rosettes, which develop into upright or semi-upright stems as it matures.

Stems: Fiddleneck stems can reach up to 4 ft (1.2 m) in height and are covered in soft to long stiff hairs. They can be branches or unbranched.

Leaves: Leaves are lance-shaped, coarse, hairy, and with pointed tips. Leaves are spaced alternatively on stems.

Flowers: Fiddlenecks have distinctive flowering heads which coil up in a cluster like a fiddle's neck, and form on top of spikes. Flowering occurs from late winter through the spring.

Toxic components
All parts of the fiddleneck plant contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs). If fiddleneck plants are ingested over a period of time, it can cause horses to develop pyrrolizidine alkaloid toxicity, which can lead to liver failure. Clinical signs usually don't become apparent until months or sometimes up to a year following ingestion of the plant.

Symptoms

  • Appetite Loss
  • Depression
  • Colic
  • Jaundice
  • Behavioral Changes
  • Frequent Yawning
  • Photosensitvity
  • Loss Of Condition
  • Head Pressing
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight Loss
  • Incoordination
  • Aimlessly Wandering
  • Awkward Gait
  • Actively Pushing Against Fences And Biting The Ground

Control

MECHANICAL CONTROL: Hand pulling is effective but usually populations are too dense for this to be practical. Mowing before seed production can reduce seed set and will be somewhat effective. Tillage is effective in cultivated areas.

CHEMICAL CONTROL: Chemical control can be difficult due to the hairs on the plant and must be done prior to seed production.

References