Family:
Sarcobataceae
Toxins:
oxalates
Flower Color:
  • flower color
  • flower color
Type:
shrub
Found:
deserts, fields, mountains

Time of Greatest Risk

JFMAMJJASOND

Geographical Distribution

Greasewood distribution - United States

Greasewood

Sarcobatus vermiculatus

Chamise
7/ 10
Greasewood (Sarcobatus vermiculatus) is a perennial shrub that is native to North America. It produces multiple low, spreading branches that are brittle and spinescent; the ends of smaller branches taper to sharp thorns. Leaves are ½ to 2 inches long, bright green, strap-shaped and somewhat fleshy. It has greenish small and inconspicuous flowers and cone-shaped fruiting spikes about ½ inch long.

Toxic components
S. vermiculatus contains soluble sodium and potassium oxalates, which can be toxic to horses if consumed. Oxalate levels in S. vermiculatus vary depending on season, stage of growth and environmental factors. If large quantities of S. vermiculatus are ingested over a short period of time it can cause kidney damage due to high levels of oxalates. Signs develop within 4 to 6 hours after ingestion of the plant. S. vermiculatus is also a contact dermatitis causing plant.