Common Name
Baccharis, Desert broom, false willow, silverling, yerba manza, yerba de pasmo
Botanic Name
Baccharis spp.
Plant Family
Often found along, along stream banks where moisture is preesent, but grows in dry, desert landscapes.
Depending upon the species, Baccharis are common in the Southern States.
Animals Affected
Cattle, sheep.
Baccharis pteronioides woody shrub
Toxic Principle
There are several toxic compounds found in Baccharis species the most toxic being macrolytic trichothecenes.Some species of Baccharis also contain cardiotoxic saponins. The female plants are reportedly more toxic. Livestock rarely eat the plant unless they have little else to eat.
In the United States there are 24 species of Baccharis. Perennial, woody shrubs, with rough gray bark, evenly spaced branches, often at 45° angles, bundles of narrow sessile leaves, and flowers heads in racemiform arrays on short leafy branches. Seeds have stiff white hairs (pappus)that are wind dispersed. The plants are dioecious, meaning the male and female flowers are produced on different plants. Plants have a pungent odor. Species of Baccharis that are reportedly toxic include Baccharis angustifolia, B. glomeruliflora, B. halimifolia, and B. pteronioides
Anorexia, excessive salivation, ruminal stasis, diarrhea
Muscle tremors, weakness, staggering and prostration in severe cases. In drought conditions, mortality may be as high as 40% of cattle.
Symptomatic supportive therapy.
Cardiovascular system
Experimentally dosed hamsters developed necrotizing vasculitis with thromboses of renal and liver blood vessels.
Special Notes
Baccharis is rarely associated with livestock poisoning except under drought conditions when little else is available as forage.
Baccharis pteronioides flower heads
Baccharis pteronioides covered with seeds (pappus)