Yellow Starthistle

Yellow Starthistle
Scientific Name: Centaurea solstitialis
Family: Compositae
Toxicity: Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles: Unknown
Clinical Signs: The plant is not usually eaten unless other forage is unavailable, or when incorporated into hay. Poisonings occur at ingestions of 50%- 200% of the animal's body weight over a 60 to 90 day period of grazing. Clinical signs have been referred to as "chewing disease", where horses chew but are unable to obtain food or swallow. Signs seen include a grinning appearance, open mouth with protruding, lolling tongue, yawning, head tossing, central nervous system depression, lost interest in food, difficulty breathing due to inhalation of food, submerging the head in water in an attempt to drink. Death can occur due to lack of eating and drinking, leading to dehydration and malnutrition.
yellow starthistle

Credit: Steve Dewey, Utah State University,

If you suspect your pet may have ingested a potentially toxic substance, call the APCC at (888) 426-4435 or contact your local veterinarian as soon as possible.*

* A consultation fee may apply.

Browse Toxic Plant Gallery List »

Was this information helpful? You can support all our efforts to help people and pets by donating today.