• Widely distributed in southern Africa
• It shows a preference for alkaline soils, but can grow in various different other types of soil.
General: Perennial herb that grows up to ± 20 cm high. The yellowish-white bulbs, which are sometimes enclosed in a dark brown sheath, are buried deep in the soil.
Leaves: Usually about six blueish-green, lanceolate leaves, arranged alternately and clasping the stem. Lower leaves are usually longer than the upper ones. Leaves die down in winter.
Flowers: Flower pendulous, green with purplish brown margins, appearing after the leaves. They are attached by rather long stalks to the unbranched stem. August - April.
Seeds: Spherical and fleshy.
• The active principles are cardio-active glycosides
• Fatally poisoned stock usually dies 24 to 48 hours after they have eaten the plants.
• Non-fatally poisoned stock generally recovers within 3 to 4 days.
• Not specific - rather negative
• Subepi- and endocardial haemorrhages
• Lung oedema, congestion, emphysema
• Ruminal atony and enteritis - even haemorrhagic
• Leaves present in rumen.
In more chronic cases small foci of degeneration of cardiac musculature are seen occasionally.
• Activated charcoal is very effective.
• Dose 2g/kg.
• Large dose is essential.
• Adsorption and fixation of excess in rumen.
• Even retro-diffusion back from plasma.
• Minimize stress to prevent catecholamine release.
Additional treatment for valuable animals:
2. ß-blocking agents
3. ACP: Tranquillizer (multipotent blocker)
4. Atropine (if AV-block is present).
Colour photos. Final web-ready size: JPEG. Photo 1: 8.41 kb, 72 ppi; Photo 2: 25.3 kb, 1350 ppi. Original TIFF file housed at the Dept. of Paraclinical Sciences, Section Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Pretoria.