Autumn Crocus – Toxic Plant of the Week

October 9, 2012 – 01:16 pm

Autumn CrocusHappy Monday and today I’m delighted to be sharing one of the more beautiful plants that are toxic to horses. Today we take a look at the Autumn Crocus which isn’t as big a problem in North America as it is in the UK, parts of Europe and the Middle East.

A Little About The Autumn Crocus

Colchicum autumnale is the Autumn Crocus which is also called Naked-Ladies & Meadow Saffron. Interestingly enough, this plant is neither a crocus or saffron. They are in the lily family which means they grow from a bulb (they look similar to an onion), leaves can grow up to a foot and white/purple/pink flowers sprout on stalks.

How Dangerous Is It?

Obviously only a threat in climates where they grow, Autumn Crocus can grow abundantly in the wild. This plant should be watched for and ejected from grazing areas immediately due to it’s high toxicity.

The whole plant is deadly toxic to equines.

What To Look For

You know your animal the best, so you should know when something is amiss. Toxicity from Autumn Crocus can appear 3-6 hours after ingestion and causes symptoms that include abdominal pain, weak pulse, low temperature, respiratory difficulty and bloody diarrhea.


StarwestBotanicals Saffron Whole - Crocus sativus, 1 oz
Health and Beauty (StarwestBotanicals)
  • Origin: Spain
  • Common Names: Autumn crocus, Spanish saffron
  • Kosher Certified

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