Fiddleneck plant is toxic to horses

Fiddleneck plants, which are toxic to horses, are coming into bloom in Anza. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo
Winter rains are bringing forth wildflower blooms across the Anza Valley. One of the earliest blossoms to emerge is the fiddleneck. Several fiddleneck species are native to California. Amsinckia intermedia, the common fiddleneck or intermediate fiddleneck, is a common annual herb species in the Boraginaceae family from the Borage or Forget-me-not family of plants. Some varieties of fiddlenecks, however, can be a problem in crop fields, orchards and pastures. In fact, the seeds can be toxic to livestock when ingested in large amounts. Poisonings most often occur when livestock eat grain or feed contaminated with fiddleneck seeds. Cattle and horses are most sensitive to fiddleneck poisoning, while pigs and chickens are less sensitive, and sheep, goats and turkeys are the least sensi
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