An annual native plant that grows in rangelands in northern Australia.
Part 2 'Poisonous plants a plenty'
Timestamps: The two images on this page were taken at 6.30 and 7.55 minutes.
What it causes: Hepatotoxicity (pyrrolizidine alkaloids).
Some Crotalaria species contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids which are toxic to animals. Cases of toxicity have been reported in horses and cattle due to Crotalaria dissitiflora. The plants are not very palatable and only tend to be consumed when other forage is scarce or supplementary feed contains the dried plant or its seed.
Toxic forms of pyrrolizidine alkaloid produce highly reactive pyrrolic metabolites which primarily affect the liver, damaging blood vessels and impairing cell division which leads to megalocytosis, cell necrosis and fibrosis. The damage is usually permanent and cumulative.
A diagnosis of toxicity is made from a history of exposure to the plant, clinical signs, liver pathology and the presence of pyrrolic metabolites.