Amaryllis (Hippeastrum species)

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This page contains information regarding a plant "known to be poisonous" to goats as well as other animals. This information was researched from various resources. Please note, that the author is not a botanist or specialist regarding plants. This information is posted for your reference and comparison purposes only.

Amaryllis - Click for a full size image Amaryllis - Click for a full size image
To the untrained eye, Amaryllis may be difficult to identify due to many shape and color varieties.

Barbados lily, belladonna lily, cape belladonna, lirio, naked lady lily, pink-lady, resurrection lily. (See also Hippeastrum spp.)

Amaryllis is a monotypic (only one species) genus of plant also known as the Belladonna Lily or naked ladies. The single species, Amaryllis belladonna, is a native of South Africa, particularly the rocky southwest region near the Cape. It is often confused with the Hippeastrum, a flowering bulb commonly sold in the winter months for its propensity to bloom indoors.

It is a bulbous plant, with each bulb being 5-10 cm in diameter. It has several strap-shaped, green leaves, 30-50 cm long and 2-3 cm broad, arranged in two rows. The leaves are produced in the autumn or early spring in cold climates and eventually die down by late spring. The bulb is then dormant until late summer.

Bulbs, chewing or ingestion of the bulbs, leaves or flowers.

Related to gastroenteritis--usually mild vomiting, diarrhea. Gastrointestinal trembling and convulsions.

Lycorine (an emetic) and small amounts of alkaloids.

Dogs appear to be the most affected.

Convulsions, elevated blood pressure. It has been reported that sheep and goats have been poisoned by amaryllis.

There is no known antidote (2008) for amaryllis poisoning. The amount of the plant the goat has eaten will pretty much determine its chances for survival left untreated. Treatment would best involve drenching with a baking soda solution, using a small amount of Maalox (1 to 2 tablespoons), even a small amount of mineral oil in the drench will help.

The primary goal is to "relieve" the goat of the plant. Usually within a few hours of ingestion, the plant will have been worked through the goats system, hastened if the Maalox has been used. The next 48 to 72 hours will most likely present with diarrhea. During this period of time, try to keep the goat on the same diet it had prior to the poisoning. Adding a small amount of cultured yogurt or Probiotics paste to the diet would also be helpful.

Due to the houseplant nature of this plant, no immediate danger exists. Keep away from all prepared feeds.

Secure gardens are a must for plants like this. Think before you plant and map out a plan keeping your flowers from your animals.

Photograghs by: Pacific Bulb Society.

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