1. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    Poison flowers that grows in cold climates...

    Discussion in 'Research' started by spklvr, Sep 14, 2011.

    I'm writing a story set in the... older ages. I don't really know when it's supposed to be. I think about the renaissance. Anyway, in the story, the queen wants to poison a horse and its foal (because of a lot of drama and blah blah blah). I was wondering if there was some flower or something that she could feed the mare so it died, and it would poison the foal through the milk, but it would only grow ill. To make it more difficult, this is a pretty cold country, but it would probably be possible to get the flower from a warmer place.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Perhaps Jimson weed? Just off the top of my head. Or Hemlock, but I don't know if horses would eat that.

    Also ergot-infected rye.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    deadly nightshade [belladonna]
    poisonous mushrooms
    oleander
    castor beans [ricin]
    rosary pea
    windfallen wilted cherry or peach branches [cyanide]


    or make up something, since this is fiction!
     
  4. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    There's a list of British plants poisonous to horses here. Is Britain cold enough? Oak, which does grow in cold latitudes, looks particularly interesting:
    Poisoning by oak is usually seasonal, being most common in spring when the young buds or leaves are eaten and the autumn when the acorns are eaten. Oak leaves and acorns contain tannic acid which is poisonous to horses and though eating a small number of leaves or acorns is almost certainly harmless, they can also be addictive, and once a horse has acquired a taste for them they can actively search them out. Also some animals seem to be more suseptible to oak poisoning than others with individual animals having different levels of tolerance.
    Oak poisoning causes gastroenteritis and kidney damage.
    Symptoms include:

    • lack of appetite
    • staring coat
    • constipation followed by diarrhoea which may be bloodstained
    • abdominal pain
    • depression
    • blood in urine
    There is no antidote. The horse is treated with drugs to reduce the pain and control the diarrhoea, antibiotics may be prescribed.
    Prevention
    In general it is best to restrict the access of horses to acorns, particularly if other food is scarce,or else pick up the fallen acorns at least once a day - although this method is time-consuming and less effective as most horses will still find some. The best thing to do is fence off oak trees - either permanently or with electric fencing.​
     
  5. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yew is a classic horse poisoner in England--even a leaf or two is fatal. Every horse-mad child learns (or should learn) this.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'm curious... what is a 'staring coat'?
     
  7. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    I had no idea, but Google reveals that it's a common term among horsey people, and means a coat that's not as shiny as it should be and with hairs that are standing up somewhat rather than lying flat.
     
  8. W.Locke
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    W.Locke Member

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    If it doesn't have to be a flower, grass sickness is a possibility. Here's a seemingly very comprehensive list from someone who knows http://www.whmentors.org/saf/poison.html Hope that can help.
     
  9. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    Colic kills,
    dropping an open bag of grain in a horse that gorges itself will kill it.

    I have heard that horses can not burp(that is why they colic) I would think if you could get a horse to eat alka selzer tablets. Coated so the foam would not be in the mouth would be better to cover up the crime.

    But colic would not kill the baby at the same time as the mother, like poison would.

    WLocke's sight has a good list.
     

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