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Spinal Research


Weeds in Pasture 

How to recognise and deal with them

This list is not exhaustive but it covers the most likely problems.

Up ] [ Poisonous A-C ] Poisonous D-L ] Poisonous M-Z ]


If you can't find the plant you want here, Colarado (USA) State's site has an excellent searchable database by common name or Botanic name HERE.

Black Nightshade

Usually annual and affecting cultivated land.  Contains nitrates and toxic alkaloids that can cause colic and staggering.


A persistent weed with a strong, spreading underground root system. Not usually eaten but some horses can develop a taste for it - again, it's a cumulative poison.  Large areas should be professionally treated.  Small areas can be spot-sprayed with a systemic weed killer (horses must be kept off the pasture) or chopped off below ground level and removed.  Neither treatment will finish it off - treatment will be needed for several years! 


Horses will eat box - either growing in the field (or over the fence) and neighbours throwing clippings over the fence may be the biggest risk.  All parts of the plant are poisonous - causes respiratory failure.



The meadow buttercup and the Creeping Buttercup are present in many meadows - preferring damp situations.  Not normally eaten when fresh and are not poisonous when dried in hay.  But large quantities in pasture should be dealt with by spraying with a broad-leaf herbicide.



A perennial plant which again likes damp situations.  Its roots are particularly dangerous (so watch out if ditching, or digging in a field where horses are grazing.)  Small quantities are potentially fatal, causing spasmodic convulsions.

Up ] [ Poisonous A-C ] Poisonous D-L ] Poisonous M-Z ]