A Cotswold Year - Charting the seasons in the South Cotswolds


Thursday, 15 August 2013

Ragwort




Ragwort is the tall yellow flower you can see growing here on Uley Bury. It is a native plant and its flowers are prevalent at this time of year in grassland and other waste areas.
As many may know Ragwort is poisonous to cattle and horses although they don't eat it when green as the plant is very bitter in taste so the animals carefully eat the grass leaving the Ragwort standing tall. 
The danger comes when Ragwort grows in hay meadows. Then when harvested and dried along with the grass it looses its bitter taste and should the animal ingest it, the Ragwort can cause cirrhosis of the liver. Luckily records of this happening are rare as farmers and horse owners are very aware of the problem.

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