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Amianthium muscitoxicum is often confused with:
Hyacinthus orientalis Plant in Bloom
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Trillium erectum Flowers
Viola pedata Viola pedata
Arisaema triphyllum Arisaema triphyllum

Amianthium muscitoxicum

Previously known as:

  • Chrosperma muscitoxicum
  • Zigadenus muscitoxicus
Phonetic Spelling
am-ee-AN-thee-um mus-kai-TOKS-ee-kum
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

The common name of "fly poison" comes from what the plant can be used as: to kill flies (by grounding a mixture of some of the plant parts--mainly the bulb-- and adding sugar). However, this plant-- including the bulb-- is poisonous to not just flies but also humans and animals (usually livestock). The bulb of Amianthium muscitoxicum is very poisonousThis plant contains toxic alkaloids in all parts of the plant. The second part of the name (muscitoxicum) called the species means "flies" and "poison" (Latin meaning from muscae and toxicum). You can propagate this plant through root division or seeds (however, propagating through root division is easier).

Another common name 'Stagger Grass' is used due to the effect eating the plant has on cattle.  After consuming, the cattle may stagger.  It can also lead to the cattle's demise.  

The plant looks similar to Xerophyllum asphodeloides, Xerophyllum tenax, hyacinths, and butterfly bush's flowers.

It can be found growing as a native plant in moist woods, especially oak forests, bogs, low pinelands, savannas, meadows, and sandhills.  It does best when receiving a few hours of sun per day.

There are no specific insects, disease or other plant problems.

 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#purple#white#poisonous#partial shade#drought tolerant#cream#white flowers#green#purple flowers#green flowers#boggy#meadow#NC native#deer resistant#cream flowers#native wildflower#wildflower garden#native#woodlands
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#purple#white#poisonous#partial shade#drought tolerant#cream#white flowers#green#purple flowers#green flowers#boggy#meadow#NC native#deer resistant#cream flowers#native wildflower#wildflower garden#native#woodlands
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Amianthium
    Species:
    muscitoxicum
    Family:
    Melanthiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    E. Central & E. U.S.A
    Distribution:
    AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, KY, LA, MD, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OK, PA, SC, TN, VA, WV
    Wildlife Value:
    Some butterflies eat the nectar of the plant.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Textural
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    occassional flooding, deer resistant, partially drought tolerant
    Edibility:
    Not edible
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Bulb
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    The plant has three-beaked, dark brown capsule containing red seeds. The fruit is bright orange.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The season is in the early summer. Flowers can feel sticky. The clusters of flowers as a whole can be anywhere from 2- 6 inches. The blossoms are white until they are pollinated when they turn pale green. They will bloom from April to June. The plant has a dense, cylindrical cluster of .5-in., creamy white flowers on top of a mostly leafless stem. The flowers persist and turn green to greenish-purple with age. There is a leafless flower stalk.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The plant has 15 to 20 inches long, grasslike, veined, basal leaves with center rib and blunt tips.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    The stem is erect and unbranched.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Pond
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Children
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    CAN BE FATAL IF INGESTED! All parts of the plant, including the bulb, are poisonous. This tends to be a problem for livestock, although this plant is also poisonous to humans and other animals. Depending on how much is eaten and other factors, symptoms for livestock could include producing more saliva than normal, vomiting, being clumsy when trying to move, weakness, not being able to move well, struggling to breathe, having hemorrhages, or dying (generally because too much struggle breathing). Symptoms may last 2 days.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    toxic alkaloids (similar to neurotoxins)
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Seeds
    Stems