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Stagger Grass Amianthium muscitoxicum

Other Common Name(s):

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, propogating through root division is easier).

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

 

Other sites: Moist woods, especially oak forests, bogs

Light: This plant needs at least 1-2 hours of sunlight directly on it per day.

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#purple#white#poisonous#partial shade#drought tolerant#cream#white flowers#green#purple flowers#wildflowers#green flowers#boggy#meadow#NC native#deer resistant#cream flowers#woodland
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#purple#white#poisonous#partial shade#drought tolerant#cream#white flowers#green#purple flowers#wildflowers#green flowers#boggy#meadow#NC native#deer resistant#cream flowers#woodland
  • 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
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    occassional flooding, deer resistant, partially drought tolerant
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Wildflower
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Description:
    The plant has three-beaked, dark brown capsule containing red seeds. The fruit is bright orange.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Season is in early summer. Flowers can feel sticky. The clusters of flowers as a whole can be anywhere from 2- 6 inches. Flowers bloom from April to June. The plant has 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 Type:
    Simple
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The plant has 15 to 20 inches long, grasslike, basal leaves with center rib and blunt tips.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Woodland
    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