We (farmers, country people) used to pull ragwort bearhanded because we knew no better, now we dig it or pull while wearing gloves.
A study being conducted in Ireland this year.Hi Cazza
As far as I know Ragwort is poisonus
A study being conducted in Ireland this year.
As part of a Food for Health Research Initiative (FHRI) funded jointly by two agencies; the Department of Agriculture & Food and the Health Research Board, we are investigating, in collaboration with Ashtown Food Research Centre (Teagasc), whether Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids (PAs), produced by Ragwort species, are entering the food chain.
For some time, scientists have known that the hepatotoxic alkaloids (PAs), known to occur in Tansy Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea L.), are also present in honey produced from the nectar of this species.
With the ever increasing occurrence of ragwort on Irish waste and pasture lands, this project wishes to determine whether Irish honey is becoming contaminated with trace levels of PAs toxins from nectar collected from Ragwort. If these compounds are detected in indigenous honey, our recommendations will be to eradicate this plant to ensure the sustainability of indigenous honey production.
I pull the stuff up whenever I am out walking.
The pyrrolizidine alkaloids responsible are found in some 3% of all flowering plants but notably members of the borage family, some daisies, white clover and RBWH. These alkaloids may be more important if drying the herbs for consuming as a medicine or tea?
I didn't think bees were that keen on ragwort but they love borage and clover.
Sensible landowners don't let it get established but it still spreads on the wind. Quite honestly if someone pulled ragwort on my property I'd treat them to some honey.Ragwort is probably the most important wildflowers -for native insects. At least two species of solitary bees are almost entirely dependent upon it. The chemicals present in ragwort are also present in clovers and bracken. The threat to livestock has been massively over-blown - presumably promoted by herbicide manufacturers. Many false myths have been arisen around the plant - and many publications prosecuted for publishing false information. Unless in grazing field -or a field being used for haylage (when it should be pulled - but not left to dry out) ragwort should be left in situ . It is illegal to pull ragwort without the landowners permission .
My reference was more in the countryside - rather than paddocks and grazing land as I qualified. Livestock would need to eat about 37 kg to cause a problem - and they dont like the taste - so it is usually only an issue where overgrazing has occurred (or land used for haylage) (The spread of the plant onto grazing land is a separate issue) I can't imagine you would be happy if they pulled the ragwort and then left it - which is what often happens - therefore massively increasing the associated risk - by unlawful activity and also putting native species at risk. livestock are less able to detect the obnoxious smell /taste when ragwort is dried.Sensible landowners don't let it get established but it still spreads on the wind. Quite honestly if someone pulled ragwort on my property I'd treat them to some honey.
Ragwort (<em>Senecio jacobaea</em>) is native biennial which is a food souce for a wide range of insects. It is not usually a significant problem in gardens, but its poisonous qualities can make it a serious weed of paddocks and gardens backing onto fields grazed by horses or cattle.www.rhs.org.uk
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