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Psychotria carthagenensis/ alba cattle toxicity

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I have a bunch of Psychotria carthagenensis/ alba plants I'd like to put along a fenceline in NSW

There's a small chance that cows could get to them when they're taller ( the plants, not the cows )

Google has some loose insinuations that some Psychotria species could be potentially toxic to cattle, however most of the search results don't mention species and Psychotria is a large and varied genus

B&T World Seed has a reference saying P. viridis is toxic to cattle, but I can't find the study reference for that. And I'm planting P. carth

Has anyone here had P. carth within range of cattle reach? What were your experiences- cows OK?

If cattle are known to be affected by it I'll plant them somewhere else

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They have found pavettamine in some Psychotria (viridiflora & kirkii) but it wasn't present in carthagenensis.

Plant Physiol Biochem. 2013 Jun;67:15-9. doi: 10.1016/j.plaphy.2013.02.022. Epub 2013 Mar 7.

Distribution of the cardiotoxin pavettamine in the coffee family (Rubiaceae) and its significance for gousiekte, a fatal poisoning of ruminants.

Van Elst D1, Nuyens S2, van Wyk B3, Verstraete B4, Dessein S5, Prinsen E6.


Gousiekte, a cardiac syndrome of ruminants in southern Africa, is caused by the ingestion of plants containing the polyamine pavettamine. All the six known gousiekte-causing plants are members of the Rubiaceae or coffee family and house endosymbiotic Burkholderia bacteria in their leaves. It was therefore hypothesized that these bacteria could be involved in the production of the toxin. The pavettamine level in the leaves of 82 taxa from 14 genera was determined. Included in the analyses were various nodulated and non-nodulated members of the Rubiaceae. This led to the discovery of other pavettamine producing Rubiaceae, namely Psychotria kirkii and Psychotria viridiflora. Our analysis showed that many plant species containing bacterial nodules in their leaves do not produce pavettamine. It is consequently unlikely that the endosymbiont alone can be accredited for the synthesis of the toxin. Until now the inconsistent toxicity of the gousiekte-causing plants have hindered studies that aimed at a better understanding of the disease. In vitro dedifferentiated plant cell cultures are a useful tool for the study of molecular processes. Plant callus cultures were obtained from pavettamine-positive species. Mass spectrometric analysis shows that these calli do not produce pavettamine but can produce common plant polyamines.

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Hey wow, thanks Anodyne

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I was not aware of toxicity to cattle......

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