Agrostemma githago (corn pink, corn campion, darnel, niche, tare). A member of the plant family CARYOPHYLLACEAE. Annual herb with tall erect stems covered with dense white hairs and long lance-shaped leaves covered with fine white hairs. Large solitary reddish-purple flowers with pale streaks. Fruits are ovoid capsules opening by five slits to reveal 2024 black, pyramidal-shaped seeds, each covered with minute barbs. Commonly found in cereal fields.


[affected.gif] Animals most affected
All animals.


[etiology.gif] Etiology
Ingestion of seeds or flour made from contaminated cereals (e.g. corn).


[toxic.gif] Toxicity
The seed contains an irritant poison, a saponoside with haemolytic properties.

Toxic oral doses not well known:

LD in g seeds per kg body weight
cattle 2.6
pigs 1.0
dogs considered to be the most sensitive of animals
birds birds most resistant to the saponoside



[clinical.gif] Clinical features

Possibility of death within several hours.


[lesions.gif] Lesions


[treatm~1.gif] Treatment
No antidote. Symptomatic care only: