Star Thistle (Centaurea)

Centaury, Centory, Knapweeds, Centaureas

Star-ThistleStar Thistle

Centaurea are a herbaceous thistle-like flowering plant consisting of around 350 to 600 species in the Asteraceae family. The leaves are  spiny in some species, are usually deeply divided into elongated lobes at least in the plants’ lower part, becoming entire towards the top. The “flowers” are diverse in color, ranging from intense blues, reds and yellows to any mixture of these and lighter shades towards white.

Typically found north of the equator in the eastern hemisphere, areas surrounding the middle east are particularly species-rich.

Conditions of Poisoning:

Toxic Principle:
allelopathic, producing powerful toxins

Clinical Symptoms:
The plant is not usually eaten unless other forage is unavailable, or when incorporated into hay. Poisonings occur at ingestions of 50%- 200% of the animal’s body weight over a 60 to 90 day period of grazing. Clinical signs have been referred to as “chewing disease”, where horses chew but are unable to obtain food or swallow. Signs seen include a grinning appearance, open mouth with protruding, lolling tongue, yawning, head tossing, central nervous system depression, lost interest in food, difficulty breathing due to inhalation of food, submerging the head in water in an attempt to drink. Death can occur due to lack of eating and drinking, leading to dehydration and malnutrition.


 Lone Star English Setter Club provides this information
as a partial reference of the potential poisons that could harm your dog.
We are not veterinarian’s and DO NOT provide medical help.

 If you think that your animal is ill or may have ingested a poisonous substance,
contact your local veterinarian or
the ASPCA’s 24-hour emergency poisoning hotline directly