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Are These Weeds In My Pasture Toxic To Goats?

Ask The Plant Expert: “Can you identify these weeds? Please Help! I am in Central California and want to pasture some milk goats. I know the one with yellow “fruit” is a member of the Nightshade family and deadly to goats. Please help me identify what is growing here!” – Mad Science

Wild Yellow Fruit Could Be Deadly Redstem Filaree

Malva parviflora -Mallow Erodium

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:

Sorry for the delay in my reply. I will try my best to identify your plants. I would also advise taking samples to your local State Extension Service. They can make a positive identification for you as well.

  • Plant 1 (yellow pods) – By the look of the fruit and stems, it looks like a wild tomato. Did the plant have any leaves? However, in Central California a plant called Silver Nightshade (Solanum elaeagniflium) grows and since you believe it is nightshade I would agree.  It is toxic to goats, but not to birds.
  • Plant 2 – I believe is a type of Erodium cicutarium (Redstem Filaree). I don’t think it is a problem for goats.
  • Plant 3 – I believe is a type of Mallow -  Malva parviflora. Shouldn’t be toxic to goats.
  • Plant 4 – I believe is another type of Erodium. Not sure which one.

If you are concerned about any of the plants and your goats, the California Extension Service will be happy to help you. They can help identify the plants and help you figure the best way to remove it from your pasture.

I hop the information was helpful. Please let me know if I can help with anything else.

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