In the sub family Faboideae, a small tree commonly called golden chain tree, golden rain tree and peascod resides. It is also of the pea family Fabaceae. Laburnum is native to the southern European and French mountains as well as the Balkan Peninsula. The wood of this tree has been used for cabinet making and for musical instruments such as recorders and flutes.
The Laburnum tree is a very popular garden tree because of the yellow pea-flowers. The flowers hang in long drooping clusters and can grow anywhere from 4 to 12 inches (10 to 30 cm) in length in the springtime. The leaves are green and grow in threes like a clover and are normally 0.8 to 1.2 inches (2 to 3 cm) long.
Toxic To Horses
The toxin in this plant is cytisine, which affects the gastrointestinal tract and nervous system. The entire tree is toxic if ingested by humans, horses, ponies, goats, sheep and other grazing animals.
In horses and other farm animals if this plant is ingested the following may occur; gastrointestinal upset, colic, coma, drowsiness, frothing of the mouth, unequally dilated pupils, diarrhea, convulsions and death. Symptoms for humans may include intense sleepiness, vomiting, convulsive movements, coma, unequally dilated pupils, severe to mild diarrhea and slight frothing at the mouth.
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