Australia’s Poisonous Plants, Fungi and Cyanobacteria

A Guide to Species of Medical and Veterinary Importance

August 2012
More details
  • Publisher
    CSIRO Publishing
  • Published
    3rd August 2012
  • ISBN 9780643092679
  • Language English
  • Pages 970 pp.
  • Size 8.25" x 10.5"
  • Images 4-color photos, maps & graphs throughout

Australia’s Poisonous Plants, Fungi and Cyanobacteria is the first full-color, comprehensive guide to the major natural threats to health in Australia affecting domestic and native animals and humans. The overriding aim of the book is to prevent poisoning, as there are few effective treatments available, particularly in domestic animals. It is written in a straightforward style making it accessible to a wide audience.

The species have been chosen because of their capacity to threaten life or damage important organs, their relative abundance or wide distribution in native and naturalized Australian flora, or because of their extensive cultivation as crops, pastures or in gardens.

The plant species are grouped by life form such as herbs, grasses and sedges, shrubs, trees, and for flowering plants by flower type and color for ease of identification. Species described have color photographs, distribution maps and notes on confusing species, habitats, toxins, animals affected, conditions of poisoning, clinical signs and symptoms, post mortem changes, therapy, prevention and control. Symbols are used for quick reference to poisoning duration and available ways of managing poisoning. As further aids to understanding, poisoning hotspots are highlighted and the book lists plants under the headings of animals affected and organs affected.

About the author
Preface: why this book?
Using this book

1 Understanding plants and plant poisoning
2 How to confirm tentative identifications
3 Common poisoning profiles

Part 1 Poisonous cyanobacteria (blue-green algae)
4 Poisonous cyanobacteria (blue-green algae)
Part 2 Poisonous fungi
5 Poisonous fungi

Part 3 Poisonous vascular plants
6 Poisonous ferns
7 Poisonous cycads
8 Poisonous grasses, sedges and mat-rushes
9 Poisonous grass-trees
10 Poisonous grass-like herbs (iris and lily families)
11 Poisonous forbs (non-grass-like herbs)
12 Poisonous vines (climbing plants and creepers)
13 Poisonous shrubs
14 Poisonous trees
15 Digest of poisonous cyanobacteria, algae, slime moulds, macrofungi and plants in Australia

APPENDIX 1: Aids to identifying flowering plants
APPENDIX 2: The top killers
APPENDIX 3: Poisoning hot-spots
APPENDIX 4: Animals and the major species that poison them
APPENDIX 5: Body systems affected by the major poisonous species
APPENDIX 6: Australian states with major poisonous species

References and further reading

Ross McKenzie

Ross McKenzie is a retired veterinary pathologist, toxicologist and research scientist from the Queensland DPI where he diagnosed and researched diseases of livestock for 36 years (1973-2009). He is also a retired conjoint senior lecturer from the University of Queensland where he taught toxicology to veterinary students for 14 years (1994-2008). His students called him "Toxic Ross". In 2009 he was honored with the Public Service Medal within the Order of Australia for his research in veterinary pathology and toxicology.