How toxic is Clematis to horses? Is it toxic all the time or only when it's flowering? Is it palatable to them or is it bitter where they will leave it alone?

Horses March 15, 2012 Print Friendly and PDF

In general, horses will avoid plants that are poisonous, provided they have adequate sources of nutrition. It is always best to avoid planting poisonous plants where horses can access them even if it is only occasionally.

Clematis contains irritating substances that cause mouth irritation, excessive salivation and diarrhea if eaten in quantity. Excess diarrhea can lead to dehydration, which can lead to more serious health issues. There is no readily available information on the palatability of clematis. The plant contains irritants whether it is flowering or not.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.