Beautiful things are not always good ▪ Spartium junceum, Spanish broom, pianta velenosa ⑬

Spartium junceum, Spanish broom, is a shrub-like plant, perennial, with long stems. It is a deciduous foliage and the bloom is golden-yellow. The fruits of this plant are black pods when ripe and they burst open spreading seeds [1].

The whole plant is toxic including flowers. The toxicity of the plant is due to presence of quinolizidine alkaloids such as sparteine, cytisine, anagyrine, rhombifoline [2] for they known effects on the electrical conductivity of heart muscle and can potentially cause dangerous heart rhythms [3].
The highest alkaloids content was found in young plants, in reproductive organs, particularly in seeds, and in the twigs with primary structure [4].

Spartium junceum, poisonous plant

Giovanna Masini

Bibliografia

[1] Tesouro Rodrìguez L, Saiz Rodrìguez, Molina Gutièrrez MA, Rivas Paterna MA, Lòpez R, Bueno Barriocanal M, Spartium junceum (Spanish broom) poisoning, “Anales de Pediatria”, 2014;81(6):e32-3

[2] Roland Greinwald, Gabriele Lurz, Ludger Witte, Franz-Christian Czygan, A survey of alkaloids in Spartium junceum L. (Genisteae-Fabceae), “Biosciences”, 1990;45(11-12):1085-1089

[3] Maria Lucia Leporatti, Massimo Imperi, Ethnobotanical notes about some uses of medicinal plants in Alto Tirreno Cosentino area (Calabria, Southern Italy), “Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine”, 2007;3:34

[4] Luciano Barboni, Aurelio Manzi, Bice Bellomaria, Anna M. Quinto, Alkaloid content in four Spartium junceum populations as a defensive strategy against predators, “Phytochemistry”, 1994;37(4):1197-1200

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