Marshelder, Narrowleaf sumpweed
Iva angustifolia DC.
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)
Marshelder is a native, warm-season annual that is also commonly named "narrowleaf sumpweed." A member of the Sunflower family, it is characterized by its leaf-like bracts in the flowering stem. Marshelder is very drought tolerant.
This plant germinates in the early spring in February or March and is mostly vegetative, with long, narrow leaves. The flowers, which resemble those of the ragweed group, are inconspicuous. It flowers in late summer and fall.
Though seldom eaten, sumpweeds cause abortion in cattle. The pollen from this group is also a noted human allergen.
Marshelder occurs on seepy areas or those that may hold some water in the spring, especially along the edges of creeks and ponds.
The toxin in narrowleaf sumpweed is unknown. This plant is often very abundant and is unavoidably grazed heavily. Consumption has been associated with abortions at 4 to 8 months of gestation when cattle ate large amounts of the young plants in the two- to eight-leaf stage of growth. In experiments, rabbits fed the plant as 50 percent of their diet either gave birth prematurely or had stillborn or weak pups that died by 3 days old.
Cattle consuming a large amount of young narrowleaf sumpweed in mid-gestation can show the following signs: Premature mammary development; Dripping milk; Abortion.
Affected cows breed back normally.
Flower Color: Yellow
Seed Type: Non-Encapsulated
Stem Texture: Hairless/Smooth
Growth Habit: Forbs/Broadleaf
Distribution : 01 - Pineywoods, 02 - Gulf Prairies and Marshes, 03 - Post Oak Savannah, 04 - Blackland Prairies, 05 - Cross Timbers and Prairies, 06 - South Texas Plains, 07 - Edwards Plateau, 10 - Trans-Pecos
Distribution refers to the ecological region in Texas that a plant has been found. You can also view a clickable map.
Book: Brush and Weeds of Texas Rangelands (B-6208), Toxic Plants of Texas (B-6105)
Collection: Brush and Weeds, Toxics
Livestock Affected: Cattle