close up of the flowers



An animal may die from eating either a large amount of white snakeroot at one time or small amounts over a long period. The eating of small quantities more or less continuously gives rise to the animal disease known as trembles. It is also the cause of the well-known and much-feared milk sickness of man -- a disease that is contracted from drinking milk or eating milk products from poisoned cows. Milk sickness claimed thousands of lives in the early 1800s, perhaps the most well-known victim being Abraham Lincoln's mother. Nursing calves and lambs may die from their mothers' milk contaminated with snakeroot even though the mother animals show no signs of poisoning. Cattle, horses, and sheep are the animals most often poisoned.