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Anna, Teacher, writer, biologist
Category: General
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I am trying to identify a plant that is growing in one of my

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I am trying to identify a plant that is growing in one of my pastures in New Jersey. It is near a small pond and the pasture has been vacant for a couple of years now, I don't remember seeing it before this year. I would like to know if this plant is harmful to horses, if so what types of problems will occur?

I apologize that no one has responded to your question sooner. Different experts come online at various times. I just came online and saw your question.

Thank you for attaching a photo. Is the plant in question the one with smooth-edged leaves, with some reddish tints to them? Or is it the one with jagged edges and spots on it?

Thank you.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi Anna
It is the plants with the smooth leaves and some red, sort of like Lily leaves. There are several plants in the pictures.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX'll see what I can do (I have a lot of plant ID books to go through). You'll receive an email when I post an answer. I appreciate your patience.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you Anna!
Thank you for waiting. When I first saw the photo, I suspected this was a member of the plantain genus. It appears to be a lance-leaved or ribwort plantain. There are hundreds of species of plantains, so it can be hard to narrow down. The ribbed leaves are one of the ways they are identified. Here is a photo for you to compare:


They are common in New Jersey, and the seeds are often spread by bird droppings. If the plants are plantains, they are not harmful to horses. The problem is that it can be difficult to reach a certain identification from a photo. It helps to be able to observe the plant's growth habits through the seasons, see what kind of flower it produces, and whether it grows for one season or comes back year after year.

Because the safety of horses is involved, I recommend that you consult your County Extension Agent to be sure. This is a government program operated by universities, and there is no charge for their help. On the left side of the page I'm going to link to, there is a little map of NJ. Click on the county where your pasture is located and you'll get contact information for your agent.

This will be the most certain way to be sure the plants aren't harmful. If you have more questions, let me know by clicking on REPLY.

Anna and 37 other General Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you Anna, appreciate your quick response and great information!
You're welcome, Shelby.


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