Bermuda Grass and Ergot

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Bermuda Grass

Image from Fine Lawn


Cynodon dactylon, Bermuda Grass


Bermuda grass has short, grey/green blades with rough edges and seed heads that grow in clusters at the top of slightly purple stems. This is an invasive species with a deep root system.

Ergot is a fungus and the source of toxicity in Bermuda grass. They are small brown/black nodules that grow in the seed heads.

Bermuda Grass

Concern Level

Can be fed to horses under good conditions. In some climates a fungus called ergot can develop. Concern level is strong in pasture grazed animals in climates where ergot emerges.

Toxic Parts

Ergot nodules

ergot grains

Image from Hawaii botany


Lack of coordination, tremors, odd head movements, rolling tongue, can cause paralysis.


Bermuda Grass Shakes or Dallis Grass Tremors Generally clears up after horse removed from toxin. May cause pregnant mares to abort.

More Information


*It should be noted that we are not veterinarians. This information is written specifically for horses and should be used for reference purposes only. If you think your horse has eaten something toxic call your vet right away.

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