Lolium. Lolium emulentum. Darnel, Bearded Darnel.
Lolium. Lolium temulentum L. Darnel. Bearded Darnel. Ivraie, Fr. Lolch, Taumelkorn, G.—This grass, which has spread over the world wherever wheat is cultivated, is rarely found in the United States. It owes its importance to its growing especially with wheat, so that its ground seeds are eaten in the flour. From ancient times its seeds have been believed to produce an intoxication similar to that of alcohol; hence its specific Latin name and the French name, Ivraie. In the sweetish seeds, P. Antze (A. J. P., 1891, 568) believed that he found a solid alkaloid, temulentine, and a volatile one, loliine; but Hofmeister (A. J. P., 1892, 611) determined that the volatile alkaloid was an impure ammonia, while the temulentine was a mixture which contained a nitrogenous acid and an uncrystallizable alkaloid, temuline, of which the hydrochloride has the formula C7H12N2O.2HCl.
It is alleged that lolium seeds produce vertigo, dizziness, headache, somnolence, and general intoxication in man, as well as in dogs, sheep and horses, while they are innocuous to hogs, cows, and poultry. Riviere and Maiziere (J. P. C., 1863, 280) have recorded death as occurring from the use of bread containing large amounts of darnel. P. Antze found that both loliine and temulentine are poisonous, causing violent gastro-intestinal irritation, dyspnea, and general depression. (Cb. G. T., 1891.) M. P. Guerin believes the poisonous properties of darnel are due to the presence of a fungus. (Morots Journ. de Bot., 1898.)