the dried sclerotia of the fungi Claviceps spp. parasitic on grass seed heads.
clavine alkaloids, lysergic acid and its amides and ergot peptide alkaloids (ergotamine, ergosine, ergocristine etc.).
bulrush millet ergot1
Claviceps fusiformis parasitizes bulrush millet (Pennisetum glaucum) and causes agalactia and piglet loss in sows. Called also munga ergot.
Claviceps paspali is an ergot fungus that parasitizes Paspalum spp. Animals eating the infected plants are poisoned; the clinical syndrome consisting of gross incoordination is indistinguishable from cerebellar ataxia. Recovery is quick and complete if the animals are removed from the contaminated pasture.
Claviceps purpurea, the ergot of rye, infests cereal rye and other grasses including Lolium spp. It contains a number of alkaloids one of which, ergonovine (ergometrine), is extracted and used pharmaceutically as an oxytocin. Livestock and humans fed on contaminated grain or seed from affected crops develop chronic ergotism, the classical syndrome of gangrene of the extremities in cold weather or hyperthermia in hot conditions. Central nervous system stimulation, characterized by drowsiness, incoordination and convulsions, occurs if large amounts of the ergot are taken. Abortion is a constant sign of the poisoning in humans but does not occur in any of the domestic animals.