The ergot alkaloids, other than those that are
molecular compounds, fail into two groups, a laevorotatory
physiologically active group, and a dextrorotatory group
which is considerably less active. Smith and Timmis drew
attention to this fact in their paper on isoergine and
isolysergic acids (1).
In Table l I have assembled the ergot alkaloids in
descending order of the number of constituent carbon atoms,
and given, where possible, their rotations in chloroform.
The figures are obtained from the papers of Smith and Timmis
(1) (2). The decomposition products, ergine and
isoergine have also been included.