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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Monday - March 19, 2007

From: west palm beach, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Toxicity of non-native, invasive Wedelia trilobata
Answered by: Damon Waitt

QUESTION:

Could you tell me if Wedelia trilobata is toxic to animals? It grows so voraciously where I am that I am wanting to use the whole plant to feed to my large tortoises (who are also voracious for edible plant material).

ANSWER:

Wedelia trilobata commonly known as Wedelia, Creeping Ox-eye or Yellow-dots is a native of South America and has been widely planted as an ornamental groundcover in more tropical parts of the US. According to Floridata and several other credible websites, plants in the Genus Wedelia are toxic to animals. In fact, Farm animals have aborted fetuses after grazing on Wedelia.

Do not, I repeat, do not under any circumstances feed it to your tortoises!!!

In addition, Wedelia trilobata often becomes an aggressive nuisance in the landscape and is cited widely as an invasive species. If you do have this non-native species in your garden, you might consider removing it before it gets out of control.

 

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