En EspaŅol

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

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.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - April 22, 2007

From: Superior, WI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Pests, Poisonous Plants
Title: Using cattail fluff to stuff pillows
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Me and my children filled a pillow case with cattail feathers today and brought it home. My mother says that it is going to get or attract bugs. Are there any dangers in this little project? Thank you for your time. God Bless You!!!

ANSWER:

For centuries all parts of Typha latifolia (broadleaf cattail) has had many uses, including food and as well as construction and insulation material for both people and wildlife.

There is the possibility that there are insects included with the fluff, but those could probably be eliminated by putting the pillow in your freezer for a period of time. However, some people have found that they developed hives (resumably from being allergic to the plant) when they slept on a pillow stuffed with the cattail fluff and accompanying seeds. Covering the pillow with a thicker cloth might (or might not) help to eliminate this problem if you are allergic to the plant or its seeds.

 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Need information about the toxicity of some newly acquired plants in Austin, TX
January 04, 2010 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I just got a Carolina Buckthorn tree, a silk tassel, a wafer ash, and an escarpment black cherry tree. I wonder if any of these trees produce berries that would be poisonous to ...
view the full question and answer

Is mulch from hackberry and chinaberry trees safe for flowerbeds?
September 17, 2014 - We had to remove several large hackberry and china berry trees. Is its mulch safe to use in garden and in flower beds?
view the full question and answer

Cypress poisonous to livestock from Arlington, TN
December 06, 2012 - Are green giant cypress poisonous to livestock?
view the full question and answer

Information about Rosa acicularis
March 07, 2008 - Hi: At your site under "Benefit" it is mentioned that the seeds, leaves bark and twigs of Rosa acicularis Lindl. can be fatally poisonous to humans and animals. None of my past or present studies h...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Purple Hyacinth from Sylvania OH
May 21, 2012 - I am wondering if I plant a Purple Hyacinth Bean vine seed under a tree and allow it to grow up the tree trunk, will it kill the tree?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center