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

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Saturday - August 04, 2007

From: Simsbury, CT
Region: Northeast
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Is Rosa rugosa poisonous?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Are beach plums from a Rosa rogosa poisonous?

ANSWER:

Rosa rugosa doesn't appear on any of the toxic plant databases that Mr. Smarty Plants searched: Cornell University Poisonous Plants Informational Database, Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System, Poisonous Plants of Pennsylvania, Texas Toxic Plants and Poisonous Plants of North Carolina. Indeed, no species of the Genus Rosa appears in these toxic plant databases. Even though R. rugosa is a native of Asia and not a North American native, it has been used extensively as an ornamental throughout North America. One would think that if it had any toxic properties that they would have been reported. Indeed, many species of Rosa have been used for food and medicinal purposes by Native Americans according to the University of Michigan's Native American Ethnobotany database. Nevertheless, great caution should always be taken when sampling wild plants.
 

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