Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - October 27, 2004

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Smarty Plants on Poisonous Plants
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I wonder who among the wonderful staff at the Wildflower Center can answer this. I occasionally get requests for information on toxic or irritating plants. Beyond the obvious ones like poison ivy that everyone knows, what's there to look out for in Texas?

ANSWER:

The newly published book:
Hart, Charles R. et al. 2004. Toxic Plants of Texas: integrated management strategies to prevent livestock losses. Created by Texas Cooperative Extension. College Station: Texas A&M University Press.
is an excellent source for poisonous agricultural plants, but you are right that it doesn't list several plants irritating to humans that aren't potentially deadly to livestock. University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service has a database of Poisonous Plants of the Southern United States and Colorado State University has a Guide to Poisonous Plants which both would more closely match our region than the Cornell University Poisonous Plants Informational Database. However, neither lists the "irritating" plants other than poison ivy.
Shinner's and Mahler's Flora of North Central Texas (Diggs, George M. et al. 1999. Shinners&Mahler's Flora of North Central Texas. Fort Worth: Botanical Research Institute of Texas) gives information about the toxicity of plants in the North Central area of Texas, including Tragia (noseburn), Cnidoscolus (bull nettle/mala mujer), or Toxicodendron (poison ivy)
 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Will a barrier hedge of Agarita cause any problems for horses and cattle?
January 28, 2009 - Will planting a hedge of Agarita (Mahonia trifoliolata) at the fence line in my blackland prairie pasture cause any problems for my horses and cattle. I am trying to create a sound and sight barrier ...
view the full question and answer

Perennials non-toxic to horses in Thayer MO
September 21, 2010 - I live in South Central Missouri. I am looking for a plant/shrub to plant in pots (our soil is clay and very rocky)to landscape the front of our barn. This plant can't be harmful to horses and must b...
view the full question and answer

Vines non-poisonous to dogs from Madison WI
June 09, 2013 - Are there any vines or crawlers that are non poisonous to dogs? Everything I am finding is poisonous, I want to plant some vines up a fence on their kennel run.
view the full question and answer

Poisonous weeds in Bedford County, PA
June 21, 2010 - I am battling my second bad round of poison in a month, this time on my face and in my left eye. It's awful. Problem is, I have looked and looked for poison ivy, oak and sumac around my neighborhoo...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID of unknown purchased plant from Boise ID
June 24, 2012 - Hi! I bought a tree that the sales person didnt know what it was. I thought it was a cherry tree and now after about 3-4 yrs I know it is but..How do I know if it is an ornamental tree or real fruit t...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.