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

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

Is it safe to eat vegetables grown in the same bed as foxgloves?
August 12, 2012 - I have foxglove in my flower beds and have planted tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and cantaloupe in the flower bed and now I am concerned about the shared root system. Also, my tomatoes are touching the...
view the full question and answer

Damaged leaves on bottlebrush buckeye from Glen Mills PA
June 09, 2013 - My recently planted bottlebrush buckeye plants' leaves are looking damaged but it doesn't look like insect or fungus damage. They look battered by wind but I don't understand why that would happen...
view the full question and answer

Is any part of flowering peach (Prunus persica) toxic to dogs
April 26, 2009 - I know that peach pits and wilting leaves are poisonous to dogs, but can you tell me if any part of the Red Flowering Peach Tree (no fruit) is toxic?
view the full question and answer

Could ammonia harm poisonous, non-native oleander in Bay Point CA
December 20, 2009 - Could ammonia harm my Oleander plant? I have been spraying ammonia under it to keep neighborhood cats from using the soil under the plant as a sand box. If so, do you have any suggestions as to what...
view the full question and answer

Wintering over an Angel Trumpet in Kentucky
September 20, 2008 - I have an Angel Trumpet on my deck in LaGrange,Ky -Can I plant it out in the yard now or do I have to take it in the house for the winter- It is 5 feet tall and I have no room in the house! Help!-Than...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center