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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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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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Friday - March 07, 2008

From: Kamiah, ID
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Information about Rosa acicularis
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

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 have indicated such information of the plant being poisonous. Could you offer particular information about this toxicity and/or reference sites I might research? Many thanks for the wealth of information at your site.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants thinks that the reported toxicity for Rosa acicularis (prickly rose) was mistakenly applied to the wrong plant. As far as we can determine, R. acicularis is non-toxic. In fact, we don't know of any species in the genus Rosa that has toxic properties. The fruits of this genus, rose hips, have been used for centuries by indigenous people for food and medicinal purposes. We have removed this statement from our Native Plants Database and we thank you for pointing out this inaccuracy so that we could correct it.
 

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