En Español

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
3 ratings

Wednesday - May 07, 2008

From: Cassadaga, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Lantana poisonous to people, animals
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Mr. Smarty Plants, I read your response to the woman with the cow eating her plants over her neighbors fence. Just so you know- Lantana is poisionous. To humans and cattle. You recommended it as a plant she could use there, but I routinely check my pasture for beautyberry, and lantana because there are many toxic plants that are native to our area. Watch kids carefully when outside and warn them NEVER to eat a berry they find in the wild unless an adult says it's OK. Most berries are the most toxic part of a plant.

ANSWER:

You are absolutely right, and we were remiss in placing that plant in our proposed planting. In our defense, we recommended that everything be out of reach of the cows, because they would eat anything. However, we made no cautions about children in the area. Lantana is very widely used and recommended, even thought it not only has toxic parts, but has become invasive in some parts of the country, including Florida. Unfortunately, many plants have toxic parts, probably part of their defense mechanisms to stay alive and propagate the species. Your point that children should always be watched and trained to put nothing in their mouths that is not pre-approved is the most valuable comment you made. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Is horseherb toxic to chickens in Austin, TX?
November 05, 2012 - My yard is almost completely horseherb (straggler daisy, calyptocarpus vialis) and I am hoping you can tell me if this is safe for chickens to eat? As common as it is here, there is nothing I could fi...
view the full question and answer

Indoor and Outdoor, Fast Growing Plants for California
October 22, 2015 - Iím looking for the best plants for me. I have small kids so they would have to be safe. I would like them to be able to grow inside or outside. I would love for them to grow fast and reproduce fast.
view the full question and answer

Will Calycanthus floridus (Eastern sweetshrub) grow near black walnut trees?
April 01, 2012 - Will Calycanthus floridus survive if planted near Black Walnut trees? If not, can you recommend a similar bush that will?
view the full question and answer

Itchy hands from handling Lantana plants
September 13, 2009 - I am in Ocala,FL. I pick up with my hands branches from a cut down Lantana Plant. My hands are very itchy, what can I do. THANK YOU FOR YOU.
view the full question and answer

Jimsonweed and its toxic nature
June 21, 2011 - I purchased a Jimson weed plant at a local plant sale at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center this spring and was quite surprised at how quickly & large it grew. After the first round of flowers fa...
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center