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
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

Vine non-toxic to alpacas and dogs from Fowler CA
June 29, 2012 - We have alpacas and would like to plant a flowering vine on a backyard fence that adjoins the pasture. We live in Central California so we have many hot days during the summer and would like a plan...
view the full question and answer

Digging wild buttercup from roadside in Mechanicsville MD
May 28, 2012 - Mr. Smarty Plants, is it illegal to dig out wild buttercup in Maryland? I see them along the dirt road or just in the ditch. Since buttercup considered weed, I'm wondering what the law say about this...
view the full question and answer

Is Savannah Holly poisonous to burn in Hanahan, SC.?
August 20, 2011 - Can you please tell me if the wood from a savannah holly bush is poisonous to burn?
view the full question and answer

Miami gardener needs to know toxicity of Cordia boissieri
October 12, 2010 - Hello. I have a question about Cordia boissieri. Is it toxic for humans (all parts of the plant)? I want to plant it in South Florida, in an area with children.
view the full question and answer

Want a vine, non-toxic to dogs, for Reno, NV.
September 11, 2012 - I want a non toxic (to dogs) vine for Reno, NV
view the full question and answer

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