Explore Plants

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
    
 

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
1 rating

Wednesday - July 09, 2008

From: Bogart, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Pink flower in South Carolina, perhaps poisonous
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I saw a beautiful plant while touring Charleston, SC. I do not remember the name - the tour guide talked about a long time ago women giving it to their husband's in tea (maybe?) to kill them. Of course this wasn't true. It had really pretty pink flowers & looked tropical. I'd love to plant some by my pool, can you help me find what they are?? Thanks!

ANSWER:

Hmm... Mr. Smarty Plants wonders if we need to let your husband know about this!

One possibility is the non-native Nerium oleander (oleander), which is extremely toxic. You can read about it in these toxic plant databases: Poisonous Plants of North Carolina, Cornell University Poisonous Plants Informational Database and Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System.

Here are a few other possibilities:

Dicentra spp. (bleeding heart, Dutchman's breeches) native

Kalmia angustifolia, (Lambkill, sheep laurel) native

Daphne genkwa (lilac daphne) introduced from China

Mandevilla spp. (mandevilla) introduced from Central and South America

Podophyllum peltatum (mayapple, mandrake) native

Rhododendron spp. (rhododendrons, azaleas) native and introduced from Asia

In case it is a native plant, here is a way you can search for it yourself in our Native Plant Database. Do a Combination Search, selecting 'South Carolina' from the Select State or Province category and select 'Pink' from the Bloom Characteristics Color. You can also select 'Herb', 'Shrub', or 'Tree' from Habit (general appearance) category to narrow your search further.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification of shrub with thorns and purple flowers
July 05, 2011 - I have a small tree or shrub, it has very small or thin thorns on the branches. It blooms in April / May. The flowers are purple. My mother-in-law said that it has been around for over 100 years, b...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
July 22, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, (love the name), I have found a plant in my yard. Underground it looks like a green onion, above ground it has a broad leaf, a thin 8-12 inch stalk and the top 2" of the stalk...
view the full question and answer

Propagating a Magnolia tree from a twig cutting in New Hampshire.
November 02, 2011 - I have a twig cutting from a rare magnolia tree I found on a farm in central New Hampshire. The tree seems to be at least one hundred years old. It was in full bloom in late August and I was told by t...
view the full question and answer

Is there a variety of bluebonnet called black gumbo
February 04, 2008 - I live in Grimes County, Texas on the eastern edge of the Blackland Prairie. A few years ago my hillside of Bluebonnet seed was harvested. I was told it was a rare 'black gumbo' variety of bluebon...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
July 01, 2013 - I picked a beautiful large red wildflower, & by the time I got home, the stem had turned "spikey" and dark black! Very ugly & a little scary as I had never heard of such a flower! Can you identify??
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.