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
2 ratings

Sunday - December 07, 2008

From: Rosharon, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Legality of using Chinese tallow seeds for Christmas decorations
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

If tallow trees are on the noxious list, is it illegal to use the white berries for Christmas decorations?

ANSWER:

Triadeca sebifera, Chinese tallow, is a native to Eastern Asia, and has become an invasive threat to ecologies, particularly in the Southeast and coastal plains. It is not only invasive, crowding out desirable native plants, but is potentially harmful to humans and animals because the berries and plant sap contain toxins. There is no law of which we are aware that prohibits use of the berries as Christmas decorations. However, we would not choose to employ plant materials known to be poisonous in that way. The possibility of the berries being accessible to children or pets would far outweigh the benefits.
 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Root barriers for invasive plant roots from neighbor in Austin
July 24, 2011 - My neighbor's invasive plantings are invading my yard. He has Chinese parasol, China berry, Japanese honeysuckle, privets, ligustrums and native Mustang grape vines planted so closely together they ...
view the full question and answer

How can I control field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)?
April 12, 2009 - I have identified my invasive as field bindweed. Your answer in FAQs has websites that are moving and I am unable to find out how to control this major problem. I use organics to garden. The recommend...
view the full question and answer

More on oak problems in Carrollton TX
April 04, 2011 - Thank you for answering me, I will contact a specialist to see if we can determine the cause. but since writing you we have pulled down a small twig to see the leaf more closely, it is more of a reddi...
view the full question and answer

Can rose Zephirine Drouhin damage brick from Springfield IL
August 22, 2010 - Can Z…PHIRINE DROUHIN damage brick?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on invasive and exotic plant species
March 26, 2004 - Where can I go to learn more about invasive and exotic plant species?
view the full question and answer

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