En EspaŅol

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
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
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

Violets becoming invasive in Prince Edward Island, Canada
March 18, 2009 - Last Spring I planted several violets and by the end of the Summer they have become an invasion in my garden. I'm afraid that they will get into my lawn and cause a real problem. Any way of getting r...
view the full question and answer

Orange trumpet creeper parasitic to oaks in New York City?
December 17, 2010 - Is the Orange Trumpet Creeper a parasite to oak trees? My concern is that a neighbor with a tall oak has a vine growing up it and I wonder if it could damage or weaken the tree?
view the full question and answer

Plant around Pittsburg from Weirton WV
September 19, 2009 - I have seen this plant outside of the Pittsburgh,PA area and was told it is called Midnight Cowboy. It has bright yellow flowers and long green leaves that only comes out at night(so I am told). Ca...
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of skunk cabbage in Hopedale OH
April 22, 2010 - How can someone get rid of skunk cabbage?
view the full question and answer

Sandbur invasion in Mission TX
June 08, 2011 - I have a spiny sandbur invasion in my yard. Even the dog tiptoes around to do her business. Because I live in Mission, TX, this weed acts like a perennial and is constantly growing (no winter freezes...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center