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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - February 25, 2009

From: New Braunfels, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Cake decorations with flowers
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can I decorate a cake with bluebonnets, lavender or mountain laurel blooms?

ANSWER:

Could you put blossoms of any of these flowers right down on the icing, perhaps even offering them as edible decorations? No, we wouldn't recommend it. Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) is only available for a short time in the year, and the blossoms would probably fall apart if you tried to separate them into individual pieces for your decorations. And we're not sure the blossoms would survive being washed. Lavender (lavandula) is native to the Meditteranean area, and not to North America. We know that it is sometimes used in cooking, although not really considered one of the culinary herbs.  Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel) is not only considered to have some toxicity in all parts of the plant, but the bright red berries are extremely poisonous. We would certainly hesitate to have the blooms of such a plant even in a bouquet in water nearby where it might be tasted by a child. 

In short, rather than attempt to use fragile blooms as a baking decoration, we would recommend a piped-on picture in colored icing, and leave the flowers blooming on the plants where they belong. 


Sophora secundiflora

Lupinus texensis

 

 

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Failure to come up of blackeyed susans in Lancaster PA
June 28, 2009 - My blackeyed susans have been blooming for ten years. All of a sudden this year they didn't come up at all..why?
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for shade from Atlanta GA
May 28, 2012 - I am looking for recommendations for a ground cover. I live in the Atlanta, Georgia area and have a large shady slope on which I would like to use low maintenance/water native ground cover. What wou...
view the full question and answer

Annual Native Plants for Interplanting in Iowa
January 20, 2015 - I'm looking for suggestions for annuals that will flower from seed or from spring plants. I want to use them to fill in the space around newly planted coneflowers and asters that I fear will look spa...
view the full question and answer

Plants that smell like chocolate from Coral Gables FL
July 12, 2012 - I am looking for plants that smell like chocolate. I live in south Florida. We are currently growing and testing Berlandiera lyrata. Do you know of other plants whose flowers smell like chocolate?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification in Norman, OK
October 10, 2013 - I have two large plants in my back yard that just sprang up on their own this year. They are beautiful and the butterflies and bees love them. I think they are a type of milkweed, but they don't lo...
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