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
17 ratings

Wednesday - March 18, 2009

From: Enterprise, AL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Is cat palm (Chamaedorea cataractarum) poisonous?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a Cataractarum (Cat) Palm and am wondering if it is poisonous. I have a Cockatiel who likes to play in it. Thank you!

ANSWER:

Chamaedorea cataractarum (cat palm) is a native of southeastern Mexico. Our focus and expertise here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center are with plants native to North America; and, yes, we are aware that Mexico is part of North America, but at the moment we do not include Mexico in our area of expertise.  We hope to remedy that in the near future.  Nevertheless, we can tell you what we have been able to find out about the possible toxicity of the cat palm.  First none of Mr. Smarty Plants' favorite Toxic Plant databases (Poisonous Plants of North Carolina, Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock, Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System, University of Pennsylvania Poisonous Plants, Texas Toxic Plant Database, University of California-Davis Toxic Plants, or Botanical Dermatology Database) lists it.  Googling 'plants toxic birds' brings up a long list of sites that will give you information.  Drs. Foster and Smith Pet Education.com has two lists under their article Bird Safety: Poisonous and Safe Plants for Birds. Neither the cat palm nor any other palm appears on the 'toxic' list.  Several palms (e.g., lady palm, paradise palm, bamboo palm) appear on the 'safe' list.  The cat palm is not listed specifically, but Chamaedorea seifrizii (bamboo palm) is very closely related to the cat palm (same genus as well as same family).  CockatielCottage.com also has two lists under their article Safe and Toxic Plant Lists and on their 'safe' list they have "Palms". You can check out the other toxic plants lists that you can find on the internet, but it looks to me as if the cat palm is safe for your cockatiels.

 

 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Campsis radicans or cow itch
April 03, 2008 - We cleaned my father-in-law's home-place up out in the country week-before-last. My wife, her 2 sisters and a niece have this unusual-looking poison on them. It is big red places and itches all ove...
view the full question and answer

Are oleanders poisonous?
July 18, 2008 - Are Oleanders poisonous?
view the full question and answer

Non-native vines poisonous to animals from Park Ridge IL
June 18, 2012 - I have a Star Jasmine and sambac Philipine Jasmine Plant . Are they poisonous to cats or dogs. I have them in the house.
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of wild plums (Prunus angustifolia)
July 28, 2008 - When I bought my land, there was a humongous thicket of wild plums (Prunus angustifolia) approx 10 ft high and covering 5-10 acres. I raise goats, and have known that wild plums (the leaves) can cause...
view the full question and answer

Herbal properties of Dicentra formosa
January 23, 2016 - I would like to get some information on the Dicentra formosa plant such as the benefits of the plant. Is it poisonous? Can it be infused in an oil?
view the full question and answer

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