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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.

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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.

 

 

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