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
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

Getting rid of poison ivy
May 08, 2009 - Dear Mr Smarty Plants, Likewise I also have a shady area in my yard with overgrowth of poison ivy. It borders a small duck pond and we have a Golden Retriever. I too would like to plant soon afterward...
view the full question and answer

Will Calycanthus floridus (Eastern sweetshrub) grow near black walnut trees?
April 01, 2012 - Will Calycanthus floridus survive if planted near Black Walnut trees? If not, can you recommend a similar bush that will?
view the full question and answer

Cenizo safe for consumption by parrots from Phoenix AZ
April 30, 2012 - Could you tell me if Cenizo, (Leucophyllum frutescens) branches and leaves can be fed to pets? (parrots)I read the leaves were often used for tea for humans, but can't find an information if safe fo...
view the full question and answer

Are palm leaves poisonous?
August 18, 2008 - Are palm tree leaves poisionous? Because my dad was doing yard work and was stuck by a palm tree leaf in his calf. His calf has swollen and in he thinks it broke off in his calf.
view the full question and answer

Shade trees not toxic to dogs in Kempner TX
August 21, 2013 - Dear Mr Smarty Plants, we are looking for shade trees to plant around our home in Kempner, Tx. I saw another family that asked a similar question but we have dogs and holly or oak trees are toxic (my...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center