En Español

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
1 rating

Monday - March 23, 2009

From: pineville, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Can the buds and flowers from my Rhodendron tree be toxic to my puppy? Yes
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I recently got a new 7 week old puppy that keeps trying to play with and eat buds and flowers off my Rhododendron tree. Could this be toxic to him?

ANSWER:

Yes.

Rhododendron species (one native to the South is  Rhododendron maximum (great laurel) ) are members of the family Ericaceae, and many members of this genus contain the substance grayanotoxin which can be toxic to humans, dogs, and many other animals. Azaleas are also in this group of plants.

I've provided some sources that include lists of plants toxic to animals to let you know what else to watch out for.

The Texas Toxic Plant Database is a source that we often use, but unfortunately, it does't list Rhododendron as being toxic.

Universiy of Pennsylvania Poisonous Plants

The Humane Society of the United States

American Dog Trainers Network

 


 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Comment on poisonous sweet pea plant from Kalama WA
October 29, 2011 - No question, comment only. I am aware of the story of Christopher McCandless (Call of the Wild)and the belief that he was poisoned by ingesting part of the sweet pea plant; however I am curious what ...
view the full question and answer

Urushiol Oil Persistance?
September 09, 2015 - I'm trekking into poison ivy infested areas for work every other day. I make sure to wear long pants, long sleeves, boots, and long socks over my pants. I walk into my office to drop off supplies and...
view the full question and answer

Is Texas mountain laurel honey toxic?
May 25, 2015 - I have been told that honey produced from the flowers of my Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora) would not be safe to consume. Is this correct? The only information I have been able to find is...
view the full question and answer

Is Echinacea poisonous to cats?
May 01, 2008 - Is the echinacea plant poisonous to cats?
view the full question and answer

Should flower stems of Texas mountain laurel be removed after they bloom?
March 02, 2016 - Should I trim off the old flower stems from this years bloom on a Texas Mountain Laurel?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center