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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Sunday - April 26, 2009

From: Bentonville, AR
Region: Southeast
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Is any part of flowering peach (Prunus persica) toxic to dogs
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I know that peach pits and wilting leaves are poisonous to dogs, but can you tell me if any part of the Red Flowering Peach Tree (no fruit) is toxic?

ANSWER:

First of all, red flowering peach (Prunus persica), is a native of China, not North America, and is not a plant that we normally deal with since our focus and expertise is with North American natives.  However, we'll see what we can find out for you.  (There are also other varieties of the red flowering peach).  You may not have noticed but these flowering peach trees do make some small fruits (I know mine does).  That is sort of beside the point, however, since wilted leaves and twigs are also highly toxic with cyanogenic glycoside and amygdalin according to Poisonous Plants of North Carolina, Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock and University of Pennsylvania Poisonous Plants.   Additionally, the ASPCA has Prunus sp. on its list of toxic plants for pets.  You can Google "dogs toxic plants" and find other databases that include peaches or Prunus sp. as well as some databases without peaches on their lists. According to the University of Pennsylvania Poisonous Plants database, ruminants such as cows, goats and sheep are more susceptible to the cyanogens because of the neutral pH environment in their rumen that allows more rapid release of the toxin than in animals with single stomachs such as dogs. Nevertheless, you would do well to keep all leaf and twig litter from the peach tree out of reach of your dogs.

 

 

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