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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - May 05, 2009

From: Incline Village, NV
Region: Southwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Laws pertaining to sale of poisonous plants
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Are there any laws pertaining to the sale of poisonous plants. do they have to be labeled as poisonous by law?

ANSWER:

As far as Mr. Smarty Plants knows, there aren't any laws pertaining to the sale of poisonous plants.  There are laws regarding noxious/invasive plants in several states.  For example, there is a Texas law prohibiting possession of certain nonindigenous aquatic plant species and you can see other Laws and Regulations pertaining to invasive species from the USDA National Invasive Species Information Center.

There are lots of poisonous plants for sale in every state.  For instance, Nerium oleander (oleander) is potentially deadly poisonous but your own University of Nevada Reno Cooperative Extension office recommends it as "A Versatile Shrub for Southern Nevada".   Indeed, our 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, or University of California-Davis Toxic Plants) are filled with plants, both native and non-native, that are considered toxic to some degree and are commonly sold in nurseries—for example, azaleas (Rhododendron spp.), monkshood (Aconitum spp.), and Prunus spp. (including plums, peaches, apricot, cherries, chokecherries, etc.) whose seeds, twigs and wilted leaves are toxic.  If there were laws prohibiting the sale of poisonous plants, there wouldn't be much left to sell in the nurseries. 

There are laws prohibiting the sale and propagation of some plants that are listed in the toxic plant databases, (e.g., Cannabis sativa (marijuana)), but that's a different story.

 

 

 

 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Can the buds and flowers from my Rhodendron tree be toxic to my puppy? Yes
March 23, 2009 - 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?
view the full question and answer

is the rainbow Eucalyptus poisonous to horses in FL?
May 24, 2011 - Is the Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree poisonous to horses?
view the full question and answer

Memorial Tree Safe for Horses in Oregon
March 28, 2013 - Hi! I just lost my 33 year old beloved mare, Glory! She was my childhood horse and we have had her basically her whole life. We are looking for a special tree out in the pasture for her! She is bu...
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

Non-native Purple Hyacinth from Sylvania OH
May 21, 2012 - I am wondering if I plant a Purple Hyacinth Bean vine seed under a tree and allow it to grow up the tree trunk, will it kill the tree?
view the full question and answer

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