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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - May 23, 2005

From: Woodstock, CT
Region: Northeast
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Smarty Plants on staghorn sumac
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I currently have staghorn sumac in my yard located in Woodstock, Connecticut. it appears to be of the Rhus typhina species. i am removing these from my yard using a chainsaw and creating a pile of them in order to burn. Is it safe to burn them?

ANSWER:

If they are truly Stag-horn Sumac (Rhus hirta, formerly Rhus typhina) it should be just fine to burn them. However, if you have Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron vernix, formerly Rhus vernix), it would not be a good idea to burn them. This species causes severe skin irritation because it contains urushiol, the same chemical in poison oak and ivy. The smoke and ash from the burning plants would carry the urushiol. You can read a description of Poison Sumac on the Poisonous Plants of South Carolina database. On the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada web page there is a description of how to tell poison sumac from the other sumacs.
 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Are berries from the Carrot Wood Tree toxic to animals?
May 26, 2009 - Hello, I am trying to find out if the berries on the carrot wood tree are toxic to animals - dog?
view the full question and answer

What plant looks like poisonous water hemlock
March 28, 2016 - I thought that hemlock was a tree. I grew up in Carmel Valley, CA. As a kid we used to play in fields that looks just like this stuff. Some were over six feet and an inch around. In summer we pulled ...
view the full question and answer

Is Lemon Cypress toxic?
August 15, 2012 - Is the Lemon Cypress toxic?
view the full question and answer

Poisonous plants of Texas Bays and Estuaries
February 24, 2011 - What is a poisonous native plants of the Bay and Estuary system in Southeast Texas?
view the full question and answer

Is Savannah Holly poisonous to burn in Hanahan, SC.?
August 20, 2011 - Can you please tell me if the wood from a savannah holly bush is poisonous to burn?
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