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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.

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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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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!

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Tuesday - May 26, 2009

From: Oceanside, CA
Region: California
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Are berries from the Carrot Wood Tree toxic to animals?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Hello, I am trying to find out if the berries on the carrot wood tree are toxic to animals - dog?

ANSWER:

Carrot Wood Tree, Cupaniopsis anacardioides , is a native of Australia where it is called Tuckeroo (see images). It is considered an invasive species in the United States. Since the mission of the Lady Bird Johndon Wildflower Center os to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants, and landscapes, two things that Mr. Smarty Plants doesn't care much for are invasive, non-native plants. See these two links for more information: California, and Texas.

However, for the safety of your dog, I've done some looking around and found some sources regarding toxicity of Cupaniopsis anacardiodes.

The Hunter Botanic Gardens lists the berries as a food used by aboriginal people in Australia.

The Australian Botanic Gardens doesn't list it as a toxic plant.

The Merck Veterinary Manual also doesn't list it as a toxic plant.

The links below are for databases in the US that you may want to check out as well.

Universtiy of Pennsylvania's Poisonous Plants Database

Poisonous Plants of North Carolina

Cornell University's Plants Poisonous to Livestock and other Animals

Texas Toxic Plant Database

ASPCA

Ohio State University

To search the lists, I recommend using the scientific name  since those names are generally standard, whereas the common names often vary in spelling and usage.

 

 

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