En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Tuesday - June 02, 2009

From: Lake Worth, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Trees
Title: Is black olive (Bucida buchera) toxic to people or dogs?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We have what we think is a black olive tree growing in our front yard, which I keep trimmed to about 4 feet high. A bird dropped the seedling in my garden, so I'm not quite sure it's a black olive, but pretty sure when comparing the leaf with pictures. The tree is about 2 years old, and this year was the first year that it grew what look like blueberries, but smaller, about half the size of a blueberry. Wondering if these berries are edible or if they are poisonous to us or our dogs.

ANSWER:

According to the USDA Plant Database Bucida buceras (Florida "Black Olive" or Gregorywood) is a native of Florida; but, according to some sources (Florida Keys Invasive Exotics Task Force, pp.51-52) it is an invasive exotic plant.  Here are more photos.  Several sources (including Florida Gardener.com) says that its fruits are not edible.  However, that does not mean that they are poisonous—its scientific name doesn't appear in any of the following toxic plant databases:

Poisonous Plants of North Carolina

Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock

Toxic Plants of Texas 

University of Pennsylvania Poisonous Plants

Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System

Nor does its name appear in the ASPCA list of Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants for Dogs.

 

 

More Trees Questions

Problems with Mexican Olive tree from Edinburg TX
October 06, 2013 - My Mexican olive (anacahuita) shows no obvious signs of pest or disease, but over the last years has more and more dead limbs and smaller and smaller leaves. It's in a yard with a sprinkler system t...
view the full question and answer

Oak saplings in Boerne TX
August 02, 2010 - Is there anything I can do to kill the oak tree saplings that come up around my oak tree? I have a nice raised flower bed around the tree and now it's full of these saplings. Thanks for your help...
view the full question and answer

Removing suckers from Escarpment oak in Austin
October 11, 2010 - I have a small but mature grove of Escarpment Live Oak in my back yard. Five years ago we removed the St. Augustine grass that grew under these oaks and since then root suckers have begun to grow aro...
view the full question and answer

The perfect tree for San Rafael CA
November 10, 2009 - Want to plant a tree that is slow growing and has shallow root system that won't lift the concrete, that does not shed, and is green throughout the year.
view the full question and answer

Replacement for dead oak tree after hurricane
October 01, 2008 - Mr. Smarty Plants, It still is hard to believe but my dead Oak tree survived H.Ike! Now that I've gotten that dreaded letter from the HOA, they want me to replace it with at least a 45 gallon tree....
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center