Explore Plants

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
    
 

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 pin oak in Manlius, NY
June 20, 2009 - I bought a pin oak when it was ~5 ft tall. It has lived in clay/rock for the last 6 years--healthy, but didn't grow much (no surprise). This spring we planted 3 small boxwoods a few feet from its t...
view the full question and answer

Plants for area around salt water pool
June 27, 2013 - What are some plants that will grow around my salt water pool where there is some salt water runoff occasionally.
view the full question and answer

Plant ID of unknown purchased plant from Boise ID
June 24, 2012 - Hi! I bought a tree that the sales person didnt know what it was. I thought it was a cherry tree and now after about 3-4 yrs I know it is but..How do I know if it is an ornamental tree or real fruit t...
view the full question and answer

Tree for memorial in Levittown NY
August 09, 2010 - I am planning a tree planting memorial in Wantagh Park and I don't know what will be hardy enough to grow there. There are the constant breeze and salt water elements to deal with there and of course...
view the full question and answer

Need advice for planting Bur Oak saplings in Comal County
October 09, 2012 - We will be planting several bur oak saplings this fall in deeper soils in Comal County. How close should we plant them? What mortality should we expect? Thanks in advance for your assistance.
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.