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 - July 07, 2009

From: Toronto, ON
Region: Canada
Topic: Edible Plants
Title: Who ate the Jack-in-the-Pulpit in Ontario?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Something has dug up my clump of Jack-in-the-pulpit at my parents' cottage in the Haliburtons (Ontario, Canada). Leaves, berries and roots are gone. We know we have a black bear who likes our composter. Would a bear dig up the whole plant? I thought they caused a burning sensation in the mouth when eaten.

ANSWER:

Not being too personally familiar with either bears or Jack-in-the-Pulpits, since neither grow in Texas to any extent, we did a little research. On the kidcyber.com website Bear Facts, the question "What do bears eat?" was posed. The answer is, like humans, bears are omnivores and they will eat almost anything. Among the foods listed for the American black bear were nuts, berries, fruits, acorns, roots, plants, insects, baby deer and moose. Did the bear know the root would cause a burning sensation in the mouth if it wasn't cooked first? No, but it was a good-looking plant with a nice root, so he tried it. Maybe he knows now.
 

More Edible Plants Questions

Edible wild plants in Montana
September 30, 2005 - Where can I find information about wild edible plants in Montana?
view the full question and answer

Edibility of bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) acorns
October 24, 2007 - Is the acorn of the Bur Oak edible?
view the full question and answer

How to care for blueberries in Oregon
July 11, 2008 - New to oregon and to blueberry bushes - can you tell me the proper way to care for them - location-sandy, Oregon and unsure of which type of blueberry they are thank you
view the full question and answer

Fruit trees for Buckeye AZ
May 16, 2010 - I am moving to Buckeye Az from Utah and would like to know what type of fruit trees I can grow. Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Rust on Blackberry
April 17, 2015 - I have two new blackberry bushes that I planted fall 2014. Only weeks after I planted the plant began to have rust color balls under the leaves then leaves began to die and fall off. When I returned t...
view the full question and answer

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