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
2 ratings

Tuesday - August 18, 2009

From: Aurora, MN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Toxic effect of mulberry fruits and sap
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What would be the toxic effect of the unripe fruit of the mulberry tree or the white sap?

ANSWER:

The Poisonous Plants of North Carolina database lists both the North American native Morus rubra (red mulberry) and the introduced Morus alba (white mulberry) as mildly toxic.  The toxic parts are the unripe berries and the white sap from any part.  The symptoms are hallucinations and stomach upset.  This database says that it "causes only low toxicity if eaten". This is the only toxic plant database I could find, however, that listed it. 

Delena Tull in Edible and Useful Plants of Texas and the Southwest says that the pollen of these two trees causes hay fever.  She also says: 

"Unripe fruit and milky sap can cause gastrointestinal distress and some toxicity...The sap can cause a skin rash."

L. A. Peterson in A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants of Eastern and Central North America says about both species:

"Unripe fruit and raw shoots contain hallucinogens."


Morus rubra

Morus rubra

 

 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Getting rid of wild plums (Prunus angustifolia)
July 28, 2008 - When I bought my land, there was a humongous thicket of wild plums (Prunus angustifolia) approx 10 ft high and covering 5-10 acres. I raise goats, and have known that wild plums (the leaves) can cause...
view the full question and answer

Mulberry sap in the bloodstream from Kansas City
November 13, 2010 - What affect does mulberry sap have if put in contact with the blood stream?
view the full question and answer

Is the fruit of Melothria pendula edible?
November 22, 2014 - Is the fruit of Melothria pendula edible?
view the full question and answer

Are the seeds of Texas ebony poisonous to dogs from Chandler AZ
October 30, 2009 - Please tell me if it is dangerous for my puppy to eat the seeds of a Texas ebony. She seems to be attracted to them.
view the full question and answer

Foxglove safety from England
April 21, 2013 - Hi, regarding safety of foxgloves grown near edible plants - foxgloves are good companion plants for vegetables, in case of root vegetables they improve their storage life and quality. Foxgloves prote...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center