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
2 ratings

Tuesday - September 08, 2009

From: Ridgecrest, CA
Region: California
Topic: Edible Plants
Title: Is the Texas mesquite, Prosopis glandulosa, toxic to cats?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi Mr. Smarty Pants! Regarding Texas mesquite tree, I know that rabbits and deer etc eat the seed pods, but my cat every time he goes outside starts munching on the pods, and I can't find any info on felines eating them, are they poisonous to kitties?

ANSWER:

Well, Mr. Smarty Plants searched the Cat Fanciers' Association, Inc. webpage lists of both "Toxic Plants" and "Non-Toxic Plants" and Prosopis glandulosa (honey mesquite) appeared on neither list.  One difficulty with these searches, however, is that the lists are written only with common names instead of botanical names.  Common names are quite variable so it is possible that it was listed under some form of the common name that I didn't think of using—but I don't think so. The ASPCA Toxic and Non-toxic Plant List—Cats shows Prosopis limensis [syn. = P. pallida] (Algaroba), a related species from South America on its Plants Non-Toxic to Cats list.  You can check out all the websites listed on Plants Toxic to Cats, but I didn't find Texas (or honey) mesquite listed on any of them that I searched.  The beans of honey mesquite have been used as a food by wildlife of the Southwest and by humans, as well.  The beans can be eaten raw, cooked, ground into a flour, or used to make a drink.  However,  Medicinal Plants of the Southwest  says that the beans can cause digestive distress for humans, although usually mild, and Toxic Plants of Texas reports that cattle and sometimes goats can be severely affected if they eat large amounts of mesquite beans.  Your best bet would be to contact your veterinarian for more information about the possible toxicity of mesquite beans for cats.  At the very least, to be on the safe side, you should try removing as many beans as possible from the area around your house and be certain that no pesticides have been used on any beans that the cat might decide to eat.

 

 

More Edible Plants Questions

Need source for garlic to plant in garden in Fort Worth, TX.
September 30, 2011 - Where can I get or purchase a native Texas garlic to plant in my garden?
view the full question and answer

Edibility of fruit of Passiflora incarnata
July 19, 2007 - We have Passion flower vines growing, blooming and producing fruit all over our property and the land nearby. They are growing wild. We are near Greensboro, Georgia which is barely in the Northeast pa...
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

Dog eats Celtis laevigata, sugar hackberry
May 21, 2012 - This is an odd question but I am a biologist and have for years notice an odd behavior in my Golden Retriever. When he gets stomach distress or something makes him nervous like an incoming thunderstor...
view the full question and answer

Are flower petals poisonous?
December 01, 2008 - Is it toxic to eat the petals on a flower? Ashley
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
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center