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 - 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

Is Texas Thistle edible from Austin
May 26, 2010 - Is Texas Thistle an edible plant?
view the full question and answer

Odor and flavor of oils in Mints as insect repellants
December 19, 2005 - I am trying to find information on "How does mint plants repel insects" It's for my grand daughter's science project. Any help will be appreciated. Thank you
view the full question and answer

complete list of Central Texas edible plants
January 07, 2010 - Hello! I have been searching for a complete list of Texas Hill Country Native Edibles (for humans) without much luck. Do you know of a good source? Thanks so much for your hard work! Steph
view the full question and answer

Niagara and Concord grape crop failure
September 01, 2008 - Hi, I have been growing niagara grapes and concord grapes for 3 years now and this year I found myself without any fruits. The plant itself if full of leaves and is healthy. I was wondering why this w...
view the full question and answer

Identifying a plant similar to sarsaparilla
September 04, 2011 - I am trying to identify a plant that looks very similar to sasparilla, but has a ring of blue berries at the end of a long stalk, and the plant itself is spreading, not an isolated herb like sasparill...
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center