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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - September 12, 2009

From: Wewoka, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Is conium maculatum safe for cataracts from Wewoka OK
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My doctor has prescribed conium maculatum for my cataract problems. Is this safe to use in the eyes?

ANSWER:

We are gardeners, not doctors, but we can tell you about the plant you are asking about. Conium maculatum is native to Africa, Asia and Europe and was imported into North America as an ornamental in the 1800's. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the care, propagation and protection of plants native to North America and to the area in which it is being grown. Although that places the plant out of our range of expertise, this USDA Plant Profile shows it is growing, non-native,  in nearly every state in the United States and nearly every province in Canada.

But the main thing you need to know is that every part of this plant, especially the fresh leaves and fruit, contains a volatile, oily alkaloid, which is so poisonous that a few drops prove fatal to a small animal.

We urge you to visit a medical doctor, an ophthalmologist, and seek his opinion on any treatment of cataracts. Please do not touch, gather or use any portion of this plant. The common name of Comium maculatum is Poison Hemlock, and it is the poison that killed Socrates.

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Growing native vines in pots from Houston
May 28, 2012 - I am writing in regards to your often mentioned issue of plants not doing as well in pots and in the ground. After last years drought, i moved all the plants I had that were in danger of dying of t...
view the full question and answer

Blackeyed Susans becoming invasive in Fredericksburg VA
August 10, 2009 - Are the roots of the Blackeyed Susan (BES) invasive enough to actually destroy bulbs. BES have moved into a bed exactly where my oriental lilies were..this year the whole row of red lilies (which had...
view the full question and answer

Prairie remnant threatened by non-native Queen Anne's lace in Dallas
June 09, 2010 - A blackland prairie remnant is being invaded by Queen Ann's Lace. What are the best, least chemical, methods of getting rid of it without damaging the native grasses and wildflowers? Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Skunk cabbage to repel rabbits in Wichita KS
May 22, 2011 - I would like to find a skunk cabbage plant or oil of skunk cabbage to drive away rabbits from my garden.. It does work for several yrs ago I purchased a plant from a garden shop but can not find it no...
view the full question and answer

Replacing non-native invasives with native grasses and wildflowers from Round Rock TX
April 04, 2012 - I have a small piece of property (1.5 AC) East of Austin, Texas that get's overgrown with weedy vegetation (johnson grass, dandelion, and some tall yellow flowering plant that I see all over the medi...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center