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

Monday - January 04, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Need information about the toxicity of some newly acquired plants in Austin, TX
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I just got a Carolina Buckthorn tree, a silk tassel, a wafer ash, and an escarpment black cherry tree. I wonder if any of these trees produce berries that would be poisonous to my grandchildren or my dog???? Thank you so much. I'm enjoying reading your questions and answers!

ANSWER:

When Mr. Smarty Plants gets inquiries about toxic plants, there are several databases that he consults, and I am going to share them with you for future reference.

I have perused the lists below looking for the trees that you planted; Carolina Buckthorn Frangula caroliniana (Carolina buckthorn) , silk tassel tree Garrya ovata (eggleaf silktassel) , wafer ash tree Ptelea trifoliata (common hoptree), and the escarpment cherry Prunus serotina var. eximia (black cherry).

The silk tassel tree and the wafer ash were not on any of the lists, however the escarpment cherry was on all of the lists, and the Carolina Buckthorn was on two.

Members of the genus Prunus are well known for being toxic. The toxic compounds are cyanogenic glycosides that are found in leaves and the seeds. (more information)

The Buckthorn is sometimes placed in the genus Rhamnus, and this genus is listed is the one found in the databases. The toxic compounds are glycosides that are found in the berries. (more information)

Poisonous Plants of North Carolina   http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/poison/poison.htm

Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock    http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants/

Toxic Plants of Texas http://essmextension.tamu.edu/plants/toxics/

University of Pennsylvania Poisonous Plants   http://cal.vet.upenn.edu/projects/poison/index.html

Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System   http://www.cbif.gc.ca/pls/pp/poison?p_x=px

University of California at Davis     http://www.plantsciences.ucdavis.edu/ce/king/PoisPlant/Tox-COM.htm

 

 

 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Plants to replace poison ivy and brush
June 23, 2008 - I am right next to a highway in Paradise, CA 95969. I am having brush and poison oak removed in that area and want to plant something fast growing and draught resistant. I am thinking about Oleander...
view the full question and answer

Safe grazing for donkeys and goats from Osteen FL
June 30, 2012 - I am having a very difficult time trying to find shrubs, hedges, plants, flowers, or trees etc. that are safe for donkeys and goats. We live in Zone 9 and have a small farm. I've had to pull every ...
view the full question and answer

Petals of flowers on cake from London
August 28, 2010 - Hi could you confirm that Gemini, Lisianthus and Lilies are non toxic if positioned onto a fresh cream cake (stem will be paced into a vial but the petals will come into contact with the cream). Thank...
view the full question and answer

Remedy for sore finger scratched by an Agave plant
October 18, 2013 - I scratched my ring finger on a Agave plant this afternoon. It did bring blood to the surface and i washed it off. Where the scratch is, is very tender and it is swollen and tingles. Any suggestions f...
view the full question and answer

Living fence line from Thomasville GA
November 04, 2012 - I would like to create a natural fence line on my property in South Georgia. They need to be pretty dense and horse, cow, goat friendly, growing to a height of about 4ft, preferably quickly! Do you ...
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