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

Evergreen hedge non-toxic for horses and goats in Muskogee, OK
March 31, 2009 - I live in northeastern Oklahoma. I am trying to find an evergreen hedge, 6-8 ft in height, 4-6 ft spread that is not harmful to horses or goats. Everything that I have found is for Zone 8 or 9.
view the full question and answer

Juniperus Toxic to Pets?
October 15, 2013 - Are blue rug juniper plants toxic to dogs?
view the full question and answer

Climbing Vine for Illinois That is Non-Toxic to Dogs
May 31, 2013 - I am looking for a climbing vine hardy in Illinois (zone 5) that it non-toxic to dogs. Can you help?
view the full question and answer

Grasses for horses in Austin
October 27, 2012 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants We just bought 4.5 acres in Travis County off HWY 290. We have 3 horses we keep on it but there is very little grass in the pastures. What is the best type of grass to seed ...
view the full question and answer

Source for seeds of New Mexico locust from Abilene TX
October 23, 2012 - Is there a place to buy Robinia neomexicana native to Texas or order seed from Texas grown plants?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center