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

Thursday - April 22, 2010

From: New Orleans, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Is Florida anisetree appropriate for school planting in New Orleans?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Illicium floridanum, Florida anisetree We are considering using this plant for a landscape at a school. I have been informed that it is poisonous, but not by a reliable source. I am otherwise very familiar with the plant. Is it an appropriate shrub for a school landscape. If not, do you have any other evergreen shrubs that you would recommend? Thank you very much,

ANSWER:

We found only two websites that referred to Illicium floridanum (Florida anisetree) as poisonous; one was Floridata "WARNING: This plant is toxic! Do not ingest. It is not a substitute for the culinary spice and flavorings obtained from Illicium verum," and the other Plants for a Future. "Although no mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, at least one other member of the genus has a fruit that is poisonous in quantity."

So, we went to our lists of Poisonous Plants for North America, and checked each for Illicium floridanum (Florida anisetree).  You can use the same procedure and the same lists to check other plants. We found no further indications of this plant being poisonous in any of these databases.

Poisonous Plants in North America:

Toxic and Non-Toxic Plant List—Horses 

Poisonous Plants of North Carolina

Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock

Toxic Plants of Texas 

University of Pennsylvania Poisonous Plants

Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System 

Toxic Plants from the University of California-Davis

Pennsylvania's Poisonous Plants from the Universtiy of Pennsylvania

Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock

ASPCA list of Plants Toxic to Horses

Horse Nutrition: Poisonous Plants from Ohio State University Extension Service

10 Most Poisonous Plants for Horses from Equisearch 

PullmanUSA - plants poisonous to both cats and dogs  

As for whether Illicium floridanum (Florida anisetree) is appropriate for a school landscape, you probably are a better judge of that than we are, as you are familiar both with the site and with the plant. You can follow the plant link above to our page on this plant to see what it requires in terms of sun, moisture, soil and so forth. If you decide it is not acceptable, go to our Recommended Species section, select Louisiana, and follow instructions to find other shrubs more appropriate. We would like to note that one of the common names for this plant is "stinkbush."

From our Native Plant Database:


Illicium floridanum

Illicium floridanum

Illicium floridanum

Illicium floridanum

 

 




 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

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

Sturdiness of non- native poisonous oleanders
August 16, 2011 - We've seen a dozen different types of non-native plants in our yard perish in last winter's brutal freezes and this summer's record drought..which is good..except for the Oleanders, which nature ca...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Poisonous Plants
October 27, 2004 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I wonder who among the wonderful staff at the Wildflower Center can answer this. I occasionally get requests for information on toxic or irritating plants. Beyond the obvious ...
view the full question and answer

Is Echinacea poisonous to cats?
May 01, 2008 - Is the echinacea plant poisonous to cats?
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

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