Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
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

Alpacas poisoned in pasture in Texas
October 26, 2008 - Two of my alpacas were poisoned by something growing in two of my pastures. One of the suspects is cussus trifoliata, aka, cow itch vine, sorrelvine. I have searched diligently and can find no refere...
view the full question and answer

Non-poisonous, non-allergenic plants for privacy fence
March 15, 2012 - I'm looking to put in some plants to create a privacy fence against one side of my property. I'd like a mix of plants that grow well together in order to create a diverse look. I need something ever...
view the full question and answer

Does Virginia creeper cause a rash?
July 09, 2015 - Does Virginia creeper cause a rash to everyone or those who are only allergic as in an allergy like a peanut allergy? Is it something that should be avoided like poison ivy? And does the sap stick to ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of shrub/small tree with small purple fruit
July 31, 2013 - Hi! I have a tree/bush that has come up on its own in the backyard. This year it set what looks like small purple plums. Is there any chance that they might be poisonous?
view the full question and answer

Non-toxic evergreen shrub around duck pen
September 10, 2015 - I live in Zone 6a, and am looking for a non-toxic evergreen shrub to use around our fence that pens in our ducks. It doesn't have to be native to our particular state. I have 74 feet of fence on th...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.