En Español

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

Monday - May 03, 2010

From: Funville, HI
Region: Hawaii
Topic: Edible Plants
Title: Are palm tree leaves poisonous?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hello, I am doing a "Menu" on Hawaii and I was wondering if palm tree leaves are edible. I have to make menu items and i was thinking palm tree leaves could be included.. If you know please answer! Thanks!

ANSWER:

We think you may be having a little fun with us, because there is no such place, apparently, as "Funville, HI."

There are approximately 202 genera and 2200 species of palm trees, so there is no telling what palm you are speaking of. As they are mostly tropical plants, very few are native to North America. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center only has plants native to North America (excluding Mexico) in our Native Plant Database; one of which is  Washingtonia filifera (California fan palm), native to California. A number of palms have fruits, such as the Coconut Palm, which yield edible fruits or oils that are used in cooking, but we found no mention that any of the leaves of palms were edible.  In fact, the fronds of Phoenix canariensis (Canary Island Date Palm) are known to be poisonous. This characteristic could very well be present in the leaves of many other palm species. We would suggest you could use them as a table decoration, but not on the menu.


 

 

 

More Edible Plants Questions

Are yellow bells (Tecoma stans) edible?
January 25, 2009 - Can you tell me if any part of the yellow bell can be eaten and if so what part. Also is it useful in making natural paints?
view the full question and answer

Is cenizo (Leucophyllum frutescens) edible?
December 21, 2012 - I found a post here about cenizo leaves being used for tea, but I'm wondering if the leaves of the cenizo are edible? I have found many recipes for 'brown butter sage' leaves (sauteed often with on...
view the full question and answer

Planting fruit and nut trees in Archer, FL.
January 26, 2012 - We're looking to plant a few fruit and nut trees in Archer, Florida. We've been thinking about figs, apples, peaches, oranges, plums, and whatever nuts grow best here (looks like almonds and pecan...
view the full question and answer

Leaves of Chile pequin consumed overnight from San Marcus TX
June 23, 2013 - Something ate all the leaves of my Chile petin overnight. There is a ton of frass under the plants but no sign of a critter to be found. These plants have been in the same area for years and this is t...
view the full question and answer

Fruiting times of native trees and shrubs in the Pacific Norhwest
December 30, 2013 - I am looking for information on fruiting/seeds/nuts times of native trees and shrubs in the Pacific Northwest. Obviously they fruit after they bloom but all I can find is very general information such...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center