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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.

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Tuesday - July 13, 2010

From: Charles Town, WV
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Horses exposed to toxic plants in Charles Town WV
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Mr. Smarty Pants, I have a big problem on my hands! Four of my horses have gotten into something toxic, but I must find out what. I found an unusual plant that a mare chased her foal away from. It's got yellow flowers, long stalks covered in more buds, and soft leaves, like leaves from milkweed. Please help me! Im at a loss.


This is not a situation in which you can wait while we try first to identify the plant (and it may not even be the toxic one), which usually takes a picture sent to us digitally to even try, establish its toxicity and advise you what to do. You need to contact the West Virginia University Extension Office for Jefferson County and your veterinarian, and not waste any time about it. Whatever the plant is, you will probably have to remove the horses from where they can get it, and then worry about its identification and extermination. 


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