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
2 ratings

Tuesday - October 12, 2010

From: Miami, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Miami gardener needs to know toxicity of Cordia boissieri
Answered by: Marilyn Kircus

QUESTION:

Hello. I have a question about Cordia boissieri. Is it toxic for humans (all parts of the plant)? I want to plant it in South Florida, in an area with children.

ANSWER:

Wikipedia and several other sources state that the fruit of Cordia boissieri (Mexican olive) is slightly toxic and causes dizziness. However jellies made from the fruit are safe to eat.  The fruit is eaten by birds, squirrels, other mammals and livestock. This is also a medicinal plant.  A syrup made from the fruit is given for coughs.  The leaves are used to treat rheumatism and pulmonary disease in Mexico and are being studied for their antibiotic properties.

I wouldn't be too worried about growing it around children.  The best protection is to teach them to never put anything in their mouths and to never pick anything without permission.  There are many poisonous plants growing in public parks and private homes that they visit, so you can't protect them without training them. My grandson and I have had many conversations about not eating plants, or even picking anything without permission. By the the time he was three, he was reliable around plants.

Here is a list of databases to check for possible poisonous plants.

Toxic Plants of Texas

Poisonous Plants of North Carolina

Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock

University of Pennsylvania Poisonous Plants

Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System

 


Cordia boissieri

 

 

 

 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Injury while pulling weeds in Chandler TX
November 18, 2009 - I stabbed my self this last weekend when pulling roots from a bed so i'm not sure what it was. At the time it was a sharp pain so I pulled off my glove to look at it,barely scratched the skin so on I...
view the full question and answer

Spots on leaves of sevenleaf creeper in Austin
November 14, 2009 - Have 3 seven leaf creepers that are planted in mostly shade. In Sept & Oct 2009 all 3 plants had dried up leaves which fell off; however, all three plants grew new leaves when we got rain and are com...
view the full question and answer

Palm tip wound in Sacramento CA
June 25, 2009 - My husband was stuck in his calf with a palm leaf, he is now complaining of stiffness where it went in, is there any kind of poison in it?
view the full question and answer

Need to know if coral honeysuckle is toxic to dogs in North Port, FL.
March 01, 2011 - Could you please tell me if coral honeysuckle is toxic to dogs. I would like to plant it in my backyard, but do not plant anything that would be toxic to my dog if she decided to chew on it. Thank y...
view the full question and answer

Poison Ivy in Semi-wetland Massachusetts
June 27, 2013 - You answered this question for Tennessee, but I would like an answer for a Massachusetts semi-wetlands area: What can I plant to discourage poison ivy, or at least make it very clear that it is poison...
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