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

Is there a vine in Indiana with poisonous thorns?
December 27, 2011 - I was cut at the left big toe by a brownish/red thorny vine while tracking thru dry grass near the bridge exiting 278. I'm from Indianapolis, in 46208. Was wondering if I was exposed to a poisonous v...
view the full question and answer

Native plants and possible poisonous plants in Aguanga, California
August 31, 2009 - I am in the process of moving to Aguanga California. I am interested in knowing what the native plants are in that area. Are they poison to animals and kids?
view the full question and answer

Wound from non-native date palm thorn Naples FL
November 12, 2012 - Was trimming my pygmy date palm when a frond fell and a thorn pierced my rubber gloves and stuck me in the web of skin between my thumb and forefinger. Did not see a broken thorn but area where struc...
view the full question and answer

Root cuttings for non-native, poisonous oleander from Mobile AL
December 16, 2010 - I need help with best method to root cuttings from my oleander tree. Please advise best method. Thanks
view the full question and answer

Native plants that will grow under alleopathic black walnut
March 03, 2007 - I have a large, beautiful black walnut tree in my yard and have trouble growing the annuals, begonia, impatients, etc., that I have always grown. They don't do well in the ground and I have resorted...
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