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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - October 18, 2010

From: Redding, CA
Region: California
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Are the leaves of the Fruitless Palm Tree poisonous in Redding California?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Are Fruitless Palm Tree leaves poisonous? I was poked in the hand with a leaf of one of the branches. It was a dead leaf/Branch? Please Help!

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants certainly hopes that you are not waiting for an answer from us before seeking medical attention! Click on this link to the Mayo Clinic regarding puncture wounds before proceeding further in the answer.

The problem here is that the name  Fruitless Palm Tree is a common name (perhaps used  only locally) and is not readily findable in the data bases that we use. The family Arecaceae (aka Palmae) contains the the "Palms", and there are an estimated 2600 species worldwide, distributed generally in the tropics and subtropics. One of the most cold hardy palms is Trachycarpus fortunei whicn can be grown as far north as British Columbia. Click on the link and see if this looks like the palm that you have.

When we are asked about toxic plants, we usually go to the databases listed below.

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

California Poison Action Line

 

I looked through these sites, but couldn't find the palm that attacked you. The folks at the Shasta County Office of the Universisty of California Cooperative Extension could provide help with determining the botanical name of the Fruitless Palm Tree. This would make using the toxic plant databases more fruitful.

 

 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Campsis radicans or cow itch
April 03, 2008 - We cleaned my father-in-law's home-place up out in the country week-before-last. My wife, her 2 sisters and a niece have this unusual-looking poison on them. It is big red places and itches all ove...
view the full question and answer

Is Penstemon cobaea poisonous
May 12, 2009 - Is Penstemon cobaea Nutt or Wild foxglove poisonous like real fox glove? It is on a playground and Im concerned that it may not be safe for children.
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing non-invasive shrub for privacy fence in Sugar Land TX
December 06, 2011 - I live in South Texas in Sugar Land. I was going to plant oleanders in my backyard along the fence as a privacy hedge, about 20 feet from my house. However, I was told they were a bad choice becaus...
view the full question and answer

Bugbane Leaf Blotch
January 24, 2013 - My bugbanes (Cimicifuga/Actaea) seem to suffer from black blotches on the leaves in the summer. This happens even when they have adequate moisture. I also see it on the ones growing wild. Is this a fu...
view the full question and answer

Is the California Poppy posionous to dogs?
April 16, 2010 - Can you tell me if the wild orange-colored California poppy is poisonous to dogs? They grow like weeds in my yard. Thanks.
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