Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Sunday - October 31, 2010

From: Cumberland, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Are wild cherry trees poisonous for horses?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have just purchased a pony and have been told that wild cherry trees could cause harm or even kill her. Is this true and where can I go to get a list of all the poisonous plants, shrubs and trees for my pony?

ANSWER:

Here is what the article "Poisonous Plants" by Willis Lamm of Trail Blazer Magazine says about choke cherry and wild cherry (Prunus):

"Chokecherries, growing in bushes up to 12 feet high, are popular for their jelly producing berries. They are common throughout the US, often found along roadsides or creek bottoms. Unfortunately the leaves, which are particularly toxic when stressed or wilted, as well as the bark from chokecherries and wild cherries are cyanide producing.

Death in horses can occur literally in minutes after the horse has ingested the leaves. The horse will appear to have trouble breathing, show flared nostrils and lose bowel and urinary control. Lack of coordination and trembling may also appear, along with agitation. A severely poisoned horse will drop to the ground, kick a few times, then die.

Poisoned horses can be saved, however usually veterinary help cannot arrive in time as the effects of cyanide poisoning progress rapidly."

The Poisonous Plants of Pennsylvania has more information about the chemicals responsible for Prunus spp. toxicity. Other toxic plant databases (Poisonous Plants of North Carolina, Cornell University Plants Poisonoous to Livestock, Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System) also list various Prunus spp. as poisonous.

From the ASPCA you can read, Toxic and Non-Toxic Plant List – Horses, that gives toxicity information about many native and non-native plants.

 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Getting rid of wild plums (Prunus angustifolia)
July 28, 2008 - When I bought my land, there was a humongous thicket of wild plums (Prunus angustifolia) approx 10 ft high and covering 5-10 acres. I raise goats, and have known that wild plums (the leaves) can cause...
view the full question and answer

Tropical looking plants for pool area in California
November 14, 2008 - I am looking for small tropical looking plants, groundcover, and 2-small trees for around my pool. They have to be non-toxic to dogs,cats, and people. They can't attract bees/wasps, or have a root ...
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

Member of Taxus genus native to southern Illinois from Granite City IL
July 12, 2013 - Is there a native Southern Illinois similar to Taxus baccata? I live in Granite City IL and am looking for a native plant/scrub that stays green year round about 2-3 feet tall to it helps insulate the...
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

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.