En Español

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
3 ratings

Wednesday - March 09, 2011

From: Granbury, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Toxicity of Texas Mountain Laurel seeds to livestock and dogs?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Are the seeds of the Texas Mountain Laurel poisonous to livestock or dogs? Thanks

ANSWER:

Texas Mountain Laurel Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel) is a popular native evergreen because of its dark green foliage and spectacular purple flowers, but it is generally considered to be toxic, particularly the brilliant red seeds.

One of the sources that we go to when asked about toxic plants is Toxic Plants of Texas, and it confirms the toxicity of Texas Mountain Laurel. The toxic agent is cytisine, a quinolizidine alkaloid, which is found in the leaves and the seeds. Livestock are poisoned when they ingest the leaves, however  the leaves are thought to be unpalatable and are avoided when other food is a vailable. The seeds have a higher concentration of the cytisine, but unless the seeds are broken through mastication, they can pass through the digestive tract with little effect.

Cytisine is also toxic to humans, and children are attracted to the red seed.


Sophora secundiflora

 

 

 

 

 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Groundcover for Orange County, Florida
April 14, 2012 - I live in Central FL (Winter Park)and I have a small, mostly sunny (no trees) backyard next to a large in-ground swimming pool which fills up with the leaves of my neighbor's oak trees. The backyard ...
view the full question and answer

Are Carolina jessamine flowers toxic to bees?
March 08, 2016 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants, My husband and I recently planted 15 yellow Carolina Jessamine bushes along our back fence. Our hope is that it will vine up into the fence and give us privacy. I went online...
view the full question and answer

Dwarf oyster plant dying in Sunrise FL
July 06, 2012 - WHAT WOULD BE KILLING MY DWARF OYSTER PLANTS
view the full question and answer

Digging wild buttercup from roadside in Mechanicsville MD
May 28, 2012 - Mr. Smarty Plants, is it illegal to dig out wild buttercup in Maryland? I see them along the dirt road or just in the ditch. Since buttercup considered weed, I'm wondering what the law say about this...
view the full question and answer

Fall care for Fan Scarlet lobelia in Rock Island IL
November 09, 2009 - What do I do with Scarlet Fan lobelia in the fall; do I cut it back or let it go as is?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center