Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

Saturday - August 20, 2011

From: Hanahan, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Poisonous Plants, Shrubs
Title: Is Savannah Holly poisonous to burn in Hanahan, SC.?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Can you please tell me if the wood from a savannah holly bush is poisonous to burn?

ANSWER:

 The questions that we usually get about poisonous plants deal with the ingesting  of plant material, so this brings up a new perspective.

Savannah Holly (Ilex attenuata) is a hybrid of Ilex opaca (American holly) and Ilex cassine . A look through a couple of poisonous plant databases( University of Arkansas  and the Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System ) indicates that several members of the genus Ilex are toxic but none specifically list Ilex attenuata. The toxic principal ( a glycoside) usually causes nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting, and in some cases, it is the berries that contain most of the toxin.

Since the site of the toxic interaction is in the digestive tract, it seems unlikely that the amount of toxin in smoke from burning the wood would have any effect. However, I would err on the side of caution and avoid burning the wood if possible.

On the subject of burning, let me direct you to this link with some good information about smoke inhalation.

 

More Shrubs Questions

Cenizo dropping leaves from Corpus Christi TX
February 20, 2014 - Leucophyllum frutescens:I planted a Texas sage hedge in September of 2012. One of the plants is dropping its leaves. It is situated at the corner of an L-shape at the end of drive and corner of road. ...
view the full question and answer

Shrubs and trees over septic tank in Killen AL
May 20, 2013 - Our church has 5year old blue rug juniper, a crape myrtle and two shrubs I can't identify planted over the septic tank which is surrounded with concrete and asphalt. I am afraid these will cause a pr...
view the full question and answer

Duplicate of English holly for Eufaula OK
January 03, 2010 - I wish to have a shrub that would duplicate the red berries and foliage of English holly. Tolerance of cultivation is also desired.
view the full question and answer

Mystery shrub in Michigan
July 18, 2011 - I live in the upper peninsula of Michigan and noticed a shrub in the woods that has large clusters of small red, what I would call berries on it. Can you give me some n...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen for barn from Washington TX
April 27, 2013 - We live on a large ranch and have someone now next to us that built a barn on our fence line that we want to make a tree barrier to hide it, so we need to plant trees that will grow at least 15-29 fee...
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.