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

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

Flowering tree with non-invasive roots from Palos Verde CA
June 24, 2013 - Want a flowering tree with noninvasive roots for Palos Verdes, CA.
view the full question and answer

Natural Privacy Planting for New Jersey
October 09, 2013 - I have a question about privacy plantings in New Jersey (Monmouth County). We have a wooden fence around the perimeter of backyard with some various older trees. We wanted to start anew and wanted to ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for big pots by pool in Austin
August 14, 2012 - Could you please suggest some plants to put in big pots out by my pool? They will get lots of heat and sun. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Starting Tecoma stans seedlings
February 25, 2013 - I planted and germinated several (about 40) seeds from my Tecoma stans plant and they all sprouted and grew very nicely. They are now about 6 weeks old and they don't seem to be making any more prog...
view the full question and answer

Pruning of Hamelia patens, Firebush
June 23, 2006 - I have a Hamelia Patens (Fire Bush) it says it will grow to 12 feet high and 5-6 feet across. Can I keep pruning it to about 5 feet without damaging the shrub?
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