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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Friday - September 09, 2011

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: What to do if Mexican buckeye seeds are eaten
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What to do if seeds of the Mexican buckeye are eaten? I didn't know they were toxic. Please let me know as soon as you can. Thank you

ANSWER:

Ungnadia speciosa (Mexican buckeye) is, indeed, toxic.   If you haven't already gone to your doctor or to an emergency clinic, you should go immediately and tell exactly what you ate.  Identify it by the botanical name.  They will have the information on how to treat you.

Here is information from the US Forest Service Database:

"Toxicity:  The sweet seeds of Mexican buckeye taste like pistachio nuts
and were formerly considered as a potential human food source [19].
Stanford [19] and his colleagues reportedly consumed up to 20 seeds
without suffering ill effects.  However, results of laboratory tests
with rats soon put an end to these culinary experiments.  Rats which had
ingested Mexican buckeye seeds soon exhibited numerous signs of both
neurological and organ damage and most died within 3 weeks [19].  Seeds
can cause dizziness, nausea, and abdominal discomfort in humans [6,16]."

My advice to you is not to try eating any parts of plants you are not familiar with unless you have determined for sure that they are NOT toxic.

 

From the Image Gallery


Mexican buckeye
Ungnadia speciosa

Mexican buckeye
Ungnadia speciosa

Mexican buckeye
Ungnadia speciosa

Mexican buckeye
Ungnadia speciosa

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