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
1 rating

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

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Is the Magnolia 'Ann' safe for horses
May 14, 2010 - I bought a magnolia "ann". Will it hurt my horses to eat any part of it?
view the full question and answer

Identity of poisonous thorn bush in Montgomery Texas
May 29, 2012 - What is the name of a poisonous thorn bush in Montgomery Texas?
view the full question and answer

Native plants toxic to horses
March 09, 2007 - I would like to landscape with native plants (I live south of you in Harlingen, TX) but I am concerned some might be dangerous to my horses. Do you have a list of either safe native plants or native ...
view the full question and answer

Wildlife garden for Austin
May 19, 2013 - I am trying to make my backyard more wildlife friendly. I have pecan trees for the canopy and some understory shrub/trees like rough leaf dogwood and redbud. I am having a really hard time finding sui...
view the full question and answer

Pruning non-native oleanders
September 28, 2011 - I have an oleander that has become to "leggy". I read the pruning instructions, but where I want to prune, there are not any leaf nodes. Can I trim below at the base, or will I hurt the plant? I ...
view the full question and answer

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