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?


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

Monday - April 30, 2012

From: St Louis, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Edible Plants, Poisonous Plants, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Toxicity of barren strawberries
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Are barren strawberries toxic? .


Waldsteinia fragarioides (Appalachian barren strawberry) is a member of the Rosaceae family as are the other strawberries, but not the same genus. Following the plant link to our database page, we learned that the fruit is not edible, but no indication of toxicity of that fruit. We went down to the bottom of the webpage to a Google link under Additional Resources to find more information on that plant. From that, we found more more information in this website from the Missouri Botanical Garden on Waldsteinia fragarioides. Looks like it would be a great shady groundcover.

If you are truly concerned, here are several lists of poisonous plants, search on them by the genus name Waldsteinia. Personally, we think our website's comment that they are not edible has to do with texture or taste, not poisonous qualities.

Poisonous Plants of North Carolina

Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock

Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System

University of Pennsylvania's Poisonous Plants

University of Illinois Veterinary Medicine Library Toxic Plants

Toxic Plants of Texas

California Poison Control System


From the Image Gallery

Appalachian barren strawberry
Waldsteinia fragarioides

Appalachian barren strawberry
Waldsteinia fragarioides

Appalachian barren strawberry
Waldsteinia fragarioides

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Can the buds and flowers from my Rhodendron tree be toxic to my puppy? Yes
March 23, 2009 - I recently got a new 7 week old puppy that keeps trying to play with and eat buds and flowers off my Rhododendron tree. Could this be toxic to him?
view the full question and answer

Will a barrier hedge of Agarita cause any problems for horses and cattle?
January 28, 2009 - Will planting a hedge of Agarita (Mahonia trifoliolata) at the fence line in my blackland prairie pasture cause any problems for my horses and cattle. I am trying to create a sound and sight barrier ...
view the full question and answer

Is Asclepias incarnata poisonous to dogs?
June 13, 2012 - Is Asclepias incarnata safe in a farm/yard with plenty of dogs running around? What happens if a dog eats the leaves or seeds or pods? Is eating any of these fatal to dogs?
view the full question and answer

Plants to replace poison ivy in Kingsport TN
July 03, 2009 - Am in the process of killing off poison ivy that is growing vigorously. What do you recommend to plant in its place. I don't want to leave area open to other invasive plants. (Yes, poison ivy is a...
view the full question and answer

Do Delphiniums Transfer Toxins to Strawberries?
October 22, 2015 - Is it safe to eat strawberries grown beside delphiniums?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center