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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.

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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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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!

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Monday - June 18, 2012

From: Park Ridge, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Poisonous Plants, Vines
Title: Non-native vines poisonous to animals from Park Ridge IL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a Star Jasmine and sambac Philipine Jasmine Plant . Are they poisonous to cats or dogs. I have them in the house.

ANSWER:

Trachelospermum jasminoides (Star Jasmine, Confederate Jasmine) is native to Japan, Korea, Southern China and Vietnam.

Jasminum Phillipine Sambac (Sambas Phillipine Jasmine) is native to South and Southeast Asia.

As such, neither is native to North America, which is our focus at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants. Therefore, they will not be in our Native Plant Database; we did some searching on some other websites. The only warning we found on either of these plants concerned their invasiveness and ability to take over a landscape, damaging more desirable plants and trees. So, we would not recommend planting them outside, although the cold winters in Illinois might keep them from becoming invasive.

Here are some poisonous plant databases that you should check when you are concerned about plants and animals. Search on the scientific name, as common names can be confusing.

 

 

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