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
2 ratings

Monday - September 04, 2006

From: Oak Grove, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Toxicity of Peruvian Lilies (Alstroemeria sp) for food decoration
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, I am trying to find out if I can decorate a cake using live alstroemeria laid on top of the icing. I would not want to eat the flower, just lay it on top to look pretty before removing and serving the cake. Thanks for your help!

ANSWER:

Perhaps it wouldn't be the best idea to put Peruvian Lilies (Alstroemeria sp.), beautiful as they are, on your cake. University of California Davis lists them on their Toxic Plants list in Toxicity Class 2 ("Minor Toxicity: Ingestion of these plants may cause minor illnesses such as vomiting and diarrhea.") and Class 4("Dermatitis: The juice, sap, or thorns of these plants may cause a skin rash or irritation."). The Peruvian Lily is also listed by the Washington Poison Center with the same toxicity ratings.
 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Are bald cypress cones toxic to dogs?
October 27, 2013 - Are bald cypress tree seed pods poisonous? to dogs? We just got a rescue dog and we go out in the yard with her. But now that we are into fall and the pods are falling. She goes right to them. Are...
view the full question and answer

Are Carolina jessamine flowers toxic to bees?
March 08, 2016 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants, My husband and I recently planted 15 yellow Carolina Jessamine bushes along our back fence. Our hope is that it will vine up into the fence and give us privacy. I went online...
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

Alpacas poisoned in pasture in Texas
October 26, 2008 - Two of my alpacas were poisoned by something growing in two of my pastures. One of the suspects is cussus trifoliata, aka, cow itch vine, sorrelvine. I have searched diligently and can find no refere...
view the full question and answer

Trimming non-native sago from Fresno CA
September 10, 2012 - I have a sago plant, fronds are hanging over into street, can the fronds themselves be trimmed back without removing the whole frond?
view the full question and answer

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