En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - August 15, 2012

From: Los Angeles, CA
Region: California
Topic: Poisonous Plants, Trees
Title: Is Lemon Cypress toxic?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Is the Lemon Cypress toxic?

ANSWER:

Lemon cypress is a cultivar of Cupressus macrocarpa (Monterey cypress), a native of California.  It does not appear on any of the following toxic plant databases:

Poisonous Plants of North Carolina

Cornell University's Plants Poisonous to Livestock and Other Animals

Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System

University of Pennsylvania's Poisonous Plants

California Poison Control System

However, I did find some reports saying the Cupressus macrocarpa caused spontaneous abortions in cattle in New Zealand.  The FDA Poisonous Plant Database has a report of poisoning of cattle in New Zealand and in Australia: 

MacDonald, J. (1956) Macrocarpa poisoning. New Zealand Veterinary Journal 4:30. 

Sloss, V. and J. W. Brady (1983).  Abnormal births in cattle following ingestion of Cupressus macrocarpa foliage.  Australian Veterinary Journal 60 (7):223.

USDA ARS Poisonous Plant Research database reports a paper stating that the consumption by cattle of Monterey cypress causes abortions.  [Lee, S. T. et al.  (2003)  Development of Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays for Isocupressic Acid and Serum Metabolites of Isocupresssic Acid.  Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.]

It does appear that Cupressus macrocarpa, if eaten, poses a threat to pregnant cattle; but I could find no indication that it is toxic to humans.  It would seem prudent, however, NOT to consume it.

 

 

 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Agave attenuata Poisonous?
March 12, 2015 - Is Agave attenuata (foxtail agave) poisonous to horses or humans?
view the full question and answer

Non-floweriing vines not poisonous to dogs from Pittsburgh PA
June 10, 2013 - Are there any vines or crawlers (nothing that flowers) that are non poisonous to dogs? Everything I am finding is poisonous, I want to plant some vines up a chain link fence around a swimming pool.
view the full question and answer

Beautyberries not poisonous to cats and dogs from Haddonfield NJ
December 11, 2012 - Are beauty berry plants poisonous to cats/dogs? Would like to use branches w/berries and leaves as indoor decorations.
view the full question and answer

Is Savannah Holly poisonous to burn in Hanahan, SC.?
August 20, 2011 - Can you please tell me if the wood from a savannah holly bush is poisonous to burn?
view the full question and answer

Is the California Poppy posionous to dogs?
April 16, 2010 - Can you tell me if the wild orange-colored California poppy is poisonous to dogs? They grow like weeds in my yard. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center