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 Trees Questions

Need options for smaller trees in neighborhoods in Austin, TX.
May 25, 2012 - Please discuss smaller tree options for typical Austin neighborhood yards. These houses are built close together on the sides, and only have smallish back yards. They just don't have space for big 50...
view the full question and answer

Need a shade tree for an enclosed courtyard in Las Cruces, NM
September 24, 2012 - I HAVE A WEST FACING COURTYARD ENCLOSED WITH A 6' STUCCO WALL AND I WANT TO ADD A SHADE TREE. CURRENTLY HAVE SEVERAL MESQUITE TREES, DESERT WILLOW, CHINESE PISTACHE & VITEX TREES IN THE FRONT AREA ...
view the full question and answer

What are the green round growths on the edges of my oak leaves in Fairfax, OK
May 21, 2013 - round growths on the edge of oak leaves. ranging in size from a pearl to a lime. ranging in color from pale green to lime green. hollow, small ones appear to contain one small gnat sized seed. the la...
view the full question and answer

Mexican oak and red oak not looking healthy
August 02, 2014 - I purchased a Mexican oak tree and I believe a red oak tree from your center about 1 year ago. Recently I've noticed that they don't look as healthy as they have been, and I just looked at the leave...
view the full question and answer

Tall privacy hedge in Fort Worth, Texas
January 15, 2010 - I need a fast growing plant that reaches a height of 14 to 16 feet suitable as a privacy hedge. Prefer minimal maintenance and disease resistant. I have a 3 story condo being built behind my home in...
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